Playing politics

Partisans left and right are wasting no time degrading themselves by pointing political blame for Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath.Leftists are attacking on multiple fronts, including

Global warming
President Bush not dropping everything and rushing to New Orleans to personally toss sandbags
The war in Iraq–taking up National Guard resources, diverting Corps of Engineers funds for shoring up the Louisiana coastline, etc.
Rightie bloggers not going 24/7 all Katrina all the time

Some of the things the righties are attacking about include:

The shaky leadership of the Louisiana governor and New Orleans mayorCindy Sheehan (how she relates, I’m not sure)
President Bush’s less-than-forceful response
The lunacy of building a major city on the coast below sea level
The list of leftie attacks shown above

I was going to link to some of this crap, but frankly it doesn’t deserve it.

Note to everybody: IT WAS A FREAKIN’ CATEGORY FOUR HURRICANE! Pull your heads out of your posteriors and get busy doing something helpful for a change, rather than trying to tear down your “enemies.” There’s plenty of time for the blame game–we’ve got a city to save! For crying out loud, we don’t even have any idea how many people have died on the Gulf Coast. Give the partisan B.S. a rest for a while, OK?

Morning Whip, August 31, 2005

Special Hurricane Katrina Recovery edition:

Levee breeches continue to flood New Orleans
Conditions deteriorate at Superdome
New Orleans hospital besieged by looters
U.S. Navy sends ships
NFL Saints head to San Antonio
Blogs Across America relief effort
Mississippi hurricane recovery news
Alabama hurricane recovery news
President Bush to release strategic petroleum reserves

President Bush to release strategic petroleum reserves

MSNBC reports[*1] :

Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman said Wednesday the Bush administration has decided to release oil from federal petroleum reserves to help refiners affected by Hurricane Katrina.

The move, which was expected later in the day, is designed to give refineries a temporary supply of crude oil to take the place of interrupted shipments from tankers or offshore oil platforms affected by the storm.

Alabama hurricane recovery news

Alabama Power says hurricane “worst ever.”[*1]

“Very simply put, it’s bad,” spokeswoman Carrie Kurlander said. “Damage-wise, it’s the biggest storm on record for us.”

Though Hurricane Ivan knocked out power to more homes, 825,000 of them, Katrina was worse for knocking down poles and knocking out some high-voltage transmission lines. Katrina left 636,891 Alabama Power customers statewide without electricity at the peak outage, the second highest number ever seen. The peak in Birmingham was 230,367 customers without power.

Alabama Governor says Dauphin Island hardest hit[*2] .

Gov. Bob Riley flew over the coastal and southwest Alabama areas hardest hit by Katrina, with federal disaster aid in the pipeline. Riley said Dauphin Island was the worst-hit area to his eye.

“Houses have been absolutely demolished,” he said. “A lot of the beach is gone.”

Mississippi hurricane recovery news

Death toll along the Mississippi coast exceeds 100[*1] .

After sharing what he witnessed, he teared up. “It’s hard,” (Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour) said, “but I promise you Mississippi and the rest of the Gulf Coast will recover. It will cost a lot, but we’ll rebuild, and the Coast will be bigger and better than ever.”

Mississippi utilities struggle to restore power.

Utility companies were still scrambling this afternoon to assess damage to power lines, generators and other essential pieces of the state’s electrical grid. Officials from Mississippi Power, which serves nearly 60,000 homes and businesses in the Pine Belt area, said all of its 195,000 customers around the state were without electricity after the storm.
. . .
Other utilities were hit hard as well. By late afternoon, Entergy had nearly 270,000 customers in Mississippi without power — almost 88,000 in the southern part of the state.

Reporters from the Biloxi paper (which is relocating operations to Columbus, GA) are continuing to work via this blog[*2] .

NFL Saints head to San Antonio

The New Orleans Saints will practice in the Alamodome[*1] in San Antonio:

The Saints practiced in San Antonio last year when Hurricane Ivan threatened New Orleans.

The team is still uncertain whether the Superdome will be ready for its home opener against the New York Giants on Sept. 18.

Saints owner Tom Benson’s “second home” is San Antonio.

U.S. Navy sends ships

CNN reports the mobilization of U.S. Navy ships[*1] to assist in the recovery effort. The USS Bataan was allocated a couple of days ago[*2] .

Several other ships, including a rescue and salvage vessel and the USS Iwo Jima, another amphibious assault ship, are on their way from Norfolk, Virginia, the Navy said.

The USNS Comfort, a floating hospital based in Baltimore, Maryland, will depart in coming days. A medical crew from Bethesda Naval Hospital will staff the ship. It has full hospital capabilities, including operating rooms and hundreds of beds.

CNN reports on-air that the carrier USS John F. Kennedy may also be added to the relief effort.