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Landrieu, Blanco revise history as result of latest storm

Politics took a welcome and needed backseat to performance as Louisiana dealt with Hurricane Gustav. But, unfortunately, only for a short time as the imperatives of historical revisionism got some Democrat females to talking.

Perhaps former Gov. Kathleen Blanco can be forgiven for asserting that the impressive display of implementation put on by the Gov. Bobby Jindal Administration was in part built on changes in emergency response started during her term. The muted credit-grabbing by current officials would have been unlikely to include her and she continues to seek rehabilitation for a reputation that, honestly and regrettably, she deserves for her mishandling of the Hurricane Katrina episode in 2005.

That is so because her reminding neglected to mention anything about “Hurricane Pam” in 2004. Few remember that because it didn’t exist; it was an exercise conducted by governments coordinated by the federal government during Blanco’s first year in office that history subsequently showed eerily paralleled Katrina. While it focused more on the aftermath of a storm, the associated press release also noted some things to be done in anticipation of such a storm with a quote from the Blanco Administration that “[o]ver the next 60 days, we will polish the action plans developed during the Hurricane Pam exercise. We have also determined where to focus our efforts in the future.” If any of this ever was done the next year, it seemed never to have been used or was irrelevant.

A few months later, real-life Hurricane Ivan followed and, while it missed Louisiana, it again could have been a useful test run. Certainly it’s good that Blanco learned from Katrina and set the stage for future administrations to profit from her experiences. But while Jindal seemed to do that, the inconvenient truth is that Blanco (and others) did not learn from the exercise or other prior opportnities given her response to events a little more than a year later, to the detriment of the state.

But it is difficult to forgive Sen. Mary Landrieu’s disingenuous remarks that, aware that work on the levee system in the greater New Orleans area was incomplete, this work should have been commenced three decades ago to have it completely ready by now. Such a remark implies either Landrieu doesn’t know, or refuses to admit, that work was to have started on comprehensive flood control in 1977 – only to be shot down by environmentalists that today often ally with her which delayed the project for years and produced some missing some potentially crucial elements to an overall response.

Regardless, Landrieu has had 12 years in office to have advocated getting things going in this regard. But, prior to 2005, not only did she seem disinterested in the whole issue, she actually worked against it in order to fund pork and boondoggles.

More should have done more expeditiously, and many past and current elected officials share blame. But for Landrieu to lecture others after having been one of these slackers shows just how much integrity she is willing to sacrifice in order to win reelection this fall.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Blanco was on the news talking about how Louisiana could get national guard troops this time because they weren't over fighting in Iraq like during Katrina. Seems with having a surge over there, and stop loss, that there would be less guatdsmen available today. Strange, that.