Friday, September 23, 2005

Rita approaches shore, and a rant

If this offends anyone out there please accept my apologies in advance. I'm sick of hearing about New Orleans and Louisiana.

Rita is coming in and there's more attention being paid to New Orleans and Lousiana than any others who will be affected.

I've never been to New Orleans or Louisiana but I have a couple of friends whose roots are there. I also have friends and family in Houston. They're fine and will be especially since Rita won't be hitting them directly. That doesn't mean they won't be affected. And now that they're out of the crosshairs I'm not saying that they should be the focus, either.

Where Rita hits and the people who are there should be.

But when NOLA began flooding again this morning that's all the coverage was.


Or it should be.

It wouldn't have been if someone hadn't gotten through to Ray "I'm the Mayor!" Nagin (I wonder who it was.) and convinced him to terminate and reverse the re-entry of New Orleans residents he was having news conferences about every ten minutes.

Funny thing, I haven't seen him at all today. I wonder if he's spending the weekend with his family, in the new home he bought for them outside of Dallas.

Oh, but Goobernor Kathleen Blanco was out there. In her stumbling press conference this afternoon she announced "Task Force Rita" is ready to . . . uh, do something.

They're positioned just outside of the storm area, she said, and will ride out the storm . . .

Wait, which is it?

Not shown in the transcript is her hesitant, uneven delivery or where she confused Katrina with Rita, and then had to start that part of her prepared statement again from the beginning.

Rita's coming in, but . . .

"Let me take a moment away from discussing our preparations for Rita to focus on the recovery from Katrina.
Yeah, New Orleans is under water again. And Blanco wants more money from the Federal government.

"In another effort to help our local governments, today, I asked President Bush to change the rules and allow FEMA to pay the base salaries of our police, deputies, firefighters and other government workers."
What about Louisiana picking up the tab, Goobernor? How much is your state kicking in to help to support its own communities?

Oh, and . . .

"The announcement from HUD and Homeland Security today about rental assistance and housing vouchers may address the needs of our friends in Alabama and Mississippi . it does little for Louisiana citizens who want to come home."
While I don't live in Alabama or Mississippi if I may be so bold (and I can do any darned thing I want here 'cause this is my blog) I'd like to speak on their behalf for a moment.

Up yours.

Rental assistance and housing vouchers are okay for them. But for Louisiana, Blanco wants "FEMA to speed up the purchase of hotels and motels where we can provide complete services for our evacuees where we can provide complete services."

The purchase? Ain't she just so speshul!

I don't think so.

I have little doubt that while Blanco wants our dollars to be used she expects what's bought with them to either be put into Louisiana's name OR run under their management.

And "Naggin" Nagin wants any and all rebuilding dollars pledged for NOLA to go through his local and state government, with only local and state businesses allowed to do the work.

Somehow, I don't think that's going to work.

At least it doesn't work for me considering indictments for missing FEMA funds, misspent funds for evacuation planning and growing indications that the levees gave way not because of lack of funding, but substandard design and materials once the locals got their mitts on it.

I wonder if the reason Blanco seemed so shook today was that she was imagining herself in the near future, clothed in always slimming, vertical stripes.

LATER: I turned to FoxNews for Rita coverage last night and who was jolly on the spot but Geraldo. I looked at Hubby, he looked at me. I nodded and he zapped the remote to a different station. Then another one and another one after that. Each one had a fearless reporter or reporterette braving the storm to provide the same breathless live coverage that it was extremely windy and very rainy and would be getting worse. So, we watched the Sci-Fi Channel instead. This morning, Fox's coverage included replays of Shepard Smith getting knocked on his ass last night by the wind, and also last night from ABC, one of their dingbats chasing an overturned planter around an empty hotel lobby to show viewers just how windy it was.

Bumped up from comments, a link to Joe from Attaboy's commentary on the evenhanded and uplifting reporting being done by the Associated Press.

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Blogger Deborah said...


2:15 AM  
Anonymous Joe said...

hey, there must have been some kind of venting germ in the air yesterday:

9:53 AM  
Anonymous gekko said...

Shepard Smith, I think, was the one who blurted "A person's gotta be stupid to be out here!"

Kinda speaks for itself, innit

3:49 PM  
Anonymous seawitch said...

Thanks for standing up for us in Mississippi. I mean, we only had 65,000 homes destroyed outright and another 38,000 that were heavily damaged. That doesn't even include the apartments and mobile homes destroyed or that are unliveable.

7:35 AM  

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