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In Newly Released Documents, a View of the Storm After Katrina (Dems Pr Campaign to Blame Bush)
NY Times ^ | December 4, 2005 | Eric Lipton

Posted on 12/03/2005 9:05:08 PM PST by johnmecainrino

In Newly Released Documents, a View of the Storm After Katrina WASHINGTON, Dec. 3 - It was Thursday, Sept. 1, three days after Hurricane Katrina had ripped across the Gulf Coast. As New Orleans descended into horror, the top aides to Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco of Louisiana were certain the White House was trying to blame their boss, and they were becoming increasingly furious. "Bush's numbers are low, and they are getting pummeled by the media for their inept response to Katrina and are actively working to make us the scapegoats," Bob Mann, Ms. Blanco's communications director, wrote in an e-mail message that afternoon, outlining plans by Washington Democrats to help turn the blame back onto President Bush. With so much criticism being directed toward the governor, the time had come, her aides told her, to rework her performance. She had to figure out a way not only to lead the state through the most costly natural disaster in United States history, but also to emerge on top somehow in the nasty public relations war. Drop the emotion, the anger and all those detail-oriented briefings, Ms. Blanco's aides told her. Get out to the disaster zone to visit emergency shelters, and repeat again and again: help is on the way. "She must temper her anger and frustration," Johnny Anderson, Ms. Blanco's assistant chief of staff, wrote a day after it became widely known that large crowds were suffering at the New Orleans convention center. "We have work too hard to lose the public relations battle."

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Louisiana
KEYWORDS: blanco; fema; katrina
They put blaming Bush and PR ahead of saving lives. These dems should be charged with criminal negligence. Funny how Harry Reid was in on this as well.
1 posted on 12/03/2005 9:05:11 PM PST by johnmecainrino
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To: johnmecainrino

This version is of course slanted towards Blanco, even the AP didn't write this bad.

2 posted on 12/03/2005 9:12:35 PM PST by Pikamax
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To: Pikamax

Surprised to see Breaux in on this as well. He was one democrat I had more respect for.

3 posted on 12/03/2005 9:14:03 PM PST by johnmecainrino
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To: johnmecainrino

To quote the Mike Brown lynching party: Where is the concern for the lives being lost?

4 posted on 12/03/2005 9:16:48 PM PST by denydenydeny ("As a Muslim of course I am a terrorist"--Sheikh Omar Brooks, quoted in the London Times 8/7/05)
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To: johnmecainrino

"It is also clear that Democrats in Washington recognized that the federal response to the storm provided an opportunity to win some political points."

Screw the people, we got points!

5 posted on 12/03/2005 9:16:56 PM PST by Smartaleck
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To: johnmecainrino

Can I now smack Mary Landrieu in the face?

6 posted on 12/03/2005 9:20:28 PM PST by LdSentinal
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To: Pikamax
I also could not forget the fact that I was reading the ''NY Slimes''.After the third time I read about the ''desperate pleas for help that were largely ignored by the federal government''. I kept thinking... Why didn't the Slimes report on the fact that Blanco refused to let in the Red Cross with all their trucks of food ,water, medicine and diapers for fear the people would get ''too comfortable'' and over stay their welcome at the convention center?! Hmmmm....Guess I'll never know!
7 posted on 12/03/2005 9:42:03 PM PST by Bush gal in LA
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To: johnmecainrino

Note to Blanco and the NY Times: First response to local emergencies is ALWAYS the responsibility of local governments. FEMA and the federal government are not responsible for those problems, nor are they set up to handle them. The state and local governments deal with the immediate destruction, the feds come in later to help with the aftermath. So if Gov. Blanco looked incompetent, it was not because Washington was trying to dodge criticism by shoving responsibility onto her. It WAS her responsibility, and she looked incompetent because she was incompetent and failed to meet her responsibilities, along with Mayor Ray "Waste-Of-Space" Nagin. A newspaper interested in the truth would say that, but the NY Times gives us nothing but all the news that's fit to spin leftward.

8 posted on 12/03/2005 10:31:23 PM PST by HHFi
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To: LdSentinal
Can I now smack Mary Landrieu in the face?

Which of her two faces?

9 posted on 12/04/2005 12:18:30 AM PST by taxesareforever (Government is running amuck)
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To: johnmecainrino

Staff tried to burnish Blanco burnished image

Documents show aides worked on image after La. hurricanes disaster

Capitol news bureau

As thousands waited to be rescued after Hurricane Katrina, the governor's top aides brainstormed on ways to make an embattled Gov. Kathleen Blanco look more "John Wayne" than "first lady."


Just one day after Katrina came ashore, Cuban President Fidel Castro offered to send doctors, paramedics and three mobile hospitals to Louisiana. The governor's communications director, Bob Mann, kept a lid on the letter even though Blanco met with Castro during a visit to Cuba earlier this year.

"We cannot let this get out," Mann e-mailed the governor's executive assistant, Paine Gowen, after receiving Castro's letter.


10 posted on 12/04/2005 12:30:01 AM PST by kcvl
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To: johnmecainrino

LOL, only a "newspaper" as corrupt as The New York Times could spin this collection of documents into another anti-Bush rant.

Even the LA Times has been forced to print at least SOME of the true contents of these documents. Even the Times Picayune did too.

The drop in circulation for the New York Times is not an accident, and will not reverse itself until they re-organize and finally start sticking to facts. Howard Dean gives me all the liberal rhetoric I need to hear. With agencies like CBS, the BBC, and The New York Times, I have a choice. I excercise that choice and tune them out, along with an increasing number of other people tuning them out every day they continue to inject their own agenda into the "news".

Frankly, I don't think they are going to "get it" until it is too late. Competition is the exercise of Darwin's Laws regarding survival of the fittest. The new media of the internet is more than supplying that competition, and old guards like The New York Times are working full tilt, directing every effort towards their own irrelevence and demise.

11 posted on 12/04/2005 1:18:39 AM PST by jeffers
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To: johnmecainrino; All
HURRICANE KATRINA- archive of links Click the picture:

12 posted on 12/04/2005 1:56:46 AM PST by backhoe (The Silence of the Tom's ( Tired Old Media... ))
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To: johnmecainrino
What made me absolutely furious about the whole deal is that in the congressional hearing the Republicans ripped Brown a new one (and he deserved a dressing down for some of his actions), but the very next day, Blanco requests that the past be left in the past and those same "Republicans" just gave her a pass and accepted her terms.

That incompetent idiot was not in a position to be dictating terms at all. The hearing was on the things that went wrong immediately following the storm, and Blanco and Nagin did NOTHING that was spelled out for them to do. They were waiting for someone to hold their hand.

13 posted on 12/04/2005 2:19:59 AM PST by libs_kma (USA: The land of the Free....Because of the Brave!)
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To: johnmecainrino aides to Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco of Louisiana were certain the White House was trying to blame their boss, and they were becoming increasingly furious.

Right there in the lead paragraph the Times reveals their childish agenda:

Instead of "Bush Lied"

they now say

"Bush started it!"

14 posted on 12/04/2005 4:56:24 AM PST by Timeout (I hate MediaCrats!)
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To: jeffers

The Times Picayune broke this yesterday and did a pretty good job of exposing the Democrat conspiracy to blame Bush. Of course, the NY Times is a co-conspirator, so we shouldn't expect them to confess. They continue to demonstrate that the are the leading publication for the Joseph Goebbels School of Journalism.

15 posted on 12/04/2005 6:04:22 AM PST by centurion316 (Democrats - Al Qaida's Best Friends)
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To: johnmecainrino

Closer scrutiny reveals the lies surrounding Katrina evacuation and recovery

By Linda Prussen-Razzano
web posted September 5, 2005

Having lived on Long Island for most of my life, I weathered only the most minor effects of hurricanes. Typically, their devastating strength drained along the coastline as they churned northwards. When I was a child, my father comforted me through Hurricane Belle; not by holding me and telling me everything would be alright, but by his activity in securing our house, his purchase of supplies and preparations, and his explanations of hurricanes and their threats.

While the storm whipped overhead, my piqued curiosity prompted me to ask about all different kinds of natural disasters. We passed the time discussing typhoons, tornadoes, earthquakes, and floods. I never thought I would use this information, but I did; twice.

At 19, my passenger and I found ourselves caught in the only flash flood in the history of Long Island. What started as a heavy rain became an overwhelming downpour within minutes. Not unlike the City of New Orleans, the patch of road on which I traveled was nestled in a natural funnel. In the space of minutes, we experienced more rain in that small bit of road alongside Eisenhower Park than all of Long Island had received in a year. With traffic surrounding me, I had not choice but to inch forward to the overpass that would take me to higher ground. Just moments before my car cleared the water now pouring in under my doors, the engine stalled, and my Monte Carlo sank back down the embankment, eventually to be completely submerged.

We had to wait until the water rose inside the car and the pressure stabilized before we could get out.

The gas pumps at the corner station began bubbling up, turning the water so black you couldn’t see your hand just two inches under the surface. An elderly man, trapped in his car, didn’t want to leave. Plodding through chest deep water, my passenger and I managed to get his door open and help him slog back to safety.

Everyone caught in that mess experienced a loss, but it is nothing compared to Katrina.

The second time I used my father’s sage advice came when I moved to Texas. In the bottom tip of the tornado belt, I knew what to do when the sky turned an ominous shade of green, the clouds started rotating above my head, and where to seek shelter to maximize my potential for living. It was in those few moments, when the doors and windows rattled and I imagined that my new house would be reduced to kindling around me, that all my priorities changed…forever.

The folks in Louisiana and Mississippi experienced wide scale devastation during Katrina. New Orleans, and other parts of the coast, experienced a second, even more devastating blow from the horrible flooding. One is bad enough, but both? It’s a catastrophe beyond comprehension, and our fellow Americans need our compassion, our generosity, and our understanding as they rebuild their entire lives.

We should be coming together, as we did after other catastrophic events in the last decade, to help and heal.

Sadly, that is not the case.

What I find astonishing is the almost immediate response from Bush Bashers to blame everything that happened, from the actual hurricane itself, to the anarchy that quickly erupted, on the President and his administration. When they do so, they not only distort the truth, they outright lie to the public, and they are doing so daily through any media venue that will give them the opportunity.

Lie #1: President Bush doesn’t care about the people of New Orleans.

This outrageous lie is thoroughly debunked by the fact that it was President Bush who pushed for a mandatory evacuation of New Orleans.(1) Governor Blanco issued only a voluntary evacuation order, but admitted that she received a call from the President on August 27, 2005, urging her to make it a mandatory one. He wanted as many people as possible out of the path of the storm.

So much for the President not caring.

Despite the fact that New Orlean’s own Emergency Response Guidelines call for a mandatory evacuation of the City if a strike by a Category 3 Hurricane is projected, with 72 hours advance notice to all residents, Mayor Nagin didn’t order a mandatory evaluation until Sunday. Further, he only did so after Max Maxfield, the National Hurricane Director, called Nagin at his home to plead that he empty the City. (2)

Why did Nagin wait so long? He was worried about the legalities. If people want to affix blame, perhaps they can look at lawyers.

How ironic, that The Drudge Report (3) and Free Republic (4) have pictures of dozens of New Orleans’ submerged and now useless school buses, buses that could have been used to transport residents out of the City prior to the storm, bring in supplies after the storm, and help evacuees escape the flooding. Meanwhile, Governor Blanco issued a request to the State of Louisiana to provide her with buses from local school districts.

According to a Washington Post report on Sunday, September 4, “Shortly before midnight Friday, the Bush administration sent her a proposed legal memorandum asking her to request a federal takeover of the evacuation of New Orleans, a source within the state's emergency operations center said Saturday.”

Bush’s offer to have the federal government aid in the evacuation was rejected. (5)

Lie #2: The Bush Administration was slow in coordinating help.

Mike Brown, Under Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security for Emergency Response and Preparedness, received the order from President Bush on August 27, two full days before the storm hit the region, to prepare for Katrina disaster relief. (6) The President also declared the entire region under a State of Emergency, so that FEMA could coordinate efforts at the request of the Governors. (7) Under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, the Federal Government and FEMA are not allowed to interfere with local operations unless they are authorized by state and local leaders.

Blanco did not authorize this until September 1, 2005.

Further, according to an Association Press report on August 30, “The federal government began rushing baby formula, communications equipment, generators, water and ice into hard-hit areas of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, along with doctors, nurses and first-aid supplies. The U.S. Defense Department sent experts to help with search-and-rescue operations.” (8) FEMA was there and helping, in the capacity that was allowed by local officials, but could not swing into full gear until after Blanco gave them permission.

Lie #3: The Bush Administration did nothing to control the anarchy.

The local and state governments have control over law enforcement activities in their state, and such activities could only be coordinated through the federal government with their permission. It was not until terrible reports of rapes and violence, videos of looting, and reports of shoots being fired at rescue workers did Governor Blanco relinquish any claim of control on an out-of-control city.

An August 31, 2005 Fox News Report reveals, “The looting prompted authorities to send more than 70 additional officers and an armed personnel carrier into the city. One police officer was shot in the head by a looter but was expected to recover, authorities said. Blanco said she will ask President Bush for military troops to help keep looting under control.” (9) Almost immediately thereafter, FEMA, the military, and the Bush Administration began to restore order.

Further, on September 2, 2005, the Bush administration “sought unified control over all local police and state National Guard units reporting to the governor. Louisiana officials rejected the request after talks throughout the night, concerned that such a move would be comparable to a federal declaration of martial law.” (10)

Lie #4: The Bush Administration did nothing to prevent the flooding.

Predictions of wide spread devastation have been known since Hurricane Camille in 1969. Despite these, it was local officials who reportedly appropriated funds designated for levee improvements towards such necessary purchases as a casino, hotel, and other projects.

Amazing, isn’t it?

From the carnage inside the Superdome, to the massacre of the truth on television, this is a sad time for all of America.

Just don’t forget who helped all this to happen….because despite what the media wants you to believe, it wasn’t President Bush.

Linda Prussen-Razzano is frequent contributor to Enter Stage Right and a number of other online magazines.


1. Associated Press, “Mandatory Evacuation Ordered for New Orleans,” August 28, 2005, 10:48 a.m. CT.

2. Knight Ridder Newspapers, “National Hurricane Director had to call Nagin at home Saturday night to plead: "Get people out..." by Marc Caputo, David Ovalle, and Erika Bolstad, August 28, 2005



5. Washington Post, “Many Evacuated, but Thousands Still Waiting, White House Shifts Blame to State and Local Officials,” Manuel Roig-Franzia and Spencer Hsu, Washington Post Staff Writers, Sunday, September 4, 2005; Page A01

6. FEMA Press Release, “Emergency Aid Authorized For Katrina Emergency Response In LA” August 27, 2005

7. Associated Press, “Bush Declares Emergency in Louisiana,” August 27, 2005

8. Associated Press, “Federal Government sent emergency supplies to Louisiana as early as Tuesday,” August 30, 2005

9. Fox, “It’s Not Safe In New Orleans,” August 31, 2005

10. Washington Post, Ibid

16 posted on 12/04/2005 6:17:52 AM PST by conservativecorner
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To: johnmecainrino
Drop the emotion, the anger and all those detail-oriented briefings, Ms. Blanco's aides told her. Get out to the disaster zone to visit emergency shelters, and repeat again and again: help is on the way. "

She had to be TOLD this??? I expect my governor to KNOW what to do without being told. If you don't know how to lead, you shouldn't run. She sounds like a puppet.

17 posted on 12/04/2005 7:02:40 AM PST by TX Bluebonnet
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To: johnmecainrino
This is Governor Blanco's letter to the President, from her website. Note that she does not ask for troops; under the Stafford Act the Feds can only provide stuff that is specifically asked for. Note that in her letter, paragraphs A and B are blank- this is where she was supposed to put in what she wants and why her state can't provide those services.

In the enclosure she asks for money to support shelters, generators, and money to support the police in their evacuation efforts.

Under Stafford, that is all that can be provided and no more. She does mention that a FEMA ERT-A team is en route, but she never says what it is she wants them to do.

Here then is the root of the problem: she never used the Stafford Act to request troops, trucks, food, medical, evacuation help, security assistance. And for some reason every "journalist" in the USA forgot there was a Stafford Act or knew what was in it.

The President
The White House
Washington, D. C.

Regional Director
FEMA Region VI
800 North Loop 288
Denton, Texas  76209

Dear Mr. President:

Under the provisions of Section 501 (a) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 5121-5206 (Stafford Act), and implemented by 44 CFR § 206.35, I request that you declare an emergency for the State of Louisiana due to Hurricane Katrina for the time period beginning August 26, 2005, and continuing.  The affected areas are all the southeastern parishes including the New Orleans Metropolitan area and the mid state Interstate I-49 corridor and northern parishes along the I-20 corridor that are accepting the thousands of citizens evacuating from the areas expecting to be flooded as a result of Hurricane Katrina.
In response to the situation I have taken appropriate action under State law and directed the execution of the State Emergency Plan on August 26, 2005 in accordance with Section 501 (a) of the Stafford Act.  A State of Emergency has been issued for the State in order to support the evacuations of the coastal areas in accordance with our State Evacuation Plan and the remainder of the state to support the State Special Needs and Sheltering Plan.

Pursuant to 44 CFR § 206.35, I have determined that this incident is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and affected local governments, and that supplementary Federal assistance is necessary to save lives, protect property, public health, and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a disaster.  I am specifically requesting emergency protective measures, direct Federal Assistance, Individual and Household Program (IHP) assistance, Special Needs Program assistance, and debris removal.
Preliminary estimates of the types and amount of emergency assistance needed under the Stafford Act, and emergency assistance from certain Federal agencies under other statutory authorities are tabulated in Enclosure A.

The following information is furnished on the nature and amount of State and local resources that have been or will be used to alleviate the conditions of this emergency:

The following information is furnished on efforts and resources of other Federal agencies, which have been or will be used in responding to this incident:

I certify that for this emergency, the State and local governments will assume all applicable non-Federal share of costs required by the Stafford Act.

I request Direct Federal assistance for work and services to save lives and protect property.

(a) List any reasons State and local government cannot perform or contract for performance, (if applicable). 

(b) Specify the type of assistance requested.

In accordance with 44 CFR § 206.208, the State of Louisiana agrees that it will, with respect to Direct Federal assistance:

1. Provide without cost to the United States all lands, easement, and rights-of-ways necessary to accomplish the approved work.

2. Hold and save the United States free from damages due to the requested work, and shall indemnify the Federal Government against any claims arising from such work;

3. Provide reimbursement to FEMA for the non-Federal share of the cost of such work in accordance with the provisions of the FEMA-State Agreement; and

4. Assist the performing Federal agency in all support and local jurisdictional matters.

In addition, I anticipate the need for debris removal, which poses an immediate threat to lives, public health, and safety.

Pursuant to Sections 502 and 407 of the Stafford Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 5192 & 5173, the State agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the United States of America for any claims arising from the removal of debris or wreckage for this disaster.  The State agrees that debris removal from public and private property will not occur until the landowner signs an unconditional authorization for the removal of debris.

I have designated Mr. Art Jones as the State Coordinating Officer for this request.  He will work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency in damage assessments and may provide further information or justification on my behalf.



Kathleen Babineaux Blanco


Estimated requirements for other Federal agency programs:

Totals: $ 9,000,000 
Estimated Requirements for assistance under the Stafford Act:

Totals: $ 9,000,000

Grand Total: $ 9,000,000

18 posted on 12/04/2005 9:09:25 AM PST by DBrow
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