The Note: Ten Minutes from the New New Normal

In Louisiana, for example, the prevailing wage for a general laborer engaged in highway construction is $9.26/hour plus $1.14 in fringe benefits. Suspending Davis-Bacon will allow federal contractors in the region to pay below that level.

Katrina: the economy:

Per the Wall Street Journal Online forecasting survey, "Hurricane Katrina is likely to slow growth and boost inflation pressures in the second half of this year, economists believe. But the economy could receive a modest boost early next year amid recovery efforts on the Gulf Coast."

Economists pared U.S. third-quarter growth forecasts by half a percentage point and raised inflation estimates after Hurricane Katrina, according to a Bloomberg News monthly survey. LINK

Katrina: Democratic strategy:

The New York Post reports on the DSCC's brief (it has already been discontinued) fundraising attempt tied to a Katrina related petition on its website. LINK

Katrina: 2008:

Sen. Hillary Clinton's decision to use Hurricane Katrina to step into the national spotlight has been duly Noted by Fineman LINK, Balz LINK, et.al.

But what about the other '08 candidates?

On both sides of the aisle, presidential hopefuls are using the contretemps to push pet projects, grab some spotlight, and to return to rhetorical mainstays.

To wit:

While on FNC yesterday following the Vice President's obscenity-laced media availability, Sen. George Allen (R-VA) called for suspending those Davis-Bacon labor rules and permanently changing requirements on gasoline blends aimed at meeting air quality standards. LINK

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is "thinking outside the box" and feeling David Ignatius' love. LINK

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is keeping up his GOP fence mending and passing on chances to whack the president.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has his name and that of God tripping off the tongue of Don Imus.

Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) is invoking Salt Lake City and lambasting "undermanagement." LINK

Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) said Katrina "may require an outside commission to not only do it right, but to assure that Americans trust the results." LINK

Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) is calling for FEMA Director Mike Brown to be fired LINK and railing against "corruption and incompetence" in Louisiana LINK

Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN), true to his Third Way self, is taking to the Senate floor to say that the federal response "can't be big government, but it also cannot be no government."

Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) is pushing free air time LINK and bankruptcy protection LINK

Former Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) is dusting off the "Two Americas" speech. LINK

Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) is making Chris Heinz nervous again with his "don't-you-dare" estate-tax talk. LINK

Gov. Tom Vilsack (D-IA) is wondering whether the federal response to Katrina would meet the Hawkeye State's D-minus requirement for high school athletes. LINK

And Gov. Mark Warner's (D-VA) chief-of-staff is moonlighting as Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco's (D-LA) night-time chief-of-staff in Baton Rouge. LINK

Thomas Beaumont of the Des Moines Register assesses the politics of Katrina through the lens of the 2008 Iowa caucuses and wonders if perhaps an event like this will continue to solidify the conventional wisdom that governors make for better presidential candidates than senators. LINK

Check out Sen. Grassley's pointed criticism of Romney and Gingrich.

Katrina: 2008: Republicans:

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