It's entirely possible that New Orleans is best known not for its amazing food and history and musical heritage, but more for its culture of corrupt politics.
"All the King's Men," anyone?
Yeah. Whether our local congressman is found possessing frozen bricks of cash, or our senator is found to have cavorted with prostitutes after piously and sanctimoniously decrying Clinton's relationship with Monica Lewinsky, there's just something about Louisiana. Our governor is mercifully not running for re-election, our mayor suddenly went from sounding like Carlton to speaking like local rapper Juvenile in the months before his re-election, and our levee boards take more kickbacks than the Rockettes. Our DA seems to be on a perpetual witchhunt while ignoring the scarily violent criminals prowling the streets of east New Orleans or Central City. Our other senator is a chip off the ol' block - voted into office by scores of deceased Lousiana residents just like her dear old papa. (I actually feel sorry for Mitch Landrieu - he could be the nicest, most qualified politico in the state, and he still wouldn't be elected to office in New Orleans sheerly because of his last name.)
Occasionally there is room for hope - case in point, Bobby Jindal. It's ironic that a state that almost elected David Duke governor is poised to elect the nation's first Indian-American governor. But that tells me that despite the antiquated approach to race relations and politics, increasingly voters in Louisiana (at least, the living voters) seem to be forward-thinking.
So that's good.
But on the flip-side:
Gah. That's not good.
Today also marks the start of the trial of the owners of St. Rita's Nursing Home. The owners are charged with 35 counts of negligent homicide after restraining their patients to their beds, dooming them when the floodwaters began to rise.
I'm pretty sure there's a special circle of hell reserved for people who do things like this. I genuinely hope there is - no earthly justice could make this right.
In other news, there's a reason weather like this is called "hurricane heat." It's not even 11:00 AM yet, and the heat index is already at 112 degrees.