Katrina: Urban legends, Nagin’s eye openers, etc
This evening it appears that finally the hosting issues really have been fixed – I hate I couldn’t blog any earlier! The blogosphere was abuzz, as always, in the meantime, with the very latest on what’s happening in the affected areas since Hurricane Katrina’s wrath. Captain Ed had an interesting post today about some comments New Orleans Mayor Ray "The MSM is going to let me off the hook" Nagin had to say about a meeting he, La. Governor Blanco, and the President had on board Air Force One (I should note our friend Baklava mentioned this interview here.) Have a look (via CNN):
S. O’BRIEN: What has Secretary Chertoff promised you? What has Donald Rumsfeld given you and promised you?
NAGIN: Look, I’ve gotten promises to — I can’t stand anymore promises. I don’t want to hear anymore promises. I want to see stuff done. And that’s why I’m so happy that the president came down here, because I think they were feeding him a line of bull also. And they were telling him things weren’t as bad as it was.
He came down and saw it, and he put a general on the field. His name is General Honore. And when he hit the field, we started to see action.
And what the state was doing, I don’t frigging know. But I tell you, I am pissed. It wasn’t adequate.
And then, the president and the governor sat down. We were in Air Force One. I said, ‘Mr. President, Madam Governor, you two have to get in sync. If you don’t get in sync, more people are going to die.’
S. O’BRIEN: What date was this? When did you say that? When did you say…
NAGIN: Whenever air Force One was here.
S. O’BRIEN: OK.
NAGIN: And this was after I called him on the telephone two days earlier. And I said, ‘Mr. President, Madam Governor, you two need to get together on the same page, because of the lack of coordination, people are dying in my city.’
S. O’BRIEN: That’s two days ago.
NAGIN: They both shook — I don’t know the exact date. They both shook their head and said yes. I said, ‘Great.’ I said, ‘Everybody in this room is getting ready to leave.’ There was senators and his cabinet people, you name it, they were there. Generals. I said, ‘Everybody right now, we’re leaving. These two people need to sit in a room together and make a doggone decision right now.’
S. O’BRIEN: And was that done?
NAGIN: The president looked at me. I think he was a little surprised. He said, "No, you guys stay here. We’re going to another section of the plane, and we’re going to make a decision."
He called me in that office after that. And he said, "Mr. Mayor, I offered two options to the governor." I said — and I don’t remember exactly what. There were two options. I was ready to move today. The governor said she needed 24 hours to make a decision.
S. O’BRIEN: You’re telling me the president told you the governor said she needed 24 hours to make a decision?
S. O’BRIEN: Regarding what? Bringing troops in?
NAGIN: Whatever they had discussed. As far as what the — I was abdicating a clear chain of command, so that we could get resources flowing in the right places.
S. O’BRIEN: And the governor said no.
NAGIN: She said that she needed 24 hours to make a decision. It would have been great if we could of left Air Force One, walked outside, and told the world that we had this all worked out. It didn’t happen, and more people died.
Sounds like Mayor Nagin is a graduate of Pass the Buck University, doesn’t it? Except this time he’s not passing it to the Prez, he’s passing it on to Governor Blanco. Whoops. Nagin is also claiming that the CIA will likely "wipe him out" when this is all said and done due to his harsh criticism of the President’s response to the hurricane (hat tip: Rob at Say Anything):
New Orleans, Louisiana (AHN) – Apparently suffering from stress and a bit of paranoia, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin tells CNN Saturday night that he believes the CIA will “wipe him out” after his criticism of President Bush and the Federal Government in response to Hurricane Katrina.
Mayor Nagin seemed to have calmed down after meeting with President Bush for two hours on Friday but became stressed again over the current situation still unfolding in his city.
The Mayor has come under serious scrutiny and criticism in the last 72 hours after photos of parking lots filled with school buses that were sitting in a foot of water were released on the Internet. Many critics of the Mayor and Gov. Blanco say the buses could have saved an estimated 20,000 people if they had been used for emergency evacuations which President Bush had declared two days before Katrina hit.
Nine stockpiles of fire-and-rescue equipment strategically placed around the country to be used in the event of a catastrophe still have not been pressed into service in New Orleans, CNN reports Saturday night. Responding to a CNN inquiry, Department of Homeland Security spokesman Marc Short said Friday, “The gear has not been moved because none of the governors in the hurricane-ravaged area has requested it.”
In related news, Michelle Malkin takes a look at a few stories that have been reported about rapes, baby-throat slashing, and finds that the stories are coming up a little short on the facts.
Some good news: At the TTLB blog leader board, logged contributions from the blogosphere in light of the devastation from Hurricane Katrina stand at $1,239,797. That’s fantastic! But remember, there’s actually been more contributed – I’m sure not everyone is logging their contributions. Hats off to all the bloggers out there who have participated and to the readers who helped raise so much money. The AP is reporting today that donations could hit $1 billion:
Within a week after news and images of the chaos left by Hurricane Katrina were broadcast, Americans donated over half a billion dollars to charities aiding victims of the flood.
The speed of the money raised has outpaced the rate of donations offered to victims of the 2001 terror attacks and could hit $1 billion, according Stacy Palmer, editor of The Chronicle of Philanthropy, a publication that tracks nonprofit organizations.
"It is unprecedented in scale and speed," Palmer said.
"This outpaces anything we have had," said Ryland Dodge, spokesman with the American Red Cross. "The 9-11 donations ended up being $1 billion dollars (collected) over a long period of time."
By far the largest single corporate donation has come from Wal-Mart, the retail giant, which donated $17 million late last week. In addition, the Walton Family Foundation, a foundation created by the family of the founder of Wal-Mart, donated $15 million to a variety of organizations.
Read the whole thing. The generous spirit of America is alive and well.
Update: Via Steve Muscatello at Townhall.com:
We are hearing unconfirmed reports that New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin has resigned. Updates to follow….
(Hat tip: Jeff Goldstein)
(Cross-posted at BlogsForBush)
Update II: John Cole says "Let’s Get This Right" – and he does.
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