On the one year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, I checked in today on my show with…

  • Jed Horne, editor of the New Orleans Times-Picayune and author of “Breach of Faith.” We talked about whether the rebuilt levees are strong enough to withstand another major storm, what happened to all those unused FEMA trailers, and whether President Bush is right that there are signs of hope and recovery. Listen to the conversation here.
  • CNN’s Amanda Moyer in New Orleans, about the rubble and debris that’s still piled up and an infrastructure that’s still not capable of sustaining regular life in parts of town. Listen to the conversation here.

I also replayed two remarkable pieces of audio from last year:

  • Dan Verbeck, a reporter for KMBZ-AM/Kansas City, who went to New Orleans to help out at their sister station WWL, where he was on the air when a woman called to ask, “Can you save our lives?” Listen to the audio here.
  • Shepard Smith and Geraldo Rivera (in New Orleans) on Fox News Channel, trying to convince Sean Hannity and Alan Colmes that the situation at the convention center was much worse than it may have seemed from their dry, warm New York studio. Smith was particularly strong during that coverage and Geraldo was, well, Geraldo. Listen to the audio here.

And then there’s this, from an editorial in today’s Wall Street Journal:

The post-Katrina spend-fest in Louisiana will be remembered as one of the greatest taxpayer wastes in US history. First came the FEMA $2,000 debit-cards fiasco intended to pay for necessities that were used for things like flat-panel TVs and tattoos. Then came the purchase of thousands of mobile homes that cost as much as $400,000 per family housed; the $200 million for renting the Carnival Cruise ship; millions more in payments that went for season football tickets, luxury vacation resorts, even divorce lawyers. Federal flood insurance policies surely will encourage many to rebuild in the same flood plains and at the same height as before.