Sunday, September 11, 2005

Senator Mary Landrieu: New Orleans got lazy workers

Politics: I need the whole transcript, but this quote is hilarious if correct when she was on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.

Chris Wallace: "Was it incompetent and insulting for Mayor Ray nagin to order a mandatory evacuation, but then to leave buses -- and we have a picture of them -- hundreds of buses idle so that they could be flooded instead of using them to get people out?" Senator Landrieu: "Well, Chris, I was there as you know through the whole ordeal with state and local officials, and was right there with Louisiana Democrats and Republicans, city council members, police chiefs, mayors, and governors. And could watch what Hayley Barbour was doing and Governor Reilly in Alabama. I am not going to level criticism at the local level. These people did ..." Wallace: "But I'd like to answer if you could this one significant question ..." Landrieu: "I will answer it. I'm not going to level criticism at local and state officials. Mayor Nagin and most mayors in this country have a hard time getting their people to work on a sunny day, less [sic] alone getting them out of the city in front of a hurricane. It's because this administration and administrations before them do not understand the difficulties that mayors, whether they're in Orlando, Miami, or New Orleans face. In other words, ..."
Good lord... So they couldn't get people to drive the buses because they are lazy?
AP: "Louisiana's senior senator on Sunday escalated the Democrats' rhetoric against the Bush administration's hurricane response, accusing the White House of a "full court press" to blame state and local officials for the initial sluggish rescue effort. The government's emergency managers came under fire from the lone black senator, Democrat Barack Obama, who said they were clueless about the inner-city in New Orleans when they failed to plan for the evacuation of poor people. "
Uh.. Landrieu the initial slugglish effort was supposed to be by state and local officials. It must be tough dealing with the facts. As for Obama, that would also be the local and state officials. Maybe you two should brush up on the various evacuation plans.
1) City of New Orleans Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan 2) Louisiana Evacuation Plan 3) STATE OF LOUISIANA EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN SUPPLEMENT 1A ... 4) AP: "In storm, N.O. wants no one left behind" 5) ABC News: New Orleans' Emergency Plan Not Followed 6) AP 2004: "Ivan exposes flaws in N.O.'s disaster plans" 7) City had evacuation plan but strayed from strategy
Update# We finally have video!
Instapundit: "Her comments that Mayor Nagin "had trouble getting his people to work on a sunny day" seem a bit, um, dubious. At least, if a Republican said it, people would probably think it racist."
Probably? There would be so many press releases from the DNC, the bandwidth cost alone would have bankrupt them. Update#2 Forgot about this though Ace of Spades did not.
Senator Landrieu website: "DISASTER ASSISTANCE Emergency management operations for disasters include three phases: preparedness, response, and recovery. In the preparedness phase, state and local governments administer emergency preparedness programs with ongoing activities to help ensure that they are ready to respond to disasters. The Louisiana Department of Emergency Preparedness is responsible for all initial damage assessment prior to federal involvement. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) partially funds disaster assistance and emergency preparedness programs. Victims whose immediate needs are not met by voluntary relief organizations, such as the Red Cross and the Salvation Army, can register with FEMA."
Update#3: Daily Howler blasts Landrieu performance. update#4 Dan Dragna in comments says she was talking about mass transit issues in regards to the context. Looking at the foxnews transcript and the Daily Howler piece, I realize the problem. She came up with an excuse for the buses not being used as the evacuation plan called for and was determined to push it. The problem is she threw out the hook before she set up the premise.
WALLACE: But I'd like you to answer, if you could, this one specific question. LANDRIEU: Well, I will. I will answer it. I am not going to level criticism at local and state officials. Mayor Nagin and most mayors in this country have a hard time getting their people to work on a sunny day, let alone getting them out of the city in front of a hurricane. And it's because this administration and administrations before them do not understand the difficulties that mayors — whether they are in Orlando, Miami, or New Orleans — face. (CROSSTALK) LANDRIEU: In other words, this administration did not believe in mass transit. They won't even get people to work on a sunny day, let alone getting them out...
Switch it around and you can see what she is trying to say. That said it is still an answer that would strike anyone as idiotic. You couldn't get people to evacuate as the plan suggested because it is hard to get mass transit to work? Problem is Nagin answered this question on Meet the Press.
MAYOR NAGIN: You know, Tim, that's one of the things that will be debated. There has never been a catastrophe in the history of New Orleans like this. There has never been any Category 5 storm of this magnitude that has hit New Orleans directly. We did the things that we thought were best based upon the information that we had. Sure, here was lots of buses out there. But guess what? You can't find drivers that would stay behind with a Category 5 hurricane, you know, pending down on New Orleans. We barely got enough drivers to move people on Sunday, or Saturday and Sunday, to move them to the Superdome. We barely had enough drivers for that. So sure, we had the assets, but the drivers just weren't available. RUSSERT: But, Mr. Mayor, if you read the city of New Orleans' comprehensive emergency plan-- and I've read it and I'll show it to you and our viewers--it says very clearly, "Conduct of an actual evacuation will be the responsibility of the mayor of New Orleans. The city of New Orleans will utilize all available resources to quickly and safely evacuate threatened areas. Special arrangements will be made to evacuate persons unable to transport themselves or who require specific life-saving assistance. Additional personnel will be recruited to assist in evacuation procedure as needed. Approximately 100,000 citizens of New Orleans do not have means of personal transportation." It was your responsibility. Where was the planning? Where was the preparation? Where was the execution?
So the city employees said buh bye and found ways to get the hell out of dodge, which shoots a hole in the idiotic premise that Landrieu is pushing that federal government not paying for mass transit to get people to work was the problem.

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