Fucked New Orleans (This Series Will Never End):
Here's what it's like to look at one day's edition of the New Orleans Times-Picayune:

Take a look at today's stories:
This is the state of the firehouses in the city, post-Katrina: "[F]irefighters and the head of their union say New Orleans Fire Department houses are understaffed, uninhabitable messes with mice infestations, sewage backups, exposed wiring and more."

This is the state of hiring new schoolteachers: "Despite their initial goal to hire only certified teachers, just 67 percent of those teaching in 18 Recovery District schools have earned state certification, a statistic district officials concede speaks to a larger crisis in securing enough qualified teachers."

This is what an editorial said about housing in the region: "If FEMA had cut off housing assistance for hurricane victims at the end of February, as planned, many people would have faced a tough predicament: few homeowners have received Road Home grants, rental units are scarce and even people with the means to rebuild are scrambling to get contractors." The deadline has been extended to August 31.

The Saints lost on Sunday, one game shy of the Super Bowl. On Tuesday, President Bush gave New Orleans - or Katrina relief in general - zero words in his State of the Union address. Many places far, far away were more important to the state of the United States than New Orleans. Apparently, even the woman who makes videos of puppet dragons dancing for babies is more important than New Orleans.

New Orleans is fucked, yes, we must sigh and admit it to ourselves, like people with cancer must tell themselves that their bodies have turned on them. Like Republicans need to admit that the Bush presidency is a failure that will end up wrecking their party. It is going to be fucked for years to come, more than likely forever.

The Rude Pundit wonders what would have happened if it had been San Francisco that had been smited a year and a half ago. Or some other comparably-sized city. If it had been a state with a Republican governor (especially one up for re-election). All those possibilities that might have un-fucked New Orleans. Instead, the ash heap of public consciousness awaits it, except for moments of feeling good when, say, Brad and Angelina buy a house there. It's like tossing coins in the paper coffee cup of that homeless guy you see every day. You feel great about yourself as you move on with your morning. But he still is out there in the cold, just wanting enough for a bottle or a vial so he can forget, too.