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New Orleans' upcoming crime problem

The post Trabajo -- and I DO mean "HO" describes an encounter at a gas station where a presumed illegal alien prostitute propositioned another man. All funny-weird and all, but for those who want to the real screwing New Orleans is about to get, consider this comment:

Some people I know in the law enforcement community have said that there has been a decent sized influx of Mexican gangs into the area since Katrina. It used to be our thugs were so damn mean and prone to pump lead into the competition (especially competition of another race) that the Mexicans didn't see New Orleans as being a "viable market". Since all our hard-core killers are for the most part elsewhere, the Mexican gangs are using this as an opportunity to get themselves established here. They are bringing in drugs and a LOT of prostitution of both persuasions with them.
Anyone wanna bet the Health Units are going to see a nice run of STD's in the near future??

I left the following comment:

Right after Katrina, Bush not only lifted Davis-Bacon, he lifted the hiring documentation requirements, basically giving an even brighter green light to those who want to employ illegal aliens. Connected contractors eagerly complied, bringing in illegal labor from Texas and even further afield.
And, two weeks after Katrina, Harry Reid gave the situation his imprimatur, speaking out in support of the illegal aliens.
The American thing to do would be to have established a WPA of some kind and made sure that the jobs were being done by Americans. In that case, the more serious situation described above will have been prevented.
As it is now, not only do Mexican gangs see it as a new market, so does the Mexican government. Expect to see them discussing opening up a new consulate within a couple years.
This whole situation is fertile ground for any politician who's brave and self-financed enough to do what's in America's best interest and what would make both parties look just as corrupt as they are.

Both the national GOP and Democratic leadership should be driven out of office for what they did and are still doing. Unfortunately, corruption is so pervasive in America right now that only a small number of people recognize it for what it is and are willing to speak out about it.
(Via this, which has more)

FEMA aid fraud: 40% might be duplicates

From Auditors Find Huge Fraud in FEMA Aid:

Thousands of applicants for federal emergency relief money after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita used duplicate or invalid Social Security numbers or bogus addresses, suggesting that the $2.3 billion program was a victim of extensive fraud, a Congressional auditor will report Monday.
The examination of the so-called Expedited Assistance program determined that the Federal Emergency Management Agency failed to take even the most basic steps to confirm the identifies of about 1.4 million people who sought expedited cash assistance, leaving the program vulnerable to the "significant fraud and abuse," the Government Accountability Office intends to report.
The auditors did not try to estimate the total dollar amount of fraudulent claims. But the report says that FEMA itself had found that 900,000 of the 2.5 million applications for all forms of individual assistance were "potential duplicates."

Is Michael Brown free to tell all?

It appears the White House has cut him loose and have given the word that they won't defend him. And, he's asking whether he can now tell all that he knows:

Former disaster agency chief Michael Brown is indicating he is ready to reveal his correspondence with President Bush and other officials during Hurricane Katrina unless the White House forbids it and offers legal support.
Brown's stance, in a letter obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press, follows senators' complaints that the White House is refusing to answer questions or release documents about advice given to Bush concerning the August 29 storm.
In a February 6 letter to White House counsel Harriet Miers, Brown's lawyer wrote that Brown continues to respect Bush and his "presidential prerogative" to get candid and confidential advice from top aides.
The letter from Andrew W. Lester also says Brown no longer can rely on being included in that protection because he is a private citizen.
"Unless there is specific direction otherwise from the president, including an assurance the president will provide a legal defense to Mr. Brown if he refuses to testify as to these matters, Mr. Brown will testify if asked about particular communications," the lawyer wrote.
Brown's desire "is that all facts be made public."
White House spokesman Trent Duffy declined to comment on the letter, instead pointing to remarks two weeks ago in which Bush avoided directly including Brown among his advisers...

Grand Jury to probe New Orleans Police, but...

District Attorney Eddie Jordan has announced that a Louisiana grand jury will investigate the NOPD. Their purview appears to be a bit broad. Among the controversies they'll investigate include:
the theft of the Cadillac cars
the shooting involving the contractors on the bridge

The grand jury also will look at evidence in a case involving a police chief and police officer from the small town of Mermentau who were accused of looting after Katrina. And it will examine allegations of possible malfeasance involving a Port of New Orleans official who dismissed about 60 port security officers who could have helped protect a mall and taken part in rescue efforts.
Jordan said the grand jury will probably also look into the deaths of patients at hospitals during Katrina and investigate whether the levees and floodwalls that broke were improperly built.

Then, they'll break for lunch.
If they were going to look into what might be even more important, I'm sure it would have been listed, but it isn't: phantom police


FEMA going to court over housing deadline

From this:

Evacuees hoping to preserve a government program providing hotel rooms to those displaced by Hurricane Katrina have their day in court on Friday, when a federal judge hears an array of complaints against the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
In addition to hearing claims that Katrina victims face unfair and premature eviction from hotels, Judge Stanwood Duval will hear testimony and arguments that FEMA has wrongfully denied rental assistance to some evacuees.
"We plan on calling three victims, at least two of whom are about to be evicted from hotels," said Howard Godnick, an attorney for evacuees, who is seeking to make the lawsuit a class-action on behalf of all Katrina evacuees.
FEMA had set a Dec. 1 deadline for ending the hotel program but extended it to Dec. 15 after widespread criticism. In addition, 10 states -- Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Tennessee and Texas -- will be allowed to apply for extensions lasting until Jan. 7.
But, even after extensions, some could face homelessness if the hotel program ends, Godnick argues. FEMA officials contend that anyone properly registered with FEMA and eligible to receive fedral assistance will have the tools and the funding they need to get temporary housing.

ACLU sues over jail conditions

From this:

In legal papers filed [November 17] by the American Civil Liberties Union, 45 men and women formerly detained at Orleans Parish Prison recount disturbing details of being abandoned without food or water and abused by guards after Hurricane Katrina struck.
The ACLU said that the scores of testimonials it has obtained from prisoners contradict public statements made by Sheriff Marlin N. Gusman that the prisoners had food and water and that the evacuation went as planned...


Blanco sued over budget cuts; now stands accused of race baiting

But, isn't accusing her of race-baiting in itself race-baiting? I seem to have misplaced my PC guide:

Gov. Kathleen Blanco engaged in the "the lowest form of racial baiting" when she suggested last week that a lawsuit filed against her by the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus was a ploy to protect controversial programs in the state budget, the chairman of the caucus charged in a letter to the governor Friday.
"As legislators, and as citizens of this state, we deserve better," Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-New Orleans, wrote to Blanco. "We deserve more thoughtful commentary from our top officials. We deserve straight answers to straight questions, and above all we deserve due respect to do our jobs."
Richmond's letter escalates a feud that began before the current special legislative session. Several black lawmakers have accused Blanco of ignoring their suggestions for subjects to be debated in the session, and of cutting too deeply into programs for the poor in trying to close a $959 million budget gap.
Their anger culminated in a lawsuit, filed Wednesday by state Sen. Cleo Fields, D-Baton Rouge, on behalf of the caucus. It charges that Blanco exceeded her constitutional authority with a Nov. 5 executive order that sliced $431 million in state spending.
A hearing on the suit has been set for Nov. 18 in the 19th Judicial District Court in Baton Rouge.
When asked about the lawsuit Thursday, Blanco attributed it to anger over her decision to freeze about $6 million in spending by the Governor's Office of Urban Affairs and Development.
"If I would boil it down to a rational reason, I think that's probably the cause of the problem," Blanco said. Often described by critics as a "slush fund," the program doles out cash for projects and nonprofit groups in the districts of black lawmakers...

Victims file class action suit against FEMA

More than a dozen Hurricane Katrina victims from Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama filed a lawsuit Thursday [11/10] accusing the federal government of wrongfully denying them temporary housing assistance.
Attorneys said this is probably the first of a string of suits to be filed against the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other government agencies...
The lawsuit, which asks for class-action status, seeks to make FEMA immediately provide trailers or other housing alternatives, especially to those still in shelters, and asks that victims with larger families receive more money...

Source. The San Antonio angle here.

Legal system still struggling

From this:

...With the criminal courthouse still mired in muck, [Criminal District Judge Benedict Willard] presides at the old parish jail in a room once used for witnesses to identify criminal suspects in lineups. One-inch hash marks for measuring height dot the wall behind his small office desk. Attorneys sit in folding chairs.
Two defense lawyers for men jailed on drug charges before the storm ask for reduced bail and to see evidence against their clients. But the lawyers don't know which jails now hold the evacuated, absent defendants.
So Willard postpones hearing their motions. In 20 minutes, he's done all he can -- until his next court session Nov. 14, when he hopes there will be less confusion and disarray and perhaps more lawyers and defendants needed to conduct the court's business...


Criminal sheriff to Nagin: pay my bill!

Marlin Gusman, Criminal Sheriff for Orleans Parish wants to hold the City of New Orleans in contempt for refusing to pay his bills.
Nagin: "At a time when we are working diligently to rebuild New Orleans, I find this action incredibly insensitive and mean-spirited... We just had a round of painful layoffs. If this motion is successful, it could force further layoffs of our police officers and other City workers... To be held in contempt, there must be a showing of willful disobedience or willful disregard of a court order. I cannot imagine how anyone acting in good faith and good conscience could make that allegation against the City for its failure to pay. We have lost all revenue sources for operating expenses and are currently out of cash... This is the time for all officials to work together. I urge the Sheriff to drop this counterproductive lawsuit and join us to lobby both the state and federal government for the financial resources we desperately need to bring New Orleans back."
As it says at the link, Nagin opposed Gusman in the election for Criminal Sheriff, favoring Warren Riley who's now the police chief.


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