Why does the president even bother with having a staff? Evidently, he doesn’t read anything they send him. At least nothing that doesn’t have a campaign contribution attached to it.
The latest evidence is a story in this morning’s Post which tells of a report sent to the White House situation room (that’s the really dark set with all the screens on the West Wing) as hurricane Katrina was bearing down on New Orleans.
The NISAC paper warned that a storm of Katrina’s size would “likely lead to severe flooding and/or levee breaching” and specifically noted the potential for levee failures along Lake Pontchartrain. It predicted economic losses in the tens of billions of dollars, including damage to public utilities and industry that would take years to fully repair. Initial response and rescue operations would be hampered by disruption of telecommunications networks and the loss of power to fire, police and emergency workers, it said.
The written document was accompanied by a slide show (good old PowerPoint) which “accurately predicted the collapse of floodwalls along New Orleans’s Lake Pontchartrain shoreline”.
But that’s not the way W read it (or didn’t read it). A few days later on one of the morning shows he said “I don’t think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees. They did anticipate a serious storm.”
Isn’t anyone paying attention?