Brown blames others for failures

Former FEMA director Michael Brown blamed others for most government failures in responding to Hurricane Katrina yesterday, especially Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin. He aggressively defended his own role, yesterday.

Brown also said that in the days before the storm, he expressed his concerns that “this is going to be a bad one” in phone conversations and e-mails with President Bush, White House chief of staff Andy Card and deputy chief of staff Joe Hagin.

He also blames the Department of Homeland Security for not acquiring better equipment ahead of the storm.

His efforts to shift blame drew sharp criticism from Democratic and Republican lawmakers alike.

“I’m happy you left,” said Rep. Christopher Shays, (R-Conn.) “That kind of look in the lights like a deer tells me you weren’t capable of doing that job.”

Rep. Gene Taylor, (D-Miss.), told Brown: “The disconnect was, people thought there was some federal expertise out there. There wasn’t. Not from you.”



City’s police chief resigns after 26 years

Police Superintendent Eddie Compass resigned yesterday after four turbulent weeks in which the police force was wracked by desertions and disorganization in Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath.

“I served this department for 26 years and have taken it through some of the toughest times of its history. Every man in a leadership position must know when it’s time to hand over the reins,” Compass said at a news conference. “I’ll be going on in another direction that God has for me.”

As the city slipped into anarchy during the first few days after Katrina, the 1,700-member police department itself suffered a crisis. Many officers deserted their posts, and some were accused of joining in the looting that broke out. Two officers Compass described as friends committed suicide.

Neither Compass nor Mayor Ray Nagin would say whether Compass was pressured to resign.



Bush travels to Gulf Coast to view damage

President Bush flew over the largely obliterated Louisiana town of Cameron and circled an offshore oil rig yesterday in his first up-close look at the devastation that Hurricane Rita brought to the Gulf Coast’s oil producing and refining communities.

“This area’s hurting,” Bush said before an hour-long helicopter tour over the debris-strewn communities along the Texas-Louisiana border where Rita blew ashore. “I saw firsthand how it’s hurting.”

Bush saw flattened and flooded homes, hundreds of downed trees, extensive roof damage and dozens of stranded and wandering cows. He flew over utility towers that had been knocked over, a Blockbuster video store with windows knocked into the parking lot, a power company worker making repairs and a riverboat washed halfway up onto muddy ground.

It was Buch’s seventh visit to the Gulf in the aftermath of the two hurricanes that brought widespread damage ere in less than a month, but it was his first personal look at the area hit by Rita.



Greenspan: Economy enduring high oil prices

Stocks closed mostly higher yesterday after Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said the economy has weathered the increase in oil prices “reasonably well.

Earlier in the session, stocks fell after consumer confidence hit its lowest point in two years, raising fears that U.S. shoppers might cut their spending and slow the economy.

But Greenspan calmed investors by emphasizing “the incredible resilience of te U.S. economy in terms of flexibility,” said Lynn Reaser, chief economist for the investment strategy group at Bank of America.


– Compiled from Daily wire reports

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