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Thursday, February 23, 2006



The White House is set today to release its own findings on the flawed government response to Hurricane Katrina, this coming in the wake of the scathing indictment of the Bush administration's disaster relief performance issued last week by congress.

Hairshirt has obtained a copy of the White House report, from which come the following excerpts.

On the federal government's failure to prepare in advance for a levee breach that had been predicted for years by climatologists: "[Blame] for this lack of preparation has to fall squarely on the climate. If Louisiana hadn't insisted on being so damp, this would have been a non-issue."

On the administration's failure to react to the initial reports of flooding: "See, really, it's a matter of semantics. When someone says, 'flooding', you can never be sure if it's just like a little bit of water leaking into the basement or if it's a real gully-washer. They should've come up with a more specific description, like, 'there're massive fucking shitloads of water about to run into New Orleans; like more water than Kissinger has genital warts', That would've really gotten the message across."

On FEMA director Michael Brown's admission that he was unaware of flood victims being housed in the Superdome: "Michael's just not a football fan. When they said 'Superdome', he was thinking 'Thunderdome' and was just confused about why they'd be talking about Tina Turner during a disaster. They should've used a more common frame of reference. They could've referred to it as 'that place where the pony show was last year'."

On the heavy-handed response to looting that included orders to "shoot to kill" people who were simply trying to find food: "If you let people get away with taking Twinkies and potato chips, the next thing you know, they're stealing Hummers. We can not let just anyone drive around in a Hummer, or it loses all its cache."

On the lack of communication between FEMA and other agencies involved in the relief effort: "They'd just gotten new cell phones and they hadn't gotten the new numbers programmed in yet, so...y'know."

On the unavailability of National Guard troops in Iraq who normally would have been available to help in evacuation/rescue operations: "Oh, come on. The National Guard's a joke. Look at the shitty job they've been doing in Iraq. You think they would've been any help whatsoever after the flood? Wait, are you actually typing that?"

On President Bush's ham-handed initial comments, such as "You're doing a heck of a job, Brownie" : "The President has an incredibly dry wit. The press just didn't' understand that the President was being ironic. That was actually the harshest dressing down I've ever seen someone receive in public. I cringed."

On the mishandling of relief money, such as when prepaid debit cards issued to some victims before the program was hastily discontinued: "Yeah, we blame MasterCard for that one."

On displaced hurricane victims still without permanent homes: "Whoopsie!"

So as you can see, the botched response was entirely someone else's fault. The full report will be issued today under the title, I'm Rubber, You're Glue; Whatever You Say Bounces Off Me and Sticks to You.