Last week a lot of people were lauding Mayor of New Orleans Ray Nagin's rant against the federales. Usually when someone in charge is so boisterous about other people's failures, my b.s. detector rings even louder. In this case, the Monday-morning quarterback was also the man who dropped the passes on Sunday. Sure, FEMA royally screwed up rescue and alleviation efforts. I also suspect Baton Rouge has a lot to answer for but this is mostly Ray Nagin's game.
The New Orleans' evacuation plan was at best laughable. That buffoon begged people to go to the Superdome. Fortunately, for the people who could not get there, he didn't think to send city or school buses to rescue them from the poorest neighborhoods. They were safer drowning in their attics anyway. He didn't bother to stock the stadium with adequate supplies nor did he order appropriate security. Nagin felt it was more important to protect Nike sneakers than little boys and girls. Reports are sketchy but it is apparent that people possibly as young as seven were raped and murdered in the shelters. So long as the shelters were controlled by hoodlums, there was absolutely no excuse for Nagin to divert his police force to stopping looters. The people he promised refuge to should have been his most important job. Instead of bitching to Washington he should've been at the convention center with a rifle hunting down the perps. But the best you could get from him was that when buses arrived to haul the damned off to Texas, Nagin had his privileged evacuees from hotels and the like escorted to the front of the line! When the flooding began, he begged more people to leave. Some of those were greeted by the police and promptly had their vehicles confiscated. Who the hell is going to take a chance on escaping when both the thugs and the police are carjacking?!?!
Mayor Nagin, your rant may have sounded good but it was as full of hot air as Katrina herself. If you are going to keep demanding that Washington do the job that was yours anyway, why don't you do the noble thing and resign?
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