Under pressure from President Bush and other top federal officials, the mayor suspended the reopening of large portions of the city Monday and instead ordered nearly everyone out because of the risk of a new round of flooding from a tropical storm on the way.
And in the New York Times...
The mayor reversed himself hours after Mr. Bush had questioned whether it was safe for residents to return. The president reiterated warnings by Vice Adm. Thad W. Allen of the Coast Guard, leader of the federal recovery effort, that the levee system was weakened, that the 911 emergency telephone system was not working, that the hospitals remained closed and that pollutants were in the air and water.
"Admiral Allen speaks for the administration," Mr. Bush said on Monday in Washington. "We have made our position loud and clear. The mayor needs to hear, and so do the people of New Orleans, our objective.
Now the Main Stream Media has mainly ignored Mayor Nagin's bizarre statements and behavior in the days before and after Katrina hit the city, other than his outburst when he complained - and rightly so - that no one else was doing their jobs properly. And the media has also largely ignored how he had to be forced by the president to even call for an evacuation of the city - or how he seemingly then did everything he could to prevent it from happening.
His most bizarre performance, though, was the morning before the storm when he gave a TV interview where he said that even with the then projected Category 5 direct hit - the storm water (which he claimed would not be polluted) would be totally gone, that all utilities restored and that life would be back to normal within one to two weeks. But don't look for a tape of that WWL-TV interview on-line. It has... vanished.
He also did nothing did nothing to help the evacuation and ignored the plan to use buses to get the poor out of the city. He also refused to implement any of the evacuation plans other then to tell people to go to shelters at the same time he pointedly said he would NOT stock them with food or water. And his idea of evacuating tourists was to tell them to go to the third floors of their hotels. Plus it has since come out that when AMTRAK offered Nagin an entire train on Sunday to evacuate people the day before the storm - he refused their offer.
And these are only some of the dozens of other things he said and did - and did not do - that are slowly coming out, but what you will rarely read about in the LA Times (or even the New York Times, though that is changing some) - much less hear on the network news shows.
But, finally, his behavior has become so delusional - that Associated Press and even the New York Times has finally begun to report his ravings, even though the LA Times still refuses to. In fact, even when the LAT uses AP source material, the LAT continues its history of editing and altering wire reports to meet the newpaper's political agenda.
First, as background, when Nagin, and to a lesser extend, Governor Blanco, were blamed for not following their own evacuation plans - each claimed that when Bush declared it a national emergency - two days before it hit - that he was the one in charge. And when things went wrong afterwards - they also each claimed that the president was the one in charge.
But now read below what Nagin is saying in the same New York Times article when Bush and other officials tried to stop him from having hundreds of thousands of people return to a city; a city with no safe water, no sewers, no sanitary facilites, limited power, deadly pools of standing water - and levees that could collapse with even a moderate rain storm, much less a hurricane or a tropical storm. Read the below quotes that LA Times won't report:
Noting that Admiral Allen had urged residents not to return, the mayor said: "The admiral's a good man. I respect him. But when he starts talking to the citizens of New Orleans, that's kind of out of his lane. There's only one mayor of New Orleans and I'm it.
And in an AP report:
Bush said White House chief of staff Andrew Card had been pressing the matter with Nagin. The concerns were also echoed by the top federal official in charge in New Orleans, Coast Guard Vice Adm. Thad Allen, who went on one news show after another to warn that city services may not be able to handle the influx of people.
Before reversing course Monday, a clearly agitated Nagin snapped that Allen had apparently made himself "the new crowned federal mayor of New Orleans."
Now this is important because before the hurricane hit, the White House had seriously considered taking control of New Orleans to get the evacuation going, but decided against it, feeling the political problems would have been too great. And these problems are evident in Ray Nagin's willingness to put the lives of the citizens of his city at risk then and again now, and his refusal to listen to reason until - once again - he had to forced to stop putting people at risk.
Lastly, there are many quotes from Ray Nagin both just before and in the days after the hurricane (his ravings about the phantom helicopter that someone stopped from fixing the levee is my personal favorite - though there were some internet stories about him claiming kidnapping or assasination plots that I never botherd to confirm) that demonstrate he is... crackers.
But, again, don't look to read any of these quotes in the LA Times.