Russ Baker

Former FEMA Director Michael Brown (right) was disgraced after the Hurricane Katrina disaster, but former President George W. Bush (middle) has never been seriously held accountable. Photo Credit: Jocelyn Augustino / FEMA Photo Library

Confederacy of Scoundrels: Katrina Exposed, Part 2 of 5

This article was originally assigned, accepted, and paid for in full by Vanity Fair — which never got around to publishing it. It tells the story of the cronyism, corruption, ineptness, contempt for the public and utter shamelessness of the Bush family apparatus and its extensive network. With yet another Bush now contesting the White House, and with the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina upon us, we would do well to study this closely. It documents unequivocally how greed and unenlightened self-interest in high places can tear apart the very fabric of American society. Originally written within months of Hurricane Katrina, it will still make your blood boil.

This week we publish it in five parts. Here is Part 2.

With tens of thousands trapped in the Superdome and looting out of control in the parts of the city still above water, FEMA was headed up by the least qualified person imaginable — Michael Brown. 
Photo Credit: Andrea Booher / FEMA Photo Library

Corruption and Contempt: The Hidden Story of Hurricane Katrina

This article was originally assigned, accepted, and paid for in full by Vanity Fair — which never got around to publishing it. It tells the story of the cronyism, corruption, ineptness, contempt for the public and utter shamelessness of the Bush family apparatus and its extensive network. With yet another Bush now contesting the White House, and with the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina upon us, we would do well to study this closely. It documents unequivocally how greed and self-interest in high places can tear apart the very fabric of American society. Originally written within months of Hurricane Katrina, it will still make your blood boil.

This week we publish it in five parts.

The GOP debate, from the mouths of babes. Photo credit: Screenshot from Funny or Die video.

GOP Debates, Kids’ Edition

You’ve heard the expression “out of the mouths of babes”? Well, for a proper perspective on the GOP debate participants, it helps to hear their declarations from … the next generation. Funny doesn’t even begin to describe this video.

Photo credit: Russ Baker (WhoWhatWhy), Ricky Varandas (The Ripple Effect Podcast / Twitter)

Russ Baker on the Security State and Our State of Mind — 90 Minutes of Blunt Talk

WhoWhatWhy’s Russ Baker on “The Ripple Effect” Podcast. Russ talks about the mysterious crash that killed the investigative journalist Michael Hastings. He also presents his most detailed analysis yet of the Boston Marathon Bombing case. Even after Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was sentenced to death, the questions and doubts about the case are thicker than ever. He explores the out-of-control American Homeland Security State — the screwups, the cover-ups, the recklessness, the hidden agendas; and the cowardice and laziness of the media in failing to pursue the real story. 90 minutes of blunt talk.

In a landmark decision, Fiat Chrysler has recalled 1.4 million Jeep Cherokees after tests showed that the cars could be remotely hacked — but most news outlets have still failed to question the mysterious death of journalist Michael Hastings, who said his car showed signs of being manipulated. Photo credit: Jeep Cherokee: (CONCAVO WHEELS / Flickr), Code (*n3wjack's world in pixels / Flickr)

Chrysler Recalls Hackable Jeeps, Press Still Not Questioning Cause of Hastings Death

In a landmark action, Fiat Chrysler has recalled over a million Jeep Cherokees after tests showed that the cars could be remotely hacked. Despite this confirmation of the dangers lurking in computerized automobiles, the major media have yet to take a closer look at the death of crusading journalist Michael Hastings, who just before his fiery death expressed concerns that someone had tampered with his car.

Photo credit: adapted from a photo by Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Trump is Not the Carnival — The Whole Election Is

Is Trump simply a buffoon, or is the entire way we elect presidents buffoonish? This ran in 2011, after Trump abandoned a previous White House bid, but has never been more apt. The Donald Trumps, the Sarah Palins, and their ilk are not a sideshow to the real, substantive campaign. They are a comic distraction so that, by comparison, the rest can seem to offer us something. When in fact, they do not.

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