What thankfully did not go completely under the wire as far as the blogpocheh are concerned is a landmark court decision that places the blame on the Army Corps of Engineers for neglecting the upkeep and proper engineering of the levees, actions that led to the catastrophic flooding of Chalmette and the Lower Ninth Ward over four years ago.
Yes, it's damn nice to be vindicated - not just for all of us here and for the New Orleans and Plaquemines Parish diaspora, but for the many other places all over this country that are threatened due to the same sort of neglect the Corps is still exhibiting all over this country (in cities such as Sacramento, for instance, as if California didn't have enough problems already) with regards to flood protection.
But what can really be done from here?
Money is tight all over. The MR-GO has been closed, sure, but our wetlands are still eroding like nobody's business. I'm certain the recommendations from the federal agency's lawyers will be to settle with those whose property was washed away and make all of this go away as quickly and as quietly as possible. Relocate people if they have to. Just make that money walk and talk. And I wouldn't blame the folks who took those funds at all. The decision is in their favor, and that is worth a lot. They've already been fighting for over four long, hard years. Don't screw around with them any longer.
But for those of us who are still here and have pieced things back together physically if not mentally, those of us who weren't covered by this court decision but are hurting anyhow, those of us who want a future for this country that includes New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, those of us who still run into people who think the city is still under water (among many, many other ignorant and asinine assumptions) - this battle has been won, but the war is still in progress.
We've got a long ways to go, people. We must keep on keepin' on, living like we do, spreading this news and putting all our weight behind it like I know we in this city love to do when we wanna.
And hey, it's also heartening to see warriors who have set their swords down for a time take 'em up again in recent days. Check Matt McBride's latest at Fix The Pumps (thanks to Karen at the new, quite spiffy investigative website known as The Lens) and get yet another reason why we have to keep revealing the truths of the A. C. o' E.'s deeds and decisions.
Update, 11:08 PM: Clay has more, as I thought he would.
I still think this ruling will be overturned on "sovereignty immunity" grounds, but it's always nice to reinforce to the rest of the country that had the Corps simply designed and built the levees to spec, most of New Orleans' flooding would never have happened and we'd all be talking about how New Orleans 'dodged a bullet.' If you want to see a natural disaster, go to Buras, LA or Waveland, MS.
Anudder Update, 11/20: Forgot Harry Shearer's take on it, too. Bad blogger, baaaad blogger...