The SanityPrompt

This blog represents some small and occasional efforts to add a note of sanity to discussions of politics and policy. This blog best viewed with Internet Explorer @ 1024x768

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Harry Shearer Finds Something Not So Funny

Don't ever say Michael Brown can't ever get prepared for anything. When it comes to saving his own professional skin, he seems quite adept at inventing whatever falsehoods will suit his cover well in advance. In sworn testimony before Congress yesterday Brown first alleged that evacuation orders from the Governor only came right before the storm hit, when they were plainly made on August 27th. Then he alleged that this apparent screw up highlighted earlier here on this blog of omitting the most ravaged communities from the President's disatster declaration was actually the state's fault.

Harry Shearer: Brownie: Still a Heck of a Job The Huffington Post

Brown's unequivocal testimony that in Governor Blanco's proclamation of a state of emergency, she omitted Orleans, Plaquemine, and Jefferson parishes.

BUYER: I would like to ask some questions about the pre- landfall.

So I'd like to know why did the president's federal emergency assistance declaration of August 27th not include the parishes of Orleans, Jefferson and Plaquemines?

BROWN: Under the law, the governor makes the request for the declaration and the governors of the states specify what areas, what counties they want included in that declaration.

And, based upon the governor's request, that's the recommendation that we make to the president. So if a governor does not request a particular county or a particular parish, that's not included in the request.

BUYER: All right.

Orleans Parish is New Orleans. I was listening to my colleague, Mr. Jefferson's, questions about when they talked about, you know, they asked for this assistance for three days and then president responded the very next day, not the day that it was made -- the request -- but the governor of Louisiana actually excluded New Orleans from the president's federal emergency assistance declaration?

BROWN: Again, Congressman, we looked at the request. The governors make the request by...

BUYER: Let me ask this. Since you went through the exercise in Pam, was that not shocking to you that the governor would excluded New Orleans from the declaration?

BROWN: Yes.

Pretty shocking indeed. The liberal site Think Progress reacted to its shock by digging up Gov. Blanco's request to the President for the Emergency declaration:
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.

This is the kind of fact-checking major media should be able to do with one hand cut off by budget restrictions. How many caught Mike Brown in this act of apparently premeditated prevarication?


The man is either blatantly lying to Congress (still a felony I believe) or is more poorly informed about the realities of the Hurricane than previously revealed -- in which case he was rightly removed from his post -- albeit too late to save hundreds.

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