The Note: Ten Minutes from the New New Normal

Mrs. Cheney did quite well on the talking points when being interview live by FOX's Shepard Smith. However, when Smith started pressing Mrs. Cheney on political questions about Rep. Pelosi and Sen. Reid's reaction to the Joint Committee investigation he was met with. . .

"I'm not going to talk to you anymore, Shepard, but it's been a good conversation."

Katrina: assessing blame:

Time Magazine looks at the ways in which FEMA Director Mike Brown allegedly padded his resume to make it appear that he had more emergency management experience than he actually did. LINK

"Before joining FEMA, his only previous stint in emergency management, according to his bio posted on FEMA's website, was 'serving as an assistant city manager with emergency services oversight.' The White House press release from 2001 stated that Brown worked for the city of Edmond, Okla., from 1975 to 1978 'overseeing the emergency services division.' In fact, according to Claudia Deakins, head of public relations for the city of Edmond, Brown was an 'assistant to the city manager' from 1977 to 1980, not a manager himself, and had no authority over other employees. 'The assistant is more like an intern,' she told TIME. 'Department heads did not report to him.'"

The facts on this one still need to be sorted out, and presumably will be by 6:30 pm ET tonight.

Sounding an awful lot like Sen. Hillary Clinton, the Washington Post's Spencer Hsu writes in a front-page FEMA piece: "Some security experts and congressional critics say the exodus was fueled by a bureaucratic reshuffling in Washington in 2003, when FEMA was stripped of its independent Cabinet-level status and folded into the Department of Homeland Security." LINK

The Los Angeles Times on FEMA staffing. LINK

The New York Times looks at the Blanco-Bush standoff and how "practicality and politics" played major roles in navigating the federal vs. state command and control issues that quickly arose in the aftermath of Katrina. LINK

And here's a blind quote to relish: "'Can you imagine how it would have been perceived if a president of the United States of one party had preemptively taken from the female governor of another party the command and control of her forces, unless the security situation made it completely clear that she was unable to effectively execute her command authority and that lawlessness was the inevitable result?' asked one senior administration official, who spoke anonymously because the talks were confidential."

The Wall Street Journal's McKinnon has a similar story, which concludes thusly: "When the two leaders toured an evacuee center in Baton Rouge, they worked different parts of the room. Some Republicans say privately that continuing cool relations between Mr. Bush and Gov. Blanco have contributed to discussions of setting up a public corporation to administer long-term relief and reconstruction funds for the region."

We are still only seeing the top of the iceberg about what the Bush high command thinks of the job the Governor and the Mayor did in the early days. It's hard to get at this stuff, however, when there is such reluctance to play the blame game. Or whatever.

The Washington Post's Dana Milbank sketches Karen Hughes' iron fist and gets a MoveOn protester to confess to some political opportunism at play. LINK

Katrina: Congress reacts:

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