Monday, January 15, 2007

Breaking News

The mayor announced a major policy shift today, saying: "We're gonna rub every nickel we've got together, stretch every limited dollar, to make this city better, safer, stronger..." Details of the mayor's new plan can be found on the city's accountability matrix.

In all honesty, the mayor gave a good speech today. As written, it was a very good speech about Martin Luther King and New Orleans. However, I almost didn't watch it, because, as delivered, the beginning of the speech was all about Ray Nagin. It even began with the same stale and dishonest jokes about reading speeches and staying on script. I expect the mayor to keep insisting that he went off script last year, but I have no idea why local news reporters continue to go along with that conceit -- one station even reported that Nagin adlibbed it.

It's possible that I'm being too harsh on the mayor, but read the Scuttlebutt page of last week's Gambit. You'll find three separate items on increased racial tensions in post-Katrina New Orleans, but no mention of who's benefited the most from those increased tensions. I do sometimes wonder how many people remeber how much the words of Nagin ally Jimmy Reiss contributed to increased racial polarization that ultimately helped Nagin. So did Nagin's own mishandling of the FEMA trailer placement issue.* For that matter, so did the election lawsuit filed by enemy-turned-ally Rob Couhig. An excess of luck and a shortage of conscience can take you far in this world.

*Yeah, I've ranted about NIMBY dozens of times before, but, due to Nagin's speech, I'll probably rant about both that and city finances once more this week.

Second Thoughts: "Very good" was probably too kind in the analysis above. I was struck by contrast between what I read online and what I heard on TV. Can anybody still stand the tired humor about reading scripts and the even more tired paranoid egocentrism? I was overly impressed by its absence from the prepared text.

Does anybody here still care what he says?
No, but today I went to a NORA Board Meeting and this City needs a good dose of ExLax. I am still sputtering over what was said.
Please get the word out that a Houma company is trying to get a canal (huricane highway) dug with taxpayers money. The canal will increase the cost of coastal restoration and endanger the home and heritage of a great people.

This is money we worked hard to get and now a developer is trying to make this project cost the tax payers a lot more.
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