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Superstorm Sandy: How are the Inmates Faring?

Here's the flooding of the Battery Tunnel earlier today. Lower New York is flooded. There are three feet of water on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange. [Added: Reports now say that is false.] There was an explosion at a Con Ed plant in lower Manhattan.

What's happening at MCC New York, on Foley Square, and MDC Brooklyn, New York's federal detention centers? [More...]

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SuperStorm Sandy: Power Outages and Flooding

Update: 13 dead, 5 million without power.

The National Hurricane Center has downgraded Sandy from a hurricane to a post-tropical storm. The eye has just made landfall in Southern New Jersey.

Con Ed has cut power to all of lower Manhattan. More than 600,00 are without power in NYC, Westchester, Long Island and CT and will be for days. CNN says 2.2 million are without power in all of the affected states. The flooding is extensive and is expected to get worse.

How big is the storm surge?

"We are looking at the highest storm surges ever recorded" in the Northeast, said Jeff Masters, meteorology director for Weather Underground..... "The energy of the storm surge is off the charts, basically."

[More...]

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Sunday Night: Hurricane Sandy and Open Thread

Sending good thoughts to all of you in the path of Hurricane Sandy. Let us know how you are doing, especially if you were asked to evacuate but decided to stay put.

Although I'm safe and dry here in Colorado, TalkLeft's servers are near LaGuardia airport. If they go down, here is TalkLeft's backup site -- you may want to bookmark it now because otherwise it will be hard to find.

Some links: National Hurricane Center Sandy Advisories; The weather channel's Hurricane Sandy page; the Wall St Journal live updating page. On Twitter: The Weather Channel's Hurricane Central; @FEMA @CraigatFEMA @Readydotgov @RedCross @NHC_Atlantic

. Or watch the Weather Channel's live streaming coverage on You Tube.

Mayor Bloomberg's response to a question about the protecting the inmates on Riker's Island: "Don't worry about anybody getting out." Is he term-limited yet? [More on the Rikers prisoners][More...]

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Sunday Afternoon Open Thread: Dylan Storm Songs

Here's the same performance with better video but not as clear audio. Here's a Dylan/Rolling Thunder version from Norway, 2011. And an audio only version from the Live at Budokan album. [More...]

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Hurricane Sandy in the East, Tsunami in Hawaii

Hurricane Sandy could be the biggest storm to ever hit the United States. It could cover 800 miles and 50 to 60 million people.

A Tsunami has hit Hawaii. Evacuations are underway.

[Update 4:50 a.m.] Gerard Fryer, senior geophysicist at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center to reporters:

– "The tsunami is arriving right now. I can't say how big it is because it's coming in as we speak."
"Typically the first wave is not the largest. Having inconvenienced everybody by making them evacuate in the middle of the night, I was hoping it would be bigger. The following waves I am sure will be bigger."

To all our friends on the east coast, and those in in Hawaii please be safe, and let us know how you are doing.

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OKC Bombing: 17 Years Ago Today

Today is the 17th anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing, in which 168 persons were killed and hundreds more injured. It was then, and remains today, the largest act of domestic terrorism in the history of the nation. The Government's investigation into the bombing was, until 9/11, the largest criminal investigation the Government had ever undertaken.

Timothy McVeigh was found guilty and executed in 2001. Terry Nichols was tried in both federal and state court and sentenced to life in prison, a sentence he is currently serving at Supermax in Florence, Colorado.

Speculation has never ceased about whether McVeigh and Nichols acted alone or were aided by others who either went undetected or were ignored during the Government's investigation.

Next week you can get greater insight with the release of Oklahoma City: What the Investigation Missed--and Why It Still Matters by investigative journalists Andrew Gumbel and Roger Charles.[More...]

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Sunday Morning: Irene Downgraded to Tropical Storm


Via TwitPic

Hurricane Irene has been downgraded to a tropical storm. It doesn't look bad in New York City, but police are still advising people to stay indoors. Flooding is still a danger.

Anderson Cooper is reporting from Battery Park. It wouldn't be a hurricane without him.

There was a segment with a group of very feisty women in a senior's home in Atlantic City saying they weren't going anywhere. Gov. Christie said they could only get 100 to leave, 500 simply refused. So far they are okay.

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Commercializing the Oklahoma City Bombing

Some of you undoubtedly are watching the McVeigh Tapes tonight on MSNBC. They will have a computer generated character, who in their view bears a physical resemblance to Timothy McVeigh, so you have something to look at as they play the audio of tapes made during interviews he granted to the two reporters who wrote the book, American Terrorist.

Since I was one of McVeigh's trial lawyers, I obviously have my own opinions about why he chose to speak to the reporters and what his objectives were -- and how much of what he told them was accurate.

The reason I doubt I'll like Maddow's show is the attempt to politicize it and tie McVeigh to current times and the anti-government feelings some are expressing. There is no connection. And it's long past time to put the conspiracy theories to rest. [More...]

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Fourteen Years Ago: A Look Back

April 19, 1995. It was the largest act of domestic terrorism in the history of the country. Until September 11, it was the largest act of mass murder in the United States. It left 168 people dead and more than 500 people injured.

It was a massive case (pdf) to defend. There were:

  • 30,000 interviews of witnesses taken by the FBI and other government agencies.
  • More than 200,000 photographs
  • Records of 156 million telephone calls and over one million hotel and motel registrations
  • Over 500 hours of audio tape and over 400 hours of video tape.
  • 25,000 pages of lab reports and worksheets
  • 23,000 pieces of evidence

It cost the Government $82 million to investigate and prosecute and $10 to $15 million to defend.[More...]

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A Place Worth Defending

What it means to live in New Orleans: in the past 48 hours alone, I marched alongside a riotous Sunday afternoon second line held by The Revolution Social Aid and Pleasure Club and caught a Monday night performance from the great trombonist Glen David Andrews that was so ecstatic that he ended up crowd-surfing atop the adoring revelers.

Since I moved to New Orleans about two years ago, I'm constantly reminded of the social critic James Howard Kunstler's notion that our country is "a land full of places that are not worth caring about [and] will soon be a nation and a way of life that is not worth defending.

Despite its multitude of problems, New Orleans proves itself worth defending nearly every day, no small feat for an American city these days. And I very am proud to live here.

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Karl vs. Karl


September 15, 2005
:

"Republicans said Karl Rove, the White House deputy chief of staff and Mr. Bush's chief political adviser, was in charge of the reconstruction effort..."

--Elisabeth Bumiller and Richard W. Stevenson, "Bush to Focus on Vision for Reconstruction in Speech," The New York Times.

March 1, 2009:

Is it any surprise that the collapsed house of cards that is our nation after the Bush years was built by this "architect"? "The government official who is responsible for managing Katrina...is the governor of Louisiana."
--Karl Rove, "Rove Blames Louisiana for Katrina Response," "ABC News: This Week with George Stephanopoulos."

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Hurricane Gustav

From Michael Chertoff's press conference today:

CHERTOFF: As you know if you followed the latest weather report, Hurricane Gustav is headed, I’d say at this point likely landfall somewhere between Vermilion Bay and New Orleans in Louisiana. Again, it’s possible this will change, but this is where most of the prediction seems to be centered. The storm is moving a little more quickly than we were seeing late yesterday, which means it will arrive within certainly 24 hours in terms of tropical storm winds. At the same time, that may benefit us a little bit by minimizing the strengthening.

We’re still looking, however, at what may be a low Category 4 or a high Category 3 storm.

This is a thread for hurricane related news and updates.

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Katrina, two years later

Two years ago, we burned up this website with postings about Katrina and the debacle of the government's response. How far have they (we) come?

CNN, MSNBC, and Fox had the best live coverage, and the public knew more than the government. The best coverage anywhere: The New Orleans Times-Picayue. Even when they couldn't a publish a print edition because their printing press was flooded, they published a massive number of stories online, and they had a depth of coverage and understanding that only a local could have.

More....

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Grand Jury Refuses to Indict Dr. Pou

As TalkLeft noted here, Dr. Anna Pou is a skilled physician who performed heroically during Hurricane Katrina, risking her own life to assist patients who were stranded at New Orleans' Memorial Medical Center. She was rewarded with an arrest and a murder investigation as prosecutors claimed she had deliberately ended the lives of patients "who could not easily be evacuated from the hospital."

Dr. Pou has always denied the accusation. She had the support of the Louisiana State Medical Society, and apparently of a judge who tired of the seemingly endless investigation. Fortunately for Dr. Pou, the ordeal is over. A grand jury refused to indict her.

The AMA, expressing its pleasure with that decision, said:

"The AMA continues to be very concerned about criminalizing decisions about patient care, especially those made during the chaotic aftermath of a disaster, when medical personnel and supplies are severely compromised."

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10th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Verdict Against Timothy McVeigh

Ten years ago today, a Denver federal jury returned a death verdict against Timothy McVeigh for the Oklahoma City bombing.

A few weeks ago I sat down with Colorado 850 KOA News Radio host Steffan Tubbs for an interview about what it was like to defend McVeigh. Tubbs also interviewed Houston lawyer Chris Tritico, another principal member of the trial team . The interview aired today as part of a five part series that looks back at the trial.

McVeigh was executed by lethal injection six years ago on June 11, 2001.

What is like to defend the most hated man in America? Would I do it again? You can listen here.

Other parts of the series which include interviews with the prosecutors, victims' families, members of the media and a juror are here.

[Cross-posted at 5280.com]

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