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The Times-Picayune Undresses a Blowhard(Broussard)
CJRDaily ^ | 10/12/05 | Felix Gillette

Posted on 10/14/2005 9:44:14 AM PDT by Pikamax


In the days following Hurricane Katrina, Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard leapt into the white-hot media arena and became one of the most eloquent, savage, and ubiquitous critics of the Bush administration's lackluster, stutter-step response. As we noted earlier, Broussard's gift of gab had quote-hungry reporters lining up for tart samples.

But weeks later, at least one paper has remembered that Broussard is not only a political critic but also a politician -- and one who played a not-insignificant role in the failed evacuation. Unfortunately for Broussard, that paper is the one his constituency reads -- the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

As it turns out, in the hours prior to Katrina's arrival, while Broussard was busy pumping out memorable one-liners, his administration was neglecting something else -- specifically, the water pumps that protect the east side of Jefferson Parish.

Today the Times-Picayune published an editorial criticizing Broussard for his porous judgment. "Much of East Jefferson, like much of the rest of greater New Orleans, was built on drained swampland," noted the paper. "An elaborate network of drainage canals and pump stations is crucial to keeping water off the streets." But for 36 hours on August 28 and 29, the Times-Picayune continued, Jefferson pump stations sat silent, simply because parish officials had sent a total of 1,100 workers and 700 vehicles to Mount Hermon, near the state line, including the men and women who operate the pumps.

"Lots of people in Jefferson Parish are furious over ... Broussard's decision to evacuate more than 200 pump station workers as Hurricane Katrina loomed in the Gulf of Mexico," noted the editorial. "And while Mr. Broussard has vehemently defended that move ever since, residents have ample reason to be upset."

In an article, published in the Times-Picayune last week, upset residents did more than second-guess the decision -- they channeled their Inner Broussards.

"This wasn't an act of God," resident Danny Callahan told the paper. "It was an act of stupidity, and we're the little guys now stuck between the parish and the insurance companies. We are the ones who have to pay for the decisions politicians make. Higher insurance rates, deductibles, financial ruin. I don't want any politician deciding what they think is best for me. When he pays the mortgage on my house or takes my place in filing for bankruptcy, then he can make the decisions."

"For bedridden people, flooding is a matter of life," another resident told the paper. "I believe our homes would not have flooded in Hurricane Katrina had the pumps been running at the proper time. Now we have the agony -- yes, agony -- of trying to meet with insurance adjusters, fighting mold and mildew, and throwing our treasured possessions in a heap on the curb. ... What kind of faith can we have in our public officials to protect us?"

And while Broussard famously wept on NBC's "Meet the Press" while discussing the Bush Administration's failures, at the same time, others were shedding tears over Broussard's failures.

"I couldn't believe it," Debbie Settoon, a former East Jefferson Civic League president told the Times-Picayune. "I just screamed when I heard [that the pump stations were closed], and then I started crying. It was the first time I cried. It was the straw that broke the camel's back, because I knew what it meant."

Still, it's not easy to out-Broussard Broussard. When it was time to criticize the Bush Administration for its handling of the hurricane, Broussard delivered the best quotes. Now that the spotlight has turned to Broussard himself, the quote-maestro is not about to recuse himself from the proceedings.

"I am not an analysis paralysis guy," Broussard recently told the Times-Picayune. "I'm an action guy. If you manage a crisis by committee, you are hopelessly inept in reacting to the needs of the citizens. ... I was absolutely a salmon swimming upstream on this one."

Perhaps. But to hear the citizens of Jefferson Parish tell it, while Broussard was swimming upstream, their homes, dreams and possessions were being swept downstream. And now, thanks to the Times-Picayune's reporting, Broussard can no longer blame the flooding on management-by-committee at FEMA.

--Felix Gillette



TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 10/14/2005 9:44:18 AM PDT by Pikamax
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To: Pikamax
Yet another lying and corrupt democRAT.
2 posted on 10/14/2005 9:48:37 AM PDT by lormand (It's a long 3 hours between Rush and Levin)
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To: Pikamax

3 posted on 10/14/2005 9:48:46 AM PDT by petercooper (The Republican Party: We Suck Less.)
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To: Pikamax
"We are the ones who have to pay for the decisions politicians make."

It's finally dawning on some of them. Now, if this would just occur all over the country, we might finally have some decent governing.

4 posted on 10/14/2005 9:49:43 AM PDT by MizSterious (Now, if only we could convince them all to put on their bomb-vests and meet in Mecca...)
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To: petercooper

I first heard him on the radio, and thought it was "Reverend" R.G. Stair.


5 posted on 10/14/2005 9:51:56 AM PDT by JoJo Gunn (Help control the Leftist population. Have them spayed or neutered. )
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To: Pikamax

That guy bawled and whined more than an Anaheim Angels fan.


6 posted on 10/14/2005 9:53:08 AM PDT by Clemenza (Gentlemen, Behold!)
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To: Pikamax
We are the ones who have to pay for the decisions politicians make.

Everybody pays for the decisions politicians make. Nobody thinks about this in the election years.

7 posted on 10/14/2005 9:54:03 AM PDT by oyez
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To: petercooper
This blowhard?


8 posted on 10/14/2005 9:54:44 AM PDT by linkinpunk
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To: Pikamax

What a clusterflux.

Well, we've learned one valuable lesson from Katrina...no ethnic group has a monopoly on stupidity.


9 posted on 10/14/2005 9:56:36 AM PDT by RichInOC ("New Orleans! Governed by pirates, drunks and whores....")
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To: Pikamax

This sounds like a perfect situation for a class action lawsuit...


10 posted on 10/14/2005 9:58:39 AM PDT by Rad_J
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To: Clemenza

Jefferson Parish still has email blocked.


11 posted on 10/14/2005 10:01:55 AM PDT by ncountylee (Dead terrorists smell like victory)
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To: Pikamax
Image hosted by TinyPic.com
Waaaaa! It wasn't my fault.
12 posted on 10/14/2005 10:05:37 AM PDT by Old Seadog (Birthdays start out being fun. But too many of them will kill you..)
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To: Pikamax

His rediculous lying crybaby face belongs on the seal of the democrat party.


13 posted on 10/14/2005 10:34:39 AM PDT by dc-zoo
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To: Clemenza
I haven't seen anyone cry like that since this fellow Louisianan


14 posted on 10/14/2005 10:37:46 AM PDT by dfwgator (Flower Mound, TX)
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To: dfwgator

Jimmy Lee should have took advice from his cousin Jerry Lee and simply killed the woman and hid the body. ;-)


15 posted on 10/14/2005 10:39:28 AM PDT by Clemenza (Gentlemen, Behold!)
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To: Clemenza

And LSU fans will be crying tomorrow after the Gators take care of the Tigers.


16 posted on 10/14/2005 10:40:40 AM PDT by dfwgator (Flower Mound, TX)
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To: dfwgator
This year will be the first when my sister and brother in law won't go to Gator Growl. Kids make it difficult to enjoy old habits.

Of course, my alma mater's Chess Team would destroy the Gators on the board. Go Maroons!

17 posted on 10/14/2005 10:52:14 AM PDT by Clemenza (Gentlemen, Behold!)
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To: Pikamax
Quite a resemblance...

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

18 posted on 10/14/2005 10:55:07 AM PDT by vox_freedom (Fear no evil)
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To: Pikamax
The New Orleans Times-Picayune?
Of the Main Stream Media?
Damn this ha har hard to believe. This makes at least 8 or 10 stories I have seen from the New Orleans Times-Picayune that not only vindicate Bush but indict most of the Louisiana and New Orleans politicians. I wonder if there is going to be another shoe dropping soon.
19 posted on 10/14/2005 11:06:21 AM PDT by Bar-Face (The Embassy helicopter is warming up.)
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To: Pikamax

nice post - hard to believe that Columbia Journalism Review did this story. Wish a few of the MSM had the guts to follow up with the pump portion of this tradegy. By the way time for a little forgivness to Mike Brown @ FEMA.


20 posted on 10/14/2005 11:25:48 AM PDT by q_an_a
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