The war of ridiculous hyperbole continues, as Mississippi governor Haley Barbour sees CNN's Gary Tuchman's "hell on earth" and raises him one "Hiroshima after the atomic bomb." I'll bet that comparison went over well with the Japanese, who never got the chance to wait out the nuclear blast in their rowboats. (Thanks to commenter "South of the Border" for the link.)
But seriously, here's a bit of a puzzler. By all accounts, the eye of the storm actually missed the city of New Orleans -- most news reports describe it as having veered off just enough at the last minute to spare the city the dead-on hit that many were predicting.
And yet, most news reports also have those in charge of rescue and relief efforts describing the damage to the city as "unimaginable" or "overwhelming" or "totally beyond our worst fears."
I'm sorry but just how unprepared do you have to be to have the storm not as bad as it could have been, and still have damage beyond what you could have imagined? Sure, it's not an exact science but, really, who's running things down there?
AFTERSNARK: I'm moderately amused by Barbour's comparison of New Orleans to Hiroshima. I'm wondering if anyone's going to have the cojones to use a comparison like, "It's awful. Just pure devastation. It's like the city of Fallujah, after we bombed it and its helpless citizens into the Stone Age using massive, overwhelming, indiscriminate firepower against which they had absolutely no defense."
Never mind, it was just a passing thought. Carry on.
AND YOU KNEW THIS WAS COMING: Still more brain-dead comparisons, this one courtesy of this morning's Globe and Mail:
Yesterday, a clearly shaken Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu compared Katrina's devastation to the Indian Ocean tsunamis that struck without warning and killed 200,000.
Mercifully, reporter Paul Koring immediately injects some reality back into the situation:
While some scenes of coastal devastation may look similar, there is a crucial difference: Before Katrina blasted ashore, it had been closely tracked for more than two weeks. There were clear warnings about the threat it posed and plenty of time to evacuate.
Yeah, so it was just like that big Asian tsunami thingie ... except for the ways that it was totally different.
I can't even blog on this anymore. I think I'll go back to beating up on creationists. Or Pete Rempel.