Thursday, July 31, 2008

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Oh my goodness

Nagin says the "list that counts" is no longer the "list that counts"

About halfway through we get this:

Zurik: Have you heard of S&A Constrction?

Nagin: No.

Zurik: Cedric Smith owns that company (Cedric Smith is Nagin's brother-in-law)

Nagin: Okay

Zurik: They were the 4th highest paid contractor. Is there any conflict in your mind or anything like that?

Nagin: Not that I'm aware of. I mean...uh... as long as he's a registered contractor I don't see any problem.

Zurik: He's not registered with the State licensing board.

Nagin: If he needed a State license he should get it.

You can still count me as surprised if this turns into real trouble for Nagin personally. Politically it's going to get nastier and nastier.... and I'm afraid ultimately sadder and sadder.

Update: More on the long and varied business of being a brother-in-law at Moldy City.

Meanwhile, Adrastos points out that even as the T-P reports on the NOAH story, it basically still can't help but applaud Nagin for handling his brother-in-law so well.

RTA management privatized

You'd think this report would include the cost of the contract.

In keeping with the "recovery" strategy of the past three years, the new management company will no doubt curb services to the most hard hit neighborhoods... making it all that more difficult for them to recover.

Among innovations that Veolia hopes to bring to New Orleans are "rapid transit" bus routes to Uptown, Algiers and the NASA facility in eastern New Orleans and smaller buses for less-populated areas.

I wonder if the new buses will be "bomb-proof"

Do not miss

If you haven't done so yet, please take time to check out all of the excellent work being done by G-Bitch, Oyster, Eli, and Dangerblond as guest posters at The Rude Pundit this week.

They all appear to have saved up some of their very best stuff for the occasion.

Awesome Dragonslaying

PBJ appoints major campaign contributor to head LRA

Still no T-P coverage of NOAH

Guess they're still waiting for a Morial connection.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Nagin is not in any trouble

Stacey Jackson is getting nailed... but Nagin has been too useful an idiot to the current Federal administration. Their (highly politicized) Justice Dept will leave him alone.

Disputed political lineage

This morning I was all set to write something blasting Stacy Head as, "the Peggy Wilson of her generation" since she is the council member whose political bona fides derive mostly from throwing the hissy fits that make Uptown Yuppie whites proud to be Uptown Yuppie whites.

But since it has been brought to my attention that Stacy Head has previously been named "the Jackie Clarkson (of her) generation" well then I guess the floor is open for discussion.


Houston doctors say they may have found a way to destroy HIV

Obviously we need to spill more

In the wake of last week's catastrophic oil spill on the Mississippi River, gas prices in New Orleans have declined steadily. I'm getting word that John McCain, Bobby Jindal, and Steve Scalise are all planning a press conference on the hull of the wrecked tanker where they will demand more spilling.

Playing the Role

Oyster gets a little too into the established idiom in this guest post at Rude Pundit. The result is a masterful distillation of Louisiana's latest "oil boom" mirage.

Consider how preeverted and fucked up things are down here: we're actually giddy to spend these oil royalty dollars on rebuilding our coastal wetlands-- the same coastal wetlands that were sliced and diced and killed (in large part) by the oil infrastructure that supplies the rest of the country with oil and gas! Here's the arrangement, simplified: the nation gets energy supplied through Louisiana, the oil companies make ginormous profits, and Louisiana sacrifices its coastal ecology and natural hurricane buffer so that it can get pennies on the dollar back from Big Oil, to address the billion dollar problems that Big Oil helped exacerbate.

This is what constitutes "boom times" in da gret stet. It seems delusional, and it is, but not as much as you might think.

Much more. Enjoy.

We have a new leader

In the NOAH post title pun sweepstakes

Monday, July 28, 2008

Stupid lack of comments at Rude Pundit

It's tragic since I have no other possible way to communicate with Dangerblond.


I hate to say it but I seriously doubt that Fred Radtke is doing this. We know he's got boundary issues with regard to whose property (if anyone's) he has some sort of prerogative to make his mark on. But if he's ceased to even try making his distinction between "art" and "graffiti" I would be very surprised. I think this is either a "copycat" or more likely someone trying to make Radtke look bad (as if he needs any help).

Friday, July 25, 2008


The NOAH story has officially made the crossing from the ridiculous to the sublime. That crossing being a bridge made of "environmentally friendly" bamboo, no doubt. The latest WCBF anyalysis (read googling) of NOAH contractors makes the following fascinating connection:

NOAH --> Parish-Dubuclet Services Inc. --> Trellis Smith --> EC Advertising --> Stacey Jackson.

That's former NOAH director (and, for a time, keeper of the sacred office keys) Stacey Jackson is a business partner of NOAH contractor Trellis Smith. Okay. Fine. Most of us would expect as much in a small town like this. A lot of people in and out of government services in any municipality know a lot of the same people and these people all network and go into business together. It's nothing new. Sometimes it looks bad but in reality it only IS bad if the government services in such people's charge are neglected in favor of furthering their private businesses. A lot of Dragonslaying types get so excited that they miss this point but proximity of persons is hardly anything to get all disturbed over.

What is disturbing is another business relationship between Smith and Jackson that E has dug up. The Him Store is a.. um... purveyor of high-end designer underwear for men. According to this Gambit feature (cleverly titled "Bambooty"), among the products offered at The Him Store is a new line of undergarmet made partially from... bamboo. We are told that the benefits of bamboo-based underwear include the following:
In addition to being a natural deodorizer, bamboo-made fabric wins points with environmentalists for its sustainability. It renews quickly, sucks in greenhouse gasses and releases oxygen.

Imagine encountering Al Gore in the street and being able to make an under any other circumstance obscene gesture and say to him, "I got yer global warming solution right here, Gore!" Or you could go to parties and say things like "Who wants to check my carbon footprint?" People would love you. Trust me on this.

E also points out that The Him Store offers franchising opportunities. That's right. You too could become a business partner with politically connected folks. Maybe some day You Could Be Famous too. It seems like now is as good a time as any to get in on the bamboo-based designer undergarmet business. With the Saints season soon to be underway, we're certain that Misters Bush and Shockey would make great potential spokespersons. Shockey, for one, can be seen on this morning's T-P sports page modeling a similarly douchey pair of fashionably manufactured faux cut-offs... for the discerning white trash man of leisure. As for Bush... well who wouldn't want to be sporting the latest in new-age undies when going through one's daily Fre Flo Do routine?

This could explain some things

Such as why John Edwards was the most NOLA-friendly Dem candidate this go-round.

Kicking off the Fire Miles '08 Campaign

Les Miles is an unsportsmanlike cocky asshole of Spurrieresque proportions

Permanaent homeless camp

Now that there will be no DisneyJazz Park... and the talk is that City Hall is moving out of Duncan Plaza anyway... Loyola and Perdido can go back to being a homeless encampment. That is... unless Bill O'Reilly shows up to "Help those people"

Patients, meet asylum

That's about the only way I can think to describe this.

Awesome Dragonslaying

National Affairs Edition


They give your newspaper that extra-pasty consistency necessary for stuffing floodwalls.

Odor of Dole

That was an early version of a nickname for John McCain I floated. Eventually I decided to go more often with Cranky Old Man on account of the fact that it is much more crass and mean and therefore more suited to my purposes generally.

But still... the "Dole" label could have yielded some good things.

Stuff to Do

Thursday, July 24, 2008

NOLA Blogger Fail

We're two days into this oil spill on the river thing and not one of us thought to post one of these.

Actually something tells me this just became a Yellow Blog fail... but that's a redundant term anyway.

The hell?

Please explain this to me. I fucking dare you to explain this shit to me.

(first event on the list)

On today's episode of Beer in the Bookdrop

Woodchuck Cider. Red label Amber. Mmmmmm.

Cider in the bookdrop

Previously on "Beer in the Bookdrop"

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

NOAH so far

Update: This update exists ostensibly to link once again to WCBF where E promises a post-Council meeting clearinghouse for scuttlebutt. But really it's here because I want everyone to know that this post should have been titled "NOAH knowns and NOAH unknowns"

Just a primer in case you haven't been following this.

Yesterday afternoon, the Mayor escalated the controversy over the New Orleans Affordable Homeownership Corporation (NOAH) by taking the extraordinary step of holding a press conference to angrily refute the content of the previous evening's WWLTV report which alleged that NOAH may have misused federal community development block grant funds.

The agency's mission is to gut and clean up blighted or flood damaged property belonging to senior and low-income residents. In the report, Lee Zurik takes a look at a list of homes NOAH had been charged with remediating. Zurik's findings are similar to Karen Gadbois' which reveal homes on the list that are owned by shadowy LLCs, or by absentee landlords, or by other city agencies, in other words, various entities other than "seniors and low income residents". Some of the properties on NOAH's the list were not touched. Others appear not to exist at all.

The irregularities first came to light when Karen noticed this house on the city's Imminent Health Threat Demolition list. A brand new sign advertised the fact that it had been gutted by NOAH... just in time to be demolished with a different pool of federal funds provided by FEMA. And so folks started asking questions. E over at We Could Be Famous immediately asked 1) Who are the contractors involved in doing the remediation work? and 2) Can we call them? The results were mixed... and not without comedy.

So I took out my magical google machine and looked up the first one on the list, Biagas Enterprises. Their website listed a toll-free phone number. I decided, to give that 866 number a call. I figured I could easily figure out if this was a real company or not upon hitting the answering machine. I knew I'd hit the answering machine because it was 12:30 AM on a Sunday.

Turns out someone was on the other end. A woman's voice.


I hung up figuring I must have misdialed.

I didn't.

I got a phone call 10 minutes later from another number, a local area code. It was the woman at the other end of the 866 I dialed. She asked if I had called her.

I said, "yes I was trying to call a construction company, I thought I'd dialed an 866 number."

She replied:

"No, this is a 225 area code."

The number she'd called me back from matched a directory listing for Biagas Enterprises in Baton Rouge.

This episode struck me as extremely bizarre. I supposed that you could reroute a toll free number to go to a cell phone. And I supposed that this could be a small enough mom-and-pop construction firm that it wouldn't have a business landline. (Even though Thaddeus 'Matt' Biagas has "a long history in government projects.")

I will note that the website E originally googled up for this Biagas Enterprises no longer exists. In a follow-up post, E discovered
So being as generous as possible, only five of ten contractors awarded municipal money for NOAH's remediation program are verifiably active and in good standing. Two firms, Biagas Enterprises and Blue Carpentry Construction are clearly defunct. Two more, Carter's Renovations and Mathews Developers may not exist at all, at least as they are described in the Mayor's press release.
But it wasn't just the contractors who were difficult to reach. E also had trouble getting information out of NOAH.

Finally, I called NOAH's office today to request a list of homes awarded free remediation. The woman on the other end of the line was extremely defensive and informed me that they had never received such a request before. When inquired as to the proper procedure for obtaining the records, she told me that she would have to refer it to lawyers at another agency. She then told me that NOAH was in the middle of changing offices and did not have an opporational email account to which I could send an electronic request.

And then later (apologies for all the block quotes... I think they push the narrative though)

I have emailed Stacey Jackson of NOAH with two public records requests. One asked for the contracts signed with the ten companies paid for remediation work. The other asked for the database of properties serviced under the program not excluding the name of the contractor responsible for each property. I tried two different email addresses for Ms. Jackson, I'll keep you posted.

As it turned out, Jackson had actually resigned her position. Her last day in the office was June 27... a few days before E sent his request. At this point, the story had been picked up by Gambit Weekly's David Winkler-Schmit who asked Jackson's replacement Tonya Durden for some of the contract records and a list of completed properties, Durden was unable to furnish any information because... “I can’t find the key to (Jackson's) office”

One day after Zurik's excellent investigation, the Mayor's office hastily called a press conference ostensibly to refute the "biased and inaccurate" information contained therein. Footage of the press conference is available from WWLTV here Adrastos has posted a link to additional video here.

The refutation was unusual in several respects. First of all, because it was called so suddenly and late in the day, the press conference wasn't very well attended. From what I understand, the Times-Picayune was not present for example. (Mention of the controversy has yet to appear in the paper.) One almost gets the impression that the entire event was put together as an attempt to publicly browbeat Karen Gadbois and Lee Zurik over their reporting on NOAH.

The Mayor's statements ranged from obstruction, "We have the list that counts" to bullying "(Reporting on municipal affairs) is hurting the city and you need to stop it" to the absurd comparison of brand new "Mayor Nagin NOAH Home Remediation" signs put on some of the properties to "campaign signs (from 2006) I still have out there". This is all indicative of an attempt to dodge and tar rather than answer questions from the press and the public. The mere act of calling a press conference over a single report looks incredibly bad from a public relations standpoint. It's certainly more suspicious than saying nothing at all. From here it looks like another poorly thought out attempt by the Mayor to "cold cock" his critics. But the wild swinging hasn't deterred anyone so far.

In fact, this morning Concilwoman Stacy Head (typically not a favorite of ours here) issued a statement to the affect that she has been "working in-house" (read in secret) to cut off Neighborhood Housing Improvement Funds (read City generated as opposed to federal money) to NOAH. Head comes right out and says that she has been harboring concerns that the program "was at best mismanaged and at worst fraud." Stacy Head is a lot of things. Diplomatic is not one of them. I haven't seen much in the way of reporting on today's Council proceedings yet but I'll go ahead and guess that the coming weeks will see the Council members arguing in accordance with their predictable factions about things that are not exactly germane to the mismanagement issue. ("My district didn't get as much attention from this program as hers" or some such thing.) I'm not expecting a political investigation on the city council level to yield much. But as BSJD points out the fact that federal money is involved may... finally.... attract the attention of the U. S. Attorney. I think this may be the very thing that has the administration so nervous.

Meanwhile there are still a ton of questions to be asked. Today, E is already back on the case of the NOAH contractor's list. It's a complicated mess to untangle which is why it's good to have WWL and Gambit on the case as well. The Mayor's odd and defensive press conference is a tantalizing indicator of blood in the water... journalisticaly speaking. Can we expect the T-P to dispatch a shark or two? Perhaps in time for next week's "Viewpoint" page?

I've been weylayed

Following all the NOAH stuff has drawn most of my attention over the past couple of days. (The latest post at WCBF is particularly fun, btw) I know everybody comes here to read about football, though. There will be something in that vein forthcoming since today is "Fat Guys Carrying Luggage Day" and all. In the meantime, please rejoice in the fact that the T-P's Mike Triplett has graciously elected to present his obligatory "10 questions" in non-"burning" format...The prevailing theory being that no one wants to set anything on fire too near the Mississippi River right now.

More soon.


BREAKING NEWS: Sen. John McCain has cancelled his trip to New Orleans this evening, according to Gov. Jindal's press secretary.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

What can we say but,...yep


The Obama camp, playing with a big halftime lead as the cliché goes, is going to play this one close to the vest, sticking to a strategy of using larger and larger fonts every week for their "CHANGE" placards, and getting the candidates' various aides and spokesgoons to use the term "McCain-Bush policies" as many times as possible on political talk shows. Obama will also use this pre-convention period to do what every general election candidate does after a tough primary-season fight, i.e. ditch all the positions he took en route to securing the nomination and replace them with opinions subtly (or sometimes not-so-subtly) reconfigured to fit the latest polling information coming out of certain key swing states. Both sides as well as the pundit class will describe this early positioning for combat over swing-state electoral votes as a "race for the center" (AP, July 3: "Candidates Courting the Center"), as if the "political center" in America were a place where huge chunks of the population tirelessly obsessed over semi-relevant media-driven wedge issues like stem-cell research and gay marriage, even as they lacked money to buy food and make rent every month.

Morenomentum is back... for now

Jimmy Fahrenholtz has been disqualified from the District 2 Congressional race for being a big stupid liar... or something like that. Actually Fahrenholtz's candidacy was disqualified on a technicality exploited by a lawsuit filed by...... I think you see where this is going

The challenge was filed by Houma attorney Conrad S.P Williams III, who alleged in a lawsuit that Fahrenholtz, who has served on the School Board since 2000, owes more than $31,000 in fines and fees to the state for repeatedly failing to file timely campaign finance reports.

Williams is a financial supporter of another Democratic contender for the congressional seat, former television news anchor Helena Moreno. Williams made the maximum contribution of $2,300 to Moreno on June 24, according to her latest finance report filed with the Federal Elections Commission.

As the only other non-black Democrat in the race, Moreno's chances of making the runoff were severely damaged by Fahrenholtz's presence. We'll see if this ruling sticks.

Update: Additional Morenomentum may be emanating from the Bensons. The lady seems to have made some powerful friends.

Neely is a funny word

Wait... they were actually planning a Republican Primary? They must have had trouble managing the crowds.

John Neely Kennedy Campaign Kickoff event. (Photo via Daily Kingfish)

Ooooh what will they talk about?

McCain To Meet With Jindal

Maybe they'll talk geography.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Dumb mistake #1

And training camp hasn't even opened yet.

Update: Karen graciously sends us this can't-miss Deadspin post.

Shockey leaves behind a mixed legacy in New York. And by mixed, I mean pathetic. He was drafted to be the spiritual heir to Mark Bavaro. But Bavaro was quiet, humble, productive, played through injury, and wasn’t a complete moron. Shockey, as you know, turned out to be quite the opposite. No one was better at dropping a pass, and then standing around like an idiot and acting shocked at having dropped a pass. "Brah, I can't believe I dropped that pass!" He leaves town as the tight end equivalent of Brian Bosworth.

Is there really room for this guy AND Reggie Bush in the same high-rise condo market?

We promise to have more on this and the Saints later in the week.

NOAH story hits the airwaves

Channel 4 tonight (preview here):

4 investigates at 10: Money doesn't add up for housing program
July 21st, 2008

Tonight at 10pm, 4 Investigates questions about a non-profit agency connected to the City of New Orleans. It claims to have used federal money to fix up damaged homes, but when reporter Lee Zurik looked at the list of properties, we found something quite different. Can City Hall or the agency itself answer the costly questions surrounding the program? 4 Investigates, Monday at 10pm on Eyewitness News NightWatch.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

What the hell do they do all day?

Something like this.... only add an average daily allowance of three crazies, one wino, and fifty screaming babies.

Quote of the Day

"If (the team) plays lousy, if it doesn't do very good, then it ought to be called down, and we ought to be the first ones to do it."

--Saints owner Tom Benson addressing the question of whether WVUE his newly purchased television station can be expected to report on the team objectively.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Politics with a Punch

A cadre of us unsavory folk managed to sneak into last night's Ringside Politics with a Punch at the Cricket Club just so that we could say we were once in the same room as Harry Shearer. Here are some quick notes from the proceedings:

  • As the master of ceremonies, Jeff Crouere has an affable enough personality and a decent sense of who might be entertaining on the stage with him. Unfortunately he dedicates too much time to the most bland and overwrought topics. Plus his jokes aren't very funny. The important thing to remember about Crouere, though, is that he's not so much a poor political pundit as he is an untalented professional entertainer. Sure he's an untalented professional entertainer in the field of conservative political punditry but one imagines that this is less a result of conviction than it is the fact that conservative political punditry is a convenient route through which an untalented professional entertainer can make a living as an affable but boring scenester. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Crouere has managed to mediocre himself into this gig through geekery and persistence and the result is at least mildly entertaining enough to justify the fifteen dollar door fee. The five dollar Heinekens on the other hand... not so much.

  • At the beginning of the program, Crouere's writhe lithe (see comments) shadowy sidekick Stephen Sabludowsky took a moment to both lament and rejoice in "The Internet" and its less than clear relation to the size of the crowd. The crowd was large. It wasn't clear whether Stephen was pleased or annoyed with this. He then warned the audience not to "record" any of the "copyrighted material" to be presented or "speak during the show." Crouere's trite unfunny monologue made Sabludowsky's first command painless to comply with... but the second downright impossible.

  • An ill-conceived attempt to comply with the "no talking" directive led to some surreptitious note-passing with the kids seated at the next table. Only bad things come of such behavior. Just trust me.

  • The Heinekens at the Cricket Club are five bucks. Did I mention that already? I had to limit myself to three.

  • Kenya Smith, candidate for U.S. congress in District 2, was a panelist. One of Crouere's topics was the continuing and well-known legal troubles of the incumbent Congressman from that district. The Dollar Bill follies are a well-used but still solid comedy gold mine... not to mention a grand opening for any of the Congressman's candidates to extol his or her contrasting ethical purity. Smith was perfectly set-up to either let fly a scathing one-liner about his opponent or talk himself up a bit (or if he's got any real talent combine those two actions somehow). But when called upon Kenya said.... nothing memorable. I'm not sure he even completed a sentence. He did tug at his ear quite a bit as though someone might be about to feed him a line. But mostly he just sat there like a wet bottle rocket. Still this wasn't even Smith's biggest gaffe of the night. More on that in a bit.

  • Harry Shearer is a very funny and talented person who should be encouraged to participate in as many panel discussion-public affairs-media type events which take place in New Orleans as he can possibly be brow-beaten into.

  • LA State Representative John Labruzzo just wants us to DRILL and DRILL NOW. He even volunteered his "own backyard" as a possible location for this VERY NECESSARY IMMEDIATE DRILLING. I am looking into having a team of roughnecks dispatched to the Labruzzo residence this afternoon.

  • Midway through the discussion, Varg looked over at me and asked, "Hey are we gonna get to say anything here?" "Man I hope so," I replied. We each spent the next forty five minutes anticipating an audience comment segment. Of course when the time did come, the two of us looked at each other and realized that neither of us had actually thought of anything to say. Typical. It was for the best anyway since anything we could have said would have been upstaged by the bizarre ramblings of a strange Zsa Zsa/Charro hybrid lady who had become unfortunately and temporarily detached from the bar.

  • At the conclusion of the event, each panelist was given and opportunity to rail against his or her personal "Outrage of the Month". Kenya Smith, candidate for U.S. Congress in the second district, announced that he was most outraged by "citizen complacency". Needless to say, this floored several of the "complacent" citizens in attendance. Some of us were so concerned, in fact, that we pulled Kenya aside afterwards and suggested to him that when trying to curry favor with the electorate, it's generally not a good idea for a candidate to express his "outrage" at their "complacent" behavior. Kenya then proceeded to talk back at us for an uncomfortably long period of time without addressing... or even acknowledging the sage advice we had just offered him. Oh well, we tried.

Not a bad evening overall. I might even make Politics with a Punch an irregular habit in the future provided I start saving up now to cover the drink tab.

Update: Check out Varg's description of the event. Here's his take on Sabludowski:

I can only say he has the good looks of a homeless Harry Dean Stanton and the shining charisma of a heavily medicated Joe McCarthy.

Spin Cycle

As Karen says, in Naginland, collapsing houses are really just an opportunity for more lying. "Streamlining" the historic review process in response to this is kind of like invading Iraq after being attacked by Saudi terrorists trained in Afghanistan. Just imagine how absurd that would be.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

No more heroes, please

I dunno, Maitri. I think what is needed is less not more hero worship. The Dragonslaying mentality is part of what gets us into this mess in the first place.

Action Alert

Oh goodie it's another Ozone Action Alert. Everybody prepare to take action according to the following recommendations.

The Air Quality Index indicates that ozone will be at the orange level, which is unhealthy for sensitive groups. Increasing ozone levels may cause unhealthy air quality during afternoon hours. Active children and adults, the elderly and people with respiratory diseases, such as asthma, should avoid prolonged outdoor activities and exertion.

Area residents are encouraged to take one or more of the following
voluntary actions to help reduce the formation of ozone:

--Drive less. Carpool, walk and bike, combine errands and care for your car. Be sure your gas cap is on tight.

--Refuel your vehicle, mow grass and use gas powered lawn equipment use gas powered lawn equipment and off road vehicles after 6 p.m.

Postpone chores that use oil based paint, varnishes and solvents that produce flame.

If you barbeque, use an electric starter instead of starter fluid.

Take your lunch to work or walk to lunch

Conserve Energy in your home

All in all not bad for government work, I guess. I tired not to prolong my outdoor exertion as I biked to and from work today. I biked to lunch instead of walking as per the instructions. I hope no one was hurt by this. It was very thoughtless of me.


What a tease! For a minute there I thought that Ricky was going to go ahead and read the whole Details profile of Gov. PBJ for me but it looks like even he couldn't make it all the way through. Alright I'll do it later then... when my hangover goes away.

On "Aggressiveness"

Our recent post comparing news articles from Jan Moller and Clancy Dubos has spawned a tangential language dispute in the comments section. It takes place in separate threads so I'll condense them to reproduce the context for you here before I settle this.

Daisy writes:

Also, "aggressiveness" is not a word and does not need to be created. There is already a noun, "aggression," that would've suited beautifully. I hate professional writers.

I later named this the "Quote of the Day" But then BSJD chipped in a response:

"killing hundreds of earmarks added by legislators for projects in their districts and signaling a new aggressiveness in dealing with the state budget."

I don't think "aggression" would convey the same meaning to most modern readers. Since "aggressiveness" already has widespread usage, it seems a little unfair to charge DuBos with creating a new word. I assume from Daisy's comment that "aggressiveness" was considered nonstandard or colloquial at some point, but I have trouble believing that it still is.

It was actually Moller who introduced the offending word but that's beside the point. Daisy, the prescriptive linguist, believes that there is something nefarious at work:

If "aggression" doesn't convey the same meaning, it's because people have been swindled by the use of "aggressiveness."

And then in the later thread, Leigh piles on:

"Aggression" is indeed a word that needs to be used more often. I think "aggressive" is used so often, and "ness" is quite overused as a suffix - only logical in a twisted way for these folks to try to put the two together.

Perhaps more professional writer-type people need refresher courses on vocabulary and grammar as a part of their jobs...

But David isn't giving up. He reiterates:

I just gave a lengthier comment on "aggressiveness" in the original post. I believe the word is totally acceptable, and I don't see why anybody would object to it. I agree with "purists" that object to colloquialisms that are nonsensical (irregardless) or that make communication less exact. In this case, the tendency to give distinct meanings to "aggressiveness" and "aggression" can help avoid confusion. I can't imagine many sentences where the context wouldn't make the meaning of "aggression" clear, but it helps with titles of books and articles.

I think he's on to something but I'm going to have to side a bit more with Daisy here. Even if most "modern readers" apprehend the meaning of "aggressiveness" the irregular word, at the very least, creates a certain amount of dissonance.

However the intended meaning of "aggressiveness" is a shade or two off from what would be conveyed by "aggression" in its place. I think if a writer uses "aggressiveness" he or she means to describe a personal attribute while "aggression" usually modifies an action. Not always but usually.

Still there are ways of doing this without resorting to a non-standard word. If one is tempted to write, "The Packers' defense displayed uncommon aggressiveness in attacking Drew Brees and disrupting the Saints' woefully inept passing game all afternoon" one could easily rewrite it as, "The Packers' defense was uncommonly aggressive in attacking Drew Brees and disrupting the Saints' woefully inept passing game all afternoon." One could even write, "The Packers defense committed many uncommon acts of aggression upon Drew Brees and the Saints' woefully inept passing game yesterday afternoon."

One thing the writer would generally avoid would be sentences that describe the Saints' defense by use of the words "aggression" "aggressive" or even "aggressiveness" unless the intent is to convey the lack of these qualities.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Quote of the Day

In the comment thread to an earlier post, Daisy the professional librarian (and most prolific reader I've ever met) writes, "I hate professional writers."

It's one of those things that makes you marvel at the complexity of the universe.

Again with the flaming questions

Sportswriters, stop it. Stop lighting the questions on fire.

Neely is a funny word

LA-Sen: Updated 2Q Fundraising Totals

Today's dumb question

Does the State charge its own agencies rent for office space?

Before the LSED can even contemplate the sports and entertainment district, however, the state must agree to move some of its offices into the Dominion Tower. That move is key to financing the purchase of all three buildings in the New Orleans Centre.

The state has planned for some time to build brand new offices to replace a public building on Duncan Plaza that sustained heavy damage during Hurricane Katrina. Thornton and others at the LSED are trying to persuade the state to renovate the Dominion Tower and move the offices there instead. The state could issue debt to buy the tower, the mall and the parking garage, backed by the rents it could expect to collect from its various agencies and departments.

How does that work? LatinTeacher asks a similar question here with a bit more suspicion than I mean to imply. I guess you've got one State agency managing the property pulling funds from the operating budget of the tenant agencies... and it might make some logical sense from a myopic accounting perspective. But the larger picture is a bit absurd, isn't it?

Instant Update:
The second question regarding this article is less dumb and is posed by a NOLA.com commenter Posted by
OpenCharity on 07/16/08 at 1:33AM

Curiously, the report failed to mention the one remaining tenant -- the Lord and Taylor Department Store --- oops the Lord and Taylor MCLNO faux Charity Hospital outpatient clinics.

Intriguing that the Office of Facility Planning and Control would NOW inspect it and see if it is usable. Us poor former Big Charity patients have been subjected to its marble runways and less-than-luxury features while our original home wastes away.

At least if Jerry Jones finds it unsuitable, then it'll be curtains for the place to be for any state purpose

[We eagerly await the results of the independent inspection of Big Charity -- go to http://www.FHL.org for details]

What, indeed, is up with that?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Words and the things they mean

Below, I have reproduced long passages from the text of T-P reporter Jan Moller's 4th grade Social Studies "current events" assignment titled "Jindal hacks budget earmarks" and interspersed it with Clancy Dubos's actual reporting and analysis of the very same event titled "Veto Showdown Coming" It makes a fun exercise in comparative literature. Moller's project is on the front page of today's Times-Picayune. It appears above the fold and is accompanied by a photo of a pleasantly smiling Governor PBJ. Dubos's piece is a post on the Gambit blog.

BATON ROUGE -- Gov. Bobby Jindal used his line-item veto authority to cut more than $16 million in proposed state spending Monday, killing hundreds of earmarks added by legislators for projects in their districts and signaling a new aggressiveness in dealing with the state budget.

The 258 vetoes in House Bill 1, the state's nearly $30 billion operating budget for the 2008-09 fiscal year, is more than double the combined number of line-item vetoes in the past 12 years. Coupled with Jindal's veto of $9.3 million in spending from a previous budget bill, they suggest the new governor is serious about curbing a cherished legislative tradition of sprinkling the budget with items for constituents, often with little or no oversight.

So right here in the first two paragraphs of a front page article, we have Moller swooning over PBJ's "aggressive" stance toward legislators' "cherished" unsupervised "sprinkling of the budget with items" Moller also makes certain to point out that Jindal has even managed to set a new statistical record for aggressive daddying of the budget. I'll bet those numbers would make a neat addition to next week's "Viewpoint" page.

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s “record-breaking” 258 vetoes seem contrived to give him some cheap headlines while actually having a miniscule impact on the overall state budget. The political backlash from lawmakers, however, could be huge. There is open discussion among lawmakers — including some of Jindal’s top legislative allies — about the possibility of a veto override session.

THE CONTRIVANCE — A press release from Jindal’s office proudly proclaims in the first paragraph: “Governor Jindal’s 258 vetoes in HB1are more than double the vetoes for all the state’s previous 12 budgets combined.”

Just in case we didn’t get the point, the release continues in the very next paragraph: “Previously, Governor Kathleen Blanco had 39 line item vetoes in her house budget bills during her entire four years in office. Governor Mike Foster had 81 line item vetoes in house budget bills during his term, and over the last 12 years combined, there was a total of 120 line item vetoes in state budget bills.”

A key question with regard to Jindal’s vetoes is whether he achieved that “record” number by accident or design. A very knowledgeable source tells me that Jindal’s Chief of Staff Timmy Teepell asked Senate Secretary Glenn Koepp’s office before the vetoes were announced how many vetoes the last two governors had exercised. That pretty much tells us what Team Jindal’s priorities were in this little exercise: headlines, not fiscal accountability. It’s all about the resumé, folks.

Among the other highlighted items in that passage, please notice the way Clancy actually cites the Governor's own press release as a source before analyzing its content. Moller merely reports it as a neat fact.

While critics have long derided such earmarks as pork-barrel spending, defenders say they pay for critical needs that otherwise wouldn't be financed. Gone is money targeted for museums, church groups, festivals, youth programs, nonprofit groups and economic development initiatives, including millions of dollars for the New Orleans area.

"For too long, state government has spent and spent, with little regard for taxpayers' money," Jindal said. ". . . We are striving for an efficient state government that operates transparently, and wisely invests taxpayer money in state priorities."

But the vetoes could also serve to deepen the wound that Jindal opened when he killed a pay raise for legislators last month after promising lawmakers he would stay out of the matter.

Here Moller acknowledges that funding for some vaguely defined programs in the New Orleans area are affected but makes sure to frame this as a delicate and balanced dispute between "critics" and "defenders" of "earmarks" Moller then gives Jindal the last word in this dispute before wrapping it all up by reminding us how Jindal saved us all from the very scary pay raise.

Meanwhile, Clancy, continues to provide us with actual information.

THE NUMBERS — Jindal is focusing on the number of items vetoed perhaps to draw attention away from the overall fiscal impact — or lack of impact — of his line-item vetoes. When he talks about 258 vetoes, it sounds as though he took a buzz saw to the budget. However, $16.14 million out of a state budget of $29.5 billion is barely 1/20th of 1 percent of the operating budget. Put another way, it’s less than 6/10,000 of the state budget — the proverbial spit in the ocean.

To be sure, Jindal sliced some questionable “NGOs” from the budget. At the same time, he gutted the budgets of Boys and Girls Clubs statewide, not to mention money for the Jazz Fest, several YMCAs and YWCAs (including the Dryades YMCA, which takes kids off some of the meanest streets in New Orleans), the homeless in New Orleans and several senior citizens’ programs.

THE IMPACT — Jindal appeared to spread the pain statewide. Still, more than $6 million of $16 million in cuts come from the greater New Orleans area (Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard and the Northshore). The real impact, however, will be measured in unfunded local social service programs that affect everyday people.

In once case, Jindal cut operating money for a local senior citizens program that had been funded by the state for three decades. The state had already spent roughly $1 million to rebuild the senior citizens’ community center — then Jindal cut the money they needed to move in later this summer.

One of the biggest items that Jindal cut was $500,000 for the Jazz & Heritage Festival. According to one source, the administration felt that the Jazz Fest was “too local” to satisfy the governor’s “statewide or substantial regional impact” criteria. Huh? The Jazz Fest too local? Apparently the governor has never been to the Fest … or looked into its financial impact.

Moller's project does not mention any of the affected items by name. Not even the Jazzfest. It allows that some of the money "would have paid for things such as playground equipment" but makes sure to attribute that to Sen. John Alario, D-Westwego.

Both Moller and Dubos go on to discuss the likelihood of a legislative veto session. The analysis there also differs greatly and includes conflicting reports on the possible intentions of Senate President Joel Chiasson. I'm not going to quote from these sections because 1) You should go read the rest of Clancy's post and 2) I think I've made my point.

Dubos concludes:
No matter what the outcome, this will look good on his resumé — like so many of his contrivances.
And given what we've seen from the T-P, Jindal will not lack for aid in padding that resume.

Note: The print edition of the T-P also attributes Ed Anderson on its current events project.

Update: Don't miss BSJD's comments... which he has presented as a full post here where he looks at the specifics of which political foes Jindal may be acting against with these vetoes.

Also: more fun follow-up from Clancy here.

Upperdate: Moller and Anderson take another look at the possibility of a veto session in this morning's T-P

Uppestdate: Clancy Dubos also takes another look at the possible veto session adding some of the patronage angle suggested by BSJD.

Love letters

Kara Nelson is really the most dangerous kind of journalist there is.

In unrealistic boyhoods we made no mistakes

Damn. My early 30s were by far the weirdest bit yet. Just unbelievable shit followed by more unbelievable shit. And now it only gets more expensive apparently.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Essay question

Can someone explain to me the benefits of the "lot next door" program? Does it merely expedite the process of turning the land back over into private hands? Wouldn't it limit the possibilities for growth? What is the big selling point?

Narrowing the "Viewpoint"

The incredible shrinking T-P opinion page. Bringing less and less content to fewer and fewer readers.

Update: The T-P, of course, is far from the only daily paper to "go cartoon"

The Tribune Co's Sam Zell says,

"we're going to roll out a different look and feel in each market, emphasizing what people are telling us they want in the research — charts, graphs, maps, lists."

In other words, according to Zell, it's the readers who are demanding less content from their daily paper. You're out there screaming for less news and opinion and more pretty pictures so the T-P and the Tribune Co are happily bringing that to you.

Meanwhile, it seems the professional newsie types may disagree... but that just means they're out of touch with the popular "Viewpoint" doesn't it?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Dollar Bill planning to pull a Lieberman?

Clancy Dubos takes a skeptical look at the rumor that Bill Jefferson will withdraw from the Democratic primary and run for reelection as an Independent in the general election.

The rumor is likely based on the way Jefferson artfully played both sides of the political and racial fence in his 2006 campaign against Karen Carter. Jefferson head-spinningly managed to paint Carter as "too white" and just as strangely "too socially liberal" for Orleans Parish black voters while using Harry Lee as a surrogate to attack her as "too black" for Jefferson Parish voters based on her comments in Spike Lee's When the Levees Broke critical of the Gretna Police for turning hurricane evacuees away at gunpoint. Clancy, in fact, revisits one of the central mysteries of that 2006 campaign in this week's Gambit cover story.

Amazingly, Jefferson skated on that issue. Not once was he asked if he felt the Gretna cops were within their rights to turn back the refugees, but he clearly loved seeing Sheriff Lee lambaste Carter Peterson for her comments. Lee, no stranger to racial politics, did everything he could to help Jefferson win. "Stay home," he told his constituents, most of them white. Many did, and Jefferson won with 55 percent of the vote.

But this is a new election season and that means there are a new set of questions to not be asked. For example, can we expect the new Jefferson Parish favorite, Byron Lee, to be asked about his ties and apparently similar proclivities to his cousin Derrick Shepherd? Shepherd, of course, ran for this seat in 2006 but currently finds himself, like Jefferson, under federal indictment in a case that as it turns out may also involve..... Bill Jefferson. For some reason, being involved in multiple Federal indictments is no obstacle to Dollar Bill's continuing to stand for reelection but that's what makes this interesting. It's also why this is such fertile territory for exotic rumors.

In any event, Clancy is probably right to discount a Dollar Bill Indie run.... for now anyway. Jefferson's base is no longer as solid as it once was. He's sure to be squeezed on the Orleans side by the presence of former ally Cedric Richmond. And with Lee in the race, he has very little room to make up ground in Jefferson Parish. But the crowded field still makes the congressman a strong candidate in the Democratic primary. But if Jefferson somehow fails to make the cut there... then maybe we'll talk about the Lieberman option. It's unlikely... but my what fun!

Update: In the comments, Clancy Dubos points out that according to Louisiana election law, Bill Jefferson closed the "Independent" option by qualifying to run in the Democratic primary. So I guess that's that. It only makes this election a very small degree less fun to watch, though.

Yeah we'll be middle-aged children but so what

Since this is the weekend prior to my birthday, I feel obligated to run about the town and act like an idiot in celebration. I suppose I'm getting to an age where a lot of people are more worried about building their career/family/house than figuring out how to avoid the sobriety checkpoints at 3 AM. But I guess guys like me and Mayor Eddie Price have to stick with what works for us. Meanwhile there's still...

Stuff To Do

Thursday, July 10, 2008


I know this will make a lot of people happy but I can't bring myself to get excited. Keep in mind, I am an extreme case who hates any and every filming project in the city. Especially if it affects my parking.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

"Rebutting arguments you've not been allowed to see is a talent that isn't taught in law school."

This Salon piece on the only Federal lawsuit left with any chance of holding anyone accountable for violating the 4th Amendment is frightening, hilarious, and definitely worth your time. It's the only lawsuit left because it names the President as a defendant. Similar suits against telecoms were pretty much voided today by the actions of Your Crappy Democratic Presidential Nominee and Louisiana's Crappy Democratic Senator.


It's the web site that proves if there is a God, all he/she/it does is say "Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!" all day long.

Today's episode of Louisiana's Crappy Democratic Senator

Your Crappy Democratic Senator hates the U.S. Constitution.

For reasons unknown to me I was telephoned last week and invited to attend Your Crappy Democratic Senator's upcoming campaign event in New Orleans. I've been wondering if they were kidding but now I'm beginning to wonder if I shouldn't take some time and pay them a visit. I hear the Creole tomatoes are still in season and readily available in local markets.

Cranky Old Man hates Social Security

What he actually believes is that the fundamental way in which the system has always operated is "an absolute disgrace"

"Americans have got to understand that. Americans have got to understand that we are paying present-day retirees with the taxes paid by young workers in America today. And that's a disgrace. It's an absolute disgrace and it's got to be fixed." said the Cranky Old Man.

Don't miss Somerby's take. Short version: According to the Washington Post, the Cranky Old Man has a plan to "save" the "absolute disgrace"

What can we say? Cops are dicks

Anyone who volunteers to go around wielding the legal authority to tell people what to do or not do on a day-to-day basis obviously gets off on wielding authority. That much speaks for itself. It follows then that within this subculture of authoritarian dickery, those imbued with the additional authority of supervising the authorities can only be even bigger dicks.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

For the record, I put almost no thought into it

It's just sort of where I was at the time.

And since that day, I have continued to put little or no thought into everything else that appears here.

Audio Books

Oh my. Won't these just be the most awesome political ads ever.

All the money is in the trash

BSJD has some interesting comments following yesterday's T-P article on JNE Enterprises. JNE is the company hired by the City to do the "bulky waste" trash hauling, many originally thought Richard's Disposal and Metro Disposal were being paid to perform.

During the most recent City Council election cycle, much was made in the paper over Richard's and Metro's political connections. So just who is JNE, then? From Gordon Russell's article:

JNE formed shortly after Katrina, according to state records. While JNE's Web site says the firm serves 10 states and has offices in three cities, the work promoted on the Web site was all done in New Orleans. The four listed references, including White, are all in the New Orleans area.

Though the site boasts that the principals have "over 25 years of combined experience," none of them are named on the site. A heading on one page says, "Key team members" over gray boxes marked only "image comming (sic) soon."

The company's incorporator and namesake, James Eaton, did not return phone calls seeking comment.

I can't wait to see if anything commes of that. Meanwhile, BSJD asks, "I wonder if James Eaton will turn out to be a home grown businessman." I can't answer that, but since the company's website describes JNE "As one of the Gulf-Coast’s leading full-service small/minority/woman-owned, construction, and disaster recovery firms" I'll keep an eye out around town for any small minority women named James and report back on what I find.

"Simply put, Cajuns should know better"

What Ian said

Monday, July 07, 2008

Wither the Republic?

Governor PBJ's courageous decision to be pressured into deciding something about the CRITICAL issue of legislative pay raises has earned him the prestigious Louisiana Pundit's Medal of Courage from the wizards behind the editorial curtain at the Times-Picayune There was no comment from the Editorial Wizards regarding the courage Jindal displayed in breaking the back room promises he made to legislators (Update: More on the back room deal here)in order to earn this medal. Instead, the Wizards found the root of the drama to be Jindal's "mistake" of "being too disengaged" from the legislative process. Anyone who reads sections of the T-P not written by the Editorial Wizards might find this analysis lacking but the Wizards are great and powerful and work in mysterious ways

But let's not begrudge them their narrative so long as the wicked pay raise remains melted. That way we won't have to spit our coffee too far when we read Jarvis DeBerry compare the CRITICAL pay raise controversy to the political unrest that led to the overthrow of British rule over the thirteen American colonies. But if we are to accept this strange equating of a sensationalized and pointless political game with the birth of the American Republic, what then are we to make of the "firebell in the night" sounded by Jindal's refusal to veto the even more ridiculous pay raises for his executive staff?

Can we expect the proud militia of the Louisiana internets to rush back in and defend the citizens' hard won freedom from... distasteful compensation schedules once more? Or do we have to wait for them to finish "reloading"?

Upperdate: This morning on WWL radio, Clancy Dubos did an excellent job of explaining the Governor's deal with legislators as well as the politics of school vouchers. He also pointed out that "some people might" find PBJ's refusal to veto the pay raises for his staff hypocritical.


Following the journalistic example provided by the Pullitzer-winning Times-Picayune the Yellow Blog will apply that paper's principle that there is no news worth opining about on Monday morning and refrain from publishing any opinions until... well probably sometime in the afternoon. In the meantime, please feel free to take advantage of our comments section (brought to you on most days by Haloscan) to express your "Viewpoint" on whatever topic strikes your fancy. Nothing too controversial, please. Remember, it's Monday.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Fouth of July book recomendation

Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution Woody Holton (2007)

Everything you're looking for this holiday. Constitutional law, copious quoting of Herman Husband, dry and extensive discussion of government securities, and enough sentences which contain the word "Farmers" placed very near the word "Framers" to make your eyes go cross.

And if that doesn't work for you, just get drunk and blow something up. It's what the Framers would want.

This is what happened to your Monday T-P opinion page

It was "rightsized" into a "Viewpoint".

I think this is my favorite passage from the story Athenae links to.

Michaels is a longtime radio industry executive who used heavy cost cuts to help Zell turn around Jacor Communications. Tribune's papers also include Baltimore Sun and Hartford Courant. Another Tribune newspaper, Newsday, is in the process of being sold to Cablevision Systems Corp. for $650 million.

"We always look at the productivity of our sales people, but nobody's ever said, 'How many column inches does a journalist write?'" he said.

He noted the average Tribune journalist in Los Angeles produces about 51 pages of content a year compared to about 300 pages in Hartford or Baltimore, although he acknowledged that investigative and in-depth reporting takes more time.

"When you get into the individuals, you find out that you can eliminate a fair number of people while eliminating not very much content," Michaels said. While other factors have to be taken into account, he said, "we believe that we can save a lot of money and not lose a lot of productivity".

Because we all know the best reporting, or writing for that matter, is that which produces as many words as possible without wasting too much time on research.

In a somewhat related matter, yesterday marked the 47th anniversary of the death of Ernest Hemingway.


That online Scabble game I was "kicking ass" in.... Yeah Daisy won.


How many times will we have to endure the uncomfortable term "The Itch" in our sports journalism between now and August?


We found this lying around the library the other day. The kids have got jokes.


And no I don't think this is the same person who passed me this note back in February.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Dammit, Haloscan

Come on, man, not today.

If it doesn't come back and you really gotta say something, just email.

Progress in Iraq!

Dammned liberal media will never tell us about the freshly painted liquor stores.

Today, Saif's family stores are running full tilt after years of off and on business. Self-service, it isn't. To buy a bottle of Scotch, a customer confronts an iron gate that keeps him 3 feet away from Saif. By vaulting two steps back, Saif can hide behind the wall where he displays bottles of liquor.

However, even the iron gate wasn't enough to protect the store from insurgents who threw a Molotov cocktail inside the family store in Karrada in mid-May. "The fire cost me $10,000," Saif reckoned.

Forced to close, he repainted the store and reopened it in late May. Other Islamic prohibitionists then placed a bomb near the shop. The explosion meant more losses, but he opened the gate again a few days later.

Saif's family, who are Christians, are nothing if not resilient. They once owned 13 liquor stores all over Baghdad but lost nine to Islamist insurgents, Saif said. Now iron gates protect those that have reopened.

On the other hand... Yeesh!

In his store on Sadoon Street, Dawood offers more than a hundred kinds of beverages, including whiskey, beer, vodka and wine. Prices range from less than $1 for Iraqi hooch to $3,000 for a single bottle of Black & White Scotch.

One reason for the high price is the cost of previous attacks. About 18 months ago, insurgents from the Mahdi Army, a Shiite Muslim militia, stormed into the liquor store of one of Saif's friends, cut off his arm with an electrical saw and left. Saif's family closed their stores for several months, which cost them about $90,000.

Holy crap a bottle of Scotch in Iraq is even more expensive than a gallon of gasoline in New Orleans... although admittedly not quite as tasty.

Damn this war.

It's that time again

You can help the Gambit readership get everything wrong once again by voting in the annual "Best of New Orleans" poll here. I'm hoping to see Frank Davis win "Best Blogger" again.

Let's start this day off right

With a cheap and funny joke

Nagin said he reimbursed the city after The Times-Picayune reported recently that he used his city credit card to take his wife, Seletha, out for a $91.57 anniversary lunch at a posh Uptown restaurant. He told WVUE-TV in an interview that he paid the city back for that meal, but not for two others with his wife totaling more than $80 each.

"One of the things that happens when my wife and I go out, if we're not talking city business, somebody will invariably come up to us, take a seat and join us for lunch, and we'll talk city business. So, to me those are legit." He added, "She's the first lady and she's one of my key advisers and we talk a lot about city business."

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

It's a dream house!

At $390,000 you'd almost call it a steal... or you'd say something is being stolen.

Update: The story has been picked up by Gambit reporter-blogger David Winkler-Schmit. Also WCBF has more on the list of 10 contractors involved in the remediations.

Holy Crap

Apparently there are "no shortcuts to quality" stickups. I mean it seems the guy actually stood in line to do this. You guys should all do what Schroeder says. I'll try and make it by the end of the week.

Also who even knew that there was a Hansen's blog?

Things riding in planes and getting shot down qualify you to do

Get names of countries wrong... but still be unassailably awesome at foreign policy

Politics of the Past

That would be one way to describe the so-called "New Democrat" Actually this is a funny article which features Al From unhelpfully listing things that Obama "has to do". One thing Democratic Presidential nominees don't have to do any more is listen to Al From. Obama can go to the South and win on his own without kissing the DLC's outdated corporate funded ring.

Obama can win in the South

I've always thought Thomas Schaller was kind of an asshole anyway. I'm not even sure that's a real school he's associated with.

Ladies and Gents, Your Official Straight Line of the Day

N.O. named 'America's Most Sparkling City'

Meanwhile, in entertainment news..

Bingo! blog

Intrepid Independent Investigator E

Or IIIE. Something is brewing over at WCBF. Go encourage or help the little fella if you can.