Thursday, February 28, 2008

Having fun with the Internet

Has anyone seen Pimp My Ride on MTV? Think Pimp My Ride with a political twist.... Or maybe Presidential Purim options...

Click Here... It is worth it for a laugh or two

Let's Be Serious for a Minute

O.K., now that I've got your attention, can we please focus on issues for a minute. I’ve got problems with President Bush. Heck, everyone that knows me knows that. I don’t like his attitudes, or his policies. I don’t like the way that he talks, heck name it and I probably don’t like it about him. However, this picture is not what makes me think he is a tyrant.

I did not vote for Bush in either election, but something as absurd as a picture of him with a crown on had little to do with either vote. Does President Bush look silly with the crown on, sure, but that should not be the information that swayed your vote. His policy stances should have been the key. If you agreed with him, then you should have voted for him.

It pains me that silly photos played significant roles in two relatively recent elections. I am warning both candidates, please do not go windsurfing or riding in Abrams tanks for the next 6 months.

Please examine the stances of the candidates and then vote based on their policy choices, not a silly photo. Be wary of chain emails also. One I got said Bill Gates was testing a new email client and if I forwarded the email we would all get tickets to Disney World. I doubt most chain emails are much more reliable.


Saturday, February 23, 2008

John McCain

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Is this really a denial?

I've been following the McCain story throughout the day. I've heard John McCain say that he would never do anything improper. I've heard him say this is a smear campaign. I've heard him say that he would never do anything to interfere with his responsibilities, or influence his decisions. He believes that he should always work for the betterment of the American people. Something did not seem right to me.

Therefore, I went to his election website, to see if I could get a clearer statement. This is what I got.

Statement By Communications Director Jill Hazelbaker

ARLINGTON, VA -- U.S. Senator John McCain's presidential campaign today issued the following statement by Communications Director Jill Hazelbaker:

"It is a shame that the New York Times has lowered its standards to engage in a hit and run smear campaign. John McCain has a 24-year record of serving our country with honor and integrity. He has never violated the public trust, never done favors for special interests or lobbyists, and he will not allow a smear campaign to distract from the issues at stake in this election.

"Americans are sick and tired of this kind of gutter politics, and there is nothing in this story to suggest that John McCain has ever violated the principles that have guided his career."

O.K., politicians are very careful about the words they use. Why is McCain's camp being so careful not to say something like.... I never had a personal relationship with that woman....

It makes me wonder.....

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Louisiana Recovery Authority Press Release

February 19, 2008
Christina Stephens
Louisiana Recovery Authority

Office of State Planning Task Force Releases Report
BATON ROUGE, La. (February 19, 2008) - The task force charged with studying and making recommendations for the creation of a comprehensive Office of State Planning released its report to the Louisiana Legislature today.
The Louisiana Legislature established the task force during the 2007 Regular Session. The creation of a group to make recommendations on this issue was a 2007 legislative priority of the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA). The establishment of a coordinated State Office of Planning is a 2008 priority of Louisiana Speaks.
Among the report's recommendations are:
0. The state planning office should be located within the executive branch and include oversight by a planning commission.
0. The office should serve as a central repository for data and plans; provide technical support, including monitoring of local plan implementation and providing education and information about best practices; administer incentive and program funding to assist local governments and coordinate state planning efforts.
0. The LRA should serve as an interim location for the housing and development of the Office of State Planning, with the LRA conducting a statewide capacity assessment and adjusting its staffing and budget to perform additional planning implementation activities
0. To download a copy of the report, click here.
The task force includes appointees from the Governor's Office, the Division of Administration, the LRA, the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA), the Police Jury Association, the Louisiana Municipal Association, the Louisiana Association of Planning and Development Districts, the Louisiana Chapter of the American Planning Association, the Center for Planning Excellence (CPEX) and Louisiana Speaks.
The Legislature passed House Concurrent Resolution 29 by Rep. Cheryl Gray recommending the task force during the regular session of 2007. Click here to read the resolution.
The input of world-renowned planners, local experts and more than 27,000 Louisiana citizens formed the basis of the Louisiana Speaks Regional Plan, which provides a broad strategic framework and priorities for land use, transportation, community growth and economic development in South Louisiana. One of more than 100 action items included in the plan calls for the creation of a coordinating and capacity-building entity at the state level which would provide a framework in which state, regional, and local governing bodies can coordinate to implement Louisiana's strategic vision for the future.
Louisiana Speaks is the long-term planning initiative of the Louisiana Recovery Authority that is supported with private funds provided by the LRA Support Foundation. For more information about Louisiana Speaks, visit
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated South Louisiana, claiming 1,464 lives, destroying more than 200,000 homes and 18,000 businesses. The Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) is the planning and coordinating body that was created in the aftermath of these storms to lead one of the most extensive rebuilding efforts in the world. The LRA is a 33-member body which is coordinating across jurisdictions, supporting community recovery and resurgence, ensuring integrity and effectiveness, and planning for the recovery and rebuilding of Louisiana.


Monday, February 18, 2008

Save us from the paperwork.... I mean terrorists

I would like to take a moment to congratulate Speaker Pelosi. The House of Representatives did not fold under the pressure of the fear mongering Republicans and pass the Protect America Act. This act that expired Saturday night was misnamed. It should have been named the Protect the Telecommunications Industry Act {P.T.A.). No, wait that one is taken or possibly the Erode the (bill of) Rights Act {ERA}. Well since both of these acronyms are taken, it's a good thing that this new version of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) has lapsed. What does this actually mean for you and me?

Does it mean that there is no longer any protection against terrorists? That would certainly be detrimental to our national security. Does this mean that we can not get warrants to monitor persons of interest? Both of these possibilities are down right scary. Thankfully, neither is the case. According to members of George Bush's administration, this means only two things.

First it would mean protection for Telecommunications companies from lawsuits:

Here is a quote from Mike McConnell, the drector of national Intelligence:

"It's true that some of the authorities would carry over to the period they were established for one year. That would put us into the August, September time frame. However, that's not the real issue. The issue is liability protection for the private sector. We can't do this mission without their help."

If you would like to read the whole interview click here.

Now what is the other problem? Well, the old FISA will take the place of the Protect America Act. Kenneth Wainstein, head of the Justice Department's national security division, said this change would cause their to be more......paperwork.

Friday, February 15, 2008

LRA Progress Report

This came in the Email:

Progress Report - Feb. 15, 2008

In this issue:
New Twin Spans ahead of schedule
Carnival trash haul reaches pre-storm levels
New Orleans bucks national construction downturn
New Orleans' first dog park planned for City Park
Nike dedicates courts in New Orleans

New Twin Spans ahead of schedule

Crediting favorable weather conditions and a steady supply of construction materials, transportation officials say the new Interstate 10 twin spans across Lake Pontchartrain are taking shape ahead of schedule and should be available for partial use by the 2009 hurricane season.
State Department of Transportation and Development officials had originally projected that the new structure, an $803 million project that will be wider, taller and stronger than the Katrina-battered I-10 bridge between Slidell and eastern New Orleans, would open in late 2009.
Essentially hurricane-proof, the 5 1/2-mile bridge, touted as the largest public works project in the state's history, will rise 30 feet above the lake with 80-foot high-rises, keeping it out of reach of storm surges. The structures will also be nearly twice as wide as the existing bridge, which will ease traffic, officials say.

Carnival trash haul reaches pre-storm levels

Judging by the mounds of broken beads, plastic bags and food scraps left in the wake of this year's parades -- and the number of workers needed to clean it all up -- Carnival has rebounded to its pre-storm strength, New Orleans' sanitation director said.
Though City Hall no longer measures the season's success by the amount of garbage left on the streets -- the method encourages revelers to trash the city, officials say -- Sanitation Director Veronica White said that based on the number of laborers and pieces of heavy machinery she deployed to clean up after parades this year, the celebration has returned to levels unseen since the August 2005 hurricane.
"This year there was definitely more trash," noted White, who said she rides behind each night's final parade to oversee trash crews' first sweep of the routes. "It was definitely more like normal, more like pre-Katrina than the past few years."

New Orleans bucks national construction downturn

The New Orleans construction industry started strong in 2008 even as building slowed in the rest of the country.
A larger-than-average 426 commercial and residential construction permits worth $101 million total were filed in the New Orleans metropolitan area through Jan. 25, according to the Treen Permit Report.
Building permits are up 3.6 percent from the 411 permits in January 2007, with total spending on up 13.5 percent from last year's $89 million.
The increase signifies construction will remain solid here even as it reels nationally, said Ivan J. Miestchovich Jr., director of the University of New Orleans Real Estate Market Data and Center for Economic Development.
"New Orleans is less sensitive to a downturn in the economy because the rebuilding work is necessary, and government-funded so it is unlikely that spending will be cut back on it," said Heather Jones, construction economist for FMI Research Services Gr! oup of Raleigh, N.C.
Post-Katrina demand is also expected to keep homebuilders working even as the national residential market stagnates.

New Orleans' first dog park planned for City Park

NOLA City Bark, a non-profit group, is in the process of raising $500,000 for the city's first dog park. To be located on a 4.6 acre spread near Popp Fountain in City Park, the dog park will be an enclosed, off-leash canine exercise area.
The dog park is a joint project of NOLA City Bark, City Park and the Friends of City Park. NOLA City Bark is a non-profit organization whose mission is "to develop a safe and sustainable area in City Park for off-leash, owner supervised, socialization of our canine companions in order to provide personal and community enrichment, recreation, educational activities, and promote the health and well being of the citizens and canines of metropolitan New Orleans."

To help in the fundraising effort or for more information, visit
Nike dedicates courts in New Orleans

Nike Inc. has announced the formal dedication in New Orleans of five basketball courts it used recycled shoes to help build. The company also is expected to announce plans for a so-called "community store" in Mid City, meant, in part, to provide work experience to young people and to act as a hub in that neighborhood rebounding after Hurricane Katrina.
The store would open in April and be the third of its type for Nike, according to Sandy Pressley, general manager of Nike's Southern region. It would come with a $50,000 annual grant that nonprofits can apply for, she said.
Both announcements are set to coincide with NBA All-Star weekend.
Since Katrina, Nike says it's donated more than $7 million in cash and product to New Orleans. The company has focused on youth and helping give them healthy alternatives to occupy their time.

Friday, February 08, 2008

How important is the domestic eavesdropping bill?

I'm apparently in the only household that admits to watching the State of the Union. Toward the end, President Bush stated that he really felt it was important that the domestic eavesdropping law be reauthorized. Basically pleading with Congress to pass this law, because of the effectiveness it has in helping stop terrorists. Well we are all on board with stopping the terrorists right?

The very next day, the President's spokesman says that the very same reauthorization bill will be vetoed. I wonder what the problem was. Oh, wait the version that was going through Congress did not give retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies. I guess it is more important to protect friends from illegal activities, than the country from terrorists. Which is it President Bush?

Eventually, an extension was granted, meaning this battle will be fought again next week. Rather than letting the Republicans paint them as soft on terrorism, why not show Americans what it means to protect the Bill of Rights, and paint the Republicans as soft on terrorism for vetoing the bill?

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Super Bowl musings.... and other ideas almost as important

To start with... I think the Patriots will beat the Giants this afternoon. Now if Archie and Wes Chandler (in their prime) were playing for the Giants.... then who knows. For those of you who are big Saints fans Charles Grant got stabbed in the neck last night in Atlanta. The report on says it is not a serious injury. What is going on in the business culture of the NFLPA?

If I were making that kind of money I wouldn't..... Heck I don't make 5% of that paycheck.... and I don't put myself in those situations. What is the old saying "LIVE FAST, DIE YOUNG , AND LEAVE A GOOD LOOKING CORPSE".

I think that is a really bad idea.