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"Cold Cash" returned to private sector

The House of Representatives and Louisiana politics got a little less dirty today. William "Cold Cash" Jefferson has lost his bid for a 10th term representing Louisiana's 2nd Congressional District. Jefferson was indicted on sixteen criminal counts of racketeering, bribery, money laundering and obstruction of justice - in addition to infamously diverting a National Guard helicopter from rescue operations to ferry him to his house so he could recover valuables post-Katrina.

Jefferson was defeated by Republican challenger Anh "Joseph" Cao. Cao is the first Vietnamese-American elected to Congress. He came to the US from Saigon as one of the 500,000 or so "Vietnamese Boat People" who fled their country when the North Vietnamese Army overran Saigon. This has got to be a happy day for Americans of Vietnamese descent - they endured a lot of hardship and prejudice as they arrived in America. Congratulations, Ahn!

One and a half million people were either murdered, sent to re-education camps, or forced to flee Vietnam by Ho Chi Minh's communist government. It's a lesson those who want the US to abandon Iraq or rail about US imperialism seem to have forgotten.

Joseph Cao is a great pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps story, regardless of political party. Louisiana and the US as a whole are better off with this former refugee replacing Cold Cash in the House.

Posted by Baron Von Ottomatic


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Comments (18)

"they endured a lot of hard... (Below threshold)

"they endured a lot of hardship and prejudice as they arrived in America."

Hardship, yes. Prejudice? Hardly. I grew up in the Garden Grove/Westmister part of Orange County, CA that is now called "Little Saigon". I can't imagine that they was ever such a massive change in population, so quickly, with so little prejudice, problems and trouble. Nothing went perfectly, but the area I grew up went from 95% white to 80% Vietnamese in one generation. I lived through it, I saw it, I read it in the local papers. Maybe Anh Cao's experience was different, But I am tired of having my people broadbrushed as "prejudiced" when we are some of the most tolerant in the world.

Ironic isn't it? He's now ... (Below threshold)

Ironic isn't it? He's now working for the very body of government that only a few decades ago decided to abandon him. I wish him luck working in that den of vipers now.

I would assume that the aut... (Below threshold)

I would assume that the author is equally as enthusiastic then for the US to intervene in every genocide in Africa and anywhere else in the world?

JFO, why on Earth would you... (Below threshold)
Jeff Medcalf:

JFO, why on Earth would you assume that?

I read the AP story via My ... (Below threshold)

I read the AP story via My Way. It told of the story of the victories of two Louisiana Republican House candidates, Anh Cao and John Fleming. Could the good folks at AP come up with photos of either of the winners? Apparently not, because the illustrations for the story were three photos of the loser, William "Cold Cash" Jefferson, but no pictures of either Representative-Elect Cao or Representative-Elect Fleming. But, after the Presidential election, I guess this is just what we should expect from the MSM.

Every once in awhile, commo... (Below threshold)
Rose Hughes:

Every once in awhile, common sense does prevail.

William Jefferson out of Congress is one such example.

Not a surprise that the De... (Below threshold)

Not a surprise that the Dems won't clean up their own house....

The Vietnamese community in... (Below threshold)

The Vietnamese community in New Orleans is amazing. They did not wait for the government to help after Katrina; they got in, cleaned up, rebuilt and did it quickly.

You can thank Hurricane Gustav for both of these wins. Our primary was delayed by weather and I believe that both Dems would have been swept in on the Obama tide had this been held a month ago!

I am in north Louisiana and Fleming and Carmouche ran a NASTY race.

GianiD: the dems who count ... (Below threshold)

GianiD: the dems who count (the voters) did clean up their own house. Jefferson is in an overwhelmingly democratic and african-american district.

Little nuggets of good news... (Below threshold)

Little nuggets of good news like this DO brighten one's day.

Jeff MedcalfI mean... (Below threshold)

Jeff Medcalf

I meant that as a rhetorical question. And I ask it because one of the fundamental arguments we hear from the right is that the war in Iraq was justified because of the numbers of Iraqis killed by Sadam and the numbers saved by out intervention. That is a humanitarian argument and nothing else. The author of this post argues that we were responsible for the deaths or imprisonment of one and a half million Vietnamese. Again, a humanitarian argument.

So the question is, can't I assume that those of you from the right with those beliefs would also argue for intervention anywhere genocide is taking place? If not, why not?

As a resident of New Orlean... (Below threshold)

As a resident of New Orleans its refreshing that we finally voted out someone who should have been gone long ago. It's more exciting to see if Cao will bring any real change to an area mired in the hand-out mentality.

Just a note about this: "in addition to infamously diverting a National Guard helicopter from rescue operations to ferry him to his house so he could recover valuables post-Katrina." Jefferson did not divert a helicopter. He took a large National Guard truck, which got stuck in his front yard. A second truck had to be called to pull out the first one. While that was happening, a helicopter saw something odd going on and diverted itself to the scene. Supposedly, Jefferson tried to wave off the helicopter, but I'm not sure we can believe anything he says.

From ABC:The sold... (Below threshold)

From ABC:
The soldiers signaled to helicopters in the air for aid. Military sources say a Coast Guard helicopter pilot saw the signal and flew to Jefferson's home. The chopper was already carrying four rescued New Orleans residents at the time.

A rescue diver descended from the helicopter, but the congressman decided against going up in the helicopter, sources say. The pilot sent the diver down again, but Jefferson again declined to go up the helicopter.

After spending approximately 45 minutes with Jefferson, the helicopter went on to rescue three additional New Orleans residents before it ran low on fuel and was forced to end its mission.
"Forty-five minutes can be an eternity to somebody that is drowning, to somebody that is sitting in a roof, and it needs to be used its primary purpose during an emergency," said Hauer.

JFO, while Saddam's actions... (Below threshold)
Baron Von Ottomatic:

JFO, while Saddam's actions did lead to the deaths of over a million people, the primary motivation for invading Iraq was the widely held belief Saddam continued to pursue WMD.

From a practical standpoint, the US was/is already engaged militarily in Vietnam/Iraq. The consequences of abandoning the US-supported governments were known/predictable - overrun of the country by the communist North in Vietnam and overrun by Islamic extremists or Iranian proxies in Iraq.

When the US is already involved and the choices are "stick around until the government can protect its citizens" or "split regardless of how many people will be murdered" I think we've got an obligation to stick around. I know it's difficult to imagine living here in the US, but there really are people in the world who have no problem with seeing millions of their own people die in pursuit of power.

Regarding Africa, in cases where the US could stop genocide I think we should do what we can. Unfortunately, the UN is so impotent we'd almost certainly have to go it alone. The downside is the need to stick around until we're reasonably sure the people are safe. The continent as a whole is such a political basket case of tribalism and poverty there's no guarantee that day would ever come.

What is certain is that ruthless people will do whatever it takes to seize and maintain power when the opportunity arises. Joseph Cao has witnessed this first hand; the vast majority of Americans will have the good fortune to only read about such atrocities in history books.

Seems that this should be g... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Seems that this should be getting more press coverage than it has. It has several 'sexy' aspects to it, as far as the media is concerned:
-it involves a well-known thug Congressman
-it involves not just one, but two minorities
-a well established black was ousted from a heavily black district
-the criminal backstory surrounding ol' Cold Cash is intriguing.
-the rise of the Viet-American community
So I wonder why it hasn't gotten more positive media coverage?

-Republican beats Democrat
Ah, that explains most of it.

tyree:"I can't im... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

"I can't imagine that they was ever such a massive change in population, so quickly, with so little prejudice, problems and trouble. "

Probably because they didn't go the route of riots, 'Community Organizers' threatening violence, rejection of education as 'acting white', sky-high illegitimate births, etc..

Instead they worked hard, behaved and took school seriously.

Seems like most other groups can learn from the Viets. And yes, I include whites in those groups.

From the AP:A Coast ... (Below threshold)

From the AP:
A Coast Guard helicopter rescuing people stranded on rooftops also spotted the group at the congressman's house and sent a rescue swimmer down to investigate. Jefferson said he and the guardsmen tried to wave the helicopter off, but the pilot apparently didn't see him and the swimmer ended up kicking in a door and entering his house through a balcony.

Even if the National Guard members signaled the helicopter, that does not mean that Jefferson himself diverted the helicopter, as was stated in the original post.

To anyone in Louisiana the ... (Below threshold)

To anyone in Louisiana the words "Jefferson said"
send up an alarm. You really are a Jefferson-ho aren't you!!!
He was too chicken to get in the basket and be raised to the helicopter.

"I can't comment on why the congressman decided not to go in the aircraft," McPherson said. "Did it take a little more time to send the rescue swimmer back a second time? Yes ... You'd have to ask the congressman if it was a waste of time or not."

From YOUR source:
Cmdr. Brendan McPherson, a spokesman for the Coast Guard, said the helicopter pilot responded to a distress signal from the National Guardsmen outside Jefferson's house before lowering the rescue swimmer.






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