Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Oh yes she did

I was chatting with one of my clients yesterday about the Katrina boondoggle. She very matter-of-factly, in her self-assured display of Republican party line-ism, told me that the reason it took so long for the feds to step in was because Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco didn't ask for help until days after the hurricane hit.

This would have stopped me in my tracks and made me go "hmmmm" if I hadn't just been exercising my civic duty by listening to Randi Rhodes on Air America Radio reading the letter that Blanco sent to both Pres. Bush and the regional director of FEMA on Aug. 28. The day BEFORE Katrina hit Louisiana.

You can read the letter (in PDF format) at the Louisiana Office of the Governor's official site -- go down to the heading "Louisiana Request for Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance."

I did a tiny bit of surfing today and was dismayed to find this misinformation plastered everywhere. From what I can gather, the Washington Post quoted some anonymous Bush administration flunky as saying Blanco didn't do her job. Then they realized their mistake and retracted it, but by that time, it was too late; Repubs everywhere picked it up and ran with it.

Of course, as we all realize now, Ms. Blanco's letter was having a heck of a time being routed to Bush -- he's in Crawford one day, Arizona the next, San Diego the next, then finally reluctantly ending his vacation and back to D.C. Then he had to hunt down somebody to read him the letter.

This independent panel investigating the failure of our various levels of government to communicate? It better goddamn well start at the top. Personal responsibility begins at home -- in this case, our national home for the mentally inept and criminally derelict, aka The White House.

Blanco did her job. It's time for everybody else to step up.


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