Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

On December 31 of last year, Dr. Morris wrote a short post wishing 2007 a not-so-fond farewell. That post concluded, "Oh, and next year will rock." Ashley was a year early.

2008 was a mostly crappy mixed bag but we are expecting 2009 to rock indeed. I'm looking forward to a less active but more interesting year in politics as the new President takes on the difficult task of cleaning up after the outgoing one, a better Saints result in a make-or-break season for Coach Soupy, the end of the Ed Blakely era in New Orleans, and... some fairly exciting personal developments as well.

In the meantime, though, I've got a pot of gumbo simmering on the stove and team Fire Miles is about to take the field in Atlanta so... it's obviously time to start drinking.

Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Nothing to trade?

In his local politics year-in-review column for this week's Gambit, Clancy Dubos writes the following in regard to Bill Jefferson's legal standing.

Now that he has lost his congressional seat, Dollar Bill has nothing to offer in trade to prosecutors. 2009 is not going to be a good year for him.

Clancy has been making this argument in various venues ever since Jefferson lost the election. Maybe there's some validity to it, but if there is, what does that say about the nature of this case in the first place? If prosecutors would have been willing to accept Jefferson's seat in lieu of prison or.. whatever, doesn't that give weight to the argument that the case against Dollar Bill was politically motivated in the first place?

Obligatory food re-run

At the risk of being savaged once more for neglecting to photograph the pepper mill, I'm re-posting last year's New Year's Day black eyed peas recipe.

Always good for the hangover.

Adrastos likes to say we live in "Debrisville"

The term has more depth of meaning than one would expect.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Not-quite-short-enough-for-Twitter Book Review

The Post-American World by Fareed Zakaria.

Zakaria marvels at the Chinese government's ability to squelch dissent and level entire neighborhoods to make way for intelligently planned development, laments the untidiness of democracy in India and the United States BUT is really really excited about the way indestructible global capitalism is making life better for everyone in all three of these countries and.... didn't we already read this crap when it was called The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman?

Worth a look for its compilation of interesting facts about China and India but still so full of goofy global-free-market-economy boosterism, one hopes that American policymakers won't be taking it too seriously in the....

Oh crap

Here, the two "Tom Friedmans" explain the difference between a "free market" that exists and one that doesn't.

Exploded Pie

Remember back when we all made a big stink about Louisiana's "fair share" of oil and gas royalties? A larger share of that pie was seen as a crucial funding source in the battle to save our rapidly vanishing coastline. Turns out that revenue stream is rapidly vanishing as well.

Thank God Louisiana's media mavens are still around to remind us that our super-awesome economy continues to "buck the trend"... otherwise we'd all be really fucked.

Update: More on the trends and the bucking and whatnot at Suspect-Device.

Also... Dambala connected these issues (LA oil royalties and coastal loss) last week.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The problem with Dragonslaying

It's basically a self-righteous scapegoating movement that almost always does more to intrude on the lives of regular people rather than curtail any significant abuse of public office. For example, consider the following.

Eddie Price will probably have to deal with a few more headaches over his hotel bill, sure. But the little scandal probably won't kill his career and it certainly won't put an end influence pedaling between high profile pols and their cities' business partners.

It's possible that some city departments will have to do with fewer city-owned take-home vehicles.... although one imagines the odd dispersement of those that remain will go largely unaltered.

Meanwhile, no one will ever bring a librarian cookies again.

After asking the state Board of Ethics last month whether library staff can accept inexpensive and homemade Christmas gifts from grateful patrons, St. Tammany Parish library officials last week received the board's response: Bah, humbug.

Even small gifts, such as "cakes, pies, houseplants, etc., from patrons of the library for their performance of the library employees' duties" are off-limits, according to an advisory opinion issued by the ethics board.

Any employee of a Louisiana public library who receives such a gift from a library patron needs to "return the cookies to the person and say that, 'I cannot accept these cookies under the ethics law,' " said Aneatra Boykin, staff attorney for the ethics board.

But this is what you get when you dabble in the bitter crotchety Scroogery of Dragonslaying. Since we know we aren't really going to be able to do anything about the career thieves, we might as well take out our frustrations on somebody. Better to steal Christmas from cab drivers and library workers, than to do nothing at all.

Meanwhile, in other no-fun news:
Mid-City neighborhood's New Year Eve bonfire may be cancelled 0:59 AM CST on Monday, December 22, 2008

Lesley Simpson / Eyewitness News

Residents of a Mid-City neighborhood will find out today if their annual tradition will be cancelled because of city-code enforcement plans.

Whole lotta humbug out there this Holiday season.

Friday, December 19, 2008

How now, Anh Cao?

I'm of two minds about this.

On the one hand, it makes perfect sense for the representative of a majority black district to seek inclusion in the Congressional Black Caucus. It could be an honest attempt to put himself in position to best serve his constituents. Oyster has often marveled at Cao's "brilliant naivety" or something like that. Maybe that's what this is.

On the other hand, it could be that Cao's self-appointed ambassador to the black community Newt Gingrich is advising this as a means to bait the CBC into taking another round of charges from the right about its supposed racial exclusivity. It could be that as well.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Holiday Errands

Busy busy all the time lately. I actually took a vacation day yesterday just to get caught up a bit. Since I was out during the afternoon, I passed by yesterday's protest organized by the Committee to Save Charity Hospital hoping to get a few pictures. But when I got there, there were only about six or seven people kind of demurely pacing along the sidewalk and... well... the whole thing made me kind of sad so I just left. Actually, I didn't really have time to stick around since I had more shopping to do. Eli did stick around, however. You can read about his eventful day here.

On my way back down Tulane Avenue I did manage to get one decent shot. Guess that will have to do.

Don't Demolish Mid-City

Monday, December 15, 2008

Bizarre statement of the day

This afternoon on WIST radio, Kaare Johnson was attempting to reach out to the "Bush haters" who "might be cheering this guy (the shoe throwing Iraqi) on." Kaare wanted the "Bush haters" to understand that... regardless of your opinion of the President, throwing shoes is just "not something that is done in Western civilization."

Despite the odd wording, we all kind of understand what Kaare is getting at. It's probably not a good idea to go throwing things at people just because you disagree with them... or because they have dropped tons of explosives on you and your neighbors. It tends to reflect badly on you and whatever message you're trying to convey.

But then Kaare had to go one step further. To help the "Bush haters" comprehend the magnitude of the shoe-thrower's offensive behavior, Kaare invited the "Bush haters" to imagine that, instead of Bush, someone had thrown a shoe at Tom Benson.



What does it say about this town that Arnie Fielkow is somehow considered an "acceptable" white candidate for mayor, but Mitch Landrieu was not?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Game on

Recession brings harder times to Baghdad

You can tell because of the steady drop in the quality of greeting materials that is only now beginning to scrape the bottom of the barrel. The flowers ran out pretty quickly giving way to... exploding things... and now have deteriorated further to...

BAGHDAD — President Bush flew to Iraq on Sunday, his fourth and final trip, to highlight the recently completed security agreement between the United States and the country that occupied the bulk of his presidency and will to a large extent define his legacy.

But his appearance at a news conference here was interrupted by a man, apparently a journalist, who leaped to his feet and threw one shoe at the president, who ducked and narrowly missed being struck. Chaos ensued. He threw a second shoe, which also narrowly missed Mr. Bush. The man was roughly 12 feet from the lecturn in the center of two rows ofchairs, about two feet from a pool of reporters. A scrum of security agents descended on the man and wrestled him, first to the floor and then out of the ornate room where the news conference was taking place.

The president was uninjured and brushed off the incident. “All I can report is it is a size 10,” he said jokingly. An Iraqi accompanying the pool of reporters, colleague said the man had shouted, “This is a farewell kiss, dog.”

Saturday, December 13, 2008

You FAIL pretty

CSPAN today (repeat footage from Thursday) is a steady stream of Senators congratulating one another for their hard work on an auto industry bailout bill they all know is about to fail.

I can't watch anymore. I'm going Christmas shopping.

Louisiana's Worst Person

Ooooh I want to say it's Ed Blakely soooo much... but he doesn't really live here so we go with David Vitter.

Okay so I don't care for Stacy Head very much

I think my councilperson is an annoying yuppie who is generally hostile to poor people like me who live in her district but don't own property. I thought she was a little too gleeful and obnoxious in her support of a Republican Congressional candidate. And I think she was unforgivably horrible during the public housing demolition debate.

But on the other hand, it isn't hard to sympathize with someone who keeps running into this kind of bullying bullshit whenever she wants to ask valid questions about sanitation contracts or crack down on illegal businesses that enable copper thieves.

During a contentious hearing before the commission in late October, 6th District police officer John Favaloro said Smith had continued to buy copper and other metals without recording all the information required by law. Smith said Favaloro and one other officer had unfairly targeted him and that he tries his best to detect people trying to sell stolen metal. Smith's attorney, Thomas McEachin, said Smith has beaten every one of what McEachin called "trumped-up" charges brought against him.

A string of other speakers, including Smith's wife and close friends, testified to his good character. Several, including the Rev. Byron Clay, a leader of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, said they suspected racism was behind the effort to shut down the business. Smith is black. Head is white.

The commission's vote divided along racial lines, with the four black members present siding with Smith and the three white members present voting to rescind his permit to operate. Because two members were absent and neither side got five votes, the issue went to the council without official recommendation from the commission.

In a recent message to neighborhood leaders and Central City residents and ministers, Head said she had wanted to revoke Smith's permit "because of increased complaints, including several criminal arrests and evidence that (the business) is violating city and state laws." She said many of the complaints came from African-American residents of her district who were the victims of metal thefts.

That's right. They said they suspected racism was behind an effort to reign in metal theft in black neighborhoods.

Of course, the fact that the councilwoman makes herself such an easy target for this kind of absurd bullying does call into question her suitability for the office. When you're dealing with people who are willing to cynically use race as a mask for unscrupulous behavior, it doesn't help that so many people are at least half-willing to believe that charge against you.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Jay Batt is against "the low incomes"

And possesses other such charms.

"I hear"

Where does he "hear" these things?

"She (Stacy Head) needs to do something," Nagin said. "What I hear on the street is that there is a lot of anger and frustration. I hear the next council meeting that some people plan to pack the council chambers and it could get pretty loud."

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Edit: In the original version of this post, I mention my continuing difficulty completing the trademark Yellow Blog game posts this year. I've gone back and rescued some of what this week's post would have said and re purposed it to flesh out this post a bit.

You really have to hand it to the NFL schedule makers. They know how to keep things interesting. That is, they know how to keep things interesting for fans of exceedingly mediocre football teams. Which is to say... they keep it interesting for fans of everybody except the Lions.

Let's face it. Beyond the fact that the Lions suck, there aren't many major points of distinction between the teams with the best records and those in the middle of the pack. The Saints, for example, trail division-leading Carolina by 3 games. Looking back at the Saints' schedule, that difference basically boils down to the kicking suckery of Martin Gramatica vs Denver and Minnesota and two untimely Drew Brees interceptions in the 4th quarter at Tampa.

Had those incidents worked out only slightly differently, the Saints and Panthers would be neck and neck with a showdown looming in the season finale at the Superdome. Failing that scenario, the well-crafted schedule still provides for the intriguing prospect of the Saints finding themselves mathematically eliminated by losing to the Bears in Chicago for the third consecutive season. Neat stuff.

Still, even though the 7-6 Saints could easily be 10-3, this is a fundamentally mediocre football team any way you look at it. The Saints can't play defense, can't (or won't) run the football, feature some conspicuously overrated players (Jammal Brown, Will Smith, Charles Grant, Reggie Bush) and are coached by an egomaniacal dick who puts his puts his personal need to prove himself right about his questionable offensive philosophy and personnel decisions above just winning football games.

Lucky for Coach Soupy, then, that most Saints fans are well-accomplished at finding ways to have fun at football games regardless of the score. It's the sort of skill that comes with years of practice. 2008 may have disappointed some fans but you really can't call it a "bad" season at this point. Whatever happens tonight, this season the Saints will have:

1) Won at least as many games as they've lost.

2) Played two of the most entertaining home Monday Night games in their history.

3) Beaten the crap out of Atlanta in the Superdome

Look, we all know the Saints have problems. They're not a great team but they are fun to watch. I know because I've got two "draft" posts full of jokes about it that I never got around to finishing.

But before we go any further with that, CLIO is reading the signs.

Plus it's r's birthday and we are going to ACME.

Saints by ten.

Heh, Not so much! Here's your 2008 climactic moment, Saints fans. Just... Gahh

Photo by Michael Democker. Times-Picayune

"We'll have a big dog in that fight"

Last week, we very confidently nominated the Gret Stet in TPM's tounge-in-cheek "Most Corrupt State" contest. If you're a regular TPM reader, you've no doubt been following the discussion as residents of various states make the case for their home-grown hero-Dragons.

Today, USA Today sort of got in on the act publishing a lame corruption per capita index. The flawed method (think of it as the electoral college of corruption) leads USA Today to the dubious conclusion that North Dakota is the nation's "most corrupt" state.

Meanwhile, back at TPM, a reader called "BB" lays down the law in an email:

Look, if you want, the New Orleans bloggers can put together a comprehensive file for you. But you need to know it will be thick.

In the many categories that people argue for (cash involved, historical entrenchment, recent scandal, profile, fed/state/local), each of your wannabe states points out that the category they happen to be strongest in really matters the most. And that's why they're wannabes...they need special consideration.

Louisiana will let any state in the union pick the turf and the time. You want state level corruption? Local? Bring it. Historical tradition? Game on. Recent scandal? Easy money. You name the category, any category, and we'll have a big dog in that fight. And that is why Louisiana is the all time champ.

Too true. These people know not with whom they are messing.

I believe a HOLY CRAP is in order

Snowing in New Orleans this morning

Snow on the roof

Snow on Third

Update: More pics

St Charles Streetcar in the snow

Snow on the crepe myrtles


NOLA snowfalls in my lifetime: 1989, 2004, 2008. And that's it. Three in my lifetime and I am an old person.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Oh okay, one more before bed

We love Ru Paul

We at the Yellow Blog are feeling very much like the 2008 New Orleans Saints when it comes to this year's Christmas video war. We're either saving our best stuff for later in the season, or we're just not in it to win it. But we are at least in it and... well this is all we've got right now.

BTW, This year's carnage is unbelievable after only one day. Varg is just fucking wrong for this.

It's a Christmas miracle


Jammal Brown won't play Thursday for the New Orleans Saints against Chicago


It's happening much more quickly than... anybody could have predicted. So we're responding appropriately.

Alright fuckers we're playing

This was suggested by Menckles

What the fuck is that on her head?

Irrational exuberance

Too much. Too soon.

I'm still just easing into it. Here's another sad and pathetic Saints-emblemed holiday item.


Out of control

Back in October, e published a quickly-googled list of nine incidences of criminal activity by NOPD over the past five years.

Today we find two more.

Popular French Quarter tour guide says he was beaten by cop

NOPD officer accused of beating Metairie man

Maybe somebody should start mapping these crimes so that informed citizens can defend themselves.

Oh crap here we go

The annual NOLA blogosphere War On Christmas is back and bad as ever. The way this works is it's sort of a race to the bottom where everyone posts the most unintentionally funny or lame Holiday-related item he or she can find until... Greg finally whips out the Twisted Sister "Oh come all Ye Faithful" and blows everybody away.

Anywho... you can track the opening salvos here here here here here and OH MY GOD if you have the stomach for it.

As usual, I go nothin' in the early rounds. But assuming that points are given out for general lameitude, I can offer you this.


God bless us, every one.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


Let's do this thing, bitches!

I don't think the word "bad" means what you think it means

This Gambit review of the new Guns n Roses album begins with the line,

Whew, the new Guns-n-Roses album is officially not bad!

And then goes on to describe what must be THE WORST RECORD HUMANS COULD POSSIBLY CREATE.

As feared, this now mythical album is one-third nu metal. Meaning: unabashedly inorganic, monochromatic, Korn-influenced guitar riffs. Luckily, thousands of truly twisted guitar solos decorate said riffs, attacking from all angles, as Chinese Democracy’s songs twist, break down, and morph. A woman sings over what could be a Garbage outtake that suddenly becomes a heavy blues ballad. Symphonic trip-hop with funky nylon string guitar leads Axl’s layered voices into a capella metal do-wop

The mind reels. Chinese Democracy is, as many people know by now, a record that was never supposed to actually be made. The prolonged rumor of its production was a running joke that we all expected would make for a decent half-obscure reference or at the very least an annual April Fools' gag. I suppose, then, that the corporeal form taken by this sort of conceptual humor can only be this unintentionally funny.

But Pro-Tools also drowns the gentle guitar of “Sorry” in gross digital gravy, and helps “FBI” sound like Sarah McLachlan. In the time this album took to make, the studio trick where a song (in this case “Prostitute”) dramatically shrinks for a moment, into a tin can, before suddenly expanding back to its regular size, became tired. The new G-n-R sometimes reeks of the 90’s, when reactionary producers started thinking even heavy metal needed little dance beats in it.

Good God I hope I never have to actually listen to this album. There's no way it can be anywhere near as entertaining as its description. I just wonder what unimaginable sonic horror could possibly meet the reviewer's criteria to qualify as "bad".


How many local Obama supporters agree with the argument that "the executive's appointments don't matter" and yet have signed that Fire Veronica White petition?

ZOMG Corruption! Dragons!

The Governor of Illinois tried to sell a Senate seat to the highest bidder.

Surely the local punditry will remember this before it makes the next local election all about ridding us of the "embarrassment" of our "exceptional" backwardness. Surely.


Yes, they are freaking nuts.


In addition to David's criticism, this deal allows the (current) President to appoint the "czar" who will then be the person who dictates terms to the auto makers. Those terms will inevitably involve hostility toward auto unions and retirees. Why would the Democrats agree to cede such a crucial policymaking position on the heels of an election they just dominated? Unless they just don't give a damn about working people.

Or maybe they're spooked by the Joseph Cao-led Republican comeback.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Vast left wing conspiracy

I have to agree with the TPM analysis of the new Obama strategy of whining about its "angry left wing" critics.

Really, one has to ask if Hildebrand is really trying to reassure "the left wing of our party," or whether he's trying to stir them up further out of some unknown political calculation or other. After all, many on "the left" have also made Hildebrand's point: They've noted that Obama should be allowed to let his actual policies do the talking, while simultaneously asking completely legit questions about what his choices portend about the future direction of his administration. If merely asking such questions is enough to incite an attack on "the left" from someone in Obama's inner circle, it seems reasonable to conclude that the motive here isn't to mend fences at all.

But putting the politics of this new Obama narrative aside, I see this more as a move to ignore or marginalize criticism in general. If the majority of Obama's appointments thus far happen to be... for the most part... a string of Wall Street whores, insurance lobbyists, and war criminals, one doesn't necessarily have to be part of some angry left wing conspiracy just to point out the obvious.

In fact, it's the counter-argument put forward by Obama sycophants that the magical new President can somehow polish all of these turds which seems the most off-the-wall to me.

Update: Greenwald says

Until five weeks ago, I literally never heard anyone claim -- in either party -- that it was irrelevant who the President appointed to his Cabinet and other high-level positions. I never heard anyone depict people like the Defense Secretary and CIA Director as nothing more than impotent little functionaries -- the equivalent of entry-level clerical workers -- who exert no power and do nothing other than obediently carry out the President's orders.

In fact, I seem to recall pretty vividly all sorts of confirmation fights led by Democrats over the last eight years (John Aschroft, John Bolton, Alberto Gonzales, Michael Hayden, Steven Bradbury) -- to say nothing of the efforts to force the resignation or dismissal of people such as Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and Gonzales -- that were based on exactly the opposite premise: namely, that it does matter who is empowered to lead these agencies and departments, and specifically, that their ideology not only matters, but can, by itself, warrant rejection. Nobody ever claimed that Ashcroft, Bolton or Hayden were "unqualified." It was their beliefs and ideology that rendered them unfit for those positions, argued Democrats.

When and why did everyone suddenly decide to change their minds about this and start repeating the mantra of some Obama supporters that high-level appointments are irrelevant because only the President counts? For the people who now make this claim to justify Obama's appointments, were any of them objecting during any of the above-listed confirmation fights that those fights were wasteful and unjustified because presidential appointments are irrelevant?

Other than Brennan (and Hayden, if that happens), I haven't felt very strongly about any of Obama's appointments, mostly because they're roughly what I expected. And it is true that a President's actions matter more than his appointments (which isn't saying that the latter is irrelevant). But I nonetheless find it striking how quickly people are willing to spout a position that they never previously believed and even is at radical odds with what they've said and done in the past -- Cabinet appointments are irrelevant! -- simply because the new position justifies what someone they like is doing.

What, no white smoke?

I must have missed the announcement that a new pope had been selected. I'm not even sure the conclave was well-attended enough to constitute a quorum. Oh well, I'm sure the new pope will comport himself with all the accustomed dignity and holiness we've come to expect from that office. That is what we elected him to do, right?

Okay I see. No, we didn't elect Cao to be the infallible head of the Church. We elected him in order to provide the GOP with some new talking points. Now the whole country's politics can be about Dragonslaying!


Has Karl Rove told us that Joseph Cao's victory constitutes a negation of Obama's mandate yet?

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Phone calls

I received telephone calls today from Stacy Head and Jay Batt. They both wanted me to vote for a Republican. I don't think you could have picked two people less likely to convince me to do anything.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Change you can whore

The long-standing recommendation to read Matt Taibbi remains in effect:

Obviously there has been some dire news on that front already. When Obama picked Tom Daschle to be the HHS Secretary, I nearly shit my pants. In Washington there are whores and there are whores, and then there is Tom Daschle. Tom Daschle would suck off a corpse for a cheeseburger. True, he is probably only the second-biggest whore for the health care industry in American politics — the biggest being doctor/cat-torturer Bill Frist, whose visit to South Dakota on behalf of John Thune in 2004 was one of the factors in ending Daschle's tenure in the Senate.

But in picking Daschle — who as an adviser to the K Street law firm Alston and Bird has spent the last four years burning up the sheets with the nation's fattest insurance and pharmaceutical interests — Obama is essentially announcing that he has no intention of seriously reforming the health care industry. And I know that lots of public policy people are hailing this pick, saying Daschle is perfect for the job ("His new leadership position confirms that the incoming Obama administration has made health care reform a top and early priority for action in 2009," Ron Pollack, the director of Families USA, told reporters), but when they say that I think they mean the following: "Out of all the bought-off Washington whores who could have been given this job, Daschle is the best one. His fake reform will go the farthest in its approximation of actual action than the fake reform of any other possible whore-candidate." Actually that probably sums up the ideological profile of Obama quite well generally — but that's another story.

I've been banging the EFCA drum a bit this week. But meaningful health care reform is probably the top agenda item by which we can judge the value of an Obama Presidency. So far the commitment in that arena is lukewarm at best.

Tulane University poised to end civilization as we know it

Today, from City Business, we learn the following.

Tulane dedicating $27.5M biosafety lab

COVINGTON - Tulane University plans to dedicate a $27.5 million biosafety laboratory Friday within the Tulane National Primate Research Center in Covington.

A ceremony will be held at 9 a.m.

The new facility will create approximately 60 new jobs with $2.2 million in annual payroll, creating an expected $42 million economic impact on the region during the next five years.

The Primate Research Center is one of only 13 National Institutes of Health-supported Biosafety Level 3 laboratories in the country and the only one affiliated with a primate research center, medical school and school of public health and tropical medicine.

Biosafety Level 3 is a national designation for labs built with strict safety standards to study airborne contaminants and infectious diseases.•

Great, you say. Tulane is keeping us on the cutting edge of biomedical research... and they don't even have to knock over an entire historic New Orleans neighborhood to do it.

Not so fast. Let's review the "strict safety standards" in place at the Tulane National Primate Research Center.... something we've been keeping our eye on for some time, by the way.

Tulane Hullabaloo October 30, 1998 (via The Wayback Machine):

Twenty-four Indian rhesus monkeys housed at the Tulane Primate Center in St. Tammany Parish escaped on Oct. 18.

All but one of the monkeys were recovered three days later. One female monkey is unaccounted for.

According to Dr. Peter Gerone, director of the Primate Center, the monkeys are housed in a quarter-acre chain-link catch pen that encloses a smaller pen. By jiggling the lock, the monkeys apparently opened the gate which leads from the chain-link catch pen to the outside.

So in 1998, the "strict safety standards" were such that they could be defeated by a monkey jiggling a lock. Certainly, after this incident, procedures were reviewed, measures were taken and.... uh oh.

CNN March 12, 2003:

COVINGTON, Louisiana (AP) -- Two dozen monkeys escaped from a research center and holed up in a forest, where animal-control workers used bananas and oranges to try to lure them out.

The monkeys are classified as disease-free and posed no health risk to humans, but workers trying to capture the animals wore protective gowns and gloves as a standard precaution, said Fran Simon, a spokeswoman for the Tulane Regional Primate Center.

What the hell, is this some kind of annual Tulane fraternity prank or something? If so, It's probably a step up from crab boil hazing but even so you'd think the Primate Center would take this more seriously. I mean, I don't want to tell anyone how to do their jobs but... Jesus Christ!

WWL May 10, 2005

COVINGTON -- More than 50 monkeys escaped from the Tulane Primate Center late Monday evening, leaving authorities with the daunting task of tracking down and catching the animals.

As of 4 p.m. Tuesday, officials said 47 of the monkeys had been captured while 6 managed to continue to elude authorities by hiding in the heavily wooded along Three Rivers Road.

Mike Aertker, spokesman for the Primate Center, said the monkeys were being used solely for breeding purposes, and had not been subjected to experiments of any kind.

I am glad to see the spokeperson take a moment to inform the public that the monkeys are "disease-free" after each incidence of mass escape. I find that reassuring. Almost as reassuring as the addition of a $27.5 million "biosafety lab" to this disaster-prone facility. I hope some of that money goes toward buying a new jiggle-proof lock.

Tree farmers "buck the trend"

I know the local rags love to go in for this "bucking the economic trend" crap, but this really is a reach.


Sunday, I put up a Christmas tree in my apartment for the first time in something like 7 years. (I'm actually going to be home this year for the first time in a while)


Who knew I was opting to host such a key economic indicator?

Just to drive the point of that last post home

Organized Labor has come to save Deuce for us.

NFL Players' Union Seeks To Block Suspensions

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Save the bones for Henry Jones

It's time to finish off those leftovers the right way. Yesterday, I made my annual turkey carcass stock. Tonight, I'm making the gumbo. And, of course, I'm re-running the recipe post here.

Update: This year I added a step to the recipe by reserving about two cups of broth from the bottom of the Thanksgiving turkey roasting pan to use as a "starter" liquid when building the Gumbo. This is rich stuff as evidenced by the layer of fat seen here developing along the sides of the pot.

Turkey Gumbo

You can skim some of this off the top... but not too much because then what's the point?

Putting the "Creole Blue" on hold

Strange that

1) The Hornets decide to hide their true identity from a visiting team from Charlotte.

2) While already pretending to be a team they aren't, they still aren't allowed to wear the purple, green and gold Jazz uniforms (which the actual Jazz don't even wear anymore).

But the NBA isn't embarrassed by "franchise free agency" or anything.

Bye, Deuce

New Orleans Saints Deuce McAllister, Will Smith and Charles Grant suspended four games

Monday, December 01, 2008

E is my new favorite art critic

I hate those stupid streetcars too.

Isn't this whole meme of variously decorated theme-ornaments kind of 10 years-ago anyway? I still remember hating the fish when they went up all over town back in 2000... and even those were kind of catching the end of the trend.

Time to fire the Coach

I'm working on one of those long Yellow Blog Saints game recaps with material covering the past two weeks. But I've been notoriously bad at getting them done on time this year so, in case I don't crank it out today, I thought I'd just throw out this quote from Jeff Duncan's column today.

The Bucs picked off three passes and had another pick called back by a questionable penalty away from the play.

The Bucs' defense basically rope-a-doped the Saints.

"The Saints like to take a lot of shots," Buchanan said. "We knew coming into the game that Drew Brees and Sean Payton are very impatient. They are going to take their shots down the field and they're going to take some chances, and we've just got to be ready for the opportunity."

It was the fifth time Brees has thrown three or more interceptions in a game as the Saints quarterback. Not surprisingly, the Saints have lost all five of those games.

It was the 12th time he's thrown 45 or more passes in a game. Not surprisingly, the Saints have lost 11 of those games.

"We knew he was going to throw the ball 45 times; that's just what he does," veteran cornerback Ronde Barber said. "I'm not sure, but I believe that the first 15 plays were passes, so you know you're going to get your opportunities. We feel like we're one of the best secondaries in the league. We had opportunities today, at least in our minds, to prove it."

Barber watched Brees strafe the Packers on "Monday Night Football" last week and just shook his head at Green Bay's foolish defensive strategy. He knew the Saints wouldn't find the pickings so easy against his team.

"We didn't do what Green Bay did, just line up in man to man across the board for four quarters," Barber said. "You have to play zone (against the Saints). You have to leave guys in front of you and allow your athletes to make plays, and that's what we did. Drew is a heck of a player. I have all the respect in the world for the guy. But he also gives you opportunities to make interceptions and big plays on him, and we did today."

Translation: Coach Soupy and his gimmicky offense are finished. Saints' opponents know what he does. They know how to deal with it. And, since he's not going to change what he does, it's time to change coaches and move on.

I love Clio's take

Rigging the comments

Wow look at them beat the hell out of Elie simply for pointing out that large vacant buildings downtown are probably not a good thing.

In the comments, BSJD reminded me of something that happened on Friday's Informed Sources (which seems like three weeks ago to me right now) which I wanted to mention.... but the post is already up at Moldy City so go read that.