Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Another take on the Bushite screw-ups we call a government

Category: michael chertoff


News of a Very Small World

A tipster writes to clear up all that earlier confusion on what newspaper Michael Chertoff was reading when he saw the headline saying that "New Orleans Dodged a Bullet," and then apparently thought to himself, "Phew, so I won't be coordinating that whole disaster relief thingamee after all. Wonder if there's a matinee show of 'The 40-Year-Old Virgin.' " Over to you, tipster:

Saw your post about Chertoff saying NOLA dodged a bullet...Gen Myers just said the same at the Pentagon briefing, referencing newspaper reports.

It's simple, really. The White House, weary of the malicious falsehoods of the liberal media, now prints its own newspapers. Other sample headlines from last Tuesday's edition: Baghdad Citizens Endorse Constitution and Personal Retirement Accounts"; "Sean Hannity Win Nobel Prize for Literature"; "Clint Black Coldcocks Seymour Hersh"; and "Texas Rangers Win World Series . . . in August."

READ MORE: fake news , iraq , katrina , michael chertoff , richard myers


Chertoff's Reading Habits

On Sunday, DHS chief Michael Chertoff told "Meet the Press's" Tim Russert that one reason for the delay in getting federal aid to Katrina victims was that "everyone" thought the crisis had passed when the storm left: "I remember on Tuesday morning picking up newspapers and I saw headlines, 'New Orleans Dodged The Bullet.'" We're wondering what papers the Chertoff household gets, because these are the headlines that greeted most people Tuesday morning:

The Newseum has over 400 frontpages archived but we suspect that the one with the "New Orleans Dodged The Bullet" hed exists primarily in Chertoff's mind.

Hurricane Katrina [Newseum]
Transcript for September 4; Michael Chertoff, Marc Morial, Mike Tidwell, Mark Fischetti, David Wessel, Haley Barbour & Aaron Broussard [MSNBC]

Thanks to the NewsDesigner for a cleaner frontpage pic!

READ MORE: Media , katrina , lies my government told me , meet the press , michael chertoff , tim russert , top

Daily Briefing -- Katrina: A 'Besieged White House'

• Rove and Bartlett devised plan to shift blame to Louisiana and to ignore Democrats' attacks; many Bush advisors spent weekend at Nicole Devenish's wedding in Greece. Chertoff's talking point: "We will have time to go back and do an after-action report, but the time right now is to look at what the enormous tasks ahead are." [NYT]
• Officials point fingers over failures in Gulf Coast. Nagin: "We're still fighting over authority." Hillary calls for independent commission to analyze response. [NYT, WT]
• "Besieged White House" forced to balance problems on the Gulf Coast, complexity of Supreme Court drama, and ongoing challenges in Iraq. [WP, WT]
• High death toll anticipated. Michael Leavitt: "I think it's evident it's in the thousands." Chertoff: "We need to prepare the country for what's coming." [WP, NYT, LAT]

• Bush to revisit Louisiana today. Doris Kearns Goodwin: "These are the kinds of moments when a president gives voice to the country. They're remembered forever, if it's done right." [NYT]
• Years of budget cuts and bureaucratic shuffling have left FEMA unprepared. Former official: "They've taken emergency management away from the emergency managers. These operations are being run by people who are amateurs at what they are doing." [LAT]
• Howard Kurtz: "For once, reporters were acting like concerned citizens, not passive observers. . . Maybe, just maybe, journalism needs to bring more passion to the table -- and not just when cable shows are obsessing on the latest missing white woman." [WP]

READ MORE: Media , cable news , dan bartlett , doris kearns goodwin , fema , george w. bush , hillary clinton , howard kurtz , karl rove , katrina , louisiana , michael chertoff , michael leavitt , nicole devenish , ray nagin


The Cavalry Didn't Come

She Drowned Friday Night She Drowned Friday NightMeet the Press made for compelling viewing this morning. First, Tim Russert got all feisty and paper-showing to Chertoff, demanding to know why FEMA wasn't more prepared. Chertoff responded by saying that the levee break took them by "surprise," and noted that "Tuesday morning, I opened newspapers and saw headlines that said 'New Orleans dodged the bullet.'" Ah, well, so DHS gets its information from the papers. Good thing they're not looking for WMDs or terrorists or anything.

Then Russert interviewed president of Jefferson Parish, Aaron Broussard. He asked about the experience of getting through the disaster. Video coming. For now, this rough transcript. . .

MR. BROUSSARD: Sir, they were told like me, every single day, "The cavalry's coming," on a federal level, "The cavalry's coming, the cavalry's coming, the cavalry's coming." I have just begun to hear the hoofs of the cavalry. The cavalry's still not here yet, but I've begun to hear the hoofs, and we're almost a week out.


MR. BROUSSARD: I'm telling you most importantly I want to thank my public employees...

MR. RUSSERT: All right.

MR. BROUSSARD: ...that have worked 24/7. They're burned out, the doctors, the nurses. And I want to give you one last story and I'll shut up and let you tell me whatever you want to tell me. The guy who runs this building I'm in, emergency management, he's responsible for everything. His mother was trapped in St. Bernard nursing home and every day she called him and said, "Are you coming, son? Is somebody coming?" And he said, "Yeah, Mama, somebody's coming to get you. Somebody's coming to get you on Tuesday. Somebody's coming to get you on Wednesday. Somebody's coming to get you on Thursday. Somebody's coming to get you on Friday." And she drowned Friday night. She drowned Friday night. . . Nobody's coming to get us. Nobody's coming to get us. The secretary has promised. Everybody's promised. They've had press conferences. I'm sick of the press conferences. For God sakes, shut up and send us somebody.

Video here. Haley Barbour came on afterwards, clean, showered, powdered. Make-up has never made anyone look worse.

Transcript for September 4, Michael Chertoff, Mark Fischetti, Marc Morial, Mike Tidwell and David Wessel [MSNBC]
UPDATES: Transcripts and video also at Think Progress and C&L

READ MORE: Aaron Broussard , jefferson parish , katrina , meet the press , michael chertoff , tim russert , top



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