Thursday, September 08, 2005

It's a Party Town

Fire of Liberty
Thomas Lipscomb has a good piece over at Tech Central Station that examines the many failures in New Orleans under the supervision of Mayor Ray Nagin. Lipscomb notes that the Mayor failed to take responsibility of the situation and just kicked the can up the road to Gov. Blanco in Baton Rouge who kicked it further on to Washington into the hands of a bureaucratic monstrosity known as the Department of Homeland Security that has enough red tape to wrap around Earth several times and have some to spare. Had they picked up the ball and built up a lead on the storm much earlier, they wouldn't have had to call in the third-string quarterback (The Feds) at the end of the game to come in and toss a Hail Mary pass to pull out a last minute win. I think Lipscomb summed it these sentiments pretty well in the following paragraphs:
Having been prodded on Saturday into ordering an evacuation by President Bush and the head of the Hurricane Center and then delaying it for seventeen crucial hours until well into Sunday, Mayor Nagin is directly responsible for the AP picture of over 200 unused New Orleans buses marooned in four feet of water that might have evacuated more than 15,000 in one trip alone. Those were the buses that in the Mayor's own plan were to be used to evacuate 100,000 poor the city has long understood had no other means of transportation.

Nagin is also responsible for failing to pre-position generators, food and water, a medical presence and portable toilets for the two sites at the Superdome and Convention Center that he had proclaimed "emergency centers" for tens of thousands of the more than 30% of New Orleanians that lived below the poverty line. And then the Mayor failed to police them.

The rapes, murders, and needless deaths that took place in those "black holes" of New Orleans are his responsibility as well. Eighty armed policemen were too cowardly to enter the Convention Center after reports of the savagery inside as late as Sunday. Troops finally searching the Convention Center on Monday found an elderly man and a young girl, battered to death, among the corpses. New Orleans's would-be reformers thought they had elected a responsible leader in former cable executive Nagin and instead they got a classic "cable guy" with a million excuses and the same lousy service.
I guess you get this from a mayor of a town whose motto is "Let the Good Times Roll."

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