People Get Ready

[ make levees, not war ]

Archive for the ‘Failure is not an option’ Category

Carnival in Washington

Posted by schroeder915 on January 25, 2007

George W. Bush spent half of his time in the State of the Union address defending his plan to send more Americans into the crosshairs of an Iraq civil war, but had not a single word of sympathy, encouragement, or support for New Orleans, Louisiana, and the Gulf Coast, still suffering from the ravages of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and the federal levee engineering disaster which destroyed New Orleans. He narcissistically delights at the thought of himself as a war president. Were it not for 9/11, he’d have been an ineffective, unpopular president (as he is now, but he would have been denied a second term). Let’s remember how little he’s accomplished in the domestic arena other than tax cuts, which pick our childrens’ pockets tomorrow to enrich the super wealthy today. The “war against terrah” has been so grotesquely mismanaged and exploited for other agendas that even as Bush is talking about surging American troop levels in Iraq, the Taliban and Al Qaeda — who really did attack Americans on American soil — are surging again in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The only answer Bush has for the mismanaged occupation of Iraq is more of the same — more troops in the wrong arena for the wrong cause. In a vain attempt to create democracy from the muzzle of a gun — what Bush himself once derided as “nation-building” — Bush is breeding more animosity and more insurgents. He has never fully engaged the international community — the Arab world in particular — in sharing the responsibility for the outcome in Iraq. His sole interest is securing control of the world’s second largest petroleum reserves under Iraq for his oil company friends. Bush’s “coalition of the willing” has always been a farce — a mere shadow of the international support his father achieved. George W. Bush is creating a giant Sunni-Shia Hydra. There may be no good answer to solving that problem, but his effort to stabilize Iraq by killing more Iraqis will only create more insurgents, kill more Iraqis, and kill more Americans. Meanwhile, by ignoring Americans still suffering from the worst federal engineering disaster here at home, a great American city — a great world city — is being destabilized.

More than 200,000 people remain displaced from New Orleans. Their homes sit idle while they wait for insurance, wait for Road Home grants — neither of which are sufficient compensation to rebuild their homes — wait for streets to be repaired, wait for water and sewer lines to be repaired, wait for street lights to be repaired, wait for the criminal justice system to be repaired, wait for schools to be repaired, wait for hospitals to be repaired, wait … wait … wait. Tens of billions of dollars spent on cleanup amounted to nothing after Bush’s friends grabbed the money. When it was all over, all that remained was $8 billion in CDBG grants for homeowners — a sum of money that George W. Bush has been spending in Iraq every four weeks for nearly four years. Meanwhile, a great American city — a great world city — has been allowed to die. Scores of thousands of more Americans across the Gulf Coast remain without hope.

It’s time for a march on Washington. I propose February 24th — the first Saturday after Mardi Gras — a perfect occasion to take the carnival revolution from the streets of New Orleans to streets of Washington. We’ll need trucks and flatbed trailers to load up with soggy, moldy furniture from houses still not gutted a year and a half after the federal levees broke. We’re going to haul the debris to Washington and dump it on Pennsylvania Avenue as a gesture of our contempt for a president who had nothing to say in the most important report he is required to provide to Congress about the well-being of our nation and her citizens. I’m calling on Americans across the nation who care about New Orleans, who care about the Gulf Coast, who care about the lives of American soldiers and their families, who care about the pressing global environmental issues that need to be addressed right now, who care about an eroding middle class, who care about America and the world being created in George W. Bush’s image. Let us Americans, all of us, march on Washington to tell George W. Bush and Congress that we don’t want their war in Iraq any more. Let’s march on Washington to tell George W. Bush and Congress that we won’t stomach the deaths of any more Americans from oil wars; we won’t stomach the deaths of any more Americans from environmental disasters; we won’t stomach the deaths of any more Americans from bloated bureaucracies and engineering failures. We demand honesty. We demand transparency. We demand accountability. We demand real solutions for the coming environmental challenges. We demand coastal restoration, and Category 5 protection from hurricanes and rising sea levels.

We are Americans. We demand an adequate answer from our elected officials when Americans are in need!

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Posted in Category 5 Storm Protection, Coastal Restoration, Failure is not an option, Global Warming, Hurricane Katrina, Iraq, Katrina Dissidents, Louisiana, Most Revolting President Ever, New Orleans, Rebuild New Orleans, Wetlands Restoration, Worst President Ever | 37 Comments »

Goodbye 2006! Hello 2007!

Posted by schroeder915 on December 31, 2006

It’s New Year’s Eve. I’ll be heading down to the Mid-City bonfire on Orleans Avenue tonight to say goodbye to 2006.

2006 was a crappy year, but it was also a year of incredible transformation.

In my personal life, my wife divorced me, we sold the house, and I became a renter again. On the other hand, I’ve become re-acquainted with old friends, and made a bunch of new friends — many of them number among the remarkable, New Orleans activist blog community.

I’m looking forward to the new year. I’ll be changing jobs, and there’s a fair possibility I’ll be going back to grad school. Hello 2007!

I think back to what things were like at this point a year ago, when just a few months after Hurricane Katrina, we were hoping against hope that public officials would rise to the challenge. They didn’t. New Orleans’ recovery is staggering, gasping for visionary and effective leadership, but the brightest spot in the faltering process is that in the absence of leadership, citizens have organized themselves into a formidable force for constructive change. We consolidated levee boards, assessors, and civil and criminal sheriffs offices, got a bill passed to get more offshore oil revenues, and passed a state bill requiring that every cent of those revenues be spent on coastal restoration and hurricane protection projects.

The Saints! What a great story! But I’m still pissed at Saints owner Tom Benson for threatening to take them to San Antonio or Los Angeles when we were drowning. Bastard!

For a variety of reasons, the opponents of change also scored a couple of victories — creating an unlikely alliance of black voters (what I would call Morial supporters), and white Republicans, to re-elect the worst New Orleans mayor ever, and the worst Louisiana Congressman ever.

Here are a few remarks about recent events in the news.

Saddam Hussein was hanged for crimes committed against Iraqi citizens. I’m not opposed to the death penalty for particularly heinous crimes, and it’s true that Saddam was a bloody villain — but he was, after all, our dictator. Moreover, I suspect that by his execution, Saddam will simply become a martyr, inspiring anti-U.S. sentiment for generations. Far better it would have been to leave him to rot in prison until the U.S. is completely out of Iraq. Moreover, if Saddam can be tried for crimes against Iraqis, shouldn’t those who sanctioned his actions be held responsible as well?

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Our incredible disappearing mayor, Unseen Ray Nagin, has quite possibly been reading People Get Ready in the last couple of weeks. It seems he’s finally mentioned project worksheets as a way to demonstrate his accomplishments of the last year. That’s good, but it’s completely unacceptable that they aren’t publicly displayed. They need to be posted where everyone can see them, so we know what’s being done (and what isn’t being done) to repair our city’s hobbled infrastructure.

The Unified New Orleans Plan has another round of meetings coming up this Saturday, and another Community Congress later in the month — the last round of meetings before the plan is published in January. It remains to be seen how UNOP planners are going to “knit” together the neighborhood plans. From recent comments by Steven Bingler and Troy Henry, it looks more like what we feared — that the decisions about which neighborhood plans make it into the final plan will be arbitrarily made by a few planners, not citizens. I hope I’m wrong.

I wouldn’t bet money on it, but I also hope the mayor finally gets off of his ass, and starts becoming a cheerleader for neighborhoods that are fighting for survival.

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Using the explanation that the city’s rebirth is going to be a phased “market-based” recovery is just a lame excuse for a mayor who was never up to the task of leading the city. What, for example, did he ever say about failing schools and rising crime before Hurricane Katrina? Nothing! He better get his sh*t together, or move out of the way.

Finally, Kathleen Blanco will be rolling a boulder uphill if she decides to run for re-election this year, but I wouldn’t write her off yet. From the interview I saw on LPB with Michael Olivier, the Louisiana Economic Development Secretary, anyone would have to concede that Blanco’s efforts to move the Louisiana economy into the future are the most progressive in a generation (transcript, 56k wmv).

Happy New Year friends:

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

Posted in Failure is not an option, Hurricane Katrina, Iraq, Kathleen Blanco, Katrina Dissidents, New Orleans, Ray Nagin, Rebuild New Orleans | 6 Comments »

Anyone remember the last time monkey boy mentioned New Orleans?

Posted by schroeder915 on December 28, 2006

John Edwards in New Orleans East, announcing the launch of his campaign for President:

“The president should’ve said, ‘I want someone in my office every morning, telling me what was happening in New Orleans yesterday.'”

Posted in 2008 Elections, Failure is not an option, John Edwards, Katrina Dissidents, Worst President Ever | 4 Comments »

John Edwards: “People Get Ready!”

Posted by schroeder915 on December 27, 2006

The wording of the announcement is uncanny. From the John Edwards One America website, blogger philgoblue quoted John Edwards in spirit, if not verbatim: “People Get Ready!”

edwards_pgr.jpg

By announcing his candidacy for President in the 2008 election from the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans, John Edwards is sending a powerful message to the rest of the nation, and the world, that New Orleans will no longer be neglected; that the rebuilding of New Orleans is a symbol of the kind of nation the United States of America should be, where the least among us is treated with dignity, where resources aren’t squandered on a rich minority, but invested in the infinite potential of the multitudes, where hope in a brighter future replaces fear exploited for partisan or personal gain, where one of the greatest cities on Earth is recognized for its cultural and economic contribution to the world.

jre_in_nola_with_volunteers.jpg

Thank God we finally have an intelligent, eloquent, respected spokesperson of national stature to keep New Orleans in the spotlight.

122706_edwards_02.jpg
Charles Dharapak / AP

I’ve said it many times before: As New Orleans goes, so goes the rest of the nation.

Posted in 2008 Elections, Category 5 Storm Protection, Coastal Restoration, Failure is not an option, Global Warming, John Edwards, Katrina Dissidents, Louisiana, Neighborhood Preservation, New Orleans, Rebuild New Orleans | 19 Comments »

John Edwards: “People Get Ready!”

Posted by schroeder915 on December 27, 2006

The wording of the announcement is uncanny. From the John Edwards One America website, blogger philgoblue quoted John Edwards in spirit, if not verbatim: “People Get Ready!”

edwards_pgr.jpg

By announcing his candidacy for President in the 2008 election from the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans, John Edwards is sending a powerful message to the rest of the nation, and the world, that New Orleans will no longer be neglected; that the rebuilding of New Orleans is a symbol of the kind of nation the United States of America should be, where the least among us is treated with dignity, where resources aren’t squandered on a rich minority, but invested in the infinite potential of the multitudes, where hope in a brighter future replaces fear exploited for partisan or personal gain, where one of the greatest cities on Earth is recognized for its cultural and economic contribution to the world.

jre_in_nola_with_volunteers.jpg

Thank God we finally have an intelligent, eloquent, respected spokesperson of national stature to keep New Orleans in the spotlight.

122706_edwards_02.jpg
Charles Dharapak / AP

I’ve said it many times before: As New Orleans goes, so goes the rest of the nation.

Posted in 2008 Elections, Category 5 Storm Protection, Coastal Restoration, Failure is not an option, Global Warming, John Edwards, Katrina Dissidents, Louisiana, Neighborhood Preservation, New Orleans, Rebuild New Orleans | Comments Off on John Edwards: “People Get Ready!”

“If you see a loved one get mugged, you don’t walk away”

Posted by schroeder915 on December 26, 2006

I first heard Harry Shearer use that line in an interview with (go ahead, laugh) Terri Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air.

He used it again in a Chris Rose 60-second interview (excerpt):

Many have left. Many more will leave. Why have you chosen to stay?

Because I think I understand what love is. It means sticking with it. If you see a loved one get mugged, you don’t walk away. …

Does the nation suffer from compassion fatigue in the case of New Orleans?

I don’t think it’s compassion fatigue because, for that to happen, there had to have been compassion in the first place. (Pause) Is that too harsh?

You mean they don’t love us out there in the Great Heartland?

Man, oh man. I’m afraid this city is teetering on the edge of changing its name to The City That America Forgot. This may not fit into this interview format, but I’ve started to think that maybe there’s a different way that white people and black people are acculturated in this country — because I’m trying hard not to face the utter racism of it all.

White people are acculturated to have less expectations of community and more expectations of individualism. The first time this occurred to me was when I went to a black church and saw somebody slain in the spirit and saw the group spontaneously gather around him so he wouldn’t hurt himself and I thought: You never see that in a white church. In a white church, people tend to sit by themselves and have a relationship with God.

It’s hard for other people to fathom the sense of despair that people here feel in the face of insurance companies and Road Home and Entergy and all the other villains. There is a hard surface of willful neglect that is almost impermeable. But then you run into so many people who have volunteered to come here and help and want to know what they can do to help, so . . . I don’t know. It’s weird.

You brought it up and it just doesn’t seem to go away. Why is everything here colored by race? …

Well, I just don’t think you can do stuff like enslave people and then walk away and say, OK, that doesn’t count any more, show’s over, let’s move on. We’re learning the same thing that the British are experiencing from their former empire: that your actions have consequences down though the centuries. Over there they’re saying, “Who are all these people in burqas coming to live in London?” Well, those are the people you colonized 200 years ago. I think it comes as a shock to Americans because we’re so contemptuous of the notion that history has any claim on us. And race is the claim check.

You come and go to New Orleans year-round, so my belief is that you see and feel the changes that occur here from a different perspective than most folks who live here.

Yes.

Then let me ask you this: Where are we? How are we doing? How’s it going?

Not as far along as we should be but farther along than we have any right to be when you consider the people who are in charge.

Posted in Failure is not an option, Katrina Dissidents, New Orleans, Rebuild New Orleans, Worst Mayor Ever, Worst President Ever | Comments Off on “If you see a loved one get mugged, you don’t walk away”

“If you see a loved one get mugged, you don’t walk away”

Posted by schroeder915 on December 26, 2006

I first heard Harry Shearer use that line in an interview with (go ahead, laugh) Terri Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air.

He used it again in a Chris Rose 60-second interview (excerpt):

Many have left. Many more will leave. Why have you chosen to stay?

Because I think I understand what love is. It means sticking with it. If you see a loved one get mugged, you don’t walk away. …

Does the nation suffer from compassion fatigue in the case of New Orleans?

I don’t think it’s compassion fatigue because, for that to happen, there had to have been compassion in the first place. (Pause) Is that too harsh?

You mean they don’t love us out there in the Great Heartland?

Man, oh man. I’m afraid this city is teetering on the edge of changing its name to The City That America Forgot. This may not fit into this interview format, but I’ve started to think that maybe there’s a different way that white people and black people are acculturated in this country — because I’m trying hard not to face the utter racism of it all.

White people are acculturated to have less expectations of community and more expectations of individualism. The first time this occurred to me was when I went to a black church and saw somebody slain in the spirit and saw the group spontaneously gather around him so he wouldn’t hurt himself and I thought: You never see that in a white church. In a white church, people tend to sit by themselves and have a relationship with God.

It’s hard for other people to fathom the sense of despair that people here feel in the face of insurance companies and Road Home and Entergy and all the other villains. There is a hard surface of willful neglect that is almost impermeable. But then you run into so many people who have volunteered to come here and help and want to know what they can do to help, so . . . I don’t know. It’s weird.

You brought it up and it just doesn’t seem to go away. Why is everything here colored by race? …

Well, I just don’t think you can do stuff like enslave people and then walk away and say, OK, that doesn’t count any more, show’s over, let’s move on. We’re learning the same thing that the British are experiencing from their former empire: that your actions have consequences down though the centuries. Over there they’re saying, “Who are all these people in burqas coming to live in London?” Well, those are the people you colonized 200 years ago. I think it comes as a shock to Americans because we’re so contemptuous of the notion that history has any claim on us. And race is the claim check.

You come and go to New Orleans year-round, so my belief is that you see and feel the changes that occur here from a different perspective than most folks who live here.

Yes.

Then let me ask you this: Where are we? How are we doing? How’s it going?

Not as far along as we should be but farther along than we have any right to be when you consider the people who are in charge.

Posted in Failure is not an option, Katrina Dissidents, New Orleans, Rebuild New Orleans, Worst Mayor Ever, Worst President Ever | Comments Off on “If you see a loved one get mugged, you don’t walk away”

Merry Katrina Christmas, 2006

Posted by schroeder915 on December 22, 2006

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There are more of my Katrina Christmas photos here, here, and here. And visit Humid City for an entertaining twist on The Night Before Christmas.

A lot of us may not be blogging over the next few days, so here’s my wish to all of you for a happy holiday season, whatever it is you like to celebrate.

I haven’t been driving around much lately because I was busy studying, so maybe it’s my imagination, but I don’t think I’m seeing as many Christmas decorations in areas that flooded as I saw last year. Last year, the first Christmas after Katrina, people who made it back — some who were living in trailers, some living in tents, some in their gutted homes without gas, some without electricity, many taking cold showers, and eating MRE’s or cooking on camp stoves — people who were defying all odds and making it happen made a powerful statement about getting back to normal despite the odds by putting up some amazing Christmas decorations. If it’s true that there aren’t as many decorations this year, that would be very disconcerting because it would mean people are feeling defeated, or have already given up and moved away. More hopefully, it’s also entirely possible that people are just too damn busy fighting their insurance companies (still), and ICF for their Road Home grants, and the Corps of Engineers, and City Hall, and now, re-salvaging what they can of their salvaged Katrina possessions since the Sewerage and Water Board can’t handle a little rain.

A friend of mine was flooded again:

“The worst part about it, this is the stuff that survived,” said Steve Quick, who had just returned from school at Washington University in St. Louis to visit his girlfriend for the holidays.

Quick sorted through soggy pictures, stuffed animals and books, which he laid out to dry in the front room of his girlfriend’s apartment, which is still being renovated. His girlfriend, who was at work during the flooding, lives in a FEMA trailer next to the house.

I waded into River Road — ironically, in front of the Corps of Engineers office building — to push two flooded cars off of the street. As I was helping one driver blow water out of her engine block, I heard a loud thud as a driver trying to get out of the floodwater in a Toyota compact found a curb instead of a driveway. When he quickly jumped out of the car to examine the fabric burn on his forearm, I realized the smoke pouring out of the passenger cabin was coming from the deployed airbag.

Times-Picayune photos here, here, and here.

It seems the problem was an electrical outage at Pumping Station No. 6, which would have slowed drainage throughout a huge swath of Uptown, Broadmoor, Carrollton, Jefferson, and Old Metairie, and silt-clogged pipes from Katrina flooding which FEMA still hasn’t paid to get cleaned.

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I did find it interesting that the TP reporters caught up with Joe Sullivan, the general superintendent for the Sewerage and Water Board, even though he was on vacation. Sullivan couldn’t say how long the electrical outage at station 6 lasted, because of course, he was on vacation. So who’s in charge when Sullivan’s on vacation?

I’m also wondering why, if the city has so far had to pay for the cleanup of those drainage pipes — which were inundated by a disaster caused by the federal government — why isn’t Mayor Unseen Ray Nagin broadcasting this vital infrastructure project through a megaphone every day?

I find it difficult to imagine how four inches of water could cause so much destruction. I’m not convinced that The Times-Picayune got to the bottom of the problem, but Matt McBride has additional insights which, as always, merit attention. Here is blogging at it’s best — I mean, who has time to go around town in the middle of a rain storm to inspect the pumping stations (compare Matt’s report to the AP report in The Washington Post for an example of how media democracy is often far superior to corporate media). Good work Matt! Once again, New Orleans citizens are doing it for themselves!

One last item before I depart from this post. For those of us wondering whether or not citizens have power over local broadcasters, and can get them to serve the community better, Madison, Wisconsin has an answer.

Griper News is reporting that protestors forced Clear Channel to keep the Air America format on Madison’s 92.1 FM. There’s been quite a bit of discussion about Madison’s struggle in the comments to a recent PGR post, “Raise the volume: Raze corporate media.” The problem there was similar to the problem here in New Orleans — the only difference here is that the corporate villain is Entercom.

Just three days after the Democrats won control of Congress, Clear Channel announced that it was going to kill the progressive Air America format in Madison. In New Orleans, Entercom didn’t wait to announce the change — they just did it, two days after the election. Entercom is now re-running the same content on 1350 AM that it simultaneously broadcasts on two other stations, 870 AM and 105.3 FM. How hoarding three licenses to broadcast the same content in any way serves the community isn’t just a rhetorical question. It demands an answer by Entercom executives, and we citizens should demand public hearings and an FCC investigation.

Incidentally, Entercom used the same excuse that Clear Channel used. They both said that the Air America format had bad ratings and wasn’t getting any advertisers. The truth is, they never had a dedicated sales staff to acquire advertisers, and they never promoted the format.

Maybe John Nichols of The Nation will now turn his attention from Madison’s fight, to give us a hand in fighting New Orleans’ corporate media villains. Not only should we demand an alternative to the ignorant rants streaming from 690 AM, 870 AM, 105.3 FM, 1350 AM, and 99.5 FM, but the community should be able to operate its own radio station, sharing the information we need to make our neighborhoods safe places to live in again.

Imagine if Matt McBride had his own radio show!

Related:

Metroblogging New Orleans — Matt McBride: The Station Pump Master

Posted in Category 5 Storm Protection, Clear Channel, Coastal Restoration, Entercom, Failure is not an option, Katrina Dissidents, Media Democracy, New Orleans, New Orleans Blogs, Rebuild New Orleans, Recall Nagin, WIST, Worst Mayor Ever, Worst President Ever, WRNO, WSMB, WWL, WWWL | 8 Comments »

Going underground

Posted by schroeder915 on December 16, 2006

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Four days to go until G-day. I’m re-taking the GRE for the second time in … I won’t say how many years it’s been. I’ll just say it’s longer than the Educational Testing Service holds on to previous scores, which is why I have to take it again. How does it feel? Painful. My brain strains and shudders and sobs every time I open up my sopororific study guide. But re-learn the FOIL method I will, and commit to memory the meaning of words like “Donnybrook” I shall.

The paragon institution of erudite liberal arts academic pursuits to which I have applied has ordered that I be subjected to the base ritual of a standardized multiple choice exam to determine if I am, indeed, capable of taking standardized tests, can still solve for x in a polynomial equation, and can find an angle formed by a transversal across parallel lines. There is no possibility of obviating the requirement, supplicating the review board, or malingering in the specious notion that it might be overlooked.

So, until I emerge from my apprenticeship in the requisite skills to cheat the GRE test creators out of their ardor to separate me from my goal in complete opprobrium, I shall be obdurate in my quest, and abate my garrulous proclivities.

In the meantime, I offer the photo above as a reminder that this completely gutted house in a severely-flooded neighborhood wouldn’t be posted for sale, and the owners wouldn’t have moved somewhere else, if it weren’t for the fact that the federal government first destroyed their house, and then abandoned them without due compensation. Tens of thousands of other Americans are being forced to make the same decision, to retain only the memories of the homes and lives they once had, and of a city they loved as one of the most unique in the world.

Posted in Category 5 Storm Protection, Coastal Restoration, Failure is not an option, Katrina Dissidents, New Orleans, Rebuild New Orleans, Worst President Ever | 15 Comments »

The last-minute mayor

Posted by schroeder915 on December 15, 2006

Dear Ray Ray:

When USA Today, the newspaper with the highest circulation in the country, posted a story with this headline, “Louisiana Democrat wins House runoff, despite bribery scandal,” did you have second thoughts about your endorsement of Bill Jefferson, man?

Unfortunately, man, you and Bill Jefferson continue to supply excuses to the opponents of giving New Orleans its due share of compensation for damages — yes, compensation, not aid.

How about your weak response to the USA Today Q&A a couple of weeks ago:

Q: Do you believe any of the aid money has been lost through corruption or incompetence?

Nagin: I don’t know if there is any corruption going on. I think when you spend a significant amount of money, you’re probably going to have some fraud or waste.

That wasn’t exactly an answer which would inspire confidence.

You wonder about the reasons why money isn’t rolling into the city (chart). Well, man, where are the friggin’ plans?!! Show us your project worksheets so we know your playbook.

When you said, “We have the most comprehensive plan in the state. … Probably more than you want,” what the hell were you talking about, man?

I’m not talking about the Unified New Orleans Plan — that’s another piece of the puzzle which isn’t completed yet, and which you have barely raised a whisper to support. I’m talking about your plans for infrastructure projects we can get done right now — the broken sewer system, and roads, and gas lines, and yes, armoring levees if the Corps can’t get it done, and street lights, and what about fixing the schools or rebuilding them, and cleaning up public housing so people can live in there while residents and HUD sort out their differences.

What about that meeting in November with the LRA which you skipped out on because, you said, you didn’t have a list of infrastructure priorities. What?

And now, when the LRA tells you it’s only going to give you $100 million … now … now you complain, man?

So, where’s the plan, man!

What about the piggyback money in the GO Zone tax credits for private developers to submit affordable housing projects. That deadline passed in October with barely a wimper from the City Council, and not a peep from you. Hundreds of millions of dollars which will probably leave New Orleans and go to other hurricane-affected areas because you, man, you don’t have a calendar?

So you didn’t like the deadline? Well, man, demand a new deadline. It’s not as though this isn’t the “biggest goddamn crisis in the history of this country”, man.

If you sit on your hands in a corner waiting for a handout, hoping you’ll get noticed, you won’t get a dime. You have to be vocal, and loud, and persistent, and you have to include other voices. You don’t have to go it alone, but hey man, give us an idea what the hell you’re thinking about!

When HUD told public housing residents, “your comments are duly noted, but we will stick with the agenda as noted,” and you said nothing, can you appreciate why we’re all feeling like you’re not on Team New Orleans?

Is the government saying and doing nothing a “market-based” approach to governance, man, or anarchy?

We’re on the same team — that’s right, man– but when you keep doing the no-show routine, and saying stupid shit, and endorsing crooked politicians, and letting important deadlines pass, what the hell are we supposed to do, man, but call you out.

When you said you were glad you were a lame duck mayor, would you perhaps consider, man, giving Ed Blakely or someone else the title?

If you don’t have the stomach for a fight, man, maybe you should retire.

naginclown.jpg

Posted in Bill Jefferson, Dollar Bill, Failure is not an option, Katrina Dissidents, New Orleans, Political Campaigns, Political Corruption, Ray Nagin, Rebuild New Orleans, Recall Nagin | 1 Comment »