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Many Evacuated, but Thousands Still Waiting
The Washington Post ^ | September 4, 2005 | Manuel Roig-Franzia and Spencer Hsu

Posted on 09/03/2005 11:16:20 PM PDT by tbeatty

Behind the scenes, a power struggle emerged, as federal officials tried to wrest authority from Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco (D). 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.

The 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. Some officials in the state suspected a political motive behind the request. "Quite frankly, if they'd been able to pull off taking it away from the locals, they then could have blamed everything on the locals," said the source, who does not have the authority to speak publicly.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: blanco; katrina
Isn't it clear that the Feds are the only organization large enough to handle this? How come the locals are blaming Bush but at the same time hindering his efforts to address the problem? The MSM needs to do a much better job at reporting the local foot dragging. Louisiana did everything different than what the Feds wanted and they lost their largest city because of it. It's bad in Mississippi and Alabama but manageable. Louisiana may never recover and tens of thousands have lost their lives so the Governor can save face. Pathetic.
1 posted on 09/03/2005 11:16:20 PM PDT by tbeatty
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To: tbeatty

Right. So if the federal gov., does not get the power, than the state can only blame themselves for the chaos. but they continue to blame W.


3 posted on 09/03/2005 11:19:43 PM PDT by rineaux (hardcore)
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To: Admin Moderator

CLEAN UP #2


4 posted on 09/03/2005 11:20:19 PM PDT by NewLand (Posting against liberalism since the 20th century!)
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To: TruckerMO7

welcome Jesse Jackson.


5 posted on 09/03/2005 11:20:34 PM PDT by rineaux (hardcore)
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To: Admin Moderator

Gosh y'all have had your hands full today, and I applaud your quickness on the clean up aisles.

Kudos to our Mods Bump!


7 posted on 09/03/2005 11:22:25 PM PDT by sockmonkey
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To: technomage
Sorry MOD, should not have italicized the whole comment.

Please adjust or remove.

8 posted on 09/03/2005 11:22:53 PM PDT by technomage
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To: technomage

Feds need to get the power, particularly because of the $100 Nillion that's coming that way. Do you want the likes of Mayor Nagin or Governor Busless handling your hard earned money?


9 posted on 09/03/2005 11:26:22 PM PDT by RTINSC
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To: tbeatty

I bet these would have come in handy.

10 posted on 09/03/2005 11:27:16 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: technomage

um, you did bad... =o)


11 posted on 09/03/2005 11:27:51 PM PDT by GeronL (Leftism is the Cult of the Artificial)
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To: tbeatty

'Quite frankly, if they'd been able to pull off taking it away from the locals, they then could have blamed everything on the locals," said the source, who does not have the authority to speak publicly"

Surely they misheard this quote..It makes absolutely no sense..

Perhaps someone can translate?


12 posted on 09/03/2005 11:28:40 PM PDT by MEG33 (GOD BLESS OUR ARMED FORCES)
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To: technomage
I'm glad I got in early enough to see the comment. Mods are great at cutting the cr*p in the aisles, but on occasion it's a good reminder just how rotten the libs really are.

Nam Vet

13 posted on 09/03/2005 11:29:13 PM PDT by Nam Vet (There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works.)
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To: tbeatty
Oh, boy, stand back and watch the states rights crowd stomp all over this like fire on a cheap rug.

Its Clear this governor has had her chance, and is now in the way, incapable of making a decision, and hopelessly over her head.

That the Feds are not asking the same of Mississippi (another Democratic run state) is eveidence enough that the fed takeover is not a plan to embarrass but to save lives. Nor is it a power grab or a slap at states rights.

With thousands still un-reached by the disaster relief, this democrat is going to insist they be allowed to die just to preserver her pride. /Dons flameproof suit....

14 posted on 09/03/2005 11:31:57 PM PDT by konaice
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To: MEG33

It's simple. They are afraid that feds will say before they took control on Friday, it was a local problem and they bungled it. If there is a clear transfer of power on a certain date, that becomes the demarkation of blame. Clearly things were much better on Friday and Saturday then they were on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Governor is afraid that if it looks like she was in control on the bad days, she will get blamed. The truth that she WAS in control is secondary to being blamed for it.

What she should have been worried about is establishing central control and saving the lives of the Citizens of New Orleans. Instead she's worried about blame. It's pathetic.


15 posted on 09/03/2005 11:33:45 PM PDT by tbeatty (I didn't claw my way to the top of the food chain to eat salad.)
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To: tbeatty
wrest authority from

Give me a break. How about have ONE CHIEF and the rest Indians. The way it has been NO ONE knew who was supposed to do what.

16 posted on 09/03/2005 11:36:29 PM PDT by kcvl
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To: tbeatty

Thank you..


17 posted on 09/03/2005 11:39:25 PM PDT by MEG33 (GOD BLESS OUR ARMED FORCES)
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To: tbeatty
Louisiana did not reach out to a multi-state mutual aid compact for assistance until Wednesday, three state and federal officials said. As of Saturday, Blanco still had not declared a state of emergency, the senior Bush official said.
18 posted on 09/03/2005 11:39:42 PM PDT by konaice
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To: tbeatty
They are afraid that feds will say before they took control on Friday, it was a local problem and they bungled it.

You are correct, and the Feds would be absolutely correct to say this.

See post #18. Until Saturday the Governor STILL refused to declare an emergency.

As for your assertion that things were better of Friday, I'm not so sure that's true. The situation was spiraling out of control till the troops rolled into town LATE friday after being called for ONLY on Wednesday (post 18).

I would like to think my Governor would call for help the minute the leve broke. I would like to think my Governor would make a Mandatory evacuation really MANDATORY when it was clear a Cat5 was two days away.

19 posted on 09/03/2005 11:58:31 PM PDT by konaice
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To: tbeatty
As of Saturday, Blanco still had not declared a state of emergency, the senior Bush official said. "The federal government stands ready to work with state and local officials to secure New Orleans and the state of Louisiana," White House spokesman Dan Bartlett said. "The president will not let any form of bureaucracy get in the way of protecting the citizens of Louisiana." Blanco made two moves Saturday that protected her independence from the federal government: She created a philanthropic fund for the state's victims and hired James Lee Witt, Federal Emergency Management Agency director in the Clinton administration, to advise her on the relief effort.

Sounds like one or both sides is heading for the political tall grass instead of taking control of the situation. Everything was so politicized so early on that it hindered operations from the start of the crisis. But you'd think a state of emergency would have been declared by now. What will James Lee Witt do as soon as he moves into his new office? Act as her defense council or campaign advisor?
20 posted on 09/04/2005 12:00:48 AM PDT by dr_who_2
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Comment #21 Removed by Moderator

To: dr_who_2

Don't sell Blanco short.

She's at the apex of what is reportedly the dirtiest government in the US.

Don't buy the bumbling idiot routine, it mathematically must be a sham.

I see cunning and guile and maneuver going on here, a scheme coming clearer with every new article I read.

Who bungled the plan, after it failed every pre-storm test?

Who spent levee maintenence money everywhere but the levees?

Who let the police cars and school buses slide under the water without a finger lifted to save them?

Does the definition of "corrupt" mean " regular contact with criminals?"

Do criminals head large drug distribution networks?

Who is shooting at the rescue boats and helos?

Who was claiming that they had "complete control" over New Orleans for two days, while the police stations and hospitals were being overrun by the junkies?

Who then, at the last minute before the convoys reached the city, reversed their course 180 degrees, and began screaming that Bush was too slow?

Why is the Mayor calling out Bush on TV one night, shaking his hand the next day, then saying that Bush and the CIA are trying to kill him that evening?

Is he shopping for the highest bid?

Who is lining up ally after ally, using storm money to pay them, figures of national political importance, from both sides of the aisle?

Why are these people even interested in a drowned stinking hell hole, stained with the blood of virgins?

Could it be the hundred billion dollars it's going to take to rebuild the City?

Damn straight it can be.

Something stinks in New Orleans, and it isn't dead Americans.

It's the people who want to feed off of them.


22 posted on 09/04/2005 12:32:25 AM PDT by jeffers
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To: konaice

Haley Barbour is the GOVERNOR of Mississippi and a Conservative Republican.


23 posted on 09/04/2005 12:36:43 AM PDT by nopardons
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To: tbeatty
"State officials had planned to turn to neighboring states for help with troops, transportation and equipment in a major hurricane. But in Katrina's case, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida were also overwhelmed, said Denise Bottcher, a Blanco spokesman."

According to my map, Texas and Arkansas also border on Louisiana!

24 posted on 09/04/2005 12:40:03 AM PDT by F-117A
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To: tbeatty
Knowing she was in trouble Blank-o hired the Clinton FEMA guy thus adding another layer between her and the Federal Government.
25 posted on 09/04/2005 12:57:02 AM PDT by Mike Darancette (Mesocons for Rice '08)
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To: Mike Darancette

She left out some information about Mr. Witt when she introduced him today:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1476911/posts


26 posted on 09/04/2005 12:58:06 AM PDT by Howlin (Have you check in on this thread: FYI: Hurricane Katrina Freeper SIGN IN Thread)
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To: Howlin
Mr. Witt is just someone else who wants to grease his chin on the dead carcass of NO. Witt is not an elected official, I'm not shure whether FEMA has to talk to him.
27 posted on 09/04/2005 1:41:42 AM PDT by Mike Darancette (Mesocons for Rice '08)
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To: Mike Darancette

Well hasn't Blanco already demanded that Bush make room in the Cabinet for him?


28 posted on 09/04/2005 2:03:03 AM PDT by ponygirl (http://morningjava.blogspot.com)
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To: Wolfgang_Blitzkrieg

You forgot something.

The earthquake swarm near San Diego.

The "fault" is Bush's fault.


29 posted on 09/04/2005 3:51:24 AM PDT by dawn53
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To: tbeatty
Here is what I have:

Today is Sunday, September 4, 2005
Press Release
Date: 8/27/2005
Contact:Denise Bottcher or Roderick Hawkins at 225-342-9037

Governor Blanco asks President to Declare an Emergency for the State of Louisiana due to Hurricane Katrina

BATON ROUGE—Today Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco forwarded a letter to President Bush requesting that he declare an emergency for the State of Louisiana due to Hurricane Katrina. The full text of the letter follows:

August 27, 2005

The President
The White House
Washington, D. C.

Through:
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: • Department of Social Services (DSS): Opening (3) Special Need Shelters (SNS) and establishing (3) on Standby. • Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH): Opening (3) Shelters and establishing (3) on Standby. • Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (OHSEP): Providing generators and support staff for SNS and Public Shelters. • Louisiana State Police (LSP): Providing support for the phased evacuation of the coastal areas. • Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (WLF): Supporting the evacuation of the affected population and preparing for Search and Rescue Missions.

Mr. President
Page Two
August 27, 2005

• Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD): Coordinating traffic flow and management of the evacuations routes with local officials and the State of Mississippi.

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: • FEMA ERT-A Team en-route.

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.

Sincerely,

Kathleen Babineaux Blanco
Governor
Enclosure

30 posted on 09/04/2005 11:29:04 AM PDT by yoe
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To: dfwgator

31 posted on 09/04/2005 11:30:50 AM PDT by ChadGore (VISUALIZE 62,041,268 Bush fans.)
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To: yoe

Has anyone heard anything about Mr. Art Jones???? Where the hell is he?


32 posted on 09/04/2005 8:57:35 PM PDT by tbeatty (I didn't claw my way to the top of the food chain to eat salad.)
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To: tbeatty
Louisiana did not reach out to a multi-state mutual aid compact for assistance until Wednesday, three state and federal officials said. As of Saturday, Blanco still had not declared a state of emergency, the senior Bush official said.

Blanco did not want to give up her "power" to the Feds. Her only plan was: State officials had planned to turn to neighboring states for help with troops, transportation and equipment in a major hurricane. But in Katrina's case, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida were also overwhelmed, said Denise Bottcher, a Blanco spokesman

New Orleans City Council President Oliver Thomas acknowledged that the city was surprised by the number of refugees left behind, but he said FEMA should have been prepared to assist.*********FEMA was there once they could get into the stricken areas while batteling the beginning of anarchy.....It just boggles the mind at how childish these supposed leaders are. Incompetence 101!

Blanco made two moves Saturday that protected her independence from the federal government: She created a philanthropic fund for the state's victims and hired James Lee Witt, Federal Emergency Management Agency director in the Clinton administration, to advise her on the relief effort.

Meanwhile back at the WH:
Bush, who has been criticized, even by supporters, for the delayed response to the disaster, used his weekly radio address to put responsibility for the failure on lower levels of government. The magnitude of the crisis "has created tremendous problems that have strained state and local capabilities," he said. "The result is that many of our citizens simply are not getting the help they need, especially in New Orleans. And that is unacceptable."

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said one reason federal assets were not used more quickly was "because our constitutional system really places the primary authority in each state with the governor."

When the President got a good look at what was going on in New Orleans, and I don't mean the Hurricane, he said this - "The result is that many of our citizens simply are not getting the help they need, especially in New Orleans. And that is unacceptable." - I do believe it was at this point the Governor was gently pushed aside so the grown ups could take over. It is not at all clear to me what Blanco thought setting up a "philanthropic fund for the state's victims" at that stage when she still had not DECLARED A STATE OF EMERGENCY"

33 posted on 09/05/2005 6:55:14 AM PDT by yoe
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