...Behind the tears, you could hear that Nagin and Broussard know full well what outsiders are only beginning to understand: They are part of a system of government that is broken at all levels, rife with cronyism and corruption and their inevitable consequence, incompetence.
Federal investigators are probing corruption in the administration of former New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial. A man named Glenn Haydel, who is Morial's uncle, is currently facing federal embezzlement charges for allegedly steering $550,000 from the New Orleans public transport system, the Regional Transit Authority, to his own management company - and putting $350,000 of that sum into a personal bank account.
Nagin, a political outsider elected as a reformer, has demonstrated significant limitations as a crisis manager. But he needed and deserved a smooth-running, fully funded public transport and it seems likely that chiselers and crooks in government denied it to him.
The rot extends to the federal level, where much of the nationally televised incompetence and confusion in the gulf region can be traced to the disastrous patronage hire of Michael Brown as director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Brown, utterly unqualified for the job, spent the last decade running a trade association of horse breeders...
"Significant limitations" indeed.