02 September 2005
New Orleans municipal government continues to get a free pass
The Chronicle's "Culture Blog" has posted the radio interview that Mayor Nagin of New Orleans gave to WWL radio. From the rest of the linkages posted in and around it, I have to assume that they (SFGate / The Chronicle) support the story that the slow response was due to race and not simpler things like engineering difficulties, the unexpected breakage of the levees and New Orleans own piss-poor disaster planning.

In the posting they link to a Neva Chronin article where she continues to echo the misstatements and half truths that have so far characterized this disaster. Amongst them:

"Which brings us around to the real criminals in this scenario. Forget the looters. New Orleans' levees have been at the breaking point for a long time now. The federal government knew this, but deflected money meant for repairs to fund the war in Iraq. This is its interpretation of "homeland security." Behold the consequences. "

Except Neva that the Army Corps of Engineers says that they (the levees) were never designed to withstand a category 4 hurricane and would have failed no matter what. Or that President Clinton also cut levee funding for New Orleans, stating that it was a "local" not a federal problem.

She also quotes a "Lousiana resident from BoingBoing.net" as saying "The planners knew full well that the poor, who in New Orleans are overwhelmingly black, wouldn't be able to get out. The resources -- meaning the political will -- weren't there to get them out." "

The "planners" in this case would be...Mayor Ray Nagin and his administration.

Update: Odd how SFGate posts the interview with Mayor Nagin from last night...but ignores these comments Mayor Nagin made today:

"Nagin said Bush was "very serious" and "very engaging" during his time in
New Orleans. "He was brutally honest. He wanted to know the truth," Nagin
said. "... And we talked turkey. I think we're in a good spot now.""

A Republican in San Francisco (Yes, he's under deep cover) relays his tales of interest... ...ok, "interest" is a strong and subjective word but you get the point.
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