A National Disgrace


The country seems to be coming apart at the seams over Katrina and the total disaster that has fallen upon Mississippi and Louisiana.

Just to give you an idea, here is a small sampling:

  • People in the Superdome have been without food and water for days. The toilets are overflowing and people are desperately waiting for medical supplies and transportation. Many people have died waiting in the Superdome – including several babies – as the number of trapped has ballooned to over 30,000.
  • A chemical depot exploded this morning in New Orleans along the Mississippi River, sending black plumes of smoke hovering over the city.
  • Under the Same Sun points out that President Bush’s main concern seems to be “insurance fraud.”
  • Flagrancy to Reason mentions that there are still hospitals that have not been evacuated – once again, the main concern seems to be rescuing flat screen TV sets rather than the sick, the elderly, and the homeless.
  • Majikthise notes that the Department of Homeland Security first rejected aid workers from Canada bringing fresh water and medical supplies. Happily, the DHS finally caved in but now that the rescuers have reached the scene things are too out of control for them to do any good.
  • And as I noted last night, Michelle Malkin – apologist for torture and police brutality – actually said she was “heartbroken” when cops in New Orleans failed to arrest looters who were stealing food. It is important to keep in mind: she said she was heartbroken not because they were stealing food, but because the cops didn’t arrest them.
  • DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

    Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

    It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

    We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

    We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

    It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

    Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

    Signed by Clara Jeffery

    Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

    We Recommend

    Latest

    Sign up for our newsletters

    Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

    Get our award-winning magazine

    Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

    Subscribe

    Support our journalism

    Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

    Donate

    Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.