Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I had a hunch this would happen

Perrilloux Cleared....Odom Charged in Nightclub Incident

From this it looks like his only transgression was being at the concert. I get the impression that some folks in BR have it out for the kid for some reason.

If my whole neighborhood goes condo...

..... does this mean I get to haunt it?

Haunted House Films Are Really About the Nightmares of Gentrification

This thriving subgenre depends upon the audience believing, on some level, that what "we" have was attained by violence, and the fear that it will be taken by violence. In the process, because mainstream audiences are seen as white, and because gentrification predominantly impacts communities of color, the racial Other becomes literally monstrous.

Eeek! Dragons!

Louisiana has a dragon problem!
WASHINGTON -- Sen. David Vitter, R-La., has agreed to pay a $25,000 fine for violating federal election laws during his campaign for the Senate in 2004.

The Federal Election Commission found that Vitter's campaign failed to adequately disclose that it was bankrolling hundreds of phone calls to voters in the weeks leading up to Election Day. He won in the primary over two Democrats with 51 percent of the vote.

Who will slay these dragons? They seem to be popping up everywhere.

Happy Halloween From Baliwood

Bewildered in Bucktown (With a few words about the New Orleans Saints)

My life is a mess. I will admit that readily. It's not like I've ever really had it together but certainly right now, it is a mess. We all have days... or perhaps a string of days when we have no idea where we will be, how we will get there, or what the hell we will do at wherever we are going... or why any of it goes on in the first place. Eddie Jordan understands this, I'm sure. But when it becomes clear that this adequately describes the majority of one's days for an extended period of time, one knows one's life is a mess.

If it weren't for the fact that I retain some confidence in my ability to recount and describe the events of my chaotic directionless days after they have happened, I'd have to diagnose myself with Alzheimer's disease. Unfortunately, since the days continue to progress with a fair amount of clarity, (at least the non-alcohol soaked days do) I can only reach the far less comforting conclusion that my life is simply a mess.

Artist's conceptualization of what it's like to be me

And so it was Sunday that I somehow.... messily.... ended up at the St Louis King of France school grounds for the Bucktown Seafood Festival. I don't know. It wasn't my idea. I don't know whose idea it was to be there. But there I was at an outdoor table with r, Menckles, Goldschmidt, and Shehateme, hunched over my breakfast onion mum as the live entertainment on stage doled out one heaping spoonful of classic rock karaoke after another. I think they played Freebird. The festival featured a modest selection of food, games and knickknacks the entertainment value of which we exhausted in the space of about an hour.

Luckily there was a comfortable enough bar within walking distance to which we could retreat in time to catch the Saints game. From that point on, the situation improved greatly although this improvement had little or nothing to do with any particular action of my choosing. First, the Saints clobbered the 49ers 31-10 as I steadily increased my intoxication to a point that matched my already generally confused nature. Later, that evening, I found myself back uptown dancing to a Neil Diamond song in a bar full of Red Sox fans. Again, I have no idea how or why I got there but there I was. Like I said, my life is a mess... but it ain't all that bad.

Messy observations on Sunday's Saints game:

  • So did Brees have a good day... or just another ho-hum day where the ball bounced a little more in his favor? The numbers (31 out of 39 for 336 yards and four touchdowns) are certainly his best of the season. But his passing remains woefully erratic at times. Despite the impressive stats, these two Brees moments from Sunday stand out.

    1. On the Saints' first offensive play of the game, Coach Soupy went for broke asking Brees to roll right and throw the ball for all he was worth to David Patten deep down the right sideline. Unfortunately, Brees wasn't worth all that much as the badly underthrown ball caused Patten to stop and wait. Patten had beaten the defender and could easily have scored on the play if the pass had been on time. As it was, the Saints were lucky this wasn't and interception.
    2. The much maligned Devery Henderson made a gorgeous catch while barely dragging his tip-toes in bounds near the right sideline setting up an eventual field goal after a subsequent drop in the end-zone by the much-heralded Marques Colston (more on this later). But Henderson's remarkable grab was only made necessary by Brees's horribly off-the-mark pass which nearly sailed out of reach. Devery, who was wide open on the play, would have had room to run with the ball had it been on target.

    Soupy's offense is at its best when Brees is making quick decisions and throwing short, accurate, passes. It can be efficient when it clicks but it is also one dimensional and therefore easily defensible. Since no competent defense has any reason to fear being beaten deep by Brees's arm and since the Saints have no real running game to speak of, as long as you manage to disrupt the short passing game, you've likely got the Saints beat.

    I think the bionic arm needs to be recalibrated

  • Because the Saints' lack the ability (or willingness) to out-muscle people at the line of scrimmage and because they can't threaten defenses with a deep passing game, in order to have any chance at success, Soupy relies on cute trickery to keep people off-balance. Occasionally this helps, but it's hardly a reliable source of consistent offense. It does provide some entertaining moments, though. Sunday, the Saints followed one trick play, a failed reverse to David Patten, with a second one, a flea flicker pass that Marques Colston dropped in the endzone. Neither play actually worked but the goofy trickery may have contributed to the pass-interference call that set the Saints up with a first and goal. And here we have the essence of the Saints' attack. They dance and fake and hope to distract their opponent into making mistakes or, failing that, advance the ball via penalty enforcement.

    In a sense, the Saints offense has taken on the personality of its number one douchebag flanker running back. Bush's numbers Sunday tell you everything you need to know about the Saints offense. 10 carries 64 yards. (Twenty of those yards came on one play and even that was merely a slightly longer version of his usual mad dash for the sideline.) The Saints only even attempted to move the ball via their top rusher 10 times during the game. And several of those running plays were characterized by more trickery and misdirection as one or another Saint faked an end-around in an increasingly pathetic ploy to distract opposing linebackers from an overly apologetic running attack. Tough defensive fronts (like Jacksonville's) will eat that shit for lunch. The over-reliance on cuteness is not only unsustainable over a 16 game schedule, it ultimately makes your offense look like, for lack of a better descriptor, a bunch of pussies. Right now the Saints are valiantly climbing back into the division race on the strength of their defense and overall scrappiness. But if they can't develop a power running game before the end of the season, they simply are not a playoff team.

    Building a running game around Reggie Bush is like trying to drive a railroad spike with a down pillow. It's all whooshy and feathery but never really gets the job done.

  • Good Marques Colston: Colston had his biggest day of the 2007 season catching 8 passes for 85 yards and three touchdowns. Saints fans have been expecting last year's big rookie surprise to take a leap toward superstardom this season. At times, though, he has seemed almost invisible. Perhaps this performance will be something to build on.

    Bad Marques Colston: On the other hand, Colston's rising star has not quite arrived yet. Both of his drops in the endzone were tough plays but still the kind of catches you expect your number one guy to make.

    The best thing that's happened for the Saints' offense has been the emergence of the veteran David Patten. Patten again led the team with 109 receiving yards Sunday. The next best thing that could happen for the Saints offense would be more carries for Pierre Thomas, but Soupy is still too busy trying to be cute.

    Believe it or not, this is actually a picture of Colston dropping a pass. Obviously, he should have had this one.

  • The Saints' defense put together yet another impressive game shutting the 49ers out for the entire first half and holding a 6th consecutive opponent to under 100 yards rushing. Let's leave the fact that Niners running back Frank Gore was playing hurt aside and just give the Saints credit for maintaining this streak.

    The defense was refreshingly unharmed by the return of Jason David, the Saints' marquee free agent acquisition this season, who did not give up any stupid big plays. Let's leave the fact that Niners quarterback Alex Smith was playing hurt aside and just give David credit for having the balls to show his face again.

    The most encouraging development for the Saints defense this year has been the return of safety Roman Harper from last year's knee injury. Harper hasn't yet become a major playmaker but he has contributed to the Saints defensive improvement as a solid tackler in run support and is a disruption to opposing passers as a blitzer. Sunday Harper showed signs of improvement in pass coverage as well frequently breaking up passes or delivering intimidating hits to opposing receivers. The Saints D is still one or two quality linebackers away from actually being halfway decent. But let's leave that aside too... for this week anyway.

    Fujita gathers in a rare turnover for the Saints defense. Note the look of utter shock on his face

  • Does the kicker suck? We still don't know. Mare made five kicks from extra-point range in San Francisco, one of which counted for three points because Marques Colston had dropped what should have been a touchdown pass on second and goal from the nine.

  • Finally a note on wardrobe. While the Saints took the field in proper uniform for the third consecutive outing, 49ers coach Mike Nolan continues to defy current NFL coaching convention by wearing a coat and tie to the sideline of a football game. Nolan would say that he is bringing back a lost dignity to the coaching position and setting a professional tone for his charges on Sunday. But Nolan, like most football coaches, is an authoritarian prick who prefers hollow symbols of "professional" convention to making an attempt at the actual respect of those in one's employ necessary to bring about a truly professional and productive workplace.

    Immature poses like this are little more than public relations gambits whereby coaches campaign to be perceived as more important than they actually are... often to the detriment of their actual purpose which is designing the team's game plan. Being a football coach requires strong organizational skills and some ability to think strategically.... about the same skill set necessary to manage the night shift at Chilli's. But, since NFL coaches are public figures who don't enjoy the greatest job security, they are a paranoid lot by nature. This leads the more nervous among them to invent all sorts of idiotic external job functions for themselves having mostly to do with the motivation of... or in reality... inane condescension to... highly specialized and skilled adult professional athletes.

    In pursuit of such inane condescension, some coaches will berate their players in public, some will impose unnecessary dress codes and curfews on their team, some will throw unbecoming temper tantrums to the media, some will stage absurd pageants where they bury a box of statues near the team's practice field. And some, like Mike Nolan, will wear a superfluous strand of cloth around his neck and bask in the gravitas he imagines it bestows upon him as he stands around for three hours while men wearing plastic helmets collide with one another uncomfortably. Nolan's decision to make a prickish fashion statement this season has inspired his team to post a professional and dignified 2-5 record thus far including a 31-10 embarrassment at the hands of a mediocre (although properly panted) Saints team.

As for the Saints and their wardrobe issues, consider this. In games where the Saints play in their standard home or away uniform they are 3-1. In games where they wear black aerobics tights they are 0-3. I'm not saying that this is an infallible indicator, but if the Saints come out on the field this week with a chance to fight their way back to .500 dressed as a ballet troupe again, spirits will not be at their highest. On the other hand, the fact that the Saints are in position to climb out of their 0-4 hole is reason enough to keep those spirits from sinking too low. Or, at the very least, it is another fact to throw on the pile of gathering evidence that life is indeed an unfathomable mess.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Nagin's budget proposal includes... surprise!... a property tax millage "roll forward"

Nagin told the city's Revenue Estimating Conference that he wants to retain two of the mills the city otherwise would give up when it "rolls back" its 2008 millage rate about 27 percent below this year's rate because of the recent sharp increase in assessments.

Because of a citywide reassessment, the city, by law, must roll back its millage to the point where it would produce no more revenue next year than the higher millage did this year. But the City Council then can vote to roll forward, or increase, the millage enough to recapture some or all of the revenue lost because of the rollback.

Saying it is important not to give residents any additional financial burdens at a time when many are still rebuilding and others are deciding whether to return to the city, the council has repeatedly declared its intention not to roll forward millage rates at all, "wherever it is legally permissible to do so without impairing public health and safety and the effective provision of vital city services."

Nagin said he was not sure how the council will react to his proposal to raise the millage by two mills. He said the money from the extra millage would be used for specific projects, but he refused to identify them.

Careful what you ask for

Eddie Jordan may take that deal many folks on talk radio and in the local blogosphere have been offering him. He may step down if the city pays the $3.7 million. I never thought this would actually happen so I haven't given much thought to the consequences. But now I'm wondering... do we really want this to happen? How will this bailout be funded? Does Ed Blakely have to hock a few imaginary cranes?

Update: Jordan will resign tomorrow. No word on how the judgment gets paid.

Could the city shirk on paying this indefinitely... like they have done with the firefighters?

Further update: WWL radio idiot caller just now, "Edwin Edwards is behind this"

X-Treme Marketing

This Blaguer post is exactly right. It turns out Jindal now says he actually was campaigning against the word "corruption" not necessarily any actual corruption itself. In other words he's just here to slay those imaginary dragons the T-P keeps telling us about. I suppose if we're going to see the 2007 Governor's race as a marketing campaign, we may as well call it "X-Treme" marketing since I'm sure Clancy Dubos would approve of that appeal to Jindal's Gen-X demo.

Meanwhile: Jindal appoints a major campaign donor as an "ethics" adviser. (item 7 on Oyster's list)

This is where I should say "I hate to say I told you so" but I don't really hate that so much.

Monday, October 29, 2007


I may have to try and make this one.

Football stuff coming later. Tonight probably... if I don't end up going to play trivia that is. Anyone who has tried to use the internet at the library lately can understand the delay.

First, we should certainly make mention

Yesterday was a nice one sportswise. Some hours after watching the properly panted Saints climb to within one game of .500 (and improbably, first place) I found myself at 45 Tchoup yelling into a cell phone to Rudolph after her Red Sox had just finished off team GSUS to win their second World Series title in three years. I'm sure she was pleased but I couldn't hear a word she said since the whole bar was jumping up and down and, of course, singing along to this catchy tune.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Who knew?

Tulane's Matt Forte leads the nation in rushing

Here's my proposal

Close it.

It's obsolete anyway.

It won't happen like this

It sounds possible but I question the sources because:

1) Nagin proposes crazy shit all the time that never actually happens.

2) Foti is just looking for a new job.

Related: Adrastos is starting to feel the backlash coming on. If I read him right I'd guess he's saying Jordan is nowhere near dead politically. I certainly agree with that.

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Secret of Life

In the Eighth Grade you figure someday you'll be dealing with adults and that that will be different somehow. Later you learn... no not really. The secret is... this is a thoroughly liberating fact once you learn to just accept it.

Update: Ha! Greg Peters has found footage of the after-party.

I almost didn't read this one

Because I thought it couldn't possibly be what it appeared to be. Turns out it was exactly that.


Down 0-2, I might add.

Stuff to Do

  • This year Halloween falls on a Wednesday. While this may be something of a downer where you happen to live, in New Orleans it turns the event into a five day weekend of sorts with parties and parades and various goings on beginning tonight. There's really too much to list here but you'll find it all on NOLA.com where the many many events are compiled here here and here.

    And no I don't have a costume... although I hear Bobby Jindal is going as a Dragon Slayer.

  • Halloween weekend also means VoodoFest. Oh I'm sorry, it's now the Voodoo Music Experience. What started out as a lame alt-rock beer bust for suburban high school kids has matured into something fairly interesting in recent years.... even if it is forty freaking bucks just to get in. NOLA.com has the details again.

Other than that (and there is a lot there) I'm not sure. I've gotten so bad at planning lately that I can't tell you what I'll be doing five minutes from now much less what I've got going for the weekend. Feel free to add stuff I may have missed.

Okay chill out, people

What Bush is saying to the people of "Cahleefornya" here is that when there's a fire, it "makes a significant difference" when your Governor is Mr. Freeze.

He has superpowers your pitiful Meemaw is no match for.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

More fun with finance

Ed Blakely is diverting $50 Million of the $300 Million in State issued bonds dedicated to infrastructure repair in order to purchase the land necessary for the new VA hospital. The buildings and land that house the old VA facility will then be turned over to the city as part of the deal.

This may or may not be a wise use of these funds. I'm certainly not criticizing the hospital project itself. But it seems here that Blakely is stretching his meager funding sources awfully thin. (Remember this is nowhere near the cash necessary to fund Blakely's grand 1.1 Billion dollar recovery vision wherever the hell that may be by this point.) It's also a bit risky since the money that goes toward repairing streets and buildings will (theoretically... eventually) qualify for FEMA reimbursement while the money spent on the new VA land obviously will not. But Blakely has a plan for recovering that $50 Million.

Blakely said the city will not lose money since the property it acquires, including the flooded VA hospital on Perdido Street and a nearby facility that did not flood, will be sold or leased. The sale or rental revenue will go back into the $50 million pool for city infrastructure needs, he said.

"They are giving us an old facility that did flood and a research facility that did not flood," Blakely said. He said the city has held preliminary talks with a possible occupant or buyer.

"The lease service will equal the cash flow we are taking out of the site," Blakely said.

Somehow that doesn't seem particularly likely to me. Maybe I'm picking nits here but despite Blakely's "preliminary talks" with an occupant, does that property strike anyone as being capable of generating 50 million dollars in any kind of short order? Maybe if it were converted into one big super condo-coffee-sushi-spa-gelateria complex they'd be on to something... but then they'd have to move it all over to Magazine Street and I doubt FEMA reimburses for that either.

Update: Mominem has something interesting in the comments:
If you look at the currently proposed site plan for the VA you will see it includes a portion called "City Hall Annex Redevelopment Site", which does not appear to be part of the VA. That site was sold in October 2006 to a partnership that includes Cesar Burgos, the president of the Regional Transit Authority board, according to the TP.

Fun with finance, indeed... although I'm not really sure what this could mean either.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Heat turning up?

Yeah I know. Interesting things floating about town today. But I don't know anything these folks can't already tell you so I'm just watching right now.

Now would be a good time to start re-reading those AZ and Moldy City back files though.

Update: I might remind the giddy kids, however, of the following,
  1. The current US Dept of Justice is not exactly the White Knight these days. (Never has been, really... despite what the T-P might tell you about Dragons)

  2. This ain't exactly our first rodeo.

    And we're all so much better off since the previous ones, aren't we?

When it happens to you

Remember that theory about how the Americans would be more sympathetic with the victims of the Federal Flood when a major disaster happens to strike one of their cities?

Yeah, well, not so much really. Instead they're callously using another horrible loss of life and property as a jumping off point to further bash the hell out of us.

Makes you proud.

Update: More articulate version of this from Kirsten here.

Dismantling the Dragon Buffet

Ray Nagin Septemtber 29, 2007:
"It is a smorgasbord in New Orleans! It is a buffet, an economic buffet! All you can eat!" he told the crowd. "If you have a lawnmower and an edger, you can make money in New Orleans."

T-P Cartoonist Steve Kelley in a 2002 interview with Chris Rose on Nagin:
"I admire the mayor, but he’s ruining things for me. Corruption may be corrosive for government and society, but for me, it’s job security. No sooner do I pick up my plate than I realize Nagin is dismantling the buffet."

Funny how "reformers" like Nagin always manage to reset the buffet table.

This week Kelley published an equally naive and sycophantic cartoon depicting Bobby Jindal "Slaying the Dragon" of corruption. I continue my quest for T-P editions following the elections of Buddy Roemer in 1987 and (at David's suggestion) Ray Nagin in 2002 for similar cartoons. I am almost certain a Roemer Dragon Slayer cartoon exists somewhere.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Disaster-off '07

If Rush Limbaugh and Brian Williams want to make the horrific tragedy in San Diego into some kind of sick disaster competition then fine. They win. The pundits can declare San Diego the "winner". As a prize, the people of New Orleans will send them Ed Blakely for free.

To all followers of local politics who think they have seen some interesting shit lately

You ain't seen nothing yet. Just wait until the next DA's election.

Official timeline finally released

For returning streetcar service to St Charles Avenue, that is. And only a full year behind schedule. Also there's this.
Pre-Katrina, the line popular with Uptown residents and tourists operated 24 hours a day, she said. Its post-Katrina hours will be 5:27 a.m. until 11:55 p.m.

Why is that, exactly? Oh yeah, we really aren't trying to run an actual city with a functioning transit system anymore but are happy to have our museum pieces available for the amusement of the tourists.

Of course, in order to run a functioning city you'd have to rehire more of that civilian labor force you laid off to cope with the "emergency" two years ago. But we all know that money is much better spent on highly paid consultants, right?

Depressing link of the day

Recovery awesomeness

Eye on the ball

For the record, I don't care for Derrick Shepherd because he is a conservative panderer and useless legislator with an unseemly obsession over baggy pants. The fact that he is also a criminal, while not particularly surprising, is really beside the point.

But removing Shepherd from office via federal investigation rather than electoral action will not result in more progressive representation for that district. This is the folly of focusing on "corruption" instead of issues in politics. Politics is about advancing one or another policy agenda through the authority of an electoral mandate. It's kind of the point of democratic government. So while it's nice to know that a criminal could be brought to justice, it's still an external issue to actual governance.

Time and again, self-styled "reformers" conflate removing corruption with political action. Removing corruption is laudable but if it is the sole basis of a candidate's platform, it tends to serve as a distraction from the interests such a candidate might actually represent once he/she takes power.

For example, newly knighted Dragon Slayer Bobby Jindal ran a campaign based on the premise that Louisiana's main obstacle is not health care, not flood protection, not jobs, but "corruption." In his acceptance speech, Jindal promised his first act as Governor will be to convene a special legislative session in order to pass a nebulous "ethics reform package" whatever that could mean.

Meanwhile, Jindal named some of the wonderful people who will join him at the Round Table at the dawn of the new age. Here are some of your new administrators:

Wow what an awesome team of "reformers"! But as long as these guys keep the dragons away, everything will be smooth as... peanut butter, right?

Update: Today's T-P cartoon (not yet online)at least demonstrates that paper's ownership of their own party line fantasy.

Upperdate: Cartoon is online now and it is, yup, Jindal "Slaying the Dragon"

If anyone has access to T-P archives from 1987 I'm dying to know if a similarly themed cartoon ran after Roemer's election. I'd be willing to lay money on it.

Monday, October 22, 2007

It's Peanut Butter Dirty Bird!

Times are tough. Mom was in surgery twice this week. Menckles has a bum knee. Half the city is once again underwater due to today's heavy rains. I had to go help my brother push his flooded car off of Willow street to higher ground this afternoon. PBJ is going to be Governor of the Gret Stet for the next four years. Jindal's predecessor on the Dragon Slayer Squad, Buddy Roemer might suggest that we "cancel" all that negativity by snapping a few rubber bands. Most of us prefer to chase the blues away by taking in a little Saints football. While the 2007 Saints haven't always provided the most uplifting experience, they never fail to entertain. And besides, what better way to exorcise demons... so to speak... than to vicariously take out your frustrations on the Atlanta Falcons.

Saints-Falcons notes (Photos stolen from T-P again. BTW... why do the T-P photos suck this week? It's the freaking Falcons game. You'd think they'd have sent an extra cameraman or two)

  • There is no way around this. Drew Brees is playing terrible football this season. He's had some streaks, like the first half of the Seattle game, where he has flashed the accuracy and quick decision making that earned him a pro-bowl berth last season. But more often than not this year, we're asking ourselves, "What was he doing there?" after more and more third down passes end up behind or high and out of reach of open receivers. The Falcons controlled the ball for most of the game because Brees repeatedly failed to make plays on third down. On the Saints first possession of the game, Brees took far too long to recognize a wide open Marques Colston streaking across the middle. By the time the ball finally arrived, the Atlanta defenders had recovered. On a 4th and 2 near the end of the first half, Brees badly underthrew another open receiver resulting in a Falcons interception. Plays like this had more than a few folks in Section 617 hauling out Aaron Brooks comparisons. The Saints relied on a couple of big plays to beat the Falcons yesterday, but the offense in general continues to sputter badly. Some of this has to do with the play calling. Some of it has to do with the fact that they continue to experiment with playing a marginal slot receiver at running back. But much of it has to do with the fact that Drew Brees is still playing terrible football. And it's getting too late into the season to simply call it a "slump".

    Drew, Colston is the tall one. Remember?

  • Good Devery Henderson: Devery caught a 37 yard touchdown pass on the Saints second possession of the game. This is the kind of big play, the Saints need from their fastest player if they expect to keep opposing defenses honest.

    Okay Devery Henderson: Devery was not heard from for the rest of the game which supports the theory previously advanced on the Yellow Blog that he shouldn't be relied on as a first or second receiver since throwing too many balls in his direction inevitably results in bad things happening. As long as he turns in that one big play per game, it's fine.

    Nice catch, son. Take the rest of the afternoon off. No really, go sit down.

  • One reason the Saints offense is so inconsistent is Coach Soupy's refusal to commit to a running game. There's nothing wrong with passing on first down maybe 40 percent of the time, but too often the Saints seem to give up a possession by going to the air too quickly or, worse, lining up in the shotgun in short yardage situations. It's a hell of a position to put your struggling quarterback in. And while it's understandable that the coaches might not have much confidence in a running game that features Reggie Bush diving to the sideline for 2 yards per carry, it seems, to some fans at least, that there are other options available.

    Not Reggie breaks off a 24 yard touchdown run in the third quarter. More of this, please.

  • Saints fans booed the hell out of two of the franchise's all-time most popular players on Sunday. Even I, a person who generally approves of booing all sorts of stuff, thought that was a little unnecessary.

  • Who would have thought that the Saints would be winning games with their defense this season? It seems strange but it is true. The Saints D wasn't perfect yesterday, but it's hard to be perfect when your offense can't stay on the field. Saints defenders answered the bell again and again limiting the Falcons to only one touchdown despite multiple opportunities. The most pleasant surprise in recent weeks has been the physical play of the defense against the run. Hollis Thomas and Charles Grant in particular seemed to own the line of scrimmage yesterday as the Saints held their opponents to under 100 yards rushing for the fifth consecutive game (see the "Odds and Ends" segment) something no Saints defense has accomplished since 1992.

    That over-achieving defense is finally back. They'll need to over-over-achieve if they want to keep picking up the slack for that crappy Saints offense.

  • Major Turning Point One: In the second quarter, the Falcons attempted to seize momentum by following up a Morten Andersen field goal with a surprise onside kick. The gamble appeared to pay off when Atlanta recovered the ball. But the Saints responded with a gamble of their own, turning loose their safeties on consecutive blitzes, stuffing the Falcons and forcing a punt after allowing only one first down. Granted, Atlanta did manage to take the lead before the half anyway, but a quick score after the onside kick could have allowed things to really snowball in their favor.

  • Good Superdome Staff: NFL rules stupidly and hypocritically prohibit the sale of alcoholic beverages during the fourth quarter of their heavily beer-sponsored events. Late in the Saints-Falcons game Sunday there was still plenty of beer available from stadium vendors. Good for them!

    Bad Superdome Staff: Those beers for sale were still seven bucks a pop, unfortunately. Also, the concession stands on our level ran out of hot dogs by halftime. How does that happen?

    Okay Superdome Staff: Turns out the red beans aren't so bad, though.

  • Major Turning Point Two: With a little over nine minutes remaining in the game, and with the Saints on the verge of another pitiful "three and out" posession, Marques Colston took in a short third down pass, broke a tackle, and rambled 33 yards into Atlanta territory setting up the eventual go-ahead touchdown. Colston had been a disappointing non-factor in the Saints offense lately. They'll desperately need more big plays like this from him... provided Brees can find him.

    There he is! He's the tall one

  • Following that go-ahead touchdown, the Saints decided to go for two. The successful try still left the Falcons within a touchdown of retaking the lead. Does anyone have a clue what the Saints were trying to accomplish there?

  • Does the kicker suck? Who knows? Who cares? For the second consecutive week, the Saints did not attempt a field goal. For the second consecutive week, they won the game. Coincidence? Perhaps... but no more so than the continued happy trend in wardrobe.

    So, Joe... how 'bout dem pants! Nice, eh?

Ugly win? Sure but whatever the circumstances, and whoever the Governor is it's always nice to beat the Falcons. It's a bit more difficult, however, to decide which of these dances is more annoying.

I have some ideas about what the PBJ administration might look like

But it's difficult enough to push one post through this morning since it seems that our internets get really slow when they get wet. Plus Greg Peters has it all figured out already saying more or less what I think here and here. I'll have more later when the internets are working better... but probably after the sports.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


  1. Incumbent Att General Charles Foti failed to make the runoff. Believe me, he certainly earned that.

  2. John Geroges narrowly edged Jindal in a badly fractured Orleans Parish vote. New Orleans was a non-factor is a race that was largely about how much the rest of the state hates New Orleans. More on that later.

  3. 50 votes separated Jalila Jefferson from David Williams putting her into the runoff for the 5th District Seanate seat. That's tight.

  4. 310 votes separated sports talk radio dork Kaare Johnson from Tommie Vassel. In fact 4,569 souls cast a vote for Johnson to be their City Council Person. Wow.

  5. Meanwhile 2,622 souls cast their votes for Kimberly Butler. In the 2006 Mayor's race, Butler received 793 votes for Mayor of Disneyland and was the overwhelming winner in that year's Chocolate City Awards.

  6. 512 souls cast their At-Large vote for Mama D. That is just Dynamite!

  7. Bobby Jinal received 699,672 votes for Governor. Mitch Landrieu received 701,777 votes for Lt. Governor. This is Ashley's favorite stat.

There will be time to play with these trifles later. But today is Saints-Falcons and I'm going over to the Dome to get my badly needed Bloody Mary.

Fire. Les. Miles.

That would have been an exciting game if LSU were the underdog. As it is, they should be ashamed of themselves for having to fuck around with those people all night. What a waste.

Bite me, Clancy Dubos

Hope you're happy.

Hope Louisiana enjoys four years of privatized education, "intelligent design", more expensive medical care, and zero action on flood protection or coastal loss.

The good news is it will only be four years. The bad news is it's four years we can't afford.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Obama Sux


Obama to do gospel tour with radical right singer who crusades against "the curse of homosexuality"


Hillary Sux

The defense industry this year abandoned its decade-long commitment to the Republican Party, funneling the lion share of its contributions to Democratic presidential candidates, especially to Hillary Clinton who far out-paced all her competitors.


Update: More here via Jonathan Schwarz who asks,
I can't believe we're going to have to live through eight years of the Clinton Restoration. Will it be three times as squalid as the first time around, or merely just as squalid?

Election Day Quiz

Which of the following wildly unpopular candidates for office did jeffrey actually vote for today?

  • Malcolm Suber

  • Charles Foti

  • Bob Odom

Friday, October 19, 2007

Stuff To Do

Due to a tactical error I made yesterday in accepting a dinner date from r, I am poised to miss some of the highlights of this weekend:

  • First thing I'm going to miss is the election results broadcasts featuring all of my favorite teevee clowns blabbering smugly about Bobby Jindal's Gen-X Geek Appeal or whatever.

  • I will also miss the further development of the Fire Les Miles Movement sure to come after the Tigers lose to Auburn on Saturday night.

  • Worse yet, I may have to skip the much anticipated Saints-Falcons tilt in the Superdome on Sunday due to the Menckles's differently-abledness.

  • More football: Tonight at Tad Gormley, Dalton Hilliard and Pat Swilling take on hated Jesuit in a local high school rivalry of some interest.

  • Let's see what else... Guy's Po boys is back, it's still Oktoberfest, the haunted houses are still open, Jindal is Bad.. you know the drill.

Last call for Goober-yuks

  • All of the heavy lifting is being done at CenLaMar where this morning we find 37 reasons to vote against Jindal all of which can be condensed into: He is a turd sandwich and a half.

  • Pistolette, meanwhile, provides us with the well-reasoned recommendation to not vote for either of the giant douches (Boasso and Georges).

  • Ashley has some final thoughts and continues his crusade against Virginia Boulet (which we wholeheartedly smile upon)

  • Oyster has a post full of fun links regarding Jindal's relationship to the right wing super-weirdo Council for National Policy. This is yet another example of an obvious Jindal vulnerability that could have been exploited by a competent opponent... assuming the Gambit and T-P would allow it.

    Update: Oyster lists his endorsements here.

  • Morwen is voting for Campbell... but we knew that already... she's been saying so for months now.

  • Ray is voting for Boulet... I think because her "brother" made him a sandwich at a Gumbo party or something like that.

  • "Miss May" has also made a few recommendations (which did not make the paper for some reason)

  • David is still predicting a runoff. I think he means that it's Georges vs Jindal. Georges has been picking up steam in New Orleans lately. However, I maintain that the fact that a conservative millionaire vanity candidate like Georges is swallowing up what remains of the organized New Orleans black vote is just further evidence that the New Orleans vote is effectively isolated and irrelevant to this campaign.

  • Adrastos seems the most exasperated by the lameitude of this campaign writing
    The best thing about this particular campaign is that it's nearly over. The ABJ (anybody but Jindal) candidates with the resources didn't have a message and the candidate with a message, albeit a limited one, didn't have the money to stop the Jindal juggernaut. It's time to put both the campaign and myself to sleep.

    Update: Adrastos makes his recommendations here.

  • Update: Schroeder is voting for Boasso. HIs argument seems to be that the St Bernard candidate is most likely to make flood protection a priority. I'm not convinced it's that simple. I also disagree with Schroeder's argument that Campbell's oil tax would somehow drive oil production out of Louisiana. They can't take the oil with them, can they?

  • More: I seem to have left Maitri out of this somehow. She's behind a couple of candidates I just can't support (Vassel and Boasso) but then again, I'm not supporting anyone. Oh except Stephen Colbert who is also on Maitri's list.

  • And still more: Editor B presents us with an admirably iconoclastic... if somewhat impractical creed
    My voting philosophy is pretty simple. Here are my general rules:

    1. Vote against the incumbent, if there is one.
    2. Don’t vote for a candidate of either of the two major entrenched parties.
    Which leads him to some surprising choices.

  • Still more: The We Could Be Famous list provides us with the astute observation,
    I don't think there's been a governor's race in the history of the country with a slate of candidates less qualified to stage a nice looking photo op.

It has been a disappointing season with more tedium than drama and next to no discussion of the future of the state or the fitness of the candidates to grapple with the coming challenges. How is it even possible that a campaign for governor of a flood ravaged state results in the first ballot election of a former associate of the firm that taught insurance companies how to lie to people?

The real culprits here, of course, are Jindal's friends in the Louisiana media, particularly at the Gambit and T-P, who have propped him up as their latest Dragon Slayer come to rescue us from the ever-present grip of "old political corruption". I intend to say more about the irresponsible idiocy of these publications and their predictable enthusiasm for cyclical Louisiana "reform" movements after the election.

But for now it's time to turn up your radios and feel the magic of those last-minute advertisements as the 2007 buffoon show moves into its final act.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The other Ed Blakely

We Could Be Famous has an essential post up about RSD Superintendent and self-described "demolition expert" Paul Vallas. Here's a key quote.

The lesson he learned is that he needs to leave sooner, before his budget fantasies turn into budget realities. He hasn't learned that he needs to be a more realistic and responsible steward of a budget.

The Baton Rouge people got their pants charmed off and won't provide the guidance and oversight to force Vallas be a responsible CEO.

"The first two years you literally get to do just about anything you want."

They will, however, happily stonewall the city of New Orleans three years from now when we have a multi-million dollar school budget shortfall and look to the state capital for a bailout. Baton Rouge might hate New Orleans more than Harrisburg hates Philadelphia. Vallas won't have to worry though, because he'll be on a plane to another city giving interviews for puff pieces in that town's local papers, Time magazine, and the New York Times. Vallas won't have to worry about "all those people walking around pissed off because he's getting the credit," he'll be long-gone. "Three years tops."

e, in perhaps a more hopeful tone than I generally use, expresses some of the concerns I've had about Vallas since his arrival but have neglected to address here probably because Blakely is funnier. The public schools in New Orleans, now the subject of a bizarre charter school privatization scheme and administered via an impenetrable bureaucratic multi-verse, are in even worse shape today than they have been in recent memory. The fact that resume-building "demolition experts" like Vallas and Blakely always seem to show up during such times is hardly a cause for comfort.

The Price of Victory

Fans of the New Orleans Saints are learning all too well this season just how difficult it can be to win professional football games. Nothing, not the consensus of the national press, not your hokey "sorority girl"-esque stunts, nor any amount of Fre Flo Do can exempt you from the fact that athletic competition is a grueling and largely unpredictable affair wherein every moment is pregnant with the possibility of unthinkable disaster.

One example of the capricious hazards of sport with which Saints fans are familiar unfolds this way. A competitor tracks the path of a ball in play. It is sailing a bit high but not necessarily out of range. It may be just as well to let this one go and prepare for the next play but the athlete, being lost in the moment of competition, makes a move on it anyway. But this act of laying one's body out awkwardly for the sake of the play, leaves the athlete out of position to recover proper balance before the ground grabs at a cleat and a knee buckles under too much force applied in the wrong direction. And, in an instant, a minor moment in the game becomes the beginning of an extended period of recovery for a wounded warrior.

While Saints fans will recognize the above sequence as descriptive of the event that deprived their team of running back Deuce McAllister for the remainder of 2007, it is in fact an account of an injury sustained by Menckles during a highly spirited Hooverball match this past Sunday in Maryland. (Hooverwhat, you ask?) While Menckles managed to walk off of the court under (mostly) her own power, the knee is still swollen and she is generally moving around on crutches. The doctor suspects she may have torn some cartilage but can't be certain without an MRI which... of course... insurance doesn't cover. (Meanwhile, leading Republican Presidential candidates argue that Americans currently receive too much health care) For the time being, she is listed as day-to-day but could be questionable for this Sunday's trek to the top of the Superdome when the Falcons come to visit.

The evening following the injury, I managed to catch most of the properly-panted Saints' first win of 2007 against the Seattle Seahawks. Here quickly is the late-week recap:

(All photos, once again, yanked right off the T-P Gallery)

  • Although the 2006 Saints were already 2-0 coming into their home-opener against Atlanta, most fans will trace the beginnings of the real "magic" of that season to a touchdown scored off a mishap by the opposing team's punt unit. If there is to be a miraculous resurgence from the left-for-dead 2007 Saints, is it not fitting that such a run should begin with a similar play?

    Nice pants

  • Some players the Saints expected to play a larger role this season, are finally making a significant contribution. David Patten, who should have been playing more from the outset, caught 8 passes for 113 yards. Lance Moore, Pierre Thomas, and Eric Johnson each scored touchdowns.

    Nice pants

  • Good Devery Henderson: Devery did not participate in the offense this week and so did not confound and frustrate Saints coaches and fans with his unpredictable inconsistent play.

    Good Jason David: David, the Saints marquee free agent acquisition this season, did not participate in the defense this week and so did not confound and frustrate Saints fans and coaches by being badly burned for big plays and touchdowns by opposing receivers.

    A round of applause, please, for Jason David and Devery Henderson both who, we are certain, looked sharp in their street clothes and/or gold pants.

  • Much is being said this week about the improved pass rush of a "more aggressive" Saints defense. I think this has less to do with the play calling than it does with the fact that tackles Brian Young and Hollis Thomas are finally healthy and in shape. The Saints run defense also has improved markedly since Thomas has become more involved in the DT rotation over the past few weeks. The Saints had five sacks Sunday night two of them coming from a blitzing Roman Harper who is starting to show some of the physical play the Saints have been expecting from him.

    Nice Pants

  • Ever since they started stringing these camera contraptions on cables above the field, I've been waiting (maybe even hoping a little) for the day when one of them comes crashing down onto the field. Sunday night it finally happened. Are these cameras really even necessary? How many thousands of angles does a football game really need to be shot from?

    Hey look, it's Skylab! Isn't football dangerous enough already?

  • Uh oh, the other team's kicker sucks! In addition to botching a snap on a punt that led to an early Saints touchdown, the Seahawks kicking unit also allowed Josh "Never Mind The" Bullocks to break through the line and block a field goal in the second quarter. Meanwhile, Olindo Mare was 4/4 on extra points and did not have to attempt any field goals... thank God.

    It's the pants. They're pretty nice.

  • On a more discouraging note, the Saints, despite a near-dominating performance for most of the game, could easily have blown this one. The reason? The Saints had seven second-half possessions resulting in five punts and one Reggie Bush fumble (the Saints' final possession ended when Drew Brees kneeled to kill the clock). A slightly more efficient Seahawks team could easily have taken advantage of these multiple opportunities to retake the game. For all of Bush's first quarter flash, he simply wasn't there when the Saints needed him to help grind out the clock. Now that Pierre Thomas has gotten his feet wet a bit, perhaps it's time to give him a few more carries so that we don't have to hand the ball to an out-of-position slot receiver at clutch time.

    Nice pants, douchebag.

In three days, Joe Horn and the Atlanta Falcons arrive in the Superdome to face the Saints for the first time this season. Will the Saints keep the momentum going? Can Menkles make it up the Terrace steps? Will the dreaded (and now discredited) awful black pants make an unwelcome return? Can somebody squeeze into a runoff against Bobby Jindal? Answers coming after the weekend.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Jindal is Baaad

Definitive edition

If you read only one Jindal is Bad post this election season, make it that one.

"Like Pearl Harbor"

So I'm not even back one day and already I run across the single greatest political ad of 2007. John Georges is running a radio spot in which he decries Bobby Jindal's "unprovoked negative attacks".

The Jindal camp... apparently wary of Georges's late activity... has run some ads which point out that Georges's highly touted "business experience" involves, among other things, alcohol tobacco and video poker sales. All of which is, of course true.

The Georges ad takes remarkable exception to the Jindal "attack" describing it thusly (no, I am not making this up) "Like Pearl Harbor, when an unprovoked surprise attack was launched against a great nation, Bobby Jindal has attacked...." I am no photoshop genius, but I can imagine a pretty fun image of Jindal as a Zero pilot descending upon Georges out of the rising sun. It strikes just the right chord, don't ya think?


Michael is right on time with help here

Astounding choice of imagery for Geroges, yes... but it's not even really the funny part. You see, earlier this week, Georges attacked Jindal with the not-so-subtle insinuation that the recent home delivery of Jindal's third child was "orchestrated" for political purposes. Now, far be it for me to put something like that beyond the creepy egomaniacal Jindal, but it is at the very least unlikely and a helluva thing to go throwing unsubstantiated accusations at someone about.

But according to Georges, this sort of thing is fair game while making truthful statements about a candidate's business interests is a vicious attack reminiscent of Pearl Harbor.

Georges has been spending a lot of time and money lately targeting the New Orleans media market with his advertising and targeting the black vote specifically with some well-placed public appearances and endorsements. It's enough to give Georges a bit of a buzz during the final week, but I doubt it will make much of an impact on his finish in the primary. Even if Georges's shenanigans do give him a slight bump in New Orleans, it won't make any difference statewide.

Outside of the city, this election is still largely a "kick NOLA" exercise and Bobby Jindal has had that vote sewn up from the very start. Jindal will also take nearly all of the conservative New Orleans vote as well as much of the NOLA Yuppie Left thanks to his campaign against the word "corruption" and the aid of his trusty Dragon Slayer Squad.

If anything, Georges's wild flailing could further weaken the already badly fragmented anti-Jindal vote to put "Bobby" in on the first ballot.... that is unless there are any last minute unseen bombing raids looming just over the horizon.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Keeping Up

We'll be resuming our regular Yellow Blog broadcast schedule soon enough. I've been out of town for a few days... hence the slight interruption. From what I can tell, here's what's been going on while I was away:

And finally, there was a professional football game Sunday night which may have attracted some local interest. I know there is a report expected here. I may have something later in the week but for now I would just like to point out one detail which may have been overlooked.

Black leotard pants = fantastic suckitude

Normal gold pants = sudden awesomeness

Just sayin'

Friday, October 12, 2007

Going to the doctor sucks.... Now what's for dinner?

I spent Wednesday morning at the doctor's office seeking a final definitive explanation for my now month-long respiratory and sinus infection which culminated last weekend in a very painful case of swollen tonsils. I made the appointment on Monday and... as is always the case... by the time I got to see the doctor on Wednesday, my symptoms had either abated altogether or gone into remission. So I ended up getting a lot of doctorspeak for "There's nothing wrong with you, why are you wasting my time?", a flu shot I didn't need, and.... well... the rest of the day off. So far I'm still feeling fine, but I have no comforting pills to take so we'll see. The important thing is, my appointment was butt-early in the morning so upon my release, I had the entire day to work with. I decided to do the one thing that comes the most natural to me. I went grocery shopping.

A&P (particularly its Sav-A-Center brand) has been the dominant grocer in New Orleans for over a decade now but, as many of you are doubtless aware, the company is pulling out of town in a national restructuring move which A&P says will allow it to concentrate solely on the Northeast.

After a few months of speculation and worry, the 17 New Orleans area Sav-A-Centers were eventually sold to Thibodaux based Rouse's. This should be a happy result for area shoppers who anticipate dealing with a Louisiana-grown company that highlights local products. I know I'm happy since even in my dreadful penmanship, "Rouse's" is much more easily distinguished from "ATM" than is "A&P" when one is balancing a checkbook. Rouse's is taking over operations of the stores this month. Wednesday, they opened the Napoleon and Tchoupitoulas location for the first time. I had to check it out.

So far all I can say is eh. Rouse's has added it's in-house line of stuff to the shelves. They make a lot of their own products from sausage to pepper jelly to olive salad. There was definitely more boudin in the store than A&P used to carry but that's about all I noticed. Of course, it's their first day.

I can be a pain to shop with so it's best that I go alone. I'm usually at the grocery to plan a meal but often have no idea what that meal might be until I have made at least three full laps around the store staring at the food until something comes to me. Upon my sixth or seventh trip around Rouse's I settled on a classic shrimp creole for the following reasons. First, it's not something I've done a lot of before but the recipe is fairly basic. Second, I had all day to make a good stock. Third, it seemed like something I could photograph and post on the internet. So after picking up mostly produce at Rouse's, I stopped by The Big Fisherman for two pounds of shrimp and spent the rest of the day in the kitchen.

Shrimp Creole:
This is an old-timey New Orleans dish that you really don't see too much of anymore outside of the occasional special at your neighborhood dive. My folks didn't care for it so my first experience with it was in school cafeterias. If I had to explain it to someone who had no idea I'd say the basic concept is like making a gumbo... without any roux... or okra.... oh and with lots of tomatoes. Oh... well... just watch.

I've already said that I chose this dish because there was a lot of time available to make a proper seafood stock. Of course you can build a shrimp creole using water instead of stock but the result will taste much less like shrimp which would be somewhat beside the point.

First, grab hold of your recently purchased, fresh (with the heads on and all that) Louisiana swimps, place them in the sink and photograph them.

Peel and devein (remove the poop from) the shrimp. Place the heads and shells in a medium sized pot. Put the peeled shrimp back in the refrigerator. You won't need them again until waaay later.

Cover the heads and shells with water. Add some of your favorite soup vegetables (Here we have Onion, garlic, and celery)

Sprinkle liberally with black pepper, some Chacheres or other Creole seasoning, oh and a drop or two of this. Bring the pot to a boil then turn the heat way down and let it simmer. And keep letting it simmer. All day if you can, or at least for a few hours. I gave mine four.

In the meantime, you'll just have to find something to do. You can feed the cat, run an errand or two, vacuum maybe... oh alright how about this:

  • Go to the fridge and grab that package of pickled pork tips you bought at Sav A Center Rouse's on a whim.

    Hack them up, throw them into that old blue green pot and brown them until you get some of the fat to render in the pot.

  • Once that gets going, you can chop up your collared greens, and throw them on top.

  • Cover.

    Let the greens cook down for about ten minutes, then add some herbs (marjoram, thyme) some Chachere's, and some chopped onion. Try to avoid too much salt. There is usually plenty of salt in this already. In fact, you may try adding some sugar just to cut it a bit. You can let these cook on low for as long as you like but they should go for at least an hour. Still need something to do in the meantime? Eh go check your email or something.

Okay so your greens are simmering, and your stock is about ready. Time to start putting the Creole sauce together. First, you'll need some fat. Now you can start with butter if you like. You'll certainly use some later. I suppose you could also get this going with vegetable oil. But I said at the beginning that this is an old-timey dish and in old-timey dishes at my house the best cooking fat is usually rendered from bacon.

Slice your bacon into one inch strips and distribute them at the bottom of a medium-large sized pot.

Turn on the fire and let the fat start to melt. Once it looks like you've got something going there, throw in about a half a cup of chopped onions. Continue to cook this until the onions start to caramelize... almost ten minutes probably. This smoky, greasy, sweet and pungent mixture will form the base of your sauce.

To this, add your usual creole aromatic trinity of chopped onion, celery and green bell pepper. I've embellished mine with garlic (because I always do) and red bell pepper (because it should add a little more sweetness).

Put it in the pot with about a half stick of butter and let it cook down. Really, give it some time. Let those peppers soften. While that's happening you can start adding your seasonings. These will include:



Salt, pepper, dried basil, and white pepper. (learn to love white pepper, btw... it improves your life)

And a generous dousing of your favorite hot sauce. (I used the one on the left because it was open)

Okay so I trust that you've let this cook for a while. Go ahead and add about a cup of your seafood stock. And let it cook a little more. I said let it cook dammit! Here, you can chop some parsley in the meantime.

The parsley goes in the pot. Now, the main component of this sauce is tomatoes. You should have at least four on hand.

Right. But you need to chop them. Get that done and throw them in the pot. Done? let me see.

Okay. Now you're going to want the tomatoes to cook all the way down. This could take another ten or fifteen minutes. When you're satisfied with that, you can add a can of tomato sauce (and a little more butter probably) to give it some thickness.

Now add another two cups or so of your stock, some sugar, and maybe some more of your dry seasonings. And if you happen to have some fresh basil on hand, rip up a few leaves and throw that in too. After a few more minutes you should have something that looks like this.

That looks about right. I think we can put some shrimp in that now. Where did we put... oh there they are.

Slip the shrimp into the sauce and let it simmer another ten minutes or so just enough to cook them. Serve this over a mound of white rice and... What? How do I cook my rice? Dude, don't make me smack you.

Now take one more crappy photograph for your crappy website and have at it. And don't say I never taught you anything.

Stuff To Do

I'll be skipping town for a few days so you have this weekend to enjoy the freedom. But when I get back, I want to see everything right where I left it so behave yourselves.

  • The 18th annual New Orleans Film Festival is ongoing through October 18.

  • Every year, several people tell me to get out to the Wooden Boat Festival in Madisonville. Every year, I don't do it. I guess this year will be no different.

  • Check it out, it's an actual Gumbo Party! Also, wow what a crappy website!

  • It is still Oktoberfest at Deutches House

  • It looks like you've got a new choice in haunted houses this year as The Mortuary moves in on Canal Street near the cemeteries. Yes, it has two floors. No, you don't get your money back if you make it to the top.

    Of course, the House of Shock is still around and is pretty tough to beat... as these things go.

  • If the metal bands outside of the House of Shock just aren't doing it for you, you might try running over to Checkpoint Charlie's on Saturday to catch the... um... Metal/Space/Crud/Surf sensation Masters of Treacherous Times (M.O.T.T.) I dunno what time. But one of those guys is taking care of my cat for me while I'm gone which is nice.

Cranes, Bitches!

Okay Crane, then. How about a dumptruck? A wheelbarrow maybe?

One chance

Bobby Jindal's new radio commercials tell voters that we have "only one chance to get it right". Isn't that the same thing Mitch Landrieu told us during the mayor's race? Why are all these politicians lying to us about how many chances are available? I'll bet there's like twenty or so more chances Bobby Jindal knows about right now. Do you think he'll tell us about them? Fat chance! Tell Bobby Jindal to stop hoarding all the chances. Oh and ask him what he thinks the "margin for error" might be while you're at it.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Uh oh the kicker still sucks

For this week anyway.

WDSU will webcast tonight's At-Large forum



This morning's T-P

Protesters call for reopening of SUNO
Posted by The Times-Picayune October 10, 2007 2:24PM

By John Pope
Staff writer

Massed in front of a campus building that has not been touched since Hurricane Katrina two years ago, about 200 placard-waving demonstrators today cheered a procession of speakers who called for immediate action to restore the Southern University at New Orleans campus.

For the past 20 months, SUNO has been housed in temporary buildings about a half-mile away. It is the only local institution of higher education that hasn't returned to its campus.
Of course no one is surprised that SUNO is the last college in New Orleans still not back to operating at its flooded campus or that the matter only makes news as the result of a public demonstration on behalf of the school's neglected community. What is a bit more interesting is who we find in attendance.

The only gubernatorial candidate to appear was John Georges, who not only spoke and worked the crowd but also provided 3,000 chilled bottles of water bearing his red, white and blue campaign logo.

"I am the man with a plan, and my plan includes rebuilding SUNO," he said to cheers. "It's the last university to be rebuilt; it should have been the first.

John Georges and his water bottles were last seen, by the way, at the Jena 6 rally back in September.

While there isn't much in his background or his platform to suggest that Georges would garner much support from African-American voters this election, it should be noted that his campaign is paying, at least, cursory attention to some of their concerns. And this is more than can be said for any of his opponents. Especially Bobby Jindal who continues to make a very different sort of appeal.

Wonders never cease

A man named "Goose" is concerned about your pants

Sophisticating up the whining

New Orleans's new Inspector General, Robert Cerasoli arrived in town with a promise to encourage more "sophisticated" corruption under his watch. So far he seems to be demonstrating a knack for engaging in the good ol' unrefined public whining already in bountiful supply among local public figures. Cerasoli, who operates his tiny office out of a cubicle in the Loyola University Library, has spent the past few days blowing what appears to be an easily resolvable matter of staffing into a very public and unnecessary clash with the City Attorney's office.

Cerasoli had asked for permission to hire independent attorneys with no connection to the city Law Department in order to avoid some obvious potential conflicts of interest. In response, the City Attorney issued a memo that didn't specifically deny this request, but did point out that it would require some clarification or revision of the law that defines the IG's office.

From yesterday's T-P:
The memorandum, signed by City Attorney Penya Moses-Fields, said a section of the City Charter cited in the proposed law does not authorize the inspector general "to employ general legal counsel," only "special counsel" to handle specific issues. Only a handful of agencies, such as the Sewerage & Water Board and the Civil Service Commission, are authorized to have full-time outside attorneys.

The Ethics Review Board, the panel appointed in December 2006 to hire an inspector general, is authorized to "retain counsel," but Moses-Fields' memo noted that the proposed new law, like the original 2006 version, specifies that the office of the inspector general "is operationally independent" of the ethics board as well as of the council and the mayor's office.

"It is not feasible for the IG to receive legal counsel from the Ethics Review Board if the IG is to remain 'operationally independent' from" the board, the memo said.

One way to resolve the problem would be to amend the law to specify that being "operationally independent" would not prevent the ethics board and the inspector general from sharing attorneys, legal experts said.

Cerasoli then threw a minor hissy fit publicly accusing the City Attorney of having a "conscience of corruption". Talk about swatting at flies with a Buick. While Cerasoli is technically correct in asserting that his office should be allowed to hire independent legal counsel, his McCarthyesque tactics of plastering people with vague epithets which contain the word "corruption" is troubling. It is not unlike Bobby Jindal's baseless insinuations against his Gubernatorial opponents through the use of the term "old corrupt crowd".

Not only is this kind of childish grandstanding inappropriate, it also calls into question Cerasoli's ability to effectively monitor municipal operations. Should he continue to hammer away at anyone who won't give him exactly what he wants exactly when he wants it he could create a situation where he either has too many unnecessary enemies or is generally not taken seriously enough to do his job.

In other words, rooting out political corruption may take more sophistication than the new Inspector General is himself possessed of.