"Your call cannot be completed as dialed"

Amid Gonzales and Craig, an unhappy Katrina anniversary.

Published August 28, 2007 1:35PM (EDT)

Between Larry Craig and Alberto Gonzales -- and there's a place no one should want to be -- we haven't heard much about the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina this week, except in the context of questions about possible Gonzales replacement Michael Chertoff's slow response to it.

We're reminded of it now by an e-mail message we just received from the folks at the Campaign for America's Future, who note that the toll-free telephone number George W. Bush urged Katrina victims to call for help back in 2005 appears to have been . . . disconnected.

The president returns to New Orleans this week. The Brookings Institution's Amy Liu details what the president would find there if he took the time to look: While there are "signs of revival" in New Orleans, violent crime is up, more than half of the schools are still closed and federal rebuilding grants have been slow in coming. "The recovery is just beginning," Liu reports, "and without strong leadership it is likely to be a long time before greater New Orleans is again a safe, robust city for all its residents."

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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