Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Shell Game

Now you see it....

WASHINGTON -- Linda Ireland figured that whatever money she got from Louisiana's long-awaited Road Home program could be used to rebuild her flooded-out New Orleans house.

Ireland was stunned to discover recently that a big chunk of her Road Home grant could very well be taking a road straight back to Washington, D.C.

By law, disaster victims are prohibited from receiving multiple sources of financial aid for the same purpose. So Ireland's rebuilding grant, along with those of untold numbers of other flood victims in Louisiana and Mississippi, may have to be used to pay off all or a portion of her disaster loan from the Small Business Administration.

Air America Blacklist

via Eschaton

One Year Ago Today

Library reopens!

This has been a truly strange year in liberry land... just as it has in the rest of the city.

Trick Or Treat

Cute... but what is it? And why is it at my house?

Happy Birthday Saints

The story of your New Orleans Saints is... what else?... a juicy story of political power brokering. The following is a long excerpt from today's T-P

New Orleans' pursuit of an NFL team occurred at an opportune time, coinciding with a period when Louisiana's congressional delegation in Washington wielded unprecedented power and influence.

U.S. Rep. Hale Boggs was the House majority whip. U.S. Sen. Russell Long was chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. And Gov. John McKeithen was such a powerful national figure that Hubert Humphrey considered making him his vice presidential running mate in 1968.

"It was a remarkable time, a heyday for Louisiana politics," said former U.S. Rep. Lindy Boggs, Hale Boggs' wife. "They were able to swing a lot of stuff for Louisiana."

In the fall of 1966, Louisiana powerbrokers swung a pivotal measure for the NFL.

Four months earlier, the NFL had announced plans to merge with the American Football League, a move that would consolidate interest in the sport, eliminate bidding wars for players and create a true world championship game: the Super Bowl.

One man stood in the way of the merger: U.S. Rep. Emanuel Celler, D-N.Y. The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and the congressional subcommittee on antitrust had no intention of letting the legislation pass.

Rozelle needed a way around Celler and asked Dixon whether he knew Rep. Joe Waggoner, a representative from Shreveport who served on the committee. Dixon informed Rozelle that Waggoner was not the answer.

Boggs, a fraternity brother of Dixon's at Tulane University, was far more powerful in Washington circles. And he might be willing to make a quid pro quo deal.

Boggs' approval ratings had dipped dramatically since supporting the Voting Rights Act in 1965. He could use a boost, and pushing this legislation through Congress for the NFL and helping secure an NFL franchise for Louisiana was just the ticket.

Dixon sent powerhouse political adviser David Kleck to Washington to meet with Boggs. A plan was hatched. Boggs attached the NFL-AFL Congressional Antitrust exemption as a rider to an anti-inflation tax bill supported by President Lyndon Johnson. That lifted the bill from Celler's committee to the Senate Finance Committee, where Long steered it to a vote.

Twisting the screws

Congressional approval still remained, though. And, according to several accounts, Boggs twisted the screws on Rozelle.

An hour before the formal vote took place Oct. 21, Dixon said, Kleck, who was walking the Rotunda with Boggs and Rozelle, observed this conversation between the two men.

"Hale, I don't know how to thank you enough for what you are doing," Rozelle said.

Boggs shot back, "What do you mean, you don't know how to thank me? New Orleans gets an immediate franchise in the NFL. Isn't that our deal?"

Rozelle replied, "I'm going to do everything I can to bring it about."

At that time, Boggs turned away. "Well, we can always call off the vote while you get back to the owners."

Rozelle raced after Boggs and said, "It's a deal, Congressman. You'll get your franchise."

The vote passed. Eleven days later Rozelle stood in the Pontchartrain Hotel and awarded the 16th NFL franchise to New Orleans.

More politics and football from WWL: Brees to mom: Quit using my image in political ads

Monday, October 30, 2006

Obligatory Halloween Post

Dropped in Saturday night at the Crown & Anchor for their annual Halloween Costume Party. Pics from this year's party are here on the pub's site. Earlier in the month I stated my desire to go as the "Kimono Dragon" All I needed were some lizard paraphanelia and a kiomono.... which I never bothered to pick up. Instead I resolved to go uncostumed... but that didn't sit too well with Menckles or Rudolph so we threw together some pirate crap at the last minute. Lame-ass cell phone photo below:

I don't suppose the glasses help much. I'm also disappointed not to have a decent photo of Rudolph's get-up. She was Lady Tarkington from Wallace and Grommit and the Curse of the Were-Rabbit. Instead you'll have to settle for this gem of her prize winning Christmas tree costume from last year.


The area at the top of the stairs is the social center of Section 617 in the Superdome. The little corner next to our seats has become a kind of commons area where folks seated in the near rows gather to discuss the game, beat on the wall, buy each other beer, and sing songs about Scott Fujita. Oh... and some of them occasionally smoke. And they've been getting away with it too so far this season. That is until halftime of yesterday's Saints-Ravens unpleasantness when somebody ratted.

It's unfortunate that the as yet undiscovered fan who objected to the smoking decided not to simply ask fellow Saints fans to be mindful of his or her sensitivity to it. I'm sure they could have worked it out without anonymously going to the authorities.

The authorities in this case were a particularly surly usher bearing a certain resemblance to Mr. Magoo tactlessly announcing the fact that he had a "description of a black man in a hat smoking up here" This led to a bit of (justifiable in my opinion) mouthing off to said authorities... ala Dangerblond perhaps... who retreated and returned with additional authorities this time in the form of a uniformed police officer. The reinforced authorities then escorted the offending hatted dark-skinned individual from the stands engendering an expression-of-solidarity walk-out by several of his friends.

Remember, folks. Always try just talking to people first. You can still go get the police if things turn ugly. Things will always turn ugly if you narc first.

The game:

  • What can we say? The Saints didn't play very well. I remember using the phrase "We not doing so good" repeatedly throughout the day. This drove many around me to irritation... so.. I consider myself a success there at least. This game was full of the things every cliche-spewing football analyst says will get you beat every time. Penalties, turnovers, mental mistakes, a big fat narc in the stands. It all went very poorly for the home team. I can identify three immediate reasons for this unfortunate performance. (1) The infamous "bye-week rustiness" disrupted the Saints' "focus" or their "rhythm" or whatever it is that keeps you from jumping offsides on every third down. (2) r decided not to show up this week excusing her absence as a "protest against spending six dollars for beer" Feel free to blame as much of this on her as you see fit. (3) Baltimore native, Menckles, actually wore a purple sweater to the game. Anything you can't blame on r, you can probably blame on the sweater.

  • Four interceptions. Okay so two of them came off of tipped or dropped balls. (Hey, Stecker, if you have to drop a pass, drop down not up!) and a third was the result, as Fitch N DarDar points out, of one of the dumbest play calls Payton has made this year.

    Saints reciever Reggie Bush attempts a pass into double coverage on the games most poorly thought out play.

    So Brees only screwed up once. Actually, he kept it together pretty well under the circumstances. And we still shudder to think about how Aaron Brooks would have handled a similar situation.

  • Congratulations to Joe Horn on becoming the Saints all time leader in touchdown receptions. This record could not belong to a more deserving individual. Congrats as well to Marques Colston who continues to make the Stallworth trade look like a winner.

    TD Tally: Colston 6 Stallworth 2

    Without looking this up... I believe Colston is in danger of capturing the Saints rookie record for touchdowns in a season with 8? A record that belongs to ... Donte Stallworth.

  • The Saints' defense was horrible against the pass this week .. especially on third down.

  • Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of the loss is that it spoiled the season debut of return specialist and everyone's favorite Saint Michael Lewis. Lewis recieved a large ovation during team introductions.. and managed a nice 46 yard kick return later in the game. It's a shame they couldn't win one for the Beerman.

  • If Bush misses a game.. it won't hurt the Saints much. Lewis and Devery Henderson will be able to fill his (limited) role in the offense. (Minus the interceptions hopefully)

Finally, this week's major complaint concerns the absurd number of fans who exited the Superdome prior to the start of the fourth quarter. Haven't these people seen enough Saints games in their day to know that 15 minutes is more than enough time for a professional football team to blow a 20 point lead? Certainly they didn't expect this bunch to quit did they? Well they didn't quit. They even made the score look semi-respecatable before the day ended.

By deciding to attend a football game, a person is committing a certain block of his or her day to that activity. If the game had been close, the fans certainly would have remained in their seats for this allotted amount of time. What can they possibly be gaining by leaving early? Ten or fifteen additional minutes of... well time with nothing planned? It never makes sense. I hope they weren't trying to "beat the traffic" either. We stayed to the end.. when there was almost no traffic because everyone left early trying to beat the traffic. (Of course we're on bikes so traffic isn't as much of a concern.. but still)

Hello? Echo! I wonder if Payton will call out the fans this week

I think the best thing to say about the Saints this week is that I hope they learned something... that goes for the fans as well.

Note: All photos shamelessly stolen from the T-P galleries on Nola.com

Rose is a Scientist

I am a journalist - I write to you to show you I am an incurable
and nothing else behaves like me

Okay so I realize this was my job and I blew it. But somehow I must have known that there were people out there who could do it a bit more cleverly than I. Oyster has posted several objections that I share with him about Chris Rose's recent column and a half length pharmaceutical commercial. He also rightly points out that I am expected to be the first to call douchebag whenever this sort of thing pops up. I admit that I did indeed drop the ball this time. I may have been actually afraid of offending the sensibilities of some actually depressed people out there. I managed to squeeze in a comment to Dangle somewhere around here... but never got around to posting about it. This misjudgement combined with the already swirling rumors of my "niceness" threatens to seriously damage the esteem with which many readers regard this yellow publication and needs to be corrected. From now on, every human affliction imaginable from depression to Parkinson's disease to Cowboy Mouth is fair game. As for Rose, well... frankly he makes me depressed. I don't know that I could add anything to what Oyster says other than the following quote.

Canst thou not minister to a mind diseased,
Pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow,
Raze out the written troubles of the brain
And with some sweet oblivious antidote
Cleanse the stuff'd bosom of that perilous stuff
Which weighs upon the heart?

Therein the patient
Must minister to himself.

Also... more from the song referenced above.

I am a pharmacist
Prescriptions i will fill you
Potions, pills and medicines
To ease your painful lives
I am a lost soul
I shoot myself with rock and roll
The hole i dig is bottomless
But nothing else can set me free

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Hooray for C-Ray!

He seems to have taken the appropriate stance on this issue.... so long as it still means that Endymion goes back to Mid-City. In all honesty, I can't bear to watch Endymion. The parade is bloated and overdone.. but more importantly, the crowds are the rudest in all Carnival...legions of touchy white people who don't know how to share public space especially up around the beginning of the route. In 2005, I biked nearly the entire Mid-City route in a futile search for a decent viewing spot. It's usually more trouble than it's worth for me. BUT the Mid-City route is ready for parades again. Maybe we can convince the actual Krewe of Mid-City to go back there as well.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Clusterfuck up ahead?

In Maryland

Ehrlich warns of voting 'crisis'
Backup plans urged due to area shortages in absentee ballots
By Melissa Harris
sun reporter
Originally published October 27, 2006
Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. warned yesterday that a shortage of absentee ballots is "approaching crisis proportions" and asked the state elections administrator to develop contingency plans if more cannot be delivered in time.

Maryland elections chief Linda H. Lamone acknowledged that some counties had run out of ballots or had not received all they need, with the election 11 days away. But she said more deliveries were scheduled, and described the problems as manageable.

Demand for absentee ballots is high after a push by Ehrlich and others for the use of the paper alternative in the aftermath of the Sept. 12 primary, which was crippled by human and technological errors. A new state law makes absentee ballots available to voters for any reason.

The company that makes Maryland's heavily scrutinized electronic voting machines, Diebold Election Systems Inc., also prints the state's absentee ballots.

Stop it stop it stop it!!!

People, photos of your child and/or pet undignifiedly adorned in Saints parphanelia are not as cute as you think they are. Please stop sending them to WWL for God's sake!

Full disclosure: I am wearing a Saints T-shirt right now.

Garland Robinette advocates "nuking" Iraq

What do you expect when your highest profile talk radio station employs a line-up of wildlife artists and dinner theater actors?

HUD's "plan"

Kind of like the City's 100 days. It's only a plan when it suits your purpose. In HUD's case, that purpose appears to be denying people access to housing.

See Da Po' Boy

Who needs Blockbuster anyway?

This is a surprisingly optimistic article about the recovery plans of businesses situated near the corner of Gentilly and Elysian Fields. All we know for certain is that the Blockbuster video (which may soon go the way of Tower Records) the McDonald's (one of the few with no drive-thru) and the Walgreens (good riddance!) aren't planning to come back.

I grew up just a few blocks away from this little square and for a long time it seemed like the center of the universe. On many a day, my good-for-nothing pre-pubescent miscreant activities included browsing the magazines at the K&B (now Rite Aid) or the shelves at the library across the street. I remember the chocolate and cheese filled king cakes from the McKenzie's.. the smell of fried chicken from the adjoining "Chicken in a Box"... the sounds pumped into the street from Peaches record shop. It would be nice to get some of that stuff back soon.

A few months back, Dad called to tell me he had just driven by the site of Zuppardo's grocery (the original Zuppardo's) to find that it "ain't dere no more". It was one of the sadder moments of our post-K experience. The quote from Roy Zuppardo in this article seems more hopeful than I would have thought.

Roy Zuppardo, whose family owned the Zuppardo’s Family Supermarket on Gentilly at Elysian Fields, said he has not yet decided if the store will be rebuilt. Had the store not suffered physical damage it would have reopened in Sept. 2005, Zuppardo said.

The 75-year-old structure had to be demolished because the roof fell in. The store was also “outdated” and in need of a facelift before the storm, Zuppardo said. The family owns another store in Metairie.

Zuppardo’s was the only grocery in the immediate area.

“Our family owns the property, so there’s always a possibility,” Zuppardo said. “But we haven’t made a decision to come back or not.”

I hope they come back. I hope the whole thing comes back.

Would Karen Carter be a rubber stamp for Bush?

Adrastos has the post-debate poop.

NOPD is killing Carnival

I don't buy the post-Katrina manpower shortage complaints. The police were trying to force all the parades onto one route long before the flood.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Pollard/GBV Halloween Ten

1) Bloodbeast Suitcase 1

2) Bright Paper Werewolves UTBUTS

3) Cut Out Witch UTBUTS Live On You Tube!

4) Deathtrot and Warlock Riding a Rooster King Shit and the Golden Boys On Rhapsody!

5) Evil Speakers Alien Lanes

6) The Weeping Bogeyman Universal Truths and Cycles

7) They Are Not Witches Alien Lanes

8) Wrinkled Ghost Waved Out On Rhapsody!

9) Demons are Real Bee Thousand Listen!

10) Love is Stronger Than Witchcraft From a Compound Eye Listen!

That last one might be the best song of 2006... that is if it weren't for Ballzack's Wine Candy which you can hear at Ballzack's MySpace.

One thing that is different this time

Republicans don't seem to be quite so good at sticking to their guns. Limbaugh seems to be taking more heat from his own side than usual. Corker doesn't want anything to do with the "Playboy" ad (although the RNC claims they can't pull it). Hell, Bush is even abandoning "Stay the course" (for the next two weeks anyway... and in bizarre Orwellian "We've never been stay the course" fashion)

Recent Republican strategy has been to embrace the slime while accusing Democrats of worse.... but that either isn't happening or isn't getting done effectively right now.

Just a thought.

Update: Oyster just proved me wrong about Corker here. Check this out. The reason they keep doing this is it works.


Lakeview was full of this crap to begin with.

Slimiest Ad Ever

I ask you this, though. Did "Daisy" work? Did "Willie Horton" work? Don't you imagine this will work as well?

# 53 with a bullet

US ties with Tonga, Croatia, and Botswana in the Reporters Without Borders Worldwide Press Freedom Index.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


I have it on good authority that tonight's Politics with a Punch at Le Chat will include the following intriguing lineup.

* Jason Berry, Author of "Last of the Red Hot Poppas"
* Troy Carter, Former New Orleans Councilman, Second Congressional
District Candidate
* Sandra "18-Wheeler" Hester, TV Show Host, Community Activist
* Hon. John Kennedy, State Treasurer of Louisiana
* Mark Samuels, President, Basin Street Records

Might want to catch this one.

Halloween Link of the Day

Forbes Magazine lists the highest earning celebrities.... from beyond the grave.

That backlash I was talking about

GOP in Missouri fires back with some B list celebs of its own.
Mike Sweeney, Kurt Warner, Patricia Heaton. Wow this is an ad full o' stupid!

This ad, dumb as it sounds, will... much like the stupid Limbaugh comments...reach the niche vote Talent is looking for. It's why Dems can't win on these kinds of issues. They don't lend themselves to considered debate but rather open the door to the kind of "limbic politics" that Billmon is referring to here.
The sexual corruption "issue" may be hurting the Rovians this year, given the GOP's reliance on its fundamentalist Christian base. But over the long run, I have to think limbic politics still work in their favor. Democrats and liberals now tend to insist on pitching their political tents higher up the cerebral slope, where rationality and the "real issues" can dominate the landscape. Having been beaten so many times down in the emotional swamps, they're determined to stay clear of them entirely. But the Rovian political strategy, if not the entire modern conservative movement -- like most authoritarian and/or fascist ideologies -- is entirely about emotional manipulation. Sex and death.

In some years and in some elections, a limbic strategy may not work well -- although if that's the case this year, why has a congressional sex scandal turned into such a deal breaker? But most of the time it works, if only because television provides such a powerful and perfectly adapted tool for making it work. (This, more than the alleged incompetence of Democratic consultants, may explain why the GOP usually seems to get a bigger bang out of its advertising dollars.) And winning most of the time is good enough to gradually squeeze the life out of the political opposition. The limbic system is a natural one-party state.

More backlash: Hannity this time.

Monday, October 23, 2006

I heart the internets

Look look look! It might be the greatest website ever!

Republicans now very interested in building levees

At least that's one way of reading Political Wire's quote of the day.

Mission Accomplished

In another supposedly "safe Democratic" Senate race I'm not so sure of, Maryland Lt Gov Michael Steele made a startling announcement last week regarding the war in Iraq. Turns out, we've won.
While acknowledging there have been mistakes and poor decisions made, Steele said if the American military doesn't finish the job, American enemies would.

"We have won the war, how do we now win the peace?" he commented.

Steele is what Republicans like to call an "up and comer" in the party because, you see, he's black... oh and he likes puppies.

He's also running a Naginesque campaign of sneaky misinformation, appeal to race as an overriding electoral factor, unlikely statements such as the one above, and of course Don King.

I'm watching this race for a few reasons. First, I have this pet theory that quirky Louisiana politics is often a better predictor of national trends than most people acknowledge. Second, Maryland Democrats could have avoided this by nominating Kweisi Mfume instead of the more milquetoasty Ben Cardin. Third, I think Steele is going to win... and I thought I'd get out in front of it now while I'm so close to cornering the market on unconventional predictions.

More: Some "unity" movement. Sounds more like a knife fight.


Just making sure everyone reads Da Po' Boy today.



The thing is, YouTube isn't about searchability. You don't go there to plug in a search term and find information. You go there for the same reason you go to the local independent movie theater -- you want a place where somebody has put together a unique and bizarre lineup of films to watch. YouTube rules because of users who act like the owners of very tiny movie theaters or cable stations by finding cool videos and posting them on their "channels."

These people offer findability, which is practically the opposite of searchability. When you search, you have to already know what you want to find. You have to plug in "espresso" or "fainting goats." Findability means that you can discover things for which you'd never dream of searching. Findability is what YouTube has now, and what Google has never had.

I thought something similar when I learned of the demise of Tower Records. New Orleans, in its present state, is running thin on "bricks and mortar" record shops and the loss of Tower comes as a particularly big blow. Is the day approaching when no one finds anything by browsing anymore?

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Looking ahead

Since McCain is obviously a major candidate in '08.


McCain, on the other hand, really does seem to have drunk more than his fair share of the Kool-Aid. He not an especially bright guy, and he's deep under the spell of the neocons, who have made the myth of American exceptionalism -- and the missionary impulses it generates -- a key part of their ideology of permanent revolution.

Combine that with the fact that McCain is in many ways even more instinctively hawkish than Shrub, and it's easy to see how a McCain presidency could take U.S. foreign policy quite a bit deeper into the jaws of hell, to the point where the Cheney administration could look downright sane by comparison.

And yet I still run into liberals who think McCain is different (meaning better) than the usual run of right-wing hardliners -- because he's such a "straight shooter," or because of his largely futile, if not entirely symbolic, protests against torture.

That's one of the reasons why I tend to regard McCain as the most dangerous man in America -- even more so than Cheney and Rumsfeld. Not because he isn't a "straight shooter" (he's certainly devious enough about advancing his personal political ambitions) but because when it comes to the cult of self-righteous American power, I think he's the straightest shooter in the bunch -- literally.

More Stupid Democrat Tricks

From the book, "How to Provoke a Red State Backlash"

1) Choose a peripheral but religiously sensitive issue.

2) Bring on a "Hollywood" celebrity as a spokesperson.

3) Bonus points if that celebrity is suffering from a horrific disease.. it makes you look even more callous and exploitive.

4) Approve that message.

Earlier I hedged my Missouri prediction by stating that Talent is "just stupid enough to lose" It appears now that McCaskill has managed to out-stupid him.

Does this mean there will be "Dollar" Billboards in Houston?

TRAVELING PREACHER: In pushing for Nagin's portrait, Edwards said he had just returned from visiting "six cities in the past seven days."

But when pressed after the meeting, he refused to say exactly where his journey took him or what business, if any, he undertook at public buildings in a half-dozen towns outside New Orleans.

Edwards, who burst into a lengthy belly laugh when asked about road trips, said he did not realize that a reporter had been at the meeting.

"We just travel a lot," he said, repeating the phrase no fewer than five times. "They accuse me of a lot of stuff. I'll come out on it, but not today. I'll come out on everything after the Nov. 7 election. For now, I'll just say, we travel a lot."

Edwards would not say who his accusers are, nor what information he plans to divulge on the day that the state's seven congressional seats, including the 2nd District office of U.S. Rep. William Jefferson, are up for grabs.

He also would not disclose who he is supporting in the marquee race on the New Orleans ballot. But logic dictates that Edwards will be backing Jefferson, who faces a dozen challengers -- and a federal bribery investigation -- in his attempt to win a ninth term.


Friday, October 20, 2006

Stupid Democrat Tricks

What the hell is Ford thinking? The best way to keep a guy like Corker from looking like an uncivil ass is to look like an even bigger one.


I'm the one who has been writing for two years that the American people are fed up with the war in Iraq and with the Bush administration's lies and incompetence.

I'm the one that keeps beating the Washington press corps about the head over how out of touch it is. I'm the one who has been insisting there's a Democratic tide out here, and that the people are so far ahead of the politicians and the media it's painful to watch.

So how come I'm not thrilled? Because I watched this happen two years ago -- same rejection of the Iraq war, same disgust with Bush and Co., same understanding Republicans are for the rich, period, same polls showing Ds with the lead going right into Election Day. And the same geographic gerrymander and same wall of money in the last two weeks. I'm not close to calling this election, and I'm sure not into celebrating anything yet.

Like I keep saying, Republicans have a better than even money shot at keeping both houses this year.

Because of the Saints...

The We Are Not OK (but we are trying to get OK) theme stays in the news cycle. Here, SI's Michael Silver tours the damage with a pair of anonymous Corpsers. For a short piece, it does a pretty good job of covering the essentials... but it leaves out any discussion of coastal restoration which is unfortunate because it is precisely that aspect of the problem which needs the most exposure at this point.

Silver was in town to write a feature on the Saints for the magazine.. which is not fully available online at this time.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Quote of the day

Taibbi concluding his excellent Rolling Stone piece out this week.

One could go on and on about the scandals and failures of the past six years; to document them all would take . . . well, it would take more than ninety-three fucking days, that's for sure. But you can boil the whole sordid mess down to a few basic concepts. Sloth. Greed. Abuse of power. Hatred of democracy. Government as a cheap backroom deal, finished in time for thirty-six holes of the world's best golf. And brains too stupid to be ashamed of any of it. If we have learned nothing else in the Bush years, it's that this Congress cannot be reformed. The only way to change it is to get rid of it.

Fortunately, we still get that chance once in a while.

But really, read the whole thing. I've said this before but Taibbi is simply the best political journalist working today.

Warning: Actual Liberry-related post

Yesterday, I conducted a short library tour for a group of 1st graders. The following is an excerpt.

It turns out that a lot of adults like to read comic books too. But some adults feel silly saying the words "comic book" so we use the term "Graphic Novel" instead. Just imagine a grown man settling into his rocker.. lighting his pipe. He looks around for something to read and calls out to his wife. "Martha, bring me my..... comic book?" You see that sounds silly. So instead he says, "Martha, bring me my..... (and at this point I wink and tap my finger to my head)... Graphic Novel." See? Now you guys might still find it hard to believe that the man just wants to read a Batman comic. You might find it even harder to believe that such a man actually has a wife, but believe me.. this term makes it better for a lot of grown ups.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

War on Terror Fails to Spread Freedom..

.. to the U.S.

The provisions of Bush's new torture law mean that Americans have lost the key, constitutional right on which Anglo-American criminal law (and criminal-law procedures in true democracies in general) is founded; that's the basic right of an individual to know why he or she is being apprehended and detained. Now, technically, as in Stalin's Soviet Union, Hitler's Germany, Mao's China or Pol Pot's Cambodia, anyone labeled an "enemy combatant" - again, by whom; by Bush? - can be whisked away and never heard from again. That kind of authority, in the hands of corrupt or untruthful politicians, may or may not be an effective tool in some kind of "war on terror," but it certainly can be a useful tool when it comes to silencing their opponents.

Note: Voting Yea to this Un-American piece of filth: Mary Landrieu

Here comes the backlash

Allen Barra of the New York Sun writes:
It's getting so I hate the New Orleans Saints the way I used to hate the Dallas Cowboys. Well, maybe not the same way. I root for whoever's playing the Cowboys, but I don't have anything against the Saints — I just don't want to hear any more about them.

Well, no, that's not exactly right, either. I don't actually mind hearing about the Saints, who have gotten increasingly interesting as the season goes on. What I'm sick of is the obligatory "The Saints represent the hopes and struggles of a Katrina-ravaged populace" paragraph that sportswriters tack onto their Saints story as if to admit that sports isn't a big enough subject to write about.As if a tenuous if not utterly bogus connection between football and the alleviation of human misery somehow makes what they're writing about more meaningful

This article, the first of many in this vein no doubt, is actually quite measured and reasonable. At this point, I think it's safe to say that New Orleanians understand how important the Saints are... and are able to keep that in proper perspective all the same. Articles like this aren't written for us. Creating and then knocking over bandwagons is just one of those things sportswriters do to have something to write about.

Meanwhile, I wonder how much national attention this story will generate. You know... anything that keeps attention focused on the city, right?

Also a flake

Da Mayor

But the guy can turn a phrase.

Also Oyster grasps the point of this quite nicely.
That's good. Since we got that whole violent crime thing under control, I think we should try to bust all the hookers. We don't want to sully the Quarter's wholesome reputation for our tourists. They want it to appear seedy, but in a safe, odor free, Disneyland sort of way.

Haloscan is wigging

In case you wanted to yell at me this morning. Come back later.. I'm sure it'll be okay soon.


Santorum is a flake

But you knew that already. We have US Senators who do not distinguish between real life and D&D!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Oct. 17 (Bloomberg) -- President George W. Bush signed legislation to allow the trial of suspected terrorists by military tribunals, and his administration immediately used the law to challenge suits by hundreds of Guantanamo Bay detainees.



So what can we expect if and I mean IF the Dems take either house next month? Will we get better oversight of the out-of-control Presidency? A renewed respect for the Constititution? An end to the Iraq nightmare? A real commitment to rebuilding the Gulf Coast?

Don't bet on it. In a preview of his upcoming Rolling Stone feature on the Worst Congress Ever, Matt Taibbi expects largely more of the same partisan venom and corporate appeasement that has characterized the legislature for the past decade or so... just with a different clique nominally calling the shots.
Which is not to say the two parties won't work together. They will - -just not on anything constructive. What most people fail to understand about congress is that there have been some highly consistent areas of consensus even in these incredibly contentious past ten years. In the areas in which both parties typically agree, like military spending and giveaways to the more generous donor industries, Democrats and Republicans have worked swimmingly even in the most publicly antagonistic periods of the Bush and Clinton years. They helped each other sign off on the Iraq war and stroke the credit industry with the bankruptcy bill. They cooperated to pass a spate of free-trade agreements, the WTO, the MAI, GATT, and a host of other legislative monstrosities.

Where they couldn't cooperate was in the area of upholding their constitutional responsibilities, and practicing bureaucratic self-defense. The social divide between Republicans and Democrats had to be a big part of the reason congress lacked the institutional stones to really stand up to the president on the torture issue, to fight back when the Vice President ignores a subpoena of the GAO, to demand someone's head when the defense department openly refuses to audit itself. The Republicans in congress have been so busy in the last ten years figuring out ways to shut Democrats out of the process that they forgot how to stop the Executive Branch from giving it to them up the ass. The result is a congress that is not only grossly corrupt and completely beholden to financial interests, but totally castrated in the national political arena, a tawdry little sideshow that drones on idiotically on CSPAN while the White House rules the country more or less absolutely (an additional insult; not only is the congress a disgrace to two millennia of democratic tradition, it's the worst show on television).
Taibbi is essentially correct. The Democrats have not demonstrated a capacity or willingness to effect change on any relevant issue. They are, however, hoping to take advantage of numerous instances of documented Republican corruption, in order to put themselves in a position to punish Republicans for... well... mostly for shutting the Dems out of the gravy train for ten years. The money (so to speak) quote of the Taibbi piece comes from a half joking Charlie Rangel.
While congressional Democrats have undoubtedly indulged mightily in the earmark revolution, it's hard to find their fingerprints on the worst abuses of the past decade for the simple reason that the Republicans have done such an incredible job of dominating the legislative process. They have not been targets of corruption because Tom Delay and co. have literally left them with nothing to sell.

"Seriously, one of the reasons you're not seeing Democrats getting indicted in corruption scandals is that we've been out of the loop," says Rangel, laughing but not joking.

Most Dems running for congress this fall have avoided campaigning on the substantive issues of war, economy, constitutional protection, and instead focused on the hypocrisy and corruption of the party in power as their central theme. This is not the product of "triangulation" or clever strategy. It is this way because, most Democrats, in fact, simply lack substance. While Republicans still hold a better than even money chance at maintaining power, the alternative result of these elections will yield little or no difference in governance.

Sean Payton

Not a jerk after all.

If the Jerk Coach Theory of football is correct, this could be bad news for Saints fans.

Weird ass rumors and wild speculation dept.

What's up with this?

Bush Buys Land in Northern Paraguay

Buenos Aires, Oct 13 (Prensa Latina) An Argentine official regarded the intention of the George W. Bush family to settle on the Acuifero Guarani (Paraguay) as surprising, besides being a bad signal for the governments of the region.

Luis D Elia, undersecretary for the Social Habitat in the Argentine Federal Planning Ministry, issued a memo partially reproduced by digital INFOBAE.com, in which he spoke of the purchase by Bush of a 98,842-acre farm in northern Paraguay, between Brazil and Bolivia.

The news circulated Thursday in non-official sources in Asuncion, Paraguay.

D Elia considered this Bush step counterproductive for the regional power expressed by Presidents Nestor Kirchner, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Evo Morales, Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro.

He said that "it is a bad signal that the Bush family is doing business with natural resources linked to the future of MERCOSUR."

The official pointed out that this situation could cause a hypothetical conflict of all the armies in the region, and called attention to the Bush family habit of associating business and politics.

Does it have anything to do with AFO investments?

Is Bush planning to escape the ramifications of a Democratic Congressional takeover by sailing away on Imagine's yacht?

More here... but really more questions than answers.

Monday, October 16, 2006

"You know, what we don't have is a deep passing game"

These were my exact words to the group in the top of the Superdome mere seconds before Drew Brees connected with Joe Horn on a 48 yard game tying touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter arresting the momentum of a 21-0 Philly comeback and saving the the day for the 5-1 Saints. The win over the Eagles lends credibility to Saints fans' claims that the team can play competitively with the NFL's elite teams this year... and maybe even beat a few of them.

This week's poop:

  • In addition to the big game equalizer in the fourth quarter, Joe "Hollywood" Horn had 6 catches for 110 yards and two touchdowns. Horn is now tied with Eric Martin for the all time team lead in touchdown receptions. On our way out of the building, we fell in line behind a pack of costumed hipsters who performed various songs chants and dances which they had apparently rehearsed together before the game. In between numbers, they just chanted "Hollywood" in honor of the player of this week's game.

  • It helps to have this guy back.

  • It's also great to have a real quarterback. Expect to hear this at least once a week. As long as Brees's arm does not fall off, the Saints' offense will continue to play with poise and intelligence. Good coaching and smart players add up to nice things happening on the football field. Case in point from DeShazier's column; the game's biggest play was a result of a strategic adjustment made by Brees, Horn and Payton:
    "He (Horn) is a guy that if we can get him some early touches, he gets his confidence going," Coach Sean Payton said. "I was excited he got his first touchdown (of the season), and his second touchdown came off a play we had put in during the course of the game, to his and (quarterback Drew Brees') credit. Those guys saw something, and we made a little adjustment."

    What they saw, Brees said, was that the cornerback was "sitting a little bit. We felt like we could get Joe to run a pump and get by him."

    He did and, in doing so, twisted up the Eagles' Michael Lewis like a pretzel. That left Horn about as free as if he'd been on the field by himself, and all he had to do was catch Brees' easy toss and run the last 20 yards or so to complete the 48-yard score.
    In recent years, watching arguably more talented Saints offenses blunder about has been a torturous exercise in frustration. Watching this bunch is... well.. the opposite of that.

  • A shoulder held together by staples and duct tape may be all you need if you know what you're doing.

  • TD tally: Marques Colston 4 Donte Stallworth 2

  • You have to actually be on the field in order to score

  • The defense wasn't pushed around as badly as last week and generated more pressure on the quarterback but still missed tackles and gave up too many big plays. They don't quit easily though and that is good enough.... for now. The bottom line is Saints fans have every right to be excited. The team plays hard and smart and is fun to watch. Playoffs though? Don't get too excited.

    Fun fact: 3 of the last 4 Saints teams to start 5-1 missed the playoffs

  • This week's fan complaint has to do with the deteriorating conditions of the Superdome ticket taking and security screening operation. Each week, it has gotten harder to get to our seats in time for kickoff. Yesterday we arrived twenty minutes before the game and waited in line for at least thirty minutes at the gate. When I finally got to my seat, the Saints were already up 3-0. (Okay well I stopped for a bloody mary too but would have missed at least half of the opening series no matter what) While waiting in line we overheard the following conversation:

    Saints fan 1:
    "Anyone know the score?"

    Saints fan 2: "21-3 Ravens"

    (The Ravens will be in town two weeks from now. Get it? Ha ha)

    If Jerk-of-the-Year candidate Sean Payton wants noise from the fans, it would be helpful if they could all get to their seats before play begins.

If they held a football game and didn't let anyone past security, would it make a sound? Ha! ha!... thank you I'll be here all season. (AP photo)

Note: As usual, game photos poached from the NOLA.com galleries.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Alert the authorities

For the second time in as many weeks, I like Rose's column.

The Entergy situation is particularly onerous because we all know that Entergy New Orleans is a subsidiary of the Entergy Corporation, a Fortune 500 company that carved up its assets into small energy providers to insulate itself from any financial stresses and to maximize profits and here is our power company pleading empty pockets and making a play for hundreds of millions of dollars of Community Block Development Grants -- the kind of easy money once set aside for small business loans and neighborhood redevelopment, but which energy companies are now grabbing at as a way to cut their losses.

This morning on WWL Bob and Monica were kissing the ass of Dan Packer who estimated that the typical New Orleans ratepayer's bill comes to about 70 bucks.

Who is paying 70 dollars a month for electricity right now?

National Boss Day

Capture the magic

I have no doubt that being a boss is often a difficult job, especially in the United States, where some workers still cling to the antiquated notion of equality. While many people soon learn that equality stops at the workplace door, they can never seem to entirely accept that becoming an employee is—without union membership—more or less, the equivalent of submitting to feudalism. Most bosses try mightily to stamp out any signs of independence, but workers often respond with barely-disguised contempt and ridicule.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Foley impact is overrated

Chuck Todd:
One month from now, many a political activist and amateur pundit will survey the landscape and speculate on why certain candidates lost. As in most cycles, too much credit will be lavished upon events in October -- and this year that means there will be too much of a focus on the saga involving former Florida Rep. Mark Foley (R).

Big news in the last month does matter, but October stories aren't singularly important. If they were, campaigns wouldn't spend a dollar in any month other than October.

October incidents can have an effect on turnout, but they usually do little to add or change the perception of a candidate. A candidate's image is built months earlier.

In the two weeks since the Foley scandal unfolded, I've noticed an interesting pattern in key races: Republicans seeing the biggest drops in support are those who didn't think they were in big trouble three months ago. Now they have little framework with which to define themselves or their opponents in this awful climate.

That last point is a bit off as few if any Republican candidates will go from "completely safe" to "lost". The point is that no one should expect the Foley scandal to be the death knell of the Republican congressional majority.

Oyster has spent the better part of the week trying to generate interest in the resignation of Rep. Rodney Alexander for his part in the GOP coverup. So far there has been no such outcry from Louisiana media or voters. I suspect that voters in congressional elections throughout the country will shrug off the scandal and vote for Republicans with less direct connection to the coverup than Alexander seems to have.

The Senate races look even less rosy for Democrats. It looks to me like Corker (TN) Allen (VA) and Tenent (MO) and even De Wine (OH) can easily win next month. We've already established... waaay back at the begining of this race... that Lieberman will win in CT. So, from here, it still looks like a Repblican majority in both houses plus one Independent.

The overriding issue is still Iraq.. an issue that could have been owned by Democrats but they continue to fail to campaign on the moral high ground.

Expect more exploding things in the coming years.


This is absolute slander

Francis' attacks were initially confined to political blogs that hold themselves out as independent or "news" blogs, but which actually are for sale to the highest bidder. If you buy the services of the blogger, you get yourself pumped up and your opponent smeared regularly -- sometimes with emails to the legitimate press thrown in for good measure as "news alerts" and the like. (Not all blogs do this, only some.)
Although the statement is qulaified,the language here is clearly designed to imply that payola is the rule rather than the exception. My experience with the local bloggers has yielded no evidence of this whatsoever. The New Orleans blogging community is largely populated by various sorts of concerned people who obsess a bit much over the news, care about the future of their city, and in many cases take an active role in attempting to better that future. While I admire Clancy's cynical imagination, and certainly will allow that such hackery is possible (there have always been ways for political operatives to spread rumors through the press.. I don't expect that to change any time soon), I really must take issue with his assumption that this is an adequate definition of "what blogs do".

Tangential other Clancy complaint: This is just bad analysis.
Donelon eked out a primary victory by less than 900 votes, and I can't help thinking that the 11 percent of the vote garnered by Libertarian candidate S.B.A. Zaitoon was a protest vote against all the dirt.
While some voters of a certain yuppie-ish demographic may like to affect superiority by pooh poohing "negative" campaigning, no one actually casts a vote in protest of this.

Update: David offers speculation as to the subject of Clancy's description.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Saints fans have no pride

I can't believe what I am reading in this thread!

It seems that several Saints fans actually enjoy being insulted by the head coach. As fans (especially as fans of this franchise) you deserve to see the team and coaching staff make the best possible effort to win football games. As paying customers, you should not have to bear the insult of coaches or players who imply that you are partially responsible for their failure to make that effort. Seriously, if you can't stop a Brad Gradkowsi led offense from gaining 406 yards, it is not because Bob from Marerro isn't drunk enough at 12:30pm to yell "Who Dat". Do what you think is necessary to get that fixed, coach. Beat up the players, cut people, bench them but do not EVER blame the fans. When I read yesterday that Payton had done this, I wanted him fired immediately.

But apparently this company town is so full of boot-licking assholes that most Saints fans are content to take this lying down.

"John Elton"

God help us all

Where's the conservative/libertarian outrage?

National Guard troops have had a law enforcement presence in New Orleans for over a year now. This constitutes the longest sustained military policing of the city since reconstruction. Since arriving here, they have:

Now the feds are considering sending in the ATF to bolster the occupying force. Where are all the right wing anti-federalists and gun nuts when we need them? These people are killing us.

I certainly hope they aren't buying into the media tendency to value the lives of tourists over those of the citizenry. That would be obscene.

note: Please do not jump on me for appearing to diminish the disgust I'm sure we all feel at last night's horrific event on Frenchmen St. I'm only pointing out that such crimes happen all too frequently in New Orleans but seem to become major news when a tourist is affected. As a New Orleanian, I find that insulting.

Well, that's one way to kick off a reelection campaign

Send everyone a check.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Monday Afternoon Sports Page

Getting a late start today while still recovering from Dangerblond's party (where the cookies were delivered as promised) and yesterday's Saints game (where a long promised Reggie Bush touchdown was also delivered) and waiting around for most of this morning for the a/c guy to come out to fix my compressor.... just in time for fall. Since Katrina I have resolved to never ever ever again complain about my appartment in this space as the rent has remained reasonable at a time when it's become ridiculous all over town. Blake has linked to an interesting tool which uses google maps to track rents in your neighborhood. What was once average for my area has (with a modest increase) become a pretty good deal. It's still a quirky building in a.. um.. quirky neighborhood but I think the landlord is trying to do the right thing by us and believe me I appreciate it. Yeah yeah so what, jeffrey? Let's get to the football complaints.

The grace period is quickly running out on Les Miles whose LSU Tigers were gracious enough to help Florida attain the number 2 ranking in this week's AP top 25. This may be partially explained by the fact that Miles himself seems to be a pretty nice guy. In the past we have remarked that Miles's predecessor Nick Saban, who led the Tigers to a national championship in 2003, is in fact something of a jerk. We may be on the verge of discovering a relationship here. The bigger jerk the coach, the more successful the team. This needs further study.

Certainy it doesn't take a jerk to realize that while Jacob Hester is a scrappy football player and a guy who can help the team win, he's far from the best running back on the roster. Maybe Miles is too nice to let him know that.

Still, the "upbeat" Miles deserves to get through this season before he is judged too harshly. Next year will be a different story.

Meanwhile, the Saints have a head coach who is such a jerk that he occasionally physically abuses his players. While we can't say that this is confirmation of the jerk coach theory, it's hard to argue with the results so far.

Sunday's Highlights:
  • This week's non-football related inactive list included Menckles, who was trapped at work for some sort of training bullshit, and r who was unfortunately involved in an automobile accident while driving a newly purchased vehicle Saturday night. She's okay.. just a little too pissed for football yesterday. Filling in for them this week was my brother who ably handled their quota of beating on the Superdome wall.

  • The jerky coach Payton continues to get the most out of his offense by creatively moving rookie reciever Reggie Bush around in different formations to keep defenses off balance while Deuce McAllister and the Saints' shockingly overachieving offensive line plow people over. Deuce was the highlight of the first half.. and most certainly would have been the same in the second half if the Saints could have kept the Tampa offense off the field.

  • Deuce was most certainly "on the loose" in the first half

  • The defense continues to be deficient against the run. This is a major harbinger of doom in the coming weeks if not corrected. Even more disturbing yesterday,was the lack of a consistent pass rush. The Bucs' rookie quarterback, Bruce Gradkowski (or something just as unlikely sounding) and his functioning spleen picked the Saints apart all day. Next week's visting QB Donovan Mcnabb must be licking his chops.

  • Hey look we got him! Who is this again?

  • On the other hand, while the defense may lack for talent, it doesn't necessarily lack for smarts. Consider the following from Finney's column.
    On this Sunday, it's possible Bush's heroics would have been little more than a milestone, and not a game-winner, had it not been for cornerback Jason Craft.

    "They ran a pick play early in the game," Gleason said, a play in which one receiver puts his body into a defender to free another receiver. "Jason was the guy who got picked and he went to the official and told him what happened. He didn't scream. He said it in a calm voice. 'Please watch,' said Jason. Sure enough, there at the end, they ran another pick play. And who do you think they picked? They picked Jason. It was a blatant pick. And down went the flag. Instead of getting the ball near the goal line, they're back at midfield. Seems like they got Jason's message. Turned out to be a game-saver."
    While credit is due to Craft for paying attention and keeping his composure, is this not also a sign of good coaching? Payton may be on his way to Jerk of the Year at this rate.

  • We know he's got "soupy eyes" but is he a big enough jerk?

  • Drew Brees's arm has yet to fall off. There's still plenty football to played however. But for now, it continues to be refreshing to watch a quarterback who actually seems to know what he's doing out there.

  • Joe Horn continues to struggle. He even dropped a touchdown pass. This cannot continue.

  • Let's see what else happened? Well we seem to remember the kicking game becoming a factor near the end. See how nicely things work out while you're not runing backwards?

  • My God he is so maddeningly tiny!

  • Finally, the Saints have now won more games this year than in all of 2005. Simlarly, my Yahoo fantasy team, the Fat Guys, is also sitting pretty at 4-1... providing even further evidence in support of the jerk coach theory.

Note: All game photos shamelessly stolen from the excellent NOLA.com gallery.

Update: Payton is a jerk after all. From the WWLTV Saints blog:
Head Coach Sean Payton said he expected more out of his team and more out of the crowd at Sunday's game.

Payton said the crowd did a fantastic job on third down, but that he needed them more on other plays. He said his expectation level was high for the crowd.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Today's must-read post

Greg's rundown at Suspect-Device. All sorts of fun stuff going on there. Bonus points to Greg for referencing the "Nutty Buddy" rubber bands.. which may be my alltime favorite quirky Louisiana politician story.. and yes that is indeed saying something.

Proud to MySpace it home

For the record, I despise MySpace.

But Mr. Clio points out that Morgus has one... which is fun enough (and seasonlly themed) but then a cursory examination of Morgus' "friends" reveals that Huey P Long also has one. Start clicking through Huey's friends and you've got yourself some primo time-wasting fun!

Thursday, October 05, 2006


How many Nagin-endorsed candidates for major office have actually won their races?


To the 8 million American workers who have just been promoted to supervisory positions by the NLRB.

Update: Ha! Colbert was brilliant on this here.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Dolores Umbridge Named to Gwinnett County Library Board

Yup, it's October. That means it must be time for some crazy white people to begin the obligatory annual calls for banning Harry Potter.

Note: Your local libray branch currently sports a handsome display of Halloween books which prominently features the Potter series.

Update: Even better now. I just walked accross the street to the costume shop and got us a Nimbus 2000... which I have no idea how to incorporate into this display. But man am I cool anyway!

Normal Happiness

Click here for stream.

These last two Pollard albums.... the words rockabilly prog come to mind.

Bad Neighbors

Why are these people abandoning a neighborhood that derives its name from their long standing presence there?

To quote an oft-used Peggy Wilson line, I. Don't. Understand.

Chinese Slave Labor to Rebuild New Orleans

T-P today:
City officials who last week visited China on a four-day trade mission said the trip produced connections with building-supplies manufacturers that ultimately could lead to cheaper materials for people rebuilding homes and businesses in the area.

"We are excited about the opportunities that await us," said Donna Addkison, the city's economic development director. Addkison said the city is on the brink of a $60 million economic boom driven by construction activity. "We see this mission to Shanghai as an important step in realizing that investment."

Addkison, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Harry Lee and City Council President Oliver Thomas were among a delegation of more than 40 people who visited Shanghai on Sept. 23 to tout investment opportunities in the New Orleans area and make connections with Chinese building-material manufacturers. They presented the results of their trip Tuesday.

The delegation met with building-supply vendors hawking everything from "gaskets to complete homes," Addkison said. No firm commitments were made, but Thomas said the trip was necessary in part to establish rapport and eventually an alternative to the skyrocketing price of home-building materials. One goal is to create a process by which local builders can import goods directly from Chinese manufacturers without using intermediaries.

"There are so many things that we hope will extend the dollar and make the rebuilding effort more affordable," Thomas said.

Gee that's swell. How do they do that?
Oh yeah. They cheat, exploit, oppress, and pollute. What a truly generous partner we've sought out! Way to go, guys.

Related: Don't miss Taibbi
Conservative commentators go to great lengths to assure Americans that the rise of China is actually a good thing. Townhall.com chairman Doug Wilson wrote a great "How we can compete with China" column a few months ago in which he proposed four steps America could take to correct the trade imbalance. The first three of these steps were a school voucher program, tax cuts (so that there will be more capital available for investment), and immigration reform measures that would allow foreign students to stay and work after they complete their education. The fourth step? Attitude reform. "The American entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well," he writes. "As Newt Gingrich says, 'We can win the future.' A positive vision for a better America is critical to our future."

This, too, sounds like good advice for taking on a country that pays its workers pennies an hour, pollutes indiscriminately and arrests any labor leaders who dare to stick their heads above ground -- think positive! You can do it, America! Just put yer nose to the ol' grindstone, and things will work out. Didn't you all see Rudy?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

And once again, my ass is saved!

Prior to last Monday's Saints-Falcons game, I was goaded into a rather foolish bet with one Ashley Morris. Ashley is one of those Saints fans who insist that my honest criticism of the team amounts to some kind of unpatriotic opposition to their success. It's not the only circumstance under which I have to suffer these "my team right or wrong" types.. but I choose to draw inspiration from St. Buddy and as such remain undeterred.

The terms of this bet were simple. Saints win, and I have to say something nice about Chris Rose. I don't have to tell you that I've not slept well for over a week now due to the difficulty of this task. But suddenly, today, fate haS intervened on my behalf. Rose.. apparently drugged... has written a whole bunch of stuff I can actually agree with about the stupid (and clumsily racially pointed) criticism that the nation has belched forth at New Orleans for daring to try rebuilding a significant piece of the city's heritage. Here's Rose:
Why are we having this discussion still? Why are people from other places spending so much effort to tell us that, as a community, we are wrong, misguided, amoral and racist? Why are they making things up?

I mean, I can't really fathom how to craft a sensible response to a black man from Omaha who was offended by the appearance of U2. I mean, is this really an issue?

No African-Americans on the Saints roster or in Southern University's band or in the attendant media or Dome employees or security staffs or Irma Thomas or Allen Toussaint or the first responders who were honored or African-American season-ticket holders chose to boycott the game and maybe that's because they don't get it.

If there weren't thousands and thousands of black folks in the seats Monday night, then I am blind. And it might be worth noting -- just because I'm feeling ornery -- that when you incorporate surrounding parishes and trace a map from southern Mississippi up through central Louisiana, the demographic makeup of the Saints potential fan base is not an African-American majority.

In fact, it's not even close -- but acknowledging this would weaken the demagogic arguments of outsiders who keep hammering home just what a cesspool of humanity we've turned out to be here in south Louisiana. Human dreck. Unworthy.

Thank you, Chris Rose. You rock.


Protecting your neighborhood from slimeball developers is always a fight you have to keep fighting... and keep fighting.

Tuesday Morning Sports Page

Yeah.. I was out of town the first part of the weekend so I've had some catching up to do.

Also catching up are the Carolina Panthers who managed to insinuate themselves back into the NFC South race Sunday by knocking off the Saints in a game that wasn't as close as the score would indicate.

Points of interest:
  • One positive thing we can say about the Saints this week is that the team continues to play like a determined, well coached football team. Yes there was a big turnover. And, yes, there were more costly penalties this week than in the first three. Also, in the first quarter Sunday, the Panthers managed to pull a fast one after a questionable reception by Keyshawn Johnson. Eschewing a huddle, Carolina hurried to the line and ran another play before the Saints could challenge the catch via replay. This set up the Panthers' first touchdown. BUT unlike last year's Saints, this group is rarely confused for very long. Some of this may be the quarterback as well as the coach but this year's Saints do not waste timeouts loafing around just trying to get a play called. In the fourth quarter, the Saints turned the hurry-up tactic to their advantage and quickly ran a play while the Caronlina defense was substituting players. Deuce McAllister ran through the bewildered Panthers for the go-ahead touchdown. Finally, one thing this team does not do (as of yet) is fold when they appear beaten... as the late touchdown by rookie-of-the-year candidate Marques Colston would indicate.

  • TD tally: Colston 3 Stallworth 2.. oh and his hammy hurts

  • Usually weeks 4, 5, and 6 on an NFL schedule are pivotal. Teams that have been feeling each other out for the first few weeks begin to expose weaknesses that will persist for the rest of the season if proper adjustments are not made. The Saints offense may still have a few tricks to reveal in Act Two. The defense, on the other hand.... well.. it may get uglier from here. Late in the game, the Saints D needed only to come up with one crucial stop to give themselves a chance to win. In one of those moments where all of the guesswork is removed and the game just comes down to which team is more physical, the Panthers just lined up and steamrolled the hapless Saints.. not only draining the clock but adding a 43 yard touchdown run by DeShaun Foster for emphasis. Future opponents watching this film will conclude that the Saints defense can be pushed around by a determined ground attack so we may see a lot more of this. And at this point, it is too late to see if the Cowboys have any more extra linebackers to lend out.

  • If you can't stop 'em when you know they're coming right at you, you're in deep doo doo.

  • As for the offense, so far they've traded on their opponents' fear of Reggie Bush's potential. While defenses are nervously watching Bush line up in the slot... run backwards... and drop the ball a lot, Deuce McAllister, Marques Colston, and even Devery Henderson have been eating their lunches. This is attributable to some creative coaching, and... again.. competent (for a change) quarterback play but pretty soon, people will start to wise up. The question for the Saints will soon become, when defenses pay less attention to Bush, is he actually good enough to make them pay? Early indications are that there may be reason to doubt this.

  • Enigmatic Saints reciever Reggie Bush

  • Similarly, the Saints are hoping that Colston's early success will open things up for Joe Horn later on.

  • Joe Horn (not pictured) Where the hell is he?

  • The next few weeks will determine if these hopes are well founded. Of course, if the defense falls apart none of this will matter. In any event.. the three game season was exciting.

Non-Saints items: Jamarcus Russell for Heisman? Not after his unforgivable clock mismanagement at the end of the Auburn game.

Who the hell is stupid enough to fake a punt on his own 6? Oh yeah. Welcome home, Green Wave.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Shorter Yellow Blog

I anticipate a busy day. I may not get to this until tonight. In the meantime... here are what would have been the day's headlines.
  • Chicago is really really big

  • Oil revenue deal has reached an impass. Prepare to bail water, Louisiana.

  • Is it really true that Nagin may endorse Jefferson? Wow that's neat.

  • Face it. Reggie Bush is overrated. Saints weak run D was exposed in the fourth quarter yesterday. It doesn't matter because we already played the Greatest Football Game Ever last week.