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I appreciate the enthusiasm, but I think it's misguided.

Even if this were a perfect world where an outpouring of community anger convinced Nagin, Jordan, and Riley to step down, what do you think would happen?

What reason is there to think that voters would suddenly reverse course and want a DA that actually prosecuted cases, or a police chief that actually arrested violent criminals?

The New Orleans voter base is still made up of a majority who are either (a) mommas or brothers or friends of violent criminals, (b) semi-literate sheep who vote for whoever their corrupt self-appointed "bishop" tells them to.

Jordan. Nagin. Bill Jefferson. We keep learning the same lesson over and over again, and the less is this:

If you *really* want a change, you should be demanding a federal takeover of the New Orleans criminal justice system. That would bring about real change.

The only thing recalling our elected local officials will change is the names behind the desks.


Some of us are also apparently not competent to use the "preview" button, either.

Editor B

Federal takeover of the criminal justice system... Hmmm. I like the sound of that, Will. I'll have to think about it, but I like the sound.

Ashley, the snare drum is perfect. Dick Shavers was a snare drummer.


Any chance it could be someone else's federal government?


Bart, that was my motivation.


"I appreciate the enthusiasm, but I think it's misguided."

Fighting for your beliefs is never misguided.


"Fighting for your beliefs is never misguided."

I guess that sounds good, but you don't really believe that do you?


"Fighting for your beliefs is never misguided?"

George Bush believes that torturing prisoners keeps America safe. He's fighting for that.

He believes that sending 20,000 more troops to Iraq will "win" the war. He's fighting for that.

Pat Robertson believes that sending gays to jail will keep our children from becoming gay. He's fighting for that.

Adolf Hitler believed that slaughtering the Jews would make Germany strong. He fought for that.

Clearly, fighting for your beliefs is FREQUENTLY misguided.

Ash's heart is in the right place, but getting rid of Nagin, Jordan, and Riley would be like sticking a toothpick through Jello: it accomplishes nothing. We'd have elections and wind up with different names but the same old agenda.


Will, I call bullshit.

The reason we had the same results in the last round of elections was 1) we let the evacuees vote, and 2) in some cases (Dollar Bill), we had no viable alternatives.

I believe this time will be different.

You should too, or you should just move to Houston.


Ah, the old "it's all the voters in Houston and Atlanta that screwed things up" line.

Sounds real pretty Ash, but maybe you should take a look at whether or not the absentee ballots made any difference. There weren't a lot of them, percentage-wise, and the change in vote breakdown wasn't different enough from the in-person voters to swing the election.

If we really want change, we gotta stop fooling ourselves with fairy tales and accept that the voter base really is what it shows itself to be in election after election.

Me, I don't have to believe in fairy tales to believe that change is possible. How many times are you going to say, "well, the next election will be different for sure"?

Change depends upon realistic, workable solutions, not tilting at windmills with photo-op marches that accomplish nothing.


Will, they did make a difference, and many of those voters were not counted as absentee due to the "unique circumstances" of that election.

So, tell me what your plan is...


Ash, two threads here:

1) Do you have evidence that the Houston and Atlanta voters made a difference, or is that just a hope? The Times-Pic published the absentee numbers after both elections and the voter split for absentee ballots wasn't much different than the voter split for the in-person ballots; if all the absentee ballots had been disqualified the results would have been the same. It's been a while since I saw those numbers so I guess it's possible that I remember it wrong, but I don't think so.

It is perhaps true, as you say, that many of those voters were not counted as absentee. But if that's the case, how could you have any information on how the non-residents voted? They'd be counted in with the residents, wouldn't they? Is there some source for that data that I'm not aware of? I guess you could surmise that everyone voting in e.g., the lower 9th was not living there, but how would you know how many of the folks Uptown, Warehouse, Quarter, and Marigny voted from Houston for Mitch?

2) My plan on the crime front is this: New Orleanians should demand that jursidiction for violent crimes in Orleans be ceded to the federal government for a period of two years. Jim Letten has already hinted that he'd like to do more but is prohibited by jurisdictional boundaries.

Nagin and Jordan get to keep their show titles and do nothing jobs. They're obviously of no mind to just give those up or they would have done so already. A whole bunch of crackers asking them to give up those jobs isn't likely to impress them much - they both know a recall is almost impossible, and besides, all those crackers ain't their constituency.

But getting them to ask for help is not quite as unrealistic. They have already done so with the National Guard, and frankly at this point they might both have no problem saying goodbye to the headache that this crime wave is causing them..."sorry, man, we gave that to the feds."

So tell me what seems more likely to you: Nagin and Jordan stepping down because they honestly admit to themselves that they suck at their jobs, or them happily pulling the crime albatross off their neck and handing it to someone else?


Good plan, Will, but is that Constitutionally feasible? There could be some federalism problems preventing the feds from taking over.


That's a fair question, Frederick, and I'm not an expert on constitutional law.

There are some relevant points that we do know:

1) Obviously, it's possible for a local jurisdiction to cede police control to the National Guard under martial law. I don't know how prosecutions and trials proceed in that circumstance, but presumably the answer is something different than "hold everyone until the local courts and DA to be back up and running." Note that I'm not suggesting martial law as an answer, just an example that suggests temporary handover of jursdiction has some precedent.

2) There's already a lot of overlap with federal law; Jordan could *choose* to have many cases tried under federal gun laws (e.g., when a felon is found in possesion of a gun), but for some reason he chooses to "prosecute" those cases himself (i.e., put them back on the street in 24 hours).


Ahhh, good ol' New Orleans. I am Southern born and raised. I grew up on the Gulf of Mexico, and have only lived in Arkansas since 2005. When I lived in Galveston, Texas, even thuogh Galveston does Mardi Gras, I would go to New Orleans for the 'real' Mardi Gras. *haha* Your photo has made me certain I need to plan a road trip with girlfriends to New Orleans.Happy WW from Sara @ The Mostly Wordless Wednesday H.Q.!


Yes the second part was as good as the first. It is a tlbeirre example of Bush's Presidency. The buck stops with him.I do think that if this had happened in another city it would have been treated differently by the Federal Government.I think Mayor Nagin comes across well. It is time to bring all those people back to New Orleans, time to rebuild the city and the culture.Excellent documentary, watch it if you can.


Jesurgislac, trust me: I am by no means a member of BABBA. I think it's absutolely absurd that 4 of the 7 people reporting to the head of FEMA are political appointees, and Bush has to wear the jacket for that. It's just that as I read the comments on this (not just here, but all over the blogosphere), it seems to me that BBAAE (Blame Bush Above All Else) is out in full force as well. Way too many people are trying to contort the facts to fit their desire to make political points, instead of actually trying to figure out what went wrong.From what I hear, the actions of FEMA pre-disaster was just about what it was in other disasters. Did the Feds take a hand in evacuating for hurricanes in previous years? As far as post-disaster goes, did they get substantial relief into disaster areas sooner than they did here? From what I'm able to determine, the asnwer is no . Now, if I'm wrong about that I'd love to see documentation thereof. I'm by no means tied to this.We are a federal republic, not a unitary democracy. The powers of the Federal government are limited, and quite deliberately so, as the founders of the USA figured that the more distant a governmental body was from the people who were governed, the less they should be trusted (and they didn't trust any government). In this case, disaster planning and preparedness and the execution of those plans is the responsibility of the local government first, and then the state, and then the feds. The more distant strata don't step in until asked by the more local one. In this case, it appears from what I have read that the city had an adequate disaster plan, but completely failed to execute it. The state then apparently dithered. The plans at the federal level presume that the local and state levels are doing their jobs. I'm sure that the feds have an alternative for when the local and state levels aren't doing their jobs because they were wiped out. But they don't seem to have one for when the local governments are in place but ineffective through panic or incompetence. There's a lot of legal bars to the feds declaring the locals incompetent and barging in and taking over, and quite properly so.Who were the disaster chiefs for New Orleans and Louisania? Were they political appointees with no competence or clue? What actions did they take? Had they ever even read the plans? Let's see them up before Congress and have them account for their actions.By all means, if the Bush administration's minions screwed up, flog him and them. But let's not make a presumption that the Feds are responsible to take charge immediately for disasters, etc. in this country, because they are not, should not, and cannot be. It is a foundation of governmental philosoply in this country that government is not to be trusted, and that the more powerful it is the more it's powers should be limited.Let's see an investigation at the state and local levels too, and let's see exactly what went wrong, on all levels. If this whole thing descends into Let's flog the Republicans or Let's flog the Democrats , then the real causes will be deliberately obscured for political purposes and go undetected. Then those real causes won't be rooted out of the political and governmental structures in other cities and states, and when we lose a city to earthquake, fire, flood, hurricane, or a smuggled nuclear weapon, there'll be more unnecessary loss of life.

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