Monday, October 31, 2005

WWL and the AP, our "news" sources

Putting the ill in shill

WWLTV.com and the Associated Press have stepped-up to the plate big time for Mayor Nagin, yet again. In an article outlining the Mayor's possible political future (link), our largest media outlet subtly makes its case for Mayor Nagin's reelection based upon a sort of cordial reception at a town hall meeting. Note this happens to be one town hall meeting which the Mayor actually attended, though 30 minutes late.

The usual arguments are put forth that the Federal government was responsible for the immediate aftermath of a natural disaster, despite statements to the contrary within the City's own disaster plan. I'd reference said plan, had it not been removed from the City's website, but the New Orleans Office of Emergency Preparedness mission statement reads:

[OEP] is responsible for the response and coordination of those actions needed to protect the lives and property of its citizens from natural or man-made disasters as well as emergency planning for the City of New Orleans.

Yet, Mayor Nagin, despite the facts, believes he deserves credit for the, "1.5 million people ... evacuated from the New Orleans area...." And WWLTV.com and the AP let that statement and others stand unchallenged.

Well, not me.

First, Mayor Nagin is only responsible for the roughly 450,000 living in Orleans Parish. Second, of that much smaller number, between 50,000 and 100,000 remained in the City; not quite as impressive. Third, between 25,000 and 40,000 people filled Shelters of Last Resort, while 200-400 publicly-owned buses remained idle and subsequently waterlogged. Fourth, receiving cordial receptions at public meetings does NOT equal electoral support and it is irresponsible for any reporter to insinuate otherwise.

Finally, the author of this article, Kevin McGill, states that the "[Mayor Nagin's] tearful, anti-federal government tirade on live radio a few weeks ago was an aberration." I guess Mr. McGill didn't bother to look up the Oprah interview.


Don't you dare read any more of this!

Saturday, October 29, 2005

On the road to recovery

Has courtesy died?

In the last few weeks, I've noticed a sudden change for the worse amongst our residents. No, it's not looting or blaming the Federal government for all their woes, but something much more innocuous, but important to civilized society, nonetheless. What I have noticed in my travels around the New Orleans area is that people, not all, but enough to notice, have suddenly taken a leave of common courtesy.


Is this even worth mentioning?


Let me explain some of what I witnessed. On Thursday this past week, twice, once on Williams near West Esplanade and the other on Severn near Lakeside, I had two female drivers block the turning lanes on major streets. This was presumably so they wouldn't have to wait a nanosecond longer than necessary to pull out of a parking lot and in to on-coming traffic. Also, I mention these driver's gender, solely because this appears to be how this form of temporary (I hope) insanity seems to be manifesting itself in the fairer sex. In a similar time period, the men in the driving population tended to turn abruptly and without signaling; when cited for their negligence, they always gestured crassly as if they were the wronged party in this transaction.


Now, I can accept and understand some absentmindedness due to the tragedy, but that only lasts until you've been politely notified of your transgression. The two female drivers I mentioned before acted as if they didn't hear anyone honking at them to back out of a lane of traffic. Forgive me, but am I wrong to be really bothered by an apparent sense of entitlement displayed by many of the people I see on the road?


I don't think so, and here's why.


First, if you think your last several weeks have been bad, consider that your fellow drivers' might have been as bad or much, much worse. Second, this excuse of "it's a bad time" doesn't excuse you from being a jerk. Third, the traffic violations I've mentioned are examples of rules that are meant to protect all of us. Finally, and this is a repeat, stop thinking solely about your own cares.

This is a tough time for all of us, so let's consider how we treat one another in this very stressful time.


Uncle Speed


Don't you dare read any more of this!

Monday, October 24, 2005

The New Orleans Saints - an Allegory

What we can learn by way of example from our NFL franchise

Once again, our beloved Saints have lost yet another game. Holding a 14-point lead over the hated Rams of St. Louis, a team hobbled by injury, illness, and penalty, the Saints didn't figure to have much difficulty in holding on to win, but these are afterall the Saints. This was supposed to be a gimme by NFL standards, and, despite inconsistent play, the Saints still had a decent shot at the end.

That's when one of the most terrible calls I've seen in recent NFL history was made and then compounded by a ridiculous loop hole of sorts in the "instant replay" rules. First, the call was that a Rams cornerback snatched the ball out of the hands of Saints Tight End, Ernie Conwell, one of about a thousand former Rams on the Saints roster, and said cornerback thus raced for the endzone to seal a Rams victory. The only problem was that Conwell was on the ground and touched by another Rams player, which means Conwell was tackled and the play was over.

That is, unless your jersey is black and white stripes.

The refs somehow saw a different game than the rest of the entire television audience, and decided to rule that the catch was being juggled by Conwell on the ground and thus still a live ball that could be snatched and returned for points. And here's where the salt gets poured in to our wounds: the Saints couldn't challenge the play because they were out of timeouts AND the officials couldn't force a review because the "two minute warning" hadn't been announced (there was 1:55 remaining at this point, by the way).

If there was any doubt in the ref's mind, he should have called the play dead on the spot. Given the amount of time left and the fact the Saints had no timeouts, had the call gone in favor of the Rams, the outcome would have been the same, a Rams victory. Instead, a referee makes a horrible call that effectively ends the game in favor of one team over another, and the outcome isn't decided on the field.

I know some of you might be saying, "Get over it, the Saints were going to lose anyway." Well, replace the Saints with any other team in the NFL in that situation and, just to focus the mind a little better, put your hard-earned money on the outcome, and tell me you would say such a thing. Nevertheless, the Saints are punished for doing what they thought was right and lose because of some petty rule, right?

Well, not exactly.

First, we should never have been that close to that team. We should be beating the tar out them, and not just because it's especially enjoyable against the Rams, but because we are demonstrably better than the Rams. This is the same thing we've been doing in New Orleans for generations. There were so many advantages that our city at one point or another held over our southern rivals, that it's difficult to list everyone without forgetting a few dozen. However, we still have a great climate, access to transportation, a wonderful atmosphere to live, great food, abundant resources, and friendly people, to name but a few, and still we lag behind the Atlantas, Houstons, Charlottes of this world.

Second, stuff happens. I know my prior comments belie this statement, but I do believe luck, bad or not, plays a big part of our lives. And, as my grandmother says, "The harder she works, the more luck she has." Katrina may have devestated our city, but it shouldn't have been this bad. Why was it then? We obviously haven't worked very hard at preparing ourselves. Whether it was Mayor Nagin's slight oversight in not preparing enough bus drivers for evacuations or individuals who DROVE to the Superdome before the storm, we all could have done better to prepare for this hurricane.

Third, winning consistently doesn't happen by accident. The Saints lose because they do not prepare themselves, likewise many of us do not succeed for the same reasons. Winning, whether in life or sports, is the result of a combustible mix of talent, hardwork, and cooperation. Although I didn't hear it directly, I sensed that a lot of Saints fans expected us to win because of what we've been through. The NFL is a business, and after they show the proper respect for our suffering, these teams are going to try like heck to kick our butts. Nothing personal, just business. In order for New Orleans to rise once again, we are going to have to work harder and longer than most of us ever have. Get used to that new reality, because no one owes us.

Finally, like the Saints, we've allowed the wrong people to run things for too long. Jim Haslett does not have what it takes to win consistently in the NFL and Tom Benson is a God-awful owner and even worse neighbor. Likewise, the same politicians who think they're part of the solution, were part of the problem to begin with, and thus lost all claim to our continued support for their efforts.

Like Mayor Nagin said, "You can keep the team, but leave us the name and jerseys and we'll get another franchise." While this is a reprehensible negotiation stance based upon specious reasoning, I agree with his sentiment. Mayor Nagin, you can have your "team", but leave us our city.


Don't you dare read any more of this!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Things I'm Tired of Hearing

As I stood among the other 999 or so disenfranchised residents of Lakeview today and listened to one politician and bureaucrat after another, I made a list of things that I just can't hear again when it comes to the future of my family, my property and my livelihood. Here they are and feel free to add your favorites that I may have missed:

"I'm here today on behalf of Mayor Nagin..." - Someone needs to tell this dude that when 500+ people, who used to be your most ardent supporters, show up for a meeting, you show up too. Instead of dispatching your cronies to come tell us that none of you know any more about our city than you did 6 weeks ago, be a man, sack up and tell us yourself. Better yet, quit sitting at Cafe Du Monde, telling us about wanting to hear jazz and blaming everyone else for that horrible casino idea. Do something.

"Transitioning out." - Is anyone transitioning in? After "I'm here to help," "transitioning out" is a FEMA worker's favorite saying. We should create a drinking game at the next public meeting. Each time, the FEMA guy from the corn fields of Indiana says "transitioning out," take a shot. When that same guy mispronounces New Orleans, Orleans or Metairie, take two shots. We'll be loaded in a half hour.

"I just want to thank..." - Based on the politicians' (democrats and republicans) lovefests that we see so often on TV interviews and at public gatherings, you would think that they were each driving debris trucks, patrolling the streets and checking and clearing catch basins. Moreover, you would think that with all of the time that has passed and the tireless work of one politician after another, that I would be moving my grass in front of my new two-story bungalow in Lakeview. We get it. You want to show that you are working together. My question is what are you working together on? As I sit here tonight, we still have to pay back the $750 million in financial assistance that Congress allotted to us. We also have like 14 businesses out of 75,000 that have received small business loans. Maybe ya'll should start working against each other.

"I'm just like you..." - This is a tough one to write about b/c it refers to the people that try to identify with all of us, b/c they lost their house too. I sympathize with these guys, truly. Some days, I can't get rid of the image of my devastated neighborhood, that freakin smell and the sight of my daughter's nursery scattered and destroyed. BUT. Your job is to ultimately give us some information. If you are in the same boat as we are, you too should recognize what information is regurgitation and useless and what we can use.

"Louder. We can't hear you." - This is actually something I don't hear that often, but in my opinion, it embodies my frustrations with some of my neighbors. First, if you are at one of these meetings and you see one of your neighborhood homies, it's cool to talk to them, but please ask your girlfriend with the cackle and your loud-mouth buddy on his cellphone to keep it down for a while. I don't care how loaded you got last night and I don't care to listen to you tell your buddy about it. I'm trying to listen to this lady from FEMA tell me something I already knew.

Second, to my fellow neighbors struggling to hear the guy on the stage, please keep your cool. There is a sense of anger that has overtaken so many of the good people in Lakeview. I share in it, but we cannot let it overtake our determination and drive to rebuild our neighborhood. This effort is obviously going more slowly than we want. I want to smack the hell out of the city and the Corps of Engineers. But that doesn't help us.

For all of the goofy things that some of these volunteers and agency representatives say to us, they are trying their best. Be patient and check yourself before you wreck yourself. As Steve Ambrose used to say referring to America's challenge in WWII, "we're all in this together."

Before I sign off, I want to send out some props to some people who are working their respective cans off. As surprising as it is for me to say, big ups to the employees of the N.O. Sewerage and Water Board. Pumps started working quickly and many of the diehards in the city can drink safe water b/c of your work. Maybe the 5 guys watching the other guy work during the past 20 years paid off.

Until next time. Cheezwhiz out.

Don't you dare read any more of this!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Please don't forget to hug your parents...

What was working out to be a good few days in the NAMN family has taken a sudden and tragic turn for the worse. One of our own lost his mother today (10/17/2005), and we are all grieving with him. While I will not mention which contributor I am referring to, instead I would like to eulogize parents in general.

I am fortunate to have my mother. While our relationship may not be perfect, (who's really is?) I can't imagine that I would change it. She's always been someone I could rely upon to provide love and support, and I hope she's around for a long, long time.

However, I learned some things from her strained relationship with her father.

First, adults seem to find common ground in children. My grandfather was a great and mostly positive influence on my life, and it wasn't until after he passed that I realized how much my mother and grandfather may have been working out their earlier differences through me. I don't think they ever fully reconciled, but that's the other thing they taught me. Parents and children are not perfect people, thus many mistakes are made, but one mistake that needn't be made is guilt over things said or left unsaid. Unfortunately, I never heeded that lesson with my own father, from whom I was completely estranged when I received word that he was in an irreversible coma.

I doubt this post will ease my dear friend's grief over his loss, if he even reads this; however, I would be glad to know that my words changed someone else's life a little. Please say a prayer for my friend and his family.

Sincerely,
Scott

Don't you dare read any more of this!

When push comes to fold

Today, Mayor Nagin made it official that he was withdrawing his proposed expansion of casino gambling. We applaud the mayor for once again bending, but not appearing to break, to the will of the people. Including the zip code reentry plan and his aborted repopulation of New Orleans, this brings his monthly total of waffling when faced with any resistence to three, though I may have missed some others.

The Mayor was quoted as saying, "The governor didn't much like the idea, so it is pretty much dead." Wasn't just the Governor, Mr. Nagin, but your stated rationale leaves one wondering where in your concept of representative government your constituents fall.

I do not assume that NAMN had much to do with this, but every little bit of reason seems to help Mayor Nagin find the correct course.

Scott

Don't you dare read any more of this!

Friday, October 14, 2005

Life As A "Novelty"

Being a native son of New Orleans seems to have a new meaning these days. I mean, I've always been a novelty outside of the South, but things have changed. When I first moved to Baltimore five years ago, everyone reacted with surprise and glee when informed of my hometown... as though they never knew people actually lived in New Orleans. And this reception became commonplace over the past few years. Now, I get a similar, yet more subdued response. Which is fine. I've always enjoyed being thought of as a little different. However, the thing that gets me is the propensity for the same people to offer their opinions on the present situation... and specifically the future of the city.

First off, let me say that most people offer the proper amount of condolence and are willing to listen to my perspective on this tragedy. The ones that confuse me are those who unthinkingly proffer their view that the city should have never been built in the first place... or that, as our esteemed House Speaker Dennis Hastert noted, "It looks like a lot of that place could be bulldozed." The weird thing is, in a way, both are right. But only if you look at it from an outsider's point of view. People in Baltimore (and apparently, Illinois) are so far removed from the situation that it may as well be happening in Iraq... or Indonesia. They have no perspective, other than that presented to them by CNN or Fox News. And they definitely have NO insight into the hearts and minds of the people of New Orleans. We love our town, flaws and all. There is a soul there. A living, breathing presence that so many of our larger cities lack. It may be the heat and the humidity. Or the music, the food, the culture, the history. In fact, it's all that... not the corrupt politicians, the abject poverty, or even the seedy, breast-baring tourist industry upon which our fragile economy depended. These were unfortunate by-products of the laissez-faire culture that pervaded New Orleans for far too long, but hardly a reason to abandon an entire city to the elements. Few would think twice about rebuilding San Francisco or Los Angeles were they ravaged by earthquakes. Yet New Orleans is expendable. We exist only to entertain and amuse the civilized America. And once gone, it should be left in the past, like a college pot habit... fun to recall, and occasionally jones for, but we're better off without it in our newfound maturity.

In the end, I think most New Orleanians know the city will rebound. It will be changed... how could it not... but things will return that we all know and love, perhaps with more feeling than ever. Jazz Fest in the rain. Lunch at Mandina's or Liuzza's. Rebirth at the Maple Leaf. And yes, even Mardi Gras. Not the one seen with Snoop Dogg on "Girls Gone Wild", but the one on St. Charles and Napoleon, outside Fat Harry's, sharing a drink with strangers while looking for a friend whom you think is on one of those floats. I'll be there this coming February, even if the only parade is me and Uncle Speed in a wagon pulled behind A. Franz's car. Yes, we'll be drunk... but there are just sometimes in life when that's called for. I don't apologize for that, so maybe I should just be left in the past as well...

Don't you dare read any more of this!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

She's alive... maybe...CONFIRMED!!!

Regular readers of NAMN and friends and family of the editor-in-chief may be glad to know that there has been some very promising news regarding my family's cat, Princess (captioned below).

Some angel from some humane society (I will properly identify when I know who to credit) has been feeding the animals in my part of the neighborhood. This person left a note for our neighbors and us, which my neighbor got to first, saying that they knew of two cats living in equal parts between our houses. In fact, when my home was searched these two cats were there, but scooted away too quickly for the searchers. One cat is an orange/tabby, matching one of my neighbor's cats, the other is a light-colored calico. We are hoping this is Princess.

My neighbors have set traps for the cats on our porches and hopefully they will be caught soon. With all that has passed, this would be a small victory for my family, and we can't wait to once again hold her in our arms.

Uncle Speed


***UPDATE***

Captured and awaiting a visit to the vet. Staying with my parents until I can take her "home".

***LATEST UPDATE***

Visit to the vet is an all-clear. A little lighter than before, but doing very well considering. We will not see her until Wednesday night, unfortunately.

***FINAL UPDATE***


She's finally back home with us. This was taken Wednesday night, moments after I saw her for the first time in 45 days. Amazing how well she is considering everything.

We feel very blessed to have our family whole.

Don't you dare read any more of this!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Open Letter to SNL

The following letter was sent to Saturday Night Live on October 3 and I am still waiting for a response.....

To whom it may concern:

I am writing about the Katrina rescue skit on Saturday Night Live. Living in the Katrina affected area in South Louisiana about 30 miles north of New Orleans, I sustained some minor damage to my home. However, many of my friends and family have lost their homes, jobs and loved ones. Some people I know have lost everything. I watched Saturday Night Live after 9/11 and it took on a very somber tone. The attempt was to boost the morale of the city. I was hoping to turn to you for the same thing after Katrina hit us so badly. Unfortunately, I watched a skit that demonstrated the lack of genuine sensitivity to what we are going through.

As you obviously do not know, the people who do the flashing and the obscene behavior in the French Quarter are not from here. I have never in my 32 years known anyone to flash who was a local. In fact, on Mardi Gras we always go to the areas that we consider "family friendly" to avoid being exposed (sorry couldn't resist) to adolescent behavior.

I ask that you send the writers of the script to New Orleans soon. I don't think any of them will be laughing. I think they will be overcome with emotion when they see heroes and heroines, people wanting to return and rebuild, determined souls who love a city as much as any in the world. I think they will find real men and real women who are not waiting for the government to take care of the problem. They are the true heart and soul of this beautiful, southern city. Many civilians worked tirelessly with police and firemen to save our citizens. One brave man stole a bus and drove people out to safety. They were not cruising in boats asking women to bare their breasts and the outcome determined whether or not they survived. It made me angry to see this skit.

People (average everyday citizens) from Baton Rouge to Mobile grabbed their boats or commandeered boats that were left behind trucks to save people. These men and women saved lives. Everyday Joes and Janes saved humans. They didn't look at skin color, sex, religion or whether or not they would flash.

I am not asking for an apology or a retraction of your skit. You still haven’t apologized for giving us Corky Romano or A Night at the Roxbury. I only ask that you try and remain sensitive to our dire situation. There is a time for humor, and we shall welcome it very soon. Down here we love a good laugh and we love to laugh at ourselves. It won’t take long before we'll be itching to tell a good Boudreaux joke. When we are on our feet again, send as many jokes our way as you can. We shall be laughing right along with you.

Sincerely,
Jason J.
Mandeville, LA

PS If you send your writers down, please make sure they go to the areas in Mississippi that were destroyed. In many places, there is nothing left. It is a humbling experience when you see a foundation and a few twisted trees where a well built home existed only a little over a month ago.

Don't you dare read any more of this!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Good for Her

In the last few hours, Gov. Blanco finally injected some sanity into the issue of Mayor Nagin's foolish casino gambit. Before I comment on the Governor's actions, I must confess a few things.

I was not a supporter of Gov. Blanco's, choosing to support Rep. Bobby Jindal, instead. In my honest opinion, Lt. Gov. Blanco did not show a sufficient grasp of the issues to become Gov. Blanco at a time when I believed, and still do believe, Louisiana faced either a precipice of it's own making or would turn the corner for the better.

I especially didn't appreciate her last-minute campaign ad featuring a "Republican" doctor who blamed Mr. Jindal for cutting hospital budgets. She knew better and chose to produce a disingenuous attack to secure a tight victory; Mr. Jindal should be rightly faulted for not responding, however the issue is mostly moot.

With that said, Gov. Blanco did something today for which I feel compelled to compliment her. By standing in the way of Mayor Nagin's foolhardy gamble (sorry, if that was a bit on-the-nose), Gov. Blanco has accomplished two very important things. One, she acted like a leader who may possess a clear vision of what a revitalized New Orleans can mean to the region and the state, and not one opting for a quickie fix for our economic woes.

Two, Gov. Blanco finally showed the intestinal fortitude to do something to C. Ray Nagin that she sorely needed to do: break one off in his nether regions (this is an adult forum, but I nonetheless apologize for the graphic nature of that comment). I once supported Mayor Nagin and never supported Gov. Blanco, but notwithstanding that, I can appreciate how delicious this particular payback may have been. Good for her, she shouldn't be taking some much crap from someone so insignificant.

Finally, this may prove to have one more added benefit. Mayor Nagin may now be effectively alientated from almost all of his possible support. Other than those who've a lot invested in his reelection and the terminally ignorant, very few are left to support Hizzoner.

Can't wait for February.

Scott

Don't you dare read any more of this!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Mayor Nagin's latest folly...

Ok, so the casino story is out and the lines are developing. It's heartening to learn that some on the City Council are expressing their opposition to the Mayor's latest grasp. For those who're not aware of this story, Mayor Nagin has proposed extending land-based casinos along the Canal St. and Poydras St. corridors between the river and Claiborne Ave. If you care about this issue, please be sure to register your opinion at wwltv.com.

Now for my thoughts. First, I agree with Cheezwhiz that this is the desperate act of a desperate politician. Second, casinos are not the cash cow that politcal types always tout to the public; they drain resources away from the local community in the form of gambling losses and send those profits to outside corporations in other states. In Harrah's case, they cry about the tax bill and get the rules amended after-the-fact. Third, this will drive away any serious-minded businesses who might consider adding their resources to the rebuilding of our city.

Finally, as some of you know, I personally enjoy casinos, but I do not believe they are good for my community. I believe that this plays to the image that most of our tourists remember about our city: dirty, semi-legal, and debauched. Someone who knows the heart and soul of New Orleans, realizes that her strength is in her neighborhoods, not her tourist attractions. We were a destination spot long before casino gaming arrived, and we will remain one in the future, granted our leaders do not alter the charm of our town.

One final comment on Mayor Nagin's proposal. He should be ashamed of himself for a long list of things before, during, and after Katrina, but this really pisses me off (pardon my French). Perhaps this is one more final straw with our mayor for me. Mayor Nagin's answer to fixing the city consists of proposing something he has no control over and has the ability to completely destroy the business image of New Orleans. For almost four years now, we've been told what a great businessman Mayor Nagin was and how he would bring corporations pouring in to New Orleans, and now finally we learn what his master stroke is to revive our economy: Casinos.

Pardon my lack of eloquence, but Sheesh!

Don't you dare read any more of this!

Friday, October 07, 2005

Time to Pay Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain

Like many others in my city I lost my home. I don't say this to get your sympathy, but so that you understand where I am coming from.

As I spent another 2.5 hours on I-10 west this afternoon, commuting to my new home in the sprawling suburb of Baton Rouge. I finally had enough.

After weeks of rants on national television, exaggerated claims of violence, documented claims of property and personal abuse by the NOPD (anyone seen my 2005 silver cadillac?), it's time for me and thousands of other New Orleanians to admit finally that Mayor Nagin is a victim of his own creation.

The truth is that even before Hurricane Katrina was a tropical wave off the Ivory Coast and before our fair city was invaded by thousands of television reporters in hipwaders, Mayor Nagin had failed us. Three years ago we were fooled into promises of new jobs, new partnerships, greater transparency in business and new ideas. Let's finally admit now that none of those things were even close to fruition during Mayor Nagin's watch.

Let me first say that I don't care whether the mayor of New Orleans is black, white, male, female, Asian, Hispanic or Haitian. I want to be able to work with companies with owners of all races. In the end, it doesn't matter, as long as we are all working toward common goals.

That being said, the white middle class in New Orleans, me included, looked at Mayor Nagin and saw potential. Potential for Nagin as a leader and visionary and potential for our city. More than anything, we saw the image of a politician that looked better ethically than his predecessors. As months of inactivity turned into years, we did not demand more from Nagin. We essentially gave him a free pass b/c "at least he's not stealing from us." In a way, Nagin has stolen from us, by wasting his time in office, patting each new idea on the head and saying that big things were on the way.

It's time to admit that there are no big things on the way, as long as we have Nagin as our mayor. In fact, we face a bigger problem... Mayor Nagin with no where to go at all. Today's outlandish announcement about establishing land based casinos in the heart of NO's downtown doesn't even make sense. The mayor has no ability to make this happen. He cannot issue gaming licenses. Plus it would take a charter amendment to do anything close to creating more land based casinos. Nagin writes a letter to Governor Blanco, who is facing her own problems, offering that the two partner in this effort (which is buried among a bulleted list of tax incentive ideas and a bunch of other things you've heard before). Is Nagin going to then blame the Governor when we stand up and unilaterally vote down HIS idea?

This "idea" is going to the same junk pile as Nagin's plan for selling the airport, building a new airport, Job1 initiative, Canal St. redevelopment into upscale residences, new technology in the city and transparency on contracts.

The bottom line is Mayor Nagin is not the person to lead New Orleans. He'll lead us into oblivion. (What happened to my Troy Carter for Mayor t-shirt?).

Pay attention to the man behind the curtain.

Don't you dare read any more of this!