|Good Things From the Sunday Talkers|
--between Chris Wallace and Sen. David Vitter: If I might ask you another question, sir. Was it competent and insulting for the Louisiana Department of Homeland Security — I'm talking about the state, not the feds — to tell the Red Cross and the Salvation Army that they couldn't go into the city in the middle of the first week, when they said they were ready to go; they had the provisions to go; and it was the state that kept them out.
VITTER: Yes, it was, Chris.
--From Tim Russert to Ray Nagin: Why did you not declare, order, a mandatory evacuation on Friday, when the president declared an emergency, and have utilized those buses to get people out?
--same: It was your responsibility. Where was the planning? Where was the preparation? Where was the execution?
--same: Amtrak said they offered to remove people from the city of New Orleans on Saturday night and that the city of New Orleans declined
--same: My interactions with the president is, anytime I talked with him and gave him what the real deal was and gave him the truth, he acted and he made things happen.
MR. RUSSERT: How about the governor?
MAYOR NAGIN: Well, you know, I don't know about that one. We fought and held that city together with only 200 state National Guard. That was it. We did not get a lot of other support for three or four days of pure hell on Earth.
--Bob Shieffer, in signing off: The brave firemen and policemen of New York, the passengers who gave their lives to force down hijacked Flight 93 before it could be crashed into the US Capitol, and so many others showed us that day what true heroism is.
Led by a decisive mayor, New York rescue teams saved countless lives as the untested young president found just the right wordsto rally the nation.
This time it did not happen that way. Local officials all but panicked. Officials at the highest
level were tongue-tied, full of excuses but unable to find the words to give the nation comfort orconfidence. But as the government fumbled, the American people did not. Charities appearedfrom nowhere. People opened their hearts, homes, their schools. `Bring them on,' went outthe cry from Texas to Utah. No, these poor people in shelters are not better off than they wereoff back home, but they will live to see a better day. The government dropped the ball lastweek, but the good and great American people picked it up, as they always do, thank God.
--and, finally--FINALLY!!--Chris Wallace challenging the rhetorical bullying tactics of the Left, to Sen. Landrieu:
LANDRIEU: Now is not the time for finger-pointing. Now is the time to rebuild.
So, I'm asking the White House to stop sending out press releases blaming local and state officials.
WALLACE: But, Senator — I'm sorry. This works better if I get to ask some questions here.
LANDRIEU: I know. That would be fine.
WALLACE: OK, thank you. But you're the one who's done the finger-pointing. You were the one who, on the Senate floor, talked about the federal response being incompetent and insulting to the people of Louisiana. You were the one — if I might — and, I want to ask you, also, because you've also pointed the finger at the Bush administration for failing to spend enough on flood control.
Here's what you said this week on the Senate floor. Let's take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LANDRIEU: They gambled that no one would notice if Louisiana's critical and vital role in our national economy was threatened. And Washington rolled the dice and Louisiana lost.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: But here is what the Washington Post found in an article this week, Senator. And let's put that up on the screen if we can: "The Bush administration's funding requests for the key New Orleans flood-control projects for the past five years were slightly higher than the Clinton Administration's for its past five years."
And, Senator, the article went on to say that Louisiana politicians, in too many cases, were involved in pork, rather than in trying to protect the city of New Orleans. And let's go back to the article. Let's put up another part of it: "For example, after a $194 million deepening project for the Port of Iberia flunked a Corps..." — that's an Army Corps of Engineer — "... cost-benefit analysis, Sen. Mary Landrieu tucked language into an emergency Iraq spending bill ordering the agency to redo its calculations."So, question, Senator: Is it just the president who gambled and lost or, frankly, did a lot of Louisiana politicians, including you?
Like I said, I think the Sunday shows did a reasonable fob. And, more importantly, they may be betraying the tipping point--the complete lack of credibility that the MSM will have if it maintains its crusade against the President in light of many of the facts on the ground.