Thursday, November 30, 2006

Turkey Gumbo

Weather getting cold? Fridge still full of Thanksgiving leftovers you're desperate to deal with? Sounds like turkey gumbo time. It's like making a gumbo... but with turkey. See? Okay well I'll explain.
  • On Thanksgiving day, don't throw that turkey carcass out in the dumpster where the rats will get it. Break that shit up, stuff it in ziploc bags, and freeze it... bones, meat, gristle and all. If you haven't done this, stop now go back to Thanksgiving day and get on that... otherwise you're pretty much fucked.

  • Today, knock off work early... or come by the house on your lunch break. If you are employed by an outfit that frowns upon such behavior, quit. If your life is in such a state that you can't afford to quit and are in fact trapped in a smothering, wholly unsatisfying spiral of servitude to uncaring masters, consider bringing a gun to work. But, if you can get home in the middle of the day, pull your turkey carcass out of the freezer, and set it to simmer in a large pot of water with some celery and an onion.

    Put a lid on it and get your ass back to work. I let mine go for about six hours today.. it's an inexact science. You'll know you've got a decent stock when the meat and cartiladge have cooked completely off the bone.

  • After work, clean the kitchen, feed the cat, watch the depressing news, get back in the kitchen, pop open a bottle of... something.. tonight it was Papio Cabernet (not so great.. tasted vaguely of bananas).. and start chopping vegetables. You'll want the usual suspects: onion, celery, bell pepper.. sneak in a little garlic. Put that aside.

  • Cast. Iron. Pot. Accept no substitutes. Chop up your andouille sausage, throw it in there and brown it.

  • Remove the sausage and put it aside. In the cast iron pot, go to work on your roux. I always use butter.. you can use vegetable oil if you want instead.. but you can't go wrong with butter and flour. I'm still testing the new electric stove, so I'm not sure what really constitutes low-medium heat.. but I played with the knob and stirred for about an hour and a half before I got something that looked decent.... like this.

  • When the roux is ready, turn the heat way way down low.. or even completely off.. and add your vegetables. The introduction of onion celery and bell pepper to a hot roux produces one of the greatest smells known to mankind. The roux will be hot enough to cook the vegetables completely with the burner turned off. Stir until they've softened up a bit.

  • Turn the heat back up. Add about a cupful of stock.. stir for a minute. Add the sausage.. stir for a minute. Okay now go get that big tupperware container full of turkey you've still got hanging around in the fridge. Yes.. you do.. go get it. Right, now get the other one too.

  • Add a little turkey... add a little stock. Keep stirring.

  • More turkey.. more stock.. you get the idea.

  • You'll want to start adding some seasoning here. The turkey, and the stock should be plenty salty to begin with so I wouldn't go too crazy there. Feel free to add as much black pepper as you see fit. I also throw in a fair amount of...

  • Thyme

    And cayenne pepper..about two caps full

  • Once this stuff starts to bubble a little it will be about time for you to add the okra. You chopped up some okra earlier, didn't you? Sure you did.. look it's right there in the sink.

  • Just about done now. Simmer just long enough for the slime from the okra to thicken the gumbo a bit, then you're ready to serve over rice... maybe with some french bread.. or a couple of those Thanksgiving dinner rolls you've still got in the back of the fridge.. yeah I know... just throw 'em in the microwave.. nobody cares.

And there it is. All that's left now is to clean the kitchen and post the photos to your stupid yellow blog. You didn't take pictures? Nah I don't blame you. You don't want to clean the kitchen either? Yeah.. neither do I.

Look who shows up

At yesterday's public meeting where public housing residents gave HANO and HUD officials a much deserved haranguing about the unnacceptable planned demolitions of most of the city's remaining housing projects, what man of the people did we find raising hell among the rabble?
U.S. Rep. William Jefferson, D-New Orleans, said HANO can repair its units and reopen homes, recalling that Tulane Hospital was flooded yet cleaned well enough to treat patients.

"Being poor is not a crime," Jefferson said, quieting the room after he rose from the front row to a splash of cheers and flashbulbs from the press. "These are good, decent people."
Say all you will about the fundraising scoreboard or the air war (both of which look like a push to me at this point) Dollar Bill is out there drumming up the target vote on the ground. I can't say with any certainty where this race is right now. But I will say this. If Carter can't satisfactorily address either this issue or Iraq in the next debate.. hell I might even have to vote for Dollar Bill. That's how poorly I think she's doing right now.

Today's Must Read

Schroeder spends a lot of time and energy advocating for a more "fair and balanced" local radio market as opposed to the redundant right wing blather we are currently subjected to. Unfortunately for him, this advocacy involves actually talking to local talk radio hosts on the air. Here, Schroeder relays the contents of some of these conversations. My favorite bit comes when Kaare Johnson scoffs at the idea of "taking the FCC literally".

Bastards made me an offer I couldn't refuse

I have a tendency to park via the city's deferred payment plan... and then continue to defer those payments indefinitely. Today I decided to take advantage of the final day of parking ticket amnesty and clear up these without having to pay the late fees.

03/29/2005 METER 200 LOYOLA $20.00
07/08/2005 FRGHT ZONE 500 ROYAL $20.00
08/19/2005 METER 2900 MAGAZINE $20.00
08/21/2006 METER 600 TOULOUSE $20.00

You might say that I saved quite a bit of money. The way I see it, I'm now out 80 bucks the SOBs would never have seen had they not embarked on this movement towards a more and more sinister surveillance society. I hope they're happy.

If you need to pay up before the booters come for you click here to do so via the world's worst website.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Beat on the Brat

The Hill via TPM:

At a private reception held at the White House with newly elected lawmakers shortly after the election, Bush asked Webb how his son, a Marine lance corporal serving in Iraq, was doing.

Webb responded that he really wanted to see his son brought back home, said a person who heard about the exchange from Webb.

“I didn’t ask you that, I asked how he’s doing,” Bush retorted, according to the source.

Webb confessed that he was so angered by this that he was tempted to slug the commander-in-chief, reported the source, but of course didn’t. It’s safe to say, however, that Bush and Webb won’t be taking any overseas trips together anytime soon.

Yeah well, get in line, buddy.

September 4, 2005 11:49 a.m. EST

Douglas Maher - All Headline News Staff Reporter

Washington, D.C. (AHN) - Louisiana Democrat Sen. Mary Landrieu threatens President Bush with physical violence this morning on ABC's Sunday morning news program, "This Week".

"If one person criticizes our sheriffs, or says one more thing, including the President of the United States, he will hear from me - one more word about it after this show airs and I - I might likely have to punch him - literally," says Landrieu.

"The President came here yesterday for a photo-op, he got his photo-op but we are never going to get this fixed if he does not send us help now."

It is a felony to threaten the President of The United States with violence.

No official comment from the White House has been reported.

Everyone's doing it.
Join the fun, yourself!

Great. More exploding pie for me, then. Right?

One-third of Orleans, Jeff residents polled may leave in 2 years

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Even among the best-off returnees to Orleans and Jefferson Parishes — those living in houses or apartments, rather than trailers — about one-third say they may leave the area within the next two years, a small poll indicates.

Keep in mind this poll was conducted by Susan Howell. This renders it essentially meaningless.

Debate Topic: Will there be any debates?

Candidates throw blame for lack of TV debates

Also in this article we find Derrick Shepherd's newest euphamism for lying.
State Sen. Derrick Shepherd, who finished third in the primary with 19 percent, has endorsed Jefferson. In making his choice, Shepherd, a Marrero Democrat, touted the incumbent's 16 years of experience and downplayed the investigation into his business dealings.

Shepherd brushed off questions about his earlier criticisms of Jefferson, saying they were made while he was in "campaign mode."
Remember, kids. They'll never hold you accountable for anything you say while in "campaign mode".

Loose Ends

Ok so the oven shorted out.. we took everything to Dad's.. Oyster dressing was fine... Turkeys are easy to cook if you brine them with a lot of salt and a little Tony's. Lackey 2.0 came out Saturday and installed a new oven. Now you know.. so there.

It also turns out that last week provided us with further evidence that the Saints' two game home losing skid can be attributed to one thing: Menckles's wardrobe. You may remember on Halloween weekend, the Baltimore native somehow decided it was kosher for her to wear a purple sweater to the Ravens game. The result: Three uncharacteristic interceptions by Drew Brees plus one heartless narc in the Superdome stands prove too much for the Saints to overcome. Fast-forward to last weekend. Baltimore native, Menckles, finds it a bit chilly for bicycling to the Bengals game bear-headed and grabs her favorite Baltimore Orioles baseball cap. The problem: The Orioles' colors are Orange and Black. The result: Three uncharacteristic Drew Brees interceptions once again prove too much for the Saints to overcome. Obviously, Menckles can no longer be trusted to dress herself. We'll have to be more careful with this next week.

Bengals notes:
  • This was the most disappointing game of the season..if only because the Saints blew an opportunity to avenge themselves of Bengals fans for their insensitive purloining of our "Who Dat". Prior to this game, the evils of the Bengals' "Who Dey" foolishness were discussed at length in this space. We were expecting justice. We received only bitter disappointment. Damn that orange hat.

  • Indeed. And might I add a hearty Bite Me

  • Can't we already kind of see the New Year's Eve game against Carolina being a win-and-you're-in game for the Saints in their improbable push for a playoff spot this year? Can't we see that game coming down to the wire? Can't we already see a Terrance Copper fumble happening at just the wrong time in that game?

  • Soupy gets his jerk on after yet another Copper screw up. You can't hit this guy hard enough.

  • I had no idea until I got home that Brees had thrown for 510 yards. The guy is on fire. On the other hand, those three interceptions were clearly the difference in this game. They took two potential touchdowns off the board for the Saints and put one on for the Bengals. Also.. congrats to Joe Horn for scoring his 50th career touchdown as a Saint.

  • It's always fun to see the flea-flicker actually work

  • The defense played like crap again. Couldn't stop the run.. and couldn't even find Chad Johnson much less cover him. God damn that orange hat!

  • A familiar sight this afternoon

In addition to working on our wardrobe issues, we also need to pay more attention to reading the portents. On the morning before this game, Menckles and I stopped in at Fat Harry's to grab one of those famous bloody marys all the cool kids like to rave about. The bar room was nearly empty and quiet as a cathedral. Mecnkles removed herself to the ladies' room to adjust her orange hat and I sat at the bar, ordered our drinks, and nonchalantly flipped through the Gambit. I glanced up for only a second when a mysterious stranger sitting across the bar from me commented, "It's too quiet in here."

"Something suspicious is about to happen, no doubt," I grunted in reply.

"Maybe something good suspicious," Offered the mysterious stranger.

"Let's hope so," I sighed doubtfully. When I looked up again, the mysterious stranger was gone. Had I been paying attention I would have realized that the ominous silence in the bar was signaling bad things ahead for the Saints. Had I picked up on this, I might have snatched the offending headgear from Menckles's head at that very moment and stomped it into submission. But, as usual, I was asleep at the wheel and... well... look what happened.

We later learned that the mysterious stranger from that morning was, in fact, Mr. Clio. He and Dilly.. (or is it Berto? I have no idea which is which.) ran into us after the game while biking down Girod street away from the Dome. It's a small town.

And then there's this:

You know, I can't blame Vick, I really can't. First of all, his coach is Jim L Mora (the younger) heir to one of the most heinous legacies of failure in all the annals of football. Jim Mora (the elder) royally screwed up the most talented teams in Saints history before going on to further fail to win a playoff game with Peyton Manning as his quarterback. Oh and he's also an ass who doesn't mind putting his own son in an impossible situation with his star quarterback at a pivotal moment in a fast disintegrating season. God I hate Jim Mora.

Second, the Falcons receivers can't catch. I mean they reeeallly can't catch. I mean if we sent these guys a Terrance Copper's Greatest Grabs highlight video for Christmas they might actually learn something from it.

Still, after giving one away against Cinnci, it was nice to get a gift for a change.

Falcons Notes:

  • As far as we're concerned, Copper is still five hail marys short of atoning for his sins this year. Besides, the play before the half, was simply a long overdue karmic debt the Saints were collecting from the cosmos. Click here for obligatory Steve Bartkowski photo.

  • Nice catch. Now go rub Colston's ankle for him.

  • Give Deuce the damn ball. McAllister this game: 20 carries, 71 yards, two touchdowns and a win. No more of this 10 or 12 carries a game bullshit. Deuce needs the ball. I still don't understand why the Saints kept trying to throw with an eight point lead in the fourth quarter.

  • The best player on the team needs to touch the ball more than 10 times a game

  • The one-armed Drew Brees is currently on pace to throw for nearly 5,000 yards this season with a real shot at Dan Marino's all time record of 5,084. This is freakish enough to scare the bejeezus out of those among us who still believe that football games are won by running and stopping the run. The Saints CAN run but too often choose not to. I'm not at all convinced that they can stop the run though. If they make the playoffs.. it might be tough sledding in Chicago in January.

Eh but the good news is we aren't exactly crazy to speculate about such things anymore. 2006 already was destined to be one of the most memorable years in Saints history after the 3-0 start and the Greatest Football Game Ever. How much better can it possibly get?

Note:Most game photos stolen from the NOLA.com galleries.

Note the Second:This is a post which treats two whole Saints games and does not mention once the name of a certain disappointing rookie decoy/safety valve receiver from USC. Wonder why that is.

Server Bot

It's a..um.. music video set in a post-apocalyptic New Orleans (or St Bernard?) neighborhood. I don't know much about the filmmaker but the music is familiar.

Pollard on Weekend America

Can't believe I missed this last week. Hmmm.. Sean Cole's "top ten" songs aren't even close though. I can see Game of Pricks in there but Hold on Hope? Really?

Monday, November 27, 2006

Still doing stuff

But not too busy to reprint Mr. Clio's take on the scene yesterday at the Georgia Dome.

The Atlanta newspaper reports that the Georgia Dome was half-full at kickoff. A huge metropolitan area, with a team sporting Michael Vick, allegedly one of the great athletes of our era--and they can't get more than 40,000 people to watch their team with a winning record take on the division-leading Saints (with superstars like Drew Brees, Deuce, and Reggie Bush)?

And don't tell me all the Atlanteans were at art galleries, bookstores, and libraries. No, they were at Applebee's; or sitting at home frozen in front of video games and um-teenth reruns of Adam Sandler movies; or at the mall buying power washers so they can maintain the PVC on their houses.
More later.

Open Thread

Bwaah ha ha... as if. That is unless Rudolph and Daisy have anything new to say to one another. There are lots of loose ends to tie up. What happened to the oven? What about the Saints game? What about LAST WEEK'S SAINTS GAME? How is Susie?

Sorry you'll have to wait as there are too many actual work related loose ends to deal with today. Will make more yellow tonight or tomorrow.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Fun Thanksgiving Story

About an hour ago.. a few minutes before midnight.. I finished all of the "night before" cooking, put the oyster dressing and the turkey stock in the fridge, set the turkey down to brine in an ice chest on the kitchen floor, got in the bed, and turned out the light. Five minutes later, I was roused by a loud noise from the kitchen. The power in the apartment was out. After a few minutes of playing with the breakers and.. yes, the oven is indeed dead. Might order Chinese tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

All Louisiana Politics is Localer

Note: The following is a very long post about the District 2 Congressional race and national coverage thereof. If this does not interest you, feel free to skip it altogether and wait for something about football.

For the umpteenth time in the past fourteen months, post-Katrina New Orleans sits squarely in the path of yet another storm of national scrutiny. The flood and the recovery continue to color every aspect of life in New Orleans these days on both a material and psychic level... as well it should. As a result, any local event carrying a profile higher than that of your cat's dental check-up automatically gets plugged into the following narrative:

The eyes of the nation are fixed on New Orleans this week in anticipation of [EVENT]. As this will be the first occurrence of [EVENT] in the city since the catastrophic flooding last August, observers will be watching for signs of how this year's [EVENT] is indicative of the amount of progress made on the region's road to recovery.

Some events that have been framed in this fashion:

Later this week, a nation will look on in rapt anticipation to learn if jeffrey's post-Katrina Thanksgiving Oyster Dressing is still up to snuff. Meanwhile we've got this train wreck of a congressional election to deal with.

Personality Politics

Analysis of Southern politics going all the way back to V.O. Key has focused on the prevalence of personality rather than issue driven elections. Louisiana differs slightly from the one-party South of the Twentieth century due, in part, to the polarizing presence of the Longs. While typical Southern demagoguery consisted of personal (often humorous) inflammatory rhetoric and race-baiting as a means to maintaining an elite power structure, Longist demagoguery consisted of personal (often humorous) inflammatory rhetoric minus the race-baiting as a means toward empowering the poor and working classes and radically challenging the elite power structure. While nominally operating within the Democratic Party, the Longite and anti-Longite factions were, in fact, substantively opposed parties to a political debate more well articulated than anywhere else in the South.. and arguably the nation. Huey Long's gift to Louisiana politics was a sort of two-party system based around his populist progressive economic platform.

This bi-factional system has.. until very recently.. endured largely intact. Long's progressive standard was taken up in the early seventies by four time governor Edwin Edwards. Again, very discernible opposing economic factions of capital vs labor coalesced in relation to the polarizing personality driven politics of Edwin Edwards. Clever, charming, and undoubtedly crooked, Edwards buttered his bread with a populist program continuing to build highways and hospitals in Louisiana while the nation as a whole and the South in particular sunk further and further into a conservative anti-government backlash.

At the beginning of the Twenty-first Century, we find Louisiana style progressivism, like the Louisiana coastline, slowly eroding. Edwin Edwards is now in prison. One of our two Senators is a very conservative Republican. And, most ominously, the state's most solid progressive voting base.. the city of New Orleans.. has been badly weakened as a result of the Katrina diaspora effect. While the progressive impulse has been somewhat muted, this does not mean that the peculiar brand of personality-driven politics does not survive. In fact it thrives (as does the corruption).. in ever evolving forms of strangeness.

One institution which bolsters Louisiana's variation on the Southern one-party system is the state's peculiar election system. The system allows multiple candidates of any party to participate in an "open primary". If no candidate in the primary garners fifty plus one percent of the vote, the top two candidates are then thrust into a runoff. The open primary feeds the taste for personality-driven politics as it forces interest groups to build coalitions around a particular candidate rather than a party. As a result, such coalitions are extremely fluid varying greatly from one election to the next. The system also results in some fascinating posturing and horse trading as the candidates in a runoff scramble for the support of the eliminated candidates.

Dollar Bill and Alphabet Soup

The current race in the Second Congressional District is the scene of even more scrambling than usual. This is thanks, in part, to the diaspora effect and also to "Dollar" Bill Jefferson's well publicized current legal and ethical cloud. The combination of these circumstances with the context of New Orleans's politics of mutable personal alliances has placed Jefferson in a precarious position. He qualified for the runoff with a mere 30% of the vote. This same combination of factors may very well be his his salvation.... until the indictments come down at least.

One of the problems of post-Katrina electoral politics in New Orleans has involved figuring out which of the city's numerous political organizations.. which we tend to call machines and Tim Tagaris has termed "clans"... has retained its strength. The most recent thirty years of local politics has seen the rise (and perhaps fall?) of several rival organizations which loosely bind "families" of pols together in mutually beneficial patronage and GOTV relationships. These organizations, which grew up with the ascendance of African-American political leadership in the city are best known for their identifying acronyms. Among these are BOLD, SOUL, and COUP. The ever glib Mayor Ray Nagin who was elected in 2002 as a kind of anti-machine "reformer" has famously referred to these organizations as the "alphabet soup". Bill Jefferson, during his run in the US Congress has built his own political organization which calls itself the "Progressive Democrats". It's a meaningless name for what is basically Bill Jefferson and family.. and associates. Members of Jefferson's organization have not fared well in the most recent post-flood elections and this race is basically a life and death fight for the Dollar Billites. BOLD, on the other hand seems to be emerging in decent shape. Karen Carter, a second generation BOLD princess (with appended ethical questions of her own), is seeking to push that emergence further along. This turf battle between competing local machines grasping to remain in power amongst a rebuilding, scattered, and unpredictable electorate is the heart of what this race is about. Everything else is a superficial externality.

Katrina, Sinn Fein, and the Race Card

The post-Katrina atmosphere is working to Jefferson's advantage. On an almost sub-conscious level, national reaction to the storm has brought about a bunker mentality among an already hyper-provincial populace. As a city, we have witnessed our neighborhoods, our way of life, our very existence, in fact, be threatened by ignorant, insensitive, and openly hostile commentors, politicians, insurers, and government bureaucrats from the outside world. It has inspired in us a sense of what Ashley Morris has aptly termed Sinn Fein. New Orleanians, particularly in the black community, have (with good reason) come to view much of what has developed post-Katrina as part of a conspiracy to radically alter the demographics, and character of the city disenfranchising and dispossesing the poorest among us in order to create a smaller, quieter, whiter New Orleans. This was the central issue in the recent Mayoral election which saw a Machiavellian coalition combining the conspiring developers with a pandering lighting rod of a candidate to take advantage of people's fears in order to effectively actualize those fears. Yeah that's a mouthful.. the whole election was. Jefferson benefits from the post-Katrina bunker mentality because it allows him to illogicaly hint that his legal troubles are yet another aspect of the vast conspiracy against New Orleans. This argument doesn't have traction with the entire electorate but it does provide him with a bit of insulation in the form of a determined anti-conspiracy vote.

Jefferson is also close to pulling off a clever trick similar to Nagin's. On the one hand, by playing the federal investigations of his activities as a federal witch hunt tied to the anti-New Orleans conspiracy, he establishes himself as the "black" candidate. (Both candidates are, in fact African-American.. thus the quotes.) Jefferson has made other inroads in this direction by pandering to local ministers through some uncharacteristic complaints about his opponent's pro-abortion and gay rights stances. Social issues like these have never been part of Jefferson's platform and don't usually figure at all in New Orleans politics.. but it will help get Dollar Bill access to a solid GOTV mechanism in the ministers. The trick comes in where Dollar Bill has also positioned himself as the "white" candidate on the West Bank of Jefferson parish. Folks on that side of the river are still defensive over criticism of the Gretna police who famously forced a crowd of mostly black storm refugees back across the Mississippi River bridge. Carter appeared in Spike Lee's "When the Levees Broke" denouncing the actions of the Gretna police. For these comments she has been taking heat from the powerful Jeff Parish Sheriff and other law enforcement officials who are now supporting Jefferson. Dollar Bill has out-pandered Carter in key portions of both the white and black communities with carefully targeted, implicitly racial appeals. If it works (and such a strategy worked for Nagin) it's both a beautiful and terrible thing to witness.

The presumed "king-maker" in this race is third place primary finisher, Derrick Shepherd. Shepherd has been working to develop a machine of his own and has successfully carved out a small principality for himself on the critical to this race West Bank. Shepherd, himself an accomplished panderer, is the author of a well known attempt by the Louisiana Legislature to ban butt crack revealing, low riding pants. Ever the calculating pol, "Ass Crack" Shepherd has recently thrown his considerable strength behind Jefferson. Shepherd is hoping to run for an open seat in the event that the feds eventually get Dollar Bill out of the way. Shepherd's nominal excuse for endorsing Jefferson? He cannot abide Ms Carter's pro-abortion position. Uh huh.

National Attention and "Ground Truths"

Which brings us back to the bit I started with about the "eyes of the nation". The District 2 runoff is.. due again to the quirky Louisiana election law.. the final unsettled matter in the 2006 mid-term congressional election. The dramatic seizure of power by the national Democratic party is the political story of the year. The national narrative comes with its own set of issues (Iraq, Republican corruption, Bush's approval rating) none of which has any relevance to our dismal turf war between one established criminal and another aspiring one. In other words, it's yet another opportunity for the national media to misunderstand and gawk at Louisiana politics. Recently, MyDD.com has sent Tim Tagaris to New Orleans to serve as a blogging correspondent on the District 2 race. Perhaps it's a bit of my own Sinn Fein-ism that caused me to pronounce myself "incredulous" the other day at some of the conclusions Tagaris has drawn so far. In fact, from what I can tell, Tagaris is doing a good job of immersing himself in the race and its context. I think he gets it. But there are two things about the nature of his job that make it inherently difficult for him to present an accurate picture. 1) He's writing for a national audience who has just watched a "nationalized" congressional election cycle and is expecting to see national issues discussed in this race. National issues have no bearing on this race whatsover. 2) MyDD has "endorsed" Karen Carter in this race. The national Dems have an interest in seeing Dollar Bill go down so that they look less guilty by association of his reported ethical transgressions. Tagaris and MyDD are not only reporters but also advocates. I believe these factors are evident in Tagaris's post entitled Why this Race Matters. It is intended as a sort of primer for outside observers. For the most part, the facts and the mechanics of the race are reported accurately.. but interpreted through a prism of Carter boosterism that does indeed stretch credulity. One example:
Personally, I've been impressed with Carter's willingness to tell it like it is even in the face of political fall-out. Some of you might remember the policemen with shotguns and dogs dispatched to stop New Orleanians from crossing the bridge into the "West Bank." In Spike Lee's documentary, "When the levees broke," Carter called the action un-American. It made her a hero to many in the district, but a villian to some in power on the other side of the bridge (also in her district). Her willingness to stand up found her on the butt-end of a nasty 25,000 person mailing, literally paid for by the people who called in the dogs.
Well, no as I noted above it's much more complicated than that. In fact Carter has, in a losing battle to capture some of the white West Bank vote, backtracked a bit on the very comments Tagaris praises her for.

And then there's this:
Karen Carter has also taken some courageous stances on "social issues." She is pro-gay marriage, choice and stem-cell research. These are not easy positions to take in the deep South. Indeed, her opponents (primary, run-off, and future) are hammering her, primarily through a network of churches, for those positions.
Conflating New Orleans politics with the bible-thumping cariacature of the "Deep South" is so off the mark that I have to assume it is a clever and intentionally misleading construction designed to make a point to a national audience with no understanding of the city and its culture. The mostly quiet "social issue" pandering done by Shepherd and Jefferson is targeted toward black ministers who hold considerable political sway with a key niche vote. Tagaris, would have his audience believe, however, that Carter has taken a "courageous" stand amid a climate of rabid fundie mouth-breathing. If I'm right in suspecting that this is intentional, every New Orleanian should be insulted. If I'm wrong, well, it wouldn't be the first time. Tagaris goes on to report that Carter.. in "her words".. would not support Social Security privatization. In the early debates, however, she was less clear on this. It is possible that the Democratic victories early this month have imbued her with more "courage" on this issue. Let's hope she can maintain it.

As the gawking eyes of the nation turn once again to Louisiana for this latest [EVENT], we are presented with yet another opportunity to make plain to a national audience the still critical plight of our region. In turn, that audience is presented with yet another opportunity to draw ugly, inaccurate, and self-serving conclusions. It remains to be seen which story gets told this time.

Update: For a more detailed (though apparently hastily written) explanation of the New Orleans political dynamic, see this Kos post.

More liberry

My new favorite storytime book: Ugly Fish

Random Liberry Observation

The holiday is bringing lots of folks back to town who have been away since the flood. I think I've seen more items returned this week that were originally checked out from the damaged branches than I've seen since the first week after we reopened.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Red red wine

Conversation just now:

You're drunk

Me: No I'm not, I just hate everything.

I owe everyone that promised answer to Tim. An inadequate piece of it is in the comments.. but there will be more. I also am overdue with this week's exciting Saints game recap... it will also be forthcoming. Meanwhile I just finished a whole bottle of wine and.... Goodnight, everybody!


What did y'all do to this guy while he was here? I'm going to have to tackle this in detail later because I don't want to write too much while I'm this incredulous. But a first read of Tim Tagaris's latest post on the District 2 Congressional race seems to reveal an utter misunderstanding of what the race is about. I suspect, even, that it is a willful misunderstanding in order to facilitate a fictional framing of the race that will draw the interest of myDD's national readership. In other words it looks like a lame tourist info brouchure that panders to outsiders' misconceptions about New Orleans rather than reports anything of informational value. "Ground truths" indeed. Details of this complaint will follow later. Just needed to blow off the steam first.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Like I said, On TV

And behaving quite well, the lot of you. Perhaps cookies are once again in order.


Other link!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Slumlord's grace period is just about over

Despite the fact that my rent has jumped more than 20% post-K it does remain below the inflated average for the area. My building is located in a tricky spot.. right between the famous Garden District and the infamous "Triangle of Death". Living here gives one the aesthetic benefits of some of the city's most historic neighborhoods and popular attractions. I can walk to the Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, or Magazine Street, or (before the storm) the St. Charles Ave Streetcar line. The French Quarter and the Superdome are each about 10 minutes away via bicycle.

The location also allows one to experience some of the.. um.. local color associated with my side of St Charles Ave. Some frequent visitors to my front stoop over the years have included prostitutes and panhandlers in various states of intoxication, transient laborers who live approximately 12 to an apartment in the building across the street, and the guy who used to try and sell us stuff he dug out of the dumpster. About a year and a half ago there was an unusual standoff between a SWAT team and a knife-wielding naked man on the roof next door. Did I mention also that one of the houses across the street from me is currently on the market for half a million dollars? New Orleans is a funny place. I am never leaving.

Over the life of the yellow blog.. I have also mentioned some of the quirks of my building and its crack management team. (Interpret the "crack" any way you see fit.) See here and here.. and well, you get the point. Since Katrina, I've learned to exercise a great deal more patience with my Slumlord.

The flood deprived New Orleans of virtually all of its public housing and a great majority of its rental housing.. where dwelled a large percentage of the city's considerable population of working poor (myself included). The resulting shortage has led to a dystopian housing scenario where masses of poor and underemployed citizens are shut out of the rental market as rents have skyrocketed to two and three times their pre-storm levels. Instead of working on a solution to the housing problem, local political leaders have spent most of the past fourteen months capitalizing on the short-sighted animosity of the remaining haves toward the now largely abandoned and still exiled have-nots. Most notably, Mayor Ray Nagin recently executed a wonderfully Machiavellian reelection campaign where he cultivated the votes of the conservative establishment by purposefully not developing a plan for low income housing while simultaneously garnering the absentee votes of flooded out citizens by playing to their fear that there was indeed no such plan. Sound weird? New Orleans is a funny place. And still, there is no plan to restore the city's decimated rental housing stock.

Throughout all of this, Slumlord (unlike many New Orleans landlords) has been comparatively reasonable about the rent.. and has not as yet sold the building for conversion to condos. For this he has earned my gratitude. Unfortunately he's quickly using up this capital. I'll explain.

One of the weird things about this building is that everything seems to fall apart at once. Two days ago, I noticed a leak in the elbow joint below the kitchen sink. At the same time, in the bathroom, a completely different leak developed in the supply hose which delivers water from the tap to the toilet. I placed buckets in the appropriate places and, yesterday, left a message with Mrs. Slumlord.

Yesterday afternoon, I noticed the plumbing mobile parked outside along with the building Lackey discussing matters with the plumbers. Turns out they weren't there to deal with my problem at all. They were there to deal with a problem another tenant was having which involved actual sewerage backing up in her bathtub. Although, this made my problems seem trivial by comparison, I nonetheless took it upon myself to mention them to Lackey who distractedly agreed to "take a look" at his nearest convenience.

Such convenience did not happen upon us today. When I got home from work, I emptied my catch buckets, cleaned up the floor of the bathroom where things seem to be backing up there now, and called Slumlord just to see where the situation stood.

Me: Hey. I talked to Mrs. Slumlord and Lackey about this yesterday, but I just wanted to let you know that we're still having some plumbing issues over here today.

Slumlord: What? Is there a water problem? We need to know that! That's costing us all kinds of money! You need to tell us about that!

Me: Um... I did tell you.. yesterday.

Slumlord: You need to tell us when this happens! This is costing us money!

Me: I understand that. I talked to Lackey yesterday and he said....

Slumlord: Lackey doesn't work for me anymore.... He does but he's part time... You're supposed to tell Lackey 2.0 about this! We need to know this! It's a lot of money!

Me: Well.. I wasn't told that... but anyway I did call as soon as..

Slumlord: Look, Lackey 2.0 will be there tomorrow.

Me: Okay. Thanks for all your help.

And so go many conversations I've had with the man over the years. He's a charming fellow. I can only imagine the nature of the subsequent conversation between him and Lackey 2.0 because not half an hour later, Lackey 2.0 showed up to investigate my plumbing issues. He claims to have now scheduled an appearance tomorrow with plumbers in tow to affect repairs. As luck would have it, I'll be at work tomorrow so I'll be in suspense most of the day as to whether or not my apartment will eventually fall in the path of a catastrophic man-made flood much more localized than the one we saw last year. Update to follow.. if I survive.

Note: I'm just noticing that each of the above indicated prior misadventures of apartment living also contain the only two references this blog has ever made to "Shut Up, Little Man". It is certainly no coincidence that life in this building would tend to conjure such imagery.

Let Them Ramble

Sic 'em

Seventeen clubs that sponsor New Orleans' signature second-line parades filed suit in federal court Thursday to force the city to abandon what they call excessive, selectively enforced police escort charges imposed after violence broke out at two of the street processions early this year.

The case, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of the clubs and several of their members, seeks to dismantle a parade permitting system it claims gives the police superintendent unconstitutional discretion to set the escort fees the clubs must pay as a condition of getting a parade permit.

We mentioned this problem a few weeks ago when linking to this Katy Reckdahl piece in Offbeat. We need to save our cultural institutions from the stormtroopers before New Orleans becomes as soulless as.. Cincinnati. Can't help but wonder if the coming crackdown on "public drunkeness" will be another excuse to go after second-liners.

Update: More on the "crackdown" from Ashley

Hey we're on TV

Y'all try and behave.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Who Dat

In three hundred years of existence as a political entity, Louisiana has yet to rise above its subservient colonial status. From its earliest days, the French, the Spanish, and the Americans have systematically expropriated the natural and cultural resources of the "gret stet" and left its toiling citizens with little in return other than the occasional put-down.. oh and a ruined coastline.. and a half-assed, federally designed flood control system.

One particularly grating example of insulting cultural expropriation by the ingratious Americans will be on evidence this Sunday at the Superdome where fans of the Cincinnati Bengals will inevitably bring their "Who Dey Think They Gonna Beat Them Bengals" cheer. "Who Dey" is wrong on so many levels from its borderline racist cultural insensitivity, to its ahistorical phoniness, to its absolute rhythm deafness, and finally its outright plagiarism.

The refrain "Who Dat Say Dey Gonna Beat Dem Saints" popular among Saints fans draws on a linguistic construction active in African-American speech for over a hundred years. The ties between this construction and New Orleans culture are unmistakable. It shows up in early Jazz, Vaudeville acts, and minstrel shows such as Paul Laurence Dunbar and Will Marian Cook's Who Dat Say Chicken in This Crowd.

Over the years "who dat" has shown up in various places. During the Second World War it made its way into popular usage via its appearance as a joke phrase among enlisted men (one example).

The chant "Who Dat Say Dey Gonna Beat.." is reported to have grown up in the 50s and 60s with the Southern University and New Orleans high school football teams before finally (inevitably?) being adopted by Saints fans in the late 70s.

Bengals fans began using their version shortly thereafter in the 1980s.. but obnoxiously claim not to be ripping it off. "Who Dey Think" is an obvious plagiarism because it has no observable basis in linguistic tradition. Even in colloquial language there are certain rules and standards applied to usage. While "who dat say" appears to permeate the culture associated with it, "who dey think" originates from an outside attempt to approximate that culture. In other words.. it's what happens when white people try to talk black... and yes that implies all sorts of racial insensitivity and condescension which I'll not go into other than to say Bengals fans are major douchebags.

"Who dey think" also makes much less sense as a cheer than "Who dat say" as the latter is an obvious response to a boast while the former clumsily presumes that someone might be thinking such a boast. "Who dey" is not only a culturally insensitive ripoff, it also lacks clarity. Plus it just sounds bad. Which one would you rather sing?

So go ahead, Bengals fans, invaders from the North. Rob us of our heritage. God knows we're used to it by now. Just don't expect to beat our football team this week. It's close to all we have left.

Ha ha

Douchebags, indeed.

Now we're taking requests

Because Daisy asked specifically for this. I'm linking to a yellow blog episode from the happier days of 2004... when no one really believed in floating balls of fire ants, when the St Charles Streetcar didn't just run on Canal St., when you could still buy homeowner's insurance, when Chocolate City was just a record by Parliament, when... well you get the idea. Back when life was this simple, we used to field odd inquires from the public... and we even wrote some of them down. Why did we do that?

Also... is Blogger really going to force me to start using their new version? They're getting pretty insistent and I don't wanna.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Save the Internet

If the Dems let COPE pass without serious pro-net neutrality revisions, they will have already failed.

Contact your congressperson. Look up his or her contact info on the Google. Usethe email. Save the internets.

Free Show

If you're uptown Saturday.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

"Instant Leatherface"

Taibbi's election night notes. No further comment from me.

Thanks, Who?

ESPN.com's Bomani Jones steals a little of my thunder this morning with the following.

Now that Reggie Bush has given a game away, will people admit that maybe he wasn't such a slam dunk top pick?

With the score tied at 24 with 7:03 left in the 3rd quarter at Heinz Field, Bush put the ball on the ground. The Steelers recovered and immediately scored the first of three unanswered touchdowns that clearly swung the game in their favor.

Sean Payton greeted Bush with a potty-mouth tirade as the rookie came to the sideline. It seemed a bit much considering that even Jim Brown might not have held on to the ball if a safety got a hat on it as he fell forward. But it wasn't too much, if in a moment of frustration, Payton was forced to confront a reality nine games in the making -- right now, Reggie Bush just isn't that good.

But I've been saying something much like this all season and I was all set to go into it again today until I noticed that Jones had done most of it for me. Jones mentions Rocket Ismail but I think Bush is most comparable to fellow USC alum Chad Morton. He'll make two or three big plays a year on special teams or on gadget plays like the reverse that got him the first rushing TD of his career.. nine games in, but don't expect him to become an every-down back. He couldn't even pull that off in college.

I might have trouble holding onto the ball too, if it was roughly twice my size.

As for the rest of the team, well, they continue to do two things very well: pass the ball and play no defense. The Saints have squeezed out six wins this season on guts and smarts. If they end up winning more than they lose, Drew Brees is your 2006 MVP.

Are we sure that shoulder wasn't healed by laying on of hands or something?

Were it not for Terrence Copper's fumble in the closing minutes, is there really any doubt that Brees would have found a way to get the tying touchdown? BTW, why is this Copper guy playing ahead of the speedy Devery Henderson, camp sensation Jamal Jones, and Everyone's Favorite Saint Michael Lewis? Fitch n Dar Dar asked the same question yesterday. I still haven't heard a decent answer.

Who let this guy in here anyway?

The defense plays hard but just isn't good enough. This coming offseason, the Saints will have to upgrade the linebackers and corners... and yes you have heard this before... many many times. It's still refreshing after the past few seasons to watch a team that doesn't quit. On each of Willie Parker's breakaway runs in the second half, someone made the effort to run him down from behind. I don't think we would have seen that last year.

It's like running against air... I mean.. linebackers rejected by Dallas

Hmm.. looks like Donte actually played yesterday. Still... had he been in a Saints uniform, he probably would have fumbled.

TD tally: Rookie of the year Colston 7 Stallworth 3

I said last week that running and stopping the run would become more important in the second half of the season. The Saints performed pretty badly at each of these in Game 9. This week brings another angry and talented AFC North team to the Superdome. The first Bengals fan to say "Who Dey" within earshot is getting reported to the usher.

Note: All photos shamelessly stolen from the NOLA.com Saints gallery.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Busy Day

Nothing to see here. Yes I know the Saints blew it. We plan to address that tonight at some point. For now, enjoy the pretty yellow.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Dollar Bill-ism is alive and well!

Adrastos lays out Jefferson's path to victory in this brilliant analysis. Without spoiling too much I'll just point out that it involves a lot of smearing and deal making based on both black and white racial issues. I was starting to think that Jefferson wouldn't be able to pull off the same kind of magic Nagin had going for him but after looking at this... I'm starting to believe. There are a lot of votes left on the table and Dollar Bill might be lining up the right allies to bring those votes home.

Oh now I am giving it away. Go read the post.

Save the Internet!

Contact your new Congressperson today! The following is the best explanation I've seen. Pass it around.

Duhbya-ism is alive and well

Contrary to popular assumption.

Bush's agenda for the lame duck session:

1) Try (again) to ram John Bolton through.

2) Wiretapping

3) New Sec of Defense nominee whose specialty happens to be making the intelligence fit the party line.

By 1991 the details of the scandal were all but forgotten, and Gates easily gained approval as Bush Senior’s CIA director. However, during the confirmation hearings several CIA employees with lengthy tenures at the agency came forward to testify against Gates, describing at length how Casey’s director of intelligence manipulated research so as to jibe with Reagan policy goals. "Gates knows how to develop his credentials and ingratiate himself," one colleague said of the nominee. He "ignored or scorned" views that didn’t conform to his own preconceptions Melvin Goodman, a senior official with a lengthy tenure noted. Gates’ role was "to corrupt the process and the ethics of intelligence."

It's a new era!

Drugs must be working

Rose is content enough to renew his Britney obsession. But, like the pill-popper he is, he refuses to fully accept responsibility for his decision which he shunts onto his "editors".

This is about how I feel

Tom Tomorrow:

It goes without saying that the Democrats will disappoint us, one way or another. And right now, I can live with that. Because the test results came back, and it’s not terminal. We got a little breathing room, and isn’t that all you can really ever hope for in life?

I will add, however, that I am pleased with the strategy of starting with a passable meat-and-potatoes issue like minimum wage. It's a good idea to start with something that a) needs to be done and, more importantly b) you can reasonably expect to accomplish. There will be plenty of time for subpoenas later.

Dems win helps LA with oil revenue bill

At least according to that "ultra-liberal" Times-Pic Editorial Page.

EDITORIAL: A hopeful sign
Friday, November 10, 2006

Louisiana is tantalizingly close to getting a long-delayed share of oil and gas revenues produced off our coast.

And Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid's support for a post-election push to settle the revenue-sharing matter is a good sign. Sen. Reid, who has made multiple trips to greater New Orleans post-Katrina, has been an ardent supporter of the region's recovery.

His words may carry a bit more weight today, though, since he will be the majority leader in the new Democrat-controlled Senate.

The House and Senate were unable to agree on a revenue-sharing strategy before the pre-election break. But substantial groundwork has been laid for Louisiana and other Gulf Coast states to get a share. Now that the election is over, the state's congressional delegation seems to be coming together behind the Senate measure.

That is smart. The Senate version has fewer sticking points, and time is tight. If Sen. Reid gets his wish, this could be the moment Louisiana gets its rightful share of the bounty produced off our coast.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Entercom Pulls Air America out of NOLA

Because we don't get quite enough of Dry-Drunk Garland, Dinner Theatre Spud, and Douchemaster Fitzmorris.

Sic 'em, Schroeder.

Gettin' Squeezed

Rent just went up at my apartment. Can't help but wonder if this is a reaction to the passage of the assessor amendment on Tuesday.

Stuff that happens while I'm out

Democrats take Senate

More Endzone celebrations ensue.

endzone link via Moldy City

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

And one to go

Montana has gone for Tester.

Get ready to dance

Shit, fan... I'll give you some time to get acquainted

Rumsfeld out

The voters have spoken again

That's right, readers. You've made it abundantly clear that you want more "douchebag". And with a new "centrist" Democratic congress coming in.. I'm sure we'll have ample opportunity to get full use out of that word. But why delay gratification? You asked for it. You got it!

Heh, one more thing

As Atrios points out, it was a full moon last night.

Bleary eyed random hazy thoughts

I got sorta drunk and sat up late refreshing election returns so.. who cares what or if I think at the moment.

  • Even in this day and age it takes a long time to move a bunch of lawyers out to Montana so it might be a while.. before anyone asks those five people what they wanted (ba da bum)

  • Naturally I'm expecting a lot of you to pile on the pessimistic prognosticator today. Knock yourselves out. I can take it.... especially if Webb and Tester squeak through.

  • Speaking of which, I should have known better in Missouri. McCaskill was a far superior campaigner every step of the way. (I'd also like to write a sentence that contains the words Talent, powerfully, and stupid. Consider it done.) But I was thrown off by the Michael J Fox thing. If I have one glaring weakness as an analyst it is that I always expect voters to be moved by the uglier sides of their nature. It's a flawed but not entirely unreliable approach.

  • It seems to be the correct approach to the Tennessee race where the deciding factor was likely the "call me, Harold" ad. I say likely because Ford, as a son of privilege who ooozed phoniness with his forced religious schtick was a weak weak candidate. I still can't get the image out of my mind of Ford crashing a Corker press conference and awkwardly asking "Can we talk about this Iraq thing?" Ugh!

  • I'm almost sad to be wrong about the Maryland race. I have this pet theory that the quirks of Louisiana politics are ahead of and not behind the national curve. In New Orleans we just went through a Mayoral election where much of the black vote went to the conservative candidate for racially based reasons. It would appear that Maryland is not quite ready for this yet... maybe after Baltimore is catastrophically flooded and people are desperate and fearful enough. Come on, global warming.. you can still make me right about this!

  • The voting problems everywhere are getting worse and are unacceptable. As a nation, we are losing our grip on the very nuts and bolts of the democratic process. Aside: I have an eyewitness who informs me that John Goodman was turned away at her polling place yesterday due to some sort of registration issue. This may not be such a bad thing.

  • The talking head last night were terrible. As the Democrats took seat after seat, the narrative became a louder and louder version of, "This means that the voters really wanted to vote Republican but..." Liberal media at work. I did enjoy Jon Stewart's take on the Democrat's strategy which he likened to "quietly backing out of the room while your brother gets yelled at for burning the house down."

  • Melancon voted for the torture bill. That's bad.... but I've got a good feeling about this guy for some reason. We'll see how he does in the majority party.

  • One tax assessor in New Orleans. Um.. woo hoo? I'm sorry, I'm from Louisiana. "Good government reform" makes me suspicious.

  • Dollar Bill vs. Karen Carter will be soooo mean and negative and slimy and... a thing of utter beauty really. I can hardly wait.

I might be really wrong!

Getting tired of staring at these results... getting more tired of listening to Matthews say stupid things so I'm going to bed. At the moment, the Dems need 3 races to go their way in order to take the Senate (provided Lieberman doesn't bolt altogether). It's looking good but still too early to tell in Montana. It's looking surprisingly good in Missouri. (Maybe MJ Fox wasn't faking after all.) And, while there may be a recount coming, Webb is claiming to have won Virginia. Too good to be true? Probably. If I'm Lieberman, I'm on the phone with the White House right now. What I am right now is tired. We'll see how this looks in the morning.

One thing we can say without a doubt at this point

Chris Matthews is an enormous moron.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Bob Corker wins in Tennessee

Time to go back to the Playboy party.

Ditka was a genius

He just knew Heath Shuler would win something some day

I might be wrong! #2

Most watchers are calling the House for the Democrats. None of the outstanding Senate races look good, however.

Already wondering about how Jefferson and Carter plan to go after all those votes left on the table. Conventional wisdom says that most of those were votes against Jefferson to begin with... but I think there are a lot of anti-Karen votes waiting to happen out there. Feels like a good old fashioned hate fest coming on.

Still not time to dance

The talk amongst the bobbleheads on MSNBC seems to lean toward "wait-and-see" right now. I still haven't seen anything happen tonight that can be classified as a surprise given what we knew as late as yesterday. According to Chuck Todd whose reasoning I tend to respect, KY 03 and FL 22 are key "bellweather" House races. The Dems have won the Kentucky race and are doing well in the Florida race so that may be an indicator. BUT a lot still has to happen before anyone pulls any cell phones from behind the goal post. The remaining Senate races are very close and I think the Democratic candidates are at a disadvantage in each of them. The House also is not there yet. The TV narrative about "tidal waves" is still premature.

LA races: Looks like we'll soon have one assesor in Orleans Parish. Melancon is looking good. Dollar Bill is running first.

I might be wrong! #1

NBC is calling Maryland for Ben Cardin. I'm still not so sure but..

Here's how close it is

Right now.. with 71% precincts reporting.. Webb leads Allen by ten votes.

Well I was right about one thing

They're calling Connecticut for Lieberman... not that that's any big surprise at this point.

Settling in

Got my dill-flavored Zapps and my Diet Sprite... okay my two bottles of wine and a six pack of Abita Fall Fest but you get the idea. So far nothing unexpected has happened. They've called the Ohio and Pennsylvania Senate races for them Democrats and.... Jesus Christ I hope you aren't watching this site for election returns! I'm obsesively refreshing Political Wire, CQ Politics, and the TPM scorecard.

Will check in later if something happens.


TDP notes trouble spots in Lafayette, in Shreveport.. plus intimidation in St Landry Parish.


Voter supression

Voting clusterfuck.

Random Diversion

I also hate those stupid robots

Your vote may have already been stolen

Palast explains how

Quote of the Day

Missouri poll worker: "We're fucked."


Allegations of voter intimidation there are serious enough to get the FBI's attention.

Heh... all of this crap may be backfiring on the GOP

More: It would appear that Allen's own staffers are lacking for confidence.

More racial stuff in Maryland

This flier being passed around titled Ehrlich-Steele Democrats features the photos of three prominent Democrats who have not endorsed either of the Republicans named in the title... but they are black so that makes perfect sense. The reverse side of the flier contains a list of election reccomendations.. all vitrually unopposed Democrats with the exception of Robert Ehrlich and Michael Steele who, of course, are Republicans in very tight races. This Maryland race is the most racially confused thing since the New Orleans mayoral election. And if we learned anything from that experience it is this stuff works.

And they're off

The voting machines, that is.

Question: How many recounts/disputes will we be watching for the next month?

More Predictions

Adrastos is calling for a 20-40 seat pick up in the House AND a 51-49 Dem advantage in the Senate. It must be his sunny disposition that makes that guy so optimistic. And I thought all comedians had a dark side.

Ha ha

TBogg's predictions are perfect.


That is... if you happen to live in one of the few districts or states in play this year. In case you need motivation I'm linking once more to Matt Taibbi's report on the Worst Congress Ever. Now go do something!

More: Ivins:
May I remind you what this election is about? Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, unprecedented presidential powers, unmatched incompetence, unparalleled corruption, unwarranted eavesdropping, Katrina, Enron, Halliburton, global warming, Cheney's secret energy task force, record oil company profits, $3 gasoline, FEMA, the Supreme Court, Diebold, Florida in 2000, Ohio in 2004, Terri Schiavo, stem cell research, golden parachutes, shrunken pensions, unavailable and expensive health care, habeas corpus, no weapons of mass destruction, sacrificed soldiers and Iraqi civilians, wasted billions, Taliban resurgence, expiration of the assault weapons ban, North Korea, Iran, intelligent design, swift boat hit squads, and on and on.

This election is about that, but much more -- it's about honor, dignity and comity in this country. It's about the Constitution, which gives us this great nation. Bush ran on a pledge of "restoring honor and integrity" to the White House. Instead, he brought us Tom DeLay, Roy Blunt, Katherine Harris, John Doolittle, Jerry Lewis, Richard Pombo, Mark Foley, Dennis Hastert, David Safavian, Jack Abramoff, Ralph Reed, Karl Rove and an illegal and immoral war in Iraq. People, it's up to you.

Again, please do something if you can.

Monday, November 06, 2006

That 95% reelect thing I was talking about

The Daily Show had a brilliant musical explanation in 2002 which they reran tonight.

All that plus twelve years of wacky gerrymandering by the party in power and... well... I'm not very enthusiastic.

Reggie Bush says, "Thanks, Houston!"

Just imagine the situation at this point in the season if Saints fourth string receiver and part time kick returner Reggie Bush had been drafted by the Houston Texans. Given Bush's underwhelming performance to this point, the weekly talk of the national sports world would be about the latest Heisman NFL bust. On the Texans, Bush would be the number one halfback on a cellar-dwelling Texans team. His 2.6 yards per carry and his tendency to hesitate in the hole or run backwards would elicit boos and catcalls from the Houston fans.. that is if his diminutive size and much heavier workload had not yielded a worse injury than the ankle sprain from which he currently suffers.

Quit dancing and get up the field, already!

Bush owes the Texans a debt of gratitude for allowing him to fall to the Saints where he fits in nicely as a decoy or safety valve receiver for one of the most efficient offenses on one of the most surprising teams in the NFL. The Saints are currently 7th in the league in total offense. They rank in the top ten in yards per game, 3rd down conversion percentage, and passing yards. They have also allowed the league's fewest sacks.

Those last two facts are particularly telling. The Saints are ranked third in total passing yards... only five teams have attempted more passes... but have allowed only eight sacks all season. That is a spectacular achievement.. especially for a team which began the season with an entirely new offensive line, quarterback, and a seventh round draft choice starting at wideout. Provided we expect his arm to remain attatched to his shoulder, is it too early to consider Drew Brees for MVP? For more on this topic, please see the following piece of inspired football analysis.

There he is. The world's greatest one-armed quarterback.

More Stuff:

  • In 2000, the Saints finished the first half of the season at 6-2. At that point, the team was already beginning to feel the bite of the injury bug but remained competitive nonetheless. First year coach Jim Haslett adressed this with the media saying the only player his team couldn't afford to lose was quarterback Jeff Blake. Blake promptly went down with a broken foot the next week. The Saints made the playoffs anyway and scored their first and only playoff victory with newcomer and soon-to-be literacy advocate Aaron Brooks at the helm... proving mostly that Jim Haslett was wrong about everything. Can't imagine Jamie Martin taking over for Brees with similar results. Let's hope we don't have to worry about it.

  • Are you starting to wish the Saints hadn't traded Michael Bennett so hastily? With Bush ineffective, and Deuce McAllister obviously playing hurt the Saints have no running game to speak of... and yes they will need one.

  • Hey, remember me? Didn't think so

  • Rookie of the Year of the Week: Seventh round draft choice, Zach Strief shut out the Bucs' all everything pass rusher, Simeon Rice yesterday. Strief and Marques Colston officially make this the greatest seventh round in history. BTW, TD tally: Colston 7 Stallworth 2

  • The Saints' seventh round monsters are seen here in action.

  • Jerk Alert: Everyone's favorite Saint Michael Lewis has made a successful comeback from knee surgery.. which is something at age 35. Lewis has already made a difference on kick returns and always looks like he's a step away from breaking one. Unfortunately due to an accident of nature which is no fault of Lewis's, the football is in fact slightly larger than he is. This means that he is prone to dropping every third punt or so. It's just something we've come to live with. Yesterday, Lewis did in fact drop a punt. Jerky coach Sean Payton responded by loudly accosting Lewis on the sideline and then benching him in favor of the largely ineffective Bush for the remainder of the game. Remember, according to the jerk coach theory of football, this episode likely bodes well for the Saints.

Pittsburgh, despite their poor record, will likely pose a stiff challenge for the Saints. It remains to be seen whether this team can consistently run and stop the run against an opponent who does both of those things well. This will become more and more important in the second half of the season.

Note: Game photos stolen as always from NOLA.com

Today's Election Fun Fact

Even if the Democrats achieve a 20-30 seat "tidal wave" tomorrow, that would mean about a 95% incumbent success rate.. in a supposed stupendous episode of American political upheaval. Ain't democracy grand?

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Hold the Yellow Blog Accountable

As we head into the final four days of election season, now is as good a time as any to recap the pending foolhardy predictions this site may soon be made to answer for. We provide this as a service to readers who we can hear sharpening their "I told you so"s at this very moment.

  • Michael Steele over Ben Cardin in Maryland

  • George Allen over Jim Webb in Virginia

  • Bob Corker over Harold Ford in Tennessee

  • House distribution: 219 Republican 216 Democrat

  • Senate distribution: 53 Republican 46 Democrat 1 Lieberman

  • Bill Jefferson will be reelected... and may escape indictment.

  • The Saints will win a maximum of five games in 2006

  • Chris Rose will leave Louisiana within the year claiming something along the lines of "It's the best thing for my family"

And that's all the stupid things I can remember saying at the moment. Have at it, kids.

Saturday Sports Quick Hits

Tigers will try once again today to beat a non-high school opponent.

Speaking of high school... I have issues with both of these schools.... but this is still nice to see.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Like I've been saying

Watch Maryland

Wanna know how bad the racial problem is getting in New Orleans?

Read some of the stuff that people are writing to WWL and try not to puke.

In trying to keep with my narrative that the blame for this lies mostly with the insensitivity of the city's institutions.. NOPD in particular... might I recommend the latest Offbeat for Katy Reckdahl's article on the antagonism displayed by the police toward local parading organizations.

A snippet:
The NOPD’s role in these parades needs clarification, says Louisiana State University anthropology professor Helen Regis, a member of the task force who has written about second-line culture. The sirens at the Family Ties parade were not an isolated incident, she says. “All second-line parades have at least one dirge to honor members of the club who have passed since they last paraded.” Often, when the parade slows, the NOPD escorts get impatient and switch on their sirens, ruining the dirge. “Why is it up to the police to determine the pace of these traditional, sacred events?” Regis asks.

There seems to be hostility toward the second-line tradition, she says. Regis says that it’s “not unusual” for squad cars at the tail end of the parade to hit pedestrians. Some cars, she says, drive up and push paraders with their bumpers; Regis herself has had her foot rolled over at a parade. “It’s difficult for me to understand as an observer if this is due to individual officers’ behavior or general police policy,” she says. NOPD’s Johnson says that he knows of no such contact and emphasizes that, in general, officers have respect for the clubs and any other group they escort.

In her academic work, Regis argues that each club, whether it be made up of 60-year-olds or 20-year-olds, is expressing what it means to be black in New Orleans today. “When the NOPD interferes in unnecessary ways,” she says, “they’re interfering with that expression.”

More reasons not to dance in the endzone


Read it all.

Quote of the Day


Not to rain on the parade but all the talk of dramatic Democratic gains in the House has a tendency to downplay a serious underlying structural problem. Even under the rosiest scenarios, the Democrats only pick up somewhere around 50 seats. Realistically, it looks like 25-35 pickups. The House was designed to be the national political institution most politically responsive to the people. I would venture to say that given the massive train wreck that the GOP has created in public affairs, the founders would be stunned to see so few seats change hands. If these are the kinds of political conditions it takes to move 50 House seats, then we're in trouble.

Hey, everybody! Free bike!

Rose leaves them unlocked in front of his house.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Getting weird in Maryland

The racial stuff combined with a looming voter supression SNAFU is going to muck up this Senate race big time.

The National Black Republican Association is running an ad that claims MLK was a Republican. Meanwhile, milquetoasty Democratic boob Ben Cardin had to fire a staffer for racially insensitive blogging.

Most polling still gives Cardin a slight edge. I think Michael Steele pulls off the upset of the season here.

Holy Crap

Is it that time of year already?

Speaking of Tennessee

Looks like Corker is running away with it.