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FEMA: 65,000 meals to Superdome on August 30

From "The Steady Buildup to a City's Chaos" comes this Sunday, August 28 news:

At the Superdome, city officials reckoned that 9,000 people had arrived by evening to ride out the storm. FEMA had sent seven trailers full of food and water -- enough, it estimated, to supply two days of food for as many as 22,000 people and three days of water for 30,000. Ebbert said he knew conditions in the Superdome would be "horrible," but Hurricane Pam had predicted a massive federal response within two days, and Ebbert said the city's plan was to "hang in there for 48 hours and wait for the cavalry."

Followed by this from Tuesday, August 30:

FEMA managed to deliver 65,000 meals to the Superdome, but by the end of the day, water was rising so fast that the agency was unable to unload five more truckloads of food and water.

"Political Issues Snarled Plans for Military Help After Hurricane"


As New Orleans descended into chaos last week and Louisiana's governor asked for 40,000 soldiers, President Bush's senior advisers debated whether the president should speed the arrival of active-duty troops by seizing control of the hurricane relief mission from the governor.
For reasons of practicality and politics, officials at the Justice Department and the Pentagon, and then at the White House, decided not to urge Mr. Bush to take command of the effort. Instead, the Washington officials decided to rely on the growing number of National Guard personnel flowing into Louisiana, who were under Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco's control.
The debate began after officials realized that Hurricane Katrina had exposed a critical flaw in the national disaster response plans created after the Sept. 11 attacks. According to the administration's senior domestic security officials, the plan failed to recognize that local police, fire and medical personnel might be incapacitated.

Hmmm... I know there's been a great deal of concern about what happens to the first responders and the local help in case of a terrorist attack, so I have a great deal of trouble believing that anyone could not consider that possibility in case of a natural disaster. See point #2 in the National Response Plan: "the resources of State and local authorities are overwhelmed and Federal assistance has been requested".

As criticism of the response to Hurricane Katrina has mounted, one of the most pointed questions has been why more troops were not available more quickly to restore order and offer aid. Interviews with officials in Washington and Louisiana show that as the situation grew worse, they were wrangling with questions of federal/state authority, weighing the realities of military logistics and perhaps talking past each other in the crisis.
To seize control of the mission, Mr. Bush would have had to invoke the Insurrection Act, which allows the president in times of unrest to command active-duty forces into the states to perform law enforcement duties. But decision makers in Washington felt certain that Ms. Blanco would have resisted surrendering control, as Bush administration officials believe would have been required to deploy active-duty combat forces before law and order had been re-established.
While combat troops can conduct relief missions without the legal authority of the Insurrection Act, Pentagon and military officials say that no active-duty forces could have been sent into the chaos of New Orleans on Wednesday or Thursday without confronting law-and-order challenges.
But just as important to the administration [was the politics of it: male Bush seizing control from female Blanco, etc.]...
...In the discussions in Washington, also at issue was whether active-duty troops could respond faster and in larger numbers than the Guard.
By last Wednesday, Pentagon officials said even the 82nd Airborne, which has a brigade on standby to move out within 18 hours, could not arrive any faster than 7,000 National Guard troops, which are specially trained and equipped for civilian law enforcement duties.
In the end, the flow of thousands of National Guard soldiers, especially military police, was accelerated from other states.
"I was there. I saw what needed to be done," Lt. Gen. H Steven Blum, chief of the National Guard Bureau, said in an interview. "They were the fastest, best-capable, most appropriate force to get there in the time allowed. And that's what it's all about."
But one senior Army officer expressed puzzlement that active-duty troops were not summoned sooner, saying 82nd Airborne troops were ready to move out from Fort Bragg, N.C., on Sunday [Aug. 28], the day before the hurricane hit.
The call never came, administration officials said, in part because military officials believed Guard troops would get to the stricken region faster and because administration civilians worried that there could be political fallout if federal troops were forced to shoot looters.
Louisiana officials were furious that there was not more of a show of force, in terms of relief supplies and troops, from the federal government in the middle of last week. As the water was rising in New Orleans, the governor repeatedly questioned whether Washington had started its promised surge of federal resources.
"We needed equipment," Ms. Blanco said in an interview. "Helicopters. We got isolated."
Aides to Ms. Blanco said she was prepared to accept the deployment of active-duty military officials in her state. But she and other state officials balked at giving up control of the Guard as Justice Department officials said would have been required by the Insurrection Act if those combat troops were to be sent in before order was restored.
In a separate discussion last weekend, the governor also rejected a more modest proposal for a hybrid command structure in which both the Guard and active-duty troops would be under the command of an active-duty, three-star general - but only after he had been sworn into the Louisiana National Guard.

Huffington Post blog coverage, Part 1

As of Sunday, August 28, the blog side of HP hadn't mentioned the hurricane: there's nothing in Arianna's wrapup nor in that from Richard Valeriani.
On Monday, August 29, the very first mention of the hurricane seems to be in Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s "For They That Sow the Wind Shall Reap the Whirlwind". From the current version; note the update at the end:

As Hurricane Katrina dismantles Mississippi's Gulf Coast, it's worth recalling the central role that Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour played in derailing the Kyoto Protocol and kiboshing President Bush's iron-clad campaign promise to regulate CO2...
...Now we are all learning what it's like to reap the whirlwind of fossil fuel dependence which Barbour and his cronies have encouraged. Our destructive addiction has given us a catastrophic war in the Middle East and--now--Katrina is giving our nation a glimpse of the climate chaos we are bequeathing our children.
In 1998, Republican icon Pat Robertson warned that hurricanes were likely to hit communities that offended God. Perhaps it was Barbour's memo that caused Katrina, at the last moment, to spare New Orleans and save its worst flailings for the Mississippi coast. [UPDATE: Alas, the reprieve for New Orleans was only temporary. But Haley Barbour still has much to answer for.]

Hopefully someone else can provide a summary of the response to RFK Jr.'s post.
This lack of initial coverage at the HP is despite one of their contributors, Harry Shearer, being a resident of New Orleans. Later that day, he weighed in with "Katrina and the Waves of Fear":

As an adopted New Orleanian, I sat glued to the news channels as the only way of knowing what was happening to my residence, my friends, and my favorite city. Thankfully, nature was kinder to New Orleans than the news channels, particularly Fox. At approximately 7:50 am PDT Monday, an offscreen Fox anchor declared that one of New Orleans' levees had been breached.
Had New Orleans' levee system failed, that presaged very serious flooding for the city.
However, just ten minutes earlier on CNN, a FEMA official stated plainly that the levee system appeared to be holding, and several hours later this Reuters report pinpointed the only levee break as occurring in St. Bernard Parish, which is not New Orleans... [...reporters get locations wrong...]
...But, scaring out of towners about damage to a part of New Orleans they've heard of (no breasts are bared in the CBD, after all) was a higher priority for much of the past two days for the news channels, though MSNBC played it straighter most of the time...

A commenter calls him on his blase coverage, and at 8/30 11:32AM he responds in the comments:

...I had the opportunity to take a "virtual car trip" around much of NO on MOnday, seeing raw tape footage of the city, so I know, as of Monday afternoon, that much of the high ground--the Quarter, certain other areas, had window, sign, sheet metal damage, but no serious flooding. What's breached now, according to a Corps of Engineer spokesman on npr, is a water wall along the 17th St. canal, not a levee. Reporting potential disasters before they happen is not news, it's fear mongering...

A couple hours later, a commenter adds:

Mr. Shearer, CNN and FNC are reporting 80% of the city is under water and the level is rising. (Of course this may just be a ratings stunt.) If you take any actual (rather than virtual) tours for the next few days (or maybe weeks) I would suggest it be a boat tour not a auto tour...

Another commenter mentions HAARP after that comment; note that the first Bush-bashing in those comments appears to have started on 8/30 in the morning.
On August 31, a commenter adds:

I must defend Harry on this one. Everyone got this one wrong. Even today, TUESDAY! I cannot believe the lack of coverage and consistency. Sure, they had the pictures of rescues and damage. That's fine. But I cannot believe they will not really discuss the end of New Orleans. At least the end of New Orleans for a really long time.

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