Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The coastal restoration plan arrives

State finishes draft plan to protect coast:

"Among the larger projects in the plan are:

-- A floodgate at the Rigolets, near Slidell, and a dike stretching southwest from there down the middle of Lake Borgne to Proctor's Point in St. Bernard Parish. The intent would be to protect New Orleans and communities fronting on Lake Pontchartrain from catastrophic storm surge.

-- Essentially abandoning increased levee protection of much of Lower Plaquemines Parish for the sake of protecting areas farther up river. The state proposal calls for slicing Plaquemines into three levels of levee protection, with only the areas closest to New Orleans receiving 'Category 5' protection; areas between Oak Grove and Myrtle Grove receiving protection from a 100-year hurricane; and areas to the south of that receiving no greater protection than existed before Hurricane Katrina.

-- Closing the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet, or MR-GO, the controversial 76-mile shipping channel that connects New Orleans with the Gulf of Mexico. The channel is blamed by many St. Bernard Parish residents and some hurricane protection experts for amplifying Hurricane Katrina's surge and hastening the loss of an estimated 27,000 acres of marshland that once shielded the metropolitan area's eastern flank."

Saturday, November 25, 2006

61% in St. Bernard won't rebuild

The Picayune buried the lede in a good-news article about progress on Road Home. The truth is, most won't rebuild in Plaquemines and St. Bernard.

Road Home goal may be in sight:
"But That's not the case in Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes, which suffered massive damage and are generally more at risk from storm surge than the rest of the region. In Plaquemines, 43 percent of applicants say they plan to rebuild, while in St. Bernard, 39 percent plan to rebuild. In Jefferson Parish, where homes tended to sustain relatively light damage, 85 percent of Road Home applicants said they intend to rebuild."

Monday, November 20, 2006

Katrina Komedy

Reuters AlertNet - FEATURE-Dark humor brightens life in battered New Orleans:
"Among the new additions to the comedy scene is a satirical newspaper, 'The New Orleans Levee,' with the motto: 'We Don't Hold Anything Back.'

The free paper pokes fun at politicians and officials who are supposed to lead the post-Katrina rebuilding effort, said publisher Rudy Vorkapic, 42.

'This isn't making fun of New Orleans. This is making fun of people who are failing New Orleans,' he said. 'This is born out of frustration.'

The latest edition features a playful story on local Congressman"

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Gov calls for tax breaks, pay increases for teachers

2theadvocate.com | News | Blanco calls Legislature into Dec. special session

Big pie to divide: $800 million.

New York Times continues to stand up for N.O.

Katrina’s Purgatory - New York Times: "Excuses sound hollow when you’re trapped in a flimsy trailer. For Gulf Coast residents waiting for long-promised government housing assistance, patience has given way to anger, and anguish. What is clear more than a year after Hurricane Katrina is that their needs — and the demand for action from the American public — have largely gone unmet."

MyDD blogs the Dollar Bill race.

MyDD :: LA-2: Social and Regional Divides & #3 Endorses Jefferson: "
'It's personal between her and me,' Lee said. 'I'm thinking of getting some people together who she so severely affronted by running her foul mouth. I may spend some money and get the clip of Spike Lee's film and show what she said about those of us on this side of the river.'"

Friday, November 17, 2006

Wow! Sure is news to me.

New Book Details How Bin Laden's Master Spy Penetrated CIA, FBI And Green Berets... | The Huffington Post:

"But the most important aspect of that plea session was what was left unsaid. In that Southern District Courtroom nearly two years before the attacks of September 11, Ali Mohamed uttered nothing on the record about his most stunning achievements: how he had slipped past a State Department watch list and into America, seduced a Silicon Valley medical technician into marriage, joined the U.S. Army, and gotten himself posted to the highly secure base where the Green Berets and Delta Force train. He didn't say a word about how he'd moved in and out of contract spy work for the CIA and fooled FBI agents for six years as he smuggled terrorists across U.S. borders, and guarded the tall Saudi billionaire who had personally declared war on America: Osama bin Laden."
. . . . . .
And yet even today, years after pleading guilty to crimes that would have ended any other terrorist's life via lethal injection, Ali Mohamed remains a legal black hole. Minutes after that hearing he was locked away, hidden from public scrutiny; It's been nearly six years and one of the discoveries made in this investigation is that Judge Sands has yet to pronounce sentence.

This ought to be a bombshell of a book. Apparently CIA leak prosecuter Patrick Fitzgerald really dropped the ball on this one. And the FBI has cloaked this case in deep secrecy.

Grisly coincidence

New Orleans coroner wants new searches for Katrina dead:

The day after Coroner Minyard,to prevent the sort of grisly discovery that happened recently in New York near the Twin Towers, calls for searches of New Orleans East, there's this headline.

Garage worker finds decomposed body in parked car

Probably not a Katrina victim. But a sad reminder.

Lafayette judge, councilman vie to see who can act more childishly.

2theadvocate.com | News | Williams attacks sentence:
"LAFAYETTE — In the past two years, 18 people have been sentenced by 15th Judicial District judges for criminal damage to property, but none received as harsh a punishment as City-Parish Councilman Chris Williams, Williams’ attorney said Thursday.

Earlier this year, Williams, in an act of protest, wrote “Dr. Martin L. King Jr. Drive!” on the council desk with permanent marker. He was also charged with past instances of carving the desk and doodling where he sits.

Williams was sentenced by Judge Marilyn Castle to one year of supervised probation, a $1,500 fine and $60 restitution."

This is a truly stupid bit of business, originating over the question of whether to rename Willow St. after Martin Luther King, Jr. It's an issue which has unfortunately brought to the surface some ugly racist sentiments -- from both proponents and opponents of the idea.

The renaming is a good idea, in my opinion. Too bad Lafayette has to put up with some boneheads in public office.

Dardenne enphasizes savings, not vote integrity.

2theadvocate.com | News | Dardenne reorganizes state office: "Chief state elections officer Angie LaPlace will keep her $100,000-a-year job under the administration of new Secretary of State Jay Dardenne."

The article contains much information about salaries in Dardenne's office, and nothing about how he intends to deal with the nationwide concern over voting integrity. We have machines all over the state which are hackable, or stuffable. Is anyone going to do anything about it? Apparently no plans are forthcoming from Dardenne.

He ignored inquiries about the subject of voter fraud during the election. Now he's only concerned with cutting his staff. (Will that make them more or less effective in checking voting machine fraud?)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

And she's not the only one.

Blanco dissatisfied with pace of grants

BATON ROUGE -- Gov. Kathleen Blanco said Tuesday she is not satisfied with the pace of approving rebuilding grants for hurricane victims and wants solid answers from the consultant hired by the state to manage the progra

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Thursday, November 09, 2006

What a week!

Democrats take House.
Rumsfeld out.
Mehlman out.
Macaca out.
Democrats take Senate.
And it all started with a great and classy Saints win.

Only regret is that a Democrat with support and endorsements did not run against Boustany. Would have won it walking away.

Anyway, after six years it's great to be part of the majority of this wonderful land.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Throw the bums out.
And the gay-sex evangelists who snort crystal meth.
And gay-hating gay congressmen.
And the war apologists.
And the thieves of democracy.
And the money changers.

Add your own candidate for defeat here.