Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
A Louisiana lawmaker diverted National Guard resources and held up rescue operations for hours during Hurricane Katrina's aftermath — all so he could retrieve his personal possessions . ABC News reports that six soldiers escorted Democratic Representative William Jefferson to his New Orleans home in a five-ton truck on September 2, pulling up to the front door so the congressman wouldn't get his feet wet.
That led to the truck getting stuck in the mud and troops had to signal a Coast Guard helicopter to rescue Jefferson and his belongings. But Jefferson refused to get in the chopper leaving it hovering overhead for 45 minutes. Guardsmen finally called a second truck to rescue the first one and to carry Jefferson and his belongings to safety.
The Washington Post has corrected a story on September 4 that quoted a White House official as saying Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco had yet to declare a state of emergency five days after Hurricane Katrina made landfall. Blanco made that declaration on August 26, two days before the storm hit the state, leaving some to wonder why no federal troops were dispatched at the time. But in fact, the federal troops were not sent because Blanco had not asked for them, as the law requires.
On the Wednesday after the storm, Blanco was caught on tape telling her press secretary, "I really need to call for the military. I should have started that in the first call."
No Trust from Former Governors
Three former Republican governors of Louisiana are urging President Bush to appoint a regional commission of private citizens to oversee the New Orleans recovery effort because of Louisiana politicians' reputation for corruption.
Mike Foster, who succeeded four-time Democratic governor Edwin Edwards, who finally went to jail in 2001 after repeated indictments on fraud charges, tells the Houston Chronicle that the state's history of shady deals could hold up reconstruction efforts. Foster is joined by Buddy Roemer and David Treen, both of whom served before and after Edwards.
Don't Hold Your Breath
The New York Times still won't correct TV critic Alessandra Stanley's accusation that FOX correspondent Geraldo Rivera "nudged" an Air Force rescuer in Louisiana, despite video evidence to the contrary. But the Times has often corrected Stanley in the past, including one of every seven columns over the last year, and at least 50 corrections in the last 4 years.
In October, Stanley wrongly attributed a comment by FOX contributor Ceci Connolly to Fred Barnes. And in January 2004, after Stanley incorrectly identified the late admiral James Stockdale, the Times wrote, "The admiral ran as an independent in 1992 with Ross Perot, not as a Republican in 1996 with John McCain."
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report