Progressive Breakfast for August 27

Morning Message

Ten Years After Katrina, Poor And Black People Still Left Behind

When President Obama visits New Orleans today to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, he will find the city whiter, wealthier, and more unequal than it was before the storm. Eight years ago, then senator and presidential candidate Barack Obama visited New Orleans, two years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city, and promised to prioritize rebuilding the city’s health care infrastructure and overhaul its school system. President Obama will celebrate some degree of success in fulfilling those promises, but the problems that piled tragedy upon tragedy in New Orleans — before, during and after the storm — have persisted and worsened in the 10 years since the hurricane.

Obama In New Orleans

Obama says New Orleans is ‘moving forward’ after hurricane. Associated Press: “President Barack Obama says New Orleans is “moving forward” a decade after Hurricane Katrina dealt it a devastating blow, and has become an example of what can happen when people rally around each other to build a better future out of the despair of tragedy. Obama was marking the storm’s 10th anniversary by meeting Thursday with residents who continue to rebuild their lives and communities. He was also delivering remarks at a newly opened community center in the Lower 9th Ward, a largely African-American neighborhood that was one of the hardest hit by the storm. It is still struggling to recover.”

Celebrating New Orleans, Obama urges climate action. USA Today: “Calling the 2005 hurricane ‘one of the seminal catastrophes of our lifetime,’ Obama told New Orleans television station WWL that the anniversary should focus national attention on the extreme weather events happening with increasing frequency as global temperatures rise. ‘We all remember the searing images of the dome, and people trying to rescue others off rooftops. not only was it a terrible natural disaster, but it was a fundamental failure on the part of government to respond rapidly,’ Obama said. … ‘We can build great levees. We can restore wetlands. But ultimately, what we also have to do is make sure that we don’t continue to see ocean levels rise, oceans getting warmer, storms getting stronger,’ Obama told WWL anchor Sally-Ann Roberts.”

Biden: In Or Out?

‘Time is Running Out’ for Joe Biden 2016 Candidacy, State Party Chairs Say. ABC News: “What will Joe do? It’s the question on Democrats’ minds as Democratic National Committee members gather in Minneapolis for their summer meeting. Vice President Biden won’t be speaking at the gathering, although the announced candidates — including Hillary Clinton — are all slated to address members… When ABC News reached out to state party chairs across the country, most who plan to attend the meeting, 12 mostly agreed that while there is room for a Biden candidacy, he is running out of time.”

Biden unsure if he has the ’emotional fuel’ for 2016 run. CNN: “Vice President Joe Biden revealed to members of the Democratic National Committee Wednesday that he is assessing whether he has “the emotional fuel” to run for the White House. ‘We’re dealing at home with … whether or not there is the emotional fuel at this time to run,’ Biden told DNC members on a conference call that was billed as an opportunity to hear from the vice president on the Iran nuclear deal. … Although he did not mention  his son, Beau Biden, by name during the call, the vice president has spoken openly throughout the summer about his grief following Beau’s passing from brain cancer in May.”

Possible Biden run puts Obama fundraising network on high alert. Washington Post: “The possibility that Vice President Biden may jump into the 2016 presidential campaign is convulsing the network of wealthy Democrats that financed President Obama’s two White House bids, galvanizing fundraisers who are underwhelmed by Hillary Rodham Clinton’s performance. A wide swath of party financiers is convinced that Biden will make a late entry into the race, and a sizable number are contemplating backing him, including some who have signed on with Clinton, according to more than a dozen top Democratic fundraisers nationwide.”

Breakfast Sides

“Stop blaming me for Katrina,” Former FEMA chief Michael Brown writes: “Had the mayor and governor fulfilled their responsibilities as elected leaders of their city and state, most if not all of the people crying for help in front of national television cameras would not have been there. They would have been in other locales, safe and secure. But the blame was not placed on those responsible. The blame was placed on me—the one person who had no authority to do anything at that point except get out the checkbook and start paying the Department of Defense to evacuate people from that hellhole to a place of safety. And that is exactly what I did. Soon the blame started coming at me from another direction—higher up.”

Conservatives target bust of Planned Parenthood founder. CBS News: “Conservatives are demanding that a Smithsonian Institution art and history museum remove its bust of the founder of Planned Parenthood in their latest offensive against the organization. But the National Portrait Gallery says it won’t remove its bust of Margaret Sanger, an early leader of the birth control movement. It has been displayed since 2010… The conservative push to remove Sanger’s bust comes after anti-abortion activists have released eight videos showing secretly recorded conversations in which Planned Parenthood officials discuss how the organization sometimes provides fetal tissue to medical researchers. The videos have prompted investigations by several congressional committees and efforts by Republicans in Congress and several states to block government payments to the group.”