President Barack Obama receives an update on Hurricane Irene in the Situation Room of the White House, August 27, 2011.

Clockwise from left, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood; Richard Reed, Special Assistant to the President for Homeland Security; Nick Shapiro, senior policy advisor to John Brennan; John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security; and Chief of Staff BIll Daley. Onscreen are FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. Joing by phone are Vice President Joe Biden, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Energy Secretary Steven Chu. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


The President convened a video teleconference at 10:30AM this morning in the White House Situation Room so that he could receive an update on the impact of Hurricane Irene.

Vice President Biden, Chief of Staff Daley, DHS Secretary Napolitano, Treasury Secretary Geithner, Transportation Secretary LaHood, Energy Secretary Chu, FEMA Administrator Fugate, Homeland Security Advisor Brennan and other senior White House officials participated in the call.

The President was updated on the response and recovery efforts that are currently underway in coordination with state and local officials as well as the status of critical energy and transportation infrastructure in areas that have been impacted as well as areas that continue to be impacted by this storm.

He was updated on FEMA’s support to state and local partners as important damage assessments begin in areas where the storm has passed.

The President asked Secretary Napolitano and Administrator Fugate to continue to be in touch with Governors and local leadership up and down the East Coast. The President directed that all federal efforts on response and recovery operations underway continue, and he will reconvene the team this evening.


Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate said Sunday that federal, state and local governments are working together better in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

“We’ve learned to really work as one team, not as separate levels of government, and to put everything together early before the storm hits,” Fugate said on ABC’s “This Week.”

“I think the big [lesson] — and this is one Congress recognized and passed the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act – was that we shouldn’t have to wait until a state is overwhelmed to begin getting ready, that we should be able to go in before the governor’s made a request, have supplies ready, have our teams in the state and work as one team, not waiting for damages to occur and that formal request to come,” Fugate said.

77 Responses to “update”

  1. August 28, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    This is what effective governance looks like. More please.

    Thank you PBO and staff for a job well done!!

  2. 2 Debz
    August 28, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Damn, my President looks good. So much for my shallow moment. PBO and his staff and Cabinet have been on top of this.

    • August 28, 2011 at 1:23 pm

      “Shallow moment”? Maybe yes; maybe no, Debz—considering the context of the photograph. But I’m inclined to agree with you.;) That pensive look on PBO’s face and his intense body language is definitely commanding, if not downright alluring. 🙂

      I’m defintely glad to see this image of the President in charge and in command. His chief advisors and FEMA are doing an outstanding job working with East Coast governors and other local authorities to stay on top of this severe weather issue. Our President is a true leader.

  3. 4 aamom
    August 28, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    also what solidifies these facts is that no Governor has gone on TV to say…Obama bad. Must hurt their fee wees.

    • 5 jacquelineoboomer
      August 28, 2011 at 12:33 pm

      🙂 🙂 🙂

    • 6 desertflower
      August 28, 2011 at 12:40 pm

      No, because he preempted that yesterday when he had a conference with all of them and asked them all if they had everything they needed and was there anything thing else the Feds could do for them! Better not whine about a damn thing…it’s on the record! THIS IS WHAT EFFECTIVE GOVT> LOOKS LIKE! Great job, Mr. President!!!

    • 8 Mariele K.
      August 28, 2011 at 1:02 pm

      Yep.:-) 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • 9 HZ
        August 28, 2011 at 5:30 pm

        That is our President. Wisdom in the storm with precision, clarity, and calmness. Now did you governors get that? Can you hear me? Can you hear me now? Speak now, remember you are serving the people of this great nation. Ok.HZ

  4. 10 jacquelineoboomer
    August 28, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    Of course, Hurricane Irene survivors have to have a working computer, but look how efficient and up-to-date the FEMA website is:


    • 11 jacquelineoboomer
      August 28, 2011 at 12:41 pm

      Any hurricane humor at this time is really of the “nervous laughter” variety, so forgive me … but FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate appears as though his mid-section could use a little “Let’s Move!” chat from Mrs. Obama (me, too). Or a trip to the basketball court for some exercise with President Obama.

      However, I’ll take the relaxed, efficient, who cares if I’ve styled my hair this morning, “We Got This!” look of Fugate – to the polished, know-nothing look and actions of Brownie – any day!

  5. August 28, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    Morning/ afternoon TOD peeps.. my sons & families are all well.. I commented here last night that middle son’s phone was out, however he called me from work- he works midnight to 8am and told me he hadn’t even known his phone was out as he’d gone into work 2 hours early. They have a generator at work, thus he figured thats where he wanted to be if the electricity did go out- which it didn’t. So all is well in their part of Maryland – for them at least- one lives in Elkridge and the other lives in Westminster. Funny thing is we’ve lived through hurricanes and tropical storms as we lived in Florida for several years- but I really worried for them this time.. prolly cause I wasn’t there myself. Anyhoo, I’m so glad to read that everyone here came through safely.

    As to the pundits and tv politicos runnning amok today reaching to attack POTUS for being ‘too ready/too good’.. now that is something isn’t it? To have a President that is tooooo competent that he is then defamed as ‘putting on a show’. What a joke the haters are.

    • August 28, 2011 at 12:38 pm

      Glad to hear all is well with your family, Sherijr.

      Not only are the pundits loco, they are desperate.

      • 15 desertflower
        August 28, 2011 at 12:42 pm

        Desperate, indeed:) PBO simply strikes a blow to all their talking points…over and over again!

      • August 28, 2011 at 12:45 pm

        thanks africa, the pundits are horrible. I commented the other day, that was speaking to some elderly ladies and a middle aged gentleman after a funeral and they all mentioned how much they ‘hate’ the media- and they all stated they listen to them daily- one 86 year old woman has her tv news running all day- and she can name these pundits- and says she spends most of her time yelling at them 🙂 She’s a fiesty thing.. my point being that these ‘media’ folk are not fooling all the people they think they’re fooling. I plan to pass this website onto her.. as she didn’t believe there was anywhere to get factual news … I said yep there is.

        • August 28, 2011 at 12:51 pm

          Exactly. People see through them. Many of them are so self-absorbed and believe in the noise that is their own voices, they are unable to do the right thing.

          I also try to give this site address to as many people as I can. It is very important for us to push back at the entrenched opposition our president faces, not only from from those across the aisle, but some in his own party and the media.

          I just tweeted that some in the media are like surrogate moms for the Republicans. They swoop in to make excuses or save them when they are unable to do their own jobs.

          • August 28, 2011 at 12:56 pm

            exactly- the media is imo the republican party. They’ve managed to insert their reliable party members into the national media which is why it’s so biased. I lost trust in anything a ‘journalist’ says when Senator Obama was in the primaries- that ABC ‘debate’ was the last straw for me.

            • August 28, 2011 at 1:05 pm

              Me, too. I have no trust. Call me cynical, but I am leary of the media. Even when some compliment him for doing something, I know that it will only be short lived, and so I don’t get high or low about anything they say, except for the few, who can even criticize him but do so constructively and without insulting, trying to emasculate or disrespect him.

              A bunch of the others are specks in the universe to my mind.

            • 21 jacquelineoboomer
              August 28, 2011 at 1:15 pm

              sherijr – The ABC debate also was, for me, the last time I watched ABC. Sometimes when I’m changing channels, I think “now why am I not watching ABC?” – can’t recall at the moment (age group) – but I just stroll on by. 🙂 George Stephanopoulos doesn’t exist in my world.

              • August 28, 2011 at 1:27 pm

                Yep- I was so furious after that.. and except for tuning in online to view the remainder of the debates and all Barack Obama interviews/speeches/rallies… I turned off my tv permanently and have never tuned into another pundit. I’ll occasionally view the videos of Rev Al or another that Chips posts here, but otherwise I can’t stomach them – it’s weak of me.. and yet I believe all they continue to do is regurgitate the trash they’ve been spewing since the primaries – to offend and to color the viewer’s perception to the republican view. I’ll continue to fight them- when I read of their lies and misdeeds- I’m in.. but I will never again give them my time by viewing their garbage. I continue to believe that our media is truly the worst thing about our country- they are who skew the views of people, they are the ones intent on creating drama and division. Their biggest ‘concern’ about President Barack Obama, I think, is that he really will succeed in uniting this country- and fankly without the rightwing media-pushing the right wing republican BS, he would have already been there.

              • 23 COS
                August 28, 2011 at 1:41 pm

                Jacqueline we are on the same page. I haven’t watched ABC since that horrible, horrible debate between PBO and HRC. However, I do record favorite shows from there as well as Fox, but I stay away from anything concerning news unless it involves PBO of FLOTUS.

    • 24 Fred
      August 28, 2011 at 12:50 pm

      happy to hear that all is good She.I’ll take President Barack “Too ready/too good” Obama over President George “cake cutting/guitar playing” Bush any damn day !

    • 26 Debz
      August 28, 2011 at 12:52 pm

      He’s too ready?? OMG it’s his Katrina!!! They are really desperate.

    • 27 Sue in Minnesota
      August 28, 2011 at 12:58 pm

      So glad to hear your boys are fine. Mom’s always worry most 😉 Hope everyone else is fairing as well…still saying my prayers.

      In a nutshell, the naysayer are exactly as you say…A JOKE!

    • August 28, 2011 at 1:58 pm

      Good to hear, sherijr. In my part of NJ, we didn’t lose power, thank heavens. A couple of surges during the storm period, but it held steady.

      No visible damage outside. We did get a few inches of water in the basement, due to the fact that there was so much rain coming down, and the over saturation of the soil, that even though the sump pump worked, and ran for around 12 hours, we still had water coming in from different areas in the basement. By around 7:00-8:00 am, pretty much all of the water was gone, with just a couple of puddles.

      Much of the items in the basement were either in plastic containers or up on pallets or 2x4s (precautions taken after Floyd a few years ago), so the only real damage was to cardboard boxes or other non-working appliances we had there.

      I’m just glad it’s over. Now I’m checking on friends and family in Jersey City and NYC.

  6. 36 Ladyhawke
    August 28, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    Update on Hurricane Irene from Federal Officials:

    Irene Downgraded to Tropical Storm

    Napolitano: “Worst of storm has passed”


    • August 28, 2011 at 12:56 pm

      This is the presser we were just talking about on the last thread where the guy goes off at the end. It’s Tony Papert of EIR, which I googled and it seems it’s some sort of LaRouche thing.

      His tirade begins at 18:09.

      • 38 Ladyhawke
        August 28, 2011 at 1:03 pm

        He had to twist himself into a pretzel to try and find something/anything to complain about. In so doing, it just highlights the exemplary working being done by the administration. His whiny question just sounded petty and childish. Too bad for him that the ADULTS are in charge. Sheesh……

      • 39 hopefruit2
        August 28, 2011 at 1:19 pm

        Another “Joe the Plumber” type Republican plant?

  7. 40 ChristiMtl
    August 28, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    They’re doing a phenomenal job. Night and day with the previous administration. President Obama is such a great man, a great leader,

    I was just reading Ut comment in the other threat about Jack Tapper letting Georges Will lie and whatnot.

    I’m so disgusted with RW media, this is the enemy, they need to be exposed all the time for their propaganda.
    I was wondering why lying on the air is illegal in Canada for broadcasters, what was the reason, since in the States it’s all about freedom of speech, no rules, no regulations, nothing.

    It is customer protection laws, they view the news, information as a ”product”. We pay for cable, we’re buying their product, they have their sponsors, so their product has to be what is advertised, NEWS, information, facts, not lies and propaganda.

    I read an article not too long ago about the Fairness Doctrine, well it’s dead anyway but this was interesting, it was written January 2011

    ”My first trip to America, my husband and I took a tour of NBC studios in New York. One of the things that the tour guide said that amazed both myself and my husband, (he is still an active journalist at the BBC and I have moved from journalism as a full time venture) was that their lead anchor edited his own news. He was the person who wrote the news and edited it for accuracy. No one checked his work so what he wrote, what he said, went out without a second look – no one verified his work.”

    I had to go back to the article I read months ago about Fox (well all stations are like Fox anyway)

    FOX asserted that there are no written rules against distorting news in the media. They argued that, under the First Amendment, broadcasters have the right to lie or deliberately distort news reports on public airwaves.

    A Florida Court of Appeals unanimously agreed with an assertion by FOX News that there is no rule against distorting or falsifying the news in the United States.

    Years and years in the making for the RW to have control, to control information,.

    • August 28, 2011 at 1:02 pm

      That’s exactly why we so desperately need PBO’s judicial appointment to get through. The courts are full of Bush-Cheney-Ashcroft-Gonzales right-wingers. And it goes without saying about the Supreme Court.

      • 42 jacquelineoboomer
        August 28, 2011 at 1:21 pm

        And why we so desperately need President Obama to have a second term. He needs to make the next appointments to the Supreme Court, whenever they come.

      • 43 HZ
        August 28, 2011 at 5:41 pm

        Meta, I concur. That is why have pleaded for those of us here who are interested in the judicial system please contact your Senators and Reps. about the holdup of the now over 55 nominations of President Obama’s. Please write, e mail, text or call them. Please. These courts are backed up and the others are filled as you stated with so awful right-wingers. Please, I plead with our TOD family. Help us put the pressure on them.HZ

    • 44 Sue in Minnesota
      August 28, 2011 at 1:24 pm

      Unless they change…my answer to them is to unplug. I agree on all your points and have been saying the same for some time. Why Americans would pay a cable service to turn around and be fed lies, 24/7 marketing and influence peddling, and mostly lousy programming gave me reason to pause and reconsider that arrangement. Cancelled.

  8. 45 askew
    August 28, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    The Obama admin has really been on top of this storm. Because the media can’t attack Obama’s handling of the storm, I expect the next media meme to be how the Obama admin over-reacted to the storm and that this is just another sign of why big government is unnecessary.

    • 46 nintendowii10
      August 28, 2011 at 12:58 pm

      How the hell can they say that President Obama overreacted when during Hurricane Katrina President Bush DIDN’T DO SHIT?

      Oh I know the media answer to that question: “It was the Democrat governor’s fault.” Democrats ALWAYS end up getting blamed and even when they do end up getting it right, as President Obama did with Hurricane Irene, the media STILL finds an excuse to say that they failed!

      • 47 utaustinliberal
        August 28, 2011 at 1:42 pm

        They’re despicable. Nothing is ever good enough for them. He could find the cure for cancer and they’d still have a problem with it.

      • August 28, 2011 at 2:03 pm

        Huh. Fools.

        Better to be cautious and ready (Obama) instead of not giving a darn and going off and playing guitar (Bush).

        This storm was bad, but at least there was a lot of prep for it. Katrina taught some very harsh lessons, and it appears that this Administration took them to heart.

    • August 28, 2011 at 1:03 pm

      It’s like the financial catastrophe that PBO averted. We could have and would have fallen into a deep, deep depression had McCain been elected. But people forget all that.

      • 50 askew
        August 28, 2011 at 1:17 pm

        Yep, that is exactly it. Because the Obama team averted the crisis, they get no credit for it.

      • 51 jacquelineoboomer
        August 28, 2011 at 1:22 pm

        meta – On two fronts. Believe you were referencing the financial depression we would have fallen into, and there’s also the psychological depression we would have been under, with a McCain presidency.


    • 52 57andFemale
      August 28, 2011 at 4:03 pm

      Fox has already started this. And the National Weather Service is unnecessary because we now have AcuWeather and Weatherbug.

      Who get all of their information from…….

      The National Weather Service. For free, because it’s a government agency.

      I’d certainly rather have it privatized, holding back the information until the states or the media pay for the information. And by all means cut services, hire lesser qualified scientists in order to maximize profits. Wouldn’t that be preferable to a well-run government agency? God.

      And 40% of Americans will vote for these monsters without question.

  9. 53 nintendowii10
    August 28, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    Just got back in the Norfolk area and I am glad to have power!

    When I left Williamsburg, my hotel was still without power, but it looks like the worst is over and God has blessed us with nothing but CALM and QUIET weather!

    I’m glad that the local and federal governments of the areas hit learned from Katrina: Everyone was adequately prepared and coordinating with relief for Hurricane Irene.

    I’ll just be disgusted with the talking heads this week that will say that President Obama failed and that President Bush did a better job, even though all that Bush did was a pathetic flyover and left people stranding. Heck, he didn’t even know there was a hurricane going on until his staff sat him down, and even then he STILL didn’t care.

    Our President cares, which is why he cut his vacation short to assist with the relief. And he won’t be doing a flyover here in Virginia and the other areas hit, because he doesn’t need those cheap theatrics.

    Thanks to everyone who prayed for not just me, but the others impacted by Hurricane Irene. I also have to thank the staff at The Weather Channel for working overtime, providing the much needed updates of the hurricane yesterday, at least until I lost power last night around 8 PM. I also thank everyone in the local and federal government for working together during this hurricane, be they Democrat or Republican.

  10. 57 JER
    August 28, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    BET Networks chronicles the in-depth story of Michelle Obama’s historic diplomatic mission to South Africa and Botswana…

    • August 28, 2011 at 1:32 pm

      thanks for the reminder.

      I was wondering when BET was gonna air it. I’m guessing it was supposed to add in conjunction with the MLK memorial dedication that was postponed.

  11. August 28, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    Steve Benen:
    Reeling al Qaeda loses another top leaderhttp://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal/2011_08/reeling_al_qaeda_loses_another031836.php
    Excellent post.

  12. 63 Fred
    August 28, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    per MSNBC: 16 deaths blamed on Irene yet this azzhole said this yesterday

    Pat Michaels: ‘It is doubtful Hurricane Irene will cough up even eight bodies’

    and this little gem from the Drudge Report that even had another climate change skeptic blasting them 😯 🙄

    ‘Phony’ Hurricane Irene Knocks Out Power For Millions Of Americans

    Meteorologist and climate-change denier Joe Bastardi castigated conservatives for their denial of the danger of Irene, which is now responsible for at least 16 deaths, 14 in the United States:


  13. 64 Fred
    August 28, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    what a yahoo this Ron Paul 😯

    As Irene Devastates, Ron Paul Says We Need To ‘Come To Our Senses’ And Abolish FEMA And Stop Its ‘Bailouts’

    I’ll give this fool one major facepalm

    Allen West Says The Palestinians Asking For Statehood Is Like Giving A State To The Appalachians

    • 65 Ladyhawke
      August 28, 2011 at 1:32 pm

      Both of these statements from Ron Paul and Allen West should be added to the @GOPSaywhat twitter account.

      GOPsayWhat GOP

      We’re compiling the most extreme, out-of-touch, did-they-really-say-that Republican quotes & positions for your retweeting pleasure. Good quote? Tweet at us.


  14. 66 hopefruit2
    August 28, 2011 at 1:28 pm


    Jon Hunstman decided late last week that he would ‘jump ahead’ of our President in order to unveil his own version of a jobs plan this coming Wednesday (Aug 31st) in New Hampshire. Well, something tells me that that won’t be happening given the Hurricane Irene wrecking havoc in that area. Our President is scheduled to give his jobs plan in Detroit MI on Wednesday September 7th.

    • 67 jacquelineoboomer
      August 28, 2011 at 1:34 pm

      Don’t they know that trying to stay ahead of President Obama is impossible? One shouldn’t even try. 🙂

    • 70 COS
      August 28, 2011 at 1:49 pm

      Suddenly all of these bozos want to unveil a jobs plan as soon as PBO announced his. It appears that Huntsman is running against PBO now so that he can be viable in 2016. Didn’t Huntsman and Romney say that they supported the Ryan plan long time ago?

      • 71 hopefruit2
        August 28, 2011 at 2:34 pm

        I don’t know who Mr. Hunstman thinks he’s fooling.

        He’s trying to appeal to the “former” Republicans, now “progressives” who can’t stand Barack Obama because he’s not “left” enough, yet are thrilled at the prospect of a middle-of-the-road conservative Republican for President. Hunstman is being managed by former John McCain staffers. It’s the same boatload of empty gimmicks (cue that silly commercial with hunstman on bike to nowhere, exploiting his adopted children) and copycat antics (jobs plan).

    • 72 57andFemale
      August 28, 2011 at 4:07 pm

      Gee, let me guess: tax cuts for the wealthy (who ‘create’ jobs for salespeople at Tiffany’s and the Porsche dealer); elimination of capital gains tax because a person is going to take that windfall and open a hardware store on the corner — they promise.

      What else have they got?

  15. 73 jacquelineoboomer
    August 28, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    Bloomberg just congratulated New Yorkers for how they came through the hurricane overnight … he said there were only 45 arrests, compared to 345 arrests on a typical Saturday night.

    Ha! Of all the talking points he could have come up with, he chose that. You gotta love it.

    Although, old “tough” Giuliani would have taken the 45 suspects and marched them in front of the cameras this morning on their way to Gitmo, so … one more reason I’m glad he’s left the national/local stage.

  16. 77 HZ
    August 28, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    Some of these officials in some of these states always have to come in and mess up their blessings and the blessings for the rest of the population. This is no time to put out talking points. It is a time for gratefulness in all directions. This could have been a storm that took many more lives and caused much more damage. Trust me, I have lived in a state where you do not take these hurricanes lightly. This is no light moment. Lives are in involved. I am grateful for the safety of all of my TOD family here and all of your families and friends” safety. For those precious livee that were loss, we stop and ask for healing and comfort to their families. This is the real moment to also give thanks for aa wonderful and serious, and compassionate and wise President of the United States. We must continue to pray for all of the city, state, and federal workers who give their lives to help others. Let our TOD family give thanksgiving for his dedication and seriousness in his decisions. May we continue to love each other here and fight to stay focus on our goals of working as hard as we can for President Obama to be strengthen physically and mentally. And most of all, that we will re-elect him in 2012. We need this precious man at this time. I love you all here in my TOD family.HZ

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