Now that I think about it, how did TALIA know about the armory? It was off the books and she presumably knew about it BEFORE Wayne Enterprises was signed back to her.
You just complained that Bane showed no evidence of long term planning but the attack on the armory and the stadium showed other wise. As for being off the books, well it's called a paper trail.
That the attack on the armory and stadium "shows otherwise" isn't evidence of long-term planning it's evidence that "something" must have happened but we're never shown it so we're left to assume it did. We just know that "somehow" Bane got explosives all over the city, in bridges and tunnels and in the stadium and that "somehow" he knew where to set-up shop under Batman's armory but we're never really told why. It's the same thing as how The Joker was able to get so many explosives planted onto city ferries. But it's a bit bigger and more complex because what Bane pulls off is much more massive in scale, done without organized crime being in the city, and did it while being completely off the radar.
Well that's what happened during Katrina (and Sandy), so yes I do buy it.
As I recall, the American people were VERY upset with what happened with Katrina. (And the fairly minor missteps with Sandy are hardly comparable to the week-long clusterfuck of Katrina. Unless the media has just not mentioned rapes and murders happening in a New Jersey stadium.)
Also slow response to a natural disaster in a city is very different than a large region being held hostage by a nuclear weapon over a period of MONTHS.
That's the thing that's easy to forget in this movie... MONTHS passed between the incident in the football stadium that started everything and when Bane activates the reactor and the end of the movie. Something like six months, as I recall. That's also six months where presumably there wasn't much going on in Gotham as far as maintaining public works infrastructure and systems. Pipes, powerlines, tunnels, trains, all stuff that needs to be maintained regularly and won't sit well for six months.
Yeah, Bane's plan in this movie just doesn't hold up well under scrutiny. As I said above, the microwave thing buys a handwave because it's pretty much thrown in there as just "something" Batman has to do to prove his worth to the city. The movie is really about something else, not the microwave doo-hickey (which obviously has huge problems too.) Joker's Sophie's Choice and much of what he does involves levels of planning that'd be hard to pull off and his Rube Goldbergian series of events also had to go PERFECTLY for everything to work. It also buys and hand wave thanks to Ledger's chilling, thrilling and endlessly watchable performance of The Joker.
TDKR has neither of those to fall back on. Hardy was good but it was hard to get as wrapped up in his performance enough to hand wave what he pulls off, and the movie simply asks us to accept too much. I don't even think Ledger's Joker could've bought this much hand waving.
As I said above, I think TDKR is good, but it just has a LOT of problems that I find it hard to look over. Bane's plan and how it is executed is one of them.