Sunday, August 31, 2008

The evacutation WILL be Tweeter Tubed

Only able to send txt messages to Twitter from the road. Shutting down here and taking off.

Saturday, August 30, 2008


The last time this happened I said I'd bring more of my stuff with me. But it looks from here that the only things I've done differently are

1) Pack a few more clothes.

2) Pack my cd collection.

3) Clean out the fridge.

Just opened a bottle of wine. We're going to get up in the morning and go towards Nashville. Just not much else to do at this point. I won't be able to update the Yellow blog for a few days if I'm on the road. Will update Twitter via txt message but that's about it. Be safe, everybody. We might still get through this okay. In fifteen minutes they're going to announce the Powerball winners. I'm feeling kind of lucky.

Nagin talking

At this point they are all saying what we've expected them to say all along. They want to make sure everyone is appropriately motivated to leave, sure. But they also want to make sure everyone heard them unequivoquably tell people to get out no matter what. That's fine. I've said all along that the time to decide what to do would be tonight or tomorrow. Right now it looks iffy but potentially very bad. We are packing right now.


Uptown New Orleans is almost as much of a ghost town right now than it was during Ivan. We walked down to the Bulldog this morning to catch some of the LSU game. Got some pictures on the way back.

Katrina Cake

Set is here

Stay classy, Ray

Yesterday, the Mayor took a moment away from honoring the victims of the Federal Flood to use them as means to attack his critics.

"The most important work we need to do this third anniversary, in spite of the challenges we face this hurricane season, is to learn, ladies and gentlemen, to respect and honor each other -- our diverse culture that is unique to New Orleans. I don't know exactly who is in those coffins, you don't know who is in those coffins, but I will bet you they represent every aspect of this great city. . . .

"So when people talk about their love for this great city, and then you go to a blog, or you read something and it is divisive, it is hateful, it is mean-spirited, my question to you is: How you can you love New Orleans if you don't love all of us?"


Wacky crisis planning

This morning, the landlord left some plastic bags hanging on our door with the following letter.


Friday, August 29, 2008

Oh my God

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Ms. Dan Quayle

Just a thought

There are STILL currently no tropical storms or hurricanes anywhere in the entire Gulf of Mexico.

My plans

I have dinner reservations tonight at K-Paul's. That's about it right now.

Also... and I cannot stress this enough. What. Clio. Said.

Out of radio contact

For reasons entirely separate from the current or potential weather situation, I've been without internet at work for most of the day. Currently the city is freaking out a bit. But in truth, this is not yet the time to worry. It's time to plan but not time to act. If anyone needs my advice (which they almost certainly do not), I'll just post here what I said in an email a few minutes ago.

Try to keep the hyper-politicized atmosphere in mind when making your decisions. Tune in to the storm's location and forecast track.... which still isn't very reliable right now. Try to tune out the posturing of Federal, State, and Parish officials. Do what's best for you and your family. Not what's easiest on the pols.

Be safe. More when I can get to it.

Movie time

"We are more compassionate than a government that lets veterans sleep on our streets and families slide into poverty; that sits on its hands while a major American city drowns before our eyes."

Hmmm... experience would lead us to a different conclusion, but the man isn't known for his harsh realism.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Crazy Freak-Out 2008

Orleans Parish Criminal and Civil Courts: Closed Friday

Loyola University: Closed Friday

Tulane University: Closed at noon Friday

Xavier University: Closed at noon Friday

RTA: Ceasing operations by late Friday

Governor PBJ has declared a State of Emergency and expects to begin phased evacuations by early Saturday.

On Magazine Street, Top Drawer Antiques is boarding up its storefront windows right now.


Protect our precious drops

Fox News reports that our "Oil is in Danger"

I can't imagine what they're afraid of. Don't they know that "not one drop" was spilled during Katrina?

Must-read guest posting

Both posts are storm-and-flood related

Michael is posting today at First Draft.

And Kevin Allman is at Matt Davis's Open Mouth

"What about Katrina and cronyism?"

Oyster highlights some pretty words in Bill Clinton's speech to the DNC last night. But I was most pleasantly surprised to find the line above this post.... particularly the pairing of those two words.

Schroeder noticed the same thing.

Dude where's my Gustav?

They totally lost the center of Gustav overnight. The new coordinates change everything we thought yesterday about projected landfall, intensity, and timing of the storm. Expect what we currently know to change radically at least 50 more times before the storm goes away. In other words, the Saints kickoff tonight in the Superdome at 7:00 PM. I wonder how much Ricky Williams we'll see.

There's also that "forecast of least regret" factor to consider.

Upperdate: Also worth considering. If the man can no longer do his work, will anyone take up his sword?

The best in weather forecasting technology

Still the most effective forecasting technology known to New Orleanians. Shove that up yer NOGAPS.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Crazy Freak-Out 2008

I still don't see what the big deal is. I'm going to the Saints game tomorrow.

Looking ahead

I really can't wait until the Obama-Biden administration takes over and starts putting out the same bullcrap foreign policy as the Bush-Cheney administration. Because as soon as that happens, we'll get to hear just how nasty and intolerant the people at Daily Kos can be towards anyone who dares question the President during a time of war.

Crazy Freak-Out 2008

Despite the fact that there is currently no tropical cyclone activity in the entire Gulf of Mexico, they are boarding up the windows at the Rink right now.

Boarding up the rink

What are my plans?

Tomorrow night I'm going to the Saints game. After that who gives a shit? Maybe it's the fact that I, like Varg, am unimpressed with our ability to predict the future, or maybe it is my severe preference for not packing a few days' essentials into the Tercel for no good reason, but I refuse to behave right now as if we were absolutely certain some horrifyingly destructive force were bearing down upon the City of New Orleans at this very moment.... wait what?

Mayor Ray Nagin leaving Democratic Convention to return to New Orleans

OMFG run for your lives now!

HUD's plan to end "Warehousing of the poor" in NOLA

Somehow it involves... actual warehousing of the poor.... only much more expensively.

HUD pays millions to open Lafitte, but complex will be demolished in March
by Katy Reckdahl, The Times-Picayune
Tuesday August 26, 2008, 10:11 PM

For the $2.7 million it paid to renovate 94 temporary units in the Lafitte public housing complex -- the same units slated for demolition in March -- the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development could have put up residents at New Orleans' finer hotels.

Because the units will be open for only seven months, the agency will pay a whopping $4,103 per unit per month -- more than $130 a night -- to put people into subsidized housing that they will be moved back out of less than a year later.

I guess this is really more like putting the poor on layaway. I'm unclear as to what the plan is for these residents once they are moved back out.

Pointlesser and pointlesser

I'm having trouble paying any attention to this year's DNC. This is a disturbing development in my life as I will tell you here that I was practically raised on political spectacle. In the same way that sports fans geek out over their fantasy teams or the NFL draft, I have sat through most of the "gavel to gavel coverage" of major political conventions since 1984. I grew up in Louisiana so I've also derived a great deal of pleasure handicapping horse races and lapping up the unintentional humor of countless elections both major and minor for as long as I've been old enough to understand what was happening. Why have I bothered? Some of it is obviously in the upbringing, I suppose. My Dad had an unhealthy obsession with these events that inevitably rubbed off a bit. And yes, I suppose I have a preference for dark humor. But I think I've been able to keep paying attention because I've almost always been able to discern through all the bullshit that something of substance was at stake. And I think that's what has been missing from the Democratic Primary this year; a reason to wade through all the shit.

It wasn't too long ago that the stupid phony bitchfests of Democratic primary elections were... in at least some small way... about something other than the candidates' egos. The candidates' ego clashes have always been front and center and usually the dominant theme of the campaign coverage but they were only watchable because they were the inevitable stupid drama that masked a more substantial competition for power among differently interested constituencies within the party. You voted for Jackson over Dukakis or Harkin over Clinton or ANYBODY but Gore or even Dean over Kerry because these choices represented ideological cleavages embedded in the spectacle-driven clown show. The debate may have been about personality, odor or fashion sense but that stupid debate was only worth having because choosing one scent over the other meant choosing between whether or not the nominee would be slightly friendlier to (in a simplistic way) the labor or the corporate wing of the party.

But that time is long past. There is no "competition for the soul of the Democratic Party" to speak of anymore. The sad line of choices I delineate above really represent the spastic death of that idea. The party has been swallowed whole by an establishment corporate consensus. And yet as the question of whose interests in which the party's nominee will act has dissipated entirely, the competition between the candidates has grown angrier and harsher. The bitterness is somehow magnified in proportion to the pointlessness. So this week, as the nation's gossip girls gather around to squeal over which pre-teen is less sincere about apologizing for totally dissing the other I find myself wondering for the first time why are we even watching?

Today Greg Saunders says:
....it’s sad to think that (Hillary) even had to include her “I want you to ask yourselves: Were you in this campaign just for me?” line. It’s remarkable that the people who ostensibly share Hillary Clinton’s ideals need to be reminded again and again and again that she’s a Democrat who supports Barack Obama. Even more bizarre was hearing a teary-eyes Clinton supporter on CNN tonight grudgingly concede that she “did what she needed to do” (or something along those lines) as if to imply that Hillary was insincere in her ringing endorsement of Obama. The PUMA brand of zealotry, which mixes equal parts self-righteous promotion of and bewildering disrespect for a candidate, is one I’ll never understand.

And I guess that's what I'm getting at here. "Self-righteous promotion of and bewildering disrespect for a candidate" seems to have been all this primary was ever about.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Obligatory semi-freak out time

Okay so I'm breaking out the pretty pictures for the first time this year.

Update: Dear Mr. Bunch, if you want to fantasize about the "realpolitik" of death and destruction please restrict these activities to whatever dark corner of the mind you go to after the cable news channels sing you to sleep at night. Nobody wants to die for your "ethereal visions".

And also... what E said.

Upperdate: And also... what Loki said. And what Muffin said too.

Carnival news in the dead of summer

Angus Lind's underground sources report that Le Krewe D'etat and Morpheus have been given permission to extend their Uptown parade routes to include Magazine Street between Jefferson Ave and Napoleon.

On the one hand, wow that's really great. On the other hand, it's pretty strange considering all the haggling and bullshit from the city involved in restoring just one parade to the Mid-City route.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Throwing Blakely under the crane

This morning when I saw this latest in a long series of hissy fits between Federal and local recovery poo-bahs my first thought was something along the lines of "there they go again." Everyone knows we certainly have no truck with Ed Blakely here at the Yellow Blog. As this post from back in April clearly demonstrates, we've pretty much had Blakely Fatigue since the very day the man arrived in town.

So as much as we enjoy the irony of seeing Blakely, who arrived in New Orleans complaining about the hapless buffoonery of the native populace, now roundly spanked by Douglas O'Dell for being quite the buffoon in his own right, and as much as we'd love to sit here and laugh along at O'Dell's zingers fired off at Blakely, we have to admit that the whole business is more sad than it is funny.

(Okay it's still pretty damn funny though. For example
He said Blakely is often absent and unavailable and leads an office that produces "ethereal visions" of recovery that cannot be financed with federal recovery dollars.
We thought that the responsibility for producing ethereal visions in this administration belonged to Bernardo.)

It's sad because of the vulgarity of how quickly the perpetual buffoon-bashing torch can be passed to the next outside critic these days with no diminution of that rhetorical tactic's political power. When Ed Blakely arrived in town two years ago pretending to be a head cracking no-nonsense type he enjoyed the immediate unquestioning admiration of the majority of the self-hating Dragonslaying NOLA establishment for long after he deserved even the slightest benefit of the doubt. Some of us had him pegged as a phony after his first press conference, but in New Orleans, anyone willing to tell us all just how rotten and stupid we are tends to get a wide berth from everyone on the NOLA conventional wisdom spectrum from the Couhig Conservatives to the Yuppie Left.

So despite the fact that we're happy to see somebody slap him, you'll forgive us for not applauding too loudly as we are in full knowledge of the fact that the criticism is really just one buffoon-bashing phony bitch-slapping another one in order to score some dubious political points. The names are changed but the narrative remains, "Those backward-ass people down there really don't deserve anyone's help."

See WCBF for a pretty good cautious analysis.

Update: I should remind everyone here. This coming Monday marks the one year anniversary of the day the cranes didn't come.

Or did they?

Upperdate: Well there you have it. Remember when Blakely came to town, everyone thought he would straighten Nagin out? Worked out well.

Upperestdate: E states it more forcefully this time:
Yet clearly the General is not flying off the handle. These are prepared remarks, or at least there is a prepared intention behind the remarks. Mayor Nagin is a friend of the Bush administration and will likely not be criticized by Bush-appointee Doug O' Dell.

Good riddance if there is now a movement afoot to force Blakely's resignation. He has been nothing short of an abombination but let's not pretend like rearranging the deck chairs on the S.S. Nagin will make any difference in terms of the ideological framework that drives our unrecovery process. You ain't a sinking ship if you're already sunk.

And then there's more in the visual aid department.

Missing the best one

David Winkler-Schmit has an amusing story in this week's Gambit where he talks to a handful of bloggers who each offer their best criticisms of graffiti bully Fred Radtke. I've always said that the problem isn't so much Radtke's unstable and obsessive personality as much as it is that he continues to be empowered by the city to piss all over everything. But since we know the city empowers all sorts of ridiculous bullshit we are hardly surprised at this any more.

I still wish David had contacted Dangerblond for this story since I still think she... um... paints the best picture of Radtke.

Radtke’s vendetta against Dingler, whose removable art works are not the same thing as graffiti and are infinitely preferable to Radtke’s obnoxious slashes of grey paint, shows you what this guy is really doing. He is making his own marks all over town. If he was really motivated by a desire to clean up ugly and offensive defacements off people’s property, he would use different paint colors to more closely match the colors of the buildings he is “fixing.” But no, he doesn’t want to do it in your color, he wants it in his color. He wants everyone to know that Radtke was here. This guy is basically an aggressive dog, sniffing out the places where other dogs have peed, and peeing on top of their pee. That will show them!


The most egregious offense committed by the incompetent mob who organized (to use the term loosely) this year's Rising Tide conference has yet to be touched upon by any of the critics I've read yet. Sure the education panel was hopelessly biased against privatization, the politics panel was a stooge platform for Jason Williams to make a campaign speech, and we all know that media discussing media can only amount to a pointless, "tragi-comic circle jerk"

These things are obvious... well... obvious to anyone who isn't a biased, narcissistic, political shilling RT organizer, that is. But worse than any of this is the fact that the fucktards in charge of doling out the "Ashley" awards at the end of the day could have been so blind to the true champion of the local blogoshere. While the RT Circle Jerk committee was wasting its time acknowledging this inspirational rhetorician, activist, and philosopher, or this one-man scourge of the ACOE, and this tireless civic watchdog/gadfly/media queen the one blogger truly deserving of the title "Best Blog of 2008" was utterly snubbed.

Fletcher Mackel, on behalf of all the rest of the hapless children who worked on the Rising Tide conference this year, I would like to extend my sincere apologies. Thankfully the enlightened readers of Gambit Weekly have corrected this injustice through their overwhelming support for your work at "Offsides with Fletcher Mackel" in this year's "Best of New Orleans" poll. We'll try to get it right next time.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

More RT reaction

Maitri has a whole series of comprehensive "liveblogging" posts on each stage of the day.

Varg seems to have been taking copious mental notes.

Greg gets right to the weakness of the concept behind the journalism panel. I blame the jackass who came up with it.

Update: Kevin Allman's reaction.

Meanwhile, Huck is overly introspective... as usual.

Upperdate: Greg is back with all sorts of observations and good ideas and stuff.

Also Michael Tisserand thought the (outstanding IMO) education panel was too "Tough on Charters"

Going all meta this time and linking this round-up to Cousin Pat's even bigger round-up

Also... somehow I left out Muffin.

Uppesterdate: More from Pistolette who would like to see a more "fair and balanced" RT

Uppesterestdate: Finally got my crappy Flickr set up.

The bad kids' table

More here

Three sentences about last night's fake football game

Saints TEs made a few really good looking plays in the passing game.

None of those TEs was named Shockey.

The Saints don't have a 2nd round draft choice next year for some reason.

"Just tell the truth"

If you didn't get to catch John Barry's keynote speech at THE hip media event of the year yesterday, this T-P account captures the essentials fairly well.

"It's not just the Port of New Orleans" that benefits from ships that call at New Orleans, Barry said. "It's all the cities (upriver) that New Orleans makes into a port."

He also encouraged bloggers to stress that "practically the entire country" has contributed to the deterioration of Louisiana's coastal wetlands.

The country needs to know that more than 2,000 square miles of coastal land have been destroyed since the introduction of large-scale, man-made control devices on the Mississippi River, Barry said.

Those devices -- jetties to assist shipping navigation, hydroelectric dams that block sediment flow, dredging of canals and waterways for oil and gas production -- have benefited ports and powered homes but have harmed Louisiana's coastline.

"We don't get a damn bit of benefit from electricity produced in the Dakotas," he said, referring to large dams in North and South Dakota that he said are responsible for about one-sixth of the Mississippi River's lost sediment deposits.

During the Q.& A. portion of Barry's segment, an audience member asked about the importance of "building higher" as a strategy for flood mitigation. Barry interpreted this as a question about official policy vis-a-vis risk management in general. Barry advised that the most effective... and overlooked tool is to "just tell people the truth" about the risks they face.

"Just tell the truth" seemed to me the simplest but most universally applicable line one could have come away from yesterday's event with.

Fastest way to prove the moderator is crappy

Find a quote from Clancy Dubos talking about what a "masterful job" he did.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I see white people

Apologies to everyone who participated in this... but that's how photos like this are going to play.

(T-P photo by Michael Democker)

Friday, August 22, 2008


In the interest of minimalizing the inevitable damage to be done to Saturday's RT III Media Panel by its crappy moderator, we are presenting potential audience members with some pertinent reading material which may aid them in following and/or contributing to the conversation. The reading assignments are as follows:

Stuff To Do

Goddammit get your ass in gear and come see RT III this weekend.

Festivities begin Friday night at 7:30 where there will be much carousing and drinking at Buffa's Lounge (1001 Esplanade Ave)

Saturday morning, at the Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center (1618 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd), the sure-to-be hungover participants swear they will be ready to start at 9:00 AM. The day's activities will include:
I hear nothing but good things about everyone involved in the education and politics discussions but unfortunately the journalism panel could be a bit shaky on account of the asshole they found to moderate it. Still if you can tune that monkey out, the panelists are certainly worth listening to. They will include: (1) Gambit Weekly writer David Winkler-Schmit (BTW don't miss David's cover story in this week's Gambit on the City's mishandling of federal funds designated for local HIV/AIDS clinics), (2) Author, journalist, and blogger Kevin Allman (3) Blogger-journalist-activist-perpetual-candidate-for-Mayor Eli Ackerman of We Could Be Famous... um fame, and (4) WWLTV investigative reporter Lee Zurik.

The problem is that the asshole moderator is insisting upon having these good professionals consider the following three quotations:

A newspaper is a device for making the ignorant more ignorant and the crazy crazier. --H.L. Mencken

With the possible exception of things like box scores, race results, and stock market tabulations, there is no such thing as Objective Journalism. The phrase itself is a pompous contradiction in terms.
--Hunter S. Thompson

If you have no real knowledge or skill set and you’re lazy and full of shit but you want to make a decent wage, then journalism’s not a bad career option.
--Matt Taibbi

Again... great panelists... crappy moderator... should be a good time anyway.

It's not too late to make up your mind and register today.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The best Nagin post I've seen in a long time

Even if it is a half-attempt by e at meeting Kevin Allman's Find Me A Pro-Nagin Blog Post Challenge

E writes:

All of the apologists out there that rail against Nagin critics by levying charges of racism are themselves ignoring what Nagin's policies are actually doing to the African American community of New Orleans.

The reality is that the biggest Nagin apologists out there aren't those that think attacks on Mr. Nagin are racist, they're the racist Republicans that themselves profit from Mr. Nagin's implementation of a bastardized free market disaster "recovery" policy slate that disproportionately hurts poor African Americans.

Recall that Ray Nagin himself contributed to George Bush's campaign in 2000 and nearly maxed out to the evil Billy Tauzin.

Also recall that campaign donations of members of the Bring New Orleans Back Commission, hand picked by Mayor Nagin, went to GOP candidates a whopping 94% of the time.

It is Nagin and the policies of his administration that are propping up and perpetuating the economic and racial injustice.

Those that call critics of Mayor Nagin's recovery policy racist should look in the mirror. They should think about who's really holding up Ray Nagin. They should look at who's really behind the Mayor's Excellence in Recovery Award (i.e. excluding those that were tricked into membership). They ain't exactly the victims of Katrina - they're the profiteers of false recovery.

All of this is dead on. Read the rest of E's post here.

As we prepare to mark the third year of this "free market recovery" it's time to think about how in many ways the conservative cronies and beneficiaries of Ray Nagin's policies are winning the Third Battle of New Orleans on nearly every front. From health care to housing to education, the new New Orleans is being built according to a radical conservative blueprint that would have been practically unimaginable prior to the Federal Flood. I'll have more on the near total victory of the Nagin-Couhig conservative axis in an upcoming post. But for now, it's helpful to keep reminding people just who and what Ray Nagin stands for.

Something you don't see every day

Yesterday morning I happened upon the only John McCain bumper sticker yet to be seen in the entire City of New Orleans. It was such a strange site I had to take a picture.

The ONLY McCain Bumper Sticker in the city

What kind of a person is excited enough about a Cranky Old Man who owns 7-12 homes to sport a sticker on his or her vehicle (even if it is displayed this sloppily)?

Well.... the same sort of person who STILL has a "Peggy Wilson for Mayor" sticker displayed in the same rear window.

The ONLY Peggy Wilson bumper sticker ever

And just what kind of nut would drive around in a conveyance adorned with these multiple badges of mental instability?

Okay so I'm leading you a bit. I happen to know that this is actually Peggy Wilson's car.

He should have worn a Batman costume or something

I have a new personal hero

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

"Creole Blue"?

What the hell is this crap? Is that what they're calling Teal with pinstripes?

Update: We had a short discussion about this at the Gambit blog yesterday. Today, Alejandro is back with more on the new uniforms... plus a video of the product launch non-event.

Ed Blakely threatens to take his cranes and go home

Won't build a hospital unless we let him knock down a bunch of buildings first.

One universal constant revealed

The weak link in any Saints backfield is always named Bush

New low for PBJ

It's bad enough that he blew his "protest-too-much" method of grabbing the VP nomination, and even worse that he can't even have his consolation prize keynote speaking slot at the RNC.... but to have been bumped for Rudy? Man that's gotta sting.

It really is THE hip media event of the year

Register today for this weekend's Rising Tide III You don't want to miss your chance to buy some awesome swag.

I am not aFayed

Calm down, kids. It ain't coming here.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

This week's Dome complaint

We like to keep the pre-season game commentary short around here since, as we thought we heard Charles Grant mumble last night, anything that happens in pre-season is a meaningless illusion akin to a surrealist dream filled with strange and confusing images such as bizarre facial hair, second-rate country musicians running pass patterns, and Reggie Bush running forward. We're not certain if these or any of the other various whimsical spectral events witnessed in the course of our fake football experience have any meaning or that we'll even remember them for very long once we wake up to the actual season. We are certain, however, that the bastards in charge at the Superdome have managed the unlikely accomplishment of eliminating even more of what little joy was left in the gameday experience.

Reggie Bush elects to punch someone in the head rather than dive out of bounds. Pre-Season is indeed an illusion. (Photo stolen from NOLA.com. It won't be the last this year)

Since making a Saturday night kickoff is a bit of a squeeze given Menckles's work schedule, we arrived somewhere midway through the first quarter. I was hoping we could turn this to our advantage in bloody mary wait time but no luck. The line was as long as ever but I was content to slog it out since, as we've noted many times before, the Superdome bloody marys are among the best in the city and... well I just don't feel right getting to my seat without one. So I waited, quietly tolerant of the my obnoxious colleagues in line who felt it necessary to loudly comment on the speed of the service within earshot of the bartenders; absent-mindedly attempting to decipher the moans and cries of the crowd in order to determine what might be happening on the field. When I reached the front of the queue, I cheerfully placed an order I hadn't made in over 7 months. "Two bloody doubles, please" The bartender seemed to think for a second... but then sighed and went to work with the usual assembly. I saw the Zing Zang, the cheap vodka, the olives, the celery, those wonderful beans.... and then... wow those cups are quite a bit smaller than I remember.... maybe I'm imagining things.

I wasn't imagining things. When she placed the two drinks in front of me, I could see they were in white plastic cups that were about half the size of the Mardi Gras thow-sized cups which contained the "double" cocktails in previous years. I was about to ask about this when the bartender set a third cup alongside of them, poured a shot into it, and said, "You have to pour it in." I poured the vodka into one of the little cups, she replaced the shot and I dutifully poured it into the second cup. Before I could ask, she went straight into what was obviously her three hundredth recital of the explanation.

Officially the Superdome doesn't sell double sizes anymore. The servers are only allowed to sell two drinks per customer at a time. Somehow, the employees have decided that they can work around this rule by selling me two extra shots and then just counting those as two separate sales somewhere. Honestly I'm not sure I follow the logic but according to the lady making the drinks, it's all above board as long as I personally add the extra liquor to what is about half the amount of mix that it would have been diluted by under the old rules. Whatever.

All I know is in 2006 I paid $9.00 per double bloody mary. Back then, that seemed pretty outrageous. Saturday night, I paid a total of $28.00 for... whatever the hell those two little drinks were that she sold me. It all goes to show that as soon as you think the NFL is screwing its fans as hard as it possibly can, the bastards find a way to top themselves.

You may be tempted to attribute the new policy on alcohol sales to the NFL's ridiculous "fan code of conduct" but I beg to differ. The code of conduct... while certainly not a nice way to show respect for your paying customers... wasn't to blame for the sharply reduced nacho portions, for example. And anyone who was there can attest to the fact that the rule against "foul and abusive language" wasn't being enforced. When I finally arrived in our section, the very first words r spoke to me were, "Jason David." No Superdome security arrived to escort her from the building so we're certain that even the foulest of words are still being permitted.

No, the Saints and the NFL have somehow managed to raise the bar even higher when it comes to bilking their patrons. Thankfully, since this is pre-season, we still have time to work on our adjustments to the new strategy. Specifically we're thinking about going guerrilla with our gameday liquor. Sunday I invested in a flask and a new pair of cargo pants. We'll keep you updated as this develops.

Three sentence Nintendo Wii review

Yes, we made a Nagin Mii. Yes, he boxes. Awesome.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The year is 2/3 of the way over with

And yet this is still happening. It was happening way back in January.... and it is still happening.

I hope someone gets an award for this truly excellent recovery effort.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Worse than a buffoon. A businessman.

Dambala has more (much more in fact) on photographer Bernardo Wade's background. Bernardo is believed responsible for organizing the "leadership award" banquet planned for Mayor Ray Nagin next weekend.

Meanwhile, tomorrow's Gambit will feature a Clancy Dubos column which goes a bit over-the-top, perhaps, and compares Nagin's sham award with the many medals Idi Amin gave himself. I like the column but I also think that comparing Nagin to a monster like Amin (even in jest) can be read as a bit shrill.

Besides the analogy misses the mark. While Amin's ceremonies play as the acts of a delusional buffoon, events like this "Excellence in Recovery" party are a much more subtle form of institutional control. An event like this is more like a company banquet or staff party where everyone is assembled for the implied purpose of demonstrating the social order of the office. Often there is the pretext of minor business. A new policy is announced, perhaps. Or the CEO makes a speech. Or... in many cases... meaningless awards are distributed. Often the employees in attendance are told that management always "values their input" but also that "it's important that we all act as a team".

It's a tried and true corporate method of soft bullying. It reminds everyone that disagreeing with the decisions of those in charge would be an inappropriate breach of the sense of camaraderie and "teamwork" established by the phony party. And since everyone's reputation and/or job depends on it, they end up just gritting their teeth and applauding through the event.

Seeing a "businessman" like Nagin who ran in 2002 as a "reformer" with "business credentials" (not to mention the endorsement of Gambit) involved in this kind of soft-bullying phoniness only reaffirms that we are indeed "running the government like a business". Comparing Nagin to an evil buffoon like Amin obscures that point... although it is revelatory of what the Dragonslaying types like Clancy always imagine they are up against.

Update: Please see also the comment thread below Clancy's post for several interesting points from Carmen re: Stewart Juneau. And also note that Clancy has managed to work Rising Tide III into his schedule. If this excites you, now would be a good time to register.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Stuff To Do

This weekend it's back to our little corner of the Dome for more fake football.

Top of the Dome

Extra special since we won't have to watch Reggie Bush this week.

Somehow I neglected to mention that after the Saints game fans can carry themselves over the HOB to catch Lil' Doogie in concert. Lil' Doogie is big time, y'all.

Bring back Wale Dada

Obviously there's going to be a roster spot available.

Q: Why were there no WMD found in Iraq?

A: Planting them would have been "hard work"

"Excellence in Recovery" Quote of the Day

"I didn’t have the heart to tell her that she lives in Arkansas now."

This recovery has been truly excellent. They should start handing out awards somewhere.

Attack of the Cranes

As a great man once said, "They're here! They're here!"

Click the little birdies above for further excitement.


He really is an "arrogant" "presumptuous" "elitist"

Thursday, August 14, 2008


It's Jackie

Update: Jackie speaks to Gambit and also to Loki.

Upperdate: Jackie is basically saying she got sucked into this by photographer Bernardo Wade. I thought it would be helpful to remind everyone who Bernardo Wade is.

Apparently it's the party of the freaking century... and Kevin Allman just schmoozed himself an invite. Also... Stewart Juneau thinks of his Ritz-Carlton penthouse "as belonging to the people of New Orleans" I think that's very nice.

Not Good

NEW ORLEANS -- The New Orleans Saints' starting defensive tackle Hollis Thomas has torn his right tricep at practice. Coach Sean Payton said Thomas would likely be off the playing field for two months.

And only 3 fake games left to go.

Daily Affirmation

Reggie Bush:
The word "bust" has been thrown around by Bush's harshest critics, who suggest his speed has been neutralized by NFL defenses and that he can't be an every-down back. But Bush said he isn't fazed by such talk, and he's not even interested in using it as motivation.

"No, because I know I'm not a bust. I know I'm far from it, "

Uh huh.

This weekend, the "Excellence in Football Poseury Committee" will bestow upon Bush an award for "Distinction for Running Backwards, Fre Flo Do and Diving for the Sideline"

ALTR nails it

Sidney Torres is the Al Copeland of his generation.

So everyone wants to know

Who is on this "Excellence in Recovery Host Committee" and why would they see this as a good time to give Nagin an award for "Distinction for Recovery, Courage and Leadership"? (We should note that Homer Simpson once received an award for "Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence" Nagin's award is at least that distinguished an honor.)

Anyway, according to a highly reliable source (okay a blog comment) the Co-chairs of the event are Dan Packer and Jackie Clarkson. Packer is the CEO of Entergy New Orleans and since that position requires a professional soulless phony, his name comes as no big shock (PUN!) Clarkson, while a professional soulless phony of a slightly different stripe, is still at least an amusing name to have surface here. But there is already speculation that she is positioning herself to run for Mayor as the "peacemaker candidate" in 2010 so maybe this fits.

Update: Another highly reliable source says that Clarkson's office is denying she is involved. (So while we might end up retracting the rumor we continue to maintain that Clarkson is indeed a soulless phony)

Upperdate: E has the flip side of that announcement and... lo and behold... there's Jackie's name under the heading "Co-Chairpersons"

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Eddie Jordan's legacy

Looks like his staff even botched the case that would have been his political bell cow had he decided to run for re-election.

Murder and attempted murder charges against seven New Orleans police officers, accused of shooting unarmed civilians on the Danziger Bridge after Hurricane Katrina, were tossed out by Criminal District Court Judge Raymond Bigelow, who concluded that an Orleans Parish prosecutor tainted the secrecy of the grand jury process by showing a piece of testimony to another officer.

"The violation is clear, and indeed, uncontroverted. The state improperly disclosed grand jury testimony to another police officer," Bigelow said, reading his ruling from the bench.

The judge also dealt a blow to the prosecution on two other pending defense challenges to the indictment, providing further reason to quash certain charges against specific defendants.

He concluded former Assistant District Attorney Dustin Davis improperly gave immunity to three officers for their testimony before the grand jury, which subsequently indicted those officers, as well as four others. Bigelow also found that the instructions that Davis gave to the grand jury considering the attempted murder charges were flawed.

Football Fail

The Houston Texans have taken the dubious step of issuing players workout shorts with writing on the butt. No word as to whether or not these items are available at your local The Him Store.

"Morial Associate"

Even with Ray Nagin's administration under federal scrutiny, the T-P continues to refer to "Morial Associates" as a separate set of persons from "Nagin associates" while they clearly are not.

McCain-Obama plan for world peace

If the whole world would just join NATO, nobody would attack anybody.

Post #2 in a series

Karen Gadbois: Media queen

Edit: Also... kudos to Adam Nossiter for putting in the NYT what we've all been either thinking or saying about the Mayor's paranoid press conference.
Mr. Nagin made it clear he was not pleased with the report, especially because it was broadcast when a high-level Congressional delegation was in town. With the cameras rolling, he said it was “completely untrue” that federal money had been misspent on work never done.

“It’s got to stop,” the mayor ordered the reporter at a news conference, referring to what he called “the gotcha mode,” and accusing the reporter of hurting the city’s recovery. The charge is akin in New Orleans to being accused of a lack of patriotism.

Meanwhile.. a big FUCK YOU to Nossiter for continuing with his agenda of demonstrating the innate inferiority of native New Orleanians

It helped that Ms. Gadbois is an outsider, an energetic relative newcomer from Boston — she came here in 2002 — with a professed love for the city that easily outpaces the resignation of more established residents.

Update: Karen's album is due out this fall. The NYT article provides us with a preview of the cover art.

Junkyard Dog

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Dirty Old Town*

At least, that seems a reasonable translation of "one of the cleanest I've ever been to" coming from Kid Rock
NEW ORLEANS - First, it was Lenny Kravitz. Now, it's Kid Rock. SDT's latest commercial features Rock walking around New Orleans, digging into a pile of crawfish and picking up trash with SDT owner Sidney Torres IV.

"I love New Orleans for its history, its soul, it's culture," Rock says in the commercial. "I been to a lot of cities all over this great land and all over the world. And I can say New Orleans is one of the cleanest I've ever been to."
Let it be noted also that Sidney Torres is the sort of person who believes keeping Kid Rock and Lenny Kravitz around as spokespersons is the sort of thing that inspires confidence.

*For other unrelated Pogues references, see the comments thread here.

Dalton Hilliard never really came back from his PCL injury

Reggie Bush was never anywhere worth "coming back" to.

Also of note in the above linked article: Wale Watch 2008 is over after only one week.

West signed, Dada waived-The Saints waived cornerback Wale Dada and signed wide receiver Joe West. West was the third different receiver to wear jersey No. 13 during training camp when he practiced in the morning. But in the afternoon he changed his jersey to No. 15.

Godspeed, Wale Dada. You will be missed.

"It was an unusual statement for a federal prosecutor"

Nossiter in yesterday's NYT story on NOAH

The scandal has dominated headlines and television news reports here for weeks. Mayor C. Ray Nagin at first angrily denied that there were problems at the nonprofit agency, the New Orleans Affordable Homeownership Corporation, created in 1989 and known as NOAH. Last Thursday, however, Mr. Nagin, summoned to appear before the City Council, acknowledged for the first time that there were “discrepancies” in the agency’s records and said some houses supposedly worked on had in fact not been.

The next day, the United States attorney here, Jim Letten, said a federal investigation into NOAH was under way. It was an unusual statement for a federal prosecutor. Mr. Letten made it, he said in a brief interview Monday, because he thought it would have “value in terms of public confidence,” a remark underscoring the weakened level of public trust in municipal undertakings here.

The remark also underscored the fact that US Attorney is every bit as political an office as... say Mayor of New Orleans.

How much change do you believe in?


Over the summer, the Obama camp has relentlessly pushed the notion that its record fundraising is mainly the result of small online donations. The first presidential candidate to raise so much money that he could afford to eschew the spending limits that would be imposed if he accepted federal matching funds, Obama claims that he opted out of public funding so that he could have a campaign "truly funded by the American people." And indeed, he has a record number of small donors, with some 45 percent of his campaign cash coming from contributions smaller than $200.

Which is a great percentage — but it's only eight points better than John Kerry in 2004 and only 14 points better than George Bush that same year. In truth, Obama is still raising tons of money from big corporate donors. In June alone, as Obama was raking in more than $30 million from small donors, he also bagged $6 million in a single fundraiser at Ethel Kennedy's home in Virginia and another $5 million at an event in Hollywood. But time and time again, you see Obama aides boasting about how the day of the big-dollar donor is over. "More people are involved, and I think that necessarily dilutes the impact of any individual — which is probably a good thing," one prominent Obama supporter recently declared. This staunch champion of the small donor happened to be none other than James Rubin, son of former Goldman Sachs co-chairman Bob Rubin.

Obama's decision to embrace Clinton's moneymen coincided with his decision to attend a public forum on economic policy with an A list of Clinton-era economic advisors, including Rubin and Corzine. "The message is that he's going to be a friend to Wall Street, just as Bill Clinton was a friend to Wall Street," says Pollin. "Wall Street will want to be at the head of the table."

Monday, August 11, 2008

Somebody found the office key

Feds begin sweep of NOAH offices

The T-P reporter seems uncertain as to who the people showing up at the NOAH offices today actually are only reluctantly taking their word for it here.

Officials arriving just before 10 a.m. at NOAH offices near City Hall, on the 10th floor of an office building at 1340 Poydras St., declined to speak in detail to a reporter, as one of them said simply that "we're guests" at the offices. But they appeared to be carrying out a subpoena issued last week as part of a federal inquiry that includes the FBI and Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Two of the investigators, as they wheeled a dolly into the office, said they were with HUD's Office of Inspector General. At least 14 total investigators are on the scene this morning, including a few wearing blue jackets with the FBI insignia.

But really these guys could be anyone.

T-P photo

Looks to me like one bouncer from Coyote Ugly, three guys from the local appliance store and, of course, the "Can you hear me now?" guy showed up to deliver a washing machine but what do I know?

It's that time

Delivered this morning



Chris Rose has finally lent his considerable talents to the ongoing explication of the NOAH scandal by investigating The Him Store in person.

The Him Store and its quality product lines were previously discussed here as well as here.

*Apologies to Atrios

And in a tangentially related matter...

More numbers

The city is asking for a total of $103,517 back from 19 contractors it says cannot justify the amounts paid to them by NOAH. As we said last week, if these figures reflect the largest amount of money lost through the NOAH, then the Mayor and the city have a legitimate argument that they are being unfairly persecuted for political reasons.

Of course, the real serious discrepancy that isn't given much attention here is this. This remediation program was originally conceived as a $15 million program to help poor and elderly homeowners recover their property. As we all know by now, the majority of that budget did not actualize as properties were left untouched or improperly demolished or just not even considered for the program. The fact that only about $2 million was actually spent reflects the real failure of NOAH. Be it the result of incompetence, indifference or thievery (and very petty theivery at that if the city's numbers are correct) the failure to follow through on a service like this represents an enormous breach of faith.

Friday, August 08, 2008

I hope the Packers lose every game this year

Jason Whitlock gets it exactly right.

I get the feeling Brett still hasn't put it together how Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy ran him out of the franchise and state he owned for nearly two decades.

Thompson and McCarthy are superior at office politics. Following a 13-3 regular season and a run to the NFC Championship, they both quickly inked five-year contract extensions and decided it was the perfect time to play hardball with an iconic quarterback who spent too much time campaigning for Randy Moss rather than pointing the spotlight toward Thompson's and McCarthy's brilliance.

You've seen this on your job. It goes on in every workplace.

New bosses come in and they look for their opportunity to diminish anything that happened before they arrived and champion their hires.

Ted Thompson drafted Aaron Rodgers in 2005, and a year later while ignoring Favre's calls for Steve Mariucci, he hired McCarthy to lead the Packers.

Thompson desperately wants Rodgers to be the quarterback of the Green Bay Packers.

Thompson and McCarthy don't get credit for Brett Favre's success. And as long as Favre was in Green Bay, Thompson and McCarthy could never be viewed the way Bill Belichick and Scott Pioli or Bill Walsh and Eddie Debartolo are.

Brett Favre is going down in history by himself. Mike Holmgren and Ron Wolf will get mentions at Favre's Hall of Fame induction. Thompson and McCarthy want to write their own history, and they want to do it now while the Packers have on paper "the best young roster in the league."

So Aaron Rodgers can do no wrong in their eyes. His fragile body, weak resume and shoddy performance in a recent scrimmage can all be explained away. He's Thompson's first hire, the new employee with the freedom to do whatever the hell he wants.

I know you've seen this on your job.

This is exactly what I was trying to tell Adrastos here. If you're with the Packers on this, you're nothing but a company kiss-ass.

Saints 2008: Hit the ground bitching

Here come the fake football games. As every sports fan is well-aware, the NFL pre-season is the greatest ripoff this side of home remediation in New Orleans. Each summer, fans are treated (for the price of a regular season admission) to a long month's worth of football-like competition between medium-talent camp bodies trying to become the next Mike Buck interspersed with the occasional pointless but devastating season-ending injury to a key player.

Last night, the Saints concluded the first of their four scheduled painstaking pre-season sessions. Right now Saints fans, bloggers, and reporters are working hard to pick out something they think they may have seen last night and explain how it bodes great or ill for the upcoming season. We will make no such effort here. It's still too early in the fake season to make any substantive pronouncements about the long year to come. Early August just isn't the time to say something you have to spend half a year hearing about how wrong it is anyway. But it's never too early to start complaining about stuff. So with that in mind, we present you with the first official thing that has bothered us this football season.
  • It appeared to us back in July in the form of a dreaded "Burning Questions" list. I tend to enjoy Ralph Malbrough's contributions to WWLTV.com but this year, right off the bat we found him hacking away at one of the most overused pre-season memes in existence. As camp opened, Malbrough tossed off a piece he titled "Ten Burning Questions a week before training camp" By employing this title, Malbrough is either following a tired sportswriter's cliche or attempting to riff on it in some way. He hints at this in his opening paragraph but the explanation of the possible satire is both unclear and unfunny... sort of like those enigmatic New Yorker cartoons you hear so much about.

    Ok I know you’ve read like 20 of these things and they all ask pretty much the same questions going into training camp. So I’m going to try and spice things up with questions, thoughts, and my observations going into camp.

    We still aren't sure if the title is a joke or not. We get some acknowledgment that the form is standard which is okay but we're still not sure how things will be "spiced up" other than that the "questions, thoughts and observations" will be uniquely Ralph's. Again that's okay but I still don't get the title because not only are the "Ten Burning Questions" not on fire they are also not even all questions. (Only four of them are.) And even this is okay with me. Not all sports observations need be phrased in the form of a question, but for Chrissakes the title "Ten Burning Questions" is overused enough even when the number of nonflammable interrogatives is correct. Must we drag it out again when it isn't even that descriptive of the article's content?

    In any event, the article did grab our attention. So let's quickly address this list of questions... which aren't all questions... none of which are on fire.

    Marbrough's first non-flaming non-question reads:

    1. $120 million is a lot to pay for 9.5 sacks

    The Saints have signed Will Smith and Charles Grant to contracts worth over $120 million and last year they didn’t even have double digit sacks combined.

    Call me concerned. And I’m not even talking about the trial hanging over Grant’s head.

    I sort of see where Ralph is going here. But $120 million is actually an incomplete figure since it doesn't include free agent acquisition Bobby McCray's $20 million contract.....or his 3 sacks from a year ago. This non-question should state (but not ask burningly) "$140 million is a lot to pay for 12.5 sacks". It is. Especially now that McCray has come up lame after one pre-season game.

    2. Jonathan Vilma will be the next big mistake of the New York Jets
    No. The next big mistake of the New York Jets is Brett Favre. Moving on.

    3. The Saints Secondary still stinks
    Well... Jason David is still on the team, but so are like 40 other cornerbacks. If Mike Mckenzie comes back okay, and if Josh "Never Mind The" Bullocks doesn't start and if they find another corner who knows how to not fall down every other play, it might not be as bad as some people think right now.

    4. Reggie Bush will have a huge year and fantasy nerds and message board guy will still hate him.
    This is not only a non-question, it's a lame prediction based on... I don't know... wishful thinking combined with antipathy toward "fantasy nerds". First of all, if Bush is asked to carry the rushing load this year, the Saints are in trouble. For evidence of that, we refer you to all of last season. Secondly, Reggie Bush is an enormous douchebag. For more on this, we invite you to search this blog for his name.

    5. If the Saints receivers continue to drop the ball, will Drew Brees have a mental breakdown?
    Actually the Saints' projected top 3 receivers, Marques Colston, David Patten, and Lance Moore, don't drop the ball very often. The final cut this year could come down to two guys who are well known for that attribute. Terrence Copper is well known for his ability to tackle people on special teams and for his ability to drop the ball a lot. Devery Henderson is known for his ability to run really fast and for his ability to drop the ball a lot. Most coaches would prefer to keep the guy who can tackle people. But coach Soupy has a tendency to favor offensive finesse players so... we'll see.

    6. Will Jeremey Shockey be partying on Bourbon Street come September?
    Congratulations, that's two actual questions in a row. But Jesus, Ralph, you're writing for a local media outlet. Do you really have to use an out-of-towner's phrase like "partying on Bourbon Street" in order to evoke celebrating success in New Orleans? If there's any question on the list that we, in fact, should light on fire it is this one. Anyway there are two schools of thought regarding Jeremey Shockey. The first is expressed here in the latest ANTIGRAVITY "St. Nick" column:
    To be as blunt as possible, I love this trade. Coach Sean Payton was the Giants’ offensive coordinator when New York drafted Shockey in 2002’s first round, so he knows what he’s getting with the embattled TE. Payton was also with the Dallas Cowboys when they selected another Pro Bowler in Jason Witten.
    In other words, Soupy and Shockey work well together ergo giving up a 2nd and a 5th round draft choice for a dude with a broken leg and an ego problem who was largely irrelevant to the last team he played for should work out great. Yeah, I'm skeptical. The second school of thought comes from the New York media who covered the Giants last season and points out that the team and its quarterback only really got it together AFTER Shockey was removed from the lineup. The Saints just traded for a guy who best helped his team win a championship by breaking his own leg. Something about that should bother people. It bothers me. Plus, if there was one player the Saints could have acquired to out-douche Reggie Bush, it was Shockey. This also bothers me.

    7. What will be a sign that Deuce’s comeback is going poorly?

    If you start reading on the internet or see John Clayton saying the Saints are talking about bringing some washed up and over-the-hill running back it probably means Deuce is struggling.

    Last week the Saints made an effort at acquiring former Raiders RB Lamont Jordan before he decided to sign with the Patriots. If Ralph's answer to his own question is correct then that is a disconcerting development. On the other hand, the misinformation coming out of Saints camp is that Deuce is coming along fine. It's not time to freak out just yet.

    8. Martin Gramatica wants to bring joy to all Saints fans but Sean Payton might not let him
    We like Gramatica's amusing hair. But if rookie Taylor Melhaff doesn't make the team, then what the hell did they waste a draft pick on a kicker for?

    9. The Saints game on September 7th will be moved because Farveapolooza will be coming to town
    Yet another lame prediction presented as a non-flaming non-question. This is already not happening. Moving on again.

    10. Will the local media continue to get softer or if the Saints struggle will they ask tough questions?

    Since Buddy D passed away the local media is down to few voices that really will give a strong opinion if the Saints struggle.

    I like my media to not be liked by the team. I want columnists that write columns that tick off coaches and some fans. Sometimes tough questions need to be asked. Will the media ask them?
    This, in fact, is THE most pressing (burning, even) question of the 2008 football season. While ever-expanding local internet coverage has brought the typical fan an array of new forums for football discussion, the actual professional reporting on the team has grown far too "soft" and sycophantic since Buddy D left the airwaves.

    Just yesterday, I left the following comment for in an Adrastos thread:
    The very reason I like to follow sports is because I am amused at the mendacity and hypocrisy of those who claim to be in charge of stuff. It's the same reason I follow politics, really.
    Buddy D understood this. Somewhere along the line the sports press chose to content itself with stats and cheerleading instead of actual critical analysis. It certainly doesn't bode well for the future of New Orleans sports journalism that the team's owner now also owns a local television station.

    One small item that already has us concerned is an alteration to the T-P's daily "Camp Confidential" feature. In previous years, it contained a regular "Who's Hot" and "Who's Not" juxtaposition. After each practice the beat reporter would note one player who did something impressive as well as one player who did something crappy. This year, T-P readers are being fed ONLY the "Who's Hot" side of that equation. If the paper won't tell us who sucks they're deliberately ignoring half, if not most, of the story of training camp. We will continue to monitor this situation.

Bonus observation: During the second half of last night's game, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the Saints have a defensive back on the roster named Wale (pronounced "Wally") Dada
The name alone immediately makes him our new favorite Saint. Unfortunately, as we mentioned above, the Saints have roughly 50 million other DBs in camp and so the odds of Wale Dada (Keep saying it. It's fun!) making the team are practically nil. Nevertheless, we're rooting for ya, Wale.

He ran Cox Cable

Gill, in an otherwise excellent column, writes:

Nagin ran for office as a non-politician, but surely this is not how he used to run a business. He must have had more respect for investors' money than he does for ours.

A couple of years ago, Schroeder described the Mayor's experience "running a business" in a YRHT comment that still sticks out in my mind.

How tough a "business executive" do you have to be to work for a massive monopoly that just collects checks for a ridiculously overpriced service?

It's bad enough that certain corners of our political discourse are still corrupted by the cult of "running government like a business". But even that fairy tale doesn't apply to someone whose business world claim to fame is figure-heading a quasi-public monopoly.

Update: See Schroeder's post today for... well the same point among other things.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Dear Public

It is absolutely none of your business to determine what rules other people's children may or may not be violating, nor is it your place to deliver lectures to said children.... or to any other adults within earshot... as to how these imaginary rules need to be enforced. Please restrict your need to be in charge of everything to the confines of your own personal life and the individuals you are accustomed to afflicting there.


According to the Mayor, we're talking about 46 properties that may have been improperly billed.

If they end up being able to claim that they're being nailed to the wall over what amounts to errors and small change, then they'll get to make their critics look like a bunch of hyperventilating Dragonslayers. And if their claims about those numbers are anything close to accurate, then they would be correct in framing it this way.

Packers hold a press conference


Sadly Ari Fleischer is not fielding the questions. Apparently they just want us to know that the Jets do not have the "Favre that counts"

Hitting the big time

Karen Gadbois: Media Queen

It's Kabuki time

Sometimes it's difficult to decide what's worse about a scandal like NOAH. Is it the fact that an opportunity for the city to do some good work for the poor and elderly was thrown away for the sake of petty cronyism? Or is it that now we have to watch all the council clowns spend the rest of the century wagging their holier-than-thou fingers at it? I go back and forth on this.

Quote of the Day

Saints receiver Robert Meachem, apparently without even stopping for a breath, says:
"Last year, I can't make any excuses. I had a limp, and I couldn't show what I could do,"

Welcome to football season.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

I blame Dan Rather

Since we know all forgeries emanate from him.

Dear Internets

Please excuse the entire city of New Orleans while we totally geek out on Google Street View.

Varg has prepared a personal tour of the city for you. Very amusing.

Question of the day


How is it that Matt McBride had the data to support this article and the Office of Recovery Managment is still grappling with this issue?

More Street View

17th Street Canal breach site with repaired floodwall.

View Larger Map

Virtual disaster tourism

Google Street View comes to NOLA

View Larger Map

View Larger Map

View Larger Map

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

"What happens when there is no hospital?"

Ever since the Federal Flood wiped out Charity Hospital there has been some faddish enthusiasm for replacing it with a system of "neighborhood clinics". But if that is supposed to work anything like the current VA chaos, then it needs to be rethought.

Dear public

I understand that each of you believes yourself to be capable of directing every institution you encounter in your daily travels and that this capability imbues you with the right... nay the responsibility... to instruct total strangers who are not in your charge as to your expertise in these matters. And perhaps you're right. Perhaps you are honor-bound to share your awesome powers of general bossitude with the universe. But remember that your heroic fulfillment of these duties is not without hazard.

In other words, the next fucktard to come in here and list everything they believe is not operating or arranged to fit their fucked-up expectations is getting a punch in the mouth.

Where's the outrages?

Oh there they are.

One thing the Saints Defense has improved in the offseason

It's opinion of itself. Maybe Coach Soupy needs to have another stupid jazz funeral for all the imaginary trophies they've already awarded themselves.

Edouard has passed

Somebody go check the Gulf for "one drop" of oil.

Monday, August 04, 2008

That "other angle" we've been hearing about

T-P's Gordon Russell let's us in on it.

Stacey Jackson, the embattled former director of a city-financed program aimed at easing blight, bought four blighted properties herself through another city program two years ago but has done little or nothing to get them back into commerce.

Just last month, a company controlled by Jackson and her sister sold one of the four properties, an empty double lot at 1925-31 Sixth St., to a charity group that has been praised by City Hall and others for building new homes for first-time buyers in Central City.

The charity, Jericho Road Episcopal Housing Initiative, paid Jackson's company $20,000 for the land, three times what Jackson paid for it in 2006. As it happens, Jericho Road had been trying to get control of the land back then, but lost out to Jackson.

In fact, Jericho Road thought it had the property in 2006, having been awarded it by City Hall under a program designed to give nonprofit groups land adjudicated to the city because of unpaid taxes. But as the Jericho Road was trying to clear title to the Sixth Street property, the group learned the land was unavailable because Jackson had already staked a claim on it with the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority, according to Brad Powers, Jericho Road's executive director.

This is... very bad. What we're seeing now is that this is about more than just a good idea like the NOAH remediation program being wasted by incompetence and petty thievery. This is a tangible manifestation of the long held fear that this entire recovery effort would be an exercise in Disaster Capitalism; An insulting shell game where the mechanisms designed to bring relief to the abused become investment opportunities for the well- connected. Throughout these post-flood years Mayor Nagin has spoken to us of "economic buffets" and "exploding pies". I think we're starting to get a glimpse inside of some of the chaffing dishes.

Here's why I'm hoping Skyler Green gets cut

Because the day it happens, WWL will ask him to write about it in his "diary" and he will (hopefully) beat their asses.

Dear public

You are the meanest, most condescending, willfully difficult entity on the face of the earth. Each day you surprise me with your ability to persist in this behavior. When will you stop?

Actual things that happen

Are more ridiculous than the ones you make up.

What's that big blue button at the top of the sidebar?

Click it. It's yummy.

More Spilling

It's still working

Just gonna have to quit driving altogether

As the city continues to install obsolete equipment designed to entrap and defraud motorists, the T-P continues its crusade against anyone being able to do anything about it.

Way to go, guys.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Out for the day

Been bogged down with that terribly inconvenient work-type stuff lately. It's about to inconvenience my Saturday. Will be back later with more NOAH jokes and then (finally) this year's Saints complaints can begin. In the meantime, beware the "threat" of alligators since it apparently is "not going away."