Monday, February 13, 2006
Katrina mobile homes immobile in Arkansas
I've lived in New Orleans 13 years now, a Yankee who got sucked in by the smell of gardenias in February and couldn't pull away.

My house is in the part of New Orleans we've started to call the "sliver by the river," the narrow strip along the Mississippi that didn't flood. So I'm typing this from the study of my 100-year-old home, with its hardwood floors and high ceilings, feeling lucky and guilty and numb.

The failure of the levees wiped-out 217,000 homes in New Orleans. Tens of thousands of people are desperate for any kind of temporary housing that will allow them to stay here while they rip the moldy sheetrock out of their homes and try to start over. But there's little housing available.

Apartment rents have doubled, FEMA-paid hotel rooms are being phased-out, and FEMA trailers are in short supply. Then this past week, I saw -- like an oasis in the desert -- 11,000 FEMA mobile homes, real homes, 3-bedroom, 2-bath beauties (comparatively speaking) -- sitting in an Arkansas cow pasture.

FEMA says these mobile homes aren't allowed in a flood plain, which pretty much rules out most of southeast Louisiana. Why did FEMA order them in the first place if they can't be used in areas where people need them? That's what I asked, but nobody seems to know. So the mobile homes sit there, immobile, 450 miles away from the Gulf Coast.
Posted By Susan Roesgen, CNN Correspondent: 1:31 PM ET
I agree, it was ridiculous for FEMA to order trailers that can not be used. Please continue to keep the situation in the eye of the public. This is the only way change can be made.
Posted By Anonymous Carlie, Austin, Texas : 2:12 PM ET
Susan I agree is a sad and frustrating situation. I don't understand why these types of houses are not suitable for a floodplain. (Not that I would build on a floodplain myself.) What is suitable? Can they be re-engineered to solve the concerns?
Maybe they could trade them in for boathouses. They better solve this fast. Those people need housing now and that is no laughing matter.
Posted By Anonymous Barbara, Montreal, QC : 2:23 PM ET
I think this just goes to show that FEMA really didn't have a plan when they ordered those mobile homes.
Posted By Anonymous Marian, Franklin, TN : 2:34 PM ET
The stupidity of the whole situation with the mobile homes makes my brain hurt.
Posted By Anonymous Sookie, san diego, Ca : 2:38 PM ET
Watching Friday's show was painful at best. Thanks to AC 360 for keeping this FEMA mess in the public eye. Just another example of American tax dollars at work. I'm sure if you look hard enough you will find others and other disasters where FEMA has fallen down on the job. (a few come to mind) With FEMA it is the same story over and over. I would love to see how they explain this one to the suffering people of the Gulf Coast.
Posted By Anonymous Cheryl, Wake Forest North Carolina : 2:53 PM ET
Those trailers just sitting there in Arkansas empty and unused is a deplorable sight. This should be a huge embarrassment to FEMA. Maybe ousted scapegoat Michael Brown is the only one who would admit it.
Posted By Anonymous Bryan, Puyallup, WA : 2:56 PM ET
You saw some of the millions being wasted. I too saw hundreds of trailers sitting in a field in Mississippi on Hwy 49. Seems to me somebody got paid a lot of tax payers money and noone is being held accountable. What a waste.
Posted By Anonymous Greg, Houston, Tx : 2:57 PM ET
I saw the story as well on AC360 friday. MY first thought was just another Gov. mistake?!? Now I'm asking myself whose pockets got lined with this mistake. Mistake?!? NO I'm sorry but thats plain ignorance and beaurocracy at its finest. It makes me want to go protest somewhere, but how do you have a battle of whits with unarmed beaurocrates?!?!?!?!? What happened to Charity begins at home!!!
Now I'm getting preachy, just that this kind of inemptitude makes me wanna scream, while survivors in this country are being set out on the streets. Simply mind boggling!!
Posted By Anonymous Julie, Erwin, TN. : 3:15 PM ET
We have loads of land/space in Texas not in flood plains...lets just get the trailers here so those in need have housing. Texas has taken in lots of displaced people, let's get them the housing they need. Then as a nation, let's do more than build 100 homes on television, let's rebuild the entire communities and get people back to their homes, their families and lives.
Posted By Anonymous karen, houston, texas : 3:19 PM ET
It sickened me to hear how much rent is being paid for the space those mobile homes are sitting on! It is really ashame to think about all the better ways that money could be put to use.
Posted By Anonymous Victoria Pittsburgh, PA : 3:29 PM ET
I find it hard to wrap my brain around this whole situation. To know FEMA is the one poised to help out those in need down in the Gulf Coast has become more sad as the days drag on. There is something going on here that neither the public nor those victims can understand; it eventually translates into frustration..but something deeper...something no one has been able to put a name and finger on...
Posted By Anonymous Chatel, NY, New York : 3:33 PM ET
disgusting indeed!! Leaves one speechless..and what to do ..who can we complain to who would do something ?
Posted By Anonymous r miller sanford maine : 3:37 PM ET
It seems to me that the houses Katrina took out weren't suitable for the flood plains either. What about the houses that are still there? Are they suitable? Whats suitable? Besides, these mobile homes are only suppose to be temporary anyway. I guess I don't understand why they don't give them out to the people who need them flood plains or not. By the way...are they suitable for tornado country.....?
Posted By Anonymous Betty Webster NY : 3:37 PM ET
This just makes me sad. Men, women and children are struggling trying to put their lives together again and a
place to live would be a Godsend. Shame on the people who are letting this go on. I hope none of your family members are never in need of a place to live.
Posted By Anonymous Joan San Antonio, Texas : 3:40 PM ET
Perhaps if the government had more people who took action instead of accusations, the people who truly need help would be able to get on with their lives. It is a shame that everyone needs someone to blame, and that officials cannot get past the red tape of who should be doing what.

However, I see the reports of those who have gathered to go down to the Gulf Coast to rebuild--college students and activist groups, those who wish to truly affect change. I have no doubt that the only real change that can truly happen in the affected region will come about through these good-hearted citizens, and not a red-taped government agency.
Posted By Anonymous Ed G, Haddonfield, NJ : 3:40 PM ET
Unbelievable, what a bunch of bureaucracy and poor planning. Every time I think I've heard the worst part of this story, something else comes along. I cannot fathom the hardships the people of the Gulf Coast face in trying to get their lives back together.
Posted By Anonymous Karen, Wakefield, RI : 3:41 PM ET
Are you ready for this? FEMA is paying rent to keep the dang manufactured homes pastured!!! AR Sen. Pryor has been screeming for some time about this and nothing happens. If a manufactured home is not suitable, what the heck is? The tents that some are living in certainly seem equally unacceptable.
Posted By Anonymous Michael Little Rock AR : 3:44 PM ET
Those Mobile Homes in Arkansas must be the sisters to the ones sitting in Waco TX. Our wonderful tax dollars at work.
Posted By Anonymous S King San Angelo TX : 3:44 PM ET
Katrina - victims seem to think they are the only section of the country seeking National Disaster help. The trailers can be used in Tornado Corridors - Earth Quakes and other natural disasters.
Posted By Anonymous Michael Henry, Chicago, Illinois : 3:45 PM ET
Has anyone asked the acting FEMA director, David Paulison, or the Homeland Security chief, Michael Chertoff, about the trailer fiasco or the government's failure to find housing for the hurricane victims? Are they giving interviews on this topic? Who is accountable? Surely somebody is in charge. I'd like to know what they have to say. If they have nothing to say, I'd like to know that too.
Posted By Anonymous Joyce West, Lexington, Ky. : 3:46 PM ET
I have been asking the same question Susan. Why were those trailers ordered if they knew they couldn't be used on the Gulf coast? Makes absolutely no sense to spend tax dollars for them to sit in a field in Ark., and paying that state money for rent to have them there. If another storm were to come to the Gulf, those trailers would be easy to move. FEMA just can't seem to get it right.
Hopefully Anderson can get to the bottom of this, like he has so many other things.
Posted By Anonymous Jean, St. Charles, Mo. : 3:46 PM ET
Put those trailers on pontoons and get them to the Gulf Coast NOW!! It was in the low 20s along the Gulf Coast this morning and people are still living in tents!
Posted By Anonymous B.J., Memphis TN : 3:48 PM ET
I saw this on 360 Friday night. The sheer incompetence of the federal response (well, at all levels of gov't, but the feds especially) boggles the mind. I keep wondering, "Is this really happening in the United States of America?!" It's embarrassing. First, they ordered trailers, but wouldn't get the trailers to people who needed them, and wouldn't explain why. Now they're coming up with the excuse that the trailers can't be located in a floodplain. The excuses are getting old... and I don't live in the affected area. I can only imagine how angry and frustrated those poor people must be. Then again, FEMA has been a mess for a long time, so this is just the inevitable result.
Posted By Anonymous Linnea, Bloomington, MN : 3:48 PM ET
I went down to NOLA this past December, and I can tell you that even the FEMA trailers they have there aren't being used. I was helping clean up a church in the Upper Ninth, and across the street was a whole huge parking lot worth of FEMA trailers, each one could've housed a family -- and in late December, they were all still empty, and no one knew when they would become avaliable. I have no idea why they were still empty, but the word on the street was that it had something to do with their sewer hookups not being suitable. So there we were, ripping out the insides of people's homes as they tried to put their lives back together while living out of their cars or cramped into family and friends' battered houses, or living in a hotel paid for by FEMA that, as far as they knew, they could be evicted from at any moment with little or no warning.

There are people in New Orleans, and there are even more who are trying to come back, and none of these people have any dependable housing or support whatsoever because of FEMA's appalling incompetence. It's as if they WANT New Orleans to wither and die. Indeed, many Ninth Ward residents believe that this is really their intention, even to the point of truly believing that the levees were intentionally blown up by the CIA or some such. These are not radical political activists pushing an agenda, these are normal everyday people who feel so abandoned by their country that they think they've been intentionally done harm. Saying "it's a shame" is putting it VERY lightly.
Posted By Anonymous R. Harrison, Annapolis MD : 3:49 PM ET
You can't fool with Mother Nature. Why in the world would someone build their house behind a mud wall holding back a river to begin with? Duh! FEMA should setup temp housing communities for those displaced out of harms way and rezone those high risk flood areas for use as community park and such.
Posted By Anonymous Roy - Charleston SC : 3:50 PM ET
Any chance FEMA would be willing to sell one of those trailers to give a renter a chance at the 'ownership society'? Or will these be written off and moved to a landfill?
Posted By Anonymous Charles, Ausitn, Texas : 3:53 PM ET
There's no question that it's evil and shameful..the real question is - what can we American citizens do about it? How can WE help get these people the trailers that they need and deserve...that have been paid for by their taxes and ours? Write our congress rep? That isn't strong enough. Help us help them...what can we do? We want to do something!!! If anyone knows - please tell us.
Posted By Anonymous Kris, Appleton Wi : 3:54 PM ET
Why should taxpayers in Maryland enable their brethran in LA to rebuild on a flood plain? I have no problem helping the these folks out, contingent upon them relocating to an area that is not prone to flooding. That way we don't have to go through this exercise again the next time a CAT 5 roars through. Just a thought.
Posted By Anonymous Kevin Holland - Glen Burnie, MD : 3:54 PM ET
I think the sadest thing of all is that absolutely no progress is being made by the Federal Government to help these people and we are staring the 2006 Hurricane Season right in the face. In less than 6 months we will have a Gulf of Mexico that is warmer than last year, a still devastated coast line, and a FEMA organization with no credibility or success in helping these victims. I can only shudder to think what 2006 has in store for us.
Posted By Anonymous Mike Shumate , Hillsborough, NC : 3:54 PM ET
11,000 FEMA homes in Arkansas is a mistake with tax payer dollars that's hard to cover up. How many other mistakes with our dollars have been covered up? I don't want to know.
Posted By Anonymous Dave, Cleveland OH : 3:55 PM ET
There is no doubt that FEMA was broken before Katrina hit. Based upon the lack of change since then, it still is!! There is no reason why a regulation that prevents placing the mobile homes in a flood plain should be enforced under Post-Katrina conditions. An exemption should have been sought long ago in this case. Congress could do it if necessary. Someone just needs to take action. Instead, this regulation is used ad the excuse for no action. Seems to me there still are too many empty heads running Homeland Security/FEMA. Is is anyone awake at the White House? Seems like there still are too many political appointees and not enough professional emergency management people at work.
Posted By Anonymous Tony, Clinton, MS : 3:55 PM ET
If there were an earthquake in California, it's residents would not "expect" free housing for 6 months and then protest because they have failed to find a job or other housing during that time. It is time to pick yourselves up, find a job and find a place to stay! I think part of the problem is that these people have lived in the projects and government housing and have grown accustomed to everything for nothing! Enough is Enough!!
Posted By Anonymous Sheryl Riverside, CA : 3:56 PM ET
Susan, you just made a real good argument for not rebuilding major parts of New Orleans. Why should the rest of us taxpayers around the country continue to subsidize, through government aid, people's desire to live in inherently dangerous geographic areas such as below sea level in New Orleans? I say bulldoze most of the city and require anyone who stays to have adequate insurance...and then you're on your own. No more taxpayer money to save you from your decision to live below sea level.
Posted By Anonymous Tom San Antonio, TX : 3:57 PM ET
On a recent drive across country (moving from Ohio to Calif) I was witness to hundreds of these FEMA trailers being transported. It was amazing seeing the convoy of all these trailers one right after another as far as you could see.

It was like watching the calvary coming to the rescue. The FEMA signs were "proudly" hung in the windows of the trailers.

The sad part was that it was late January and they were only going as far as a giant parking lot in Arkansas. This situation is just shameful.
Posted By Anonymous Christine, San Pedro, CA : 4:00 PM ET
I missed the story, but caught the blog and I must say it is just disgusting the way our "government" can run roughshod over every-day citizens. Its a shame that in this day and age, if you dont have the money, then no one with authority cares. I would love to protest, but what for? Protestors get arrested and spun by "the news" to be trouble makers. Maybe the word REVOLUTION is a bit strong, but something has to be done. Who are these politicians who think they own us? Why do we stand for this? What can we do about it? These are the questions we need to ask EVERY official who wants to be elected or re-elected. Look what the current ones did to all those people in the Gulf, stranded on highways and rooftops for days upon days....think about that the next time you cast your ballot in even the most "un-important" election. WE THE PEOPLE...remember?
Posted By Anonymous Ryan, Buffalo, NY : 4:00 PM ET
Congratulations Susan on moving from WGNO to CNN. I don't understand why FEMA ordered trailers that can't be moved to the Gulf Coast either. The only solution I have to move the trailers as close as possible to the flood plains. Is the Northshore on a flood plain?
Posted By Anonymous Marla Gaspard, Kenner, LA : 4:01 PM ET
Our government has been a pathetic joke in regards to Katrina victims. Now thousands of people will be out on the streets with no place to live and what is our government doing to help? Absolutely nothing! I read these articles and I am heartsick.
Posted By Anonymous Suzanne, Hutchinson, KS : 4:03 PM ET
I live in Texarkana, Ar. area and there are mobil homes in several places here being held. I do not understand why they don't set these up in the people's front yards for them to live in as they build. They could be hooked up to their own utilities and then removed when they are finished and ready to back into their homes. How many heads does it take to sold this problem?
Posted By Anonymous Margaret Green, Texarkana, Ar. : 4:07 PM ET
Perhaps FEMA ordered them because there were a lot of people OUTSIDE N.O. that lost their homes and who do not live in a flood plane and could use the homes.
Posted By Anonymous Earnie, Williamsburg, Va : 4:08 PM ET
I am gettin so tired of this entire mess. Yes FEMA messed up, but so did the NO mayor, LO Governer. Why is everyone so down on FEMA while letting the insurance companys get away with robbery? (Litterly) People have paid for flood and huricane insurance, and have basicly been screwed by the insurance companies.
As far as the hotels go, I think FEMA should stop paying for them. Its been several months now. People need to move on. Figure out what they need to do. If the insurance companies are not going to replace your house and you can't afford to replace it, and you can not find a job in NO than MOVE, out of the area, get a job, rent an appartment and move on with your life, I don't want to be paying for people to live in hotels, years from now. The federal Gov. responsibility is too replace levy's, and repair government buildings, schools, etc. Not to repair peoples lives, months after a disastar. If the government wants to help they need pass legislation to force the insurance companies to put the premiums to work that we pay every month, and for once not worry about a profit during a time of disaster.
Posted By Anonymous Kathleen, Reisterstown, MD : 4:10 PM ET
Typical Government spending like $700.00 for a hammer you can buy at Home Depot or Lowes for $10.00. The waste of taxpayer dollars has got to stop, and someone has to be held accountable. We need to take care of our own country, and the citizens in it, before we take care of the world.
Posted By Anonymous Tony, Lake Tahoe, Nevada : 4:12 PM ET
Why not move the people to Arkansas? Or set up the Mobile Home city just north of New Orleans on vacant land. They need to be used and NOW! Not 4 months from now. Seems like they don't want the people back in New Orleans. Could also "bulldoze" bad areas and set up the mobiles. Just use them and use them NOW.
Posted By Anonymous Karen, Phoenix, AZ : 4:12 PM ET
I would love to hear the end result of this story. Is CNN working on interviewing government officials responsible/accountable for this obvious boondoggle.

It seems amazing that we are unable to coordinate resources to affect change in this day in age. Perhaps all of our technology has not helped us at all in becoming better human beings.

I have been forced to draw the conclusion that this administration has shown in it's 2 major rebuilding projects (Iraq and the Gulf Coast) that it is sadly lacking in leadership, communication and coordination. Although I give them an A in sales and marketing.
Posted By Anonymous Patrick, Minneapolis, MN : 4:13 PM ET
It seems FEMA is unable to learn from its errors.I'll be stocking up my emergency kit with real skepticism about how much help FEMA might be if my home (Los Angeles) gets the big one.
Posted By Anonymous Daniel Ballard, Los Angteles, California : 4:15 PM ET
I drove thru Arkansas at Thanksgiving, and again two weeks ago. The number of trailers is drastically growing...I averaged seeing 3-5 trailers every 5 miles. Any idea what they will do with all these trailers if they do not go to Louisiana? Have a surplus sale?
Posted By Anonymous Kelley, Austin, Tx : 4:20 PM ET
It makes me sad and angry to think that the government has not stepped up to the plate. They've stepped back. From the moment Katrina was seen on the radar everyone, from the top to the bottom, made grievious errors that cost lives, and altered tens of thousands of others for the worse.

How hard is it for the government to hire several semi's to move these homes where they need to be? Isn't it time to show a bit of good fortune to the people of the gulf coast after not only mother nature, but the government made worse?
Posted By Anonymous Cathie, Clintonville, WI : 4:20 PM ET
The FEMA regulation that mobiles can't be placed in a flood plain is a REGULATION, not a law that needs congressional action.

Hey, FEMA-geniuses - change the rule! Or at least waive it for six months for the Gulf Coast.

Sure, in an ideal world, you wouldn't put prefab housing in an area prone to flooding, but housing in the NOLA area is a crisis. A temporary solution so that people can move back while their homes are being repaired or rebuilt is certainly better than nothing.

Government incompetence, mismanagement and intellectual paralysis in dealing with the aftermath of Katrina is a national ongoing disgrace.

I can't remember when I've ever been so disgusted.
Posted By Anonymous Arachnae, Sterling VA : 4:27 PM ET
If they can't get it right on a natural disaster level, how do we hope that they can get it right in a major "man made" disaster that they kept reminding us "may" come. We have been let down by those we will need to count on in disasterous times. God help us.
Posted By Anonymous Noel, Detroit MI : 4:27 PM ET
It may appear to be waste, however, FEMA is for the entire country. Not just the gulf. If an earthquake hits, where will they get housing? If a tornado strikes, where will they get housing? If a blizzard destroys a neighborhood, fires destroy a neighborhood, where will they all get housing? It is very easy to focus on the disaster that has already hit. A disaster that was not answered by anyone correctly. However, if we re-focus our energy, sell off the not for flood area trailers and replace them with Gulf Coast suitable trailers, haven't we just accomplished what so many complain of? We have rendered ourselves unprepared to handle the next major disaster unless, of course, it hits New Orleans or the Gulf area.

Instead of complaining about what seems obvious, let's look a little farther and realize that Arkansas is probably a good place to store trailers in the event of a new natural disaster. I believe from Arkansas, you can reach any point in our country within 3 days. Isn't that a good thing?
Posted By Anonymous Tony Jacksonville, FL : 4:28 PM ET
yes, there are mobile homes on staging areas in arkansas and in mississippi just waiting to be setup. We also have many many qualified mobile home movers and setup people just waiting for FEMA to release these homes so they can get to work. Movers have been on hold since early/mid January waiting for FEMA on those big contractors to 'fix' those homes already installed incorrectly---which we tax payers also paid for and pay to have resetup again.
Posted By Anonymous kim, laurel, mississippi : 4:30 PM ET
I live in Metairie & was lucky. We didn't flood. How mobile homes can be inadequate when you compare them to FEMA trailers is beyond me. Neither are suitable for this area. What we need is some prefab permanent housing that will allow people to stay in them when the wind blows a little--so we don't have problems when we have a thunderstorm.

The ineptitude of the govt to handle these issues is beyond me. We can rebuild cities and roads and infrastructure in Iraq--can't they pretend we're in Iraq too?
Posted By Anonymous Laurie Metairie LA : 4:38 PM ET
All of these trailers sitting in a pasture in Arkansas will go to waste. They will sit and the elements will get to them and they will become unliveable.

If they cannot be used in New Orleans, for what ever reason why can they not be used somewhere else in the United States?
Posted By Anonymous Dan Beilke Albuquerque, NM : 5:00 PM ET
Why exactly can't these homes be used? I always expect the gov't to waste money but at the very least I would think that they would changes (even if temporary) to some silly rules and laws.
Posted By Anonymous adriana dasilva new york city ny : 5:12 PM ET
Susan, I have read somewhere that part of the trailer problem is that there is objection, from area residents and other state residents, to placing these trailers and their occupants in "their back yard". Has any one investigated this part of the issue? The article that I read and I do not recall where I read it, seemed to indicate it was a political battle with New Orleans politicians. It seemed like a race issue to me. I have not seen any discussion regarding this on CNN.
Posted By Anonymous Judy Stage/Brooklyn Michigan : 5:13 PM ET
I was born and reared in New Orleans and now live in central Louisiana.
After Rita came ashore I found out that FEMA was seeking places to put mobile homes for those displaced by both Katrina and Rita.
I contacted the local FEMA office about letting them use 10+ acres next to my home. The Corps of Engineers came out and inspected the location. The property has city utilities at the front with the capacity to handle the 50 to 60 trailers that could by placed under FEMA specifications. Local contractors are available for any installation work required. The Corps sent the report to the FEMA office in Baton Rouge.
Had they acted then, 50 to 60 families would have had a temporary home for the holidays and a place to stay while they get their lives back together.
I have yet to hear anything about the offer.
It still stands!
Posted By Anonymous Henry Guidry, Cottonport, La : 5:14 PM ET
I don't understand any of this! Why are our tax dollars being wasted this way and why are there people who still have no where to go? If the trailers aren't good enough to be used in New Orleans, then at least move them somewhere close and make them useful for those poor people who have no where to go. This is a disgusting situation and I am fed up with the whole thing! It seems like the whole group (FEMA) is nothing but a bunch of idiots! I have heard more stories about truckloads of ice not being delivered because of FEMA and many of things too numerous to list. WHY! We are in a crisis here...make exceptions and get the people taken care of. Lord knows I pray that nothing like this happens is Georgia because I know FEMA won't be taking care of us. GOD bless those all who are living through this tragedy and all those who are giving their best to help where they can!
Posted By Anonymous Julie C., Dalton, GA : 5:18 PM ET
Ok, help me understand, the mobile homes are sitting in an Arkansas Cow pasture, right? Sh*t happens everywhere, move those homes to where they are needed!
Posted By Anonymous Mondie, Ingleside IL : 7:06 PM ET
This same thing occured in Honduras when Hurricane Mitch went through. Thousands of dollars came in, rebuilt homes, but no people. Why? Because people would not, could not relocate to them. Why would a family relocate when there when there weren't any jobs? How could they relocate with no money? Same thing occuring in Louisiana. Don't these "smart" government officials use their common sense?
Posted By Anonymous D. Niemi, North Lauderdale, Florida : 5:10 PM ET
It seems with every blog or article written on this subject, the number of mobile homes increases. The fact of the matter is: FEMA never intended for these mobile homes to be placed in the floodplains. The intent was for mobile home parks to be located in those parishes outside the floodplains. The State of Louisiana has yet to plan and organize such parks. FEMA continues to wait for the authorization to move them in.
Posted By Anonymous Connie S., Kingston, IL : 12:19 PM ET
I found it intensely insulting when Hillary answered a derisive "sure" to whether or not she would work for the minimum wage -- proving she cares nothing about the problems of the little people. Watching this debate I find it amazing that she is leading in the polls as she is. She appeared smug and skulking through the entire debate, wouldn't even look at her competitors when they talked most the time, and her responses were generally shallow and disingenuous -- just the hollow words of a hollow politician.
Posted By Anonymous Bart, Blacksburg Va. : 8:32 AM ET
(Comment on fire in California)

I just can't help feeling sad after seeing the destruction this raging hell brought to so many people, but at the same time I'm woondering if there is a little racism invoved when I think about the people of New Orleans.

Belize City, Belize
Central AMerica
Posted By Anonymous Anonymous : 4:25 PM ET
Hey Anderson, This is the first time for me writing but I am a frequent viewer. Want to say three things,first the package on the follow-up to the discussion of Afro-American women and their choice for Obama or Clinton was outstanding. Excellent clarification! Secondly, I am so excited about Amy Holmes being a contributor to CNN. She is a very beautiful and intelligent woman whom I would welcome to join my future Senatorial campaign. Which brings me to my third issue. Can you do a story on which of the major political parties or both encourage and train new americans to come into the political process. The framers didn't say anything about having a Poli-Sci degree from Duke in order to run for office. But rather described regular citizen statepersons to run for office. But how do you learn about the process and running for office? Does either party have training programs for the congress and Senate persons of the future? I like to know. Anderson,Keep on "keeping them honest"!!!
Posted By Anonymous Gene : 4:11 PM ET
A behind the scenes look at "Anderson Cooper 360°" and the stories it covers, written by Anderson Cooper and the show's correspondents and producers.

    What's this?
CNN Comment Policy: CNN encourages you to add a comment to this discussion. You may not post any unlawful, threatening, libelous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic or other material that would violate the law. Please note that CNN makes reasonable efforts to review all comments prior to posting and CNN may edit comments for clarity or to keep out questionable or off-topic material. All comments should be relevant to the post and remain respectful of other authors and commenters. By submitting your comment, you hereby give CNN the right, but not the obligation, to post, air, edit, exhibit, telecast, cablecast, webcast, re-use, publish, reproduce, use, license, print, distribute or otherwise use your comment(s) and accompanying personal identifying information via all forms of media now known or hereafter devised, worldwide, in perpetuity. CNN Privacy Statement.