Daily Archives: May 15, 2006

 IMMIGRATION & POSSE COMITATUS

Mon, 15 May 2006 19:31:16

Every twenty years or so there’s hysteria about immigration and it’s equally hypocritical every time. Our economy has always needed immigrant labor and despite inflammatory rhetoric from xenophobes these migrants workers don’t use many government services. The illegals are afraid to do so. Besides we were *all* immigrants at one point: my paternal grandfather came from Greece in 1908 and I was raised to think of immigrants as an asset not a liability. And both my grandfather and father were ardent Republicans but they were Dewey/Eisenhower/Rockefeller style moderate Repubs, which is a nearly extinct species outside the Northeast.

On to President Beavis’ latest weirdo policy initiative: using National Guard troops at the border to keep the Meskins out. (Jeez now I sound like Joe Bob Briggs.) It’s a joke: the Guard is NOT the President’s private army. Right now the Guard is preposterously over-stretched because of W’s endless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They should NOT be further misused just because the Repubs are neck deep in shit and sinking fast.

Besides a President CANNOT use the National Guard within our borders without the approval of the Governors of the impacted states. The Governors of Texas and Arizona are willing to go along but the Governors of New Mexico and California are not. The concept is called Posse Comitatus and it’s a limitation on Federal power that was passed after Reconstruction. But in spite of its dubious origins it looks better and better all the time. One of the few things that Governor Meemaw did right post-K was to refuse to allow Bush to federalize the Louisiana National Guard. It was high time that someone told him NO. His parents obviously never did…

NOLA Campaign Homestretch

Mon, 15 May 2006 14:35:37

Item-1 Oyster & The Big Picture: Nerves are frayed and tensions are high as the most important election in NOLA history enters its final week. Alas many people think we should continue to stumble blindly into the future and re-elect clueless and incompetent incumbents like C Ray Renee Gill-Pratfall and Jay Batty. If we follow the script being written by the state Republican party and re-elect C Ray NOLA faces the political equivalent of nuclear winter.

Oyster has a superb post this morning about how the Repubs plan to capitalize on Hurricane Katrina to weaken the Louisiana Democratic party instead of giving a rat’s ass about what happens to New Orleans. This is NOT paranoia: the state Repubs are taking a page out of Earl Turd Blossom of Rove’s playbook from 2002 and 2004. Taking advantage of a catastrophe is what they do y’all.  A vote for C Ray (a Repub until the early 21st Century) is a vote for Boysie Bollinger and his ilk. And it’s an icky ilk…

Item-2 C Ray versus Doug Brinkley: The knives are coming out and people are piling on Douglas  Brinkley’s book “The Great Deluge.” C Ray keeps describing the book as a political hit BUT he has not refuted some of Brinkley’s substantive points: that C Ray hid out at the Hyatt instead of running things from the city’s emergency command post; AND that he never visited either the Superdome or the Convention Center to reassure HIS PEOPLE that he cared and was doing everything possible to help them. Instead C Ray was more concerned about his own personal safety than he was about showing leadership. It was his chance to shine but instead he hid under the proverbial bed like a scaredy cat. And many of the same people C Ray abandoned that week may well vote for him. This is why I call it Topsy Turvy Town…

I also wish C Ray would stop whining every time someone criticizes him. Nobody likes criticism but it comes with the territory. Of course the local press corps did coddle and enable him pre-K. C Ray did however get off a funny if inaccurate quip about Brinkley’s book during last night’s debate: “We’re probably going to use all his unsold books to help in coastal restoration.”

Actually I don’t think there will be too many unsold copies: I’ve been trying to buy a copy from one our indie book stores without a lot of success thus far. I’m on the waiting list at both Beaucoup and Octavia Books. I’m trying to buy locally. (UPDATE: Thanks to Editor B for telling me that Octavia Books had um beaucoup copies of “The Great Deluge.” So I strolled over there and bought one. I resisted the siren call of the Laurel Street Bakery even though a brioche was doing the calling…)

Brinkley was on the WWL morning news today. I was appalled by the way Eric Paulsen acted as if he was C Ray’s spin doctor and not a reporter. Eric had the nerve to complain about Brinkley letting his anger show. I remember how Eric displayed his own righteous indignation in the first few months post-K. But he’s slipped back into his role as C Ray’s jovial weekly morning interlocutor and forgotten how angry he was with him. We’re suffering from a surfeit of short memories y’all.

Yes it was a very difficult situation immediately post-K and we can have compassion for C Ray as a human being BUT he failed spectacularly as a leader. I know that C Ray is a nice man but he’s also WEAK and this crisis is ongoing and only the STRONG  should survive politically.  When C Ray was cowering at the Hyatt Mitch was out helping people. And Mitch is a helluva nice guy too. But he’s a nice guy with a clue.