Thursday, August 21, 2008

RT3 -- attack of the cranes 

Click here to register!

Click the "cranes on the skyline" to register.

Even if you can't attend the Rising Tide event on Saturday, for whatever reason, everyone is invited to attend the Friday Night Blogger social event (7:30pm - ?) at Buffa's Lounge (1001 Esplanade). This is free and open to the public, and there will be free food, and lots of area bloggers. There will also be a "service day" on Sunday, where RT volunteers will help ready an area school for the coming academic year. More details will be provided on Saturday. Please contact us here, if you can't make it on Saturday, but would like to volunteer on Sunday.

I want to note that through the generosity of the Ashley Morris Memorial Foundation, Rising Tide will be presenting the annual "Blogger of the year" award, to bloggers who have displayed Courage, Leadership and Recovery done outstanding work over the past year. Also, special thanks to Levees Not War blog for their donation to Rising Tide 3.

Please take advantage of the online registration-- only $20!. It will be $25 at the door, but you should register now and put the savings towards the "awesome [RT] swag" (which, for the record, is not "Creole Blue".) But even at $25 that's a steal, because the conference will include keynote speaker John Barry, Lee "hurting the recovery" Zurik, a catered lunch from J'Anita's, and the opportunity to see Dangerblond explode and forcefully put someone in his/her place, which has become a yearly tradition.

See y'all there!


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Who's more confused, Fay or McCain? 

Weigh the evidence here and here, and decide for yourself.

Update: Btw, the politically important feature of this kerfuffle is McCain's confusion-- not knowing how many houses he owns-- rather than the fact that he is rich (by virtue of his wife's inherited wealth).

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Who's stoopider than Rodney Alexander? 

I don't know, but LA Democratic Party President Chris Whittington must be a serious contender.

John Maginnis brought this little nugget of information to my attention:

The race in the 5th [Congressional District] is all but over, with Republican Congressman Rodney Alexander facing a little-known primary challenger and no Democrat in the general election.

"No Democrat"? At all? This year? Why?

After all, Whittington isn't unfamiliar with filling slots at the last moment.

There's no excuse.


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It's not about a hurricane. It's about America. 

Sunday, my wife Lovely and I were honored to attend the sneak preview of "TROUBLE THE WATER", a documentary that won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2008 Sundance film festival.

I don't want to build this film up too much, or give away too much... but it's truly a memorable work, and it leaves a lasting impact. I highly recommend it. The first hand video "storm footage" just before and after the levee break in the ninth ward is the film's "hook". In particular, the segment showing a man named "Larry" wading into deep water during the storm, going down the street, house to house, saving people... that scene filled my eyes with tears. It was not only the basic heroism of the moment that touched me, but the realization that, again, there were precious few national media stories about the "Larrys" during the Katrina aftermath. (Or about the "brother named 'Radio'", for that matter.) Everyone knows about the beer looter dude, but no one knows about Larry, Radio, Kimberly and Scott Roberts.

Hopefully "Trouble the Water" will change that, because the persistence of Kimberly and Scott Roberts is the center of the film. To be sure, there are many other interesting elements (government response and bureacracy, the role of the military in Iraq and New Orleans...), but Kim and Scott's story is the main one.

After they finally evacuate to the greener pastures of Memphis, and look forward to a new start-- the Roberts' end up returning to federal-flood ravaged New Orleans, because they miss the familiarity of their home. Kimberly says:

"It's our home, our food, our neighbors, our problems."


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No convention poop for you! 

Gov. Jindal denied coveted GOP convention keynote address. (I believe that's what he was aiming for all along.) Instead, he gets to speak before the Veep nominee.

But Str8 Tawlk, I thought we were so close. Just tell me how far I need to go, and I'll do it.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The national catastrophe "region" 

Joejoejoe, an intrepid YRHT enthusiast, alerted me to a recent article in the Palm Beach Post titled, "McCain still opposes disaster fund":

As Tropical Storm Fay churned toward Florida, Republican presidential hopeful John McCain said he's open to a "Gulf States Compact" or other regional alternative to a national catastrophe insurance fund favored by many hurricane-weary Floridians.
McCain reiterated his opposition to the national "cat fund" bill that passed the U.S. House last year...
[McCain said] "So we've got to sit down, Republicans and Democrats and all of the states that are involved, and work out a risk pool."

In an email, joejoejoe responded:

I don't know why McCain thinks that natural disaters are a "Gulf Coast" thing. Arizona just had a damn break. Iowa had flooding. When I was growing up Windsor Locks, CT had the most expensive tornado in US history. For somebody who puts 'Country First' he sure has no sense of shared responsibility when it comes to natural disasters. What if every state felt the same way about water resources that McCain feels about risk?

Previous YRHT commentary on "hurricane season politics" here. Because I know you can't get enough, and because I'm lazy enough to self-link.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I'm bloggin over at First Draft today 



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Monday, August 18, 2008


In today's dinky little Times Picayune "opinion page", we see an oh-so-insightful letter to the editor from Ms. Audra Shay of Mandeville. Here it is, in full:

Re: "Save money, go solar," [by John Atkeison] Your Opinions, Aug. 15.

Yes, sunlight is free. Too bad it can cost as much as $25,000 or more up front to install solar equipment at a normal home.

Maybe the Alliance for Affordable Energy and other extreme environmentalists ought to stick to things that are actually affordable.

The "extreme environmentalist" to which Ms. Shay was responding had merely questioned why Entergy was converting a plant to burn dirtier fuel (under the guise of "savings"), rather than investing in "a mix of generating methods that includes clean renewables like large-scale wind or the new solar technologies".

Here's a City Business article that goes over the recent debate about alternative energy between John Atkeison of Alliance for Affordable Energy and Entergy New Orleans spokesman Morgan Stewart. (Read the whole thing for all the details, and please don't miss the last few paragraphs about how offshore Louisiana boasts “the gold mine of wind in the country”, but alternative energy companies can't take advantage of it.)

Let's note that in 2006 Morgan Stewart was the chairman of the Greater New Orleans Republicans Fund, and Audra Shay was the chairman of the Greater New Orleans Republicans, Inc (incorporated in Rogers, Arkansas).

These were the GNOR luminaries who endorsed Ray Nagin's re-election in 2006. These are the GNOR bright stars whose PAC sent out thousands of mailers touting Nagin for Mayor and slamming Mitch Landrieu. To them, Ray Nagin was a "Rare voice of Reform in City Hall". He once endorsed Bobby Jindal, and liberals had attacked him as "Ray Reagan"-- case closed! He's the one for us.

Now some of these same GNOR druids are working in concert to defend dirtier energy by saying advocates of wind and solar power are "extreme environmentalists".

So yes, to respond to Ms. Shay's "point", the initial cost of installing solar power technology is expensive. However the equipment adds value to your home, and the energy savings begin immediately.

Conversely, what was the initial cost for GNOR to help "install" Ray Nagin for a second term (seriously, how much did GNOR spend on all its fliers and ads? --twenty grand? and where did that moolah come from, anyway?) How "affordable" has Nagin been for New Orleans? What did his re-election "cost" the city and the "Greater New Orleans" region?

Two years later I wonder: are those political shamans at GNOR who crafted literature hyping the connection of "Nagin" to "Reagan" proud of their endorsement? Are they proud of their "investment" in Nagin's re-election, and the results? If so, perhaps they should have a bronze statue made of Nagin, to honor him after his term expires. It could be placed up on the Northshore, next to the World's Largest Reagan statue.

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