The New Orleans 3

What can you say about something so completely tragic -- this in the city I was born in?

I had planned a new Top Ten progressive to-do list to roll out today but I've shelved it for a week or so because it seems so trite.

A few tiny suggestions and random thoughts post-Katrina:

1 - Help ACORN. Headquartered in New Orleans, these good folks quietly registered more bodies than anyone (including ACT) in the last election cycle, while doing pioneering work fighting redlining, pay day loans, rapid refund rip-offs from H&R Block and more. Their offices across the southwest (Houston, Dallas, etc.) are stepping up to help the same folks who were forgotten at the Convention Center.

So help them if you can at: www.acorn.org. You can also get great postings moving forward at Wade Rathke's blog.

2 - Buy The Shirt. I've been pretty grossed out by the political jockeying on all sides so far (more below), but here's some folks who have nailed the right tone: "Make Levees, Not War" t-shirts available here.

Profits to 3 good causes.

3 - Playing Politics: Like I said, the political positioning going on here is as fetid as the water flooding the streets. So why not make this very simple: if you want to bash Bush, just focus on the simple fact that the guy running FEMA he appointed is/was a completely unqualified political hack. So why not call for his firing and leave it at that.

Can we please-please-please leave the Hillary Clinton call for another "study commission" by the side of the road for a while will ya? Can someone explain to me how these endless calls for Congressional show trials to examine in great detail how we were bamboozled on or ripped off (or insert your favorite outrage) ever do anything besides divert attention from how the Administration is screwing us over right now on something new?

Forget Congressional hearings -- get these cats and their staffs filling sandbags for god sake!

So hats off to David Goldstein for breaking the story about how FEMA chief Michael Brown was an unmitigated disaster before New Orleans when he served as the head of the International Arabian Horse Association, his last actual job before joining FEMA.

I gotta say: This factoid lives in the weird parallel universe that exists beyond The Daily Show's writing staff's wildest dreams, right next to the skewed plane where Halliburton just got a new lucrative contract to repair naval facilities damaged by Hurricane Katrina (true: see Houston Chronicle).