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Archive for May, 2006

“Mayor” Nagin — LEAD!!!

Posted by schroeder915 on May 28, 2006

Give us a plan this week addressing what you’re going to do about the increasing crime problem in New Orleans. We need a prime-time press conference, with a Q&A to follow. We need you to stay on script, and we need you to leave the Mr. Cool clown routine in the closet.

Time Magazine:

It struck me as self-aggrandizing to compare New Orleans with Iraq. But I would hear the analogy again and again as I talked with people who had spent years fighting and losing the battle against violent crime in New Orleans. The U.S. Attorney talked about the need to win citizens’ hearts and minds. An FBI agent compared the city’s gangs to a jihadist movement: small, loosely organized and hard to track.

Most people who study crime in New Orleans see it in the context of a panorama of failures: the broken school system, an economy that hasn’t adapted to modernity and shamefully easy access to guns. But the factor that may be unique to New Orleans is a justice system that has lost all credibility.

Even one murder should be vilified, but the per capita stats don’t look good either:

So far, 33 people have been murdered this year–almost half of them in the month of April alone. A man assaulted two women in a bar in the French Quarter last week, and then shot and killed a man who came to their aid, police say. Today there are far fewer people in New Orleans and thus fewer dead bodies. But the number that matters most is the per capita figure. If this rate of killing continues, New Orleans will have an annual crime rate of roughly 45 murders per 100,000 people. (By comparison, New York City’s murder rate last year was 7.)

One significant weak link in the system:

From 2003 to 2004, Elloie, one of 12 judges, was responsible for 83% of cases in which a suspect was released after a bail reduction, according to a Metropolitan Crime Commission study. Since Katrina, Elloie has issued either no bail or low bail in at least four cases involving assault rifles, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

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“Mayor” Nagin — LEAD!!!

Posted by schroeder915 on May 28, 2006

Give us a plan this week addressing what you’re going to do about the increasing crime problem in New Orleans. We need a prime-time press conference, with a Q&A to follow. We need you to stay on script, and we need you to leave the Mr. Cool clown routine in the closet.

Time Magazine:

It struck me as self-aggrandizing to compare New Orleans with Iraq. But I would hear the analogy again and again as I talked with people who had spent years fighting and losing the battle against violent crime in New Orleans. The U.S. Attorney talked about the need to win citizens’ hearts and minds. An FBI agent compared the city’s gangs to a jihadist movement: small, loosely organized and hard to track.

Most people who study crime in New Orleans see it in the context of a panorama of failures: the broken school system, an economy that hasn’t adapted to modernity and shamefully easy access to guns. But the factor that may be unique to New Orleans is a justice system that has lost all credibility.

Even one murder should be vilified, but the per capita stats don’t look good either:

So far, 33 people have been murdered this year–almost half of them in the month of April alone. A man assaulted two women in a bar in the French Quarter last week, and then shot and killed a man who came to their aid, police say. Today there are far fewer people in New Orleans and thus fewer dead bodies. But the number that matters most is the per capita figure. If this rate of killing continues, New Orleans will have an annual crime rate of roughly 45 murders per 100,000 people. (By comparison, New York City’s murder rate last year was 7.)

One significant weak link in the system:

From 2003 to 2004, Elloie, one of 12 judges, was responsible for 83% of cases in which a suspect was released after a bail reduction, according to a Metropolitan Crime Commission study. Since Katrina, Elloie has issued either no bail or low bail in at least four cases involving assault rifles, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

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Bayou Boogaloo

Posted by schroeder915 on May 26, 2006

It’s the first ever Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo Festival, Saturday, May 27th:

Mid-City Art Market, Art in the Heart of New Orleans, will celebrate its 2nd anniversary in conjunction with the Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo Festival on Saturday, May 27 along Jeff. Davis between Bienville and the end of Bayou St. John. It will return to its home in City Park’s Botanical Gardens beginning June 24 and continuing the last Saturday of each month.

Local and regional artists selling painting, pottery, jewelry, glass, metal, furniture, textiles, photography, and accessories.

Mid-City is a culturally diverse neighborhood and the festival will honor that with some of Mid-City’s favorite restaurants including Parkway Bakery, Juan’s Flying Burrito, Mona’s, Asian Pacific, Nola Java and many more. Icy cold soft drinks, beer, frozen margaritas, iced coffee and snowballs will chill the day.

A day of music showcasing local musical luminaries including Anders Osborne, The Kevin O’Day All Star Quartet with Walter “Wolfman” Washington and James Andrews, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux and Delta Funk, the Revealers and many more. Casa Samba, the city’s premier Brazilian music and dance ensemble, will entertain throughout the day on the neutral ground.

The Bayou Boogaloo will also feature a children’s art activity tent, and a business fair with realtors, builders, contractors, and many non-profit organizations.

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How not to say you’re sorry

Posted by schroeder915 on May 25, 2006

2,458 American soldiers killed in Iraq; 17,648 injured.

Oh well … there may have been a couple of mistakes:

QUESTION: Mr. President, you spoke about missteps and mistakes in Iraq.

Could I ask both of you which missteps and mistakes of your own you most regret?

BUSH: Sounds like kind of a familiar refrain here.

Saying, “Bring it on”; kind of tough talk, you know, that sent the wrong signal to people. I learned some lessons about expressing myself maybe in a little more sophisticated manner, you know. “Wanted, dead or alive”; that kind of talk. I think in certain parts of the world it was misinterpreted. And so I learned from that.

BUSH: And, you know, I think the biggest mistake that’s happened so far, at least from our country’s involvement in Iraq, is Abu Ghraib. We’ve been paying for that for a long period of time.

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How not to say you’re sorry

Posted by schroeder915 on May 25, 2006

2,458 American soldiers killed in Iraq; 17,648 injured.

Oh well … there may have been a couple of mistakes:

QUESTION: Mr. President, you spoke about missteps and mistakes in Iraq.

Could I ask both of you which missteps and mistakes of your own you most regret?

BUSH: Sounds like kind of a familiar refrain here.

Saying, “Bring it on”; kind of tough talk, you know, that sent the wrong signal to people. I learned some lessons about expressing myself maybe in a little more sophisticated manner, you know. “Wanted, dead or alive”; that kind of talk. I think in certain parts of the world it was misinterpreted. And so I learned from that.

BUSH: And, you know, I think the biggest mistake that’s happened so far, at least from our country’s involvement in Iraq, is Abu Ghraib. We’ve been paying for that for a long period of time.

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Bush team practices Category 5 response

Posted by schroeder915 on May 25, 2006

The Times-Picayune:

The table-top exercise looked at evacuation plans, shelter capabilities, communications, command-and-control and coordination between front-line emergency responders and Washington, D.C., said White House spokeswoman Jeanie Mamo. …

President Bush was traveling and did not take part.

Did not take part?

Isn’t that President Bush’s role in the event of a disaster — to be traveling and vacationing?

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Kenneth Lay convicted

Posted by schroeder915 on May 25, 2006

JUSTICE!!!

I wonder if grandma Millie can get her money back now for all the power Enron “jammed right up her a—— for f——g $250 a megawatt hour!”

And finally, can we get an answer now to the question, Did Cheney know about Grandma Millie?

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Require non-resident worker registration

Posted by schroeder915 on May 24, 2006

Jefferson Parish deputies are looking for Edmundo Cerda-Anima in the sexual abuse and beating death of Sandra Adams at Lafreniere Park.

An arrest warrant was obtained today for a suspect in the beating death of a woman who was abducted while exercising in Lafreniere Park.

Jefferson Parish sheriff’s deputies said they are seeking Edmundo Cerda-Anima, 25, on a first-degree murder charge in the killing of Sandra Adams, 51, of Metairie. They said they developed Cerda-Anima as a suspect with help from the Wichita, Kan., Police Department, although the connection was not immediate clear.

The announcement came after deputies impounded a white Ford Expedition similar to the getaway vehicle that they were seeking in Adams’ killing.

Deputies seized the vehicle Tuesday evening at an apartment building in the 500 block of Eisenhower Avenue, about a mile south of the Metairie park, a resident of the building said today. The resident, Karen Brown, said the vehicle had been driven by four construction workers who moved into the building three to four months ago.

Another article is describing Cerda-Anima as a 25-year-old Mexican national and construction worker. His immigration status is not known.

Again, I reiterate my belief that all non-resident workers should be required to register for a work permit — that is, those workers who aren’t local residents, whether they be domestic or foreign. This would make it possible to do background checks to ensure that we aren’t allowing criminals into our neighborhoods, and into our homes. The construction industry is an easy place for people to hide who don’t want to be found. I’m not just talking about immigrants. I’m also talking about the proliferation of pretty wicked-looking workers from other states.

Recall that two other recent murders were probably perpetrated by people working in the rebuilding trade. There was the hit-and-run murder of Toby Beaugh on Magazine Street just before Mardi Gras. Just a couple of weeks ago, there was the shooting of Tommy Clark in the French Quarter while he was escorting two women who were assaulted by the perpetrator.

I recall that when I worked in England some years ago, I had to register with the local police. Seems pretty sensible, doesn’t it? Of course, the process only works when people enter legally, and when there’s enforcement.

We need tighter control on who’s coming into the city to work. It would be very ironic indeed if Cerda-Anima turns out to be an illegal immigrant at a time when President Bush hasn’t been enforcing immigration laws in New Orleans. Outside of a publicity raid on Lee Circle a couple of months ago, no other actions by Immigration and Customs Enforcement have been publicized. I certainly am not seeing any ICE officers anywhere in town, and even when I saw them back in October, they admitted that their explicit instructions were to not do any enforcement activity.

5/25/06 update: Some may interpret my remarks as being xenophobic. Quite the contrary. I welcome the contribution anyone wishes to make to the rebuilding of New Orleans. Allowing violent criminals into the city — especially criminal immigrants — will definitely lead to mass xenophobia. Nothing would be worse for the city, or for respectable, hard-working immigrants.

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Justice failed under Nagin

Posted by schroeder915 on May 24, 2006

Crime is one issue that will be going on my list of issues that need to be on Ray Nagin’s agenda. As I’ve said before, I don’t remember Nagin having much to say about a rising murder rate in New Orleans pre-Katrina. The criminal justice system was broken, and he did nothing.

Now, post-Katrina, when criminals are making a comeback, Nagin is a Johnny-come-lately to the crime problem.

It’s long overdue time for criminal justice reform to occur in New Orleans.

Since Eddie Harrison III was released from prison on an armed robbery conviction, while Ray Nagin was mayor of New Orleans, the city failed to prosecute Harrison three times before he shot NOPD officer Andres Gonzalez on Monday:

At age 17, Eddie Harrison III pleaded guilty to felony armed robbery in May 1999 in the Jefferson Parish case and was sentenced to five years in prison. He completed his sentence and was eligible for a first-offender pardon effective Oct. 10, 2003, according to the state Department of Corrections.

A month after his release, Harrison went back into police custody on new felony charges in Orleans Parish. He was booked with aggravated assault with a firearm, being a felon with a firearm, automobile theft and possession of a stolen automobile. The Orleans Parish district attorney’s office refused the charges weeks later, records show.

On July 6, 2004, Harrison was booked with aggravated battery, but Orleans Parish prosecutors last year decided not to pursue the case.

The most recent charges before Monday’s incident occurred Jan. 7, when Harrison was booked with resisting an officer, possession of a stolen vehicle and altering a vehicle identification number.

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Map: Demographic support for Nagin

Posted by schroeder915 on May 24, 2006

In this exclusive PGR analysis, Both Nagin and Landrieu attracted considerable votes from both whites and blacks, but black support for Nagin was decisive, and crossover support by whites put Nagin over the top.

Precincts more than 50 percent African American voted more than two to one for Nagin: 35,874 for Nagin; 14,550 Landrieu.

Precincts more than 50 percent Caucasian voted almost three to one for Landrieu: 9,247 Nagin; 24,685 Landrieu.

Precincts 50 percent or less African American or Caucasian, and which have significant Hispanic or Asian populations:

Hispanic: 1508 Nagin; 2130 Landrieu.

Asian: 1126 Nagin; 1483 Landrieu.

Precincts that voted for Nagin were on average 85 percent African American, 11 percent Caucasian, 2 percent Hispanic, 1 percent Asian.

Precincts that voted for Landrieu were on average 21 percent African American, 69 percent Caucasian, 5 percent Hispanic, 3 percent Asian.

The balance of votes not accounted for in this analysis were absentee ballots, which split 50-50 between Nagin and Landrieu.

One reason for the support by blacks for Nagin is that, notwithstanding his verbal gaffes, (or perhaps because of them, as bayoutstjohndavid has argued), blacks understood Nagin as a person, and where he came from. When neither candidate distinguished himself on issues, blacks voted for the candidate with whom they felt they could more closely identify, and that candidate was Nagin.

All of the people I talked to in New Orleans East on Saturday had traveled into New Orleans to vote. All seemed very committed to exercising their right to vote, even though many were having a difficult time deciding who to vote for. A couple of girls I talked to drove in from Houston for the day. One had already voted for Nagin, the other seemed extremely troubled by the election, expressing frustration that she didn’t have enough facts to go on. The two sat together in their car for a long time talking it over before the undecided girl went in to vote.

The New York Times did a demographic analysis of the election illustrating the trend of black support for Nagin.

Related:

Map: Nagin v. Landrieu election results

Map: Precinct percentages for Nagin and Landrieu

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