OxBlog

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

# Posted 10:46 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

SUNDAY MORNING ROUND-UP: It was the week of Katrina on all three networks, commemorating the storm's anniversary. The headliner on NBC was Ray Nagin, mayor of New Orleans. He was followed by FEMA director David Paulison. CBS also had Paulison, preceded by Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour. ABC led off with Paulison's predecessor, Mike Brown, followed by Don Powell, the President's point man on Katrina, and Sen. Mary Landrieu.

Nagin: C-. A total clown. In an earlier interivew, he defended his reconstruction effort in New Orleans by saying that five years after 9/11, New York still has "a whole in the ground." Then, on NBC, he offered the least sincere pseudo-apology I've heard in a very long time.

Paulison (on NBC & CBS): B. Sounded all right. I couldn't really evaluate what he said because I know so little about the specifics of current disaster planning and reconstruction efforts.

Haley Barbour: B. Sounded OK. Again, I don't know enough to evaluate what he said.

Mike Brown: C-. Another total clown. Blame, blame, blame, then pretend to apologize. At least he gave Nagin a run for the money in that regard.

Powell: B. Same as Barbour and Paulison.

Landrieu: B. Did a good job of playing the victim. She had no responsibility for the government response to Katrina, so she can avoid the blame while dishing it out. But Stephanopoulos got tough with her, demanding a justification for the exorbitant requests for relief funding she made along with other Louisiana polls.

I have to admit, I haven't been following the Katrina story at all. Part of it is that I focus on foreign affairs. But I stay interested in domestic issues like judicial appointments and abortion.

I think the difference here may be that post-Katrina rebuilding has very little to do with ideology. You can't argue from first principles, because this job is about specific indications of competence. (Which by the way doesn't excuse my ignorance. It only explains it.)
(11) opinions -- Add your opinion

Comments:
I don't like Nagin at all, but his "hole in the ground" comment has a certain point to it.

According to this website, groundbreaking for construction on the WTC was on August 5th, 1966. Steel construction began in August 1968. First tenant occupancy of One WTC was December, 1970, and occupancy of Two WTC began in January 1972. Ribbon cutting was on April 4, 1973.

That's a little more than four years from groundbreaking (not even a hole) until tenants started moving into one tower, and about five and a half years until the second tower started getting tenants. Groundbreaking to ribbon cutting: six years, eight months.

That, five years later, the WTC actually still is, more or less, a "hole in the ground" does not say much about those who were supposed to rebuild that part of New York. Frankly, I think they should have updated the structural and safety designs and put up the original towers again, maybe on different footprints to preserve memorial space.
 
maybe you should go down and visit NO and Miss. One thing I thought NO flooded when a flood wall collapsed and was not overtopped. The msm keeps talking about the levees failing which is altogether a different thing and not what happened.
 
4Virginia,

the Army Corps of Engineers "Performance Evaluation of the New Orleans and Southeast Louisiana Hurricane Protection System" says

"Within two of the three outfall canals in Orleans Parish, and at one site within the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal (IHNC), foundation failures occurred prior to water levels reaching the design levels of protection, causing breaching and subsequent massive flooding and extensive losses."
 
tbrosz: I disagree that Nagin has a point. There is no comparison between the two.

In NY, the city still functions. We are not rebuilding the towers, we don't depend on the towers for basic services and there is no pressing rush. The delay is caused by a debate among many groups about what should replace them.

How can that compare to picking up debris and clearing wrecked cars off the street? NYC did the clean up part in impressive time.
 
"That, five years later, the WTC actually still is, more or less, a "hole in the ground" does not say much about those who were supposed to rebuild that part of New York."

This argument is--with all due respect--a tad un-informed.

The problem with fixing this "whole in the ground" [sic] is that the entire foundation was severely damaged from an engineering and structural standpoint, and that we are "rebuilding" the site with much that we have to work around from the previous site, which is greatly hindering our process.

Just some quick examples: to begin the rebuilding process, much work was required to make sure that the pressure from the river did not cause ground zero to implode and flood. This took around a year to complete I believe.

Engineers decided to use the existing foundation and footprints (which were still in place but were so damaged they had to be essentially rebuilt when they were being refurbished). However, work had to be done around the existing rail infastructure which was not in place some 40 odd years ago.

All in all, rebuilding efforts are moving at a fairly quick pace.

I have always thought Mayor Nagin was crazy.
 
Maybe I'm a bit cold but am I the only one who wishes Nagin and the other whiners from New Orleans would just shut up? I don't hear Mississippi whining. Why can't people just quietly rebuild and get on with their lives? They've gotten ridiculous sums of money to rebuild that city, which by the way wasn't exactly a jewel to begin with. Sure it's a great place to have fun, and the food was excellent, but so are any number of cities in this country.

Here's the real question, will all those people who were "failed by government" go on to vote for pols who insist on MORE government??
 
No, you're not a bit cold. You're just very uninformed. They've gotten ridiculous amounts of money, yet you can't spend fifty cents for a newspaper to help get your facts straight?

Yes, "ridiculous" sums of money were approved by congress. But as everyone except you knows by now, not nearly so much money has been allocated. As a detailed report by Oxfam has pointed out, much of the money released was enough for initial relief (such as food, water, blankets and temporary shelters). But it's been one year later, and not a single house has been rebuilt. Not in Louisiana, and not in Mississippi... which puts the lie to your claim that people in Mississippi aren't complaining. (Oh, what a newspaper would do for your enlightenment!) And there's more. $10 billion dollars has been approved by congress to give to Gulf Coast businesses as loans. Only $2 billion have been allocated. Not good enough.

It's quite astonishing that there are people who are so enamoured with their president and their government that they would rather people suffer and die in silence (if it were to come to that) that admit for one nanosecond that there was a failure of policy and leadership. I suppose you could do the valiant thing, and offer to take the place of one who died in the hurricane. One less person on this planet who could hand down such odious viewpoints to a new generation is one more small blessing.

Oh, and do you know who some of the loudest "whiners" have been? Disaster agency field employees. They're the ones who have been working non-stop to provide relief to the area. They've been publicly pleading for more help and assistance, and since they've been getting their hands dirty and callused, they have the right. Something you can't relate to, right?
 
Zero homes, huh. I'll spring for 50 cents to buy the newspaper that printed that 'fact'.

Even if that were so, it would demonstrate that Mississippians had cause to complain, not that they are now complaining. Their governor doesn't seem to think they are: "Our people did the best they could. We weren't looking for somebody to blame. Mississippians aren't into victimhood. We got hit by the worst natural disaster in American history, and we got flattened. Our people got right back and hitched up...."

Anon, I can't take the place of someone who died during the storm. Can you point me to a newspaper article that says otherwise? What I could do is reciprocate your wish for death for someone who disagrees with me. But I won't do that, either. I'll just hope that you become a better person someday, so that you can feel deeply ashamed of your post, as you should.
 
Never mind the newspaper. How about a press release from Oxfam, released last Monday?

http://releases.usnewswire.com/GetRelease.asp?id=71335

GULFPORT, Miss., Aug. 28 /U.S. Newswire/ -- International humanitarian agency Oxfam America raised concern today that out of the $3 billion allocated for rebuilding homes damaged by Hurricane Katrina along Mississippi's Gulf Coast, fewer than 30 households saw any of that assistance this week when the first round of checks went out. Oxfam America called on Mississippi state officials to immediately change course and work with community leaders to develop a comprehensive housing recovery plan by the end of September that meets the needs of the region's poorest residents....

..."In a state where 60,000 homes suffered severe damage, only around 30,000 households were eligible for the initial program, and now less than three dozen checks have gone out," said Oxfam America's Minor Sinclair, director of its U.S. regional programs. "Very few families will have made any progress by Katrina's first anniversary. People are stranded in gutted-out houses, overcrowded trailers, and slipping deeper into debt, with no real help in sight."


Since you asked.

If by being better, you mean as good a person as one who calls the tens of thousands who have lost homes, livelihoods, and family members upset that they are unable to get a thing done by this reticent, lazy, beauracratic government "whiny"? (And how annoying are those horrid 9/11 widows, Ms. Coulter?) Noooo, thank you! And nor should you strive for that level of goodness.
 
Well, that shut everyone up! :)
 
Tip of the hat, fellow Anon.
 
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