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FROM THIS EPISODE

Five years after Katrina, there's still dispute about how big the storm was, what caused the flooding and what should be done to protect New Orleans in the future.  We hear how the arguments are laid out in the new film The Big Uneasy, by humorist-turned-investigative reporter Harry Shearer and others. Also Ben Bernanke says the Federal Reserve can do more for the economy, and two of Frank Lloyd Wright's experimental textile-block houses are on sale in Los Angeles for about half their original asking prices. But there are conditions…

Banner image: A resident uses a board to paddle through flood waters in New Orleans 30 August 2005 following Hurricane Katrina. Photo: James Nielsen/AFP/Getty Images

Producers:
Christian Bordal
Gary Scott
Sonya Geis

Reporter's Notebook Frank Lloyd Wright Houses for Sale 6 MIN, 26 SEC

Frank Lloyd Wright built four textile-block houses, all in Southern California and it's rare that two are on the market at the same time. Mysteriously, they aren't selling, so the prices are coming down. These houses, influenced by Mayan architecture, aren't exactly cozy. They're often compared to temples. But Ennis House, with views of LA from the Hollywood Hills and La Miniatura in Pasadena are the kind of assets craved by the super-rich all over the world. Anthea Hartig is director of the western office of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Guests:
Anthea Hartig, Director, National Trust for Historic Preservation's Western Office

The Swamp

Michael Grunwald

Main Topic 'The Big Uneasy' 36 MIN, 14 SEC

Five years ago, the Washington Post reported that “Louisiana's top hurricane experts have rejected the official explanations for the floodwall collapses that inundated much of New Orleans…and that the city's flood-protection system should have kept most of the city dry.” Those experts have since lost their jobs and Louisiana State University's Hurricane Center has now been shut down. That's just part of what's reported in the documentary, The Big Uneasy. Was Katrina really a “natural disaster” or largely man-made? Were levees built by the Army Corps of Engineers so poorly constructed they made it worse than it needed to be? What about recent efforts to protect New Orleans from future hurricanes? Are they based on sound engineering or pork barrel politics?

 

Guests:
Harry Shearer, Host of 'Le Show'
Ivor van Heerden, Center for the Study of Public Health Impact of Hurricanes
Michael Grunwald, Time magazine (@MikeGrunwald)
Maria Garzino, Civil Mechanical Engineer, US Army Corps of Engineers

The Storm

Ivor van Heerden

Making News Bernanke Says Fed Can Do More for Economy 7 MIN, 29 SEC

At the end of a bad week for news on the economy, Federal Reserve chair Ben Bernanke said today the central bank is determined to protect the US from going the way of Japan in the 1990’s. He suggested additional purchases of long-term securities. Daniel Gross is business and economics columnist for Newsweek and Slate.com and author of Dumb Money: How Our Greatest Financial Minds Bankrupted the Nation.

Guests:
Daniel Gross, Daily Beast (@grossdm)

Dumb Money

Daniel Gross

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