Sunday, October 08, 2006

Teeth Gnashing

On my mind last week and this weekend:

1) Nagin awards pair of hefty trash deals: Garbage trucks will use robotic arms—Another of Nagin’s practical ideas for the city. “Semi-automated” in this case means the same number of workers per truck but a robotic arm is added. Huh? Where’s recycling? How is any neighborhood going to reduce waste without recycling? Those trucks, as I remember, used one worker. I am baffled by Nagin’s decision-making “process.” How can a goofy-ass deal like this be anything but corrupt? Or maybe it's just plain stupid.

2) Nagin embraces Jefferson campaign: Mayor returning a political favor—A favor from Nagin? Gratitude from Jefferson? This works for whom?

3) Four suspects lacking attorneys freed: Judge's ruling faces appellate challengeJudge Hunter makes good on his threats to uphold the Constitution. The best exchange that made the paper:
Prosecutor David Pipes argued that the court needs to appoint attorneys for poor defendants instead of releasing them from custody. All four defendants had made bond earlier only to either get arrested again or fail to appear in court, Pipes said.

Anyone who has passed the bar could adequately represent a marijuana possession case, Pipes said, even someone fresh out of law school. The image of matching poor inmates with rookie attorneys drew Hunter's ire.

"If you were sitting over there," Hunter said, pointing to the row in his courtroom reserved for inmates, "would you want that lawyer to represent you in court? When you're facing six months in jail?"

Pipes replied, "
I may not want that . . ."

"Move on," the judge said.
[emphais added]
I get this kind of “reasoning” from my first-year college students and it is embarrassing to hear a prosecutor, allegedly working to keep me and my community safe, or at least do his part toward that effort, say that those who are not like him deserve whatever the fuck they get. Like students who say all cheaters should be expelled unless it is someone they know or who say the poor are lazy so-and-so’s looking for handouts though they grew up on food stamps, WIC and free school lunches walking around in $200 shoes. This “logic” of separate-and-unequal is often, I find, labeled as “conservative” or “Republican”—Those People Over There are not at the same level of humanity as I am and get what they deserve because they deserve it and because they are Those People Over There. Sickening. I admire Judge Hunter’s restraint. I would’ve taken my shoe upside Pipes’ head.

Prostitutes and potheads do not threaten my safety. Rapists and murderers walking free because the little cell space available is filled with prostitutes and potheads does threaten my safety.

4) Campaign spending questions remain: ALSO: You can ask, but we won't tell; Ditto for City Hall; Budget waits for latest figures—Again the name of 9th Ward minister and longtime Sewerage & Water Board member Benjamin Edwards, Sr. rises to the top of the brew.
Edwards, pastor of Third Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, quietly filed paperwork not long after the election indicating that he spent $269,250 in support of Nagin -- or about 13 percent of what the Nagin campaign spent by itself.

Though contributions to campaigns are capped at $5,000 per person or corporation, Edwards' spending falls under "independent expenditures," according to state laws. Those laws say there's no limit on what an individual or an organization may spend to support or oppose a candidate or proposition, provided the spender does not "coordinate" with the candidate. …

Back in May, Edwards said he had raised his money to support Nagin from dozens of family members. Yet the report he filed with the state lists just one contribution, of $269,250, from Benjamin Edwards.

Likewise, Edwards said in May that he had paid for billboards in Atlanta and Houston, along with radio ads in Memphis, Tenn. But his reports list only three expenditures: $250 for "screening" -- presumably, converting a Nagin bumper sticker into a billboard -- and payments of $73,000 and $196,000, both to CBS Outdoors in Atlanta.
And Meffert is mentioned. As Dambala has reported again and again, Meffert and Imagine Software need to be looked at more closely.

5) Bush rejects minimum experience to lead FEMA: Democrats, Republicans alike blast president's stance on law—It boggles the mind that Bush thinks no one else would have a problem with this:
President Bush … won't comply with a homeland security law that sets minimum qualifications for future directors of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
I guess this is what Rockey Vaccarella likes so much about The Pissant-in-Chief.

6) Road Home isn’t easy street: Residents complain of slow pace, red tape—Our (Alleged) Mayor said he was dissatisfied with the Road Home process at the District B take-a-peek. And that was all. And has been all.

I also don’t like the connotations of “easy street” in the headline. How is anything 14 months after the fact a worry-free situation?

7) Hookers follow workers' dollars: Katrina labor force attracts them to N.O.—I knew and said this months ago. Men in trucks + government workers + insurance inspectors + National Guard = a whole lot more men than we had pre-Katrina. The first things to reopen in the French Quarter were strip clubs. Once again, the Times-Picayune is fast on the local angle.

8) wins two prizes for Katrina coverage: Breaking news, public service recognized—Clearly, no one granting the award has actually tried to use the site since then or for anything else. For example, the archives. Sports scores and stories, especially prep scores, and letters to the editor are listed numerous times while actual political news and recovery items are buried in a long repetitive list of links. Does no one read the list? It makes the archives like a lot of things in NO—structured so as to be discouraging.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the hookers - one of my friends is a concierge in one of the fancy hotels. The job seems to consist largely of finding hookers for FEMA workers.

Mon Oct 09, 11:21:00 PM  
Blogger jeffrey said...

But the garbage trucks are "bomb proof" aren't they?

Also next week's headline: Vaccarella named as new FEMA chief.

Tue Oct 10, 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger bayoustjohndavid said...

Do you suppose is deliberately dificult to use so people will buy the paper? That's the only reason I can figure, to make the letters indistinguishable from the news stories would be inexplicable otherwise,

Tue Oct 10, 06:55:00 PM  
Blogger Erleichda! said...

Hi -- I'm so glad I found your blog. I have a very dear friend who lives in New Orleans & I've spent quite a bit of time there over the past month, visiting him. I hadn't been there before. He took me around & showed me the lingering damage & explained all the messed-up stuff that's going on there now. I'm trying to understand it & keeping track of some of the news about it, but I'm an outsider & still don't quite "get it" yet. It's good to read what you have to say about the situation.

Fri Oct 20, 02:31:00 AM  

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