Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Watch These States Turn Blue

Well with Bush's apparant continued trivializing of the massive destruction here in his own country with the mention of the Gulf Coast as a mere afterthought in his State of the Union address, I'm willing to go ahead and predict the following:

You think I'm wrong - then why did the Democrat's response mention the outrageous straits of the Gulf Coast in the first minute of their speech. There are two states at play in the South and the Democrats know it.

The Red Cross is FUBAR

I always thought the Red Cross was a mighty and altruistic institution, in fact after 9/11 that's who I donated money to in order to do my little part in helping the victims and families of that tragedy.

Never again. I will never donate to the Red Cross again. Here's why and this is only my simple little story.

In the first weeks post-K, the horror stories of dealing with the Red Cross began to percolate and shared amongst all of us. Hours spent on telephones only to be disconnected, misadvertisements of Red Cross Disaster Assistance locations, and waiting in lines for many hours when one did locate a Red Cross distribution center.

I had zero succes with applying with the Red Cross, and mostly I simply saw helicopters fly over with Red Crosses on them.

Finally in early October as I was finally leaving New Orleans and heading out west, I stopped off in a small town in southern Louisiana where I discovered a Red Cross location with next to no line. I excitedly went through the lines until I reached a Red Cross volunteer who explained to me and the few people there that they had just closed down the location after lunch because "they had all just eaten, and were now tired."

I nearly vomitted and then said, "Oh, y'all are tired. That's great. We've lost everything - don't you think that we're a little tired too."

Look, I have no issues with the many thousands of Red Cross volunteers. These are brave and giving people who truly are trying to help - but the damn beaureacracy that is the Red Cross - well they can go to hell.

Anyway, one month later I was finally able to get through via their telephone number and registered for Disaster Assistance and then started to wait.

Fast forward to late December, still having not received any assistance, I sent the following email to the Red Cross:

From: TAG
Date: Wednesday, De
cember 28, 2005 01:14 PM
To: info@usa.redcross.org (info@usa.redcross.org)

Subject: Katrina Assistance

To Whom It May Concern:

I live in the Lakeview section of New Orleans (70124) and applied for the
financial assistance over two months ago, but have yet to receive anything. I applied over the 1-800 number.

I am curious as to why it appears that I am one of the only people to have
yet received this financial assistance.

Thanks for your time and I look forward to hearing back from you.

The following is the response I received:

From: "Info"
To: "TAG

Subject: RE:'CaseID=***-***'Katrina Assistance

Date: Thu, 29 Dec 2005 12:38:56 -0500

Dear Troy:

Thank you for contacting the American Red Cross. The Red Cross has provided immediate emergency assistance to households severely impacted by the Hurricanes.

At this time, American Red Cross emergency assistance has ended.
We realize that many individuals and families still might have unmet needs. Primary sources to assist you in further recovery are community and state resources and FEMA at 800 621-FEMA; that's 800 621- 3362.

To access contact information for all state social service agencies, including links to their websites, please visit: http://www.aphsa.org/home/StateContacts.asp
We wish you every success through your recovery period.

Thank you for your inquiry!


American Red Cross Public Inquiry

I gave up at this point until January 24th after I watched a news segment on CNN informing how Congress was beginning to investigate the Red Cross for improperly handling of individual's generous contributions, mis-spending and mis-allocation of funds and paying gross salaries to the top layers of their beauracracy while living off the goodwill of thousands of volunteers.

I immediately went and emailed the Red Cross the following:

From : TAG
Sent : Tuesday, January 24, 2006 9:31 PM

To : info@usa.redcross.org

CC :

Subject : RE:'CaseID=***-***'Katrina Assistance

Thank you for your reponse - BUT LET ME REITTERATE TO YOU THE FOLLOWING.









Within a day or two, I received a reply requesting all of my information again. Today I received this:

So I do very specifically want to thank everyone who did donate to the Red Cross, as I've done in the past. This $360 disaster assistance will be directly spent in Orleans Parish and preferably in a few restaurants (owned only by New Orleanians) where I can tip my waiters mightily and thereby get these funds to make their rounds a few times in New Orleans.

But to the Red Cross - you had better get your act together.

Hopefully Katrina will be another schooling for another beauracracy in order that the losses and degredations that happened to the people of this city will never happen to anyone else in this country during their time of need.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Home Sweet Home

Nearly five months after signing up for the FEMA trailer program, guess what, yep I finally got my trailer.

According to the contractors setting it up, I will probably only have to wait about a month or two to get my keys and electricity.

Pretty efficient our federal government is - no.

Shouldn't really surprise anyone though after President Bush commented on New Orleans the other day by stating how those people "in that part of the world" are getting up to speed.

George, again, last time I checked this "part of the world" is in the United States and just so happens to be next door to your beloved Texas asshole.

Seriously - the Federal Government is dead to me - they can all go rot in hell.

I will say this though, as a registered Independent since I was 18 and someone who generally tends to vote Republican, I can now honestly say that I may never vote Republican again.


In a touch of irony, yesterday when I was on my way to work on our Krewe du Vieux float, I decided to make a quick pass by the house in Lakeview and discovered that my FEMA trailer had arrived.

What was ironic is that our float we worked on all afternoon lambasts FEMA... Did I feel a bit guilty - not in the slightest.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Now This is a Good Cause

and yes, it actually has something to do with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Follow the link here.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

3,260 Still Unaccounted For - Grossly Outrageous

Completely unacceptable.

According to the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, nearly five months after Hurricane Katrina made landfall, there are still 3,260 people listed as missing.

Not as unidentified remains, but of missing.

Of course some relatives have failed to check back in to alert LDHH that they have discovered their loved ones whereabouts, but that cannot account for more than say half.

Someone please explain to me as to why FEMA can't simply check this list against who they mailed disaster relief aid out to and solve some of these issues.

I tried to research how long it took the Feds to track down the missing after 9/11, but never dug up any true numbers... I'm pretty sure that this was a top priority though.

I wonder why it's not down here in New Orleans? Maybe the answer lies in the statistics below:

The two that really jump out at me are that the vast majority of the missing are African American, and the other one that gets me is that 228 children missing number. Sure seems that 228 children missing would fill up the sides of some milk cartons.

Ah, but who cares? We've already thrown a bunch of money at the problem - time to move on to the best and worst dressed at the Golden Globes.

Full listing of missing individuals
NewsHour Article
Louisiana Department Health & Hospitals
Thousands Missing - CNN

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Deja Vu

So you think New Orleans is moving in the right direction? Check out these phat statistics I culled from the Times-Picayune as well as other sources and decide for yourself if we've made significant progress in nearly five months... (Orleans Parish unless otherwise specified)

Now according to tonights broadcast of Anderson Cooper 360, here's a breakdown of New Orleans population by race pre & post Katrina:

Here's a few more interesting statistics from the Brookings Institute below:

• Delinquent mortgage rates have skyrocketed in Louisiana:
- 1 of 5 prime loans now delinquent.
- 1 of 3 sub-prime loans now delinquent.
• Personal income has dropped 25% in Louisiana post-K.

• Here's another article from the Brooking's Institute which was published in the NY Times back in December assessing the current situation in New Orleans.

And a few stats compiled by the Times-Picayune on FEMA trailer deliveries, of which I am included in - two months after my site survey and approval, yep still no trailer.

• Trailers requested in Orleans Parish: 19,413
• Number of trailers occupied in Orleans Parish: 2,309

That's a whopping 12% delivery rate there FEMA... damn good job!

• Total trailers requested in seven parish area: 64,791
• Total trailers occupied in seven parish area: 19,300

And that's a whopping 30% delivery rate. 500 trailers delivered a day, my ass.

Curious isn't it that every senator and representative who actually comes down to visit New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast thinks that WE NEED MORE HELP.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Ovaltine Please...

Damn - that was fast... Here's all the background anyone needs on Ray Ray's Chocolate City:

I'm Not Chocolate - T-Shirts
Transcript of Nagin's Speech
Nagin Apologizes - Associated Press (has good stats on the past election.)
Nagin Apologizes for Remarks
Nagin Hits Bottom, Starts Digging - GOP Bloggers
Crime Punishment - NOLA Metblogs
• Unfortunately I did a search on Daily KOS - but found no mention of Ray's remarks... I might've done it wrong, but...

Whitey is Pissed

I had been formulating a post regarding this little nugget of truth for a bit now, but was unsure as to the focus and direction it was going to take until soon to be former Mayor Ray Nagin decided to shoot himself and New Orleans in the kneecap yesterday by decreeing that God is angry with America and that God's will is for New Orleans to remain a Chocolate City.

While stealing the idea from Parliament as to a Chocolate City, Nagin tried his worst to correct the media's misunderstanding of his usage of Chocolate City by stating that Chocolate is actually a mix of dark chocolate and vanilla. Sorry Ray Ray - nobody's letting you get off with that one - especially not your average Vanilla Neighborhood constituent.

What's interesting about this is that when Ray Ray first appeared on the political scene and came out of nowhere to win his position as Mayor, he was the secret Vanilla Candidate in the Chocolate City. You see, his mother is white and the running joke amongst Whitey was that he was going to be the last white mayor the city of New Orleans was ever going to have.

But unfortunately, Ray Ray's internal polling must have shown to him that the only way he can be re-elected as Mayor is to fire up his chocolate constituents who are spread now all over the entire country with insane racial Jihad rhetoric.

And this city has been on the verge of combusting for some time now.

Vanilla has been furious at the way Chocolate made all New Orleanians look in the wake of Katrina. Vanilla has been afterglowing in a city that is now Vanilla City with a hint of Fudge, as there is next to ZERO crime. Vanilla is pissed that Vanilla has been back here for months rebuilding this city, yet all they see from the media is Chocolate screaming from Houston and Atlanta.

Now look, everything is never so Chocolate and Vanilla, but everyone's nerves are near the breaking point in this city - C. Ray is grasping for re-election, but by trying to save his job by bringing down the entire city is a criminal act.

Bye bye Ray Ray. You're done.

Then they blew up the levee, wait strike that...

Then they blew up New Orleans.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Krewe du Vieux FEMA Throw Application

With KdV vast approaching, I want to go ahead and request that paradegoers download our latest FEMA Throw Application if they wish to sign up for the Carnival Throw program.

Please fill it out and return it to gulfsails at hotmail dot com, preferably in triplicate.

If, for some reason your application gets lost, we will eventually set up a 1-800 number for your inconvenience.

Thanks from FEMA! We're here for you and best tidings for your upcoming celebration.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

C'est Levee or WWKdVD

I know, I know - Twelfth Night passed a while back without a single mention by myself - so in order to make it up to everyone and happily inspired by the events of last night - I give you a little touch of the pre-Mardi Gras buildup...

Firstly Krewe du Vieux rolls on February 11th at 7pm - and it's the ONLY official Mardi Gras parade to roll through the French Quarter. As a true satirical and drunken Krewe, KdV let's Katrina and the feds have it. The following is a list of this year's sub-Krewe themes (I'm in K.A.O.S.):

Krewe of C.R.U.D.E. (Council to Revive Urban Decadent Entertainment)
C.R.U.D.E. Sleeps in the Wet Spot

Krewe of Drips and Discharges
There’s No Place Like Home

Krewe of Underwear
Corpse of Engineers Presents “A Day at the Breach”

Seeds of Decline
Fights the Futilities

Krewe of Mama Roux
Home is Where the Tarp Is

Krewe of L.E.W.D. (Lewd Ensemble of Weird Degenerates)
LEWDers Gone Wild

Krewe of Space Age Love
Give me That Mold Time Religion

Krewe of K.A.O.S. (Kommittee for the Aggravation of Organized Society)
K.A.O.S. Rules FEMA

Knights of Mondu
MONDU Breaks Wind

T.O.K.I.N. (Totally Orgasmic Krewe of Intergalactic Ne'er-do-wells)
T.O.K.I.N.’s Wet Dream

Krewe Rue du Bourbon
Fridge Over Troubled Water

Krewe de C.R.A.P.S.
C.R.A.P.S. Fingers the Dike

Krewe of PAN (Perpetuating Adolescent Naughtiness)
Buy Us Back, Chirac!

Krewe du Mishigas
NOLA’s Ark

Mystic Krewe of Spermes
Spermes Declares A Mandatory Ejaculation: Cuntra Flow in Effect

Krewe of Comatose
The Comatose Corps of Engineers does the BIG SPILL

Mystic Krewe of Inane
Laissez les Trailers Roulez

I love the fact that all those FEMA workers staying in the Quarter are going to get a load of this.

Postscript... If you're coming down for Mardi Gras be sure to try and stay at the Dive Inn - if you can make the cut.


Thursday, January 12, 2006

I Might Miss Our Old Criminals

New Orleans was never a home for gangs, but instead the drug and other illegal trades were controlled by New Orleans families and networks of families - though obviously no less violent.

In the late 1980's several established national gangs tried to move into New Orleans, but their violent push into this market was quickly rebuffed by the New Orleans families.

Unfortunately, local WVUE Fox 8 news is reporting that the FBI is closely monitoring the potential for national and very violent gangs to try and claim the now dormant and vacant pre-K territories of the New Orleans drug families that are ripe for the picking. Remember that New Orleans is now virtually crime free.

Very specifically the FBI mentions three Latin American gangs: the Latin Kings, the Mexican Mafia and the highly violent MS-13...

Well now, that should pour a little gasoline on the whole New Orleans is filling up with Mexicans debate.

But this inward migration isn't the only story out there. Houston has experienced its murder rate skyrocket, though the Houston Police Department officially states only 8 homicides involve Katrina evacuees, but Houstonians are pointing the finger straight back at us.

Moreover, the FBI sent out a memo to all Houston area police departments stating the following about New Orleans 'gangs', "These gang members are ruled more by emotions, more prone to revenge killings and most of the New Orleans gang members believe if they are dead or in prison at the age of 25, they still feel they've lived a full life."

The criminal balance is out of whack here in the South.

I don't know what would be more exciting for a criminal mind - trying to take over Houston in a bloody war or conquering a virgin territory with not much of a market.

One things for sure - the New Orleans Police Department currently ain't taking no shit. I've heard a cop actually state, "This is our town now and we're not giving it back."

Let's hope that's true, but I want to let the NOPD in on something I discovered... The Latin Kings' colors are the New Orleans Saints Black & Gold.

That could be problematic.

Bring New Orleans Back: The Report

Alright, first of all - at least it's a plan.

Sort of.

Effectively the main thrust of the entire BNOB Commission's plan is to wait four months and see what happens. Besides halting the permitting process on re-building in the most damaged neighborhoods, they spell out that during these four wait and see months, each of these damaged neighborhoods must hold several meetings in order to determine the extent to which homeowners are seeking to return.

Ok, that's fine, but I have several questions regarding the accuracy and precision of this information that they expect to garner in these meetings, as anyone can go into one of these events and scream to the top of their lungs that they are planning to return.

In fact, the report itself does not explain at all how these statistics are to be compiled.

What are they going to do, a show of hands? Where's the proof that these residents will return or even have the financial ability to return? Basically, they're going to let everyone feel that they are part of the process, and even though the Commission will be listening a little bit, I do think they're going to end up making some hard choices that are going to piss a lot of people off... read that as black people.

Unfortunately though - we're going to have to make hard choices to ensure the sustainability of this city.

Look, there are also definately some good ideas in the plan. I'm in favor of expanding streetcars and the light rail, the added greenspace and bike trails and the obvious necessity to shrink the city's footprint just for the sake of providing city services.

However, what this plan is actually doing is holding everyone off for two things - the new FEMA flood maps (which are due out in about four months) and to see what form of the Baker Bill passes through congress.

It's the stall for time plan... but like I said at the outset of this post, at least it's a plan.

You can download the entire BNOBC Plan for rebuilding the city in .pdf here. 34mb.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Don't Forget Your Hip Boots Baby

Tomorrow at 10:00am as President Bush gives a speech in front of Jackson Square, a protest/rally will be held demanding Bush stand up to his promise for Cat 5 hurricane protection.

Everyone is invited to attend and wear lifevests as a symbol of the flooding. The organizers also ask that people make the following placards stating: "Category 5 Levees AND Coastal Restoration NOW" or "Party Affiliation: Louisianian"

They also ask for no anti- Bush/war protests.

If you can not make the rally, please fill out this online petition to tell your Congressional delegation that protecting Americans should be pretty high on America's political agenda. It seriously only takes about one minute, but would help us to prevent another catastrophe.


Sunday, January 08, 2006

Shuttered Starbucks Redux

Question: What are the only two businesses located within the 6 miles of upscale shops and restaurants on Magazine Street to have not re-opened in the 133 days since Hurricane Katrina made landfall?

Uh, that would be Starbucks Coffeehouses.

I previously visited this question on November 24th & 26th and received a hellacious amount of derision from Starbucks groupies from around the country, telling me things like "find some other place to plant your big fat ass" or words along the lines of Starbucks will not reopen until they can provide the 'true' Starbucks experience.

Well, it's interesting that in this first photo of a closed Starbucks on Magazine and Washington, there are two restaurants across the street which have been open for over two months - one's a sushi restaurant and the other is fine dining with entrees bouncing up to $28. Strange that these businesses seem to be able to provide enough of an 'experience' for their customers that they're packed nearly every day and night.

In this second photograph, this closed Starbucks on Magazine and Nashville is located directly across from another coffeehouse and adjacent to a Mexican restaurant and another fine dining restaurant offering entrees up to $32. Strange that these businesses seem to be able to provide enough of an 'experience' for their customers that they're packed nearly every day and night.

The third photo here is another closed Starbucks on Maple St., which is directly across the street from a PJ's Coffeehouse, a bubble tea shop and two restaurants - all of which have been open now for months. Strange that these businesses seem to be able to provide enough of an 'experience' for their customers that they're packed nearly every day and night.

This Starbucks is also in a heavily trafficked college part of town - and, by the way, the two Uptown Universities are open and up to 85% of their pre-Katrina student population.

Also, I think it is worthwhile to note that their are no waterlines on all three of these buildings... Why is that? Because none of them flooded.

Now look, I don't particularly care for Starbucks coffee but as a matter of disclosure, I do find myself addicted to the pre-packaged Frappuccinos, and in the great scheme of things for the rebuilding of New Orleans, this 'Starbucks' issue is pretty minor. But I wanted to make the point to the whole "Starbucks is God and the greatest corporate citizen ever" crowd that their belief is a crock of shit.

Starbucks whole philosophy and statements from their own website such as, "The connections we make in communities create a loyal following" is a bunch of bullshit.

Starbucks was failing in New Orleans Pre-K, but in a community's desperate time of need, instead of following their own corporate message and pledge, they simply closed up shop and ran with their tail between their legs... and are still running. Damn, that's unfortunate because the connections all the other coffeeshops have made in this community by opening months ago have indeed created a loyal following... for them.

Look Starbucks, we know you were struggling in New Orleans before Katrina as evidenced by only having four coffeeshops amidst a population of 460,000 and the many, many other hundreds of thousands of tourists who visited this city. But do not think someone's not going to call bullshit when you decide to eschew your own Corporate Social Responsibility Pledge which states, "Each time we open a new store, an average of 16 new jobs are created; additional local tax revenue is generated; neighbors get a comfortable place to gather; and we have the opportunity to give back to the community. Plus, we think our customers like having us around." and other statements such as, "Starbucks is located in thousands of neighborhoods, and we consider each neighborhood our home. Starbucks believes we have a responsibility to contribute positively to our communities in ways that benefit everyone."

Apparantly Starbucks means to be a vital community force everywhere except New Orleans - a place that at this time really needs vital community forces.

Postscript... We do appreciate Starbucks re-opening their other six coffeehouses in the outlying parishes. Thanks for that... but it's way too late now in New Orleans - you've lost everything here, in fact, Starbucks is becoming the symbol of corporate neglect and irresponsibility for us...

Oh yeah, with the outlying parishes being predominantly white and New Orleans being predominantly black, it makes me wonder if that had anything to do with Starbucks decision to not re-open in New Orleans?

Caution Contents Perishible

As time progresses and I inch closer towards reclaiming our home eight blocks from the 17th St. Canal breach, new complexities are beginning to arise and reality is starting to rear its head.

And even though only last week I discovered a number 2 in the bottom quadrant of the rescue markings on a house three doors down from me signifying two lost souls in that home, and have now spoken with two immediate neighbors who plan simply to demolish their homes and then sit and play wait-and-see - I still want to strive towards having our house liveable within a year.

And even though our house rests in a red zone targeted for possible flood zone conversion or, more likely, used as an all white neighborhood to be bulldozed to quell some of the frenetic screams that only black neighborhoods are to be bulldozed - I still go out there three days a week and lug slices of massive downed pines to the street or finish ripping out the last of the kitchen appliances.

I am here. I am re-building, and no - I haven't received ANY money for this work - it's simply me and on some days my 65 year old father out there working.

My great new fear as I've slowly gotten to the point where I can now see progress on my little slice of devastation is that I'm starting to think about the realities of actually finishing the work in a year and then moving into this house...

From the way things are going, I'm not going to have a single neighbor. There isn't a single gas station in that area. There isn't a grocery store. There's little to no police or military presence. There's nothing - well, except for Gulf Coast Bank & Trust which re-opened about a month ago - I plan on banking there from now on (banks with a lot more resources than they have not re-opened in Lakeview).

And here lies the problem, with the many, many rumours and facts about the continued looting of Lakeview homes, how am I to feel safe for any possessions that I move back into this house and then say, leave for the evening to go to dinner? Some also would ask, what about your own safety, but I'm not concerned about that - I'm heavily armed.

Nevertheless, this is my new concern: Am I rushing, albeit slowly, towards a brick wall?

Am I being foolhearty to work and dream of the future of this property only to have my government come in eventually and tell me sorry, yeah we need you to sacrifice your neighborhood and home for a flood plain.

I suppose if that's the case, we'll make the choice for the greater good of New Orleans - but not if we're but a white sacrificial lamb.

Monday, January 02, 2006

...and its a New Year

Thank God we can put that year behind us... no wait... there's no way in heck we can put that year behind us. How can we do that when two third's of this city is still in shambles. 60% of the homes still do not have electricity. The city is celebrating that we've gotten up to a population of 100,000 (that's down from 465,000) WOOHOO!


Here's my report card on how local politicians fared in the aftermath of Katrina:

Governor Kathleen Blanco: Kathleen was effectively ineffective. Basically a deer in the headlights and this entire catastrophe was way over her head. Pre-K she was actually doing a pretty good job, luring business to the state and such... but damn, she pretty much crumbled under the onslought that would have crumbled most. Grade: D-

Mayor Ray Nagin: I loved C. Ray pre-K. This businessman turned Mayor was tearing the old Morial and Jefferson henchmen a new one - breaking through the city's corruption and trying his darndest to make New Orleans a more business friendly place. Post-K, he did the best that he could with outrageously limited resources. The national press made a big to do regarding all those schoolbuses parked in the floodwaters, but did anybody happen to realize that it took two weeks, even after all the national resources poured into the city to fully evacuate this town, and they expected him to organize the evacuation of New Orleans in less than 24 hours... baloney. Lately, he's been running throughout the evacuee ridden border cities and imploring people to come home, but to what I ask? I, personally, have had a site survey and approval for my FEMA trailer done two months ago... yet still no trailer. We still don't know which neighborhoods may be demolished. We still don't know what the plan is. Hey C. Ray, I guess you're dutifully working behind the scenes, but I'd sure like to see you on the news EVERY NIGHT telling us anything. Grade: C+

Senator Mary Landrieu: Mary, Mary, Mary. You rocked for the first week, and are still productive on the national scene. My HUGE issue with you (and your cohort) is when you gave that impassioned plea at the national press conference - you were fantastic and fiery and right, but then you finished your speech and hugged Blanco and said all laughing, "The money's coming baby." That made me sick to my stomach. You looked greedy and then followed it up with a request for $250 billion... Even I know that was outrageous. Thanks to that, any sympathy we may have had down here in New Orleans AND Mississippi washed away like our coast. You've since calmed down, that's good. Grade: B-

Senator David Vitter: Hey Dave, you pretty much get grouped with Landrieu above with the added point that you were trying to butt kiss the President the whole time. You should have stopped that $250B money grab. Grade: C+

Orleans parish Councilmember Oliver Thomas: He basically did the Oliver Twist for me. Not only was this man out personally rescuing his fellow citizens in the aftermath, he was very vocal and very persuasive in the media. Ollie - you really shined, and you surprised the heck out of me. Great Job.. and keep on doing it. Grade: A

Orleans Parish Councilmember Jay Batt: Jaybird... where are you? Where have you been? What have you been doing? I vote in Lakeview... The best thing that I've seen you do is answer two questions for me via email within 12 hours. That's something, I guess. Grade: C

Congressman Bobby Jindal: Oh for you to have been Governor Bobby. I have followed your career for awhile now starting when Foster put you on the scene, and have been impressed. I voted for you for Governor, even though I thought you were still too young - but you have shown your wisdom throughout this event. You've got my vote, whenever. The one negative, the $250B request fiasco. Grade: B+

Leiutenant Governor Mitch Landrieu: Mitch, you come from a long line of politicos and you also have risen in my book with your actions in the aftermath. If you run against Nagin... I will have a conumdrum. Grade: B+

Orleans Parish Councilmember Jackie Clarckson: The screaming zealot. I agreed with a fair amount that you were working towards pre-K, but now... you smell of territorial protectionism. Queen NIMBY. Grade: C-

Congressman Bill Jefferson: Aren't you about to get indicted by the feds? Grade: D

Orleans Parish Councilmember Eddie Sapir: Eddie have you even returned to New Orleans? Grade: D

Jefferson parish President Aaron Broussard: What a kick you were in the aftermath. Your insane ramblings were hilarious AND true. You also get points from me for telling it like it was - except where you were mistaken. I'm sorry, but thinking that pump operators are not essential and therefore evacuating them - that's idiotic. Grade: D+

St. Bernard parish President Junior Rodriguez: As far as I can tell - you've been telling your people exactly how it is and are going to bat for them. I hear your name more than Nagin's. And anyone in a position such as your's who would wear a "FEMA - Fix Everything, My Ass" t-shirt to an official council meeting gets a thumbs up from me. Grade: B+

Oh well, that's certainly not all of them, but there you have it. One man's opinions. One man who very actively votes.

I would also like to give out some very high praise for our neighbors in Texas (except San Antonio), Georgia, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama and effectively every state in this union and their citizens. Thanks for the help - we DO appreciate it.

F's go to everyone in the Federal Government.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Help NOLA Musicians

While New Orleans' famous musicians were scattered to the four winds - they were busy. Busy putting together this tribute to the city that has helped define their and the world's musical styles.

Profits from this CD go towards Habitat for Humanity's work on the Gulf Coast, with special emphasis on building homes for the many displaced musicians.

Includes Dr. John, Beausoleil, Randy Newman, Irma Thomas, as well as many others.

Check it out here.

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