Sunday, December 31, 2006

A New Dawn

Chris Rose has a great year-end column entitled "A New Dawn."

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Update on Morial Cronies' Crimes

The trial of former Mayor Marc Morial's cronies for fraud in connection with an $81 million scam energy savings contract starts on January 16. The guilty accused are Stan "Pampy" Barre, Kerry DeCay and Reginald Walker.

Restaurant Smoking Ban Starts Jan. 1

On January 1, the new law prohibiting smoking in restaurants takes effect.

Transvestite Shoplifters are Back

Those transvestite shoplifters are back on Magazine Street. I hope the ACLU doesn't catch wind of some Magazine Street store owners' response to the crime wave or it will sue them for discriminating against trannies.

John Edwards is Running for President

Former Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards surprised nobody by declaring his intention to run for President in 2008. He intended to formally announce his candidacy in the Ninth Ward tomorrow, but his tech people blew it by unveiling his election website a day too soon. He wanted to announce his candidacy during this slow post-Christmas news week and is irritated that Former President Ford's passing may steal some of his thunder.

Update on the GQ Article on N.O. Dining


Slump in Tourism Hurts Antoine's

The slump in tourism is threatening Antoine's survival.

New Republican PAC

A new Republican political action committee seeks to retake majority control of the Louisiana legislature. Joe Canizaro is a leader of the PAC.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Nagin Says Endymion Will Roll Uptwon

Mayor Nagin says Endymion will have to roll Uptown rather than in Mid-City.

Rock 'n' Bowl is Here to Stay

Renovation will spare Rock 'n' Bowl.

Rains Cause Street Flooding

Heavy rains in New Orleans caused street flooding today.

Streetcar Return Delayed Until 2008

Local politicians are bragging about the return of the streetcar to a very limited section of the line, while the streetcar will not return to its pre-Katrina route until 2008. The streetcar line is low tech and should have been fully operational a long time ago.

Monday, December 18, 2006

NOWFE to Expand in 2007

The New Orleans Wine and Food Experience will be bigger and better than ever in 2007.

Sopranos Actor to Lead Bacchus

Actor James Gandolfini, a/k/a Tony Soprano, will reign as Bacchus during 2007 Mardi Gras.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Louisiana Roads Rank Worst in Nation

Louisiana's roads rank worst in the nation. State Treasurer John Kennedy suggests steering the state motor vehicle road tax towards road repairs.

City Council Says Endymion Should Roll in Mid-City

The City Council has backed Endymion's return to Mid-City.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Jefferson Assigned to New Committee

House Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi has assigned Rep. William Jefferson to a different, far less powerful committee, the House Small Business Committee.

Dinner with Blanco Auctioned for $1

The Monroe Chamber of Commerce auctioned off a dinner at the mansion with Governor Blanco. The one and only bidder for the dinner bid a grand total of $1. An embarrassment for the Governor, to say the least.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Jefferson Re-Elected

Congressman Bill Jefferson was re-elected fairly easily in the runoff election against Karen Carter yesterday. Both were terrible candidates, but that does not excuse the voters for re-electing the soon-to-be indicted Jefferson. What's next? Four more years for Governor Blanco? Marc Morial for Mayor in 2010? Betty Jefferson for the consolidated assessor? I await Mr. Jefferson's promised honorable explanation for the $90,000 in marked bills in his freezer. Ernie the Attorney thanks all of the voters who voted for Jefferson.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Al Copeland to Pay $20,000 a Month in Child Support

Al Copeland has been ordered to pay $20,000 per month in child support for one son, plus pay for health insurance, school tuition and other extraordinary expenses. His ex-wife, Luan Hunter, had sought up to $192,000 a month in child support. Keep in mind this is only child support. Al is no doubt paying top dollar in alimony on top of the child support.

Congress Approves Offshore Revenue Sharing

Congress has enacted legislation that will create a permanent source of federal financing to repair Louisiana's coastline. President Truman offered the same deal to Louisiana 57 years ago, but our politicians were greedy and held out for more and lost.

Marinello Indicted, Pleads Not Guilty

Vince Marinello, indicted for the second degree murder of his wife, pled not guilty at his arraignment yesterday.

Jefferson versus Carter

Second Congressional District voters are left with the unfortunate task of having to decide between incumbent Bill Jefferson and challenger Karen Carter in today's runoff election. Politically, both are liberal, though Carter is even farther to the left than Jefferson. Looming in the background is the anticipated criminal indictment of Jefferson, which ought to sway the election in favor of Carter, who has less known baggage of that sort. Look for record low turnout caused by lack of widespread enthusiasm for either candidate. Unfortunately, one of them has to win.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Disputed Special Session Ordered

Governor Kathleen Blanco's proposed pre-Christmas special session will take place despite opposition on many fronts. Blanco quote: "This unprecedented revenue allows us to buy my reelection give money back to the people of Louisiana in a targeted manner that will help families, spur our economy and continue to strengthen our businesses."

Friday, December 01, 2006

Hurricane Season Ends

The 2006 hurricane season is over. Predictions calling this year a potentially devastating year were wrong.

Carter Raises More Money Than Jefferson

Karen Carter has raised more money than Congressman Bill Jefferson in recent weeks as the runoff approaches, including $4,200 from Spike Lee. She has raised $321,000 versus $72,000 for Jefferson. Voters across the political spectrum seem unenthused about both candidates.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Poll Shows One Third of Area Residents May Leave

A recent poll suggests that a third of Orleans and Jefferson Parish residents may leave the area within two years. However, the poll uses a very small sample and should be taken in context.

Sen. Landrieu Criticizes Environmentalists for Misinformation

Senator Mary Landrieu says environmentalists who exaggerate the impact of offshore drilling on the environment are "wrong."

NOPD Begins First Academy Since Katrina

The New Orleans Police Department began its first academy since Hurricane Katrina yesterday, as it seeks to rebuild its manpower after the storm.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Update on the Governor's Race

The Times-Picayune has an update on the race for Governor. Possible challengers include Republican Congressman Bobby Jindal, Republican state Sen. Walter Boasso of Arabi, Democrat Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell of Bossier City and Republican businessman John Georges of Metairie.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

FBI Subpoenas State Agency that Gave Money to Controversial "Charities" with Ties to Jefferson

The FBI has issued subpoenas to the state agency that oversaw a series of controversial charities tied to legislators including Congressman Bill Jefferson. It appears that the targets are Orleans Metropolitan Housing and Care Unlimited, two "charities" with little to show for the public money given to them.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Rep. Jefferson's Ethics History

The Times-Picayune has a long overview of some of the many questionable dealings by Congressman Jefferson and his family and friends over the years. No new ground here, but still an interesting read.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Shepherd Backs Jefferson

Former candidate Derrick Shepherd has endorsed Congressman Bill Jefferson in the Second District runoff. Presumably, he thinks Jefferson will be indicted shortly after the election, forcing him out of office so Shepherd can run to fill the vacant seat.

Georges Wants Jindal to Challenge Landrieu

John Georges, who is mulling a possible run for Governor, funded a poll that found that more people want Congressman Bobby Jindal to challenge Senator Landrieu than to run for Governor. At this point, Jindal leads by far in name recognition, and I don't see him changing course to run for Senator rather than Governor.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Merck Wins Vioxx Case in New Orleans

Merck won its latest Vioxx trial in federal court in New Orleans yesterday.

Rep. Jindal: "I Want to Run for Governor"

Rep. Bobby Jindal came close to formally announcing his run for Governor, sending an e-mail to supporters seeking contributions and saying he wants to run.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Update on GQ and New Orleans Restaurants

The author of the GQ article slamming New Orleans' restaurants has been interviewed about the controversy and Brett Anderson's response. The original GQ article is here. Brett Anderson's response is here. Appetites has an e-mail interview with Alan Richman here.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Monday, November 13, 2006

School Board Defends Itself

The Orleans Parish School Board has "many success stories." Letter to the editor of the Times-Picayune here.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Candy Edwards has Baby Boy

Former Louisiana First Lady Candy Edwards had a baby boy on Friday. The father is Brian Low. The two are not married.

AM 1350 Drops Liberal Format

AM 1350 has dropped its liberal talk radio format and instead will air replays of WWL AM 870's programming, out of sequence. Tom Fitzmorris will continue his food show on 1350, but in an earlier time slot.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Latest on Parade Schedule and Routes

Story here.

City Council Skeptical of Trash Deal

The City Council questions Mayor Nagin's trash contract. I do not think the robotic trash collection will work in certain areas of the city given the congestion, on-street parking, trees, etc.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Chris Rose is on the Road to Recovery

In today's Lagniappe, he goes back to his pre-Katrina forte -- covering Britney and K-Fed.

Proposed Budget Gives Pay Raise to DAs

The Mayor's proposed budget provides pay raises for the Orleans Parish District Attorney's office, raising starting pay from $38,000 to $45,000 and ultimately to $50,000. The budget does not allocate any money to pay the $3.58 million judgment (now on appeal) for violating the civil rights of white workers fired when he took office.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Louisiana to Open Road Home Assistance Center in Houston

Out of state Road Home assistance center to open in Houston on Nov. 16.

Federal City Progress

BearingPoint consultants to negotiate leases for the Naval Support Activity facility in Algiers. Link.

Rep. Jindal to Decide Soon about Running for Governor

Congressman Jindal will decide by early next year whether or not he will run for Governor in 2007.

Morial Relative Begins Prison Sentence

Former Mayor Marc Morial's uncle Glenn Haydel begins his two year sentence for stealing money from the city's public transportation system.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Local Election Results

Local election results were as expected. Congressman Jefferson made the runoff against Karen Carter. Voters are left to decide between a liberal who is the target of a federal criminal investigation and an even more liberal challenger. Congressman Jindal easily won reelection. Voters statewide and in New Orleans approved the consolidation of the property tax assessors into one office, ending the geographical checks and balances on the incompetence and corruption of the assessors under the current system. The amendment to end the New Orleans motor vehicle property tax passed.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


I voted around 6:00 p.m. Lines were short. I have a simple suggestion for the Secretary of State. At my voting location, when you walk into the room, there are tables and voting machines spread throughout for multiple precincts, each table representing a precinct. Some of the tables identify the precinct; others do not. None of the tables give a map or geographical description of the precinct. The result is that people like me who know their precinct need to walk to each table and ask what precinct it is. Those who do not know their precinct have to wait in line at each table until they reach the table corresponding to their precinct. Each table at all voting locations should identify the precinct and provide a map or description of the precinct's boundaries.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Election Reminder

Please don't forget to vote on Tuesday. Information, sample ballots, etc. available here.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Saddam Hussein - Death By Hanging

Saddam Hussein has been found guilty of crimes against humanity and sentenced to death by hanging.

Against One Assessor

Amendment 7 on the ballot would reduce the number of assessors in Orleans Parish from seven to one. BGR is for it; Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans is for it; I Quit is for it. Nearly everyone I know is for it. I have heard all of the arguments for consolidation, and they all make sense. Then why am I against it? The consolidated assessor will hold the most powerful position in the City, and the person ultimately elected to that position may not be the scrupulously fair person that proponents of the amendment envision. Supporters of the amendment picture someone like an IQ ticket candidate as the future assessor. I picture someone from the Morial or Jefferson camps. I also understand there is supposed to be transparency; I understand that properly valuing all properties should lead to a reduction in the overall tax rate. When is the last time a state or local tax has been reduced? I think that the voters who favor consolidation will be sorely disappointed if it passes and a Morial or Jefferson clone is elected.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

GQ Rips New Orleans Restaurants

Food writer Alan Richman rips New Orleans restaurants in the November issue of GQ. Brett Anderson's response is here -- I've never seen a food writer attack another food writer like this, but it seems deserved in response to Richman's cliched hit job on our restaurant industry.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Vote Against the Car Tax

The Louisiana Constitution exempts motor vehicles from state, parish and special property taxes but allows municipalities to tax them. New Orleans is the only municipality to impose the car tax. Amendment 4 on the Nov. 7 ballot would extend the motor vehicle property tax exemption to municipal taxes, thereby eliminating the annoying and arbitrary car tax in New Orleans.

Kerry Apologizes for Remark about U.S. Military

Senator John Kerry has apologized for this contemptuous remark about the U.S. military during wartime:

You know, education -- if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq.

Endymion Forced to Roll Uptown

City flip flops, now says Endymion, Iris and Tucks will all roll Uptown.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Jefferson Accuses Karen Carter of Being Too Liberal

Congressman Jefferson accuses challenger Karen Carter of being more liberal than he is, citing their positions on abortion and gay marriage.

Criminal Courtrooms Reopen

All twelve criminal courtrooms at Tulane and Broad are now open. Story here.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Guide to Amendments on Nov. 7 Ballot

The Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana has an objective guide to the Constitutional Amendments on the Nov. 7 ballot here.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Don't Forget to Set your Clocks Back Tonight

Enjoy the extra hour of sleep.

Assessors Spend Public Money to Oppose Consolidation

Some New Orleans assessors have used or pledged public money for what they say are informational ads about the proposed Amendment which would consolidate their offices out of existence. To noone's surprise, the ads are slanted in opposition to consolidation.

St. Louis Cardinals Win World Series

Cardinals beat the Tigers in five games.

Nagin Allows Tucks and Iris to Parade Uptown

Mayor Nagin says he'll allow Tucks and Iris to parade Uptown this year, following an earlier report that they would be forced to follow Endymion's Mid-City route. Link.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

State Seeks German Steel Plant

State officials are in Germany this week bidding on a 2,000 employee steel mill complex.

Vince Marinello Update

Vince Marinello appeared at a status hearing yesterday before Magistrate Joyce and said afterwards to reporters, "I'll have my day in court and I will have my statement before a judge and a jury of 12 people." Story here.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Family Benefits from Congressman Jefferson's Legislation

Archie Jefferson, a convicted felon and disbarred lawyer, sought to benefit from kidney dialysis legislation sponsored by his brother, Congressman Jefferson. Family members "have long focused their entrepreneurial energies on the intersection of commerce and government to create a constellation of enterprises and nonprofit agencies that orbit the congressman like planets around a sun." Link here.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Chris Rose on Depression

Chris Rose has a long column about being diagnosed with and treated for depression.

Weekend Football

LSU won, Tulane lost and the Saints were off this week.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

City Fixes Pothole

I know the headline sounds like something from The Onion, a satirical website, but no, when the City of New Orleans manages to fix a pothole that has been on a major street like Magazine Street for months, it makes the front page of the Metro Section. The City's website has a section for the Department of Public Works where taxpayers can report potholes and other similar problems, but the online reporting section is not functioning.

Cardinals Win Game 1 of the Series

St. Louis 7, Detroit 2. Prediction: Cardinals in 6 games.

Eddie Jordan Defends Himself

District Attorney Eddie Jordan tried to defend himself in a letter to the editor in today's Times-Picayune. The T-P had editorialized that his office has been "lethargic in prosecuting crime, accepting only a fraction of the cases presented, most of those small-time drug cases."