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"Gov. Blanco, Mayor Nagin at Each Others Throats"


Open warfare appears to have broken out between Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, with Blanco challenging on Wednesday Nagin's authority to order a mandatory citywide evacuation.
The mayor certainly has ordered that, but the governor, and that would be me, will have to enforce it or implement it," Gov. Blanco told the Fox News Channel.
The Louisiana Democrat said she wanted more time to determine "whether or not there's an absolute justification for that," saying she feared any forced evacuation could put people at risk for disease.
"We wouldn't want the next wave of people getting ill and perhaps dying from terrible diseases, and that is a big concern," Blanco told Fox, adding, "We want definite information. We don't need to put more grief on people..."

WSJ: No, blame Blanco, Nagin instead

Bob Williams, president of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation and former Washington state legislator "who represented the legislative district most impacted by the eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980" offers "Blame Amid the Tragedy. Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin failed their constituents":

...The primary responsibility for dealing with emergencies does not belong to the federal government. It belongs to local and state officials who are charged by law with the management of the crucial first response to disasters. First response should be carried out by local and state emergency personnel under the supervision of the state governor and his emergency operations center.
The actions and inactions of Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin are a national disgrace due to their failure to implement the previously established evacuation plans of the state and city. Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin cannot claim that they were surprised by the extent of the damage and the need to evacuate so many people. Detailed written plans were already in place to evacuate more than a million people. The plans projected that 300,000 people would need transportation in the event of a hurricane like Katrina. If the plans had been implemented, thousands of lives would likely have been saved.
In addition to the plans, local, state and federal officials held a simulated hurricane drill 13 months ago, in which widespread flooding supposedly trapped 300,000 people inside New Orleans. The exercise simulated the evacuation of more than a million residents. The problems identified in the simulation apparently were not solved...

"Ineptitude leads to death"

Yesterday, Errol Louis in the NYDN was one of the first of the anti-Michael Brown wave:

...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.

"Not much traction with the abuse"

Now it's Wesley Pruden's turn to discuss the left's attempts to politicize the disaster:

...The vultures of the venomous left are attacking on two fronts, first that the president didn't do what the incompetent mayor of New Orleans and the pouty governor of Louisiana should have done, and didn't, in the early hours after Katrina loosed the deluge on the city that care and good judgment forgot. Ray Nagin, the mayor, ordered a "mandatory" evacuation a day late, but kept the city's 2,000 school buses parked and locked in neat rows when there was still time to take the refugees to higher ground. The bright-yellow buses sit ruined now in four feet of dirty water. Then the governor, Kathleen Blanco, resisted early pleas to declare martial law, and her dithering opened the way for looters, rapists and killers to make New Orleans an unholy hell. Gov. Haley Barbour did not hesitate in neighboring Mississippi, and looters, rapists and killers have not turned the streets of Gulfport and Biloxi into killing fields...

"The Mayor Who Failed His City"

FPM has a link-rich rundown of the left's attempts to politicize the disaster:

IT'S OFFICIAL: THE AMERICAN LEFT NOW BELIEVES GEORGE W. BUSH IS GOD. Bellowing leftists such as Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Cindy Sheehan have blamed Hurricane Katrina - something insurance companies classify as an act of God - on President Bush's "killing policies" (and, in RFK Jr.'s case, those of Mississippi's Republican governor, Haley Barbour). Former Clinton aide Sidney Blumenthal also penned an article in The Guardian chalking up the flood to the Bush administration's having cut one item in the Army Corps of Engineers' annual budget. (Desperate to build a presidential legacy, even ex post facto, ex-President Bill Clinton has intimated his administration did more to keep New Orleans safe than Bush's.) Meanwhile, DNC Chair Howard Dean weighed in by demeaning Bush's trip to the disaster area, calling it "just another callous political move crafted by Karl Rove."

Ray Nagin criticized from left

From Democracy Now:

We turn to Malik Rahim who had his own critique of Mayor Nagin's response to the devastating Hurricane Katrina. Malik Rahim is a veteran of the Black Panther Party in New Orleans. For decades he has worked as an organizer of public housing tenants both there and in San Francisco. He recently ran for New Orleans City Council on the Green Party ticket... Malik began by talking what he would have done differently to deal with the storm.

No transcript is currently available, but if anyone can get their audio to work please post a summary in the comments.

Ray Nagin: the "CIA might take me out"

...Last night [Sep. 2] he told a reporter for the Associated Press: "If the CIA slips me something and next week you don't see me, you'll all know what happened."
Today [Sep. 3] he told interviewers for CNN on a live broadcast he feared the "CIA might take me out."

From this.


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