As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Friday, February 27, 2009

Gov. Jindal, I Believe Your Pants Are On Fire

The centerpiece of Kenneth from 30 Rock's Bobby Jindal's not-the-State of the Union rebuttal the other night was an anecdote about Hurricane Katrina. That a Republican would reference Katrina to say anything positive about their party is bad enough, but as it turns out, the story is not true, which was clear from the night he said it.

In the last few days, first Daily Kos, and then TPMmuckraker, raised serious questions about the story, based in part on the fact that no news reports we could find place Jindal in the affected area at the specific time at issue.

Jindal had described being in the office of Sheriff Harry Lee "during Katrina," and hearing him yelling into the phone at a government bureaucrat who was refusing to let him send volunteer boats out to rescue stranded storm victims, because they didn't have the necessary permits. Jindal said he told Lee, "that's ridiculous," prompting Lee to tell the bureaucrat that the rescue effort would go ahead and he or she could arrest both Lee and Jindal.

But now, a Jindal spokeswoman has admitted to Politico that in reality, Jindal overheard Lee talking about the episode to someone else by phone "days later." The spokeswoman said she thought Lee, who died in 2007, was being interviewed about the incident at the time.

This is no minor difference. Jindal's presence in Lee's office during the crisis itself was a key element of the story's intended appeal, putting him at the center of the action during the maelstrom. Just as important, Jindal implied that his support for the sheriff helped ensure the rescue went ahead. But it turns out Jindal wasn't there at the key moment, and played no role in making the rescue happen.

Boy, this rollout is making Sarah Palin look like George Washington, isn't it?'s some more lies, the "conservative Senator steers defense contracts to his home state to benefit personal real estate deals" edition...

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