Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Katrina: The story continues

In the wake of AP's selective release of only portions of the tapes and transcripts they claimed no one had ever seen of the teleconferences held as Katrina gained strength in the Gulf of Mexico before smashing MISSISSIPPI, that the media then warped even more although they'd been released in their entirety months before . . .

<GASP for breath>

. . . on Saturday, March 4 "Chocolate City" Mayor Ray Nagin released the following press release:


The people of New Orleans suffered greatly through the events of Hurricane Katrina, with the impression that America, one of the greatest countries in the world, would come to the rapid rescue of fellow Americans. The passionate cries for help of not only New Orleanians, but our neighbors in surrounding parishes were overlooked.

The tape that has been released regarding the federal response indicated that federal officials had knowledge of the severity that a storm of Katrina's magnitude could cause to the City of New Orleans.

Our neighbors, friends and loved ones have been uprooted from their homes and our lives have been changed forever.

In the days following Katrina, the people of New Orleans at the Convention Center and the Superdome continued to hold on to hope that the federal government would come to their rescue with food, water, medical attention and transportation out of harms way.

It's unfortunate that the federal response did not come in a timely manner regarding the most horrific natural disaster in the history of our country.
Nowhere, of course, does Nagin make mention of the responsibilities he shirked and pointing his finger at the state's Goobernor Blanco, who can't keep her own story straight, only goes so far because when she's not blaming Dubya, she's pointing the finger of blame back at Nagin!

The 2006 Hurricane Season starts in less than three months. It's been predicted that this year will be just as bad as last year, but neither Blanco nor Nagin seem to be doing a darned thing to prepare this year, either. You'd think they'd learn, huh?

Then again, they're really busy people with far more pressing priorities. They need to get re-elected!

When not zipping back and forth from Louisiana to Washington, D.C. for all those danged Katrina hearings so she can tell ANOTHER version of how whut.ever went wrong was somebody else's fault AND anything that went right was completely her doing, she's there to ask for more Federal money 'cause Louisiana's broke. Then when she finally (occasionally) gets back to Louisiana, Goobernor Blanco -- because Louisiana's broke -- has been busily working on the a bare-bones, stripped-down state budget that increases teachers' salaries.

Then, there's "Naggin'" Nagin.

When not zipping back and forth from New Orleans to Washington, D.C. for all those danged Katrina hearings so he can tell ANOTHER version of how whut.ever went wrong was somebody else's fault AND anything that went right was completely his doing, he's there to ask for more Federal money 'cause New Orleans AND Louisiana are broke. And up for re-election NEXT MONTH, he's hot on the campaign trail.

Not in New Orleans, silly! In Houston, Texas, where the "Chocolate City" mayor is courting the black vote.

(While there, I wonder Nagin'll get a chance to stop by the Texas home he bought for his wife and kids while New Orleans was still under water.)

As the black (absolutely no pun or decisiveness intended) comedy continues, it's time (looking at my blog's name) for a cool change.

Instead the endless hyping of what supposedly went wrong, how about some honest, objective analysis of what some of the problems actually were and what went right.

5 Comments:

Blogger ABFreedom said...

This is really ridiculous ... what would they do if they didn't have the feds to blame ...

You think they got any of them hundreds of buses started yet? ... and how about that empty train that was offered up before it hit? ... Sorry, but I put just about ALL the blame on the Mayor and Governor... yet all I see is media bias. Unfortunately for them two, the pictures tell the real story.

8:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do you defend the federal gov't. Supposedly they were getting all of their assets moving as quickly as possible, but somehow MEXICAN troops were still needed?! The greatest military in the world couldn't organize troops before hundreds of MEXICAN troops made it to New Orleans to help. The US has been hard at work over the last several years deploying troops, you would think it would be second hat, still Mexico, a country that hasn't been involved in a war since the revolution of 1910 organized aid quicker.

Talk bad about a Mayor in charge of city of less than 500,000 people or a governor in charge of 4.5 million people, but GW fucked up and he is supposed to be in charge of 300 million people. Lord help us. Think of it this way, metro Chicago, LA, Detroit, Atlanta, etc. each have more people to be in charge of than the entire state of Lousiana.

Isn't this the entire reason we have a federated governing system instead of a confederate system. So when things become too much for the locals to handle there is supposed to be an infrastructure in place to help out?

1:55 PM  
Blogger doyle said...

Dear Anonymous,

I would appreciate a citation from you, from a reliable source of course, to back up your statement that MEXICAN troops were deployed anywhere in the US after Katrina.

(As a quick aside, it appears you missed the two links in my closing paragraph as to who and what, contrary to all the hype and misinformation, were first on the scene.)

I'm also interested, Anonymous, in learning what a "federated governing system" is.

A "confederate system," too.

Perhaps you might provide me with that information as well.

Thank you ever so, Anonymous (at 68.74.10.123 in Detroit).

I await your reply.

9:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did not write the comment above but according to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexican_response_to_Hurricane_Katrina)

"September 5th - Naval ship Papaloapan arrived the same day, with 389 soldiers and other personnel from the Mexican Navy. Units of the Mexican Army, a total of 194 people, arrived by land with 45 military vehicles.

On September 8, the Mexican Army was received with honors at Kelly Air Force Base by the mayor of San Antonio, Texas. Local news channels noted the fact that the Mexican Army operated on U.S. soil after 159 years of absence, last time being the Mexican American War."

A quick google search came up with all sorts of references.

You can also try http://www.answers.com/topic/government for your other question

Government: A system of social control under which the right to make laws, and the right to enforce them, is vested in a particular group in society. Organizationally, governments may be classified into parliamentary or presidential systems, depending on the relationship between executive and legislature. Government may also be classified according to the distribution of power at different levels. It may be unitary—i.e., with the central government controlling local affairs—or it may be FEDERATED or CONFEDERATED, according to the degree of autonomy of local government.

Now... I notice the bold on Mississippi. Are you arguing that it did not first make landfall in Louisiana?

"Katrina initially made landfall at 6:10 am CDT south of Buras, Louisiana along the Mississippi delta as a strong Category 4 storm. The eye eventually crossed the coastline again along the Mississippi- Louisiana border"

I actually did a fly over today following the river from New Orleans to the Gulf. It looked pretty smashed to me.

Where do you live? What is the plan there to evacuate 100% of the population? Oh, and what is this about their stories changing? I listened to each of them testify in Washington a couple of times and I am not quite sure what you are referring to?

And prepare with what? According to Anderson Cooper "So far, about $25 billion federal tax dollars have been spent. Again, largely on immediate concerns. Housing, medical care, debris removal, disaster loans and payouts under the National Flood Insurance Program." New Orleans was 40% of the state's economy. Other big players were the seafood and fishing industries along with tourism. The economic state is pretty sad.

The reason for increasing salaries is to try and become more competitive for teachers. Louisiana's teachers are paid less than the southern average which is less than the national average. The remaining teachers are all generally teaching more students than they were pre-K. A number of their benefits were cut after the storm (among other things a huge increase in their health insurance and life insurance policies). They are losing teachers all over the place and have to do something to try and keep them.

And she just came into office - no elections on the horizon for Blanco.

Nagin is indeed on the trail - elections are coming up... what else is he supposed to do?

I have no problem with him relocating his family. That is just not fair. It's not like they could stay home.

I do blame the Fed's. FEMA has not done one thing efficiently or effectively. You can check my mothers front yard or my in-laws yard for the trailer flags (they’ve been marked for trailers since October) to see that. You can come spend the hours I have spent at the relief center to find that your paperwork has been lost...again. You can talk to my friend who just got laid off from his $65 an hour job delivering trailers. That's what the job pays - he would have taken $12 an hour or so but instead of paying less for a job unfinished - they are stopping the job. Can you believe that - $65 an hour? I can go on and on. I do blame the fed's. They are wasting my tax dollars too.

From Metairie

3:25 AM  
Blogger doyle said...

Thanks for coming by "Metairie." I mean that. I much prefer replies like yours rather a "drive-by."

Thanks, too, for clearing up what "Mexican troops" Anonymous was talking about, not that he put it in the correct context. A navy ship (and its personnel) as part of the international relief offered and accepted is a lot different than the picture (s)he was trying to paint.

M: Are you arguing that [Katrina] did not first make landfall in Louisiana?

No, what I'm saying is that the bulk of major damage caused by Katrina directly didn't occur in New Orleans or LA but in Mississippi. If I remember correctly, two-thirds of that state was declared a disaster area. Twenty-miles from the coastline in is gone. Alabama didn't do too well, either. The eastern tip of Florida's Panhandle took another shot, too.

That is not to say that Louisiana didn't get the snot knocked out of it, but the bulk of the damage to New Orleans occurred after Katrina had passed and the levees gave way. I realize that's a distinction without a difference.

My point is that Louisiana isn't the only state having major problems as a result, just the only one whose elected officials are screeching at every opportunity that nothing was or is their fault.

M: Where do you live? What is the plan there to evacuate 100% of the population?

I'm in Florida. I'll leave it at that.

M: Oh, and what is this about their stories changing? I listened to each of them testify in Washington a couple of times and I am not quite sure what you are referring to?

I did, too. Interesting to me is that the transcripts won't be available until six months from now. As for different stories, there are so many . . . the written narrative (scroll down) Blanco submitted had <polite caugh> a few glaring differences from what she said. (Which is why I went looking for the transcript. It's not just the congressional testimony, either, but her statements all along the way.

The version she presents depends on who she's talking to. The same thing with Nagin.

M: The economic state is pretty sad.

No argument. But with hurricane season coming up in less than three months, what's being done to correct mistakes made with Katrina? Will Nagin (or his successor) order a mandatory evacuation earlier rather than suggest a voluntary one? Will Blanco provide the assistance she didn't last year, like calling up and deploying the state's National Guard to assist with evacuation should the need arise? Will the resources the state has be put to use as is laid out in Louisiana's disaster plan this time? How has the plan (and NOLA's, too) been modified since last year to accommodate the roads and bridges that still haven't been repaired?

Stuff like that.

M: The reason for increasing salaries is to try and become more competitive for teachers. Louisiana's teachers are paid less than the southern average which is less than the national average. The remaining teachers are all generally teaching more students than they were pre-K. A number of their benefits were cut after the storm (among other things a huge increase in their health insurance and life insurance policies). They are losing teachers all over the place and have to do something to try and keep them.

Makes sense to me. Sure does. While so many in the state don't have any especially now, give one segment of the population (that's backed by a large and politically active union) a pay increase because the cost of their health and life insurance has gone up. You are right, though. Blanco isn't facing re-election right now but possible recall.

I wonder how the several-hundred-thousand-dollar office renovations she still went through with after Katrina turned out. RHIP, you know.

M: Nagin is indeed on the trail - elections are coming up... what else is he supposed to do?

The job he was elected to do in the first place?

M: I have no problem with him relocating his family. That is just not fair. It's not like they could stay home.

What makes him and his family any better than you and yours? Your family is still there. But not Nagin's. He didn't rent a place somewhere in Louisiana for them to stay. New Orleans is still under water and he buys a house for them, in another state?

M: I do blame the Fed's. FEMA has not done one thing efficiently or effectively. You can check my mothers front yard or my in-laws yard for the trailer flags (they've been marked for trailers since October) to see that. You can come spend the hours I have spent at the relief center to find that your paperwork has been lost...again. You can talk to my friend who just got laid off from his $65 an hour job delivering trailers. That's what the job pays - he would have taken $12 an hour or so but instead of paying less for a job unfinished - they are stopping the job. Can you believe that - $65 an hour? I can go on and on. I do blame the fed's. They are wasting my tax dollars too.

Do you think any branch of government ever does ANYTHING efficiently or effectively.

I don't know if this directly affects you or not, but to me the perfect example is one hold-up caused by the EPA requiring an environmental impact study be conducted before any trailers are brought in, to ensure that site location is in compliance with the Endangered Species Act.

I wish you well.

8:25 PM  

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