Saturday, January 27, 2007

Do Republican officials understand the concept of recorded history

The quote below comes from Considering Senator Brownback’s performance, I wonder if he understands the concept of recorded history.

"We are a great nation because our greatness is built on the foundation of fundamental goodness. If ever we lose our goodness, we will surely lose our greatness."

-- Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS), declaring his presidential bid last weekend. (See video.)

"America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great."

-- Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, quoting Alexis de Tocqueville in a campaign speech, November 3, 1952. Interestingly, the phrase has never been verified as coming from Tocqueville.

A few years ago I worked in a Congressional office. Here is a bit of free advice to Senator Brownback, he should have altered his declaration with something like " Many years ago, President Eisenhower used these words to express core principles of this great land, I believe we need to get back to them." I think I came to understand the concept of plagiarism in the 8th grade. You would think politicians would get the concepts I was taught in junior high. Thank you Mr. Daley.


Sunday, January 21, 2007

Good Season

It was a wonderful diversion. I'll take a couple days, and then back to regular posts. Congratulation to Paul and all the other Bears fans out there. As I always say during Passover, "Next Year in Glendale”.

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Saturday, January 20, 2007

Countdown to a Championship

Go Saints

Laissez Le Bon Temps Rouler

I got a wonderful Email from a friend....

He sent me numerous links to "Saints Friendly" Music...
Here are some of the links:

When The Saints Go Marching In

Newer Version of Who Dat (Not My Favorite)

When The Saints go Marching In

SuperBowl /Mardi Gras Mambo

These are a few of the good ones. I hope all of us enjoy the game tomorrow, and I hope to see the team here in Miami very shortly.

Laissez Le Bon Temps Rouler….

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Was Anyone Listening?

The passing of President Ford made me reflect a bit. I haven’t mentioned it because I had nothing to add. The networks and newspapers did a better job of covering his life and legacy than I ever could. Still, I was reading a bit yesterday when I stumbled upon a Frank Rich editorial about President Ford which gave me food for thought.

Rich focused on a speech by Ford as it related to the then on-going war in Vietnam, but President Ford was also talking about what makes the American people great. Of course, this speech can be considered in the light of the Iraq debate, but it can also be applied to the struggles that currently confront the people in New Orleans.

Since the Iraq/Vietnam comparison has been made by countless others, I will not dwell on that. How many times do you need to hear that the U.S. should start to withdraw from Iraq? How many times does it need to be said that the President should listen to the American public.

Polls show that Americans are overwhelmingly opposed to increasing troop levels. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice was on Fox News saying that she was going to the Middle East to listen to various governments.

Does this mean that, for the last three-plus years our leaders haven’t been listening to people? Why do I even ask that question? Let’s hope that there will be more listening to dissenting views, both domestically and abroad, for the next two years.

Rather, I point out that President Ford spent a good deal of time in this specific speech talking about working together. He spoke of realizing that the American people thrive on their ideas. Not of ideas from Republicans or Democrats, Conservatives or Liberals. I think the entire country has a significant interest in seeing the city of Baghdad/New Orleans rebuild as quickly as possible. The nation also benefits from New Orleans/Baghdad being as strong as possible. (Even if the rest of the country didn’t care about New Orleans and its people, there’s all that oil that is garnered and refined there.)

This means that we need to learn something from this crime wave, and the people rising up against it. We speak of a past where neighbors looked out for one another. Whether that is truth or myth, New Orleanians need to do that again. Thousands marched on city hall. Everyone agrees on the need to reign in a crime wave. Everyone should likewise be able to work across political, class and culture lines to help rebuild New Orleans. While the prospect of this joint effort appears unlikely in the fertile crescent, it is certainly possible in the Crescent City.

There is plenty of time, later, for partisan bickering, when Nagin fans can hash it out with Landrieu fans, and Jefferson fans can bicker with Carter fans. For now, the task in front of all of New Orleans is daunting. Listen to everyone, every point of view. Take everyone’s ideas into consideration. With this in mind, New Orleans will come back stronger than ever. President Ford gave very similar advice while speaking at the Tulane Field House. Was anyone listening?

After the Saints euphoria has died down, as it inevitably must, the joint effort, which was apparent when the citizens marched on City Hall, should be garnered into a force for change. There will be numerous people talking about strategies; maybe some people will try listening as well.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

We Miss You Buddy

Unfortunately, we had a death in the family this week. A car hit one of our cats. Below you will find my wife, Elizabeth, recounting her last memories of a beloved pet.

I feel so horrible. On the one hand we took very good care of him, but I feel so guilty about making him live outside despite my grave misgivings about it. He was a great cat and when the vet called us back tonight he was upset to hear of Buddy's death. He was a very popular patron there.

I must say that my last memory of him was quite comical. As Cassie and I left on Monday afternoon, Cassie wanted to pet him goodbye. As she went to do so - he peed right into a {land}crab's hole! I laughed as he scratched dirt into the hole and he looked at me with his impish cat grin. I think that's a darn good way to remember him.

Any advice on how to deal with the pain? I haven't lost a pet in a long time and this one is surprisingly painful. I am glad that Cassie's too young to ask questions about this. I thought that you might have some wise words.

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Monday, January 08, 2007

If This Weren't So Sad it Would Be Funny

Click here to read and comment on Louisiana's recovery action plans.

Need information about your Road Home application?
Call 1-888-762-3252.

Click for more information about:
How the program works
Program statistics
Jobs with the Road Home

It appears that this program doesn't work. For those of you interested in how this program doesn't work, here's the number. The Times Picayune has reported on this significantly. Here's a quote from one article:

"While more than 90,000 homeowners have applied for a Road Home grant in the past four months, as of last Thursday just 94 families had received money. ICF has until July to complete the awards process."

This is from an article in late December. On Wednesday, President Bush will unveil "A New Way Forward", his new plan for Iraq. If you thought the Road Home was screwed this is even worse.

Here are a couple of ideas. Rather than spending billions a month in Iraq, trying to purchase victory through bribes and kickbacks, use that money a bit more wisely.

Give some of that same money to Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. At least corruption here would benefit U.S. citizens and not terrorists.

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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Belated Happy New Year from Metairie

I hope all are happy and healthy. This new year we are spending time in Metairie with my parents. The conversations of contractors and roofs have lessened, but not totally gone away. Thankfully, there appears to be more talk of the Sugar Bowl, and Saints. Things are not normal in Metairie, but they are better. Every two years people wonder how Representative Jefferson got re-elected. In other words, things are not normal but they appear to be closer. How could we ever be considering life has returned to normal when the Saints are being taken seriously as contenders for the Super Bowl? I hope everyone has a happy and healthy New Year. I will be going into the city itself over the next few days and I will probably have a bit more to say then.

By the way, it appears that President Bush has finally found a job he is suited for. He was doing a great job ushering former first lady Betty Ford to her seat in the National Cathedral. More Later.


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