Thursday, April 27, 2006

And again

Another fire. It seems like every day.

Welcome to China

I know this has been covered elsewhere but it's important. Congress is well on the way to making it legal for telecom companies to censor whatever web sites they see fit in order to offer tiered pricing plans.

Must read: The End of the Internet?

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Quote of the Day

"Yep, we've got pupae"

Invest in repellant now, folks. Do not expect the cute little fishies to save you.
Fortunately, Sackett has found allies in his battle against mosquitoes. Volunteers with Operation Blessing, a faith-based nonprofit agency that has established a headquarters in Slidell, accompanied him on his rounds. Allies of another sort swam in a water-filled plastic bag hanging from his right hand: the mosquitofish.

The slender guppylike fish are the most effective biological mosquito control agents on Earth. Each minnow -- they run between an inch or two in length -- can gobble as many 100 mosquito larvae a day.

Gambusia affinis has been used to control mosquito populations since the late 1930s. The fish are native to Louisiana waters and generally require no feeding and little care. As surface-breathing fish, they are able to survive in polluted waters with low levels of dissolved oxygen and wide ranges of temperatures. Their primary food source is mosquito larvae, and they are voracious predators. If no mosquito larvae are present, they can live off algae. What's more, they are prolific breeders, bearing 50 to 100 young per brood.

"They have been one of the most effective, noninsecticidal and nonchemical methods of controlling mosquitoes," said Dan Suttle, the owner-operator of Suttle Fish Farm in Laurel, Miss., which supplies the fish for transplantation. "Normally, we think of fish as food. But these fish save lives."
Until they turn on their masters and go on an unstoppable bloodthirsty rampage! You laugh but don't say I didn't warn you.

It's really not that complicated

Look, despite the fact that D'Brickashaw Ferguson is among the greatest names in the history of... um... nomenclature, the best player in this draft is NC State defensive end Mario Williams. You might even be able to trade down with Titans and still get him... but even if you can't, just take the guy and be done with it.

End Times

Bush is nuts. There is nothing else to say. It stopped being funny a long time ago.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Congratulations LSU class of '06

Try not to get shot in the face.

via TDP

Kissing the Ring

Thought you'd have time for a breather didn't you? Instead the Mayoral runoff is off to a frantic start as the two remaining candidates scramble for support. Today's T-P does a good job of looking behind Forman's surprisingly quick endorsement of Landrieu in order to follow the money. The article quotes Nagin on the Garland Robinette show already on the attack against the "Landrieu Dynasty".
The mayor, however, appeared to rev up his runoff rhetoric Monday, taking an obvious dig at the Landrieu political tradition; Landrieu's sister, Mary, is a U.S. senator, and his father, Moon, was mayor of New Orleans. Speaking on WWL radio's "Garland Robinette Show," Nagin asked whether New Orleans residents would want to deal with a "political dynasty" where you would have to "kiss the ring to get things done."
Meanwhile, both candidates are paying homages of their own to the city's corporate power brokers, most of whom supported Nagin in 2002 and bolted to Forman in the primary. The paper seems to have little confidence that Forman's endorsement of Landrieu will dissuade capital from eventually flowing back to Nagin. While the article sites instances in which Landrieu has picked up backers, I think the tale is truly told by the number of players who remain "on the fence". Among these are Jimmy Reiss, Boysie Bollinger,and... whoever these people are.
While none of the Forman donors reached Monday pledged to return to the Nagin fold, one member of the Business Council of New Orleans said a group including members of the council and of Nagin's rebuilding commission will be raising money for the mayor because they fear Landrieu is too tied to the politics of the past. He agreed to discuss the effort only anonymously, but said their names will show up in Nagin's campaign finance reports.
And there you have it. Campaign backers who fly below radar. If you're "on the fence" right now, this likely means that you've decided to support Nagin but wish to do so quietly. You're probably a little embarrassed by the racial circus but, at the same time, you know where your bread is buttered. Despite Forman's endorsement, Nagin remains strong and is getting stronger. Especially if the racial circus continues to escalate... which it undoubtedly will.

Blogger spellcheck note: Speaking of racial circuses, spellcheck suggests the word "honkies" in place of "homages"

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Danger! Exploding Pie!

In the midst of a typically clowninsh victory speech last night, the Mayor spewed empty platitudes about his "vision" of various people sharing in what he is selling as a coming economic boom in the city of New Orleans. Or to put it in his words, "everybody can get a piece of this pie that's getting ready to explode here pretty soon." No one thought to ask the Mayor what flavor this exploding pie might turn out to be.. but we think we can guess.

Even more interesting was the fact that Nagin saw fit to give what only can be described as shout outs to Joe Cannizaro and Boise Bollinger... the plutocrats who have always and will now continue to own him. The gentry made a mistake in abandoning their puppet. They underestimated his political savvy. And now they will come crawling back. Expect nearly all of Forman's money and support to go to Nagin in the runoff. Half of Couhig's vote were really Forman people who were horrified at their candidate's limpness and jumped ship. They will go back to Nagin. The other half of Couhig's vote is comprised of angry white male mouth breathers. They will not vote in the runoff.

Much has been made over the last thirty years or so about the success of the Republican party in using racial fear and animosity to get poor and working class whites to vote against their own economic interest. I believe that Ray Nagin has stumbled upon the troubling fact that poor and middle class black voters can be similarly misled. If he continues to succeed in exploiting this fact, he is unbeatable. Previously I have pointed out the uncanny similarities between Ray Nagin and George Bush. I believe this comparisson is still valid. Nagin and Bush dance and misspeak in order to amuse, distract and divide the electorate while the big money movers behind them make off with the spoils.

Landrieu will lose big because he will fail to call Nagin on any of this. If he still wants to be Governor and if he wants his sister to continue to be a Senator he will know better than to take on the Cannizaros of the world directly. They will support his opponent in this race and he will take it quietly. Mitch will get none of the Couhig vote and little of the Forman vote which leaves him with his base of middle and lower class whites and blacks... but Nagin has managed to poach too much of the black vote. Landrieu has sold himself as a racial healer. In this runoff he will face the enormous challenge of asking working class voters to see through a racial smokescreen and vote against their real oppressors. Democrats have been failing at this for decades. I can't imagine that could possibly change now. Still Mitch has one chance to try... and his margin for error is... oh never mind.

Other stuff:
  • Kimberly Butler recieved 793 votes to Peggy Wilson's 772: 1565 people I hope never to be trapped in a room with.

  • Arnie Fielkow has surprised a lot of people and pulled Jackie Clarkson into a runoff. He has a real shot to beat her.. provided his handlers keep him off TV as much as possible. He comes off as a stilted dorky outsider whereas Clarkson, regardless of your opinion of her, looks and sounds like a New Orleanian. That means a lot to voters around here.

  • Here's why IQ was a bad idea. Now that most of the candidates have gone down, what does this do to the movement to consolidate the assessor's offices? If I'm a state legislator looking at these results, I may now be less inclined to pursue something that has been demonstrated to have so little popular support. Plus will Nancy Marshall now quit? If she doesn't does this mean she has misrepresented herself to the voters? Should she be recalled?

Something I ate at FQF yesterday gave me a nasty case of food poisoning. I have no idea what the culprit was because I tried so many things. I also can't be very bright because I'm right back at it today. The run for the chocolate is on. See y'all in the runoff.

Update: More from Oyster, who not only knows good political analysis when he sees it, but also pre-debunks the inevitable "Couhig voters killed Forman" myth.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Today's Recommendations

1) Praline Connection's Grilled Chicken Livers with Pepper Jelly Sauce

2) Red Maple's Duck with Cranberry Wild Rice

3) Muriel's Crawfish and Goat Cheese Crepe

4) La Chatelaine's Oreo Cookie Bread Pudding

5) Anything else that strikes your fancy on the FQF menu.

Oh and go vote.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Obligatory Poll


This site does not do municipal endorsements... the horse race is more fun anyway.

First two quick observations on last night's WWL debate.
  • Tom Watson was more articulate and on-point than he has been in previous episodes. Watson's campaign is, above all else, a missed opportunity. In a campaign populated by ineffectual yuppie do-gooders like Boulet, gleeful ethnic cleansers like Forman and Couhig, total whack jobs like Wilson and Butler, and opportunistic clowns like Nagin, Watson could have been the soldier for justice that the campaign needed. Over all he has failed to do this.

  • The mayor's closing statement included the phrase, (when Katrina came)"I stayed, and I fussed." Some day I'll get to run someone's campaign. And when that day comes, the world will see bumper stickers that say things like "Stay and fuss with Ray" Unfortunately for Nagin, he made no move to hire me.

Primary predictions
Incumbents are stronger than you guys think

Mayor: Nagin 25% Landrieu 20% Forman 15% Couhig 9% Boulet 7% Watson 7% Wilson 5% Other Nuts split remaining.

Civil Sheriff: Valteau

Criminal Sheriff: Gusman

Council A: Batt

Council B: Runoff: Platt vs Duplantier

Council C: Runoff: Booth vs Early

Council D: Hedge-Morrell

Council E: Willard-Lewis

Council At Large: Clarkson and Thomas easily.

Assessors: Most IQ candidates will fail. And, as you know, if they don't all win then there's really no point.

Update: Some sites whose opinions we respect (although not always agree with) do endorsements. Read them yourself.
Ashley Morris

Update 2: YRHT recommends IQ

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Call for nominations

With the 2006 municipal campaign coming into the home stretch, I thought now would be a good time to open nominations for the most memorable ad or moment of the primary season award. Fundraising is now underway to present the candidate responsible for the winning item with a bag of Hershey's Chocolate Kisses. I'll begin the process with a few of my personal favorites.
  • "Batt at the Breach" A Sal Palmisano radio ad spoofing the old Pontchartrain Beach jingle while playing off of the fact that Jay Batt didn't show for a rally at the 17th street canal breach site. A cheap shot.. but quite clever. Here are the lyrics provided by the T-P
    "At the breach, at the breach, where was Batt, at the breach," the revised jingle goes. "It seems Jay went away and was way out of reach! Sal would have been your pal at the 17th Street Canal, but why wasn't Batt at the breach? Was he a sandbag? Without much hesitation, he left the devastation, so why wasn't Batt at the breach?"

  • The swift-boat ads run against sheriff Marlin Gusman by his opponent Gerald Desalvo. Gusman began the campaign touting his role in successfully evacuating Orleans Parish Prison during the flood. Desalvo then became the first local politician to employ the now famous swift-boat strategy for attacking your opponent's supposed strenghts. The attack ad featured what we assume to be sheriff's department employees, their faces and voices obscured who accuse Gusman of covering up a botched evacuation. The T-P's endorsement of Gusman refutes the swift-boat claim. Of course we are invited to assume the T-P to be an unbiased information source here.. something of a stretch. Regardless of who or what you believe, I find the cut-and-paste use of a strategy that was effective in the Presidential race, notable.

  • Quentin Brown's home made signs. I have a photo of one of the "I care about U" signs. I'll post it later if I get the chance. I can't find anyone with the "No B/S" version. And there it is.

  • "I rebuke you"

  • Crazy Kim goes to prison; Crazy Kim goes to Disneyland; Crazy Kim announces for mayor on the courthouse steps; I don't know.. pick your own Crazy Kim moment

  • "Don't touch me"

Submit your nominees in comments. Good luck to all.

Update: Oyster nominates Manny Bruno's NOLA.com interview... which is hilarious. One thing that makes this race great is the way the unintentional humor of the serious candidates overshadows the antics of the guy who's in it for the yuks.

Also you may notice that Nagin's "Chocolate city" speech is not a nominee. This is intentional because it is so high profile that I'm afraid it would so overshadow the other gems here that no one would come away with a clear understanding of what makes Louisiana politics the high theater that it is. However, because the Mayor's infamous brush with deliciousness does encapsulate the spirit of what we're trying to highlight here I have not only named Hershey's Kisses as the grand prize of the event.. I am also officially deeming the entire pageant the Chocolate City Awards.

Update 2: Ashley points out that you can listen to "Batt at the Breach" online here.

Community Bulletin

From today's T-P Jazz and Razz

All five NEW ORLEANS PUBLIC LIBRARY branches now have free wireless Internet service. The library system is also offering a free, real-time tutoring program, donated by tutor.com, that can be accessed seven days a week at nutrias.org, the library system Web site. A tutor is also working on-site at the Children's Resource Center, 913 Napoleon Ave.

It's true. A powerful electromagnetic signal now broadcasts free Wi-Fi for everyone in the library. It may also be slowly cooking my brain and internal organs or something like that but we'll worry about that later. Besides, I could use a tan.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Mystic Krewe of Comans

Never mind me.. just titling Oyster's post for him.


Your Mayoral Candidates played a twi-night doubleheader yesterday taping a WLAE debate in the morning and staging a live one (and I do mean live one) for WGNO in the evening. Last night's episode had several memorable moments.
Among these:
  • Couhig continues to give the impression that he is somehow in cahoots with Landrieu despite their seeming ideological differences. Once again the two of them executed another apparently rehearsed question and answer maneuver. This time Couhig asked Landrieu (paraphrasing here.. all of my quotes are approximate) "Why do you think Ron Forman has resorted to running negative ads against you?" The resulting conversation revolved around Forman's desperation. Couhig continued to play the attack dog.. going after Forman and Nagin.. but laying off of Landrieu who he was much rougher with in the early debates.

  • Couhig's aggression finally got to Nagin who, about halfway through the session, snapped to life like a cranky old man roused from his nap to challenge the efficacy of Couhig's plan to sell city assets. Nagin actually had a point here but I'm afraid the audience may have missed it among all the "come on man" and "that's bull" Nagin rhetorical flourishes.

  • The classic moment of the campaign came later when Rev. Tom Watson challenged Nagin to explain his "double talk" meaning his tendency to contradict his own statements depending upon the make up (race) of his audience. Watson admonished Nagin not to "apologize for being a black man." Watson also challenged Nagin's assertion that the state is "holding up" reconstruction funds and let fly at Nagin with all of the fire and brimstone he could muster here declaring, "Ray Nagin is the problem! Ray you are lying! You are a liar!" At one point in this exchange Watson actually used the words "I rebuke you." Nagin's response to all of this was even better. During the reverend's tirade Nagin affected to bless Watson making the sign of the cross and shouting, "Pastor! God bless you!"

Oh and Mitch won this one... but who cares? This is the greatest series in the history of television. I can only point back to my comments on Monday's show and further lament that the end is near.

Why does Ron Forman hate New Orleans?

Ashley wants to know.

Stop what you're doing

Go read this. Oyster on the mayoral candidates and race.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Thought of the Day

"The Midwestern lifestyle is, simply put, a lethal threat to us."

Works on so many levels.

I'm very sad today

The mayoral primary is this Saturday. This means that my favorite TV show, the mayoral debate series, will soon be off the air. Over the past few weeks, we've let these candidates into our living rooms and I think they've all found their way into our hearts one way or another. And I think we've learned some things along the way. We've learned who the candidates are and what they look like. We've learned that some of them do not like to be touched. We've learned that it is difficult to participate in the debate if you are either in prison or maybe Disneyland.

Yes sadly we'll soon have to say goodbye to some of our favorite characters this weekend when we vote all but two off the island. Let's enjoy them while we can.

Last Night's Observations:

  • For the first time in this series, Nagin looked pretty bad. He mostly foundered and waffled through some questions he should have knocked out of the park. I was expecting him to be more aggressive and start coming after Lanrieu, who has emerged as his most serious opponent. He appears to be just cruising until the runoff. This is a mistake. His worst moment came when he appeared to blame the school board for holding up the evacuation.

  • After the WWL debate I speculated that Forman's strategy may involve buying Couhig out of the race. I don't think this is very far-fetched. Couhig is an opportunistic lawyer who will be as happy or happier to come out of this with a few bucks or some other in-kind deal than he would be if he won. After watching last night, I can't help but wonder if he has reached some such agreement with Landrieu's camp. Couhig, who spent the early debates attacking Landrieu at every turn, mostly laid off of him and instead took a few minor shots at Forman. The most eye-opening moment of the evening came when the candidates were allowed to question one another. Landrieu lobbed a softball question at Couhig about Nagin's management style allowing Couhig to slam Nagin. This looked very much like a rehearsed tactic through which Landrieu could use Couhig to attack Nagin. While this was going on, Nagin (to his credit, I believe) could be heard in the background commenting, "Whoahh it must be tag team time!" Because Nagin spoke up here, Norman Robinson, afforded him an opportunity to rebut.. which he backed off of timidly.

  • The candidates were asked who they would endorse if they don't make the runoff. The answer to that question should have been, "What an inappropriate question, Norman. You are a wanker." Instead they all hemmed and hawed like doofuses.

  • Two Peggy Wilson moments: Her reaction to the carnage in the wake of the storm, "Finally people see that corruption is not funny!" Later she went on a typically irrelevant tirade against the Morial and Barthelemy administrations calling them "dumb" and "corrupt" and "incompetent". Chris Matthews asked Wilson (who has herself been in politics for over twenty years) if there has ever been anyone in government in the state of Louisiana who she liked. Her answer, "No nobody." And there you have Peggy Wilson in a nutshell. Humorless, bitter, and would be dangerous if she wasn't so damn stupid.

  • Tom Watson has spent much of the campaign talking about how he wants the federal government held fully accountable for the destruction of New Orleans via the failed federally designed floodwalls. We are all behind him on this and last night, with a national audience (not)watching on MSNBC he had an opportunity to really give 'em some hell. He failed to do so. This was probably the most disappointing aspect of the evening.

More commentary from Oyster

Monday, April 17, 2006

The whole world is watching

Um acutually no they're not. It's on MSNBC.


Check it out, New Orleans. Your alternative weekly does indeed have a pulse. In a staggering upset, the Gambit has decided not to endorse Forman. In its editorial, the Gambit takes such a dim view of Forman's candidacy that it looks like something that could have appeared on Moldy City.


Moldy City on Sunday
It may seem naive to get so riled up about a politician's wildly exaggerated claims of accomplishment or vague attack ads. Fact is, I wouldn't with any other candidate (maybe Boulet). I'd point out the inaccuracies, but I wouldn't consider it a major issue. The difference is, Forman backers don't see him as a politician; they see him as a miracle worker. Guess he performed the minor miracle of being a demagogue without being a politician.

The Gambit writes (this week's Gambit not online yet) here
A city that is good for business works only when it is safe, has an infrastructure that is solidly built and well maintained and delivers fundamental services in a timely and cost-effective manner. Some candidates for mayor are campaigning as if they are running for savior - and many citizens are falling into the trap of expecting too much from our next mayor. We think it's time to get back to basics.


Saturday, April 15, 2006


Yesterday I decided not to blow five bucks at the Health and Fitness Expo to rent a CCC timing chip and thus become eligible for a poster. Considering my sorry-ass time this morning it seems to have been a good decision. Still I feel pretty good. A good way to gauge one's performance relative to the field is the population of Tad Gormley stadium upon arrival. When I got there today there was no one waiting in line for beer. I consider this a success. I expected to see more electioneering at such a high profile event. Arnie Fielkow's campaign had a noticeable presence, as did the IQ people. Peggy Wilson was at the finish line in person and I even noticed some Butler sign wavers on Poydras street. But as far as I could tell the mayoral front runners (Landrieu Nagin and Forman) were nowhere to be found.

Evidently there was indeed one giant Fleur De Lis among the throng.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

What he said

Just go read everything Schroeder has today

Remember the "dodged a bullet" headlines

Here we go again.

NYT: Lenient Rule Set for Rebuilding in New Orleans

I'm sorry I must be reading this wrong.. but it looks like FEMA is going to require even houses above sea level to be raised at least a foot. (On average it costs about $40,000 to do this.) In areas where flood waters reached 8-12 feet, houses will have to raised 3 ft. This leaves the impression that such requirements seem to have been included simply for the sake of doing so. FEMA is saying, in effect, "Well we think you'll probably be protected from 10 feet of flooding where you are because they might fix your levees... but if the levee isn't up to snuff we want to be able to say that we told you to raise your house so go ahead and raise your house.. oh.. I don't know... 2 feet." Even if you're "grandfathered in" and escape the punitive raising requirement, the resale value of your property is now severely diminished.

All of this places a ridiculous, insulting burden on the victims of derelict federal flood protection. How can this possibly be described as "lenient"?

FEMA maps reveal more FEMA lies

Seymour D Fair is paying attention

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

I dare not say the way I feel about my inability to suck it up and win the race

* (sorry, Oyster)
Tonight's time: 45:57
At this rate I'm never gonna get that poster. It's a bit better than last week however. I find it helps to bring a Propeller with me.


This was my time over 6.2 miles last week. That's almost six whole minutes off of my personal best and the CCC is this Saturday! I really am getting too chunky. At least I'm not trying to run while dressed as giant foam fleur-de-lis.

Grandfather clause

What does this do to resale values?

FEMA offers concession to longtime homeowners
Shortly after announcing dramatic new changes in store for local floodmaps, FEMA offered a concession that may allow some slab-on-grade homeowners to rebuild in place.

Gil Jamieson, FEMA Gulf Coast recovery coordinator, said if a homeowner can convince local planning officials to lower a damage estimate to below 50 percent, FEMA will allow the home to rebuilt without elevating it and grandfather in current flood insurance rates.

FEMA will consider that the homeowner, "acted with the best available data," and will not pressure local governments to hold the line against reducing damage estimates below 50 percent.

However, when that house is sold in the future, it must be elevated, or it will be subject to large increases in flood insurance premiums, depending just how far below the new elevations it is.

The concession is thought to be aimed at older homeowners who have enough money to repair in place, but not enough money to elevate a slab home. It will allow them to get back in their homes more quickly and live out their lives in their old neighborhoods.

However, the process will put immense pressure on local zoning officials. While many homes had 70 percent or more damage, tens of thousands where close enough to 50 percent damaged to make a slew of appeals likely.

More thorough analysis here: FEMA to NOLA: Drop Dead

Strange behavior in academia

What the hell is going on, indeed.

Going Nucular

Billmon (wildly?) speculates on the (ahem) fallout.
More to my point, though, I think it's possible that even something as monstrously insane as nuclear war could still be squeezed into the tiny rituals that pass for public debate in this country – the game of dueling TV sound bites that trivializes and then disposes of every issue.

We’ve already seen a lengthy list of war crimes and dictatorial power grabs sink into that electronic compost heap: the WMD disinformation campaign, Abu Ghraib, the torture memos, the de facto repeal of the 4th amendment. Again, why should a nuclear strike be any different? I can easily imagine the same rabid talk show hosts spouting the same jingoistic hate speech, the same bow-tied conservative pundits offering the same recycled talking points, and the same timid Beltway liberals complaining that while nuking Iran was the right thing to do, the White House went about it the wrong way. And I can already hear the same media critics chiding those of us in left Blogostan for blowing the whole thing out of proportion. It’s just a little bunker buster, after all.

Why should anyone or anything change? When a culture is as historically clueless and morally desensitized as this one appears to be, I don’t think it’s absurd to suppose that even an enormous war crime – the worst imaginable, short of outright genocide – could get lost in the endless babble of the talking heads. When everything is just a matter of opinion, anything – literally anything – can be justified. It’s only a matter of framing things so people can believe what they want to believe.
Yeah I know you read it already. Read it again.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Quote of the Day

"The last thing you want to cut is libraries"

Only in New Orleans

via Ashley.. who is in a good mood this morning.. and has a knack for venn diagrams.

Meanwhile, why has the actual messiah forsaken us?

Pollard hasn't been to New Orleans since the UTAC tour. It doesn't look like we can expect a post-K visit anytime soon either. Watch it, buddy, you're moving into Emeril territory here.

And no this does not help.

Messiah Complex

Here's where we are, people.
Dad now believes the military may shoot Bush before he can nuke Iran. We are in a place now where I can hear him say that and not automatically discount it as wild speculation.
Oyster had a good post on this foolishness yesterday. All I can say is that after five plus years of this administration, their ability to continue to freak me out is impressive.

Ha! In fact, you could say it makes you want to drill a hole in your head.

Monday, April 10, 2006

They're Back

Never thought I'd be so happy to see the creepy buckmoth caterpillars. More proof that I'm emotional about everything New Orleans these days.

Another Day Another Fire

Were they always this frequent?

And they're off!

Early voting begins today.

If only everybody would consider this option..

Daisy emails: "I got my absentee ballot and I must read it to you so you can tell me whom to vote for."

Leopards do not change spots.. only hues

Four years ago the plutocrats of New Orleans seized the opportunity presented to them by a wide open field of mayoral candidates to install what they figured would be a useful puppet in city hall. They did this by having their mouthpieces at the Times-Picayune (published by a scion of the old-line aristocratic Phelps family), the Gambit (published by the powerfully dim yuppie Clancy Dubos) and local television loudly push the president of the local cable tv monopoly into the mayor's office.

Four years later, the strategy remains the same... only this time the plutocracy no longer feels it necessary to keep up appearances by choosing a puppet who is of a particular racial background. Yesterday they officially spoke with their loudest voice in favor of the head of a multi million dollar tourism racket. So much is different about our city... and yet so little has changed.

Update: We would be remiss if we let this post stand without incorporating Schroeder's comments somehow.

Saturday, April 08, 2006


All I can do is echo Mr Clio's sentiments. Gavin Mahlie was the star of Tulane's annual Shakespeare festival. Yet another one who will be missed.

It's International Day

If you're uptown today you shouldn't be wanting for things to do. Fete Francaise has moved from Daneel park to the Ecole Bilingue campus at Calhoun and Camp. A short bike ride away is Celebracion Latina at Laurence Square on the corner of Napoleon and Magazine. After that I can't help you. If you're that bored just head downtown and get wasted or something.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Renwick Poll

Results just announced on wwl

Landrieu: 27%
Nagin: 26%
Forman: 16%

Caveat: Renwick cautioned, though, that because of the high number of evacuees expected to vote, these numbers may not tell the true story. He says, "The election numbers could turn out to be significantly different than this figures. These are only people living in New Orleans. We did not poll the people who aren't in New Orleans."

Just As Reliable as Renwick Poll of the Day
Obviously.. lots of write-in possibilities

Update: The much-talked-about Chad Rogers reports on a survey conducted for "a group of businessmen" which yields similar results.

Meaningless dates department

It has been one full year since Ricky Prado signed off. And look what's happened to us since then! I still blame the Governor.

Your Moral Values Administration

Seems they're having trouble keeping up with their own.

Maybe they need some advice.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Quote of the Day

Tiny Revolution encapsulates political debate in the US thusly:

Insane Rich: Let's kill everyone and take their money!
Non-Insane Rich: I like the way you think. I really do. But if we keep them alive and working for us, we'll make even more money in the long run.
Insane Rich: You communist!

Worst Debate Ever

Let's hope that by the time WWL hosts its next mayoral debate, enough people will have told them that their format sucks. Last night's debacle was one of the more groan-inducing spectacles in the history of political theater. In a local news climate where the viewing audience is often treated to dramatic advertisements extolling the heroic virtues of a given station's weatherman, it is hardly surprising that WWL would have designed a debate format that allows more uninterrupted speaking time for its lame assemblage of small-time info-tainers than for the actual candidates. Last night, each of the (four for christsakes!) WWL personalities on hand was given a set of questions submitted by "viewers like you" about which he or she would make a short condescending speech pointing out just how well that WWL personality cares about the concerns of "viewers like you". Next the WWL personality would paraphrase the viewer-submitted questions into something mushy and irrelevant like, "How did Katrina change you as a person?" and direct them at one of the candidates. The tagged candidate then had one minute to rattle off a non-answer before the beginning of a four minute "jump ball" session during which all of the candidates were allowed to scream at once in something reminiscent of a 3:00 AM barroom argument only less coherent.

Despite WWL's utter dereliction of its duty to provide its viewers with an opprotunity to substantively evaluate the candidates, last night's event managed to entertain in spots.

  • The most fun theatrical moment came after Peggy (crazy eyes) Wilson fired off her obligatory "welfare queen" comment. Forman turned limply toward her, placed his limp hand on her arm and limply said, "Peggy stop it. You're dividing the community." To which she replied, "Don't touch me."

  • The stupid format allowed Rob Couhig to make some fairly outrageous statements without anyone getting an opportunity to call him on them. Among these were (1) City Hall can be staffed 24 hours a day and largely by "volunteers". (2) Public housing was originally intended to be "transitional housing". (3) No city has ever recovered from a "period of decline". Couhig's presence is hurting Forman's chances of making the runoff. I expect Forman to make a move to buy Couhig's withdrawl and endorsement shortly before the primary. Until then, Couhig will continue to rile up the conservative base with his unchecked inflamatory rhetoric.

  • Regardless of what anyone may think of Nagin's performance as mayor, he continues to come off as the lone adult in these gatherings and is clearly winning every debate.

  • Someone needs to tell Mitch that the campaign has started. He could be winning this thing but appears not to want it very badly.

Did I mention that WWL sucks? They will host another debate on April 20. Here's hoping that they learn something from this.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Wow they finally are talking about this

Showdown looming for New Orleans' post-Katrina Internet system

More signs that the feds are abandoning us

Every year at "spring forward" time I get a little nervous. I've never been comfortable just handing an hour over to the government so that they can do whatever the hell it is they do with it for half a year before they give it back. I suspect the hour I recieve at the end of the year is somehow lighter or of lesser value than the one I give up at the beginning. Someone must be skimming. I have always figured that one day we'll find out that there's a remote warehouse full of stolen time somewhere in the Nevada desert.

Why do I bring this up? Well firstly because some of you actually asked me to. But secondly to point out that we've finally moved into strange territory where the feds are trying to take our levees, our city, and, yes, now even our hour.