Saturday, March 10, 2007

"Unnamed Republican Senators" blocking Stafford Act Waiver 

Barring a last-minute change of heart, it appears the Senate won't amend a homeland security bill to waive a requirement that Louisiana pay 10 percent of federal disaster funds related to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Friday that opposition from unnamed Republican senators is blocking efforts to attach the waiver
. But he promised that he would include similar waiver language in a supplemental spending bill for the war in Iraq that should be on the Senate floor within the next two weeks.

In this WSJ article, Chris Cooper described how the onerous Stafford Act is slowing the recovery down. New york City got a Stafford Act waiver after 9/11, and Florida got a waiver after Hurricane Andrew. President Bush, however, refuses to give a waiver to Louisiana after Katrina, and now unnamed Republican Senators are preventing legislation from being amended so Louisiana can speed up its recovery.

Da po blog has more.


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Friday, March 09, 2007

Sinn Fein movement gets a Seal of approval 


I suppose I'll have to do a long-delayed post on why I'm not 100% behind the whole idea of a Sinn Fein/secessionist movement for Louisiana. But that will have to wait a bit longer. Pearlgirl #2 will be here any day now.


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Times drops Coulter 

Ann Coulter calling former Sen. John Edwards a "faggot" was the last straw for The Shreveport Times. They're finally cancelling her column despite having polled their subscribers just last summer and electing to keep her in their newspaper's opinion section.

What's really disheartening is that the Times feels the need to explain to their readers why their decision to cancel Ann Coulter isn't evidence of some grand liberal bias or conspiracy on their part. Really, how sad is that?

Then, most sickeningly, the Times has a message to all of Coulter's many fans in the Arklatex who find "affirmation and validity in [her] diatribes". The newspaper says to them: "God bless you and keep you".

Previously, I've noted how Coulter has said that former President Bill Clinton is a homosexual and how her words have emboldened our jihadist terrorist enemies.


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Thursday, March 08, 2007

French Fest 

Ashley has an idea for what you can do on Sunday, and I have one for Saturday: check out the Fete Francais at Ecole Bilingue (938 Calhoun). It's a fun outdoor event for the whole family. There's games and music and food and wine. It's a good way to spend the afternoon. I went by myself last year and totally enjoyed it. Rebirth is playing this year, so that will keep things hoppin'.

Plus, check out the food vendors who will be at the Fest.... formidable!

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Grin and Bear it 

The Bush Administration has a position on polar bears. And if you're a government scientist, you better learn it before you go off questing for "solid science" on those sometimes noble animals.

Over the past week, biologists and wildlife officials received a cover note and two sample memorandums to be used as a guide in preparing travel requests. Under the heading "Foreign Travel-- New Requirement-- Please Review and Comply, Importance: High," the cover note said:

"Please be advised that all foreign travel requests (SF 1175 requests) and any future travel requests involving or potentially involving climate change, sea ice and/or polar bears will also require a memorandum from the regional director to the director indicating who'll be the official spokesman on the trip and the one responding to questions on these issues, particularly polar bears."

The sample memorandums, described as to be used in writing travel requests, indicate that the employee seeking permission to travel "understands the administration’s position on climate change, polar bears, and sea ice and will not be speaking on or responding to these issues."

When climate change starts affecting the big white cuddlies... well, it stirs sympathies in a whole new voting demographic. And that's not good; they might become environmentalists.

Much like Southern Louisiana, the polar bears' arctic habitat is... melting away. Actually, nowadays, South Louisiana is like many different places all around the world.

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Rap Cat? 

I was unaware of the Rally's/Checkers "Rap Cat" commercials.

This CNN report on the Rap Cat controversy is somewhat hilarious.


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Don't mess with my Poot Poot (pt 2) 

I've said it before, but recent events force me to repeat myself: I'm sure glad our "Soul-Sensor in Chief" told us not to worry about Putin's motives (as Americans are poisoned and enemies are armed).


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Wednesday, March 07, 2007


New Orleans' Taco Bells remain closed since Katrina, yet they still have fewer rats than the open Taco Bells in New York City.


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Tuesday, March 06, 2007


According to most news outlets, Scooter Libby was found guilty on 4 of 5 counts of perjury and obstruction of justice. He was the first senior White House official to be indicted since the Ulysses S. Grant administration. Now he is headed towards prison, unless Bush makes an embarrassing pardon.

Scooter was guilty of lying to protect his boss Dick Cheney, who initiated the outing of a clandestine CIA officer who worked on WMD proliferation. After several years of following the case, I'm still dumbstruck by its rotten core.

As former CIA asset William F. Buckley asserted, "The sacredness of the law against betraying a clandestine soldier of the republic cannot be slighted."

Yet, according to Kos, many conservatives think that "lying about a blow job was an impeachable offense, but lying about outing a CIA agent focused on the Iranian nuclear program is much ado about nothing".

Michael coined the term "Fitzmas", so due props to him. Merry Fitzmas. And thank Jeebus there are still a few tall, "embedded patriots" at various levels of government who put their work above politics. Thank goodness Deputy U.S. Attorney General James Comey appointed the "absolutely apolitical" Patrick Fitzgerald to the case. As long as we have people like him working for us, all is not lost.


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Monday, March 05, 2007

Giuliani praises Lincoln at Conservative gathering. 

Bad Idea.

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It's Witching Hour for our Skeleton Coast 

The Times Picayune begins a very good 3-part series on the loss of our coast. Their point is that we have less than 10 years to do something about Louisiana's vanishing wetlands before it will be too late (and too prohibitively expensive) for coastal restoration efforts. Part 2 is here.

Jeffrey highlights some quotes and links to an interactive graphic. (Update: Here's Jeffrey's post on part 2.)

Tim posts his recent editorial as to why 100 year hurricane protection is not enough. In terms of coastal issues, Tim is actually a contrarian. He believes the evidence shows that coastal wetlands are not effective storm surge buffers. (I disagree.)

Incredibly, the Dead Pelican displays the Coastal Erosion story as the DP's headline image and link! Never thought I'd see the day...

Update: I was glad to see the T-P article validate some of my "inside" political reporting in 2004.

From T-P "Losing Ground" part 2:

By 2000, state and corps planners had begun to turn Coast 2050 into a detailed 30-year, $14 billion blueprint called the Louisiana Coastal Area Ecosystem Restoration Plan.

After polishing the plan for another two years at Washington's behest, in 2002 the state and corps officials presented their effort to the Bush administration -- and ran into a brick wall.

The administration's Office of Management and Budget ordered the plan downsized to include only the first 10 years of projects, drastically cutting the price tag to between $1.2 billion and $1.9 billion. The reduction stemmed from unprecedented budget deficits spurred by a wave of tax cuts and the invasion of Iraq. The White House Council on Environmental Quality also weighed in, saying the larger projects weren't backed by solid science.

Of course, there was "solid science", apparently, for wetlands restoration in Iraq. Back on 11/15/04 I wrote:

The gret stet has lost nearly 2000 square miles of protective coastal marshlands (not a misprint) since 1932-- so what's another 1000? Sure we can invest $14 billion now to confront this federal issue, or pay, scientists estimate, a cool $100 billion later. The Bush administration, who proposed giving $100 million to Iraq for its wetlands programs, has continuously shut out Louisiana until this election year where it coughed up a paltry $8 million for our urgent coastal needs. When the President visited this year, he shared a limo with Gov. Blanco, and she asked him for $50 million to address our initial coastal restoration efforts. According to my sources, he replied that current solutions are not based on "solid science".

This pronouncement on science comes from a man who contends that the "jury is out" on evolution, while simultaneously proposing exploration to Mars.

Our state is getting rolled under the bus by Duhbya, and yet still licks his political boot. Maybe one day, perhaps when we're using our tax cuts to invest in houseboats, we'll realize how badly the Shrub rooked us.


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