Jim Letten resignation fallout: “Hold on to your wallets. The crime families are back in business”

“Be careful not to mistake insecurity and inadequacy for humility!
Humility has nothing to do with the insecure and inadequate!
Just like arrogance has nothing to do with greatness!”
~ C. JoyBell C.

“Arrogance diminishes wisdom” ~ Arabian proverb

OK folks I know some of y’all must be scratching your heads at the post title and my choice of quotes that frame this post but bear with me.  First off for all my peeps in the TeeVee media I watched most of the coverage last night.  Lee Zurik over at Fox 8 and Chick Foret at Channel 4 get attaboys, Zurik because it looks like he is trying to think outside the box on Letten’s replacement and Chick Foret for his brutal, yet accurate assessment of how the axe came down on Jim Letten.  I viewed this as a business decision and once people began to say, accurately IMHO, that Letten did not know about the online activities of Jan Mann, Sal Perricone and a rumored 2 other DoJ employees such was a clear sign he was a figurative dead man walking.  And while I’m certain feelings are running high at Team Letten right now I think Mr. Letten would be the first person to say that entering the chop shop is the proper last act in these circumstances.

So if Letten is penitent then we must look elsewhere for the arrogance so now we examine a small snippet from Gordon Russell and John Simerman’s comprehensive Jim Letten resignation story for NOLA.com:

Because of civil service protection afforded to federal prosecutors, neither Letten nor his superiors was likely able to fire Mann immediately, according to lawyers familiar with federal rules. “If she wants to hunker down, she can,” said former U.S. Attorney Harry Rosenberg. “He cannot summarily fire her.”

This is a clear reference to the local rumor mill on Mann. Unlike Sal Perricone, who fell on his sword quickly, Jan Mann stayed on refusing to resign until yesterday when the issue was forced via the forced resignation of her boss. Rumor holds the big guy himself asked Mann to man up and leave. The same rumor said Mann made like Nancy Reagan and just said no.  If that is true and I think there is at least a kernel of truth in the rumor so everyone should now understand the lead off quotes I chose this morning.

This brings me to former US Attorney Harry Rosenberg’s last quote in the story I linked above: Continue reading “Jim Letten resignation fallout: “Hold on to your wallets. The crime families are back in business””

Slabbed is on it like white on Rice: Why does Entergy have a political hack as its NOLA CEO. A systems failure update.

I know that those of you still without power and those of you who endured the sweltering heat for many days are rightfully upset with how long it has taken Entergy Louisiana to restore power to our residents and businesses. I want you to know that while progress is being made, I will not rest until every citizen and business in Jefferson Parish has their power back. I have called for an investigation by the Louisiana Public Service Commission into the unacceptable length of time it is taking to get our parish back up and running again. I have met daily with Entergy’s management and will continue to do so. This is about more than mere comfort. Entergy’s inability to rapidly restore power has affected the health of our elderly, businesses economic viability, our infrastructure and the ability of our parish to get back on our feet. If not for Entergy Louisiana’s lack of preparedness and lack of a sense of urgency, Jefferson Parish could already be back to 100%. I promise to stay on top of Entergy until we have full power restoration and a viable solution is produced for future storm responses, whatever that may be. ~ Jefferson Parish Prez John Young Email Blast 9/5/2012

So folks, what are we to believe, the TeeVee pictures of powerline contractors sitting in staging areas or career political hack turned Entergy NOLA CEO Charles Rice?  Since the storm Rice has gone on every NOLA TeeVee station saying Entergy did great after Hurricane Isaac without mentioning the 90 year old man in Marrero that died from heat stroke.  Frankly watching this whole PR point-counterpoint between the area’s elected leaders and Entergy via it’s NOLA CEO Charles Rice and assorted spokespersons play out after the storm left me with way more questions than answers.  This post has taken me three days of exhaustive research and interviews with 3 different area political observers along with extensive internet research to formulate the complicated, though somewhat predictable answer in this is how crony capitalism works.

First we need to review and do a compare and contrast. For that I’d like to direct everyone to the first Hurricane to hit this area back in 2005, Hurricane Cindy, which made landfall close to Grand Isle, cut across the mouth of the Mississippi River making landfall again near Waveland.  It was the 2005 Hurricane that I slept through and we never lost power on the West Gulfport Beachfront as the old pre Katrina grid did well. That said the USA Today has an old AP story that tells the tale of damage:

BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (AP) — Heavy rain and storm surge flooded low-lying streets along the Gulf Coast on Wednesday as a rapidly weakening Tropical Storm Cindy pushed inland after leaving more than 300,000 homes and businesses without electricity.

By and large the area did well with only 300,000 people without power in a 2 state area populated by millions.  Remember this was the pre-Katrina grid that had some age on it when Cindy hit, not the almost brand spanking new infrastructure that is the post Katrina landscape.  Before Isaac hit, Entergy NOLA CEO Charles Rice commented to Bloomberg on Entergy’s readiness for Isaac: Continue reading “Slabbed is on it like white on Rice: Why does Entergy have a political hack as its NOLA CEO. A systems failure update.”