Wednesday, December 07, 2005

I have to compliment the Picayune on this editorial in today's edition. The closing paragraphs really say all that there is to say:

In this context, the decision to drive the sheet pilings to an even shallower depth of 10 feet is mind-boggling. And one hopes that the multiple experts investigating the levee breach will eventually figure out who suggested that idea.

But there's no question about who bore ultimate responsibility for the design and construction of New Orleans' levee system: the Corps of Engineers

Reading that, I wondered if I had perhaps been too critical in Saturday's posting . Maybe I shouldn't have gotten so worked up about this headline:

Blanco's office scrambled to spin Katrina
E-mails detail effort to ensure feds took blame for slow response

especially since the facts in the story really weren't all that damning. I mean headlines are like advertisements, nobody really takes them seriously, right? Wrong.

A quick glance over at the letters section showed that the top letter was this:

Disaster control seemed secondary to image
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Re: "Blanco's office scrambled to spin Katrina: E-mails detail effort to ensure feds took blame for slow response," Page 1, Dec. 3.

The spin doctors are alive and well on the governor's staff. The memoranda and e-mails after the storm are most revealing of the true importance the governor and her staff place on organizing and managing the aftermath of Katrina.

The actions of her staff, and one would have to think the governor herself, are shameful and will only open this state and its people to more ridicule. To play the political card when dealing with lives and the economic health of the citizens of New Orleans should not be acceptable to any right-thinking individual.

This was not a time for thinking as a Democrat, a Republican or an Independent. Instead, all thought and effort should have been directed at recovery from this storm.

However, we cannot be so naive as to think that the total concern is image and re-election. Once again the governor showed her true colors when she failed to support the reform of the levee boards as proposed by Sen. Walter Boasso.

When the gubernatorial election is held two years hence, one can only hope that the voters of Louisiana will remember Gov. Kathleen Blanco's actions, or lack of them, and grant her the title she so richly deserves -- the former governor of Louisiana.

Like I said, most readers don't see past the headline and opening paragraph. That was followed by this story in yesterday's paper about the delay in evacuation buses reaching the city. Though the text of the story made it look like a combined state and federal snafu:

The understanding, Bromell said, was that the Federal Emergency Management Agency had enough buses on the way, and that the military also would airlift people from the Superdome on Chinook helicopters. His staff for the next several hours instead turned their attention to other matters, such as trying to get generators for emergency centers hit by the storm

The headline read:

Roundup of buses for storm bungled
Blanco documents show staff confusion

I can't wait to see the letters in this weekend papers.

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