New Orleans - White House officials today announced former Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris would be put in charge of tallying the body count in New Orleans. Harris has reportedly stated she is "not going to count" bodies missing limbs, since they're effectively a "hanging chad" and under Louisiana forensic law, will "disqualify" any corpses without Louisiana voter registration cards or other proof of residency. "I'm not saying a particular body wasn't FOUND in New Orleans, but who knows, maybe they drowned in Arkansas two months ago and simply floated down the river. Once they're in the morgue we have no way to know which ones Katrina killed, and which ones died due to bungled FEMA rescue ops, err, natural causes.
Putting the best possible spin on the body count has quickly become a Republican obsession, with their Karl Rove reportedly brainstorming ideas on how President Bush can "survive the storm" of duelling body counts each evening - Iraq versus New Orleans. The president's brother, Jeb Bush, Governor of Florida reportedly came up with the suggestion to put Ms. Harris in charge.
FEMA has "delayed and stalled" giving body counts about as long as it can get away with, said White House spokesperson Scott McClellan. "Like it or not, at some point, we have to start ordering body bags, and that requires a number." For victims who have been "dined on" by alligators, "Hefty Extra Tough" bags may suffice, said McClellan.
Other ideas "floated" by Rove included counting legs, and dividing by two, and simply "making up a number" and sticking to it, like they did with the number of WMD's in Iraq. "A lie, repeated often enough, starts sounding like the truth" commented McClellan, who ought to know.
And IBM/Diebold consortium will reportedly receive a $3.2B contract for consulting services and computers to assist in tabulating the count. T1's will be installed between morgues, hospitals, and the Superdome so that viewers can always have the latest #'s.
Asked why they couldn't simply use numbered toe-tags, and at the end of each day count how many remained, McClellan commented, Diebold developed this system, and we have faith in it. It worked in 2004, it will work in New Orleans.