Snopes says this claim is false:
New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin created a phantom force of 700 "virtual policemen."
Actually, that's only partially false:
Are hurricane evacuees spreading crime to the cities to which they've been evacuated, including committing felonies, bringing drugs, and forming gangs? Snopes examines a chain letter, and says it's not so.
Please put other examples relating to both the claim and attempts to downplay it in the comments.
Shocking! But false.
UPDATE: A 274 post DUmmie weighs in with "Concerned - People need to know: "Bush's fishing" photo a fake":
I'm no friend of the Bush's, but I'm a stickler for truth and accurracy.
I've been seeing the infamous photo of Bush Sr/Jr holding up a just-caught fish in the flooded streets of N.O.
...just about everywhere (even receiving it via e-mail) without any clarification/attribution that the photo is a Photoshopped fake.
Funny, but fake. I think a lot of people using it think it's real.
I'm a stickler for accurracy two, but I'm sure most people, or at least most non-DUmmies, are aware it's a fake.
Snopes says this is false:
New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin and Louisiana governor Kathleen Blanco refused President Bush's pleas to declare an emergency in Louisiana before Hurricane Katrina struck.
The timeline they provide... isn't in temporal order, so I've corrected the below (assuming they have their facts correct that is):
- On Friday (26 August), Governor Blanco did indeed declare a state of emergency for the state of Louisiana in advance of Katrina's making landfall in the Gulf Coast.
- On Saturday (27 August), Governor Blanco asked President Bush to declare a state of emergency at the federal level for the state of Louisiana.
- The White House responded to Governor Blanco's request that same day (Saturday) by declaring the emergency and authorizing FEMA "to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency."
- According to the St. Petersberg Times, Max Mayfield of the National Hurricane Center contacted government officials in Louisiana and Mississippi on Saturday night (27 August), not Friday night. [he apparently requested a mandatory evacuation due to Katrina's strength]
- According to the New Orleans Time-Picayune, President Bush's first communication with Louisiana governor Kathleen Blanco occurred on Sunday morning (August 28), just before a 9:30 AM press conference called by Governor Blanco and Mayor Nagin to announce the latter's mandatory evacuation order for New Orleans.
They have links at their page, so feel free to put any corrections or additional information in the comments.
9/19/05 UPDATE: Unfortunately, I didn't save off Snopes' page when I posted this, since it seems to have changed.
The current version has this as the assertion:
Louisiana governor Kathleen Blanco refused President Bush's pleas to declare an emergency before Hurricane Katrina struck.
Note that Nagin has been removed from what's above. And, note that the file was originally called "nagin.asp" but now it's "blanco.asp." They also appear to have added some text to the end.
There are copies of the original version here and here if anyone would care to do a diff. Note that the current version says its mod date is 9/9, but the first has a 9/8 mod date at the end of the excerpt.
By now you've already seen the well-known image of the flooded schoolbuses. A copy can be found in this Snopes entry. Here's a picture of a (different?) yard:
On August 30, Yahoo News printed two photos of people wading through water: the first of a black man with a garbage bag full of stuff he obtained by "looting", and the second of a white couple with bread and soda that they obtained by "finding" those items.
This trivial difference was immediately seized upon by the left as proof of racism.
From Van Jones: "This is the kind of shameful bias that keeps the country divided, even during awful tragedies like this."
From Byron Williams: "The journalistic double standard is so obvious it does not warrant comment, but there is something more important than the apparent racism."
Snopes has demolished the claim of racism by printing the comments of the photographers involved.
Links to other sites that showed these pictures will be provided later.