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Day 624: John Barry On Page A15 Of The WaPo

In Our Coast to Fix — or Lose, John “Rising Tide” Barry presents six reasons why a cab driver in Detroit should care whether or not the Louisiana coastline is fixed. Mind you, Lousiana coastal protection and keeping New Orleans from flooding are two tenuously-related beasts. Regardless, this article provides some facts and makes you wonder why the federal government has no qualms dropping millions to build a wall to prevent illegal immigration but will not do the same in Louisiana against a real threat to the nation.

7 comments… add one
  • Michael May 14, 2007, 5:57 PM

    Thanks for posting this–I’d missed it. I remember wishing that Mitch Landrieu would’ve smacked Chris Matthews upside the head when he asked the cab-driver question during the mayoral debate.

  • charlotte May 14, 2007, 6:32 PM

    Thanks for linking to this article.

  • bayoustjohndavid May 14, 2007, 8:46 PM

    Yeah, I missed it too. But as much as I hate Chris Matthews and his blue-collar affectations, I thought it was a legitimate question for a national audience. I’d go a step further and disqualify any candidate for any position that might put him in front of a national audience. Let’s ask it of all the gubernatorial candidates. Of course, I’d like the question to be worded better.

  • Michael May 14, 2007, 10:21 PM

    Matthews should already understand why New Orleans is important–his attitude and demeanor reeked of “gotcha,” and, to his detriment, Mitch was either too deferential or, IMHO, too flustered to come up with an appropriate response.

    Sometimes, as Abbie Hoffman once said, the appropriate response is, well, “fuck you.” I mean, c’mon: the reconstruction of New Orleans shouldn’t require ANY justification beyond the fact that it’s part of the United States. That said, the city has contributed to the national economy, as Barry points out…its citizens have paid their taxes, died in this nation’s wars, otherwise fulfilled the “obligations” of citizenship–and, again IMHO, has historically been most exemplary in forging an independent existence, i.e., taken the so-called “conservative” mantra of self-reliance to heart (of course, we all know ‘conservative’ really means ‘siphoning off as much money as possible to people who don’t actually need it.’)

    Matthews’ remark wasn’t just ignorant–it was vicious, if you ask me.

  • Tim May 15, 2007, 5:53 AM

    Excellent except for the part about “Each land mile over which a hurricane travels absorbs roughly a foot of strom surge.”

    This has never been scientifically established–it’s just a rumor.

    The best analysis I’ve seen estimates 3 inches per mile.

    It is imperative that we use good science as we move forward. Just as Barry points out that the sediment load of the river is much less than what it once was, and thus we cannot really expect the river to be able to rebuild the coast alone, we should also understand the very limited benefit we get from marshland in terms of storm surge reduction.



  • Ray May 15, 2007, 11:04 AM

    I thought it was a legitimate question for a national audience.

    But the debate’s target audience wasn’t “the national audience”. The only reason it was on MSNBC was to reach the diaspora, who could vote but who might not have access to local media while in exile. Matthews forgot this and tried to turn the debate into a referendum on whether or not New Orleans should be rebuilt. He was inappropriately trying to nationalize what should have been a local debate.

  • bayoustjohndavid May 15, 2007, 11:27 AM

    I think that MSNBC might dispute that Ray. Anyway, I might point isn’t to defend Matthews against charges of being an asshole. He’s an an ass who asked an offensive question in an assholic manner. But the unfortunate fact is that it’s an offensive question that all our state and local officials should be prepared to answer. I’ve even seen council members on national TV, but it’s not like it should be a hard question for any of them to learn to answer.

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