Monday (Bannon’s in Jail) Reads

Good Day Sky Dancers!

Wow! Is there a lot of news today, and it continues to baffle me! Let’s start with a good story.  Bannon is in jail.  He continues to devolve into something less than human.  Take a look at that picture.  Something that lives under a bridge and demands tolls?  Animated spud? Zombie?  Your guess is as good as mine!  The protestor has one appellation correct:  “Coup Plotter.”

We also have some history worth celebrating. Ruby Bridges integrated New Orleans Public Schools 61 years ago. 

And I was just this years old when I found out that Rosa Parks became a practicing Buddhist in her golden years. She practiced the same tradition as Tina Turner.

What would happen if we continue to teach our children what brave women of color do after that one moment they changed history?

So, back to the country’s ugliest spud.

His face continues to make an excellent argument for not using drugs. It’s much better than a fried egg. He’s been arrested. He’s in the custody of Federal Officials. He’s scheduled to appear before a judge later today. Get that TV turned on because I’m sure there will be coverage.

Justice moves slowly sometimes, but it’s moving.  Then, there’s the anti-justice and law and order party. This is from WAPO: “In wake of Bannon indictment, Republicans warn of payback. GOP lawmakers say Democrats, by pursuing contempt charges against a Trump ally, are paving the way for them to go after Biden aides if they retake the House in 2022.”

BENGHAZI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  HER EMAILS!!!!!!!!!!! JUST MAKE SHIT UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Many GOP leaders, however, are seizing on Bannon’s indictment to contend that Democrats are “weaponizing” the Justice Department, warning Democrats that they will go after Biden’s aides for unspecified reasons if they take back the House majority in next year’s midterm elections, as most political analysts expect.

“For years, Democrats baselessly accused President Trump of ‘weaponizing’ the DOJ. In reality, it is the Left that has been weaponizing the DOJ the ENTIRE TIME — from the false Russia Hoax to the Soviet-style prosecution of political opponents,” Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), the third-ranking House Republican, tweeted Saturday.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) suggested that Republicans would seek payback if the GOP regained control of the House, signaling that in challenging the doctrine of executive privilege, Democrats were making it easier for Republicans to force Biden’s top advisers to testify before a future GOP Congress.

I have a good response for that:

So, let me just shake it off and move on to some more good news about Black Women in Leadership. Mayor Latoya Cantrell has won overwhelming support to serve a second term.  Not everyone agrees with it but they certainly did not show up and vote. The words of disapproval appear to be coming mainly from men. That’s not surprising.  There’s general excitement that Beto O’Rorke is running for Texas governor but not much enthusiasm expressed in the MSM about the barn burner campaign run by Val Demings to unseat little Marco Rubio.  This was what I could find that wasn’t from a month ago.  The site is Sunburn which is basically a Florida Political blog.

Val Demings rips Marco Rubio for skipping 14 Senate hearings amid GOP boycotts” via Steven Lemongello of the Orlando Sentinel — U.S. Sen. Rubio has missed as many as 14 Senate hearings over the past two months, a practice the Republican was criticized for six years ago as he launched a bid for the presidency. But many of his absences since September have been part of either a GOP boycott of the Small Business Committee or a pledge to not vote for any of Biden’s State Department nominees. U.S. Rep. Demings, his likely opponent in next year’s U.S. Senate race, blasted Rubio’s absenteeism. Rubio did not appear at nine Foreign Relations hearings since Sept. 22, most of which focused on Biden nominations. Rubio has so far opposed all of Biden’s nominees to the State Department.

Meanwhile, the MSM is turning its need for drama to our Vice President Kamala Harris.  I like this guy that calls CNN the “Perez Hilton” of the political world. The piece is basically rumor-mongering and not much else.

Here’s the CNN article: “Exasperation and dysfunction: Inside Kamala Harris’ frustrating start as vice president”

Worn out by what they see as entrenched dysfunction and lack of focus, key West Wing aides have largely thrown up their hands at Vice President Kamala Harris and her staff — deciding there simply isn’t time to deal with them right now, especially at a moment when President Joe Biden faces quickly multiplying legislative and political concerns.

The exasperation runs both ways. Interviews with nearly three dozen former and current Harris aides, administration officials, Democratic operatives, donors and outside advisers — who spoke extensively to CNN — reveal a complex reality inside the White House. Many in the vice president’s circle fume that she’s not being adequately prepared or positioned, and instead is being sidelined. The vice president herself has told several confidants she feels constrained in what she’s able to do politically. And those around her remain wary of even hinting at future political ambitions, with Biden’s team highly attuned to signs of disloyalty, particularly from the vice president.

She’s a heartbeat away from the presidency now. She could be just a year away from launching a presidential campaign of her own, given doubts throughout the political world that Biden will actually go through with a reelection bid in 2024, something he’s pledged to do publicly and privately. Or she’ll be a critical validator in three years for a President trying to get the country to reelect him to serve until he’s 86.
Few of the insiders who spoke with CNN think she’s being well-prepared for whichever role it will be. Harris is struggling with a rocky relationship with some parts of the White House, while long-time supporters feel abandoned and see no coherent public sense of what she’s done or been trying to do as vice president. Being the first woman, and first woman of color, in national elected office is historic but has also come with outsized scrutiny and no forgiveness for even small errors, as she’ll often point out.

So, a “few” unnamed people created all this projection.  I call shenanigans!  This is a 3-year-old article from Forbes but I don’t think much has changed.  “Black Women Are Besieged On Social Media, And White Apathy Damns Us All.”  This was written by Janet Burns

In the past year or so, I’ve been particularly disturbed to see members and allies of the current administration lob such undermining and vitriolic slurs at Black women leaders on Twitter and elsewhere (often following cable news’ example) with virtually no backlash, including repeated attacks on two sitting U.S. congresswomen.

Surely a lifetime of undoubtedly backbreaking work and overcoming fierce adversity to become a prominent politician would earn both Representatives Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Frederica Wilson (D-FL) more respect from anyone, as well as an equally fierce outcry and defense from their white colleagues — even despite the various biases and (at best) blind spots in both parties.

After all, when film, stand-up, and Saturday Night Live! comedian Leslie Jones suddenly found her Twitter feed overwhelmed with racist and sexist abuse and extremely violent threats from thousands of users in response to her role in the female-led Ghostbusters remake last year (the worst part of a broader freak out over the film, as many of us will remember), some white fellow cast members and comedy peers quickly joined the Twitter fracas in her defense, or condemned the abuse in no uncertain terms, in the very least.

When it comes to the targeting and demeaning of Black women by prominent white male figures, however, it seems the political community has largely given this abuse a pass on platforms like Facebook and Twitter, as have tech companies themselves, for all intents and purposes.

I’m now working on a campaign to make certain the new sheriff in town is a black woman.  While working to see that our new congressional rep was a black woman I ran into the same kinds of things.   I’m solid of the opinion is that nothing will really change unless women band together to change it because the men all jump to the man when push comes to shove.

“How dare we to dream that we can do something about this system that is punitive, discriminatory, and inequitable,” Hutson said in a speech to ecstatic supporters at her election party at Soule’ Cafe on Banks Street when runoff was called by WWL-TV. “But we are gonna do just that.”

I have a few other bits and pieces of breaking news.

From Roll Call: Leahy, longest-serving sitting senator, to retire.

From NBC NewsJudge dismisses weapons charge in Kyle Rittenhouse homicide trial

From Max Boot, Washington Post: A newly disclosed memo reveals Trump’s plot to turn the military into his personal goon squad

So much crazy still going on that it’s getting easier to turn the TV off with each passing day.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?


Worn Out Friday News and Infrastructure Week

Across the street from me on October 26, 2021, about a month after Hurricane IDA. Kathryn Huff

Hi Sky Dancers!

It’s Friday, and it’s been quite a week for me. I want today’s post to be a more personal story. I live in a city with worn-out infrastructure that’s on the frontline of climate change. We have all the usual urban problems that all cities have these days, including opioid abuse and challenges with families and people struggling to make ends meet.

Let me introduce you to the place that used to be my favorite neighbor when I moved down to my neighborhood about 23 years ago from the French Quarter. I lived 5 doors up from an active navy base filled with marines and sailors. It had been the center of the Navy’s Logistics and Supply since World War I.

Daily, I was greeted with the “sound off” song of marines and soldiers jogging down my avenue. The street was filled with houses owned by gay men, and I frequently went over to drink some coffee on a porch during the daily jog that happened slightly after reveille sounded. I always felt relatively safe here even though tourists and many people didn’t venture here, which was fine by me. Most everyone was either in the service industry or some work related to the port. We had the usual neighborhood bars and old-school food places. That was until Hurricane Katrina.

Afterward, the base’s operations were moved to Jackson, Florida, in one of those Dubya Bush/Turd Blossom political moves because Jeb was Florida’s Governor and Florida was and still is a critical swing state. They gave the base to the city with money to maintain it. Here’s what it looks like today.

Let me tell you about my day-so-far and month. Today, I woke up to the sound of a rape happening there. I hear everything because it’s a big echo chamber pointed at my house. There was some kind of music for a few hours before dawn back there near the old gas station. However, it wasn’t as bad as what happened Saturday night, when an illegal rave went on again from dusk to dawn with its loud, thunka thunkas repetitively screeched out by driving electric bass and drums.

Last week, I had to call 911 because there was essentially a shoot-out that was still going on when I was talking to the operator. Over a dozen rounds from two guns endlessly ringing out. They sent three cars, but I have no idea what went on. I told the operator I wasn’t going to go out and take a look. Thank you very much, and I’m sorry I have to keep sending police over there.

Abandoned Navy Base New Orleans Bywater Waxing Gibbous moon, October 20, 2021, Kathryn Huff

The place is home to about 300 homeless–mostly drug addicted–people. They’re also pretty young. There’s an encampment behind a locked gated area with tents. Then, there are the folks that grab a room in the base and essentially live there. There’s even a free store over there where everyone dumps their extra street grabs. There are frequent fires too. If you’re suspected of stealing someone’s stash, your room gets set ablaze. Stuff also gets dumped out the window. All the furniture and things the navy left there have been essentially destroyed or sold off.

I also lost my power early this morning for the second time this week. This time there was no reason given. The early Monday fire that burned a friend’s house mostly down was associated with a power outage. Two weeks ago, a blazing transformer caused another power outage. Our feeder lines fell in the Mississippi during Ida, and I was without power for over 2 weeks and I’m wondering if it’s all due to that and old wiring in old houses. Now, my laundry room has no power in it, and I’m trying to get an electrician out to see what happened. However, I just got told by my dearest Allstate that my damage didn’t meet my $7,800 named hurricane deductible that has reduced some from the $12,000 named hurricane they gave me after Katrina. It was suspiciously the amount of money they gave me for damage too. I’ve got to go back to FEMA yet again.

So, my point with all of this is that this shouldn’t be normal in any city, but it is expected here. We’re lucky the Corps of Engineers up-armored our flood defenses with new and expensive equipment after Katrina. We didn’t flood this time. We’re fortunate the Public Sewerage and Water Board figured Entergy outages into their plans a few years back, and their backup generators stayed on, or the entire area would have lost potable water. Entergy–a for-profit company–failed and is failing us miserably. It still is, as far as I can tell.

After Hurricane Katrina, the LLC that serves New Orleans declared bankruptcy and passed all the costs on to us. Even before then, we had some of the highest electric rates in the country. I was in charge of the budget of the Atlanta Fed and its branches for several years. One of the extensive reports I always had to write was why the New Orleans Fed had higher power bills than the SF Fed, the NYC Fed, and all of the Fed Branches in the country. Take a guess. And this was way before Katrina. Privatization of Public Services should not be a default option for policy. Letting them literally get away with murder during storms should be a disqualifier.

So, I would like some sympathy and help like the rest of my neighbors, but that’s not why I’m writing this. Well, maybe a little. However, I want to warn you that it’s coming to a city near you if it hasn’t already. Think of Texas and its adventure in being out of the grid during a winter storm. Think of Florida, where buildings are collapsing because they were built near sandy buildings where water has encroached and exposed bad building practices and again, maintenance on the structure.

This is what you get with years of ignoring infrastructure and undermining nature by ignoring the impact fossil fuels have had on the climate and geography of the one planet we all live on. It impacts our health and our ability to live safely with what should be normal services in a developed country like ours.

So, this brings me to why we should be fighting like hell for all the Build Back Better Plan components and thankful that it’s really infrastructure week. The funds going to Louisiana and New Orleans are much needed. Both of my Senators are educated men with a tendency to kowtow to idiots. However, this is one bill that we owe thanks to one of my Senators who is now experiencing the full treatment of the confederacy of dunces. He helped write, sponsor, and cast a yes vote for the bill. He did have some coverage from McConnell but the Republican Base has been threatening every Republican who voted yes.

Please stay on top of all the infrastructure, climate change initiatives, and social structure needed to truly correct our course that got so skewed starting in the Reagan years. My neighbors and I stand as anecdotal evidence to all that bad policy from closing down mental health facilities to privatizing things that didn’t need to be privatized and selling out to the drug and fossil fuel industries. Let’s take our no war atm bonus and solve those problems.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

Happy Birthday to hometown hero Jon Batiste and congratulations on all the success with this album! Here’s everything that’s right about my home town! Watch him and the band play his beautiful music!