A New Oil Rig Explosion—and a Familiar Lesson
September 02, 2010

(Updated at 6:00 p.m.) As Brad Plumer reported earlier, another oil rig exploded off the coast of Louisiana today, forcing workers to jump into the water while the rig was on fire. The Coast Guard says it has rescued all 13 workers and, so far, it looks like we're not in for a repeat of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, according to New Orleans Times-Picayune. This rig, which is owned by Mariner Energy, was in much shallower waters--340 feet deep rather than a mile. And while the well was producing oil, Mariner officials say that workers shut down the operation before evacuating.

Time to Write Off New Orleans?
August 30, 2010

President Obama's speech in New Orleans on Sunday, commemorating the fifth anniversary of Katrina, didn't have one clear message so much as two. The city has rebuilt and, in some ways, rebuilt itself into something better. But a lot of work, too much work, remains unfinished. If you read my dispatches from New Orleans two weeks ago, then you know that was the impression I, too, took away. One question that Obama didn't address was "why"--as in "why bother"? From the first days after the storm, people began asking whether it was time just to give up on New Orleans.

Surviving the Next Katrina
August 19, 2010

Note: This is part of a week-long series on New Orleans, five years after Katrina, based in part on my recent rip there. Everybody wants to know whether New Orleans can survive the next big hurricane. Few of them realize that it should have survived the last one. Katrina was not a category five storm and it didn’t even hit New Orleans directly. At the last minute, it veered northeast, making its final landfall on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Katrina was massive enough to inflict damage far away from the eye, so it was bound to take its toll on New Orleans, too.

New Orleans, Five Years Later
August 15, 2010

Note: This is the first in a series of items about New Orleans, based on a just-finished visit to the city. I’ve spent the last forty-eight hours trying to think of an image that conveys what I saw in New Orleans last week. But the best I can do is a pair of images, both from the Lower Ninth Ward, that together capture the contradictions and complexities of the city five years after Hurricane Katrina. A few blocks north of one of the neighborhood's main thoroughfares is a single-story house with a fresh coat of grayish-blue paint. The lawn is bursting with green grass, recently cut.

Is Bobby Jindal Really "the Republican Obama"?
October 28, 2008

With the Republicans’ presidential hopes for 2008 now all but dashed, a few upstarts in the party are—surprise—positioning themselves for future runs. Last week, Chris Cillizza flagged the appearance of Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal in a television spot for John Kennedy, the Republican challenger to Senator Mary Landrieu. Amid a backdrop of stately white columns, the young Indian-American governor projects a cool image of steadiness and calm. Sound like anyone you know?