Thank God we can put that year behind us... no wait... there's no way in heck we can put that year behind us. How can we do that when two third's of this city is still in shambles. 60% of the homes still do not have electricity. The city is celebrating that we've gotten up to a population of 100,000 (that's down from 465,000) WOOHOO!
Here's my report card on how local politicians fared in the aftermath of Katrina:
• Governor Kathleen Blanco:
Kathleen was effectively ineffective. Basically a deer in the headlights and this entire catastrophe was way over her head. Pre-K she was actually doing a pretty good job, luring business to the state and such... but damn, she pretty much crumbled under the onslought that would have crumbled most. Grade: D-
• Mayor Ray Nagin:
I loved C. Ray pre-K. This businessman turned Mayor was tearing the old Morial and Jefferson henchmen a new one - breaking through the city's corruption and trying his darndest to make New Orleans a more business friendly place. Post-K, he did the best that he could with outrageously limited resources. The national press made a big to do regarding all those schoolbuses parked in the floodwaters, but did anybody happen to realize that it took two weeks, even after all the national resources poured into the city to fully evacuate this town, and they expected him to organize the evacuation of New Orleans in less than 24 hours... baloney. Lately, he's been running throughout the evacuee ridden border cities and imploring people to come home, but to what I ask? I, personally, have had a site survey and approval for my FEMA trailer done two months ago... yet still no trailer. We still don't know which neighborhoods may be demolished. We still don't know what the plan is. Hey C. Ray, I guess you're dutifully working behind the scenes, but I'd sure like to see you on the news EVERY NIGHT telling us anything. Grade: C+
• Senator Mary Landrieu:
Mary, Mary, Mary. You rocked for the first week, and are still productive on the national scene. My HUGE issue with you (and your cohort) is when you gave that impassioned plea at the national press conference - you were fantastic and fiery and right, but then you finished your speech and hugged Blanco and said all laughing, "The money's coming baby." That made me sick to my stomach. You looked greedy and then followed it up with a request for $250 billion... Even I know that was outrageous. Thanks to that, any sympathy we may have had down here in New Orleans AND Mississippi washed away like our coast. You've since calmed down, that's good. Grade: B-
• Senator David Vitter:
Hey Dave, you pretty much get grouped with Landrieu above with the added point that you were trying to butt kiss the President the whole time. You should have stopped that $250B money grab. Grade: C+
• Orleans parish Councilmember Oliver Thomas:
He basically did the Oliver Twist for me. Not only was this man out personally rescuing his fellow citizens in the aftermath, he was very vocal and very persuasive in the media. Ollie - you really shined, and you surprised the heck out of me. Great Job.. and keep on doing it. Grade: A
• Orleans Parish Councilmember Jay Batt:
Jaybird... where are you? Where have you been? What have you been doing? I vote in Lakeview... The best thing that I've seen you do is answer two questions for me via email within 12 hours. That's something, I guess. Grade: C
• Congressman Bobby Jindal:
Oh for you to have been Governor Bobby. I have followed your career for awhile now starting when Foster put you on the scene, and have been impressed. I voted for you for Governor, even though I thought you were still too young - but you have shown your wisdom throughout this event. You've got my vote, whenever. The one negative, the $250B request fiasco. Grade: B+
• Leiutenant Governor Mitch Landrieu:
Mitch, you come from a long line of politicos and you also have risen in my book with your actions in the aftermath. If you run against Nagin... I will have a conumdrum. Grade: B+
• Orleans Parish Councilmember Jackie Clarckson:
The screaming zealot. I agreed with a fair amount that you were working towards pre-K, but now... you smell of territorial protectionism. Queen NIMBY. Grade: C-
• Congressman Bill Jefferson:
Aren't you about to get indicted by the feds? Grade: D
• Orleans Parish Councilmember Eddie Sapir:
Eddie have you even returned to New Orleans? Grade: D
• Jefferson parish President Aaron Broussard:
What a kick you were in the aftermath. Your insane ramblings were hilarious AND true. You also get points from me for telling it like it was - except where you were mistaken. I'm sorry, but thinking that pump operators are not essential and therefore evacuating them - that's idiotic. Grade: D+
• St. Bernard parish President Junior Rodriguez:
As far as I can tell - you've been telling your people exactly how it is and are going to bat for them. I hear your name more than Nagin's. And anyone in a position such as your's who would wear a "FEMA - Fix Everything, My Ass"
t-shirt to an official council meeting gets a thumbs up from me. Grade: B+
Oh well, that's certainly not all of them, but there you have it. One man's opinions. One man who very actively votes.
I would also like to give out some very high praise for our neighbors in Texas (except San Antonio), Georgia, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama and effectively every state in this union and their citizens. Thanks for the help - we DO appreciate it.
F's go to everyone in the Federal Government.