Sunday, November 26, 2006

Links That Don't Involve Criticisms of the Mayor or the Paper

New York Times' Frugal Traveler is about New Orleans this week. You can find objections to any article about New Orleans, but this has its heart in the right place. The reporter even recommends volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and meets a local blogger -- Adrienne Lamb of After Katrina. I don't know if it's a good idea to recommend visiting the St. Louis No. 1 Cemetery without any warnings about being in a group, however. The article also contains a link to an audio slide show of Rebirth playing at the Maple Leaf.

Some of these are old, but even though I frequently criticize the mayor for wasting the city's limited resource, it's important to remember why those resources are so limited.

The IRS is acting like the IRS:
The grants, which are averaging about $60,000, are not directly taxable. But the Internal Revenue Service says Road Home recipients who claimed a storm loss on their taxes last year should count the grants as income on their federal tax returns this year. That means some people will be thrown into lofty tax brackets they never dreamed of -- and pay more taxes too.

This is reminiscent of the end an old Rockford Files episode, but the character in "Feeding Frenzy" brought his problems on himself. The IRS' position may intellectually defensible, but the choice between a higher tax bracket or interest and penalties is not. The Picayune article linked above didn't mention Mississippi, but one can only assume that homeowners in that state are facing similar problems. One would hope that the two states' congressional delegations could work together to pressure the IRS and the White House on this one.

If you missed it earlier this month, read what Ashley and oyster had to say about the Bush administration and offshore oil royalties. Or just read the NYT story on the matter and the T/P report on the effects on Louisiana.

G Bitch on a recent Bill Quigley essay:
Yet another thing people nationally don't get--"all that money" sent to the Gulf Coast has filled the pockets of connected corporations, like fucking Entergy and KBR and Ceres "Environmental."

From the Bill Quigley essay:
Ashbritt of Florida was awarded a contract over $500 million to clean up debris in Mississippi despite not owning a single dump truck. Ashbritt had paid a GOP lobbyist firm $40,000 right before the storm and another $50,000 directly to the GOP the year before.

If you watched Fox News, you'd know the identity of the GOP lobbying firm:
Since 2000, company executive Randal Perkins and his wife, Saily, have given $50,000 to the Republican National Committee, $10,000 to the Florida Senate campaign of Republican Mel Martinez, Bush's former Housing and Urban Development secretary, and thousands more to Florida's GOP, according to the nonpartisan Political Money Line.

AshBritt earlier this year hired the lobbying firm Barbour Griffith & Rogers (search), which was founded by Republican Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, and paid the firm $40,000 to lobby the Army Corps and Congress, according to Senate records.

If you follow the second link, you'll even find mention of Bobby J. To the best of my knowledge, Barbour's lobbying firm didn't drop AshBritt as a client after it sued to take business from a small Mississippi firm. As da po'blog points out, "we're not exactly swimming in 100 dollar bills."

If you have any interest in preservation, you should be worried by the letters to the editor supporting the demolition of St. Francis Cabrini. Some argue that the building isn't worth saving, which, along with whether adequate notice was given, should be the main point. The vast majority aren't.

I had no idea that Karen Gadbois was doing so much while on chemo. I'm amazed, congratulations to Karen on finishing the treatment.

Thanks..Chemo is the reason I have such a bad hairdo, I feel like I look like a frazzelled Middle Aged Poodle.
I didn't notice, of course I have no idea what you looked like before treatment. I can understand feeling self-conscious, especially when you don't well or even right, but I sure didn't think of a frazzled middle aged poodle when I met you. Like I said, I was amazed when i read about the chemo.
This post will be included in today's edition of the Carnival of Hurricane Relief. See:
Thank you. And thank you for the interest in the city's recovery.
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