Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Barbara Bush, New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina: it's complicated

Posted By on Wed, Apr 18, 2018 at 3:33 PM

Barbara Bush, in an official White House portrait in 1992. - WHITE HOUSE PHOTO OFFICE/COURTESY GEORGE BUSH PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY & MUSEUM
  • Barbara Bush, in an official White House portrait in 1992.

Barbara Bush, the former First Lady who died yesterday at 92, will be remembered for many things: her literacy campaign; her support of people with HIV and AIDS; and her fierce loyalty to her family. Encomiums to Bush have poured in from Democrats and Republicans alike, from President Donald Trump (who said scathing things about her during her lifetime) to Gov. John Bel Edwards, who said in a statement, “She was an incredible first lady who served alongside her husband with class, grace and dignity."

New Orleanians who lived through Hurricane Katrina and the federal floods, however, also remember her much-quoted statement that she made to NPR's Marketplace after touring the Houston Astrodome and meeting with Katrina refugees:
"What I'm hearing, which is sort of scary, is that they all want to stay in Texas. Everybody is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway so this ... this is working very well for them."
Bush's statement was hardly the least sensitive delivered in those frightening, confusing days. Far worse was that of then-U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colorado, who said, ""Given the abysmal failure of state and local officials in Louisiana to plan adequately for or respond to the effects of Hurricane Katrina on the city of New Orleans, and given the long history of public corruption in Louisiana, I hope the House will refrain from directly appropriating any funds ... to either the state of Louisiana or the city of New Orleans."

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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Gov. Edwards and Florida Gov. Scott exchange words over Scott's trip to poach Louisiana businesses

Posted By on Tue, Jan 16, 2018 at 4:38 PM

  • Florida Gov. Rick Scott.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced this morning he will be leading a "trade mission" to New Orleans to "meet with Louisiana companies to share how Florida is making it easier for families and job creators to succeed and why they should consider moving their operations to Florida." And that has Gov. John Bel Edwards steamed:
“Rick Scott was Bobby Jindal’s biggest cheerleader and surrounds himself with the same set of advisors who turned Louisiana’s $1 billion budget surplus into a $3 billion budget deficit. We’re happy to have him visit Louisiana and see for himself all that Gov. Edwards has done to turn this state around — record low unemployment, higher wages, historic economic development announcements and stabilized funding for higher education. However, Gov. Scott should call this what it is — a fundraising stop on his yet-to-be announced U.S. Senate campaign. Louisianans would appreciate the honesty and hope that he’ll take his political contributions and leave.

“Instead of fundraising, we recommend he spend time with the first responders we willingly dispatched to Florida last hurricane season when his state needed assistance.”
This isn't Scott's first time playing the domestic "trade mission" gambit — Scott did the same thing to Louisiana in 2016, as well as to another state with a Democratic governor, California.

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Thursday, January 11, 2018

Cedric Richmond: Trump's 'shithole' remark 'proof that his Make America Great Again agenda is really a Make America White Again agenda'

Posted By on Thu, Jan 11, 2018 at 6:45 PM

U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond.
  • U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond.

After multiple news outlets reported President Donald Trump referred to Haiti, El Salvador and African nations as "shithole countries" in a meeting about immigration reform — and the White House did not deny it — Democratic and some Republican lawmakers were quick to condemn the statement.

But it was Louisiana's sole Democratic Congressional representative, U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond, who produced one of the strongest replies to Trump, in his role as the head of the Congressional Black Caucus, saying "his Make America Great Again agenda is really a Make America White Again agenda":

Richmond later issued a complete statement:

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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Steve Scalise, Rosie O'Donnell mix it up on Twitter

Posted By on Thu, Nov 16, 2017 at 5:51 PM

  • Rosie O'Donnell.

Once again demonstrating that modern life is basically the fourth grade writ large, with consequences that likely will mean the death of all of us, comedian and professional Donald Trump irritant Rosie O'Donnell mixed it up with House Majority Whip Steve Scalise after he crowed about the U.S. House of Representatives passing its controversial tax cut bill
To which O'Donnell replied ...

To which Scalise replied ...

(As we all know, in the South "Bless your heart!" is just a different way to pronounce "Go fuck yourself.") Scalise's riposte was enough to make O'Donnell switch from all lower case to ALL CAPS in a hurry.

More maturity under the jump ...

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Monday, November 6, 2017

Want to have lunch with Donna Brazile and ask her a few things? Next week's your chance

Posted By on Mon, Nov 6, 2017 at 4:20 PM

Louisiana native Donna Brazile led the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 election. - CREATIVE COMMONS/TIM PIERCE
  • Louisiana native Donna Brazile led the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 election.

Former Democratic National Committee (DNC) head (and New Orleans native) Donna Brazile is coming home next week to speak to the annual Independent Women's Organization (IWO) at the group's annual fundraising lunch.

Brazile has been in the news a lot in the last week, mostly regarding her recently published memoir about Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign, Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns that Put Donald Trump in the White House. In it, she says the Clinton campaign controlled the DNC's fundraising, to the detriment of challenger U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders. (Former Clinton staffers and many Democratic leaders dispute this.)

But it was one comment she made yesterday on ABC's This Week With George Stephanopoulos that may raise some eyebrows in Louisiana in particular: that her experience at the DNC was worse for her than Hurricane Katrina and the federal floods.

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Saturday, October 7, 2017

Report: Lindsay Lohan's parents say they may sue U.S. Sen. John Kennedy for making fun of Lindsay

Posted By on Sat, Oct 7, 2017 at 3:09 PM

Lindsay Lohan and U.S. Sen. John Kennedy — don't invite them to the same party.
  • Lindsay Lohan and U.S. Sen. John Kennedy — don't invite them to the same party.

Because 2017 has not been ridiculous enough, now comes word that U.S. Sen. John Kennedy's tendency to make quippy sound bites has earned him a new enemy: the parents of Lindsay Lohan, who are threatening to sue the senator over a quip he made about their daughter:
Here’s the setup: The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee was questioning the former head of credit reporting company Equifax, which was hacked last month, leading to the releasing of users’ personal information. The company also won a no-bid government contract to provide taxpayer and personal identity verification services.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Carville leaves Tulane, heads to LSU in January 2018

Posted By on Tue, Sep 26, 2017 at 8:02 PM

Democratic political consultant James Carville. - CREATIVE COMMONS/CHRIS GAMPAT
  • Democratic political consultant James Carville.

Political consultant and man-about-town James Carville, who has taught a series of popular classes at Tulane University for seven years, will be hanging his academic shingle at LSU's Manship School of Mass Communication starting in January, the university announced today in a press release.

Carville is an LSU graduate and was was the Manship School's commencement speaker in 2015. Last year, he and his wife, political strategist and writer Mary Matalin, entertained a crowd at Loyola University with their thoughts on the 2016 presidential race.

The always-quotable Carville provided a great quote in the announcement. "The mother ship," he said, "has called my pirogue home.”

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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Jim Mora: 'Tell Scott [Walker] he's full of shit'

Posted By on Tue, Sep 12, 2017 at 4:12 PM

The magic moment when Jim Mora didn't realize he was on live TV.
  • The magic moment when Jim Mora didn't realize he was on live TV.

The New Orleans Saints may have opened the regular 2017 season with a 'dang' rather than a bang, but one person did not disappoint: During the post-game show, former Saints coach and current WDSU sports analyst Jim Mora told sportscasters Fletcher Mackel and Sharief Ishaq that WDSU anchor Scott Walker was "full of shit."

Video under the jump!

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Sunday, August 27, 2017

Former Gov. Kathleen Blanco says Texas lacked 'sensible evacuation formula' for Harvey

Posted By on Sun, Aug 27, 2017 at 5:24 PM

Former Gov. Kathleen Blanco says Texas had not "developed a sensible evacuation formula" before Hurricane Harvey struck the Texas Gulf Coast. - CHERYL GERBER
  • Cheryl Gerber
  • Former Gov. Kathleen Blanco says Texas had not "developed a sensible evacuation formula" before Hurricane Harvey struck the Texas Gulf Coast.
As the slow-motion disaster known as Tropical Storm Harvey goes on, there's already finger-pointing going on as to the wisdom of evacuating the Texas Gulf Coast and counties up to Houston. A Daily Beast report focuses on the mixed messages being sent by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who on Friday advised Houstonians to evacuate, while Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and emergency officials called the storm a "rainmaker" and said "In Harris County: very limited to select communities. LOCAL LEADERS KNOW BEST.”

The Daily Beast also quotes former Gov. Kathleen Blanco, who was in office during Hurricane Katrina and the federal floods, as saying "It's not apparent to us watching that they have developed a sensible evacuation formula":

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Monday, May 22, 2017

Mississippi politician apologizes for saying New Orleans leaders should be 'lynched' for Confederate monument removal

Posted By on Mon, May 22, 2017 at 12:57 PM

Mississippi State Rep. Karl Oliver.
  • Mississippi State Rep. Karl Oliver.
Mississippi State Rep. Karl Oliver has apologized for a Facebook posting over the weekend in which he suggested the "leadership" of New Orleans should be "lynched" over the removal of four controversial Confederate-era monuments.

Oddly, though, he apologized to "my colleagues and fellow Mississippians," rather than New Orleanians.

The post, which later was removed, said:

"The destruction of these monuments, erected in the loving memory of our family and fellow Southern Americans, is both heinous and horrific. If the, and I use this term extremely loosely, "leadership" of Louisiana wishes to, in a Nazi-ish fashion, burn books or destroy historical monuments of OUR HISTORY, they should be LYNCHED! Let it be known, I will do all in my power to prevent this from happening in our State."

According to the Jackson Free Press, which was one of the first outlets to report on Oliver's post, he issued an email apology this morning:

The original Facebook post, which since has been deleted.
  • The original Facebook post, which since has been deleted.
"I, first and foremost, wish to extend this apology for any embarrassment I have caused to both my colleagues and fellow Mississippians," Oliver said in a written response. "In an effort to express my passion for preserving all historical monuments, I acknowledge the word 'lynched' was wrong. I am very sorry. It is in no way, ever, an appropriate term. I deeply regret that I chose this word, and I do not condone the actions I referenced, nor do I believe them in my heart. I freely admit my choice of words was horribly wrong, and I humbly ask your forgiveness."

The Free Press also reported on Oliver last year, when he replied to a Gulfport resident's email about budget cuts with his own email, which read in part, "The people of our Great State overwhelmingly share my same or similar views on Government responsibility. I appreciate you going to the trouble to share yours with me, but quite frankly, and with all due respect, I could care less."

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