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RUSH: I don’t know how to read this. The headline that is basically associated with the story is this: “Blanco: Body recovery taking too long.” Or you could say, “Blanco: Find those bodies!” Now, in the context of, hey, the death toll is way below what everybody said it was going to be, is she saying find those bodies, get that death toll up, or is she saying find those bodies, remove them, and get them out of here? There’s another argument with FEMA over this. We have a little montage of Governor Blanco last night, she held a press conference. We have a montage of her comments about who’s responsible for the slow removal and recovery of bodies.
BLANCO: No one, it seems, even those at the highest level, seems to be able to break through the bureaucracy to get this important mission done. While the recovery of bodies is a FEMA responsibility, I cannot stand by while this vital operation is not being handled appropriately. In death as in life, our people deserve more respect than they have received.
RUSH: This is blatantly — she’s even politicizing bodies now so we went and looked this up, and I have here a story from, of all places, the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “Blanco, FEMA, Clash on Recovery.” The story talks about what you just heard her say, but the money paragraph here is this. “However, FEMA spokesman, David Passey said the state asked to take over body recovery last week. Passey said, ‘He didn’t understand the governor’s remarks at all.'”
BREAK TRANSCRIPT


Now, I want to go back to Kathleen Blanco. I want to close the loop on this whole business because here you have this hapless governor who was worthless, once again trying to pass the buck on more local inefficiency and incompetence, this time in the nature of the area of the removal of dead bodies. Again, here’s a montage from a press conference that she gave last night where she’s complaining about this.
BLANCO: No one, it seems, even those at the highest level, seems to be able to break through the bureaucracy to get this important mission done. While the recovery of bodies is a FEMA responsibility, I cannot stand by while this vital operation is not being handled appropriately. In death as in life, our people deserve more respect than they have received.
So, see, it’s again about “Nobody cares about these people. They are poor or they’re black.” All that is implied not stated. “The spokesman for FEMA, David Passey, said the state of Louisiana asked to take over body recovery last week. Passey said he didn’t understand the governor’s remarks at all because the collection of bodies is not normally a FEMA responsibility.” Now, we have the Shreveport Times, a newspaper here, and it has more details on who’s recovering the bodies. “Unwilling to wait on federal officials, state officials will contract directly with the company in charge of removing bodies from hurricane-ravaged southeast Louisiana, Gov. Kathleen Blanco said Tuesday. Blanco said she recently spoke with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and administration officials ‘to convey my frustration regarding the lack of urgency and lack of respect involving the recovery of our people whose lives were lost as a result of Hurricane Katrina.’ State officials initially said they would oversee recovering the bodies of people killed by Hurricane Katrina or the subsequent flooding, but last week the state asked FEMA to help. FEMA then entered into a verbal agreement with Kenyon International Emergency Services Inc., based in Houston. But talks have stalled between FEMA and Kenyon over terms for a written contract… It wasn’t clear Tuesday why contract talks between Kenyon and FEMA broke down. Officials at Kenyon did not return phone calls. David Passey, FEMA’s spokesman in Baton Rouge, said Kenyon officials, ‘for their own reasons, which I don’t know, chose not to sign a contract with FEMA.'”
So the firm didn’t sign the contract with FEMA so Blanco apparently blames the administration, said they’d run the operation first, but it doesn’t appear to be that that is the case at all in this. So once again, it’s apparently clear here that the state said we’re taking this over last week, and collection of bodies is not normally a FEMA responsibility. So once again I think you have this hapless governor trying to pass the buck, tugging the same old heart strings that have been tugged throughout the aftermath.
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