Sunday, October 21, 2007

Liar, or high-maintenance* size queen?

Bush II administration lies are often so laughably obvious that you wonder why they bother.
Michael Kinsley

The title doesn't have much to with this post, but I liked that description of the mayor when I used it before.

I'm glad to see the Times Picayune ask the question:
How much shorter were the old cans than the ones the city is replacing them with?

But that leads to new set of questions. Some general:
Does Nagin consider the Sanitation Department a professional agency performing a vital city service or a cash cow for cronies and campaign contributors?

Do the mayor and high-ranking members of his administration feel any need to tell the truth? If not, do they feel the need to at least tell halfway believable lies?

Some more specific:
Why did a sanitation department that is in no hurry to implement a recycling program feel such a sense of urgency about recycling the metal in the old cans?

Is Veronica White really indifferent to recycling? Or is another money-making scheme planned? Did an important crony get left out of the last sanitation scam?

Why did the Sanitation Department first stonewall, and then say that the old cans were being "cleaned and serviced" if they were, in fact, being replaced?

Though nobody else seems to consider the last question anything more than a "gotcha" question, I'll make one more effort to show that it's anything but a gotcha question.

The possible answers are that the cans never were "cleaned and serviced" -- the cans were removed because the city could no longer afford to empty them and overflowing garbage cans are a health hazard; or the cans were "cleaned and serviced" and then they were replaced.

The first answer would seem reasonable enough, but why the dishonest answer to a reporter's inquiry? At best, the mayor didn't want to to answer questions about his budget priorities. At worst, there were reasons why Nagin and/or Veronica White wanted to avoid questions about the operations of the sanitation department. Either way, it would be fair to conclude that the mayor heads a dishonest administration and White heads a dishonest department.

If the cans really were "cleaned and serviced" before they were replaced, it would certainly be humorous, but it would also be reason to restart a recall effort. It would simply be unforgivable for a city government that was so broke that it had recently laid off 2500 employees to be that careless with funds. If the city had already decided to replace the cans, but paid to have them "cleaned and serviced" anyway...Robert Cerasoli has a big job ahead of him. I have to wonder how tough it could be, at least the investigative part.

*If the $670,000 cost of the new garbage cans ($335,000 already spent, $335,000 more requested) seems trifling, remember it was an argument over $600,000 that led the mayor to call the NORA board "high-maintenance".

Labels: , ,

There will an "INCOMING" from my direction in the next day or so on this topic.
I wonder whether you or Nagin have a garbage can fetish. Perhaps both of you do.

So far Nagin has bought new Garbage Cans for everyone in the city many of them twice.
C Ray would be happy for everybody to believe that he has a cleanliness obsession, but it's just another way to rip off the city for him. I guess I'm so obsessed with it because it's so blatant, the sanitation department might not be as big a cash cow as the technology office, but the embarrassing questions that would make the corruption undeniable are obvious.

Instead of asking why I post about it so much, the question should be why other bloggers don't post about it more. I blew the post that I did on the subject (I'll explain why at the end of this comment), but I really can't understand why bloggers who say "Sinn Fein" and who also think that the mayor's (almost certainly corrupt) waste of city money is killing the city don't pay more attention.

I love what Dambala's doing; it's certainly a lot more than I'm doing by reading the paper and saying, "You missed a question." But the dealings at the technology office are too complicated to put the mayor on the defensive without help from the feds in the form of indictments and it won't happen any time soon. More people asking the obvious questions about the sanitation department could put the mayor on the defensive as soon as people start asking. Of course, I would consider posting about sanitation and technology a one-two combination not an either/or proposition.

Also, I think that most bloggers think that the entire city has started to realize how corrupt the mayor is. The fact is, most residents are willing to let the feds catch him if he's corrupt. He'll have the upper hand with the council until he's questioned forcefully and repeatedly about every dishonest statement that he makes. Oh, and I'm serious about C Ray and Veronica trying to get the city to spend millions on a Disneyland-like recycling program, millions that could be better spent elsewhere.

I won't go into detail about what got me so angry before that other post, it was something I had been thinking about for days, but I got really angry right before I wrote it. While I was looking for a link, I reread some posts that I wrote about the city pay raises. I don't think anybody, even any lefty bloggers, said it's wrong to lay off half your staff and then give all of your remaining staff, even six-figure executives, raises.

If anybody thinks it's been two years since the layoff and a year since the raise, so I should get over it. think again:

"The need is not so great in New Orleans, but that's because Orleans Parish public libraries cut so many positions after Katrina they can still find former employees willing to return if needed, said Lance Query, interim library director in New Orleans, who is also Tulane University's libraries dean."

Lefties in other places say something when private employers pull that kind of shit, what do lefties object to here?
Keep looking..
I saw a flurry of commentary when the T/P finally ran a front page story and editorial AFTER the raises were passed.
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