Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Tuesday 20 September 2005

President Accepting Blame For New Storm In Advance

Says "Not Waiting For FEMA To Screw Up"; Lights, Generators Packed For Another PrimeTime Speech

In a surprising move, and against the advise of some members of his staff, President Bush released a statement last evening "accepting blame" for Hurricane Rita, that is bearing down on the Florida Keys and heading into the Gulf of Mexico.

Forecasters are predicting Rita will gain strength, possibly a Category 2 or Category 3 hurricane, and make landfall somewhere along the Texas or Louisiana coastline.

The President's statement was brief

"We learn from our mistakes. I'm not going to sit here, or go on another vacation. I'm not going to attend any fundraisers. And I'm not going to wait for FEMA to screw up. I take responsibility for Hurricane Rita and I take responsibility for the solutions as well".

The White House predicts that the post-Hurricane Rita recovery will begin "no more than two-days" after the storm hits, a "significant improvement" from the nearly five-days it took for aid to reach New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

The President's statement followed declaring State of Emergencies for the Florida Keys and the coastline of Texas.

The White House also announced that they are in the process of pre-staging the lighting and generators used by the President for his New Orleans speech last week in a "safe area near the vicinity" of where the storm is expected to land.

According to sources, Karl Rove insisted on moving the equipment.

"He wants that speech, that leadership moment, within hours of the crises, not three-weeks later".

Sources also indicate that there was a fair degree of in-fighting over having the President taking blame in advance, with fierce disagreement and arguing between Rove and Chief of Staff Andy Card.

Card, reportedly, was against the admission, and the moving of the speech equipment.

"Andy", said one source, "was livid. He was totally against it. He kept arguing with Rove, and the President, that they could hang the blame of Chertoff this time, that the President didn't have to take the hit."

Michael Chertoff, head of Homeland Security, has come under increasing criticism over the response to Hurricane Katrina. His former FEMA Director, Michael Brown, resigned last week.

With the blame issue settled, there is still "bickering" going on as to elements of the speech.

"Rove wasn't pleased with the results of having the President make a long walk to the podium, and the casual, no-jacket look", said the source. "Look for a shorter entrance and, it's possible, they may break out the flight suit again."

In a recent New York Times interview, in which he described chaos and confusion in the days following Hurricane Katrina, former FEMA Director Michael Brown also admitted to a fear of helicopters

Zellweger Says Bad Salutation Caused Break-Up

Chesney's Greetings A Turn-Off; "He Didn't Get Me At Hello"

Oscar-winning actress Renee Zellweger, seeking an annulment of her four-month marriage to country music star Kenny Chesney, said this morning that Chesney had "some very poor greetings" and cited that as the cause of the break-up.

"He didn't get me at hello", said Zellweger, winner of a Best Supporting Actress award for her role in 'Cold Mountain'.

Ms. Zellweger was also nominated for Oscars for her work in “Chicago” and “Bridget Jones’s Diary.”

"When he greeted me, he'd say things like 'Hey' and 'Hi Y'all'. I thought things would change … get better … But they didn't."

“Entertainment Tonight” reported that the couple released a statement that read, in part “the miscommunication of the objective of their marriage at the start" is the only reason for this annulment.

The couple had a whirlwind romance that began in May. A surprise wedding followed, with the 36-year-old actress and Chesney, 37, exchanging vows in a small ceremony on the Caribbean island of St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

According to the syndicated television news magazine “The Insider”, the couple first met at the Concert of Hope tsunami relief benefit Jan. 15, where Chesney was singing and Zellweger was answering telephones

Zellweger has told ''People Magazine' that she's still "looking for her Prince Charming" and someone "that can greet me properly and speak in proper English and complete sentences"

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