Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 5, 2005
By: Kevin Drum

KATRINA ROUNDUP....I've been gone all day and my inbox is now stuffed to capacity. Here's a small selection:

  • An ABC News poll reports that 46% of the country approves of President Bush's handling of Hurricane Katrina. Needless to say, this is rather astonishing. Even if you're a more forgiving sort than I am, what exactly has he done that deserves approval?

  • CNN reports that a "state-of-the-art mobile hospital" developed specifically for responding to disasters like Katrina, was "marooned in rural Mississippi" because Louisiana officials for several days would not let them deploy to New Orleans. Other doctors trying to volunteer their services report similar problems.

  • The Washington Post has corrected its statement attributed to a "senior Bush official" that Louisiana governor Kathleen Blanco failed to declare a state of emergency in Louisiana. No word, though, on whether the Post reporters were blatantly lied to or if they somehow misinterpreted what they were told.

  • The Chicago Tribune reports that the USS Bataan, a naval vessel with "helicopters, doctors, hospital beds, food and water," has been cruising off the Gulf since last Friday. Its captain says they're ready and willing to help, but aside from using its helicopters to ferry supplies and people around, FEMA hasn't asked for any. The Bataan's doctors, crew, and medical facilities lie unused.

  • Aaron Broussard, the head of Jefferson Parish, tells Tim Russert about FEMA's performance: "We had Wal-Mart deliver three trucks of water, trailer trucks of water. FEMA turned them back. They said we didn't need them. This was a week ago. FEMA we had 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel on a Coast Guard vessel docked in my parish. The Coast Guard said, "Come get the fuel right away." When we got there with our trucks, they got a word. "FEMA says don't give you the fuel." Yesterday yesterday FEMA comes in and cuts all of our emergency communication lines. They cut them without notice."

  • The Washington Post reports that the Army Corps of Engineers knew by early Monday that the 17th Street Canal levee had broken. That means the full scope of the disaster was known almost immediately after Katrina hit New Orleans.

I'm sure there's more, but that's as much as I can dig up at the moment. Hopefully tomorrow will bring some brighter news.

Kevin Drum 2:27 AM Permalink | Trackbacks

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