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Louisiana’s Problems still a nationwide issue!

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It seem you can’t go anywhere with the problems of Louisiana being a part of the discussion.  I was in Washington, D.C. several weeks ago attending An Ideas for the Future forum sponsored by The Atlantic Magazine.  And of course, there was lots of talk about after effects of Katrina as well as the Gulf Oil spill.  Below are just some of the participants, all who had varying views on what Louisiana has gone through in recent  years, and how well, or how badly the state and federal governments responded.


Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour (pictured with me above), who may run for President in 2012, feels Louisiana should lower the rhetoric a bit.  “After the oil spill, we need to tell the nation we are open for business, and not keep hollering about the oil.”Â  Barbour’s point is that you discourage visitors when the state so publicly demands recompense for oil on the beaches  and  for testing seafood.  Go ahead and push for  monitoring and clean up, but do it behind the scenes so as to quite scaring away the tourists.  When you keep hollowing about how bad things are in the New Orleans area, it’s no wonder the torist business is off.

Ken Feinberg (above) is a Washington attorney who has mediated some of the largest and most controversial public conflicts in the country.  He was special master overseeing the 9/11 fund, and is handling Gulf Oil claims along the coast.  He is quite articulate in analyzing how you go about determining just what a life is worth.  Ken told me his efforts to settle the multitude of Gulf Oil claims was one of his toughest tasks to date.

How about my man Spike Lee?  Every time he saw me at the conference, he would holler across the room:  “Who Dat!”Â  His two HBO films have captured the tragedies of Katrina and the oil spill better than any other effort.  And he sure does love New Orleans.

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