updated 9/7/2005 10:31:13 AM ET 2005-09-07T14:31:13

12 p.m. EST

Yesterday, a Newsweek reporter was on MSNBC saying that he had covered the earthquake in Mexico City and the Tsunami in Southeast Asia, many wars and horrific disasters but had never seen emergency response as poor as it was for Hurricane Katrina victims.

Today, Nicholas Kristof writes of a storm in Bangladesh that killed 130,000 people in 1991, and also echoed this sentiment that our government has fallen woefully short of even the response of impoverished or third world nations.

There is no doubt that the President's public image will take a hit, but to what extent are the Feds to blame for this disaster?  We'll discuss it today.

From where I stand, as no expert in relief efforts, I must say the biggest question on my mind revolves around the Superdome.  Why were people sent to this supposedly safe structure, but provided no food, water or information?  I am not certain who was responsible for the care of evacuees staying at the Convention Center and the Superdome.  Was it Ray Nagin?  Governor Blanco?  Or possibly FEMA.  I just can't shake this frustration about what happened at those places.  If you do as you are told and evacuate, going to the shelter provided to you--shouldn't you expect to be cared for in some capacity?

While humans are the priority in any relief efforts, it is heartbreaking to see people mourning the loss of pets or crying as they are asked to leave the animals behind.  We'll be joined today by actress Rue McClanahan for a discussion about protecting the animals in affected areas.

And, of course, the other story we are watching today is the activity at the Supreme Court.  Chief Justice William Rehnquist's body is in state for public viewing, with plans for a funeral tomorrow.  Meanwhile, Congress prepares for not one but two confirmation battles.

Chief Justice John Roberts?

We'll see.

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