Sunday, August 29, 2010
Rising Tide 5 in the books...
Mac McClelland signing my copy of Halliburton's Cementing Handbook. That's something special.
The venue was great. I liked the setup a lot. There were areas to mill around and talk away from the presentations. That I think is always one of the highlights of Rising Tide. Also, the air conditioning actually worked! Amazing! The lakefront is still my favorite of the Rising Tide venues, thus far.
I decided to not use my flash for my photography, so most of my photos didn't come out well. Oops. I got a couple that came out well.
A few of my takeaways from the Politics panel:
* The focus of the panel was on 2 races: 2nd Congressional (New Orleans) and senate (Vitter/Melancon)
* Crouere: "Bobby Jindal WILL NOT serve two full terms as governor."
* If public universities start shuttering their doors left, right, and center in Louisiana, it will destroy Jindal's reputation both in the state and nationally.
* 2nd Congressional will pit "ethically challenged" Richmond vs. Cao, with Cao having a decent shot at reelection. Note that at last year's Rising Tide, the entire panel thought he was toast.
* Vitter should cruise to reelection, despite nobody actually liking the guy (Republican or Democrat). Vitter is a hard worker, but he's also never faced a strong, well-organized opponent. Every single race he's run has been against pitiful competition. Melancon isn't covering himself in glory, thus far. Also, don't be surprised if more damaging revelations about Vitter's past are released right before the election...
* The LA Democratic Party is a mess. Mitch tried to get the previous head of the party sacked and, despite the backing of his sister, failed. There's major division between the "John Breaux Democrats" and the more liberal, more black democrats. Good leadership is needed to keep the two camps pulling in the same direction and that hasn't happened for a long, long time. As a side note, remember that EVERYONE in the state was a Democrat 20 or 30 years ago.
Tim gave a great presentation on "Why can't we get some dam safety?" Related: Dam Failure - Wiki. Note that dams are considered life safety systems, while levees are not and that's written into the law by Congress.
Congrats to Cliff on winning the AshMo Award for the year.