Wednesday, October 29, 2008

And with this, it's off to the undisclosed location

My Friends,

I wish I could spend this last weekend before the glorious socialist revolution with you but, regrettably, I will be out of town... and likely away from the internets... between tomorrow and Monday. It's probably a good thing at least as far as my blood pressure is concerned. Those of you who mainline the political stupid as much as I no doubt understand this Daily Show gag on the same visceral level.

Now, as the longtime readers of this site know, unless Dangerblond is running for something, this site does not make election recommendations. We do not fancy ourselves activists here. It conflicts with our steadfast commitment to detached elitism and our comfort derived from the fact that no one gives a fuck what we think. However, as longtime readers are also aware, we simply cannot pass up any opportunity to be wrong about stuff. Therefore we offer the latest in an ongoing series of dismal Yellow Blog election predictions.

  • The New Orleans Saints will continue pass the ball well and play zero defense for the rest of the season on their way to an 8-8 finish. If they finish any worse than that, Coach Soupy may not be back next season. Poochie will continue to annoy people and Bush will lose at least three more fumbles before the season is done. Morten Andersen may be the next kicker. I think Deuce, Grant, Smith, and Nesbit all got shafted by the NFL's draconian and pointless drug testing PR scheme and look forward to their various legal challenges. We'll discuss all of this at length after the election.

  • I've already said that Obama will get more than the 17 percent of the Louisiana white vote predicted by this poll. But I don't think he's likely to actually carry the state as some of the more excitable kids seem to be saying.

  • The Italian guy will be the next Orleans Parish D.A.

    Oh okay, I think the Williams endorsement complicates things but Cannizarro still has the edge.

  • John Neely Kennedy will complete his spectacular failure to obtain what was previously thought the "most vulnerable" Democratic Senate seat in the country.

  • Dollar Bill will go back to Congress after comfortably trouncing Metairie Barbie.

  • The goofy "We agree to whatever plan you haven't told us about yet" charter change will fail.

  • Steve Scalise will survive the challenge from Jim Harlan in Congressional District 1

  • The Democrats will pick up 30 seats in the House and will reach exactly 60 votes in the Senate. Unfortunately vote number 60 will be Joe Lieberman who will demand to be named King of All That is Sensible with weekly parades in his honor on Friday which will henceforth be known as "Joe The Lieberman" Day.

  • Taking the Mayor up on his invitation to stay as long as he likes despite the fact that his office is being dissolved, Ed Blakely will move into the same Loyola University library cubicle that once housed Robert Cerasoli's office. Library staff will complain from time to time about having to clean up his half-finished plastic cups of wine... but since he'll be continuing to spend most of his time in Australia and Dubai anyway, nothing else much will change.

Finally, Barack Obama will be the next President of the United States. This is a difficult thing to conceive of for those of us who watched John Kerry find a way to FAIL in 2004... or even Ray Nagin cruise to reelection in 2006. We have come to expect the irrational argument to move the most voters. Greg Peters offers a similar (though not identical) observation of what I think is the same phenomenon. He calls it the "Fuck You Vote". (If Greg ever updates his cartoon archives again, there will be one I can link to for your further edification in this matter)

I've spent the past two months watching for signs that the Fuck You Vote would be activated again this year but, simply put, the sheer incoherence of the McCain campaign has failed to provide the necessary stimulus. Sure there are hordes of drooling half-wit race/religion voters roaming the countryside looking for something to smash, but even those folks need some semblance of a standard bearer and McCain has failed to make them march.

Meanwhile, a surprising number of high-profile Republicans and establishment conservatives have publicly turned their backs on McCain. Every Chris Buckley or Scott McClellan or David Frum to endorse Obama further confuses the McCain message that his opponent is some sort of unacceptable radical. During the campaign's final week, McCain's own nutty running mate is openly undercutting him. Make no mistake. The McCain Campaign is one of the all-time spectacular political bus wrecks.

And while the Obama campaign is cautioning about a last second bike wreck...

I think it's safe to say the thing is done. It's really just a matter of counting electoral votes.

So let's count 'em up, dammit! Here it is, kids. The official Yellow Blog 2008 projection.

Now pick out something nice from your borrowed $150,000 wardrobe, fix yourself some arugula salad, get out of... whichever one of your houses you're staying in this time of year, fill up those tires, and haul yourself down to the polling place Tuesday and vote.

See you next week.


Advance release of tonight's Obama "closing argument" infomercial

Update: This evening I just watched Jon Stewart make exactly the same joke directly to Obama. I expect my check will be in the mail next week sometime.

Map/Info porn


It's what you think it is


Yglesias argues that the McCain campaign is doing as much as anyone else to provide Obama with a claim to a substantially progressive mandate from the electorate next year.

This is where I think some of the recent “socialism” scare talk and so forth gets interesting. Presumably, come January and February conservatives are going to be wanting to argue that Obama’s got no mandate, that Republican legislators have no need to fear him, and that Democratic legislators should live in terror of overreaching. To that end, it’ll be helpful to argue that Obama got elected as a tepid centrist. But in their last-ditch efforts to beat him, they’re doing the reverse, and dramatically overpainting Obama as a wild-eyed radical ready to unleash Marxism on the country. Well, if you spend a month or two running around saying that, and then the voters back the Marxist anyway, he’s got pretty much carte blanche to do what he wants if he wins.

This is exactly what I said this past Saturday. Saturday's comment was in response to a silly article in the T-P comparing Obama with Huey Long. I kind of turned that around by suggesting that since McCain could be the catalyst for a leftward movement by the new President, it's actually McCain who looks like this generation's Huey Long... although we're not sure McCain is actually this generation's anything anymore.

Info Porn

Here's a pretty good Wa-Po table based on the Tax Policy Center's analysis of Obama and McCain's tax proposals. Note that when John McCain and Sarah Palin barnstorm the countryside screaming bloody murder about President Obama's plan to raise "your" taxes, they are speaking to a very specific "you" when they say that. And that "you" is not very likely to be... um... you specifically.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Soupy's Legacy

No kicker is ever safe.

Uh oh.. a prediction..

Despite what this poll says, I think Obama will get better than 17 percent of the white vote in Louisiana. Maybe not much better but if the over/under is 17, I'll take the over.

Picking up the slack

Since we're not sure of Rose's status, we'll contribute a small nugget of local celebrity gossip.

Trusted sources confirm that members of R.E.M. were hanging out at Johnny White's bar last night. Sources involved say that an unnamed Sinatra recording was played on the jukebox in some sort attempt to please the band.... for those of you who care about this sort of thing.

Closing argument

Nothing more to say, really

City of whores

I continue to have difficulty understanding why certain people in this city are so in love with the Whore-nets franchise.

Convinced that the city was ready to go national, Bennett tried to buy the Hornets and keep them in Oklahoma. According to a letter Shinn subsequently wrote to Stern, Stern recommended that he sell. "You pressed me to sell the team," Shinn wrote. "You even told me that owners were asking you, 'What's wrong with George - why doesn't he sell his team[?]' " Shinn's response made it clear that he, too, coveted the new territory. "We need to immediately begin laying the foundation for what I believe will be great relationships in Oklahoma City," he wrote. "I believe there are several options that we have, none of which involve returning to New Orleans."

The NBA does not want to be here. We do not owe them any gratitude for condescending to us the way they have.

Big (recovery) Chief like plenty of fire water

In a moment of actual brilliance the Mayor offers up the only plausible explanation for Ed Blakely's 1) saying he may think about leaving in December or January 2) indignantly denying a report quoting him directly on that statement.

Nagin tried to dismiss Blakely's interview with The Times-Picayune by saying, "I think a reporter sat him down after he had a couple bottles of wine, he got a little too relaxed and started talking about how homesick he was."

Brilliant explanation, yes. But I may have jumped the gun with the "plausible" bit.

The newspaper story did note that Blakely was sipping wine at the time, but he had only just begun his first plastic cup following an hours-long meeting with federal, state and local recovery officials. Bottles of wine were wheeled into the conference room moments earlier while Blakely was delivering a speech about the recovery being at a critical time.

Blakely did not say he was homesick, but rather said his absence had been hard on his wife and kids, who are grown. He said his wife would have a great deal of input in whether he comes back to New Orleans.

In fact, Blakely is rumored to be considering another job in Dubai (not his home).

Besides, the "wine" comment isn't even the best Nagin-on-Blakely quote in this article. I prefer to take my pick of either of these two:

"Dr. Blakely has been somewhat of an interesting person who has come to us," the mayor said.

But Nagin went on to give Blakely a strong review for his two years on the job, saying, "He has done, in my opinion, a lot of great work. I don't think this recovery would be where it is today without his great work."

Few of us can deny that we'd be precisely where we are today without Dr. Blakely's work.

Yes, I like, totally promise, OK?

It's midseason and the Saints are right on pace to finish with the 8-8 record we pegged them for at the beginning of the season. Sunday's game in London was my favorite win so far this year as it featured zero Reggie Bush and almost no Jeremy "Poochie" Shockey. (I say it's my favorite win this year because the Monday Night loss to Minnesota is by far my favorite game this year) There WILL be a Yellow Blog recap of the London game and of the first half sometime before I skip town on Thursday.

In the meantime, please do check out what they're saying at Moosedenied. Really the best sports writing in New Orleans right now.

City of God

This morning on WWL radio I heard Clancy Dubos explain to us that the Democrats took control of Congress in 2006 and that President Obama has a commanding lead in most national polls right now primarily because there is a mysterious pendulum force out there that inevitably swings between parties.

Americans tired of endless war? Americans worried about the economy? Corruption? Energy? Health care? All of these actual things that happen in the profane world are mere distractions which serve to prevent our seeing and feeling the comforting inevitability of the pendulum force.

I made a serious mental note of this. If, one day, I am called to become a high profile political commentator, I will need to understand these mysterious forces so that I can properly divine them for the radio listeners. (It's best to do these things on the radio. That way the audience doesn't have to watch you pick through those nasty animal entrails)


Let's leave the stupid advertising technique aside for now. If WDSU is going to devote the time necessary to parrot and amplify the ad's stupid message report on this, why wouldn't they endeavor to find out who purchased that particular billboard space and then... you know... report their findings?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Early Christmas?

NOLA.com: Some random NFL thoughts: Bush trying to get out of New Orleans?

Actually the article is a miserable tease. Oh well. At least he's not playing.

Nobody could have predicted..

...that an Oliver Stone movie would contain gross distortions and falsehoods.

The fact that the distortions and falsehoods happen to be in Bush's favor is even more not predictedable.

Something else I'll have to finally cram into my schedule next year

Although the price isn't any better, everything I read about what's happened to the Voodoo festival over the past few years indicates that it is already a far more interesting and relevant event than the Jazzfest.

Sure, R.E.M. and Nine Inch Nails may be a little dated for headliners but they're nothing like the sort of embarrassments that show up at Jazzfest these days (I'm looking at you Billy Joel and Santana)

Voodoo is making an effort to highlight the best of the contemporary local scene, include a healthy dose of traditional New Orleans music, and bring together widely disparate musical forms at one event. I'm not exactly what you'd call an "early adapter" so I've been a bit slow to get over my revulsion at what this festival used to be. I think I'm finally ready to make the adjustment, though.

Also: Last week, bullet shared with us this Offbeat interview with Trent Reznor in which he talks a lot about New Orleans.

And here BSJD provides us with a particularly fun fact.
Anyhow, for those of you who care about this sort of thing, any songs that R.E.M. performed off its first two albums are older now than "Moon River" was when R.E.M. played it twenty-four years ago; any songs from "Fables of the Reconstruction" are as old.

Update: In comments, bullet points out that Oyster spotted the Offbeat interview first.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Quick hits before kickoff

  • From the T-P's endorsement of President Obama this morning,
    He possesses expertise that should endear him to the New Orleans area. He knows cities - historic cities, gritty cities. He came by his knowledge pounding the streets of Chicago's South Side as an organizer, grappling with the needs of poor people. For our own great and complex city, we could use a national leader who appreciates that we are more than a sentimental memory of a college romp on Bourbon Street; that we are a culturally rich American treasure, filled with resilient citizens and worth protecting from the encroaching forces of nature.

  • I think the Saints minus Bush and Poochie are the strongest they've been all season and have an excellent chance to win today.

  • I think that Les Miles should be fired immediately.

  • I think Chris Rose can be an enormous douchebag as evidenced by ridiculous columns like this one... but a man's personal demons are no laughing matter and are deserving of every human's sympathy and concern.

There's a lot of football to talk about. But right now I'm watching the game. More later.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Isn't at least half the point of early voting giving people multiple days to vote so that... in case there's a huge line they can come back on a different day?

Things you can do if you write a crappy book

You get to say unbelievably stupid things in the newspaper

Perhaps, but Richard White Jr., a professor at LSU's Public Administration Institute and author of "Kingfish: The Reign of Huey P. Long," said that doesn't mean that Long and Obama didn't and don't invoke similar fears on Wall Street.

With Obama and a Democratic Congress, White said, Wall Street sees the return of a more tax-and-spend, redistributive regime in Washington with a dread that he believes helps explain the severity of the recent market collapse. "It's the New York Stock Exchange reaction to the certainty that Barack Obama is going to be elected president," White said. "They know there are rough days ahead."

Let's go ahead an assume that this article appears on Page 1 of today's T-P because the paper wanted to push a desperate McCain talking point. McCain says President Obama is a "socialist" who wants to "Spread the Wealth" so let's ask a bunch of people if he reminds them of Huey Long. Let's assume that this story was conceived of as a subtle hit piece designed to feature idiotic statements like the one quoted above.

I'm actually glad they did this because it's perfectly illustrative of the utter failure of the McCain campaign to make any message resonate. The more McCain and his surrogates talk about President Obama's nefarious plan to "spread wealth around" the more you can almost hear most Americans saying, "Yes that's something we're ready to do."

It's a fascinating phenomenon. McCain is pushing an Obama-as-populist message far more aggressively than Obama himself has. And as the public responds more and more positively to that message, it helps to shape President Obama's mandate. In a way, McCain's reckless flailing may have pulled President Obama's agenda further left than Obama previously intended. Maybe the real problem with this T-P article is that it compares the wrong candidate to Huey.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Neither President Obama nor any of his supporters out there is actually Zoro.

So glad we got that cleared up.

Also.. Billmon parallels this sad episode with the Tawana Brawley case

Suffice it to say that among its other nasty side effects, the spectacle turned Al Sharpton a household name. It also revealed the utter absurdity that some on the post-modern left are capable of. I distinctly remember one professor earnestly telling me that even if Tawana's story was false, it was still a crime because it represented the "mythic" truth of what had been done to African American women in America.

A legal standard that would, admittedly, make for some pretty interesting "mythic" trials.

As nutty as the reaction in some corners of the far left was, the reaction on the far right (which is to say, among mainstream conservative pundits) was even worse -- with Brawley and her advocates becoming the proof points for every claptrap racial theory ever peddled by conservative "scholars" such as the AEI's Charles Murray.

Update: Keep an eye on the timing of this story.
The McCain spokesperson's claims -- which came in the midst of extraordinary and heated conversations late yesterday between the McCain campaign, local TV stations, and the Obama camp, as the early version of the story rocketed around the political world -- is significant because it reveals a McCain official pushing a version of the story that was far more explosive than the available or confirmed facts permitted at the time.

The claims to KDKA from the McCain campaign were included in an early story that ran late yesterday on KDKA's Web site. The paragraphs containing these assertions were quickly removed from the story after the Obama campaign privately complained that KDKA was letting the McCain campaign spin a racially-charged version of the story before the facts had been established, according to two sources familiar with the discussions.

Government grants.... to rock!

That's what I'm talking 'bout! This is EXACTLY the kind of European style socialism we're HOPE-ing to see President Obama bring to this country.

Somebody check the kerning on that grandma!

Just when you think they can't possibly get any slimier


If the Democrats end up with a "mere" 58 or 59 votes in the Senate, how soon before we start hearing about how President Obama really wants to help Americans get better health care but his "hands are tied"?

I'm an old dude

I can still remember when R.E.M. was worth listening to. Not that I mean to imply anything about Adrastos, but he... um... also remembers this... and makes clever use of such in this post about the McCarthyesque foibles of Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann.
Hey, at least he didn't work in a Bachmann Turner Overdrive reference there.

Incidentally, the hollow shell of what was once a decent band is actually playing at the Voodoo festival this year... just in case you needed more evidence of the excruciating rottenness of everything.

"Nobody's house is safe."

Central City house razed before deadline for appeal
by David Hammer, The Times-Picayune
Thursday October 23, 2008, 10:53 PM

Delores Jones called the city of New Orleans frantically this week when she heard that a demolition crew had arrived at the Central City house she and her husband have owned since the early 1970s.

The 73-year-old woman had in her possession a letter, dated Oct. 1, saying she had 30 working days to challenge a plan to raze her two-story rental house at 2401-03 La Salle St. on the grounds that it was in "imminent danger of collapse." But Wednesday, just 16 weekdays after the date of the letter, Jones' house was turned into a pile of rubble by Dynamite Demolition, a city subcontractor.

"I started to go around there and I started to have an upset stomach because I didn't want to see it go down, " she said, her voice cracking. "Nobody's house is safe."

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Encore presentation

Since the dominant local story today features Ed Blakely being Ed Blakely as only Ed Blakely can, we proudly present this encore edition of the Ed Blakely Timeline circa April 2008.

More Blakely from Celcus here and here.

People who vote?

One of the many tiresome narratives of this campaign I have quibbles with is the idea that the electorate has been radically changed by a flood of "new" and "young" voters. It's one of those many THE WHOLE WORLD IS SUDDENLY DIFFERENT theories that never seem to pan out the way the futurists or the cheerleading children expect. Frankly, I ain't buying it. Neither is Gallup.

Bottom Line

Gallup Poll daily tracking suggests that 18- to 29-year-olds are not nearly as likely as older voters to be registered to vote, to say they are thinking about the election, or to express strong intentions to vote. Thus, as of mid-October, there is not convincing evidence in the Gallup data that young voters will in fact vote at higher rates than in past elections. But even if things change over the next two weeks and many more young adults do become motivated to vote, turnout alone would do little to change the candidates' overall support, according to Gallup's likely voter models.

Gallup will continue to monitor the responses of 18- to 29-year-olds to the likely voter questions between now and Election Day to see whether the current situation changes.


When does the T-P make its Presidential recommendation? Will it cop out like it did in 2004?

Oh God, please don't send me back to ECON 101

Especially if I can't have any coffee.

WDSU attempts to make a subtle funny

Apparently the news director thought it might be cute to get some public reaction to John LaBruzzo's continuing push to forcibly sterilize people by interviewing people at the dog park.

Can someone photoshop something for me?

I want to see Ed Blakely being lifted away by a giant crane. As the bedraggled citizens stand in their empty lots... or behind those big "Recovery in Progess" signs and shout up at him to come back he shouts down, "I can't. I don't know how it works!"

Update: And, of course, there's ActII:
Dr. Ed Blakely, the New Orleans recovery director, denied reports Thursday that he may leave his post in January when he completes his second year in the position.

Blakely called a Thursday story by the Times Picayune a "false report," and said he doesn't want to leave and doesn't have any intention of leaving.

Blakely said that the decision on whether he stays is one that they have to revisit every year with the mayor.

“Every year we talk about this. I might be going in 2012, 2015 – who knows? I have no idea where they got January from,” Blakely said.

From the T-P report linked above:
While sipping wine provided after a meeting with local, state and federal hurricane recovery leaders Wednesday, Blakely said he plans to discuss his employment in the coming months with Mayor Ray Nagin and with his family, who live in Australia.

"I haven't made a decision, but I've told some people I'll be looking in December and January at what's happening because obviously this has been tough on my wife and kids, but it's very exciting for me to see all of this happening, " Blakely said.

Direct denial of the words that just came out of his mouth. Yup, situation normal here in Blakelyville.

Care to comment, Mr. Mayor?

When asked for comment, Nagin said “it’s Blakely’s thing.”

True dat.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Here's what I mean by close

The map I've put together below is the result of my stab at discounting Obama's likely overstated advantage in current polling results. Please bear in mind, this is not necessarily the way I think these states will go (I'll make those pointless pronouncements next week sometime) rather it is the result a clumsy but illustrative decision on my part to color red every state in which Obama has not consistently polled comfortably over 50% during the past month.

Again, this is not a prediction, just a look at how much closer I think the election is than the received wisdom would have it. And yes I am aware that some of the states I have in red here are trending Obama just as I'm aware that McCain has reportedly "conceded" New Mexico and Colorado so that he can go make an ass of himself while still losing Pennsylvania. But this does not mean those states are not still "in play" nor does it mean Obama has the thing won.

People who will be voting

WWL radio this morning is taking a steady stream of Obama-is-a-Muslim and Bill Ayers calls. These are people who will vote on November 4.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

These people still vote

And there are still a lot of them in Ohio

Which is where these people are

Both videos via Haney

Subtle Voter Supression Techniques

Orleans Parish registrar of voters, Sandra Wilson, addressing the long lines today as early voting began for the November 4 election made the following remark.

"We're asking people to please be patient and to sort of adopt the attitude that you're going to the Jazzfest: Wear comfortable shoes and bring water."

Statements like this are troublesome because they may discourage some voters from turning out. For example, if I am going to adopt the attitude that I'm going to the Jazzfest then that means I expect someone will try and charge me 50 bucks to do it.


Update: In a related matter, this coming Saturday, New Orleans voters who wish to vote earlywill have an opportunity to literally parade to the polls. Unlike Jazzfest, there is no charge to participate.

Things to read while flying around on airplanes which eat up massive amounts of fuel

On the plane this weekend I went through most of Kevin Phillips' Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics, and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism One of his central themes is the unique relationship between the Dollar and oil and the unusual effect each has on the other (US currency is said by some to be on an "oil standard" since 1974 when Nixon convinced the Saudis to demand oil sales be paid in dollars).

Phillips treats 20th Century US hegemony as the latest in a progress of industrial powers with "idiosyncratic links to specific energy sources". (The others he cites are the Dutch with wind and water, and the British with coal) And, of course, tying this analysis to Peak Oil theory, he makes the case that the US is an inevitably declining power.

It's one of those a-little-too-neat big ideas, but those are always the fun ones to toss around anyway.

Phillips discusses his book with Bill Moyers below (video is 1 of 3 but I'm sure you know how to use YouTube)

Some derivative internet cliches are worth ripping off

For example (with apologies to Atrios) Simple Answers to Simple Questions

Schroeder writes:

Does WWL have anyone on staff who isn’t a Republican Party ideologue?

A: No

This has been another cheap ripoff of an internet cliche.

The new Nagin = Bush equation

We've spent a great deal of time over the past few years hashing out the various similarities between Ray Nagin and George W. Bush. Yesterday, Lolis Eric Elie's column suggested that Nagin is also like a different Bush we're all familiar with.

If we only we could trade him for a future draft choice, or a seasoned player more ready for the big time.

I've often made that suggestion to people from other places. Turns out, they don't want him either.

Adding: Yes I am of the opinion that the Saints can only benefit from Reggie's injury... assuming they also remove Poochie the Miserable Failure from the lineup.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Out of radio contact

I'll be on the East Coast until Tuesday. If I see any of the Saints-Panthers game it'll show up in the Tweeter Tube, I'm sure. Until then, you're on your own. If anything breaks, call Joe the Plumber. He'll know what to do.

Spirit Day

Last weekend, the New Orleans Saints enjoyed an opportunity to face an opponent in utter disarray following the bizarre firing of its head coach. An NFL team can go downhill real fast after something like that. The Raiders were certainly no exception and they looked like a complete joke on Sunday as the below game footage indicates. (Video courtesy of Gambit's Alejandro de los Rios)

There isn't time to rehash the entire game in much depth today as I literally have to catch a plane in a few hours. But there are a few items from this week which I did not want to leave unobserved.

  • The Saints may have learned how to play ball-control this week. During the second quarter, they took a 7-3 lead by putting together an 18 play 86 yard drive which took 10:59 off the clock. Deuce McAllister... strangely scarce against the Vikings... carried 13 times for 65 yards as the Saints pushed the Raiders around all day long. We know the Saints can score points. But winning consistently means being able to control a game the way they did Sunday. Let's see if they keep at it.

  • I don't want to hear this shit. Anyone who watched the Saints against the Bucs, Redskins, and Broncos has no business suggesting that they are playing reliable run defense or that they've stopped surrendering big plays. I'll allow that the run defense played well against Minnesota and Oakland .. but as I've said already that's because Sedrick Ellis isn't in there ignoring his gap responsibility any more. We'll see what happens when he comes back. In the meantime, I don't want to hear any shit about the so-called improved defense at all.

  • Overlooked stats: Billy Miller 3 receptions 53 yards. Mark Campbell 3 receptions 37 yards and one touchdown. Both Saints tight ends are playing exceptionally well this season. But there's this expensive and annoying Poochie guy waiting to play as soon as his groin feels better and we all know Soupy will demote the other two guys to accommodate him.

    Jeff Duncan writes us a story about Poochie's current gig as sideline mascot. You can check it out if you like but the gist is that Poochie is such a loud, insecure, and attention-starved boob that he feels the need to insinuate himself into situations that have very little to do with him. Poochie stalks the sidelines in his street clothes screaming in the coach's ear, offering unsolicited advice to teammates, and yelling at the officials. Clearly, this is a guy who can't understand that not everything is about him. In high school, our coach used to refer to this behavior as "rah rah bullshit" Poochie would not have been tolerated.

  • Reggie Bush's knee hurts. It's hard to tell but in the photo below, you can see where this injury may have occurred as Bush makes a move on a Raider defender on his way to scoring his second touchdown of the day.


  • Uh oh the kicker STILL sucks: Taylor Mehlhaff missed his first field goal attempt. The crowd went wild in voicing its approval.

Finally, since we're talking so much about mascots today, I'd like to introduce you all to Jennifer Faith.


Jennifer is something of a professional mascot in her own right. She was created by a group of children who frequent a library in Virginia. They send her out to visit libraries in other cities where she gets to see the local attractions and bring back souvenirs and tales of adventure and such. Somehow it fell to me to bring her to a Saints game. It's too bad she has to leave before the next home game because, apparently, she's something of a good luck charm.

Sunday was a pretty good day for Jennifer, she got to ride on a streetcar,

Waiting for the Streetcar

Sample the Dome food,

Jennifer Faith and a bowl of Jambalaya

Take in a well-played game by the home team,

Watching the Saints take the field

And, of course, make a few new friends.

Dilly, Berto, and Jennifer Faith

We were pleased to see the Saints play as well as they did for Jennifer. She won't be there when they play their next home game some time next century. But... possibly her "spirit still remains".

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Blakely Fatigue


Or go sit on a beach somewhere.

Exactly why I think McCain won

Because I think people like Joe Klein are exactly wrong

We've been conditioned by thirty years of certain arguments working--and John McCain made most of them last night against Barack Obama: you're going to raise our taxes, you're going to spend more money, you want to negotiate with bad guys, you're associated somehow--the associations have gotten more tenuous over time--with countercultural and unAmerican activities.

Again, these arguments have "worked" for a long time. The Democrats who got themselves elected President during most of my career were those most successful at playing defense: No, no, I'm not going to do any of those things! And so the first reaction of more than a few talking heads last night was that McCain had done better, maybe even won, because he had made those arguments more successfully than he had in the first two debates. I disagreed, even before the focus groups and snap polls rendered their verdict: I thought McCain was near-incomprehensible when talking about policy, locked in the coffin of conservative thinking and punditry. He spoke in Reagan-era shorthand. He thought that merely invoking the magic words "spread the wealth" and "class warfare" he could neutralize Obama.

But those words and phrases seem anachronistic, almost vestigial now.
I think this notion that wrong-headed conservative ideology has suddenly become "anachronistic" is a misguided toy for the chattering cheerleading children to chew on. This is not fashion we're talking about here but the ideas and prejudices people were raised with and which they never really shed.

Just like I don't think we're going to be finished fighting the "counterculture wars" in our politics until all the Boomers are dead, I don't think we'll be rid of the residual hateful conservative ideology (if we ever are) until the children of the Boomers are all dead.... and I am currently 34 years old.

I'll allow that the critical economic circumstances make Obama worth listening to for certain "persuadable" voters, but ultimately I expect that his race and the late election barrage of lizard-brain conservative dog-whistling will bring enough of those voters back home. McCain did an excellent job of sounding the dog whistle last night. We'll see how many heard it on November 4.

Rolling Stone's Tim Dickinson, who is also 34, has an opposing (and incorrect) take.

A tale of two ledes

Sarah Carr writes in today's Times-Picayune:

Two independent groups on Wednesday raised red flags about the long-term financing behind the city's ambitious and unprecedented school construction plan.

At a meeting of the state school board, the groups also probed school officials for more details about the costs of individual projects. Representatives of Tulane University's Cowen Institute and the Bureau of Governmental Research argued that if money is not found for later phases of the plan -- a likely scenario, they say -- it would exacerbate inequities in children's access to quality school programs and buildings. Specifically, they said, it would lead to a situation where some students attend school in state-of-the-art buildings while others remain indefinitely in decrepit, outdated buildings.

"We probably will not be able to fund the final phases of this plan, " said Tara O'Neill, policy analyst with Tulane University's Cowen Institute. She said that means the plan "will lead to greater disparity between facilities."

The six-phase school construction and renovation plan will cost about $2 billion. New Orleans officials have at least $685 million in financing available for the first phase. That leaves up to $1.3 billion unfinanced, although school officials have said they will likely be able to pull together at least another couple hundred million dollars for future phases.

Wow. Sounds like some people have serious concerns about the "nuts and bolts" of the School Facilities Master Plan.

Which is weird because yesterday, on the Gambit Blog, David Winkler-Schmit wrote this:
The problem isn’t so much the nuts and bolts, but the process behind it. Critics of the School Facilities Master Plan (SFMP) say that while they have specific worries regarding the current plan, their larger concern is the lack of communication from the Orleans Parish School Board and the state’s Recovery School District.

Of course, this isn't an either-or scenario. People can be critical of both the plan and the confusing and closed process by which it is being sold. But the first line of David's post implies that no one is really critical of the plan itself which doesn't appear to be the case.


Has anybody bothered to check the current DHS threat level lately?

Heckuva job, Neely

"Most vulnerable" Dem Senate seat no longer vulnerable.

Somebody get that man a Bernardo

Chris Rose explains how the T-P single-handedly saved New Orleans

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A quick few words for Senator Obama

That pitiful cranky old man just whipped your ass. This will be a dangerously close election.

Update: So far, my favorite line comes from this ATR comment thread:
During Obama's replies, McCain has been staring into space with the sort of glassy-eyed fixed grimace you'd see on a Furby that's two seconds away from going for your throat.
Exactly. That's what McCain looks like when he knows he's winning.

Upperdate: D-BB the Blogger hires Joe the Plumber


Isn't the new Osama Bin Laden album due out some time in the next few weeks?

Lafourche Parish must be Palin Country

High school principal bans book teacher assigned

03:29 PM CDT on Wednesday, October 15, 2008

L. Kasimu Harris / Houma Courier

RACELAND — The principal of Central Lafourche High School banned a teacher’s assigned book about a failed U.S. Special Forces mission after a parent complained about the author’s use of curse words, officials said.

Quick aside. Back in the dark ages of the George H.W. Bush administration, I traveled with my high school football team to Matthews, Louisiana for a game against the C. Lafourche Trojans. Back then, as is the case from time to time, prayer-in-public-schools was a widely debated matter. I remember feeling a bit uncomfortable as the administrators of this public school home football game made a big to-do out of having the stadium announcer lead the attendees in a pre-game prayer. I don't remember the exact words, but the public display was clearly a political statement. It is unsurprising to find the same community involved in a book-banning controversy now.

I should disclose, BTW, that I attended a private religious high school whose football team actually knelt and prayed a Hail Mary before each game and a rosary decade afterwards. So one interpretation of this story could be that, since we pretty much blew them away that year, our God was bigger than their God. But that's a difficult thing to sort out between equally Catholic opponents.

Crime Maps

I'm a little foggy on this idea that I am going to be able to defend myself via use of an online map.

I mean, if the map shows a rash of incidents right in front of Tipitina's French Quarter and there's a Ballzack show coming up at Tipitina's French Quarter well then I'm still going to Tipitina's French Quarter.

Now maybe if this map existed in the corporeal universe and were made of something solid, heavy, or pointy, it may serve a useful defensive purpose when I get there, but as it is, the map's utility is purely informational.

Terrance Copper

Dropped like a.... well, like a pass to Terrance Copper.


My longtime favorite news aggregation site, Cursor.org appears to have run out of money. Really a shame.

Never a dull moment

Like Dangerblond says, The Gwendolyn Moyo trial is going to be a joy to follow.

As one of his reasons for denying Moyo's motion to postpone the trial, Barbier cited her erratic behavior in and out of the courtroom since her arrest a year ago.

He said she protested when an area set up at the federal courthouse for her to do legal research was in a holding cell and "not some kind of hotel suite."

"She attempted to disrobe and then feigned some sort of heart attack, " Barbier said. "She had to be carried out by EMTs. But when they got to the hospital, they checked her out and everything was OK."

Moyo could have had a public defender but has insisted on representing herself, saying she had been "burned" by attorneys in her two federal convictions -- in 1989 on multiple counts of fraud, and in 1990 for using stolen Social Security numbers.

Moyo has undergone a court-ordered psychiatric exam and was deemed competent to make a "knowing and voluntary" decision to represent herself.

She has been assigned a "stand-by" attorney, who can provide procedural tips but cannot give advice on matters deemed strategic. Or, apparently, cosmetic.

Despite Barbier's warning about proper decorum, when Moyo returned to open court at the end of the day for the first time since jury selection began that morning, she again pulled out her compact and spent a few minutes touching up her makeup.

Travelling during election season

Gonna be in Baltimore this weekend. The folks we're visiting listen to a lot of Limbaugh... watch a lot of Fox. I'm pretty sure we'll have to talk about ACORN.

Update: Also pretty sure we'll have to talk about these stupid viral emails.

I've cheated so long I wonder how you keep track of me

The really neat thing about national panic is that it has a knack for transforming shadowy conspiracy into official policy.

Palling around with terrorists

And this time the guy's surname is Hussein.

Adding: Geez, is there at least one awful thing out there for which a McCain campaign staffer didn't lobby at some point?

Reviewing the local attractions

This past Sunday night (after the Saints game) we visited the House of Shock as we try to do every year. Here is the quick and dirty review:

  1. The production value is very high. The sets are well-designed and quite beautiful. I almost wish I had more time to look around without being distracted by the cast members.

  2. The stage show is always cheesy but entertaining. This one is election-year themed and... well... very cheesy. In the organizers' defense, there really is no combination of faux-Satanism, fake blood, and pyrotechnics that can compete with the horror of a real live McCain rally these days.

  3. This is a Death Metal-themed haunted house. In other words, it's an awesome-themed bag of kick-ass.

  4. As always, the scariest element of this event is the high concentration of idiotic white-trash teenagers in the audience. But, if you manage not to get in line right next to the rowdy ones, they aren't as likely to ruin things for you.

  5. The highlight of the entire experience, though: watching Menckles address the cast members in her best Palin-ese "How ya' doin'? Hail Satan, you betcha!"

Monday, October 13, 2008


I never was much of an arena football fan but I do know a decision to suddenly dissolve a franchise that was a consistent leader in attendance looks suspicious. Any move by Tom or Rita Benson does.

Maybe somebody should ask Helena Moreno if she believes Benson when he says his decision to shut down the Voodoo is "not an indictment on this marketplace and that he clearly believes in New Orleans"... seeing as how Rita is a max donor to her campaign and all.

John Neely Kennedy and Steve Scalise still running against Obama

Kennedy's entire strategy at this point in the campaign is to equate Mary Landrieu with the "liberal" Obama. It's a dubious approach to take given that A) Obama is not particularly "liberal" B) Landrieu is pretty much the DINO-est DINO on Capitol Hill and C) Kennedy is a party-switching nothing who endorsed the "liberal" John Kerry for President in 2004.

But Neely is pressing on. His latest radio ad brands "Landrieu-Obama" as a single product. Meanwhile Steve Scalise, running in the ultra-conservative First Congressional district, has busted out the Rev. Wright video for his latest ad

Much of Left Blogistan has entered a particularly useless late-election-cycle guffawing phase in which all the "right thinking smart people" point fingers at the "wild swinging" and "desperate scare tactics" of the Republican candidates. And sure, I'll allow that the rhetoric coming out of the GOP slate from the top of the ticket to the bottom is ugly. I'll agree that it appeals to the lowest-common-denominator fears and hatreds of the electorate. It relies on an assumption that voters are uninformed and that they will choose their leaders on a basis of emotion, and group identity.

But unlike most of the liberals out there, I refuse to pretend that this is a "losing" strategy simply because I'm in a rush to congratulate myself for not being susceptible to it.

When two candidates for Federal office simultaneously hop on the same strategy, I assume that it's a coordinated move. When the strategy involves demonizing the Democratic nominee for President and dovetails perfectly with similarly advancing ugliness from the head of the GOP ticket, I assume that they all have a good reason for engaging in this behavior.

Booing Krewe of Boo

Angus Lind and Deep Float discuss the route for the nascent Krewe of Boo Halloween parade.

"What about the route?" I asked. "Traditional Uptown? Or like Endymion's route?"

"None of the above, Scribe. Listen closely. It begins at Elysian Fields and Decatur, proceeds on Decatur past the St. Louis Cathedral to North Peters, takes a right at Canal Street, makes a U-turn where Bourbon and Carondelet intersect with Canal, proceeds back toward the river on Canal Street, takes a right at Tchoupitoulas, a left at Julia, a right at Convention Center Boulevard and ends up at the new East Bank Blaine Kern Studios near the Robin Street Wharf, where there will be a post-parade soiree. Got all that?"

"Got it. And what kind of route would you call that?"

"Touristy," Float said. "But not far off from what the Krewe du Vieux does. So folks here should be able to pick up on it real fast."

You know your city is dying when the locals are frequently asked to adjust to the needs of visitors instead of the other way around.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

How many Saints Hall-of-Famers can Soupy insult?

Two years ago it was Joe Horn. For much of this year it has been Deuce. And now Morten too? What the hell?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

NOW can we fire Miles?

For fuck's sake you just don't get embarrassed by Florida like that and expect to live.

Friday, October 10, 2008

11,430 vacant lots

12,700 - (10% * 12,700)

There are no records of exactly how many buildings have been torn down since Hurricane Katrina, but the number of demolition permits filed with the city since the storm is at 12,700 and growing daily, according to Matt McBride, an activist who maintains a database of such permits.

While the dwellings are in need of repair, numerous owners have complained the city is rushing to demolish structurally sound structures that could be rehabilitated. Many owners who cannot afford repairs also find rebuilding cost prohibitive.

The latest available figures from June show new construction permits had only been filed for about 10 percent of the razed lots. People with an interest in real estate say the growing acreage of vacant lots could present problems as neighborhoods slowly rebuild.

Douchebag of the Day

Tim Tebow

Close second: Brady Quinn

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Superdome Eugenics

On Monday afternoon, I refered to an unfortunate incident in which I stupidly lost last week's (already late) Saints-49ers recap post thingy. I decided to just let it go rather than try to retype it from memory. That's less a shame than one would think because now that you'll never see it, I am comfortable making the claim that it may have been the best thing ever written on this site. Among the many amusing items in that post now lost to the ages was a hilarious and perfectly executed gag which accused the Superdome concessions management of engaging in John Labruzzo style eugenics.

You see, the other day there was this City Business article about the increasingly healthy menu items available at the Dome. But what the article failed to point out is that these healthier choices are only available nearest the more expensive seats. In the upper terrace, where the plebes like me sit, the fare still consists of a decidedly unhealthy set of choices ranging from Cheese-whizzy nachos to $50,000 Bloody Marys. So in a subtle and devious way, stadium management is trying to engineer the population by promoting healthy living among the upper classes and dangerous habits among the poor.

At the end of that post(which you will never see), I noted that the Saints (then 2-2) were right on track to post the .500 overall record this site pegged them for at the beginning of the season. But the road to 8-8 is a tumultuous one that is by turns exhilarating, infuriating, absurd and hilarious. In other words, it's particularly hard on the heart valves of fans on an already questionable diet.

It's almost as if the Saints and LaBruzzo are in cahoots. Forget sterilization. Let's fill them full of hotdogs and make them watch Martin Gramatica. Monday night's game... itself full of exhilarating, infuriating and hilarious moments... was perhaps the best evidence yet that such a conspiracy may exist.

Saints vs Vikings (all game photos stolen from NOLA.com):
  • The shock tactics began before the opening kickoff when the pre-game introductions were accompanied by giant streams of actual fire set off by pyrotechnicians on the field. Presumably this touch was added to fit the Monday Night atmosphere, but I think that Dome officials were gong for a cheap scare right at the outset. It was a little jarring but nothing we couldn't handle. I think Menckles shouted "I am the great and powerful Oz" until the flames went away and we could just get on with things.

    And the getting on with things seemed to be going fairly well. Frenchy Thomas returned the opening kickoff across the 50 (more on the crappy Vikings kick coverage later) and then Drew Brees hit Devery Henderson for a 17 yard touchdown and the Saints were in business.

    Brees. Another day, another 330 yds passing that nobody notices until the game is over with

    Things continued to go well as the Saints outplayed the Vikings for much of the first quarter. Even the beleaguered and injury-ridden Saints defense stuffed Adrian Peterson and would keep him in check for the rest of the game. During the week, when Sedrick Ellis got hurt, I mentioned that his tendency to overreact and ignore his gap responsibility had hurt the Saints' run defense. With Ellis out of there, the Saints held an all-pro runner to 32 yards.

  • Then it got weird. Before the end of a first quarter that seemed to be going so well, the Vikings would run up ten "unearned" points which kept them in a game where they had been otherwise outplayed. First, Minnesota's Antoine Winfield returned a blocked Martin Gramtica field goal attempt 59 yards for a game-tying touchdown. This brought on a rather bizarre argument in our section where I repeatedly insisted that Gramatica's kick came off the ground too low because he is too short to kick over the defense and where everyone else repeatedly threatened to hit me.

    We went on like that until, following, a successful Gramatica field goal, Coach Soupy inexplicably decided to squander his lead and momentum with an ill-advised attempt at an onside kick. After recovering the kick, the Vikings managed to drive exactly one yard... but still came away with three points since Soupy had already kicked them into field goal range. In a comment thread Tuesday morning, Leo compared Soupy to an unholy combination of Mike Martz and Denny Green. That stings.

    Even Drew is considering that comparison, though. You can tell.

  • Overlooked fact: Tight ends Billy Miller and Mark Campbell combined for 100 yards on 7 receptions. Campbell picked up extra yardage with a nimble run after the catch which included a Reggie Bush-like hurdle over a defender. Miller turned in a huge 41 yard catch and run in the fourth quarter on the drive that should have won the game for the Saints. Jeremey Shockey (AKA Poochie) was inactive with a hernia injury. The Saints don't have a second round draft pick next year for some unfathomable reason. Some have suggested that this may be by design.... but let's try to keep to one conspiracy theory at a time for now, okay?

  • A Brees fumble on the Saints' 5 yard line set up a go-ahead touchdown for the Vikings on a halfback pass. Then it got really weird.

    Over my many years of watching and attending Saints games, I've been accustomed to seeing or hearing fans in the top row of each section bang on the metal walls in order to create noise when the opposing team has the ball. When we purchased our season tickets in 2006, we selected seats in the top row so that we could participate in this time-honored bit of idiocy which has been in practice basically since the Superdome opened in 1975. During the second quarter of a crucial Monday Night game in 2008, Superdome security decided that it was time to crack down.

    A few minutes into the second quarter, for no apparent reason, a uniformed security person shouted at everyone in our section that the next fan seen banging on the wall would be thrown out of the stadium. We were mystified. Is this some bizarre interpretation of the NFL's notorious new "Fan Code of Conduct"? The section adjacent to ours is typically filled with fans of the visiting team. Did one of the Vikings fans complain? If so, why? And also fuck them. Over the past three seasons, the Superdome has become an ever-more fan-unfriendly environment. What can be done to reverse this trend?

    In the corner
    Seriously. The Saints NEED YOU ON THAT WALL

  • But if the wall weirdness had Saints fans confused, this was nothing compared to the ensuing weirdness on the field courtesy of some confused game officials. Because this was a nationally televised game, and because Ed Hochuli's crew of officials has been under such scrutiny lately, the non-call of a face mask penalty moments before Reggie Bush's fumble has gotten a lot of attention. (I happen to think Bush fumbled the ball on his own and not as a result of the face mask but that's hardly relevant.)

    Nobody had better lay a finger on that wall, but this... this is fine for some reason

    Because Coach Soupy was recently fined $15,000 for whining about the officiating in the Denver game, the Saints have resorted to more subtle means of protest over the blown call. Fans in the Superdome were not quite so passive aggressive. The already loud and restless Monday Night crowd booed and chanted "bullshit" (clearly in violation of the Code of Conduct, btw) for the next half hour or so. Their outrage was heightened by the fact that the very next play was an obvious incomplete pass to a Minnesota receiver which Hochuli's crew judged to be a reception. The play was eventually overturned by replay but only after another five minutes of near rioting from the fans.

    The next Vikings possession brought an opportunity for more of the same. Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson appeared to fumble the ball. It was picked up by Charles Grant who ran for about fifteen yards before lateraling to Mike McKenzie who brought the ball all the way back near the Minnesota 10 yard line. The play, which took a long time to develop, was never whistled dead. After the fact, however, the officials decided that Peterson was down before the ball came out. It was actually a very close call which prompted another replay challenge from the Saints. After five or ten minutes of jeers from the fans, Hochuli offered his explanation. The ruling, delivered in a confounding Sarah Palin-esque verbiage, seemed to state that, yes, the ball was coming out as the player was going down but since his hand was still kind of touching the ball as his knee hit the ground, Minnesota retains possession. I've never heard anyone explain a non-fumble that way. I hope it happens again soon, though. The disgust in the stands was beyond hilarious.

    Here Soupy appears to have possession of the red challenge flag. But who can truly judge such things?

  • Brees threw two interceptions in this game. One was on a Hail Mary heave with two seconds remaining in the game. Lance Moore, who ordinarily catches everything thrown at him, inexplicably bobbled a ball causing a big Second Quarter interception; one of the many many weird things that happened Monday night. Brees has thrown six interception in five games this year. I can't remember a single one that was explicitly his fault.

  • Deuce McAllister: 6 carries 13 yards. The 49ers game was an emotional moment for Saints fans who saw Deuce's triumphant return to the fold as perhaps a turning point in the season. Against Minnesota, however, McAllister was once again conspicuously absent from the game plan. Before Reggie Bush's first touchdown, the third quarter was looking like a major snooze-fest. The Saints could get nothing going offensively. Perhaps this would have been a good time to get Deuce involved. He carried once for two yards during this portion of the game.


  • Then it got really weird. With about two minutes left to play in the third quarter, the Vikings lined up to punt the ball away to Reggie Bush. Bush had been having a largely unremarkable game thus far save for a halfway decent night receiving. R (big R, not little r... they're two different people) leaned over and said "Bush is about due for a big play here," to which I added, "Yeah either that or another fumble." 71 yards later, the Saints were suddenly back in the game.

    On his very next punt return opportunity, Bush, obviously aware at this point that he was on TV, very nearly broke another one. Instead he fell on his face for no apparent reason. r (little r, not big R) looked at me and said, "He tripped over his own douchebaggery." Seems a reasonable explanation. The Saints concluded that possession with a successful 53 yard field goal by Martin Gramatica. For that, there simply is no reasonable explanation.

    But it gets weirder. On his very next punt return opportunity, Reggie Bush took it all the way back again. The two punt returns for touchdowns tied some sort of NFL record and had the Saints ahead late in the game for reasons every bit as strange as the reasons they trailed for most of the first half.

    Lost in all the excitement over Bush's punt returns (remember, kids, he also fumbled twice) is the overall poor performance of the Vikings' kick coverage. Pierre Thomas also had a big night returning kickoffs. Frenchy had 5 returns for 168 yards compared to Reggie's 5 returns for 176. (He also didn't fumble once all night) The fact that the Minnesota special teams coach still has a job this week is a bit of an upset in its own right.

    Also see this amusing anecdote about the Vikings' punting strategy

  • Pants factor: The 2-3 Saints are now 1-1 in their idiotic looking black pants and 1-2 in the more traditional and sensible gold. Obviously the data does not show a clear bias at this point. The Saints have worn white jerseys in every home game this season. Has anyone got any idea why?

  • And THEN it just got freaky nutty type weird. Bush's two touchdowns had the Supedome rocking and the Vikings back on their heels. Just then, the 37 year old Viking quarterback, Gus Frerotte, took a dead-on kill shot from Will Smith as he haphazardly chucked the ball straight up in the air. The crowd winced, then "ooh"ed, and then fell silent as Frerotte lay motionless on the ground. R (big R, not little r) looked over at me and said, "Dude, Frerotte is dead. They killed him."

    My answer this time: "Who gives a shit? The dude caught the ball!"

    Bernard Berrian had made the improbable reception 36 yards down the field. Two plays later, Frerotte returned from the dead to hit Berrian again for the game tying touchdown. You really have to just give it up to Gus Frerotte here. Getting up off the mat like that was some straight up tough stuff and probably the most remarkable play in a remarkable game.

    Frerotte gave as good as he got Monday

  • Devery Henderson had a big game and is playing the best football of his career so far this season. However, we would be remiss if we did not mention that on a crucial 3rd and 9... on the Saints last meaningful possession of the game... one play before Martin Gramatica missed a potential go-ahead field goal... Devery ran the wrong route. Brees adjusted to Minnesota's all-out blitz and threw an out route. Devery ran deep. Incomplete pass. Enter Gramatica.

    It's been mostly Good Devery this year... but sometimes we still see Bad Devery

  • Uh oh the kicker sucked! Enter Gramatica... and now Exit Gramatica. After Martin Gramatica's sucky kicking cost them two games this season, the Saints have cut their losses and will start again this week with the guy who lost the job in training camp. We're not enthused, but something certainly had to happen.

    We will miss his amusing hair, though

It's hard to feel too bad about how this game ended. After the missed field goal, there really wasn't any proper way... karmatically speaking... for the Saints to come away with the win. Once you're resigned to that reality, the fact that the Vikings got into field goal range by virtue of a stupid pass interference penalty is really only fitting. The fact that the penalty happened because Kevin Kaesviharn desperately rushed to close the massive gap in coverage left by Jason David is even more fitting. The fact that Jason David was in the game at all because Tracy Porter was lost (now for the season) to injury is disappointing... but also fitting.

Right down to the fitting end, this was one of the most exciting and memorable games the Saints have ever played at home. At 2-3 some of the fans are starting to get a little down, but there's still lots of football to be played this year. Of particular interest is the fact that the Saints are still 1-0 in divisional games and still have plenty of opportunities to play themselves into contention. They also have plenty of opportunities to continue testing the cardiac health of the fans in the terrace. Now may be a good time to start working on that fitness plan.


Whoah! Hey!

Rare moment

Stacy Head gets something exactly right.

What is up with Jan Moller?

Moller spent much of the Gubernatorial election writing stories which read like Jindal campaign fliers and is now apparently doing the same thing for Mary Landrieu.

Kennedy flip-flops on bill for farmers
by Jan Moller, The Times-Picayune
Wednesday October 08, 2008, 9:31 PM

BATON ROUGE -- One month before Election Day is typically not the best time for a Louisiana political candidate to lash out against legislation designed to help the state's hurricane-stricken farmers.

But that is what state Treasurer John Kennedy did last week when he sided with a conservative Oklahoma senator who single-handedly derailed a bill that sought to provide $1.1 billion in disaster aid to farmers in Louisiana and other states affected by recent natural disasters.

Kennedy's opposition to the bill -- which he now says he supports -- appears to have handed his Democratic opponent in the Senate race, Mary Landrieu, an easy campaign issue in the weeks leading up to the Nov. 4 election.

It's not that I'm inclined to disagree with the point being made here, it's just that Moller tends to report political stories in an unmistakably loaded tone. Readers expect to see this in editorials or on blogs where the author's bias is more or less in the open. We usually don't expect to see it in the reporting.... unless the reporting is being done by Jan Moller.

What do you do when the kicker sucks?

Replace him with the guy who sucked enough to lose the job to him in the first place.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Finally ,some straight talk!

McCain finally tells us what we've always kind of suspected.

John McCain has finally come to save us from the Matrix.

What you're dealing with

Not too far off, really.

Blog outsourcing

I thought McCain won the first debate and I think he probably won the second one too. Not because he was more reasonable or polished than Obama... heavens no... but for... well a bunch of reasons that I've already stated in the comments below this Adrastos post and this one at Moldy City; posts you should be reading anyway.


Eli has some comments here as does Schroeder here

If you haven't played political handicapper with us before and are playing along at home now you should probably be aware of the following.

I tend to make some calls that look really out there up until the election at which time I am either proven spectacularly right or spectacularly wrong. Either way, it is spectacular, though.

The reason for this, I believe, is that I'm not as guilty of applying the rules of national politics to Louisiana elections as most other folks tend to be. At the same time I am often guilty of applying Louisiana rules to national elections. So if you're wagering on whether I'm going to be spectacularly right or spectacularly wrong in a particular case, those tendencies may be of some use to you.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Rare praise for the Saints organization

First of all, yes, I plan to get this week's recap up in a timely fashion. But right now I'd like to share with you a link I just came across while stealing game photos from NOLA.com. It's the first and very last time you will ever see me say,

Oh wow. Well done, neworleanssaints.com

Quick LA political observation

It's interesting to me that Steve Scalise and John Neely Kennedy are both emphatically trying to tie their opponents to Obama. While courting the backlash vote makes sense in Scalise's district, I'm not sure that's such an obvious strategy in Kennedy's Senate race. Any thoughts?

Monday, October 06, 2008

Disheartening development

I had an amusing post about last week's Saints game ready to go this morning. It contained a recommendation of Handsome Willy's Bloody Marys, a joke about ducks, and a long gag about John Labruzzo managing the Superdome concessions.

Unfortunately when I opened the draft this afternoon to make a few edits, a slip of my mouse caused me to select and delete all of the text just before Blogger "autosaved" the now blank post.

I don't really want to retype all of that stuff and it's time to get dressed for tonight's game so we'll just say "fuck it" for that week. This should be a lesson to me to get the thing posted earlier in the week next time... but I can't imagine I'll actually learn that lesson.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Don't try to figure New Orleans elections

It'll drive you nuts.

Here you have an election where the same relatively small number of voters overwhelmingly pass a charter amendment to shore up the Inspector General's office AND vote a currently indicted Congressman into first place in a primary.

Fascinating stuff.

r texted me when Helena Moreno took the podium to deliver her speech. r thinks Moreno is... um... cute or something. A minute into the speech I get a second text. It says, "Oh no. Break up. She just thanked God"

Also... Happy "People Day"!

I find a nice visual aid always helps

I'm reposting something Jonathan Scwarz wrote here so that I can finish the joke for him.

Yes, How?

I'd missed this when it happened back in April on ABC:

MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you have any doubt that Barack Obama shares your sense of patriotism?

SEN. MCCAIN: I'm sure he's very patriotic, but his relationship with Mr. Ayers is open to question...how can you countenance someone who was engaged in bombings which could have or did kill innocent people?

MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Obama says he was eight years old when that was happening.

SEN. MCCAIN: But he became friends with him and spent time with him while the guy was unrepentant over his activities...

I'd like to make some jokes here, but I don't have the heart. What a country this is.

I have the heart today. How's this?

“Why are we voting on a plan that doesn’t exist?"

Look. Even if you are the whitest Yuppie planning-humper in all of Uptown New Orleans, there is just no plausible excuse to support this obvious insult of a shell game.

Stop telling me how important it is for me to surrender my right to self-government to a cookie-cutter master plan with the "force of law" that hasn't even been drawn up yet.

Financial disaster capitalism

The real question is, do any of the asset managers set to profit from the work of disbursing bailout funds have any connection to The Him Store franchises?

Shred immediately ... send directly to floodwall

Paper inflation

I should never have let the below post go up without referencing E's swipe at the kind of crappy politics you get for seventy-five cents in this town nowadays.

But perhaps nothing reflects the editorial bias of the Times-Picayune better than their absolutely ridiculous endorsements for this Saturday's Orleans Parish School Board Race. They pick the conservative establishment choice in every instance such a choice is available.


The Times-Picayune pretty much endorses the most conservative Board possible, the whitest Board possible, the most anti-union Board possible, the most pro-master plan Board possible.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Tomorrow is election day in NOLA

As long time readers know, this site does not make political endorsements.... except in races that feature Dangerblond on the ballot. But we do engage in some handicapping from time to time if only because we thoroughly enjoy being told how wrong we are. Here's some of what I think we'll see tomorrow.

Orleans Parish District Attorney: Runoff Capitelli vs Cannizarro

U.S. Congress 2nd District Democratic Primary: Another runoff Moreno vs Dollar Bill. Unlike most observers, I think Jefferson is going back to Congress and I DON'T think he's going to jail.

There are two referendums on the ballot in Orleans Parish. One is a $63.2 million bond issue for prison construction. It will fail. The other is a charter change to allow Robert Cerasoli to continue sophisiticating up the corruption. It will pass.

There are also races for the Orleans Parish School Board on the ballot. I can't handicap these races but I can point you again to Leigh's summary of the election and add that when it comes to education-related politics in New Orleans I know that E knows what he knows.

There are also several judicial races on the ballot. This is Adrastos's and Dangerblond's department. I won't vouch for their recommendations though. Nor can I say anything intelligent about how those races might go.

Oyster also made some recommendations this morning.

The one bit of advice I can offer is that if you are not registered to vote and wish to vote in the November 4 Presidential election, the deadline to register is Monday.

Beyond that, you're on your own. Go vote tomorrow.

Are there any Saints players left?

Fewer by the day

Ellis was having a so-so rookie year thus far. Tended to overplay his way out of position. The run defense was pitiful for the first four games as a result. We'll see if this improves now that they are reduced to suiting up random winos at defensive tackle. Somehow I doubt it will.

Bailout Cave

House members can't find their NO this afternoon.

Great moments in regurgitated propoganda

In her closing remarks last night, Stupid quoted directly from a 1961 anti-Medicare campaign.