- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 17, 2006

God’s wrath?

New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin suggested yesterday that Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and other storms were a sign that “God is mad at America” and at black communities, too, for tearing themselves apart with violence and political infighting.

“Surely God is mad at America. He sent us hurricane after hurricane after hurricane, and it’s destroyed and put stress on this country,” Mr. Nagin, who is black, said as he and other city leaders marked Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

“Surely he doesn’t approve of us being in Iraq under false pretenses. But surely he is upset at black America also. We’re not taking care of ourselves.”

Mr. Nagin also promised that New Orleans will be a “chocolate” city again, per God’s will. Many of the city’s black neighborhoods were heavily damaged by Katrina.

“It’s time for us to come together. It’s time for us to rebuild New Orleans — the one that should be a chocolate New Orleans,” the mayor said. “This city will be a majority African-American city. It’s the way God wants it to be. You can’t have New Orleans no other way. It wouldn’t be New Orleans.”

Mr. Nagin described an imaginary conversation with King, the late civil rights leader, the Associated Press reports.

“I said, ‘What is it going to take for us to move on and live your dream and make it a reality?’ He said, ‘I don’t think that we need to pay attention any more as much about other folks and racists on the other side.’ He said, ‘The thing we need to focus on as a community — black folks I’m talking about — is ourselves.’”

A failed smear

“As a Princeton senior in 1984, I met the editor of Prospect, a magazine published by a conservative group called the Concerned Alumni of Princeton (CAP),” Henry Payne writes at National Review Online (www.nationalreview.com).

“He was a minority — an Indian immigrant named Dinesh D’Souza. The following year, his ex-Dartmouth College colleague, Laura Ingraham, succeeded him as editor. Fast forward 22 years to this [past] week’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing room where committee Democrats declared Supreme Court nominee Sam Alito a bigot. Their evidence? In 1985 he was a member of CAP, an organization ‘opposed to the admission of women and minorities.’

“How did an organization that gave its top jobs to a minority and a woman oppose minorities and women? ‘To say that Prospect was against minorities and co-ed education is absurd,’ says D’Souza, now a Hoover Institution fellow and author of ‘Illiberal Education,’ a groundbreaking book on academic political correctness.

“With charges as flimsy as these, it is no wonder that the Democrats’ attack appears to lack legs. And video of Ted Kennedy driving Alito’s wife to tears revolted viewers, much as Kennedy’s predecessor, Joe McCarthy, embarrassed himself during televised hearings. But the swift conservative reaction to Kennedy’s tactics probably would not have come about without the battle-hardened troops borne of ideological battles similar to those between Princeton and CAP in the early 1980s,” said Mr. Payne, an editorial cartoonist for the Detroit News.

Rice’s response

Not even a vote of confidence from Laura Bush can change Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s mind about running for president in 2008.

Before leaving for Africa, the first lady predicted the United States soon would have a female president — a Republican, and maybe even Miss Rice.

In the year since becoming secretary of state, Miss Rice has repeatedly dismissed the notion of running for the Republican nomination to succeed President Bush.

Asked Sunday about the first lady’s comments, Miss Rice laughed and good-naturedly answered the recurring question about her prospects for president in 2008.

“Obviously, it’s flattering when people say things like that. The first lady is not only a terrific person, she’s my friend. And I was honored that she said that, of course. She’s a wonderful person,” Miss Rice said.

“But I’ve spoken to this. I know what I’m good at, I know what I want to do and that’s not it.”

How about vice president?

“The two are the same,” she said with a grin and a shake of her head.

Blaming DeLay

Liberal pundit Mark Shields, in an appearance on the television show “Inside Washington,” said that Rep. Tom DeLay, Texas Republican, is partly to blame for the recent deaths of 12 coal miners in West Virginia.

“I don’t think what happened in West Virginia is totally divorced from the K Street project,” Mr. Shields said. “It was all about deregulation. Tom DeLay fervently and sincerely believes that every regulation — the regulations that have removed 99 percent of lead from the air, the regulations that have saved the Great Lakes — they are a burden and an onerous intrusion upon American business, and I think that what you’ve seen is Tom DeLay’s America in action.”

MLK honorees

Congress of Racial Equality national Chairman Roy Innis was scheduled to honor U.N. Ambassador John R. Bolton and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour last night at the conservative civil rights organization’s annual Martin Luther King dinner in Manhattan.

Mr. Bolton, a strong-willed and often outspoken conservative with an ability to drive liberal critics up the wall, was undersecretary of state for arms control and international-security affairs in President Bush’s first term. Then, over Democrats’ opposition, Mr. Bush, through a recess appointment, installed Mr. Bolton as the head of the U.S. diplomatic mission at the United Nations, where he has made waves trying to get that body to make basic reforms.

Mr. Barbour, a former head of the Republican National Committee, pushed a program to bring more minorities into the Republican Party when he was its national chairman in the 1990s. He also was accepting to mark the progress on race relations Mississippi had made since the civil-rights era.

“Mississippi has made the most revolutionary turnaround on race of all the 50 states,” said Mr. Innis. “It was where five civil-rights activists were murdered, yet we are now naming airports, highways, streets for these fallen heroes of the civil-rights movement in Mississippi.”

Helping Nussle

Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey of Texas was one of several state and national Republican leaders campaigning in Iowa yesterday for Rep. Jim Nussle, who is seeking the Republican nomination for governor.

Former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie, former Gov. Terry Branstad, state Senate Republican leader Stewart Iverson and state House Majority Leader Chuck Gipp also spoke up for Mr. Nussle at various caucuses across the state.

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or [email protected]

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide