From the Washington Post: Nagin was telling tourists that he hoped they had a hotel room at least three floors up, because unless they were able to do the impossible and find a rental car to get out of town, they were stuck with riding the storm out in their hotel rooms, but
“In fact, while the last regularly scheduled train out of town had left a few hours earlier, Amtrak had decided to run a “dead-head” train that evening to move equipment out of the city. It was headed for high ground in Macomb, Miss., and it had room for several hundred passengers. “We offered the city the opportunity to take evacuees out of harm’s way,” said Amtrak spokesman Cliff Black. “The city declined.”
So the ghost train left New Orleans at 8:30 p.m., with no passengers on board.”
Speaking of ignoring mass transit options, the Political Teen has the video footage of LA Senator Mary Landrieu’s appearance on Fox News Sunday, where she sidestepped clumsily and refused to answer Chris Wallace’s question about the buses Mayor Nagin left sitting in the parking lots instead of using them to evacuate his people. She says that it’s not his fault because he ‘can’t get his people to work on a sunny day, less alone getting them out of a city in front of a hurricane” and this is President Bush’s fault because he doesn’t believe in mass transit. Really. And Nagin couldn’t use those buses because they were under water. Which was kind of the point. Why were they under water instead of on dry ground after being used to evacuate the people who had no transportation?
She lamblasts the federal government response and then when asked why her criticism does not apply to the local and state governments (and given cause why it does), she pulls back and says she is not going to cast blame, this is no time for finger pointing, and she calls on the Federal Government to stop issuing press releases blaming state and city officials, and to work productively with her and drop the blame game, and then continues in the same breath to blame the Federal government. Nobody mentions that her brother is the Lt. Governor of Louisiana.
You really want to watch this.
Paul at Wizbang is ranting eloquently about the need for more ownership, not less, and less government intervention, not more. Paul is from New Orleans and evacuated out in advance of the storm. Language Warning. Here’s a bowdlerized excerpt:
The answer isn’t to make poor people more dependent, the answer is to make the poor people more self sufficient! (Amazing I know)
The Democrats don’t want an “ownership society.” Well, guess what? Car ownership made the difference in how some people survived!
Let’s call it like it was… 85% of the people you saw trapped in the Superdome lived in government housing and have for several generations…. Their subsistence is dependent on a getting a government check every month. These people have been taught -by Democrats- that property ownership is overrated… That big government will protect them. [bleep]
This was brought home by an interview I saw on CNN with a woman airlifted from the Dome to the airport. She was whining that there was a big truck full of water at the airport but the government did not sent enough people to pass the water out. The thought never occurred to her to gather up 2 or 3 people and go see if they could set up a table passing out water to their fellow refugees. She was just sitting in a chair waiting for someone to give her something. She didn’t see herself as someone who could change her position in life, she saw herself as a victim. If I were in her position, I’d get some help, find out who was in charge and get the supplies moving. I wouldn’t be a victim, I’d instantly become a volunteer. But I’m a horrible white republican male business owner who -you know- likes to own things.
…It wasn’t race or even so much economic status that made the difference in how people got thru the storm… it was attitude and ability.
The people who took it upon themselves to act got thru this storm (just as they get thru life) easier than the people waiting for government to help them. So what do the Democrats want? Less people “elevating individualism and private enterprise” and more people depending on government… Amazing. Simply freaking amazing.”
Naturally, his comments have generated a lot of criticism in his comment section. Several people point out that he’s overlooking the disabled poor, those who are ‘undereducated,’ those who are elderly, frail, and lack the mental capacity to make good decisions. Of course, ‘undereducation’ is something most conservatives believe would be best fixed by more local and less federal control, but I would agree that in his passionate post Paul has perhaps simplified the plight of some of the poorest. But I think those people are also best helped on a person to person basis, rather than through a federal bureaucracy. Federal intervention creates a dependency that personal connections do not. No matter what the reasons for their inaction, inability or unwillingness, it remains true that those ‘who took it upon themselves to act’ got through this disaster better than those who waited to see what was going to happen to them.
And finally, Jeff Goldstein has a blog I don’t think I’ve linked to because it’s almost never suitable for the young maidens of the Common Room- but this post is clean, it’s clear, it’s scathing, and it’s good reading. Do not, however, read the comments unless you do not mind foul language.
UPDATE: If you’ve not yet watched the Landrieu appearance via the Political Teen, please do so. Most of our progeny just watched it, and I was amused that the FYG, aged 9, observed, “She doesn’t answer any questions, does she?” FYG also wanted to know why she said “I’ll tell you if you’ll just let me answer this question,” when she wasn’t really answering any questions in the first place.
One of the Maidens watched and said “Beauty is deceptive, because she’s very cute, but she’s not very good.”
Everybody’s eyes opened very wide at her statement that Mayor Nagin can’t get his people to work on a sunny day, less alone get them out in front of a hurricane. Young Pip noted that while Landrieu complained about the government’s ‘insulting’ response to Louisiana’s need for aid, actually, her ‘his people won’t work on a sunny day’ remark (which she repeated three times) is truly one of the most insulting comments we have yet to see from the Katrina reporting.
And the Head Girl is incensed at Landrieu’s double standards.
UPDATE 2: Since this is a family blog, I thought I’d share this
Nursery Rhyme Medley
A tisket, a tasket
Several idiots in a basket
They wrote their own disaster plan
they dropped it, they dropped it.
And the President’s horses and the president’s men actually *did* pick them up and put them together again- not that Senator Landrieu or the old media will ever notice.