Saturday, December 16, 2006

Interesting Stuff

Since I'm not going to finish that long overdo morally serious post, I'll make do with a few links and comments.

I'm sure the blogosphere, at least the local blogosphere, will be buzzing with the latest John Edwards rumor tomorrow:
Edwards, the former North Carolina senator, has decided he can and is planning to announce his campaign in New Orleans between Christmas and New Year's, two Democrats said.

The location for the rumored announcement seems like a natural:
Edwards' novel choice of sites shows how he wants to distinguish his candidacy: emphasizing policies he believes can unite a country divided by economic inequality, a situation no more evident than in the city's Lower Ninth Ward, still recovering from Hurricane Katrina.

I strongly disagree with people who blame him for the 2004 election. Sure the debate was, at best, a draw, but I thought he gave some great speeches. At least, the text of the speeches was great when I found them online, I never saw him on either CNN or MSNBC. I blame the DNC for not protesting the fact that he didn't the air time that Cheney did. I'm off that week; if the rumors are true, I'll be there.

For at least the third time since Katrina, the mayor hid from a crowd of angry New Orleanians:
About 50 people demonstrated in front of Mayor Ray Nagin's house Saturday, demanding the reopening of public housing in New Orleans.

Nagin was not present for the demonstration,

Channel 4 news reported the crowd size at a couple of hundred, Channel 8 News interviewed a woman protester who said that knocked on his door and nobody answered. I couldn't help but picture the mayor hiding under his bed, also had to wonder if the crowd knocked at his neighbor's house (I'm not 100% sure that it's the same Jimmie Woods).

If you missed today's paper, Bruce Eggler reports that Arnie and Oliver are starting to get along as well as Shelley and the Cynthias:
During Thursday's council meeting, Thomas and Fielkow got into a spat over a seemingly trivial issue. Either one could easily have walked away from the dispute, but neither chose to do so.

We'll have to see if that blows over or boils over, but I'm not real confident about the council filling the leadership void in the city. Eggler's article also gave an example of why I found it inconsistent for the Picayune to editorialize against Blanco's state pay raise proposals:
Despite the city's financial problems post-Katrina, the council and the Nagin administration have been handing out raises as if they were Christmas candy canes.

The latest pair of raises, approved unanimously Thursday, cover the alphabetical gamut.

Leslie Alley, assistant director of the City Planning Commission, got a boost to $80,000 a year, not counting longevity raises.

Associate City Attorney Franz Zibilich's salary was boosted to $82,000, also exclusive of longevity.

There's probably no connection, but I couldn't help but notice that Oliver got angry at Arnie after Arnie questioned the city's contract with MediaBuys:
Fielkow also asked the Nagin administration to give the council an update on the status of efforts to find official sponsors to help underwrite the cost of staging Carnival.

MediaBuys LLC, a Los Angeles advertising placement firm, was hired by the city after Katrina to search for sponsors for the 2006 celebration, but the results fell far short of the millions of dollars the city was hoping to land, due at least in part to the short time available.

With a whole year to find sponsors for the 2007 Carnival, Fielkow said, the company should have done much better. If it has not, he said, the city should consider replacing it.

Who does he think he is, an elected councilman-at-large or something?

Update: The Advocate (of Baton Rouge, the reporter is a wel-respected free lance journalist) describes the number of protesters yesterday as several hundred.

If you don't normally read comments, Rick in Gentilly's are worth considering. Not for the complimentary words, but for more the more sobering ones:
im really getting tired of this shit on a local and state wide level.

i've got four years left on the pricipal of my mortgage untill i can get out of here and retire in the sticks in another state.

i love my city but my city no longer exists.

Hopefully, things will change in the next four years. I don't think they will will as long people imitate Chinese monkeys. I'm sure that term's no longer PC, but I don't know what the preferred term is. IMO, when the paper mentions campaign contributions to judges who waste $250K, but not to a mayor who wastes millions, it's seeing and speaking no evil -- at least of the mayor.

I can't imagine anyone thinks the 2004 loss was due to anybody but Kerry. It was his to lose and he lost it.

The Dems seem to have a knack for picking people who are hard to like. Edwards doesn't have that problem.

I'm puzzled by Obamania. He is a bright articulate guy and may someday be a great presidential candidate. He hasn't done enough yet.

People will point to JFK, but the JFK proved himself in battle and had a cohort of millions of people who has served along with him.
After the 2004 election some people gave Edwards part of the blame. I remember a letter to the editor doing just that -- I wouldn't have noticed that letter if hadn't been from somebody I once knew vaguely whose mother is involved in local civic and political circles. That's just one example, I remember a fair amount of commnets to that affect on the liberal web.
Mominen is right. Obama suffers from the same problem Edwards faced in '04: lack of experience.

Because I missed the nuances of local politics for years, I have to wonder why someone like Oliver doesn't take the vacuum at the top as an opportunity to make themselves more prominent, to prepare themselves for their next step: mayor, Jefferson's seat, whatever.

I think stepping up makes more sense that swatting Fieklow down, but perhaps that's just a thing to remember about Oliver when he does try to move to the next level: what did you do when we needed you?
thanks for your post. i was questioning my sanity.

my saturday online paper said 200 people but my sunday online paper said 50 people.

neither of my front porch papers had this story in it.

ive allways tried to like o.t. but the more he postures he just keeps comeing across as a vote whore.

im really getting tired of this shit on a local and state wide level.

i've got four years left on the pricipal of my mortgage untill i can get out of here and retire in the sticks in another state.

i pray someone wakes up before than and new orleans becomes a place where familys can live and prosper as opposed to a rich folks playground surounded by slums.

this was where we were going before katrina not just post katrina.

i love my city but my city no longer exists. and it was on the critical list way before that bitch katrina hit town.

i have allways lived in a close knit mixed race blue collar neighborhood in orleans parish (french quarter /midcity / gentilly terrace ) but that option is disapearing faster than a cheap apt in the french quarter during the 80's

thank you again for being part of the nola bloggers. it's the only real news out there right now.
Thank you for the kind words. I really wish I coud say something reassuring. I can only hope that things look better before the four years are up.
I'm looking forward to finding out about Edwards's plans. He's likely to run on the right message... but there is something smarmy or phony about him that makes me suspicious.

Note: Most things make me suspicious
I don't understand this comment by rick: "i've got four years left on the pricipal of my mortgage untill i can get out of here and retire in the sticks in another state."

Why wait to pay off the mortgage? Sell now and pay it off if you want to retire.
I wondered the same thing Oyster, but I figured there were reasons. I don't think Rick is a blogger, but I've seen him comment once or twice on blogs. If ordinary residents are getting even more pessimistic, it's worth noting.

I hope you're not taking the "stop complaining, just shut up and leave" attitude of Poppy Z Brite, Chris Rose and some bloggers. I doubt it, it doesn't seem like you. I can understand that attitude, but I think it's misguided. I explained part of the reason here.

Beyond that, I can't speak for anybody else, but if other "complainers" are like me, they're hoping to be told why specific complaints are incorrect or overstated, not that they're wrong to complain at all. If anybody thinks it was wrong of me to complain that I was ready to move two months ago because nobody objected that an administration that laid off most of its workers and couldn't afford basic service chose to spend millions on pay raises for the remaining workers, most of whom were at the upper end of the pay scale at the same time that we found out that the mayor had flat lied nine months earlier when he claimed to have hired more electrical inspectors, I'd like to know why. I wasn't ready to move because the mayor (through Greg Meffert) made up wiring inspectors that were as real as faery folk, I was ready to move because of the apparent agreement not to call him a lying sack of shit.

I will say that anybody who doesn't want to hear complaints from people who are ready to give up and move better be ready to go all the way with the Sinn Fein spirit. If you've ever worked in any kind of service job, you probably got sick of the platitudes about it being better to hear the complaints, because the people who aren't happy but don't say anything will tell ten of their friends. Restaurant and retail managers take that attitude to ridiculous extremes, but it's sometimes relevant to post-Katrina N.O. Take the letter writer I quoted from last Dec., who gave up on the wait for permits amd left. If he followed events in New Orleans from wherever he moved to, he probably had second thought when he read that the problem had been solved. When he found out, months later, that the mayor had made up imaginary new inspectors, he certainly felt vindicated. If he's still following events in New Orleans and sees that there still hasn't been a public outcry, he really feels vindicated. He's probably telling his new neighbors that not not only is the city's leadership inept and dishonest, but its residents are hopelessly apathetic. So go ahead and tell "whiners" to just leave and not let the door hit them on the way out. Sinn Fein, baby.
you guys are suppose to be dot connectors and to help everyone else connect the dots. But you all fall prey to rove like tactics.

Edwards is great, and anybody that is going to Make New Orleans and what happened here an issue for the next ellection is definetely steering the country in the right direction. And you know, that can't hurt New Orleans.. I would back anybody that is going to come down to the 9th ward, And you should turn the heat up on your silly embarased local city clowns to do everything they can to get the DNC in New Orleans. It is not Nagin's city, it is yours!

The hallmarks of a Rove smear job are always the same: leak, lie, defame, obfuscate, and deny. He did it when he began a whisper campaign about Gov. Ann Richards' sexuality. He did it when he used surrogates in South Carolina to suggest that Sen. John McCain was mentally unstable and may have fathered a black child out of wedlock and he did it in the last election when he used the Swift Boat Veterans as a front group to proffer lies about John Kerry's time in Vietnam.

But hell, I don't know how to do anything but laugh about it all because I'm confident he is going to get away with it all again.
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