'Disgusting' Diatribe

Now some fresh pickings from the Hurricane Grapevine:

Playing Politics?

The chilly relations between New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin (search) and Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco (search), both Democrats, may have more to do with politics than with Hurricane Katrina. Nagin endorsed current Republican representative Bobby Jindal instead of Blanco in the state's governor's race two years ago.

At the time, Nagin told the New Orleans Times-Picayune that Blanco supporters told him there would be "consequences and repercussions" for his decision, saying they would "Ice [him] out." Meanwhile, Jindal has blamed the state and federal bureaucracies for the slow response to Hurricane Katrina, but has yet to criticize New Orleans city officials, including the mayor.

"Disgusting" Diatribe

First lady Laura Bush (search) says rapper Kanye West's (search) recent diatribe ripping the president's response to Katrina victims was "disgusting." West went off the script last week during an NBC telethon to raise money for victims of Hurricane Katrina, saying that President Bush "doesn't care about black people." The first lady tells American Urban Radio, "of course President Bush cares about everyone in our country... I know what he thinks and I know how he cares about people."

Meanwhile, The Boston Globe reports that West was roundly booed in Boston during his performance marking the start of the new football season last night.

No Vacancy in Ocala

Residents of an Ocala, Florida community have been forbidden from taking in displaced families in the wake of Hurricane Katrina because such hospitality would violate their deed restrictions. The Gainesville Sun reports that angry residents demanded that the housing board reverse its decision at a meeting this week calling it "disgraceful" and that some are threatening to move out.

But the board's vice president said that houses in the neighborhood are restricted to single families, and the move was a necessary precaution against lawsuits, adding that the board's action was "blown out of proportion."

Dissing the Design

A Pennsylvania preacher has vowed to fight the new design for the proposed memorial honoring passengers of Flight 93 who were killed when their hijacked flight crashed in Pennsylvania on 9-11. The "Crescent of Embrace" design centers on a mile-long semicircle of red maples surrounding the point of impact, but Baptist minister Ron McRae (search) argues that it resembles Islam's symbolic crescent moon and star. He calls the design "a memorial to the terrorists who killed those people, not a memorial to the folks who died there," adding, "They wouldn't dare put up the Ten Commandments or the cross of Christ, but they're going to put up a red crescent."

— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report