In an attempt to once again play gotcha style politics with the President of the United States, the AP released tapes of the President with former FEMA director Mike Brown and others in the time leading up to the landfall of Hurricane Katrina. It is video taping and shows the president talking to concerned officials. He promises the government will do all that can be done.
What the tapes show is confirmation that the president was engaged pre-Katrina despite the common complaint that he was late to respond and not paying attention to the situation. Hey, we gotta blame someone, right? The hurricane did not take out New Orleans. The levee breaches took out New Orleans. This was discussed on the tapes. So was Governor Kathleen Blanco's admission that levee breaches were a big concern. However, the officials were of the mind that the water would go over the levees, not actually breach the levees. Later the tapes verify everyone's breathing a sigh of relief that New Orleans dodged the bullet after the hurricane blew through. Everyone thought it had dodged the bullet, including the governor and the mayor of New Orleans.
The tapes show Max Mayfield from the National Hurricane Center stating how huge the storm would likely be to the Gulf Coast. Am I the only person who remembers Mr. Mayfield on tv before the storm hit stating his concerns? Am I the only person who remembers he said he couldn't sleep the night before landfall and called the mayor of New Orleans because he was concerned that the Mayor and the Governor were not getting the people out of there?
The major difficulties brought to light from Hurricane Katrina were mostly problems of communication and of local officials, whether it was the governor or the mayor, not following previously established hurricane preparedness procedures. Blanco and Naguin were the first to scream that the federal government was not going to tell them what to do. That they had their own powers to exert. That the governor was in charge of the state's National Guard. All true enough. But when things reach crisis level due to state and local incompetence, you can't have it both ways. It is disingenuous to blame everything on the federal government.
On a more positive note, I was happy to hear yesterday that 6 of the 9 hostages in Nigeria have now been released. The local man was released yesterday. It was his 69th birthday. I'm guessing his release is the best birthday present he has ever received.
I am proud to say my son is competing this afternoon in an annual National French Competition. He goes to that during the last period at school and will be back at school by 6:00 this evening, where I will pick him up. So, he'll go from 2 Sanford standardized tests at school today to the competition this afternoon. That's a lot of testing for one day, if you ask me. I'm proud he was invited to participate in the competition, I just hope he isn't too burnt out to do his best. And, oh yeah, he'll have a Boy Scout meeting this evening as it was moved to tonight instead of the usual Wednesday meeting in recognition of Ash Wednesday last night. Very busy day for the boy.
"The race is not always to the swift, but to those who keep on running." - Anonymous