Saturday, September 02, 2006

No Picayune Rant This Week

Today's Picayune,Frank Donze (print edition also credits Michelle Krupa) reports that Nagin didn't decided to replace the head of the library board, because he's trying to "refresh" all the city's boards to avoid "entrenchment" by political appointees. I was all set to let loose with another rant about the Picayune's refusal to comment on the connection between the mayor and Billboard Ben, but Frank Donze actually brings it up:
As for Nagin's desire to "refresh" municipal boards, there are many examples of other mayoral appointees who continue to serve even though their terms have expired.

The most notable is Sewerage & Water Board member Benjamin Edwards, who was originally appointed by former Mayor Sidney Barthelemy and retained by Morial. Nagin has not reappointed Edwards, but has allowed him to continue serving, although his term expired in late 2003.

Federal investigators are examining the connections between Edwards and six companies that may have received S&WB contracts after Hurricane Katrina, according to two grand jury subpoenas sent to the agency in June. By his own account, Edwards spent more than $200,000 trying to get Nagin re-elected, paying for billboards and radio ads in various evacuee hubs, including Atlanta and Houston.

The second part of the article simply must be quoted at length:
I've been looking everywhere for some example, some playbook, something to guide me, something to guide all of us," Nagin said. "I've been to the library. I've been to Barnes & Noble. I've been searching. And you know, the Lord led me to the Old Testament."

"So the Lord led me to the book of Nehemiah," Nagin continued, likening himself to the biblical figure. "In the book of Nehemiah the walls of Jerusalem had fell. They were devastated. They were surrounded. They were pillaged. And they didn't know where to turn to.

And after being disoriented -- after Katrina -- Nehemiah, who was close to the king, went to the king and said, 'King, we need to do something here. We must do something for the people.' "

The result, Nagin said, was an unleashing of civic activism that resulted in the rebuilding of the wall, despite taunting from naysayers, who Nagin likened to today's news media, which he implied mocks his endorsement of a market-driven rebuilding of New Orleans.

"What happened was what's happening in New Orleans: The people took it upon themselves to start rebuilding the walls,"

Nothing bizarre about Nagin being bizarre, but it is bizarre the Picayune noticed (that it was bizarre):
Despite Nagin's implication that modern New Orleanians are on par with God's chosen people, the tale actually may highlight what some of his constituents have called the mayor's greatest failure since the storm: the decision not to craft a blueprint to guide neighborhood recovery, thus leaving the massive task of rebuilding the Crescent City in the hands of its residents.

Nevertheless, this week's biblical reference becomes the latest in a series of utterances in which the mayor has alluded to the Almighty's role in the city's fate.

If any of this finds its way into tomorrow's editorial or James Gill column, I'll really start to wonder about parallel universes.

Correction: It won't really surprise me if Nehemiah gets mentioned, but that Billboard Ben piece is long overdue.

Whenever public officials start talking about divine guidance, it creeps me out. First, because it automatically excludes citizens of different religious opinions, and second, because such talk instantly overrules rational debate. If the mayor or president claim, "God told me to do this," or "God guided me to this decision," it has the effect of slamming the door on all conversation. Who can disagree with someone's personal faith? How can anyone argue against personal, private revelation, except to argue insanity?

We deserve better of our leaders.


yeah it's overdue. there is much overdue which the TP is very aware of. I put the hellhounds on a leash because i was informed the TP was gonna do the job....over a month later and nothing.

I'm close to pulling out all the stops on this bullshit. I still have faith in TP but they need to step up to plate and expose this corrupt fool for what he is.
what kind of backwater are you guys running down there where people can’t even speak and ask questions at community meetings?

what is up with this?
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