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The situation with Hurricane Gustav is grave.  I have 20 family members that live in Iberia Parish, Louisiana.  It's ground zero for projected landfall of a storm likely at Cat 4.  I've been in communications with my family and they are preparing accordingly; luckily we live far enough inland to not have to worry about storm surge below 20ft and the winds get knocked down with the abundance of trees.  We've weathered Cat 3 and Cat 4 before and this is another one... One too many, but another.  And they're ready for it.  New Orleans additionally is under threat of flooding on the West Bank.  The track will most likely follow Hurricane Betsy which landed at Cat 3 and killed 76 people in New Orleans as the levees broke in 1965.  If you didn't already know, the NE side of the storm is the worst side of the storm; Katrina passed to the east of New Olreans but the surge still broke the levees.  This time, the positioning is closer to Betsey and there may be flooding; meanwhile down in Iberia and Lafayette Parishes, on the coast, where the storm will really hit, Gov. Jindal has issued mandatory evacuations and there seems to be a good job going on getting the word out.

Which brings me to the point of this diary... This is utter Bullshit.

Likely GOP presidential nominee John McCain and his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, are traveling to Mississippi on Sunday to check on people getting prepared for Hurricane Gustav

Give me a break John McCain.  Mississippi is not under this gun... and your photo opp of concern is a ploy to make up for deficiencies of the Bush administration.  

Aides say McCain and his wife Cindy will join Palin in traveling to Jackson, Miss., Sunday at the invitation of Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour because of concerns about people threatened by the storm, which was heading into the Gulf of Mexico and menacing the same area ravaged by Hurricane Katrina three years ago.

The McCains and Palin will receive a briefing at the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency — a permanent operations center monitoring hurricane response.

Mississippi was dramatically affected by Hurricane Katrina, but this time and this storm, there will be little to no damage to the area.  Likely there will be alot of evacuations to the area as they're sending people north up HWY 49 and HWY 59 to clear out areas south of Baton Rouge.  But this isn't the 'danger zone' so to say.  If McCain were really interested in overseeing evactuations, as Bush should be likewise, they should both fly down to Baton Rouge immediately to ride out the storm (the building is 120 miles from water and build like a fall out shelter) overseeing preparations before during and after the storm.  

I treat this situation similar to a candidate visiting a wounded troops hospital.  We don't need photo ops, we need on hands, on the ground effective management, from the highest levels if possible.   In real time, actual decision making.

If McCain rode out the storm in Baton Rouge providing advise and aid and learning about front line defenses alongside Gov. Jindal in real time, I'd be impressed. But to mosey on down to form RNC Chief Barber's operations in Jackson, where there really aren't any preparations to be taken, well, that's a PHOTO OP of the worst offense.  And to bring the Governor of Alaska is a fucking Joke... what's she going to do? Hunt during the storm???

My family in Louisiana is unimpressed... God Bless them, I hope they'll be safe; I'm in Houston now. Please pray for the people of Coastal Louisiana.  Some will leave, many will not.

Originally posted to Steven R on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 07:29 PM PDT.

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