Hey, remember Hurricane Katrina? Big storm? Wiped out a major American city and several small towns? Exposed the utter incompetence and venality of the current administration? Small taste of things to come as global warming accelerates?

Yeah, it’s kind of slipped off the radar. But if you imagine the worst combination of big-money pandering, racial politics, and corruption of which politicians are capable … that’s pretty much what’s going on down on the Gulf Coast at the moment. I challenge you to read this piece from Matt Taibbi and not get righteously pissed off.

This is the kind of thing that inclines me toward pessimism about the coming shocks and dislocations brought about by energy shortages and global warming. America has rallied and overcome challenges before. And it’s possible we will this time too. But it seems to me that the spirit of public service and public welfare has become so denuded that there’s virtually nothing left to rally. A country that could let this happen, a country so comfortable with depredations visited on the poor and weak by the wealthy and powerful …

It does not inspire confidence.

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