Thursday, December 30, 2004

"Unnecessary Spanish" might make a fun band name

Maddox: 11 worst songs of 2004.

Wal-Mart Continues to be Staggeringly Evil

Recently voted Grinch of the Year.
washington, dc – The retailing giant Wal-Mart was named 'Grinch of the Year' in a national online poll held between December 6 and December 22 by Jobs with Justice.

Wal-Mart is a fitting recipient of the Grinch title. As the

United States' largest retailer and largest employer, Wal-Mart is a driving force in setting wage standards wherever its stores are located. Despite nearly $9 billion in profits, its wages are so low that many employees are eligible for food stamps. Even so, local taxpayers often finance Wal-Mart's expansion through tax breaks and development incentives.
They also kill kitties.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Patron Glossary

After a while you learn to speak their language. They certainly aren't ever going to get the hang of yours.

When a Patron says:
He/She means:
"Print a document using a computer and a printer."

This is even more mystifying considering that
When a patron says:
He/She means:
"The copy machine"

When a patron says:
"I could purchase a liberry card?"
He/She means:
"I would like to apply for and be issued a completely free public library card please."

This is closely related to
When a patron says:
"How long I could rent this book for?"
He/She means:
"What is the lending period for this item?"
One could speculate that these are two examples of how the language of commerce has permeated our culture to such an extent that many people now thoughtlessly apply it to innappropriately describe pro bono public services. Or one could just shut the fuck up.

Which brings us to,
When a patron Says:
"Have a blessed day"
He/she means:
"Bite Me"

Wednessday Evening Sports Item

Three grown men and a dog drive nine hours in the cab of a pickup truck from Nashville to New Orleans. Halfway through the journey the musty smell of three grown men and a dog in the cab of a pickup truck is temporarily overpowered by the smell of greasy fried fast food. Most of the trip is occupied by some permutation of the following conversation.

Dad: So what if we win and Seattle loses and Minnesota loses but St Louis loses too.

Me: We're out.

Dad: What if Seattle wins and we go 8-8 and St. Louis goes 8-8 and Minnesota goes 8-8.

Me: We're still out.

Dad: But we beat St Louis.

Me: And Minnesota beat us. So what?

Dad: Did St. Louis beat Minnesota?

Me: That doesn't matter, Dad. In a three way tie, the playoff bids are resolved according to conference record. It wouldn't be fair to the Rams if Minnesota went and they didn't based only on the fact that we were one of their several common opponents. In football, it doesn't necessarily hold that because A>B and B>C that A is automatically >C.

Dad: It does necessarily hold that if you have the same record as someone you beat and they go to the playoffs and you don't = bullshit.

Like I said, it went round and round like that a few times. I still can't believe anyone is even having this conversation given the fact that the Saints, still possibly the worst team in the NFL,are still alive in the playoff race with one game remaining. All that has to happen is 1) The Saints win at Carolina and 2) the Vikings beat Washington or the Rams lose to the Jets. Keep in mind, the odds of this stuff lining up properly are much much greater than, say, snow in New Orleans on Christmas day.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Instant Obit

While it is common for news outlets to write prefab obituaries of public officials in order that they can make deadline in the event of any sudden eschewing of fleshy incarnation. Recently CNN accidentally left some of their speculative obits available on the internet.
Creepy, yes, but until this morning, I had no idea how comprehensive this practice was. ESPN's NFL pre-game show broke the news of former Eagle and Packer Reggie White's death this morning and was ready to go with a slickly produced video retrospective within 15 minutes! Again.. creepy.

Saturday, December 25, 2004


It'd be a cold day in... well, New Orleans when it snows there. Apparently today was just such a day. It figures, I mean we had oyster dressing today in Nashville after all. Consuela claims to have photographs of my car in the stuff (snow not oyster dressing). Here are some photos of other freaked out denizens of south Louisiana enjoying the only white christmas of their lives. Try not to hurt yourselves.

Nagin is vulnerable

But perhaps not if this is the field.
Among his potential opponents, Nagin said, are Civil District Court Clerk Dale Atkins, City Councilman Eddie Sapir, state Sen. Lambert Boissiere Jr., Dock Board Commissioner Bernard Charbonnet, and former state Rep. Sherman Copelin.

Spitzer selling out

Well, he is running for governor.

Bad headlines

Ok, Ricky, I think this one may be worse.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Obligatory X-mas link

NORAD Santa tracking.

And now, the weather.
It's unnaturally cold in Nashville. Yesterday, I saw real snow for only the second time in my life. Suburban Nashville is a completely alien landscape. The roads already feature the most severe curves and inclines (also these people don't believe in sidewalks for some reason) and yesterday's ice made them impassable so I've been cooped up all day with my family. Tough business, yes, but I'm managing to survive. This is only Tennessee. I have no idea how any of you Yankees live like this. Back home it's practically balmy tonight. Here's hoping everyone is well. Merry Xmas.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

So when do we invade Canada?

CALGARY, Alberta, Dec. 21 - China's thirst for oil has brought it to the doorstep of the United States.

Chinese energy companies are on the verge of striking ambitious deals in Canada in efforts to win access to some of the most prized oil reserves in North America.

The deals may create unease for the first time since the 1970's in the traditionally smooth energy relationship between the United States and Canada.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Lib Chron Holiday Digest

We, the management of this publication, would like to express our deepest gratitude for/interest in/amusement at the overwhelming outpouring of/infinitesimal trickle of concern/dismay/anger/relief/rejoicing expressed to us via e-mail/g-mail/snail mail/ flyer/gossip/threatening post-it/carrier pigeon/semaphore over the lack of activity which has lately been in abundant evidence in this space as of late. On the one hand, we would very much like to apologize for/offhandedly excuse this absence by citing some holiday business related cliché. On the other hand, it is much more fun to simply blame Daisy. Daisy, as long time viewers of the illustrious internet may recall, once published an admittedly obscure, yet undeniably blue piece of blogspace known as I Have A Snake. Due to a rather jarring episode in which the contents of I Have A Snake were made known to some of its most indispensably loveable yet emotionally fragile (despite safely anonymous) regular characters, Daisy has (unwisely in my opinion) decided to cease publication. This has been something of a blow to the staff at Lib Chron. We (especially when we are in the mode of referring to ourselves in the plural) have always viewed I Have a Snake as a sort of companion piece to what we have offered here. Often Daisy’s take on events at the library, be they encounters with nutty patrons, or the follies of the staff, or even our own unique hi jinx has freed us from the obligation of describing such matters as it is assumed here that readers would have gleaned the necessary information from her site before advancing to the more elevated topics discussed in our forum. I Have A Snake provided much library related context which this site (despite its title) often felt free to ignore. Daisy’s ignominious departure from this arena has predictably left us with the seemingly unbearable burden of covering her beat in addition to producing the daily lazy highlighting of selected national news items/local sports scores/links to other blogs/photos of Barry Bonds that readers of this space have come to expect. Daunting? Certainly. Impossible? Not necessarily. Likely to be done properly? Um.. no.
Incidentally, we strongly urge those of you who may harbor misgivings about poor Daisy and her sudden loss of a necessary creative outlet not to fret. She has decided to apply her considerable talent toward the pursuit of a far more high profile publishing endeavor. Daisy has graciously accepted/been swindled into the rewarding position of editor of the NOPL employee newsletter which is most unfortunately titled In Circulation. In her sacred capacity as steward of the NOPL employee news, Daisy is responsible for the monthly assemblage, formatting, and distribution of such crucial matters as Cupcake Recipes, Amateur Poetry and, of course, the naming of the Pet of the Month. I could continue to enumerate the sad sundry details of Daisy’s shameful descent into banality but I can’t allow my much more lofty purposes to be derailed by such trivia. After all, I have a blog to update. So here you go, dear readers/suckers. Here is all the crap you’ve pined for in my absence in convenient bite sized form.

Sports Items: It’s like this, people. Despite their best efforts to perform worse than the sorry NFC, the Saints are going to make the playoffs. It’s really the only possible outcome in this the strangest of years which has seen so many events that totally tip the surreality scale. Bush reelected, World Champion Red Sox, Saints in the playoffs. It just fits. Enjoy it while you can, New Orleans this may be your last chance.
Saban is as good as gone. The latest golden age of LSU football is at an end.

Local News Item: The mayor may actually do something right and try to stop the latest attempt by the hotel industry to encroach further into the French Quarter. Don't hold your breath, however. Without going into too much detail, let me just express my eternal and absolute hatred for the tourism trade and what it has done and continues to do to this city. Its dominance of the local labor market has severely and adversely affected the already unhealthy distribution of wealth in the community. Its trivialization and commercialization of the city's vibrant culture has diminished the quality of life for its citizens. Also tourists are largely rude, and ignorant, and they tend to pee on everything.

Weather Report: Let it snow, bitches!! I've actually only seen snow once in my entire life. We got almost an inch back in 1989. It looks like we might get close this year. Of course I have to be in Nashville for Christmas. I always miss the good stuff.

Library related item: Yep, the rumors are true. Last night NOPL held a great scandalous bacchanalia of an Xmas party. Or to put it another way, they gave us the afternoon off and forced us to go to a party all in the interest of "team building." Actually it wasn't all that bad. Despite the fact that I was invited, we didn't run out of liquor. The accoustics were sufficiently bad to allow one to ignore the karaoke. Daisy and I, who work at an isolated branch, were somewhat taken aback to discover the degree to which we were both um.. known to many of the staff. She proved to be a minor celebrity of sorts due to her aforementioned involvement with the monthly newsletter. I discovered, to my horror (no, delight.... really) that some staff members have seen my blog. Hello there.

Blogging around: Timshel links to this story about (gasp) ticket fixing in Orleans Parish. I wish I could have rustled up some help from these folks a few days ago. As it is, I'm out $181.00 for a stop sign which I did not run you freaking pigs!

Josh Marshall on the Fainthearted Faction.

Right Hand Thief on Iraqi Cajun Bingo

Rudolph: Bush is like Walmart.

And then there's this.

Obligatory Barry Bonds Photo:

That's it, folks I've gotta plane to catch. Next Update from Nashville.

Merry Xmas

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Chocolate Rations are Up

Or maybe down

Lovely Lovely Ludwig Van

Happy Birthday, Beethoven.

Ode to Joy

Update: Ha ha. link fixed. Last one was playing Waltzing Matilda

X-Mas continues

Here's an early suggestion for the regular Timshel Friday feature. It's sort of holiday themed in that it involves snow. Take a few cuts at some diving penguins. Degree of success may depend on your Yeti's relationship with BALCO.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Welcome to Kafka land

Good Christ.
ORGANTOWN, W.Va. - May 5, the day that changed Aliakbar and Shahla Afshari's lives, began like most others. They shared coffee, dropped their 12-year-old son off at Cheat Lake Middle School here, then drove to their laboratories at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, a federal agency that studies workplace hazards.

But that afternoon, their managers pulled the Afsharis aside and delivered a stunning message: they had failed secret background checks and were being fired. No explanations were offered and no appeals allowed. They were escorted to the door and told not to return.
More here

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Quick ones

Our library is closed today due to a... um plumbing emergency. As a result, I have been given the privilege of forfeiting an afternoon's worth of vacation time in order that I might wrestle the X-mas shopping beast. Um.. I gotta get back to that. In the meantime, here's the latest batch of crap sitting out there on the internets.

The world is shocked shocked shocked to learn that Sharpton picked up a $35,000 consulting fee to campaign for Kerry.

The major lefty blogs are ganging up on the DLC today. Here's is Kos's contribution. The consensus there seems to be that the DLC is losing its grip on the party because the corporate money spigot is drying up. I'm not so sure of this. One thing is for sure, if the Democrats really believe they lost because they weren't running far enough to the right, well then it's time for a new party.

Unsurprisingly, it's looking more and more like that kid was just trying to bring Jello to school. Freaking paranoid school administrators need to back off. Treating students like inmates is nothing new to local public schools. In November, an armed private security guard shot a 16 year old in the foot because she claimed she thought he had a joint.

I need to get a cable modem. I'm ashamed to admit it, but I use AOL at home and it bugs the shit out of me. Between the uninterrupted flow of IM spam and the daily "headlines" that say things like "8 Mom-Tested Toys" I'm going to end up taking a bullet or two just to stop the constant ringing in my brain.

This helps though. Here's your GBV to put on repeat for the rest of the day.

Gotta go. More consumer whoring to do.

Officially sanctioned merriment micromanagement plus today's Lib Chron flashback

A recent message broadcast over the library's office e-mail (which D and I affectionately refer to as the "text belcher") has mysteriously, but graciously, granted us permission to decorate the library for christmas even going so far as to helpfully suggest "lights, garland and wreaths on the outside." I am a bit surprised to find that this permission could have been witheld. We didn't have any trouble last year what with all the knowing sugary grins.

Update: link fixed. Sorry, yo.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

UNO Student Paper Shut Down

Timothy Ryan has gone from being a crappy economist to an even crappier chancellor. Allowing a campus newspaper to go under on your watch is unbelievably irresponsible and a disservice to the student body at large as well as to the hardworking staff of the paper. Lying to that staff three days before changing the office locks on them is heinously disrespectful.

The Driftwood site is still up and its editors are venting here.

Concerned individuals may e-mail the chancellor's office at tpryan@uno.edu

Monday, December 06, 2004

Trust no one

Every time I think I've seen the worst thing I'll ever see, along comes the worst damn thing I'll ever see. Here is yet another reason for me to bristle whenever Dad or r suggests that I really ought to buy a cell phone. These motherfuckers here have finally done it. They have officially turned your whole goddamned life into one hollow marketing event.
The sausage campaign was organized by a small, three-year-old company in Boston called BzzAgent, but that firm is hardly the only entity to have concluded that the most powerful forum for consumer seduction is not TV ads or billboards but rather the conversations we have in our everyday lives. The thinking is that in a media universe that keeps fracturing into ever-finer segments, consumers are harder and harder to reach; some can use TiVo to block out ads or the TV's remote control to click away from them, and the rest are simply too saturated with brand messages to absorb another pitch. So corporations frustrated at the apparent limits of ''traditional'' marketing are increasingly open to word-of-mouth marketing. One result is a growing number of marketers organizing veritable armies of hired ''trendsetters'' or ''influencers'' or ''street teams'' to execute ''seeding programs,'' ''viral marketing,'' ''guerrilla marketing.'' What were once fringe tactics are now increasingly mainstream; there is even a Word of Mouth Marketing Association.
Remember good 'ol Gen X and how we were all supposed to be too smart and cynical to fall for this kind of shit? Well, as we all know, that sellout train left the station years ago, but just look at this.
The endless chatter of American consumer life that BzzAgent has infiltrated is not simply a formless cacophony; it has its structures and hierarchies, which have been studied exhaustively for decades. Tremor, the Procter & Gamble word-of-mouth unit, which also does work for a variety of non-P.&G. clients, was founded four years ago with those structures in mind. A key Tremor premise is that the most effective way for a message to travel is through networks of real people communicating directly with one another. ''We set out to see if we could do that in some systematic way,'' Steve Knox, Tremor's C.E.O., said recently. He added a second, closely related premise: ''There is a group of people who are responsible for all word of mouth in the marketplace.'' In other words, some friends are more influential than others, and those are the ones who are chosen to join Tremor.

Who are they? Check out the word-of-mouth industry's favorite graph. The graph is meant to show the pattern by which ideas or products or behaviors are adopted, and it looks like a hill: on the left are the early adopters; then the trend-spreaders; the mainstream population is the big bulge in the middle; then come the laggards, represented by the right-hand slope. This is not new stuff -- Knox himself cites research from the 1930's, as well as the 1962 academic book ''Diffusion of Innovation,'' by Everett Rogers -- but it has become extremely popular over the past five years or so. Seth Godin, who wrote ''Permission Marketing,'' ''Unleashing the Ideavirus'' and other popular marketing books (and whose ideas partly inspired BzzAgent), uses it, as do dozens of other marketing experts. Malcolm Gladwell's ''Tipping Point'' made an argument about these ideas that was simultaneously more textured and easier to digest than most of what had come before (or since), and it became a best seller. But whatever the intentions and caveats of the various approaches to the subject, the most typical response to the graph is to zero in on the segment that forms the bridge over which certain ideas or products travel into the mainstream -- influentials, trend-translators, connectors, alphas, hubs, sneezers, bees, etc. Let's just call them Magic People.

Knox said that Tremor's approach to finding the Magic People is intensively researched. The company tries to isolate the psychological characteristics of the subset of influential teenagers, and has developed a screening process to identify them. The details of this are a secret, but as an example, Knox noted that most teenagers have 25 or 30 names on their instant-messaging ''buddy list,'' whereas a Tremor member might have 150. Tremor recruits volunteers mostly through online advertisements and accepts only 10 or 15 percent of those who apply. The important thing, Knox said, is they are the right kind of kids -- the connected, influential trend-spreading kind. Knox mentioned a focus group of Tremor kids in Los Angeles, where several teenagers showed up with business cards. Magic.
How do you like being a bunch of sheep who do and think and buy whatever the "magic people" tell you? I hope you assholes are proud of yourselves.
Look, you know it's evil shit when you see the obligatory meaningless marketing "verb" rear its souless head.
Finally, while BzzAgent tells its volunteers that they are under no obligation to hide their association with the company and its campaigns, the reality is that most of them do hide it most of the time. They don't tell the people they are ''bzzing,'' that they really found out about the sausage, or the perfume, or the shoes, or the book, from some company in Boston that charges six-figure fees to corporations. ''It just seems more natural, when I talk about something, if people don't think I'm trying to push a product,'' Karen Bollaert explained to me.
Why why why, Ricky, did you have to link to this and ruin my night? Here is some additional commentary I would like to add:

Geez God what the fuck oh my god really? Really? What what what!! Aww geez I can't believe the.. ohhhh man!! Fuck fuck fuck!!!

Monday Night Sports Page

So I'm sitting here with my back to the Cowboys vs Seahawks MNF yawner trying to keep my mind off of the daunting work with which I have been charged this evening but have yet to begin. It's best if you don't ask why this is so, but just know that right now, I am supposed to be writing a review of latest Instant Christmas Classic, the movie adaptation of Chris Van Allsburg's The Polar Express starring the voice of Tom Hanks and many many snowy pixels. That's about as far as I've gotten having not, in fact, seen the film myself. But whatever, I'm sure it involves some kid embroiled in some sappily sad circumstance who is magically restored to his proper state of happy brattery when he learns the "true meaning of Christmas" or some such bullshit. The basic premise behind my going forward with this project is that one does not have to actually witness a thing with his own eyes in order to know that it sucks.
Take, for example, Sunday's not so contentious contest between the Carolina Panthers and your hometown high school Saints from New Orleans High School. The game was blacked out locally and, regular readers will note, I did not attend the game. But did it suck? Um.. yeah it..it kind of sucked. What I wouldn't give for an audio clip of Saints radio analyst Hokie Gajan's on air mock celebration when the Saints finally gained a first down.. sometime in the second quarter. It was a classic moment and really all you need to know about this game or this season. The speculation is already underway about possible coaching replacements. I agree mostly with what Ricky says here. Anyone who thinks the Saints have even a remote chance of getting a hold of Saban has to be chemically altered mentally. Not that I know anything about John DeShazier's habbits that shouldn't be made public. If I remember correctly, it was DeShazier who lobbied hard for the Saints to draft Michael Clayton in the spring. Would have been a nice move, if he had been available. As for Haslett, well, I prefer the management style of so called "players' coaches" to jackass drill sargeant disciplinarians. I think adult employees of any business ought to be treated like adults. So, in this regard, I am dissappointed to see him fail. I think that if you do take the nice guy approach to leadership, it is possible to maintain focus if you remember to hold people responsible for behaving as the adults you have assumed them to be. It's okay if guys want to listen to music in the locker room, or play cards, or dress casual on the plane, or joke around during practice. But when your first round draft pick ditches a pre-game meeting to check out the buffet in the press box, or when your starting quarterback, even if he is a literacy advocate, refuses to throw a hail mary pass at the end of the half because it might mess up his stats, well that stuff is out of line and those people need to be held accountable. Unfortunately Haslett let too much of this stuff slide, and ended up losing his team's attention as a result.
For now, Haslett has four more games to lose before Benson gets yet another chance to clean house and start over. Given Benson's track record, I'm sure you'll pardon me for being less than optimistic.
Meanwhile, I'm tired of this losing shit. Thank god it's basketball season, eh? Oh. Oh good christ!

Oh yeah, just like the way Blogger spellcheck rejects the word blog.

Atrios has one of those little ironies that hack sit-com writers seem to salivate over.

Christmas Shopping?

Hey look, it's the Publishers Weekly Book of the Year. Hint? what hint?


Now that eight US soldiers have filed suit over the Army's "stop loss" policy, I'm beginning to wonder out loud to myself how much longer we can stay in Iraq, without a draft. A few months ago, I wouldn't have hesitated to say, that we'd be shipping out the conscripts by March. Already, the judiciary is working to meet our needs through creative sentencing. But a few weeks back, I came across this story where we find various neo-cons and PNAC types calling for a pull out by next year. What is going on? No, really, I'm asking you. One thing they might be thinking is, let's get these elections held so that a newly "legitimate" Iraqi government can ask the UN for help with security. Seems like a weak idea to me but I'm just looking for explanations. Certainly a US pullout now will only expedite the decline into civil war which may be happening already anyway. Any ideas?

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Drunken Rants Department

The following was meant for Oyster's comments section but unsurprisingly I went on and on a bit much for Haloscan's liking. If you live in New Orleans you really ought to include RHT in your daily reading list. Oh, wait, you already do. Here is the relevant post. Here is the comment to which I refer.
Also.. yep pretty drunk so.. you know.. whatever.

I have to agree with the previous comment. I am highly suspicious of the degree to which the rest of the country, and particularly Hollywood, "gets" Louisiana and its peculiar half-tragic uniqueness. The two books which come closest to capturing it for me are (nonfiction) A.J. Leibling's Earl of Louisiana and (the excellent novel) A Confederacy of Dunces by, I'm sure all of your readers know, John Kennedy Toole. "All the King's Men" is, for my taste, not representative of what Huey Long really meant for the poorest denizens in the poorest of the states during the most desperate of times. Long wrested Louisiana from the grips of the recently "redeemed" planter class and singlehandedly lifted it out of the mud. His extreme methods and the arguably less than democratic system they left in place paved the way for the corrupt abuses of his successors, but Long himself was a necessary and to this day misunderstood antidote to the miserable patriarchy which preceeded him. I recommend, unsurprisingly, T. Harry Williams's biography of Huey for a comprehensive look at Long's career and the Louisiana of his time. I certainly do not trust the filmakers to be sympathetic to our uniquely progressive heritage.. although we seem to be in the throes of a collective amnesia ourselves these days.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Fuck fuckity fuck fuck fuck

I missed GBV on Conan last night. Still pissed that they aren't taking the farewell tour to NO. But I guess that is this and so forth and right on.

We know where the real news is made

Currently I am reading Gore Vidal's Empire. (I'm lazily making my way through all of his "American Chronicle" series.) Central to the plot of this one is the practice of "yellow journalism" of the sort practiced by William Randolph Hearst, who was kind of the Murdoch of his day. In one scene, Vidal describes Hearst on the floor of the editing room finding the most gruesome murder/rape story from the back pages and slowly rearranging the paper several times until he is satisfied. In the final result, the murder dominates the front page. One of the novel's protagonists gets into the newspaper business herself and, using Hearst's techniques, quickly improves her paper's circulation.
In much the same spirit, I am linking to today's revelation that San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds testified that he "unknowingly" took steroids in 2003. A few months back, I posted a pictorial comparison of Bonds in his early pre-cheating days to Bonds in his bloated phase. Ever since then, this site has been besieged with hits from people looking for "Barry Bonds image" or "Barry Bonds homerun ball." Today, I assume as a result of the news, I have been pounded with this genre of search term. It is basically to me what the crime news was to Hearst. So why fight it? Let's just give the folks what they're looking for. Barry Bonds: what a boob!

More Outrage

Second verse same as the first. More thuggery from our boys overseas. Super job, Rummy!

Chemical weapons found in Iraq

Except that it's apparently just us using banned weapons in Fallujah.
Fifteen years ago in Halabja - at a time when Washington was an enthusiastic supplier of chemical weapons to Saddam Hussein - thousands of Kurds were gassed. Even the US Central Intelligence Agency has disputed Saddam's responsibility, blaming Iranians instead. Assuming Saddam did it, and did it deliberately, the US may have done the same thing in Fallujah. As Asia Times Online has reported, Fallujah doctors have identified either swollen and yellowish corpses without any injuries, or "melted bodies" - victims of napalm, the terrifying cocktail of polystyrene and jet fuel. Our sources confirm testimonies by residents who managed to escape the Jolan neighborhood of bombing by "poisonous gases". A resident called Abu Sabah told of "weird bombs that smoke like a mushroom cloud ... and then small pieces fall from the air with long tails of smoke behind them. The pieces of these strange bombs explode into large fires that burn the skin even when you throw water over them". This is exactly what happens to people bombed with napalm or white phosphorus. The UN banned the bombing of civilians with napalm in 1980. The US is the only country in the world still using napalm.
I am disgusted and other than stating that there isn't really a word to describe the state of constant exasperation I find myself in these days, I can't really add anything to what Michael has to say about it
...even if the UN HADN'T banned napalm and white phosphorus bombs, they're still a pretty despicable thing to drop on a population you're supposedly "liberating." Liberating them from what? Their skin?
Michael has been posting busily today. You should really go read his site.

Today's T-P bad writing sample

Peter Finney, or the person responsible for writing his headline for him, with the full approval of his editor fearlessly describes a contest as "contentious."

Thursday, December 02, 2004

First, we kill all the lawyers

Oh it's a fun day in New Orleans. In what amounts to quite a two-fer we've had one assistant district attorney fired for extortion and a city attorney arrested (for the second time) for rape. Add another thing to Rudolph's list, I guess.

Fine, Daisy, I'll drive but they better have Diet Cherry Coke when we get there.

A Hawaiian contributor to This is Broken complains that 7-11's website store finder provides directions to slightly less convenient locations than he expected.

Happy World Aids Day

Don't feel like celebrating? Maybe this will get you in the spirit. The BBC reports that New York City's child welfare department has been testing dangerous experimental AIDS drugs on orphans.

via Cursor

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Now... about that spell check thing

The term "blog" has been chosen as the top word of 2004 by a US dictionary publisher.
Merriam-Webster said "blog" headed the list of most looked-up terms on its site during the last twelve months.
The word will now appear in the 2005 version of Merriam-Webster's printed dictionary.
However, the word is already included in some printed versions of the Oxford English Dictionary
Despite the fact that Blogger links to this story in its "Blogger news" section, the spell check function of its software continues to suggest "bloc" "bloch" "blows" and "bloke" in place of the word "blog."

Monday, November 29, 2004

Mexed Missages

A week after reading that some neo-cons are now advocating pulling out of Iraq sooner than later, I see that we're now ordering up another 10,000 troops in time to provide security for the "election." Here's the John Mclaughlin style exit question. How soon after the election will the supposed withdrawl begin? One month? One year? Two years? Longer? I ask you, Mor-ton.

Because Rudolph Wants Something to Read

Here is one of my heroes, Thomas Frank (latest book here), doing what he does best attacking the pseudo-liberal elitism that has married the Democratic party to corporate interests and its resultant betrayal of progressivism. Frank's main target here is a new book called The Great Divide: Retro vs Metro America which, according to Frank, is the latest go at perpetuating "two of the worst big ideas of recent years -- the new economy fantasy of the 1990's and the red/blue thesis of the last few years" which prevents our political debate from focusing on the more immediate problem of material class conflict. This is very much on target. Go check it out.

Will the last person to leave the internet please turn off the lights?

First Daisy gets forced into hiding and now this. You guys make me so sad it actually bores me.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Pepsi Spice

Yes I am just enabling this kind of behavior by linking to it. But you have to admit it is festive and holiday-ish. Be sure to check out the blog.

Fat Guys

Really, this is obscene.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

When you clean out the hive, does it make you want to cry?

My family moved into our house in Gentilly in early 1989. When we bought the house, its floor plan was similar to several houses in that block where the actual living space was on the second floor above a ground level garage and "basement." Over the next year, my dad and a friend of his and I doubled the living area by adding in the basement a bedroom, bath, and a second living room complete with a small wet bar and a fireplace. This house will always be home to me. I lived there throughout my high school and college years. (I went to LSU in Baton Rouge where I stayed in a dorm. This does not qualify as moving out.) While we were there, most of the neighborhood kids learned to play basketball in our driveway. My brother learned to play guitar there and once I moved out he turned my bedroom into a makeshift recording studio. We buried two dogs in the backyard.
This weekend, my dad and I moved all of our family's collected crap out of that house and crammed it into a one bedroom apartment in Mid-City which is already suffering from the strain of the load. Clearing out your childhood home is an unreal experience. Out of the attic came box after box of yellowed photos, report cards, first halloween costumes, Mardi Gras beads, and lots and lots of rat shit.
Among the recovered treasure:

1 Empty bottle whose label indicates that it once contained K&B brand Vodka.

1 Sports Illustrated Superstar Baseball Game with a notebook full of meticulously compiled statistics from hours of play.
1 Entire set of Times-Picayune Monday sports pages during the 1991 Saints division championship season.
1 Edwards for Governor '83 poster.
1 New Orleans Jazz pennant.
1 Poster of former Saints running back (now broadcaster) Hokie Gajan.

Countless ghosts and memories and whatnot. I'm tearing up right now. Talk amongst yourselves.

'Bout time somebody said it

Sure, it was wrong for Artest to run into the stands, and wrong for Jackson to run in after him throwing haymakers, and wrong for the fans to douse the Indiana players with beer. But when a crazy basketball player charges into the stands and tries to pounce on some drunk jerks, I don't fly into a rage on behalf of the nation's children. Nope, I just kick back and enjoy the spectacle.


Late night trite navel gazing


You are a XSIG--Expressive Sentimental Intellectual Giver. This makes you a Teddy Bear.

Hee! I just want to give you a big squeeze. You are tender, honest, generous and fair. You are an excellent kisser and a sensitive, communicative lover, and you know it. You would never intentionally hurt someone's feelings or overstep his/her boundaries. You have beautiful eyes.

Most people take your laid-back attitude, blazing wit and subtle sexiness and stick you in "friend." But some see your extreme hotness for what it is and latch on. This means you have a few members of your target sex in the bank at all times -- I call this "money in the sex bank" -- but you're too sensitive and thoughtful to exploit them. More than once.

You are so rational and deliberate in an argument that it can frustrate and exhaust your partner. Your fights can take forever, but your press on with them until they are completely resolved and both you and your partner are satisfied. If your partner is weak of will, s/he may just give in -- be wary of this! An emotional or passive-aggressive outburst later will hurt and horrify you.

It is *critically important* that you are able to respect your partner. The moment you lose respect for him/her, you lose everything.

When you make friends, you make them for life -- you can go without speaking to a friend for years and pick up right where you left off. You are completely faithful, both physically and emotionally. You are the second best (to XPIG) parent of any type.

If you are male, you have a huge shlong. Just saying.

Of the 158521 people who have taken this quiz, 8 % are this type.

You can take the quiz too but don't get mad at me. Blame Naked Furniture

Monday, November 22, 2004

That photo

Jackson Square at some ungodly hour. Incidentally, this is the corner where I was unjustly ticketed by one of New Orleans' finest wasters of my time not two weeks ago. Posted by Hello

Hey, r has one of those take a picture with your telephone and e-mail it to people dealies

Now let's see if I can steal Sprint's bandwidth and link to the photo.

Update: Guess not. Weird though since it shows up fine in the preview.

Hey check it out I hit 10,000 visitors

It's about freaking time, you losers! Actually I love you all. Really. Especially the people looking for Barry Bonds homerun balls. You guys are the best. Sorry but there will be no Monday Sports Page today. (Tigers won. Saints lost. No, I didn't go) I've had quite a busy time of it this weekend. My father has finally sold my childhood home and I have spent all of the last three days helping him haul truckloads of unbelievable tear-jerking memories across town. This is grim work indeed. Add to this some rather intriguing work related drama which I can't talk about until I figure out a way to do so without inadvertently arousing the attention of the hyper-sensitive or that of the clueless or that of the just plain evil.. who all may be reading right now. Hello. Add to that the fact that my ceiling is leaking again just in time for Thanksgiving. Slumlord and lackey have promised to fix this before "the holiday." I hope they meant this one. Add to that the stress of the as yet to begin preparations for this holiday and, well, I've kind of got my hands full. As a result of the chaos.. and in honor of this 10,000 visit milestone, I am pleased to present the first official Lib Chron rerun. Tonight's repeat takes us all the way back to November 11, 2003 when I, very much in the spirit of the holiday, linked to this article by James Loewen on the Thanksgiving origin myth and also reccomended one of his books. Every bit as good a read this year as last.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Another Failed Bush Policy Move

President pardons turkeys. Inadvertantly consigns them to fate worse than death.
Real turkeys, Friedrich points out, can fly as fast as 50 mph, run nearly as fast as an Olympic sprinter and live longer than most dogs. Commercially raised turkeys, he says, are genetically altered to grow so fast and so big that none of them can fly, or reproduce without artificial insemination, and they can barely stagger about the barnyard without keeling over from a heart attack. If not plucked for Thanksgiving or Christmas, they often die within two years.
via Political Wire

Programming Note

Legendary New Orleans prog-punk act Testaverde is slated to appear Friday at the Mermaid Lounge. All the cool kids are encouraged to attend.

Shameless Self Promoting Former Democratic Heads of Ticket Continue to Shamelessly Promote Selves

Clinton Dedicates Clinton Library

Kerry sat on $15 million in campaign funds for possible 2008 run.

Actually the Clinton Library is kind of a neat deal. Here is the official site. You will have to make your own decision about its architectural merits although I tend to sympathise with this observation.
The two-story library's glass-and-steel extension over the Arkansas River illustrates a familiar Clinton theme, a "bridge to the 21st century." But Britain's Economist magazine compared the building to a glorified house trailer -- which prompted a chuckle from Clinton.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

We Have a Winner

NYPress's Wimblehack, the jewel of the 2004 campaign season, names Elisabeth Bumiller its champion. A snippet:
All campaign journalists fall into the habit of writing long personality pieces about the "man-behind-the-man" figures they spend so much time with on the campaign. In the last two years there were probably 10 times more profiles of Stephanie Cutter and Ken Mehlman and Karl Rove and Karen Hughes and Joe Trippi and Chris Lehane and Ralph Reed than there were of laid-off workers, prisoners, illegal immigrants, the uninsured or any of the other mysterious categories of depressing individuals ostensibly involved in the election.

Obviously, this was a crime in itself of sorts, as the campaign press focused a lot more on the optimistic, self-justifying soap opera of the campaign itself than on the country's actual problems. The campaign press was consistently far more fascinated with the drama and the trimmings of power than it was with, say, nuclear safety, or how people who collect AFDC checks live. That's why the only time you saw a profile of a "working-class Catholic girl" was when it was Karen Tumulty writing about Mary Beth Cahill, the "miracle worker" who brought back John Kerry's campaign from the dead.

Now, if you're like me, you probably don't give a shit about the fact that Mary Beth Cahill honed her political reflexes at her working-class Boston dinner table, where she was the bossy older sister in a family with six children. But if you think that's irrelevant, try giving a shit about the inner life of the presidential tailor, Georges de Paris, whom Bumiller amazingly profiled just a week after the election, when half of the population was still trying to talk itself down from the ledge in the wake of the horrifying result.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

The final word on Powell

Belongs, I think, to Rude Pundit whose.. um... idiom allows him to achieve a certain admirable clarity.
via oyster

Site of the Week

No competition.

News junkies and chronic blog readers who aren't quite RSS geeks yet, take note. The Daou Report is here.

From the site's FAQ:
The Daou Report tracks blogs, message boards, online magazines, and independent websites from across the political spectrum - providing a quick overview of the latest news, views, and online buzz.

'Nuff said.
via TPM

Day not ending well

30 minutes to go and Daisy is currently being harangued by the meanest rudest most ignorant person in the world who, flanked by a swarm of unruly children, is trying to obtain a "liberry card" for a child who she has taught to mumble the word "drawing" in such a fashion that it sounds like "drum." This same child (nine years old) 1)does not know his middle name. 2)wants to check out a book but when asked, "would you like to check that out?" looks at you like you just said "These grits remind of a time when things were decidedly less orange n'est ce pas?"
Meanwhile I answer the phone and a guy asks.
"This the liberry?"
"I got the wrong number"
Man immediately begins dialing the presumed correct number without hanging up.
Meanwhile I've got one of those patrons who insists on watching you check in the stuff he just returned because he doesn't trust you.
Meanwhile I am starting to get a headache. It is definitely time to go.

Update: Daisy, having the advantage of not trying to blog these events as they happened, provides a much more coherent description in a rather long post here.

Just In

Bush reverses his field and nominates Mini-Condi for Sec of State. No comment from Dr. Evil.

More Condi

From Slate's Fred Kaplan
The good news: Rice is among Bush's closest advisers, so foreign leaders will at least know that her words reflect the views of the president. Her appointment may also provide, at least in the short term, a morale boost among foreign service officers—a note of compensation for the departure of their cherished Powell that the State Department is now run by someone who has the president's ear and trust.

The bad news: In her four years as national security adviser, Rice has displayed no imagination as a foreign-policy thinker. She was terrible—one of the worst national security advisers ever—as a coordinator of policy advice. And to the extent she found herself engaged in bureaucratic warfare, she was almost always outgunned by Vice President Dick Cheney or Rumsfeld. Last year, for instance, the White House issued a directive putting her in charge of policy on Iraqi reconstruction; the directive was ignored. If Rumsfeld and his E-Ring gang survive the Cabinet shake-up, Rice may wind up every bit as flummoxed as her predecessor.

From the WaPo

Moreover, in elevating Rice, Bush is signaling that he is comfortable with the direction of the past four years and sees little need to dramatically shift course. Powell has had conversations for six months with Bush about the need for a "new team" in foreign policy, a senior State Department official said. But in the end only the key official who did not mesh well with the others -- Powell -- is leaving.

"My impression is that the president broadly believes his direction is correct," said former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.).

Rice sometimes backed Powell in his confrontations with Cheney and Rumsfeld, but more often than not she allowed the vice president and the defense secretary to have enormous influence over key diplomatic issues. More to the point, she is deeply familiar with the president's thinking on foreign policy -- and can be expected to ride herd on a State Department bureaucracy that some conservatives have viewed as openly hostile to the president's policies. The departures of Powell and his deputy, Richard L. Armitage, could trigger a wholesale reshuffling of top State Department officials.

"Condi knows what the president wants to accomplish and agrees with it," said Gary Schmitt, director of the Project for the New American Century, a think tank that frequently reflects the views of hard-liners in the administration. "One of Powell's weaknesses is that even when he signed on to the president's policy, he was not effective in managing the building to follow the policy as well."

Links via Cursor
The feeling here is that if you guessed that the W II administration could end up being less hard-line than W I, you should probably guess again.

More Bush Aide Resignations

Safire out at NYT




Chris Rose spends game day with Jim and Hokie.


Juan Cole has some glance-worthy things to say about the transition at the State dpt. including
Rice seems to me to have two major drawbacks as Secretary of State beyond her inability to challenge Bush's pet projects. One is that she is an old Soviet hand who still thinks in Cold War terms. She focuses on states and does not understand the threat of al-Qaeda, nor does she understand or empathize with Middle Easterners, about whom she appears to know nothing after all this time. The other drawback is that she is virtually a cheerleader for Ariel Sharon and will not be an honest broker between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Powell was much more fair on such issues, though he wasn't exactly pro-Palestinian either. Of course, with Elliot Abrams as the national security council staffer in charge of Arab-Israeli things, you might as well have Sharon just run US Middle East policy himself.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Late Monday Sports Page

Bad Photo Edition:

It's been a busy work day. Here's the best I can do for you now. I may be back this evening. If not, you know where to find me tomorrow.

Bad T-P Photo 1

This was the most fun moment of yesterday's Saints game. Joe Horn, after scoring, performed a pantomime in which he read the word "Saints" on the goal post (Joe has obviously learned a thing or two from literacy advocate Aaron Brooks) and then, obviously pleased with what he read there, gave it a big hug. The photo doesn't do the moment justice.

Bad T-P Photo 2

The reason this is a poor photographic representation of Saturday's LSU-Alabama tilt is that it is not a picture of Corey Webster getting away with blatant pass interference in the endzone on the game's pivotal play. No, I'm not complaining.

Update: Ricky's comment here reminds me that I neglected to include in this space the obligatory reminder that I was sadly unable to attend yet another Saints home game. I regret the error.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Meanwhile this continues to happen

Really I don't know what to say. It's just so ridiculous. And yet here we are again. For the third time, no less.

So how about that election fraud

The latest Cursor Derelection page has many interesting links including perhaps the most relevant but largely ignored point,
The question is not "was the election stolen?" but "was it secure"? In this post 911 world, we can easily make the distinction between "nothing went wrong, today" and "something could go wrong". What we will find, regardless of whether there is a way to make it add up to enough votes to swing the results, is to prove that there are pervasive irregularities in the balloting system, that these pervasive irregularities favor the Republican Party consistently, and that the "solutions" proposed often make the situation worse not better.

Given that there were so many irregularities in the conduct and tallying of this election, why was Kerry, whose theme campaign theme song was "No Surrender" so quick to concede? Why has there not been a louder call for investigation? Here is an interesting stab at an answer. The argument is basically that it makes more sense strategically to call the results into question after the Fallujah assault has run through the news cycle. I don't know if I agree entirely but it does make compelling reading.

Note: Had to edit this three times today in order to weed out grammar and spelling errors. What the hell is wrong with me?

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Off to a blazing start

We've been open less than five minutes and already, I've been confronted with a patron doing her absent son's homework for him. This does not bode well.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Fun with maps

Since it came up, I'm linking to these pictorial representations of the very narrow numeric gap between "red" and "blue" voters which everyone has likely seen by now. It makes us proud urbanites feel a little less alone, I guess.

Boston: Still under construction

The grandest civil engineering project of our lifetime is now the grandest repair job of our lifetime. Somebody call the little dutch boy brigade.

Eagle soars

Ashcroft out.

Nipples, be free.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Print Broadcasting for the Diversity People

More actual things that actually happen at the actual library. Miss Daisy explains.

Smoking 'em out of their... hospitals

Before American jets began their bombing on Monday morning, American troops in front of the hospital took intense fire from small arms and rocket-propelled grenades from insurgents across the river. American Bradleys and tanks began returning fire.

In Washington, Pentagon officials said Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld and Gen. Richard B. Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, were monitoring the preparations and updated combat reports.

Most civilians in Falluja, a city of about 250,000 people 35 miles west of Baghdad, were believed to have left by the time the invasion began.

It was the second time in six months that a battle had raged in Falluja. In April, American troops were closing in on the city center when popular uprisings broke out in cities across Iraq. The outrage, fed by mostly unconfirmed reports of large civilian casualties, forced the Americans to withdraw.

American commanders regarded the reports as inflated, but it was impossible to determine independently how many civilians had been killed. The hospital was selected as an early target because the American military believed that it was the source of rumors about heavy casualties.

"It's a center of propaganda," a senior American officer said Sunday.

link via cursor

But I thought we voted against all this science crap

OSLO, Norway (Reuters) -- Global warming is heating the Arctic almost twice as fast as the rest of the planet in a thaw that threatens millions of livelihoods and could wipe out polar bears by 2100, an eight-nation report said on Monday.

Monday Morning Sports Page

"Now that's just what you call having your head up your ass there."
These were the words of Saints radio analyst Hokie Gajan after the Saints allowed San Diego's Antonio Gates to score his third touchdown of the day in the Chargers' 43-17 drubbing of New Orleans. Hokie's description is a more than adequate summary of the day and, for that matter, this entire season for the Saints. The outcome of this one was never in doubt. On the Saints' opening possession, literacy advocate Aaron Brooks cannily attempted to implement an unorthodox strategy which involved passing the football backwards to a lineman. Brooks gets high marks for creative thinking here. Certainly the Chargers' defense would not be in position to protect that part of the field, nor would they have attempted to account for the sneakily dangerous Wayne Gandy as a receiver. As good as this play looks on paper, things nonetheless went slightly amiss in the execution and.. um hilarity ensued. On the Chargers' next possession they demonstrated the proper way to use linemen as ball carriers when a guard picked up a Ladanian Tomlinson fumble and gained an extra ten yards before being corralled by the Saints'.. um... defense. At this point, I called Dad to make sure he was aware we were witnessing the makings of a classic.

Too much champagne at Tom Benson's wedding? Maybe Haslett should have slept through this one.

What the hell is up with the sudden wink wink relaxation of the rules governing NFL jersey numbers. Here are Detroit's Roy Williams and Arizona's Larry Fitzgerald.

Shouldn't the NFL uniform gestapo have these guys in 80s by now? What is going on here?

Final athletic competition note: This weekend, I lost an inadvertent gumbo cookoff to Dad. The weather has finally turned cool around here, and we each had the idea to throw together our own pot of chicken and andouille gumbo. While Dad refuses to use any cayenne pepper in his, forcing samplers to drown their serving in Tobasco, he still came out on top due to the fact that I didn't buy enough okra and could not achieve the appropriate thickness. Also Dad has a gas stove and a really big cast iron pot which gives him an unfair advantage. Not to mention that I have a preternatural ability to fuck up rice. Since Dad has only himself and my brother to feed, and I have only Consuela, and since we each cooked enough gumbo to cater Green Bay Packers' team meal there's going to be plenty left over. Anybody hungry?

Sunday, November 07, 2004

I see a movie deal here

What do you say, Disney?
It might not seem unusual or newsworthy that I'm watching a game of football in Latin America. Here in the small town of Flores in the tropical north of Guatemala, close to the border with Mexico, they are as crazy about the sport as anywhere else on the continent, especially now that their national team is doing well in the World Cup qualifying competition.

What makes this game particularly unusual is that it's between two women teams. And more unusually than that, it's between two teams of prostitutes.
You may, if you are so inclined, insert your own crass "________ it like Beckham" joke here.
Actually, though, this is pretty serious.
Above and beyond this, the All-Stars are also seeking to draw attention to a much more serious problem affecting Guatemala at the moment - the number of women who are brutally murdered.

So far this year, as many as 50 women a month have been killed, and many of them have been prostitutes.

Since 2001, more than 1,300 women have been killed in Guatemala.

The situation has become so bad that the Organisation of American States (OAS) recently sent a special envoy to Guatemala City to investigate the problem and make recommendations to the government
Read on here.
And here
And here
And here

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Yes.. yes this exactly

Still pissed today. Read this.
Let's get one thing straight: if you voted for Bush, I think you're an idiot. I don't care if you're my best friend or my worst enemy, if I've known you two days or twenty years. If you voted for Bush, I will henceforth struggle to find respect for you and your beliefs, because I think you're an idiot.

Revenge of the Fucknuts

Well, America, you did it. It’s obviously some sort of problem with me because I didn’t think you would. But I misunderestimated you again and you sure as shit showed me. And hey, I get it. Point taken. I now see that you knew exactly what was at stake. You knew that you and perhaps your children or people you know and their children could soon become cannon fodder for God knows how long a series of immoral bloody wars of conquest. You knew that your job and your right to affordable health care and quality education were at risk. You knew that the future of Social Security was at stake. You knew that the quality of the air you breathe and the water you drink could be seriously endangered. You knew that your right to say or write what you want or to associate with whom you wish without having to answer for those things to an ever more intrusive government were seriously in jeopardy. You knew all of these things. But what you wanted us all to know last night was that as scary as all that other stuff may be, it’s nowhere near as important to you as is the degree to which you really really hate fags. Well congratulations your message has been received. While it may seem prudent for you to be thinking about the future of your own life, your fellow citizens, your security, your very freedom you were busy thinking about other people’s genetalia. And all I can say today is, yup that’s about right. This is America, remember? How could I have not known?
Really, I am kicking myself over this. The gay marriage issue was on the radar screen all year long. It was even on the ballot in eleven states. Yet since it wasn’t in the news cycle in the final weeks leading up to the election, I stupidly discounted it as the deal breaker it turned out to be. It was really a total shock to read the exit polls and find that all of sudden it is 1988 again and a huge block of the electorate lists “moral standards” as the number one issue in the campaign. What’s worse is that I allowed myself to get sucked right along with the rest of the doe eyed naïve gee-whiz do-gooders pedaling the youth vote and first time registered voter crap. A staggering failure of good judgment on my part following a crowd of airheads on an obviously flawed idea. It’s not just that I believed new or young voters would buck a rock solid trend and actually turn out in record numbers, it’s that I pretty much decided that Kerry would win based mostly on that fact. This sentence should contain the words “me” and “stupid” I don’t care how I get them in there.
Over the next four years, if we do not end up getting ourselves all blown to bits, there is going to have to be a serious push from progressives to take the Democratic party away from the DLC and the corporate whores who nominate wormy dissembling appeasers like John Kerry. If we’re ever going to beat back the fascists we have to have the guts to nominate someone who is willing to fight. I really didn’t want to be here today telling you I told you so, but goddammit I told you so. Purging the party won’t be easy. Already there is talk about how we lost because we weren’t quite wishy washy enough.
As a once again failed prognosticator, all I can say in my defense is that wishful thinking is a powerful thing when you know how important it is that your wish comes true. I have my weaknesses. Even I get stupidly giddy optimistic sometimes just enough to forget who I’m dealing with. I can’t say it won’t happen again. Like so many shell-shocked others, I’m sure it won’t be very long before I can find the confidence to be that stupid again. I believe it was that revered American man of letters John Cougar Mellancamp who said, I fight authority. Authority always wins. America, you have once again put me in my place, you lunkheads. I bow to your inestimable ignorance and utter lack of shame. Have fun with that whole blowing up the world thing.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Less Optimistically

Buzzflash has Gore Vidal who weighs in with this.
John Kerry will win it. Oh, but put the question the other way around, because Americans never vote for anybody -- whom will they vote against? They will vote against Bush, which means Kerry will be elected by the popular vote. The problem is that Kerry may never be allowed to be president. All of the plots that were in line during the 2000 election are still there, from the purge list of supposed felons to computer touch screen voting and so on. There could be a series of lawsuits going on for 10 years after this election, during which time they will probably declare martial law and we’ll just all try to get along together, and we’ll keep everybody in office the way they are.

Looking Good, Feeling Good

Zogby calls it Kerry. Sit tight, folks. Long night ahead.

Raindrops and Static

It's comming down pretty hard right about now. I hope we got enough people out earlier. Early exit poll numbers are showing up at Kos and at Slate (and predictably crashing their servers). What I saw earlier was Bush 57-42 in LA. Not pretty, especially if it means coattails for Vitter.

Check out the big brain on Oyster

The man is running the streets playing election day superhero stamping out injustice wherever he finds it. Over here we're just trying to get our patrons to the right polling locations. Oh and apparently also do their children's homework for them.

Go vote.

2004 Predictions or Uggh I gotta go to bed.

Wow long and late night. Today my time at work was completely monopolized by, well, work. Afterwards, my time after work was monopolized by visiting Dad for some fifty hours. Currently my time at home is being monopolized by Consuela’s need for the phone which keeps me from wasting what little time I have left net surfing. As it turns out, you the reader, benefit the most from this because it gives me time to hammer out these hastily thrown together Official Lib Chron Election 2004 worthless predictions.

As I sit here now the results from Dixville Notch, New Hampshire are being counted. While we will shortly know these actual results, hypothetical results for the rest of the nation have been divined by observers using all sorts of crazy methods involving such things as tea leaves, football, and something called a “likely voter.” The latest poll results are summarized here at Political Wire. Don’t stare at them too long. Apparently they are difficult and confusing. I learned this from Bob Woodward who appeared on CNN this evening to really earn the fat paycheck he receives to say and write cogent, thoughtful things about politics by saying that the polling data was “dizzying.” In other words, “Hello I’m on TV! Thinking is hard. How much are you paying me for this? Good.” While I may share Mr. Woodward’s aversion to doing any serious work or thinking very hard, I also do not make a nice living trading on my useless opinion and therefore can, with a clear conscience, share with you the following observations on tomorrow’s umm.. today’s elections.

Louisiana Senate:

  • Vitter 45%
  • John 27%
  • Kennedy 25%
  • Morrell Dammit, why are you here?

Perfect example of what is wrong with the local press in Louisiana. Morrell’s presence in this race was always intended solely to keep Kennedy out of the runoff. John has the right friends in the State Democratic Party. Conventional wisdom holds that his geographic base gives him the best chance to win. Morrell is a team player in the party. He is only running in order to submarine Kennedy’s more populist campaign. The local media refuses to report on this angle and instead takes the whole thing at face value. Either way, Vitter is dead meat in the runoff.

Public Service Commission: Cleo Fields will win based solely on my hunch that voters in New Orleans will take literally the double negative yard signs referenced in my previous post.

Orleans Parish Criminal Sheriff: Marlin Gusman will defeat Warren Riley. I think that this race will further encourage a strong candidate to run against Ray Nagin in the next mayoral campaign. Nagin has repeatedly demonstrated that his endorsement is not worth a whole lot which raises questions about his political muscle. Riley will be the latest to fall with Nagin in his corner.

Ok, the Presidential race. Nightline has just reported that Bush has taken Dixville Notch 19 to 7. Ummm... it's okay, guys there's still a lot of counting left to be done. Earlier this afternoon I promised to go through every state. My bleeding retinas regret that promise but I am nonetheless here to make good. Listed below are your fifty United States of America in their eventual electoral colors as I see them Let's begin with the...

States in which I have seen at least one official Major League Baseball Game.

Electoral Votes: 34
2000: Bush
Admitted to Union: 1845
State Motto: This sure is a big state we got here

Ok so it's an easy target and I want to say all sorts of nasty things about this state like how as the home of Bush, Enron, America's oil industry, the Dallas Cowboys Texas is the perfect symbol of everything that is currently wrong with America but, well, my mom is from there so back off, man! Texas is big. Texas is red. Texas does not give a shit what you think.

Electoral Votes: 11
2000: Bush
Admitted to Union: 1821
Baseball Teams improbably swept by Boston in the World Series: 1

You know who I hate? Tony LaRussa. You know who else? Mike Martz. Many analysts are looking at this as a bellweather state. I think Bush has it sewn up but I don't think the election hinges on it at all.

Electoral Votes: 21
2000: Gore
Admitted to Union: 1818
Daisies Produced: 1 (I cannot absolutely verify this number)

Hey look a blue one! Outcome wasn't ever in doubt here. Let's move on. (Go Cubbies)

Electoral Votes: 10
2000: Gore
Admitted to Union: 1848
Ginseng Capital of the World: Wausau, WI

For the record, Zogby, which I consider to be the most reliable polling outlet has Kerry ahead by seven points here so I may be going out on a limb. I once heard someone describe Wisconsonites as "Hippie Republicans." This sounds about right. They may like to party a little but eventually they grow up to become white bread suburbanites and soccer moms and whatnot. Republican strategists invented the term "security moms" with places like Wisconsin in mind this year. Traditionally, the state is strong for labor and this will be close but I'm going red with this one.

Electoral Votes: 12
2000: Gore
Admitted to Union: 1788
Yankees: Suck

Ummm... Kerry.

Bible Belt States

North Carolina
Electoral Votes: 15
2000: Bush
Admitted to Union: 1789
Words Advertisers Actually Use to Describe the Taste of Cigarettes: "Smooth" "Mild"

Asthetically pleasing state. You've got the mountains, you've got beaches, you've got realtively mild weather. You've got too many damn crazy GSUSy cracker Bush voters is what you've got there.

South Carolina
Electoral Votes: 8
2000: Bush
Admitted to Union: 1788
Had to be Dragged Back into the Union: Kicking and Screaming

In its heyday, this was kind of the Texas of the 19th century; the economic and political fault line of the dominant national crisis. South Carolina is still the center of some of the most well egregious ugliness of modern campaigning. In 2000, Bush and Rove really bared their fangs and smeared the hell out of John McCain. Just this morning, there were concerns over voter supression tactics targeting black voters. Bush lock, of course.

Electoral Votes: 15
2000: Bush
Admitted to Union: 1788
State Flower: Cherokee Rose

Bush lock.

Electoral Votes: 9
2000: Bush
Admitted to Union: 1819

On a recent road trip, I discovered an Alabama welcome center that featured a stone carving reminiscent of Roy's rock which read "Alabama: We dare defend our rights." Scary stuff.

Electoral Votes: 6
2000: Bush
Admitted to Union: 1817
Crooked Letters: 4

One of the poorest and chunkiest states in the Union. Also one of the most solidly Republican.

Electoral Votes:6
2000: Bush
Admitted to Union: 1836

Bush's surprise is in Wisconsin, Kerry's is here.

Electoral Votes:
2000: Bush
Admitted to Union: 1796

An interesting state, demographically. The western third is very much like Mississippi; very bible belt, large black population, very poor. Central Tennessee is kind of what you would call "New South" White, professional, suburban, Republican. Nashville's hilly landscape littered with Wal-Marts and Olive Gardens as far as the eye can see. The east is Appalachian, white, poor, politically independant. It'll go for Bush pretty heavily this year. Tennessee claims to have some sort of disproportionate responsibility for country music. Screw you guys for that too.

Rust Belt States

Electoral Votes: 17
2000: Gore
Admitted to Union: 1837
Residents Actually referred to as: Michiganders (are there Michigeese?)

Strong pro-union state hit hard by de-industrialization. Kind of the template for the region.

Electoral Votes: 11
2000: Bush
Admitted to Union: 1816

Rural almost Southern culture. Indiana was a power base for the Klan when it was a real political force in the early part of the last century. Solidly Republican.

Electoral Votes: 21
2000: Gore
Admitted to Union: 1787
Home State of: V.O.D.

Yep, this is a big pick up for Kerry. Which brings us to

Kerry's Northeastern Locks Listed Here With Their Corresponding Electoral Votes

Maryland: 10
D.C.: 3
Delaware: 3
New Jersey: 15
Connecticut: 7
Rhode Island: 4
Vermont: 3
New York: 31
Maine: 4

What About New Hampshire?
4 miserable EVs for Bush

Can you tell it's getting late?

States Split Apart by Civil War

West Virginia
5 EVs for Bush

13 EVs for Bush

States which are in vogue picks for Bush to pull upsets

10 EVs

7 EVs
Kerry holds on to both of these.

New Mexico
5 EV's
Bush gets this one. Mostly because Kerry didn't put Bill Richardson on the ticket.

States That Have Elected Some Seriously Wacky Governors Over the Years

55 Electoral Votes
Ain't the Electoral College fun? Largest state in the union and hardly anyone cares what happens there.

9 Electoral Votes
The Gret Stet, as many of you know, is by far the most culturally diverse and, yes, historically the most politically progressive state in the South. Those of us who watch the polls closely here (well at least me anyway) have reason to believe that Louisana could have been in play this year had the Kerry campaign given it just a bit of attention. As it is Bush gets this one on what I'm going to score as defensive indiffernece.

States I Am Not Entirely Certain Actually Exist

11 EVs
Daisy claims to have been to some place called "Seattle." I continue to find this assertion dubious.

7 EVs

3 EVs

4 EVs

Bush's Locks in Flyover Country

4 EVs

3 EVs

3 EVs

North Dakota
3 EVs

South Dakota
3 EVs

5 EVs

6 EVs

7 EVs

Utah5 EVs

10 EVs

Can Kerry Sneak Away With Nevada?
No 5 EVs for Bush

What About Colorado?
Yes, Kerry pulls out a surprise 9 EVs there.

Ok but who wins then?

Well it's all about battle torn, fraud-ridden Florida and Ohio. The question I keep asking myself about this race is this. Everywhere, voter registrations are not only up they are through the roof. After twenty plus years of reading about how dissaffected the electorate is and how no one takes the time to even vote anymore we suddenly find ourselves in the midst of an election where we are expecting record turnout, where people are camping out and waiting three and four hours to vote. The question is are this many people this passionate, this determined to have their say because they approve of George W. Bush and all that his administration has meant for us and for the world? I find that highly implausible. Maybe I am too much of an interested party to make a completely objective call here but I really have to believe that Ohio and Florida are going to Kerry today. (It is today now) Otherwise, God help us.

Total Electoral vote Prediction:


Monday, November 01, 2004

Broken: Political Yard Signs

I spotted a few of these statements of preference in the PSC race adorning local neutral grounds and green spaces today. Is this a double negative? I'm not sure what the sign makers actually intended. Posted by Hello