Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Recall Nagin, Appoint Thomas

Irma, that is. Just saw her giving an interview on WVUE (no link as of yet), no direct criticism of any elected officials but harsh words about the need to do something about rent gouging. Contrast that with our mayor's talk of supply and demand.

Other media notes:

Found an interesting article in The Independent while looking for the Irma Thomas link. But the article was mainly about Quintron and DJ Chicken:
"We didn't get a lot of wind damage, it was the water that did the damage here," explains DJ Chicken. "The hurricane was over, and then the water came. Eighty per cent of our city was under water. Under water, submerged. It was runnin' for a couple of days, then it just sat still for a couple more days, and that's what made it bad, 'cos it didn't drain right away. Every house you see around here was completely under water, you could not see the roofs. See all those empty lots? That's where houses were. A year later, there's just green grass."

Also found out that the mayor's a hard-working Gentilly guy and reluctant politician:
After that, the 50-year-old said he'd like to leave politics, but he wouldn't rule out a run for another office.

"If I see I'm needed in another role in politics, I'd have to swallow hard," he said. "But I would be open to that."

The mayor and his family had been staying elsewhere in the city but moved back into their home in the Gentilly neighborhood Sunday. "It's not totally done, but it's close enough," Nagin said.

Finally, Paul Krugman is always worth reading. His latest article is paywall protected, but there's usually a way around that. He mentions New Orleans directly:
Yet Blackwater, whose chief executive is a major contributor to the Republican Party, continues to thrive. The Department of Homeland Security sent heavily armed Blackwater employees into New Orleans immediately after Katrina.

But I was more interested in something else he had to say:
Or maybe it’s cynical politics: privatization provides both an opportunity to evade accountability and a vast source of patronage.

I seem to remember an anonymous party on American Zombie:
The Civil Service Commission makes it almost impossible to terminate longtime city employees – something Meffert couldn’t wait for if his plans were to work.

He was writing about an entirely different subject, but you may recall that after Katrina the city went from having two electrical inspectors to having two. The city insisted that none of the inspectors was laid off, but, months later, the inspectors weren't exactly replaced. Meffert did announce that the job was contracted out.

Even if you don't want to speculate without evidence --as far as I know, private citizens have limited investigative capabilities, but if enough ask questions somebody the press or the Justice Department might investigate, the delays caused by outsourcing, as opposed to replacing lost employees, are obvious.

Teh Krugman column was in print in yesterday's T-P.
Great Post, brah. Keep up the pressure. I can assure you, our blogoforce is making people take notice. Keep you eyes on the TP in the coming weeks.

And Yeah...I would love to see OT appointed, I'd even take Feiklow, but OT would be great.
Thanks for the Krugman piece. Used to read him all the time til NYT got all "Times Select" on me.

Way back in Sept/Oct 2005 I wrote about Blackwater. They were in the "recovery center" on St. Charles. My husband and I started wondering who these guys were and where they had come from so we looked them up and sent their website out to all of our, at that time email, mailing list. We've had lengthy conversations about the lack of accountability in using privatized armies, and the whole thing, frankly, scares us. I'm glad you brought this up again.

I'm gonna have to find what I originally wrote about them. It's in here somewhere!
Feiklow for mayor.
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