by Sam Winston
The soap opera that is New Orleans continued last week with more than enough backstabbing, heartbreak, and double plot twists to boot. President Bush started it all off by shucking Kathleen Blanco in a string of nauseating Katrina comparisons during the wildfires in southern California. The gulf coast was quick to shout them down but it was a Los Angeles Times columnist that set the record straight and called out the fluff being tossed about.
The drama, however, was just getting started as
DA Eddie Jordan requested the city to pick up the tab for the lawsuit settlement of his discriminatory firing of several white former DA office employees. The City Council rebuffed Jordan and then Mayor Ray Nagin took it a step further renewing the idea that Jordan's office could be taken over by the state. This series of exchanges took place in the context of one of the wildest stories in recent memory. A suspect sought for questioning by the N.O.P.D. in an armed robbery and the shooting of a police officer apparently sought refuge in Jordan's house after fleeing the scene of the aforementioned armed robbery. Jordan gave this radio interview explaining the incident as part coincidence in addition to him being unaware that the young man was indeed involved in a crime. Regardless, the pressure cooker at the DA's office seems ready to blow.
Jefferson Parish also felt the heartbreak as it was revealed that State Senator Derrick Shepherd was in the sights of the FBI for money laundering. Shepherd then dropped the names (video) of Mayor Nagin, Congressman Bill Jefferson, and state representative Karen Carter claiming they were the real targets and not him. Nagin dismissed Shepherd's claim while the city waits to see if Shepherd will in fact be indicted.
With all of that, one might have missed one of the most dubious FEMA actions in their short history. They held a fake press conference (video). In attempt to get the ultimate spin control and make a "comeback" from their nightmarish handling of Katrina, FEMA staged a press conference on their handling of the wildfires in California, except there weren't any reporters there. It was FEMA employees asking the questions. FEMA, who gave the real media only 15 minutes notice before the "conference" was taking place, then proceeded to answer a series of back slapping questions and send the footage out the major media outlets as the real McCoy.
All in all with a week like that, try as they may, you just can't make this stuff up.