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Liveblogging From RT4: Politics Panel

Liveblogging as usual, so keep checking back here for updates.  Also follow the #risingtide and #rt4 hashtags on Twitter.

Lunch from Café Reconcile was excellent, especially the white beans on rice.  Yummy!  On to the politics panel: Adrastos moderates Clancy Dubos of The Gambit & WWLTV, political cartoonist John Slade, Lamar White of CenLamar and Ethan Brown, journalist and author of Shake The Devil Off.

Thunderous applause for the Mose Jefferson verdict.

On Mose Jefferson conviction – Clancy says Mose conviction more important than Dollar Bill’s; Bill was brain, Mose was the muscle.  John Slade warns against this opportunity to blame Black Machine Politics and says “We can’t cherry pick black people [to throw rocks at].”

Upcoming mayoral election – Clancy: The last time, 72% of voters were not strongly committed to a candidate and that’s how we got Nagin.  “If there ever was a time New Orleans needed a great mayor it is now, Nagin is the worst mayor in 100 years.”; Slade: “Anybody that says, ‘We need to run New Orleans like a business,’ just walk away from that!” (Can I just say John Slade is da bomb? He nails it again and again.)  Lamar White: “need a mayor who’s going to honor and restore integrity because that’s what’s been eroded.”

Public safety platform – Slade not worried about crime, but mental health.  Touches on importance of public-input channel when it comes to decisions like Charity.  Panel split on importance of candidate running on public-safety, anti-crime platform.

Bobby Jindal, good or bad for Louisiana? – Clancy: Bad. He’s making decisions that have nothing to do with Louisiana; John Slade: “Jindal’s a Rhodes Scholar, he’s got to have taken a geology class.  He got re-elected because there a lot of people in North Louisiana who hate New Orleans.”  Lamar: “Hindsight is 20/20, but knowing what I know now, Blanco would have been a much more effective leader for the state.” Ethan: “Whatever is in [the Republican interest] is not in your interest.  Anything that’s for the public good, they’re against, that’s what the modern Republican party is about.”

On David Vitter: Did Adrastos just put Keith Richards and David Vitter in the same sentence, even if he refers to Vitter as the human cockroach?  Blasphemy!  And did Slade just croon “Love to love you, baby?!”  What is happening here?  Lamar: The state Democratic party is completely broken.  “Now [Mary Landrieu] doesn’t need/have the party’s permission to vote how she wants to vote.”  Ethan: “Vitter is a real political animal.  My wife got a Vitter robocall inviting her to the anti-ObamaCare meeting.”  [Note: David Vitter sent an invite to a Louisiana anti-ObamaCare meeting to my OHIO ADDRESS. Tell me taxpayer money wasn’t used there.]

On Anh Joseph Cao: Slade doesn’t feel that he is a one-timer and isn’t going to represent the district well.  Especially when he puts personal “moral” ticks over healthcare for all.

Q&A: James Perry may be the sleeper mayoral candidate but Clancy thinks he’s got to raise some serious money and people’s support.  Cliff raises a good point in his question about undue media influence: Does the media follow public opinion or vice versa? Panel ends with discussion of everyone running for (major) office in Louisiana right now.

Thank you, panelists, for a most lively time!

Update 1: I’m just not in the mood or right frame of mind (sleep-deprived) to take offense at anything right now, but John Slade referring to Bobby Jindal as Haji doesn’t sit right with me.  Overall he’s a very funny, erudite guy who did a fine job on the panel and there is a fine line between comedy and slur, art and blasphemy, free speech and bad taste (and I occasionally refer to myself as a dothead, mostly when people ask me what kind of Indian I am), but it’s like calling a black person Sambo or Shaneekwa, ok?

Update 2: John Slade offers an apology.

2 comments… add one
  • ryan August 24, 2009, 8:09 PM

    Maitri! Hope you enjoyed your old stomping grounds – wish we could have seen you, but I know your schedule was booked.

    Question – were there any opposing viewpoints there? Do you have to be a blogger to attend one of those things – I bet 1 or 2 folks from “the other side” would liven things up.

    re: John Slade – I listen to that show every once & a while…and that dude hates anyone who isn’t black. But as Komi reminds me all the time – you can’t be racist if you’re a minority.

  • Maitri August 26, 2009, 10:14 AM

    Ryan! Really wanted to see Shaila, Komi and you but we were SWAMPED! Don’t worry, I’ll be there before your precious bundle of joy goes off to college. I keep checking your Flickr for new pictures – she’s too cute for words. Can’t wait to have one of my own.

    Rising Tide is a conference for NOLA bloggers and anyone interested in the future of New Orleans. The moderators are almost always bloggers because they are on the RT organizing committee and later blog about their panel. There were several people who asked about opposing viewpoints, but as I keep telling them, “This is what happens when no one steps up and the moderators have to beg, cajole and plead with people to get up there.” In previous years, we had no diversity in terms of people of color and women. So, next year, if you’re interested in being on a panel or can suggest someone you think will help generate healthy debate, please name away! But, as I also say, “If you come with the agenda of supporting a party, it is bound to be pointless. Dolla Bill, Mary Landrieu, Vitter & Jindal are all self-serving jerkballs regardless of their party affiliation.”

    Of course, minorities can be racist (as witnessed in older, white males on Fox News OH SNAP), but just because anyone on this planet can be racist doesn’t mean they ought to be or are.

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