Delivery of three tons of food postponed by Bush’s visit

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On Friday, September 3, three tons of food ready for helicopter delivery to stranded residents of St. Bernard Parish and Algiers Point sat in trucks on the Crescent City Connection because all air traffic–including emergency rescue traffic–was halted so that Bush could enter New Orleans and announce that “the results are not enough.”

Thanks to Just Ain’t Right for alerting me to this story. Amtrak trains, U.S. Forest Serivce carriers, and Red Cross supplies were all prevented from reaching people because FEMA thought–well, who knows what they thought?–and then food was kept from hurricane victims because of a visit from Bush. Sandbags were ready to patch the levee, but the Blackhawk helicopter that was to block them never arrived, causing waters to rise at a deadly rate. Then people were forced to leave their companion animals to starve, drown, or die of starvation.

There is no way to spin this into anything acceptable, no matter how many late-night phone calls Karen Hughes makes or how many memos Karl Rove scribbles. I have talked with Louisianians of every poliitcal persuasion, and they all say the same thing: What happened was disgusting, and there can be no reasonable explanation for it.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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