Friday, September 08, 2006

Don't shoot the messenger, he might be carrying water for someone 

The Dead Pelican's Chad Rogers identifies himself as a messenger of "hard truths" in his Sept 1st "Rant":

...I've had considerable experience getting the "business end" of the messenger slayers' guns. [Some people] seriously believe that exposing the hard truths of Louisiana is a fun-filled task. However, nothing could be further from the truth.
...
Those of us who fight "the good fight" for Louisiana often do so because it's the right thing to do, not because we have confidence that change will happen. That's not a particularly fun task....

For Louisiana to improve, we need people who love truth. Instead, we often get people who seek to make true that which they love.

Our best wishes go out to Chad Rogers-- the tireless exposer of hard truths, the fighter of "the good fight", the recruiter of other truth-lovers, the man who aggregates news not because it's fun or profitable, but out of a sense of duty to the 'gret stet'. It's a shame that poor Mr. Rogers slays the dragons of mendacity on a daily basis, and gets only scorn in return for his service.

Well.

Let's do a case study of Rogers' love of truth, shall we? It might be instructive for those of us who are less... philosophically inclined, to see what an unbiased exemplar of TRUTH-seeking really looks like. Let's use the case of Mitch Landrieu as a way to audit Rogers' approach to the truth. (Btw, this is gonna be an ultra-long post, so, fair warning.)

We'll begin by citing Rogers' August 27th "Rant" which links to a YRHT post where I asked "Can we get a reaction from [Rob Couhig] and other Nagin 'swing-vote conservatives' to da mayor's latest idiotic comment?" Rogers responds

There is a strange irony here. It's possible that "swing vote conservatives" are just as unhappy as Mark right now. Ray Nagin isn't conservative, and he isn't liberal: he's a strange mutation, the product of Louisiana's crazy electoral system.

Despite New Orleans and Nagin being the worst examples he could possibly use, Rogers goes on to make his argument against Louisiana's open primary system. To do so, Rogers must rely on the purported "smarts" and "pride" of political party leaders (who would presumably discourage embarrassments like George Ryan and Katherine Harris from winning nomination). Indeed, Mr. Rogers goes on to say:

But a different primary system may have yielded a better Democrat. And maybe Boulet, Foreman (sic), or Landrieu would be mayor of New Orleans now, instead of Mr. Chocolate City. It's something to consider.

Wow. Didja see that? Rogers grouped Landrieu in with his examples of "Better Democrats"! That's an amazing admission, and I'll soon show you why. But first I'll note that Rogers does not offer us a plausible scenario as to how Forman, Boulet or Landrieu would've beaten Nagin in a closed Democratic primary. Exactly how would a closed primary system have "yielded" a different result? If anything, Nagin's win would've been more decisive because the anti-Nagin votes among Dems would've been split up among several major (and many minor) candidates. Obviously, then, after Nagin wins the primary by 8 or 10 points, he easily wins the runoff against the Republican Couhig. If anything, the open primary system hurt Nagin, because he had to face a viable Democrat in the runoff rather than a doomed GOP candidate.

Here's "something to consider", Mr. Rogers. Maybe, just maybe, strategic voting by Couhig's conservative "swing voters" played much more of a role in Nagin's victory than did the open primary electoral system. For months, I searched in vain for a persuasive conservative argument for Nagin, and found the most laughably inert set of rationales that I'd ever seen. Yet these conservatives were the crucial swing vote in the mayoral election and they decided to ally themselves with (many) black New Orleanians who voted mainly along racial lines. So, I'm curious: Why would Couhig conservatives punish their city by re-electing someone they previously viewed as an incompetent laughingstock? Again, these folks were the crucial swing vote block, and enough of them decided that Nagin was the best choice for New Orleans. Can anyone, ANYONE give me one solid reason why re-electing Nagin was the right choice for conservative New Orleanians? Please? Was it Nagin's pro-gambling stance? His leadership during the Katrina aftermath? His commitment to a police chief who cannot control crime? His order to seize guns from lawful citizens trying to protect their homes from looters? His Chocolate City comments?... What was Nagin's decisive selling point this time around? That he could convince black Dems to vote for Bobby Jindal for Governor in '07?

And now Mr Rogers inquires whether I considered the possibility that these Couhig conservatives might be as unhappy as I am...

Yeah, I suppose I considered that "possibility" for a millisecond, before dismissing it as the nonsense that it is. No, Couhig Conservatives aren't ANYWHERE NEAR as unhappy as I am about Nagin's recent disasterous comments about Ground Zero. Not even close. Here's why: Couhig Conservatives are supposedly some of the most highly educated voters in the city-- brilliant folks, really-- and so they knew Nagin's history of making incendiary, idiotic claims (such as: the CIA is out to kill me, God sent Katrina because he's angered by the Iraq war, God wants N.O. to be a Chocolate City...). Yet, these highly intelligent Couhig Conservatives who were well-aware of Nagin's foot-in-mouth syndrome still decided that Landrieu was significantly worse for New Orleans. Why was that? Many, like Rob Couhig, submit that Landrieu doesn't "understand business" like Nagin does. So, if they believe that malarkey, how could they be as unhappy as I am about Nagin's "hole in the ground" comment? Surely they believe that Landrieu would've been much worse, right? They can comfort themselves with the thought that no matter what Nagin said/says/will say... they still made the right choice on election day. They had their reasons for choosing Nagin (which we will soon review), and their man Couhig endorsed Nagin... so how could they possibly be as "unhappy" as oyster? Mr. Oyster didn't vote for Nagin. Mr. Oyster doesn't have any "reasons" to comfort him when Nagin goofs; he doesn't admire the politicians who endorsed Nagin.... In fact, he thinks Nagin was the worst possible choice among the major candidates (given the stakes and the circumstances). Unlike the Couhig Conservatives, apparently, Mr. Oyster sees a vivid connection between a man who is a chronic national embarrassment and his poor salesmanship of the city. In fact, Mr. Oyster is tortured by the radical notion that Mitch Landrieu would have been a better mayor, salesman, leader, communicator and unifier for New Orleans than C. Ray Nagin. He would've even been better for business.

But, the Couhig Conservatives are not burdened by these unhappy thoughts.

So, in a word, "No". No, I seriously doubt my Couhig Conservative friends who voted for Nagin are as unhappy as I am right now. Unless... unless perhaps... during a moment of insight, they realized they made a horrible mistake. Perhaps when Mayor Ray was touring the mega-city he recently insulted, pathetically trying to woo investors with Al Sharpton at his side... perhaps, just maybe, it finally dawned on Couhig Conservatives that they made the wrong decision. Perhaps Nagin doesn't "understand business" after all. Perhaps their man Couhig endorsed Nagin for strategic and political reasons rather than out of a pure concern for city governance. But that would mean that many of the "highly educated" Couhig Conservative swing voters got played like yo-yo's in perhaps the most important election in the history of New Orleans. They voted for the inferior candidate, for no good reason. This leads to a much more interesting question: whether or not they're unhappy now, why weren't the Couhig Conservatives as unhappy (at Nagin) as I was back in May? What redirected and defused their anger? Precisely what made them more fearful of Mitch Landrieu than angry at the incompetent and embarrassing Nagin?

Here's a possibility: perhaps outside interests made a concerted effort to "sink Mitch" because they wished to strengthen the state GOP party at the expense of New Orleans. Now that is an unhappy thought, but one well worth "considering" by intrepid "truth-seekers" like Rogers. We'll explore that shortly. For now, let's just keep that provocative "possibility" in the back of our mind while we revisit Rogers' unbiased, truth-soaked commentary on Mitch Landrieu over the past year. (My comments will follow and intersperse Rogers' quotes when necessary.):

9/21/05 "Rant"


The last thing we need is Mitch Landrieu as our governor. This is a guy who spent over $400,000 renovating his own state-sponsored living space. If his efforts at the Pentagon Barracks are any indication, I'm sure he'd make the governor's mansion look real pretty. But his contribution to the state would end right there.

This $400k renovation is apparently Mitch's mortal sin. But what evidence is there that he would not contribute to the state as a governor? He has been an effective promoter of tourism as Lt. Governor (not to mention a "Dieter"). I sure as hell know that I'd want Mitch selling the city (or state) rather than Nagin. But, sadly, conservatives understand that actual reasons aren't necessary when it comes to the Landrieus. Just mention the Landrieu name in the same sentence as something negative, and let peoples' emotions do the rest of the work.

3/9/06 DP News "Flash Sheet"


The 60-second ad, slickly produced by Media consultants Marmillion Gray and Sabistion, is a slick, well-polished job.

The commercial features Mitch Heroically coming to the rescue of Katrina victims, no sweat on his brow, and in full makeup.

Rogers' makeup charge was an outright lie-- a nasty one, that the Dead Pelican has never seen fit to retract. And when the Times Picayune had the temerity to call him on his unsubstantiated claim, Truthteller Rogers responded with another Flash Sheet saying, in effect, "Mitch lies too".

4/6/06 DP Flash Sheet

Landrieu said that his plan "says what we're going to do on day one, day two, day 30, day 90..."

However, a document called "The Landrieu Plan for New Orleans," contained on his web site, contains no such dates.

As petty as this response was, it was grossly misleading in two ways. First, the Flash Sheet misquoted what Landrieu actually said. Second, it did not note the FACT that Mitch Landrieu's plan did say what he would do by Day 30, by Day 60 and by (approx) Day 90-- though it did not offer a "timetable". My rebuttal to Rogers' petty Flash Sheet is here. More importantly, please compare Rogers' attention to this timetable controversy with his utter silence about Nagin's broken promise to present a plan within his first 100 days, and Couhig's hilariously lame, evolving explanations for his committee's delay in reporting.

5/21/06 "Rant"


... I must say that had I been able to vote in the election, [Ray Nagin] would have had my vote.
...
And I have no real praise for Ray Nagin. However, I believe that the Landrieu dynasty is something that all Louisianians should work together to put a stop to. They have been a powerful force in bringing New Orleans to its knees, along with the the state of Louisiana.

How so? Perhaps an example, just one?

[T]hey embody the kind of political incest that is reminiscent of the days when the Long family ran this state. Mitch Landrieu served for 16 years in the Louisiana legislature. Moon Landrieu once served as New Orleans' mayor, a city that is now one of nation's most dangerous. Senator Mary Landrieu has "served" us for many years as a U.S. senator; our state is currently ranked last in quality for life.

These are sly associations, not arguments. One might ask: What did Moon Landrieu do 30 years ago that made New Orleans a dangerous city today? What policies has Mary Landrieu championed that account for our current "quality for life" rankings? Are Mary and Mitch not philosophically different?

Hell, I could just as easily say: "Since Rogers has served truth as publisher of the Dead Pelican, Louisiana has dropped from 49th to 50th in quality of life. Whatever he's doing apparently isn't working". Or: "Jeb Bush has been governor of Florida for 'many years'. George H.W. Bush was Head of the CIA in the 1970's, now the agency is in shambles; President George W Bush has 'served' us during sharp median income declines and stock market stagnation. This incestuous political dynasty reminds one of the Longs in Louisiana. Whatever the Bushes have done hasn't worked, we must all put a stop to them.... etc". I mean, is that a convincing argument? Would any conservative buy that line of reasoning if one substituted "Bush" for "Landrieu"?

The Landrieus probably aren't bad people. But they've all had chances to prove themselves, and history shows what whatever they've been doing hasn't worked.

"Whatever they've been doing" hasn't worked? So, you can't give one example as to why this politically incestuous family has brought New Orleans and Louisiana to its knees?

As for Mayor Nagin, I can say this much. On the night of the primary, he made fun of himself, showing off one of the novelty items inspired by his "chocolate city" comments. The gadget was a small device which played sound bytes from some of Nagin's more awkward moments. It was called "Mayor in Your Pocket." "They're making money off me," he said with a laugh. "But that's OK."

It was then that I had second thoughts about the man. I began to think that maybe, just maybe, there was more to Ray Nagin than his "chocolate city" comments. The majority of New Orleans voters felt the same way.

Yeah, New Orleanians were similarly "charmed" by Ray's antics... four years ago! Glad his prop-comic schtick was the thing that gave you hopeful second thoughts, Mr. Rogers. Can we expect the Dead Pelican to cover the emerging Recall Nagin efforts like it did the failed Recall Blanco efforts?

Similarly, may we ask what Rogers thinks of Nagin's highly publicized Chicago Campaign fundraiser that reportedly brought in between $250-$500k in campaign funds just prior to the election? Isn't it remotely newsworthy when the Nagin campaign absurdly claims to have raised only $5k instead of $500k? Why go to Chicago in the heat of a campaign to raise $5k? Where did the rest of the money go? Was anything promised in return?

Worse, why in the hell is a newly re-elected, term-limited mayor still fundraising after the election is over? (Nagin finished the race in the black.) The Dead Pelican has been silent about this story, but I would bet my last dollar that there would be huge font, siren-blaring, "Exclusive DP Flash Sheets" if a Mayor Landrieu had done the same thing. I'd wager everyone in the state would know about it if Landrieu were fundraising immediately after being elected, with endless speculation about his Gubernatorial ambitions and how insincere his mayoral campaign was... etc. Just read the quote from this T-P article excerpted below, and imagine that the name "Landrieu" is substituted for "Nagin".

Nagin is holding a fund-raiser Wednesday at the W Hotel in the Central Business District, where couples will be expected to pony up $2,500 apiece, [Nagin Campaign Treasurer David] White said.

Asked why the mayor, who by law cannot seek a third term, is continuing to raise campaign money, White said: "I don't want to be in a position where I don't have funds."

Having money in the warchest will also keep Nagin's political options open, White said. "You never know what this guy might do.
He wants to try to get some money back in his coffers, and people offered to help."

"You never know what this guy might do." Yeah, that pretty much sums up Nagin. (Update: More on David White here.)

5/23/06 DP Flash New Sheet:


Shortly before the New Orleans election, Blanco had met with Howard Dean and the DNC. Whether Blanco was involved in the DNC's active push to unseat Nagin is not known.

The Drudge claim that the DNC actively pushed to unseat Nagin is a false, retracted lie, though the Dead Pelican dutifully asserted it as fact and never, to my knowledge, informed its readers that the report was retracted. On the other hand, the Arkansas-Incorporated Greater New Orleans Republicans did actively push to re-elect Nagin and defeat Landrieu.... that's actually A FACT, yet it received no attention from the truth-besotted Dead Pelican. An interesting investigation might begin with the question: where did the GNOR get its funding for their campaign push against Mitch Landrieu?

8/26/06 "Rant" to Nagin


Fire your present staff. Get some good advisors and have them develop a fixed set of talking points for every occasion. NEVER STRAY FROM THIS SCRIPT! Your improvisations are destroying you and your city.

This would have been excellent advice for Nagin... two years ago! But New Orleanians understand that Nagin is simply unable and unwilling to stick to any script, much less surround himself with good advisors. Why in the hell would someone (say, a highly educated Couhig Conservative) who has observed Nagin for 4 years, vote for him and re-elect him on the far-flung HOPE that he MIGHT change in ways he is demonstrably incapable of doing? Why would people delude themselves into ignoring this core "truth" about Nagin's character in the most important election in New Orleans history?

Because of Louisiana's open primary structure? I think not.

Mitch Landrieu, on the other hand, can stay on message and is willing to communicate with his advisors. But conservatives feared him more than Ray "businessman" Nagin because of the bullsh-t reasons I enumerate and document here and here.

Rogers and others are quick to note that the perceptions of the rest of the country are important, and that Louisiana must work to change them. But even GOP Business leaders like Joe Canizaro, who donated $250k towards Mary Landrieu's defeat, publicly supported Mitch Landrieu, because they understood that the New Orleans business community couldn't afford the re-election of Nagin, whom most of the country views as an incompetent laughingstock. CityBusiness, the T-P, Gambit Weekly, and Louisiana Weekly also endorsed Landrieu for similar reasons. They were not charmed by Ray playing with a toy, nor did they hope against hope that he would suddenly change his character.

Besides national perception, the other main reasons to vote for Mitch included his promise to conduct a national search for a new Chief of Police, and his dissatisfaction with Cat 2/3 levees, and his steadfast commitment for Category 5 flood protection for New Orleans and South Louisiana. (Both Nagin and Sen. Vitter have been informed by the White House that Category Five is an "unhelpful" term. Unhelpful to whom, precisely, I cannot say. The post-election resurgence in crime, is a whole 'nother story.)

Category 5 flood protection (which includes wetlands restoration) is TRULY the most significant issue facing South Louisiana. However, one would not know this by reading the Dead Pelican (or Metzgar or Forgotston, for that matter). Perhaps that's because Cat 5 flood protection and coastal restoration will require a LIBERAL solution; that is, it's a Common Problem that requires a Government Solution. But this is too "hard" a truth for some of our libertarian-minded friends to accept, apparently.

If I were a truth-discovering, news-aggregating, online-publisher, I'd have a permanent Flashing Light Alert linking to historian John Barry's magnificent and important USA TODAY editorial on saving Louisiana. That's how good it is. Barry perfectly captures the overriding Louisiana "truth", in my view.

Now, though, after falsely claiming that Mitch wore makeup during a flood-rescue photo op, and after promoting the falsehood that the DNC was involved in the New Orleans mayoral campaign, and after declaring that he would've voted for Nagin... now Chad Rogers suggests that the conservative swing voters who helped put Nagin into office might be as "unhappy" as I am at Ray's predictable blunders. Further, almost unbelievably, Rogers now groups Landrieu in with his examples of "better Democrats", and suggests that the open primary system is to blame for his election loss.

Sorry. No. That's not gonna work.

Nagin supporters don't deserve to get off that easy three months after a crucial election-- especially the "highly intelligent" Couhig swing voters who broke for Nagin. No, they don't get to blame their vote for Nagin on LA's open primary system, and they don't get to act like they are "just as unhappy" as Landrieu supporters when crime spikes and Nagin blunders on a national stage. These conservatives thought, presumably, that Nagin was better for New Orleans than Landrieu. They had their "reasons" for their informed vote.

It would be lovely if they were inclined to share them, or discuss why they were wrong.
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43 Comments:

I said it once, and I'll say it again. The guy doesn't even deserve your attention....not a single sentence. He's inaccurate if not a liar...you pointed that out numerous times.

The post is incredible though...i thought you might give him a FYYFF there for a second, which is not usually in you nature.

Also I'm linking to this post, as I am currently looking into why C. Ray Ruin Nawlins is in a real estate business with David White and how it is being funded.

By Blogger Dambala, at 10:39 PM  

It was clear during the election that Rob Couhig was the hammer, the Luca Bratzi, hired to take votes from some and hand Ray Ray the runoff.

It's just ugly that political business continues to be done in the manner of a banana republic.

(No, not the store in the riverwalk.)

By Anonymous berto, at 1:37 AM  

Well done!

I've been wanting to thrash Mr. Rogers, but what's the point of beating a dead pelican?

You are a gem Sir Bivalve. I think RecallNaginNow! can use this material.

By Anonymous GentillyGirl, at 7:57 AM  

To quote a upper crust, Republican friend I have: "New Orleans is back up and running well in spite of what the liberal blog says." That's a direct quote.

The country club is open and debutants have no shortage of parties, that pesky City Planning Commision et al won't be getting in the way of buisness, and just look at the rents even the most run down rental property is getting...On the whole, I think they're actually pretty happy.

By Blogger celcus, at 9:00 AM  

This post is just one of many examples of why your blog is mandatory reading for anyone interested in Louisiana politics. Thank you, Oyster.

By Anonymous bigshot, at 9:22 AM  

you could add the annoying "Developing..." to the end of this post, or whatever he ripped off from the moron in the hat.

Mark C.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:31 AM  

What Celcus said

By Blogger jeffrey, at 10:44 AM  

What can I say? I can only add my praise to the other commenters, Oyster. Excellent post! It says it all.

By Anonymous Grandmère Mimi, at 12:16 PM  

"Can anyone, ANYONE give me one solid reason why re-electing Nagin was the right choice for conservative New Orleanians? "

My answer doesn't jive with the traditional definition of conservative, but if you substitute the word neoconservative, I think it plays.

The only thing I can think of is the same reason why big bidness supported W. Nagin will continue letting the bidnesses like Cox and Belfor and whomever else he anoints do whatever they need to do to get rich.

The rich get richer, and this guarantees it.

Which is why Couhig's all for it.

By Anonymous ashley, at 5:02 PM  

Ashley...here's one theory. Maybe he's a proxy....or better yet, maybe he's a Red Herring. We all know the "footprint" of the city is going to be shrunk, one way or another. Maybe he's running around spouting out idiotic rhetoric, capturing the media attention while the real maneuvering is being done behind the scenes. As the mouthpiece, he'll keep spouting out how he's gonna rebuild the 9th ward, while the men behind him are making sure it's a buffer zone for tidal surge.

Now I doubt very seriously that anyone in this city is that smart, but it sure would work for Ray to stand up on the public platform and blame everyone else because he's not gettting "his money" to bring people back, while underneath it all Couhig and buddies are ensuring that. It diverts peoples attention away from what's really happening...which is nothing, and the more time goes by, the less likely a damn thing will happen to bring people back. Then the Conservative base just waits it out in uptown mansions sipping toddy's on their porch and playing golf at Audobon until the the furor dies down, and people build their lives somewhere else.

I'm not saying I buy it....but it's a working theory.

By Blogger Dambala, at 6:30 PM  

Makes too much sense, Dambala.

However, I think they're playing at English Turn, not Audubon. White Trash like me plays at Audubon.

But you nailed the part about them intentionally doing nothing.

By Anonymous ashley, at 10:32 PM  

Oyster, Ashley, Dambala:

Speaking as someone who has heard it first hand from many of the Couhig Conservatives it all boils down to a simple concept:

"The Devil you know is better than the Devil you don't."

To elaborate, many also stated "Four more years of Nagin is better than eight more years of Landrieu."

Mitch got tagged with Mary and there is another negative blood between the Couhig Conervatives and Mary to make the subject of an entirely new blog. He also got tagged with the concept of "the sins of the father are the sins of the son." Again, listening to the "elders" of the Couhig Conservatives, I have heard many blame Moon for today's crime rate as he encouraged equality among all of our citizens.

Nagin, for the most part has left these people alone. While I do not agree with the tone of Celcus' statements, a great portion of what he has said is true. Most Couhig Conservatives were relatively spared from the effects of the storm. Even for those effected, they had the resources to put their lives back without the need of money from the LRA or block grants and the like.

Please understand. I am not saying that I believe these things. I am merely recounting the statements that I have heard.

Yes, they are playing golf and tennis and swimming in the pool on Pontchartrain Boulevard and yes, as Nell Nolan will tell you, the Debutante Season is in full swing, but Celcus is wrong about these portion of citizens when he says they just sit on their porches drinking toddies and waiting for it all to be over.

A number of women that would fall into you Couhig Conservative ("CC") category created and actively participated in the Katrina Krewe's efforts in cleaning the City after the storm. Another group of women created the "Women of the Storm" which has made multiple trips to Washington D.C. to bring awareness to Congress and to keep tabs on which of our congressional leaders are paying attention to us. Another group sprang from the CC's and lobbied our state legislature to consolidate the multiple levee boards.

I could go on, but the point is simple. This group, just like your are stakeholders in this city. It aggravates me to no end that your average readers take aim at these people for doing nothing more than what you are doing. Sure, they may be able to go about it another way, but is that wrong? Since when did this ideal about equality in this city surface where the less fortunate or those who just haven't caught their break yet believe they are justified in bashing those whose families have worked hard over the past 100 years to build wealth? Last time I checked,New Orleans was still geographically located within the United States. Let's keep that in mind before we criticize people or their ancestors for creating wealth and enjoying the fruits of their labor.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:58 AM  

Thanks for the comments, everyone.

Anonymous, I'm glad you repeated some of the reasons for our Couhig Conservative friends who voted for Nagin. Allow me to briefly respond.

"The Devil you know is better than the Devil you don't."

Mitch Landrieu is not an unknown. He has a long history, and his family has a long history. That's precisely what Nagin ran against.

"Four more years of Nagin is better than eight more years of Landrieu."

I really don't understand this one. These next four years might be the most important in New Orleans history. And there is no guarantee that Landrieu automatically either seeks or wins a second term. That's what elections are for, I suppose. But I've heard this "eight year canard" repeated many times, as if that's a good reason. Say Landrieu was elected with 51% of the vote, and then didn't do a good job during the next four years and then faced Oliver Thomas as an opponent in 2010.

How would you bet on the outcome?

By Blogger oyster, at 10:37 AM  

Mitch Landrieu - at least as I see it - was not a known failure in disaster response. In my opinion, Nagin was. That's why I would have given Landrieu a chance to show what he could do.

By Anonymous Grandmère Mimi, at 12:52 PM  

Louisiana has a history of families who are involved in nothing but politics, like political inbreeding. That has not boded well for our state. I see the same problem with the Bush's also. God help this country if Jeb Bush ever gets into the White House.

I've blasted Nagin. I've also argued that having Nagin win over Landrieu was probably better for New Orleans, though I believe neither one of them would have been chosen if the people in New Orleans really wanted a change. I don't know what I would have done if I was a New Orleans voter, probably what my father did during the '91 Governor Run-off b/twn David Duke and Edwin Edwards, stay home and cuss about the stupidity of the voters to elect such a run-off.

As for Chad, I don't alway agree with his commentary, but I will say, his dilligent posting of articles from various Louisiana media is a benefit for Louisiana citizens, especially those of us who are too busy to read all the publications each day searching for the important news around the state.

By Blogger Nick, at 2:54 PM  

---Again, listening to the "elders" of the Couhig Conservatives, I have heard many blame Moon for today's crime rate as he encouraged equality among all of our citizens.---

How ironic...you want to know what caused the catastrophic crime rate in this city, Anon? An uneducated populous. You know why we have an uneducated populous? Because of your century-old, racist aristrocrats who horded wealth and resources for the past 50 years since Brown v. Board of Education was passed in 1954. To blame Moon is like Bush blaming Clinton for 9/11...it's total bullshit. I hope to Buddha you're not actually trying to defend the "Couhig Base" on the grounds that they think Moon was responsible for our crime rate...you say you don't believe these things, what do you believe?

Whatever you believe, don't dare lump this blog's "average readers" in with anyone who would chastize a man for trying to integrate his city....to seek equal rights and opportunity for everyone in his city.

Since when did the idea develop to bash these people who think like this? September 22, 1862...it was a little notion called the Emancipation Proclamation. It then took another century for the notion to be accepted by the mainstream populous of this nation. It still hasn't been accepted by your "stakeholders" in this city and the manifestions of their bigotry were killing this city well before Katrina did her thing...grossly apparent in the worst public school system in the nation and was well below the standards of most third world countries. Kenya and Zimbabwee had higher standards of education than our city, I have the numbers from the U.S. State Dept. to prove it.

If your elite stakeholders want to know who actually created the crime rate in this city....tell 'em to look in a fucking mirror, anon...look in a fucking mirror. If their daughter gets shot on the way to her debutante party...she got shot by a young man who never had a chance in hell to better himself or pull himself out of the misery which is his life, because his community denied him that chance. Indeed the "sins of the fathers" will haunt every child in this city...but it wasn't Mitch's father who committed the sins.

whew....man that just chaps my ass to no end....motherfuckin' fuckin fuck fuck. fuck......fuck.

By Blogger Dambala, at 8:59 PM  

What Dambala said

By Blogger jeffrey, at 11:54 AM  

Dambla,

I'm glad it's so easy to chap your ass. As of rthe rest of you, if you don't want the true answer, don't ask the question. Ashley wanted to know why someone would vote for Nagin instead of Landrieau and I gave a couple of answers that I heard. Wasn't the title of this post "Don't shoot the Messenger. . . " I do find it interesting that no one commented on the positive items that the CC's have contributed to the City. That's sooo typical of liberal democrats. Not only do they want to take your hard earned money out of your pocket and redistribute it throughout society, but they want to ignore the good that the CC's do.

You guys are, to quote one of your educated, "motherfuckin' fuckin fuck fuck fuck[ed]" up. Do you really believe the shot that you're shoveling. Get a grip guys. You really do need to find another country.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:25 PM  

As I see it, this is the prime reason liberals can't get traction. It's not because conservatives are doing a wonderful job. But your nasty habit of attacking VOTERS alienates people.

A great response would be to roll out a long list of Mitch's accomplishments during his 16 years as a legislator, during far less stressful times. You did this very well with your Clinton stats on "net job gains." Does Mitch have such redeeming stats?

You said it yourself Mark. You cannot understand why ANYONE would vote for Ray Nagin. If you don't understand the appeal of your political foes, you cannot defeat them.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:48 PM  

-You really do need to find another country.-

ok

By Blogger Dambala, at 1:49 AM  

All of you need to get over it and get busy rebuilding your city, these petty attacks on Rogers and each other are a waste of time. The voters spoke, they got what they wanted, now get on Nagin's ass to get it done, stop bitching babies.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:48 AM  

I like bitching. It sure beats.. you know... doing stuff.

By Blogger jeffrey, at 9:51 AM  

find another country....that's a really peachy retort, Anon. How long did it take you come up with that? Or is it something you routinely spout out to people who disagree with your political views?

Shame on Moon and I for wanting an integrated city. We don't deserve to be American. How could I even suggest something so contrary to American principles?

Oh, for the good ole' plantation days when darkies knew their place in society. At least Nagin knows his masters are the CC's, right Anon.?

By Blogger Dambala, at 5:12 PM  

jeff...technically...isn't blogging really just bitching?

By Blogger Dambala, at 5:14 PM  

Well.. yes.. that's why I'm here.

By Blogger jeffrey, at 6:05 PM  

"Know thy enemy as you know thyself." That's what Sun Tzu said. The lefties in the Mitch Landrieu crowd took it for granted that they mitch would win. They didn't take the time to try and understand the enemies appeal.

That's just arrogant. Just ask the G.O.P. in Washington, who's about to lose big time.

By Anonymous Frank Booth, at 9:49 PM  

Um... not all of us took it for granted.

By Blogger jeffrey, at 10:24 PM  

Also.. if this discussion has proved anything it is that the "Couhig swing voters" are indeed not "just as unhappy" as Landrieu supporters with Nagin's performance over the past 100 days.

By Blogger jeffrey, at 11:08 PM  

"has proven" sheesh

By Blogger jeffrey, at 11:09 PM  

yeah...i worked on his campaign...and i never assumed he was gonna win. As a matter of fact, i always figured it would be uphill battle. I don't think anyone in Rising Tide blog circle assumed he was gonna win either....and most of us definitely qualify as leftyish.

By Blogger Dambala, at 12:20 AM  

Dambala,

I read this blog as a source of entertainment. It also serves a a good reminder of what we have to deal with on a daily basis, although I don't imagine our paths cross too much. However, lately I've been starting to think that you and your regulars actually are making an occupation of blogging. Do you all have other, productive jobs in society?

Anon #1 (There seems to be several anonymous writers out there and I don't want to get credit for some other anonymous comments.)

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:39 AM  

I certainly do not have a productive occupation to speak of. I probably wouldn't care much for something like that.

By Blogger jeffrey, at 9:29 AM  

Thanks to Anon #1, and everyone, for contributing to this discussion. Just goes to show that nothing brings out the comments like the name "Landrieu"-- that fascinates me.

I wrote a long comment that got lost and that I haven't the time to rewrite. I may just do a general post addressing some of the concerns and statements in the above comments. Just let me say that I view this Landrieu as extremely instructive, and that sometimes I act a bit naive so that people might comment in the most detailed, explanatory manner possible.

I have a bio sketch at After the Levees. link! It's funny though, I was at a party recently where a lawyer asked me if I blogged "for a living". I had to laugh.

No. I blog, basically, instead of yelling at the TV. It's a good vent, and sometimes allows me to clarify my thoughts.

How about yourself, Anon #1, what's your story?

By Blogger oyster, at 11:02 AM  

Actually, let me add that the more I learn about the professions of the fellow bloggers on my Pelicans blogroll, the more impressed I become.

Among my favorites there are writers, college professors, lawyers, geologists, tech-savvy IT people, construction company owners, social workers, and entrepreneurs of all sorts. There's also a librarian who has forgotten more about New Orleans than I'll ever know... but he has the modesty to disguise this fact.

By Blogger oyster, at 11:27 AM  

Anon #2,

My main profession is that I'm currently mounting a socialist rebellion against the United States. We will start in Caracas and work our way through South America, Central America, and Mexico gaining freedom fighters along the way. We plan on liberating Acadiana from the crushing grip of the American Empire.

I make about $37k a year/ without benefits...but I don't need them as Venezuela has free health care. It's a good job, very rewarding, a lot of people are vying for my position though.

Oh yeah, I'm also a Voudon priest...I provide consultations at a fee.

Oh....and I make documentary films.

Oh...and I'm a 32% owner in a 25 million dollar company.

Oh...and I'm a dad.

So no...I do absolutely nothing that's "productive" in society....at least not American society.

BTW Anon....haven't you heard? Blogging can make big bucks. It's one of the fastest growing occupations in the modern economy. Unfortunately, commenting on blogs doesn't count. So your wasting your time right now when you could be out there making money....for God's sake..get busy man. Who knows, maybe your intelligent enough to entertain yourself and make money.

By Blogger Dambala, at 1:06 PM  

Aw that's sweet. Thanks, Mom.

By Blogger jeffrey, at 10:42 PM  

Oyster,

I'm starting to love you guys. I just wanted to make sure that none of you work in restuarants so I don't run the risk of you spitting in my food.

I like to read these blogs becuase it gives me better insight into understanding the portion of the population that I do not otherwise get to know about. This is often helpful in my work as I often advocate some ideas that aren't popular within certain demographics.

Blogs have been invaluable to this end. If yo can sift through the bullshit, you can actually get into people's heads and learn what really makes them tick. At that point, you know what they are truly looking for in a negotiation as opposed to what they might admit publicly. I'm not so proud as to admit that Before I started reading the blogs, I often find myself incorrect about how certain people really felt. Now, I can better tailor possible solutions without giving away the ranch.

Similar to you, although I do not act naive, I push the envelope in trying to evoke comment. People that are "excited" speak a whole lot more. See Dambala "fuck, fuck, . . . " tirade.

I don't want to go into specifics, but I am a professional that does quite well and am very comfortable. I am married with 4 children in private schools. I like to play golf and hunt and fish when I'm not working or spending time with my family. For Dambala's information, I do live in a mansion (7,500 square feet) and do like "toddies" although it's been to hot to enjoy them outside on the front porch. I'll leave the rest of the details to your imagination.

Regards,

Anon #1

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:35 AM  

anon #1,

Presupposed condescension becomes you. Unforutnately, no one really cares that you have a mansion or drink toddies....or have the inherent ability to read blog comments and "sift through the bullshit" and can "get in people's heads and see what makes them tick." However, I sincerely doubt you have this ability as you seem more consumed with delineating your own wonderful gift of insight than actually telling us anything about ourselves, or anything in general for that matter.

Pray tell Anon #1....what makes us tick? Share your wonderful gift of acumen with the world and tell us what magnificent insight you've gleaned from reading blog comments. After all, you said you're starting to love us....share the love, brah. But by all means don't "go into specifics" as that may prove too compromising to a man of such mental stature.

And if you have trouble with that, I'll give you a hint at what makes us tick. It's exactly what I'm requesting of you....sharing knowledge and expressing ideas and opinion. I've learned more about my city from these folks in one year, than I ever did from traditional media resources, and I take pride in knowing I've shared a few bits of information with them as well. An informed populous and all that silly democracy stuff....perhaps that is what makes most of us tick.

Instead of playing deus ex machina, why not put your wonderful gifts of insight into use and start your own blog. Or is that too petty a venture for such a gifted man as yourself?

By the way, excitement and disgust are two distinct emotions...careful not to confuse them.

By Blogger Dambala, at 1:04 PM  

Dambala,
My compliments. You seem to know a little about me as well as you challenge me to do things that you know I cannot avoid.

After reading a number of your blogs and watching coverage of The Rising Tide conference, I offer the following:

1. For the most part, New Orleans bloggers are working class men and women that are searching for something better in life. The majority of you are very frustrated with your lot in life and especially after the storm, you blame your government for your short-comings.

For the most part, you are educated through at least college and in some cases have post graduate degrees. This fact compounds your frustration even more because all through you childhood you were told that if you worked hard and studied, you'd get that corner office. This is fact adds particular frustration in life when some of you graduate from law school or business school with great grades but not enough personality/social skills to get past that first level of job interviews. You now have $80M in school loans to back, but can only land a job that pays you $32,000.

While that sounds like enough at first, when you start to pay bills, you realize that after taxes you hardly have enough money for tuna fish and Rhamen Noodles. The 2nd had car that your father gave you to take off to college requires $375.00 every other week keep it running.

All this aside, life is still good because you married your college sweetheart and you all are in love. Muskrat Suzie/Muskrat Sam.

You weren't born in New Orleans, but settled here because this is where your post-graduate program was or you liked the Jazz Fest too much to live anywhere else. For this reason, you develop a different idea about exactly what New Orleans is.

To you, it's a great adventure, a great melting pot where you can live among other races and religions. You end up living in a mixed neighborhood to perpetuate this myth, when in reality, you're living in your particular neighborhood because that's all you can afford.

After a few years, life's still hard and you realize you're not making any headway. You start blaming George W. Bush for all of your problems. You think, damn, John Kerry would have been so much better, yet you're too young to remember how John F. Kennedy died.

Soon you realize that blaming George Bush isn't getting you anywhere, so you look around and start taking pot shots at those in your community that did catch a break or who have family that have amassed wealth over the decades.

You bitch about what these people do with their money and who they vote for because they're keeping your guy out of office, but yet you ride their coat tales on levee reform and the like. You're pissed off that they waste so much money, yet go to watch them throw $1,000 in beads on Mardi Gras Day. I should say that you do set up shop on the downtown side of Jackson Avenue so you can catch Zulu before Rex.

The bottom line is that you are pissed off at yourself for coming to New Orleans in the first place because now you are stuck. YOu could have done so much better in Atlanta or Charlotte or Seattle, but you were chasing the dream.

Take it from someone that has lived here all of his 40 years. Contrary to popular belief, New Orleans isn't easy. You have to carry a gun under the front seat of your car and make sure you shoot before they do. You have to be able to walk away from bums on the street asking for money without gagging at their stinch. You have to deal with uneducated City workers and members of the service industry that hate what they do. Do I really need to go on?

How did I do?

Anon #1

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:49 PM  

Anon,
Not so good.. A pretty good description of Chris Rose maybe.. but I think you're off in applying it to the majority of these bloggers.

By Blogger jeffrey, at 1:36 PM  

You got a D -

You're way off...I know it's way off on Oyster, Jeffrey, and I...and I can't think of anyone else who comes close.

As for me, my life rocks. I love my life. I make about 70k a year and I am in fact a 32% shareholder in a 25 million dollar company.

My wife is hot as hell. She's Filipina and moved to the states when she was 7, her dad busted his ass to make a life for her and her brothers and sisters. She's an RN and is a wonderful paradox of pragmitism and altruism...her luminance matched only by our two beautiful children.

I never bought into the "work hard, study hard" thing....I just read a lot because I enjoyed it, and still do. It worked. I get paid more every year, primarily to think. My dad was a factory worker and busted his ass to send me to college, without the need of a student loan. I'm completely debt free.

I don't view myself as having a lot problems to begin with, and I definitely don't blame anyone including Bush for those I do have. At least not G.W. or his dad. If I was going to blame a Bush it would be Prescott, but I don't want to confuse you with the history of American Fascism. I don't think W. is an idiot...i think they know exactly what they're doing....I just don't agree with that path.

I believe Nagin is incompetent, corrupt, and quite possibly an idiot.

I think Kerry would have been shitty. Gore would have been exceptional, and may yet be. I really like Chuck Hagel right now....I think we truly do need a fiscal consverative in office at the moment...one with an exceptional understanding of geo-politics in order to get us out of the mess we're currently in. Bush is not a republican....he is something much, much, different. The preservation of the Republic is the last thing on his mind.

I am a socialist in the sense that I believe that a government's sole function is to serve it's people. I do not believe the preservation of the state should take precedence over the welfare of it's people. I think nationalism is quite often destructive and easily manipulated.

My interpersonal skills are rather acute and have led to enormous success. I actually got degree's in Anthropology and Journalism. My company is based in New Delhi, I am doing business in 4 different countries at the moment and I'm headed to Libya in a month to develop further biz. I credit my success in business with the knowledge I gained from Anthropology...I am well versed in multicultural studies and it has proven invaluable in an emerging global market.

I credit Bush's failure in the emerging global market with this lack of multicultural understanding.

I moved to N.O. because of it's rich culture. I love this city. I loved it the moment I met it. I came here because I grew up in a small river town where the Ohio meets the Mississippi and New Orleans always held a mythical quality to me as a young man. It stil does. Atlanta sucks, Charlotte isn't close behind, and I've never had the pleasure of visiting Seattle, but I think I'd like it.

I'm not chasing a dream. I am the dreamer and the dream, I am the song the brahmin sings.

I don't really like Jazzfest. I love Mardi Gras, but I don't really do the parade scene that much unless my son asks to go.

I've never carried a gun in my car in 10 years of living in this city...and I've lived in nearly every part of it, but Mid-City. I've never felt threatend or disgusted by homeless people.

I worked in the service industry for 4 years, and I loved it. I met life long friends, two of which are local bloggers (Loki and Becky Houtman) and fell deeply in love with this city. That's the part you got right...assuming some of us work or have worked in the service industry.

I don't hold anything against people who are financially successful. I hold much against bigots, xenophobes, religious zealots, homophobes, and myopic fools who are incapable of seeing the systemic cause and effect of their actions in a community.

On the metaphysical level, i met God once, after ingesting ayaushca. She told me I was doing a great job and that she's very proud of me...then she showed me how everything was connected. It changed my life forever.

So you did get the service industry part right on some level, but overall your self proclaimed cyber-perspicacity is deficient.

Would you like me to return the favor?

By Blogger Dambala, at 3:48 PM  

BTW,

- yet you're too young to remember how John F. Kennedy died. -

What the fruck does that have to do with anything? Are you alluding to conspiracy theory or are you implying that we are too young to know much of history? Or are you assuming we worship the legacy of JFK, whatever that may be? You totally lost me on that insight.

But the Muskrat Love analogy was funny...not accurate, but funny. Pulling America (the band) out of the aether was a flash of humor. We've tapped Toto but never America. I'll raise your score to a D+ just for that.

By Blogger Dambala, at 7:14 PM  

Dambala,

Thanks. If you could bump me up to a C-, I'd appreciate it. That's at least what they do in New England Prep schools.

My comment about JFK was simply related to the fact that you are under 40 years old. I could have just as easlily said that you probably barely remember the name of the Brady Family's dog, but if are a reader, that anology might have missed the park as well.

I'll cut to the chase on my profile and let you add anything that I might have left out.

I was born in the late 60's in the "Sliver by the River" and with the exception of going off to college, haven't left the 70115 zip code yet. I am the product of one of New Orleans' private schools which, when I was there, was not diverse as it is now. I went off to college in and participated in the Greek Life (not to be confused with what you bloogers refer to as the Geek Life). I continued in school, got a post graduate degree, and married a childhood acquaintence and we have four beautiful children. I do quite well and between my family and my wife's family, we're quite comfortable and my children are never left wanting.

While I would never turn my back on New Orleans, my frustrations of New Orleans in recent times stem from the manner in which "new commers" like yourself criticize us natives because we resist the changes you seek to make.
With the excpetion of too many criminals walking around on the streets (we could use Harry Lee for a couple of years) I am satisfied at where the City is now. Much of the crime element such as those animals portrayed on the video of the Magnolia/C.J. Pete Housing Project have drowned or at least displaced and are not as much of a threat. I'm aggravated with the the way Mayor's rebulding the City (or shold I say not rebuilding the City) not because service industry personnel don't have housing, but because service industry personnel aren't around to clean houses or wait tables or wash cars or the like.

I lost a house on the the Mississippi Gulf Coast, so except for my other place on the Florida Panhandle, which is too far to go to for long weekends, I stuck here in New Orleans for the Fourth of July and Labor Day holidays which means I have to temporarily put up with the extremes of the Essence and Southern Decadence Festivals, where until this past summer, I had never had to deal with before. While the latter is at least entertaining to me, I'm not sure if the other is not an 180 degree deviation from some of those rallys that you might have found going on in rural Mississippi on a hot Friday night in the early 60's. And no, I'm not a homophobe. I get a great deal of entertainment from the pillow biters. Most of the ones I know are also very snappy dressers and have great taste in art. Speaking of art, I am a big fan of Southern Art and have been fortunate enough to be able to acquire a number of pieces of this genre.

Fortunately, while I do truly empathize with those families that have lost so much during the storm (or as your bloggers like to say "the man-made failure of the levees") I have to admit that my greatest perceived lost from the storm after my house in Mississippi was the closing of the Taco Bell at Claiborne and Louisiana Avenues and the fact that Joey K's Restuarant took its onion rings off the menu.

This is probably enough for you to chew on for now. Is this what you would have written? I'll be happy to continue after you comment.

Anon. #1

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:28 AM