Chris Floyd settles the matter:
Look, it’s really very simple. On Saturday, August 27, 2005 two days before Hurricane Katrina made landfall President George W. Bush assumed responsibility for the coordination of “all disaster relief efforts” in the State of Louisiana. This is the specific, undisputed language of Bush’s declaration of a State of Emergency, issued that day by the White House, and still available for viewing on the White House website. The responsibility for coordinating all disaster relief efforts in New Orleans clearly rested with the White House. Despite all the post-disaster spin by the Bush Faction and its sycophants, despite all the earnest media analyses, the lines of authority are clear and indisputable. Here is the voice of George W. Bush himself, in the proclamation issued in his name, over his signature on Saturday, August 27, 2005:
“The President today declared an emergency exists in the State of Louisiana and ordered Federal aid to supplement state and local response efforts in the parishes located in the path of Hurricane Katrina beginning on August 26, 2005, and continuing. The President’s action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures”
Bush goes on to say: “Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency.”
(Here’s the White House link.)
…or maybe not. Reader Brian L., among others, notices an oddity:
Note the salient text:
“The President’s action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts…in the parishes of Allen, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Caldwell, Claiborne, Catahoula, Concordia, De Soto, East Baton Rouge, East Carroll, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Franklin, Grant, Jackson, LaSalle, Lincoln, Livingston, Madison, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Pointe Coupee, Ouachita, Rapides,
Red River, Richland, Sabine, St. Helena, St. Landry, Tensas, Union, Vernon, Webster, West Carroll, West Feliciana, and Winn.”
Conspicuous by their absence are Orleans, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, Plaquemines, Jefferson and basically every coastal parish, and the next parishes closest to the coast. So then, let me understand this: Team Bush saw by 26 August that Katrina would be sufficiently dangerous to warrant a preemptive disaster declaration for what looks like about 65-70% of the land area of Lousiana, and he declares it for the _landlocked_ parishes?
…Chris follows up here.