Friday, December 29, 2006

Time for a drinking song

It's Friday night New Year's weekend. I'm already half lit. Take it away, Bob.

Just when you think you've seen the gayest thing ever..

Along comes the Gayest. Thing. ever.
As part of the "Fun Spot" campaign, hundreds of employees at restaurants, bars, hotels and tourism businesses have been asked to wear special buttons and place blue and yellow posters in prominent windows. The "Fun Spot" buttons and posters are ways to show tourists and any national audience watching the Sugar Bowl and Saints games that New Orleans still has plenty to offer in terms of entertainment and excitement.

Still looking for pictures of these "Fun Spot" posters and pieces of flair. Take my word for it. They are.. in a word.. stupid.


Recovery center at library closing
Friday, December 29, 2006
From staff reports

The Disaster Recovery Center inside the New Orleans Public Library on Loyola Avenue will close its doors for good today.

It will be replaced, beginning Tuesday, with a Welcome Home Center on the 14th floor of the building at 1250 Poydras St., the Federal Emergency Management Agency said in a news release.

FEMA runs the recovery centers and will run the Welcome Home Center as well.

The Jefferson Parish Disaster Recovery Center at 15 West Bank Expressway in the Westbank Shopping Center will be closed Monday for New Year's. It will reopen Tuesday at 9 a.m.

Representatives of state, federal and volunteer agencies, as well as customer service representatives from the U.S. Small Business Administration are on hand at the centers to answer questions and provide recovery information, FEMA's news release said.

Normal operating hours for the centers are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Opening the main library building to FEMA last year helped get the building put on the city's priority list for restoring utilities and data lines. But I think we all agree it's time to once again allow patrons to enter the library without the obligatory Blackwater Security pat down.

So there's this rumor...

That the Saints kicked the tar out of the NY Giants last Sunday but I have a hard time believing that because 1) Since the game was not televised in Baltimore, I was informed of most of the goings on via text message which is a difficult source for me to rely on.. particularly when a large percentage of the texts are coming from r. 2) I had exactly zero bloody marys that day. If we've learned anything in 2006 it is that if I have anything less than two, there is no way to be certain that any actual football has occurred. Sure I can see big fat guys running into each other on TV. But without that spicy tomatoey haze, I can't feel it with any certainty. 3) The box score from this supposed game includes the following item that.. if not a typographical error.. is a ridiculous forfeiture of credibility on the part of the typist.
Reggie Bush 20 attempts 126 yards 1 touchdown
Anyone who has watched the Saints this season knows that the spectacular-but-largely-pointless Reggie Bush makes his minor contribution to the offense as a receiver or (more likely) as a decoy. Not only is this box score a fake, it is not even a very believable one.

Was this game faked? Did anyone check the kerning?

The NFL may have perfectly good reasons for faking week 16. Whether these reasons are related to the holiday, or to gambling, or to the evil scheming of Dan Rather is unclear. Rumor has it that the answer to this riddle has been revealed to Bob Woodward by former President Jimmy Carter. The world anxiously awaits the long overdue death of President Carter so that the truth may finally be made public. In the meantime we'll just have to take the results of this week at face value and throw them on the pile as the Saints prepare to face the Panthers in a (sort of) real live (not at all) crucial NFL regular season game on New Year's Eve.

Notes as the regular season reaches its anti-climax:
  • TD Tally: Colston 8 Stallworth 5 Yes, I predicted that Colston would outperform Stallworth largely because of Donte's chronic inability to stay on the field. Turns out both players had to fight through injuries this season.... and Colston still smoked him.

  • Not Donte' hauls in another one.. okay that's believable.

  • Drew Brees (with only one arm) has made the difference this year by (in contrast to his predecessor) simply not being an imbecile. He deserves the league's MVP award.. although he likely will not receive that recognition. But in my mind, the heart and soul of this offense is still Deuce McAllister who returned from a major knee injury in 2005 to rush for 1057 yards and 10 TDs (the second highest TD total of his career) with one (sort of) game left to play. All of this was accomplished while gracefully tolerating the presence of and attention given to the spectacular-but-largely-pointless Reggie Bush. Deuce may not be the MVP.. but he deserves some sort of acknowledgment. Maybe we can send him a card or something.

  • Deuce. Quietly getting the job done. (slogan stolen from Sidney Barthelemey's 1990 reelection campaign.)

  • Please please somebody tell me that there is an NFL rule which will prevent the Saints from wearing those hideous black pants in the playoffs. It would make my Christmas complete.

Finally, I admit it. This team just flat out baffles me. Any football team with a defense this devoid of talent should be expected to gut out a maximum of eight wins. But here are the Saints; the number 2 seed in the NFC playoffs and one (pointless) win away from realizing Ashley's ridiculous pre-season prediction. I've said this before but there are so many glaring weaknesses on this squad that these results cannot possibly be duplicated.. or even approximated next season.

Note to Soupy: Win the Superbowl this season or not at all.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Echo Chamber Rumor Mill

Must reads today from Blake and Dambala:

Enough damn dirty gossip for now.


Since I've been out of town and out of the loop, I've only yesterday been able to pick up this week's Gambit. The cover is hilarious. We've collected a few copies for the library and, twice today so far, patrons have brought the cover over to us laughing out loud.

Pleasing thing number 2

Might as well stick with my meme and continue enumerating reasons to be optimistic about 2007. Clio has a big one.. Crescent City Steakhouse is coming back.

I hate to nitpick but..

John Edwards has long struck me as one of the all-time greatest phonies. BUT so far he is at least affecting a populist phoniness.
In his message to supporters, Edwards listed five priorities to change America. Among them: "Guaranteeing health care for every single American," "Strengthening our middle class and ending the shame of poverty," "Leading the fight against global warming," and "Getting America and the world to break our addiction to oil."
Plus he's at least one candidate who is willing to acknowledge that We Are Not OK. Whether or not he can be trusted to make good on his rhetoric if elected is another issue altogether.. but at least he's adding a valuable dimension to the discussion.

Also.. I don't think the T-P likes him very much either. But they could at least just say so instead of snarking out and going all "earth toney"
Clad in blue jeans, an open-necked shirt and with his sleeves rolled up, Edwards chose the backyard of a victim of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans' devastated 9th Ward for his unorthodox announcement.
or worse, putting headlines on NOLA.com that read, "Lower Ninth USED to launch Edwards'Bid" or worse yet.. playing up a "leak" of the announcement as some kind of gaffe that overshadows the event itself. All very childish.

Oh wait a minute... it gets worse. NOLA has simply posted a story on the announcement by Nedra Pickler. Figures.

Saturday, December 23, 2006


No Saints on TV in B'more tomorrow. I expect full real time play by play delivered to the comments section of this post.

Thursday, December 21, 2006


The inevitable shuffle off to Baltimore happens tomorrow at 7:00 AM Once there, we'll all gather round and sing "Thank you, Jesus, for being born"

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Somebody write this joke for me

I know there's something there but I'm not sure exactly what to do with this.

Mayor Ray Nagin, Sen. David Vitter (R) and Rep. William Jefferson (D) were among the dignitaries who rode the first streetcar to run on the line.

For the time being, only the one-mile loop Downtown to Lee Circle has been restored, according to the RTA. The streetcars will not travel the six-mile historic line through Uptown for at least another year.

This was the first phase of an $11 million project to rewire the entire St. Charles line.

Something about... riding around in circles... or... a loopy set of passengers embarked upon the inaugural trip along the loop... I don't know.. help me out.

It is definitely "later than you think"

...but hopefully not too late to get tickets to see Kermit tonight. I'll be back with the answer in one hour.

Update: The answer is: Yes tickets are available and have been purchased! Anything for an excuse to get wasted on a Tuesday. (again)


And not of the storm variety... but a much smellier sort.

Take a break from this year's bundle (*)

We're "fast approaching" that wistful end-of-the-year time and already thinking back on what was, what wasn't, and what might have been. While it's not saying much to state that 2006 was better than the year it followed, this year was still decidedly strange and, I think, two-sided where even the very best elements were nearly as frustrating as they were exciting. In other words, it pretty much wore me the fuck out.

Therefore, it has been resolved that for what remains of 2006, we will.. contrary to our reputation.. seek to enumerate various reasons to look toward 2007 with more hope than despair... because.. what would you do?

Pleasing thing number one: The new Yo La Tengo album is titled, I am not afraid of you and I will beat your ass

more to come


The asterisked reference meme is shamelessly stolen from oyster.. but you knew that.. it also might need further elucidation.

Monday, December 18, 2006


Of all the questions one could ask about the Saints' poor performance in the Superdome yesterday, the one that I think sticks out the most is this. Trailing by six points with time running out and facing a 4th down play on the Redskins' 8 yard line, Saints quarterback Drew Brees dropped back, surveyed the defense, stepped up and decided to hang the hopes of 70,000 fans, who came to see their team win its way into the playoffs, on a pass to TERRANCE COPPER.... why? Granted, Copper didn't actually drop this one. He didn't have a chance to. The ball was batted away by Washington DB Carlos Rogers. But in my mind that just raises the question, Brees pinned the hopes of 70,000 fans who came to see their team win its way into the playoffs on a pass to a WELL COVERED TERRANCE COPPER.... again why? Copper isn't very big and doesn't fight for position as well as you would like a receiver working in close quarters to do. And even when he's open, Copper drops the ball.. a lot. But he wasn't even open. Brees threw the ball at him on the game's most important play. This above all else explains why the Saints weakly backed into the playoffs yesterday.

Terrance Copper.. out of position to catch an ill-advised pass, watches the ball fall limply to the turf at the game's most disappointing moment

Of course.. other stuff did happen:
  • Following the Dallas game, many fans were beating the Brees-for-MVP drums louder than r and Menckles beat on the Superdome wall. Some were even comparing the Saints' QB to (gasp) Joe Montana. I have a quarrel with this comparison as I believe Montana to be one the most grossly overrated athletes of the 20th century.. and I just hate the stupid smirk commonly found on Montana's face during the late 80s and early 90s as piss-poor NFL officiating his 49ers stole many a key game from the Saints in the crucial final minutes. Alas, there are a lot of Montana worshipers out there... I suppose because people are attracted to power deserved or not... who buy the myth that he was one of the best under pressure in the final minutes. It was this Montana myth that Brees failed to live up to this week as he was pressured into throwing a stupid 4th quarter interception and later an inexplicable last minute pass to TERRANCE COPPER.

  • Drew "Not Montana" Brees one-armed this 4th down pass to Terrance Copper who watches it fall limply to the ground

  • The spectacular-but-largely-pointless Reggie Bush exhibited several spectacular-but-largely-pointless displays of superhuman athleticism as he jumped juked and spun his way to numerous spectacular-but-largely-pointless one and two yard gains. Bush also surpassed Earl Cooper's 1980 NFL record for receptions by a rookie on a spectacular hitch play during the final drive that was rendered largely pointless moments later by a lamentable pass attempt to Terrance Copper.

  • Terrance Copper ponders the meaning of Reggie Bush's football-related dance stylings as the football falls limply to the turf.

  • With Hollis Thomas suspended for cheating and then cynically attempting to cover it up by exploiting his respiratory condition, the Saints defense was pushed around all day. Ladell Betts (22 carries 119 yards) slipped through gaping holes in the Saints front seven and Jason Campbell was afforded ample time on his passing attempts as the Redskins controlled the pace of the game. This kind of performance will lose a playoff game. Especially if it leaves you with no option but to throw the ball to TERRANCE COPPER at the last minute.

  • Terrance Copper wonders if clenbuterol would have helped him fight harder for the ball as he watches it fall limply to the turf

  • This week's wardrobe malfunction is only tangentially Menckles's fault. Although she showed up in her Mike McKenzie jersey for Sunday's game, her visitor from the Chesapeake watershed region joined us fully bedecked in Redskins regalia and proceeded to disrupt the vibe in section 617 so badly that it caused Drew Brees to look for Terrance Copper on the game's final play.

Terrance Copper asks himself if the Redskins are wearing BURgundy or burGUNdy colored pants as an ill-advised pass falls limply to the ground

So the Saints are division champs.. albeit a bit humbled by yesterday's experience. All hair-splitting analysis aside, it is sufficient to say that NFL football can be an up and down ride. The last two weeks are evidence of that. Soupy says the Saints looked like they were asleep for much of the game. They'd have to be to dream up something as silly as an expectation that Terrance Copper would come through in the clutch.

Again.. why?

Update: Ian says the loss is all part of Soupy's grand strategy.
By dropping the game to the Redskins so badly, the Saints have introduced a third component to their rotation. Before, opponents had to guess which of two New Orleans teams would show up that day: the Awesome, NFC-Chomping Champion Saints or the Turnover-Laden Sloppy Saints. Now already confused teams will face a new third choice: the Shamelessly Shitty Saints. It's just another way to keep opponents off guard. Kudos!

"The Holidays are fast approaching, Jeffrey"

And just in time it's a new holiday time-killing sensation:

Pimp my Nutcracker

Sunday, December 17, 2006

And to think I was depressed when I woke up this morning

But then there's this.

About 50 people demonstrated in front of Mayor Ray Nagin's house Saturday, demanding the reopening of public housing in New Orleans.

The only thing that what have made it better is if they had brought a bulldozer.

Friday, December 15, 2006

A Holiday Video for You

Song is kind of a throwback to '87... but that seems to be the hip year to reference nowadays.

Update: I see Saintseester already has this up. Well... good.

Sorry.. light posting

I'm a little burned out by the holidays and... other things. Plus Menckles has some fellow outlanders staying with us for the next few days.. plus then I'll be out of town for Christmas.. soooo the yellows will be less vibrant for a short period.

This morning I'm a little worried about the Saints game Sunday.. not only because the Redskins are better than their record.. but also because one of our house guests plans to join us in the Dome fully decked out in burgundy. Talk about your bad omens!

Happy Birthday

If it is not your birthday, feel free to ignore this.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

I posted the NOLA digest too soon

Oyster has a can't-miss, insightful and entertaining LA-02 commentary up now... the heart of which I respectfully disagree with.

Though I am loathe to talk about '08 just yet

I need to get at least this far out in front with this.

Barack Obama = Major Douchebag

Obama, of course, has a mixed record on structural economic policy. He made a solid move by voting against the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) on the grounds that it did not include strong enough worker protections. But he wrote a Chicago Tribune op-ed making sure the right people knew “I wish I could vote in favor of CAFTA” and then, in classic fashion, created a strawman argument that an unnamed group of people who voted against CAFTA want to “stop globalization.” Obama was also one of a handful of Democratic senators to vote for the Oman Free Trade Agreement - like CAFTA, an agreement with no labor, human rights or environmental protections. Then again, to his credit, he is now talking about pushing universal health care - not an easy issue to talk about with such powerful interests backing the status quo. But Obama has been careful not to actually offer any shred of detail on what exactly he means, and has criticized proposals for a single-payer system, much like the one that congressmen and senators are included in.

NOLA blog digest

You guys really don't want to know what's on my mind this morning. So I'll just post a bunch of links to stuff I'm reading.

Yep, pretty much.

Dambala makes as good a "stay-the-course" argument as any. I understand.. but disagree. No time to elaborate now. Suffice to say that my reasons are selfish and nationalistic and I think that's okay.

I do agree with da po'boy, however, that there has been some unjustified piling on of Jefferson Parish racism as the primary cause of Dollar Bill's triumph. I think the explanation has much more to do with (Bill) Jefferson's pandering manipulation of a fragmented, confused, rudderless, leaderless, and rightfully angry electorate. And you can only get away with that sort of thing if your opponent is too much of a ninny to take on your bullshit and.. god forbid... try to inspire some confidence and hope among said electorate.

This may sound weird coming from me... but sometimes I wonder why Ian chooses to continue living there. Actually.. no I don't wonder really.

Check out the comments thread here and discover what Dexter Manley and George H.W. Bush have in common. (Dexter Manley and George W. Bush have functional illiteracy in common)

Schroeder continues his quixotic crusade against idiotic local media.
I can answer this question:
With the exception of some notable and distinguished reporters at The Times-Picayune, I have to ask: Where are the real media professionals in this town? I mean, people who have earned their credentials after rigorous formal training, who are seasoned (not hardened) by their years of experience, and who demonstrate that their profession continues to offer opportunities to learn and grow and mature. Anyone?
Answer: Buddy D is dead.

At least it's still football season.

Meemaw is toast

Tabula Rasa in Carrollton. I just hope this doesn't mean more condos.

Yup, that Thomas Dolby.

We Saw That has had a link up for a while now to a Living Colour song that's been popping into my head throughout much of the post-flood "redevelopment" quagmire. It really ought to be adopted as Karen's theme.

Off to a great start

Already running late this morning, I watched a man, for no apparent reason, fall off his motorcycle... while he was stopped at a red light.... just dumped over sideways like an old dead tree. The guy seemed okay but I think this may be a bad omen.

Note: I think most things are bad omens.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

More Pointless Stuff... that you might like

The following is a pertinent excerpt from The Areas of My Expertise by John Hodgman. Daisy sent me this for Christmas. Daisy is pretty cool sometimes.
New Orleans was the first city to offer indoor absinthe faucets, and indeed has always played a cosmopolitan and libertine ragtime beneath America's generally dull Sousa march of rural piety. Outrage rightly grew over the series of "Girls Gone Wild" daguerreotypes that was produced in the "Large Easy" in the 1840s but there was little that could be done to stop their circulation. For while the state had been purchased by the US as part of the Louisiana Purchase of 1802, the city itself was, for obscure reasons, placed in escrow, where it remains today, technically under the jurisdiction of Gibraltar. This peculiar legal status makes the city a haven for vampires, video-poker enthusiasts, and sub-sea level drinkers of all ages.

Pointless music post

Fuck you.. just indulge me for once, you bastards.

Heh.. Who knew?

Soy makes you gay

Bad indicator

Looks like Nancy Pelosi and the incoming Democratic congress are taking a punish-the-victim approach to rebuilding on the Gulf Coast. If Pelosi cared at all, Jefferson's W&M seat could still have gone to Melancon. But this way is much easier. She gets to appear "principled" in punishing the as-yet-and-perhaps-never-to-be indicted Jefferson, while simultaneously buying off the Congressional Black Caucus.. who might have fought for Dollar Bill otherwise.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

As Alcoholics Age

I mentioned we celebrated r's birthday at Acme watching the Saints whip the Cowboys and doing really really stupid things... such as oyster shooters. I failed to mention, however that there was photographic evidence of the atrocities.

Here we find our already drunken subjects... (one of whom looks very much the part of your best friend's pathetically aging creepy uncle no one really wants around)... as they prepare to undertake something stupid.

Here we see the immediate effect of this stupidity and the inevitable remorse it has wrought

Finally the subjects attempt to console themselves in the wake of the cataclysm that has befallen them.. and perhaps hope for the strength to repeat it

Monday, December 11, 2006

Haloscan is wigging

So while you can't complain.. we're forcing more music on you.

I will say what I want to
And no there's nothing you can do

Will MyDD cover this election?

Now that the mid term congressional elections have run their course to the dismal anti-climax, it's time to start thinking about the next election cycle. The question on everyone's mind moving forward is who are the front runners for.... the 2006 NFL post-season awards? Several Saints figure in the mix for these but the early polling isn't looking good for all of our candidates.

Rookie of the Year:
For most of the early going this was Marques Colston's race to lose. But his ankle injury and the fact that fellow rookie receiver Reggie Bush is now threatening to split the Saint vote has made Vince Young the new favorite. Colston finally made it back on the field last night.. but limped off.

Rough going lately for number 12. TD Tally: Colston 7 Stallworth 5

MVP: The one-armed Drew Brees is making a strong case for this. With 384 yards and five touchdowns last night, he's back to chasing Dan Marino's single season record for passing yardage. Saints fans have seen enough poor quarterback play to know how much difference Brees has made simply by being competent. Still, San Diego's LaDainian Tomlinson who set a record of his own yesterday (touchdowns in a season) is likely to edge out Brees for the award.

Brees demonstrates the special exercises he performs to keep his surgically reattatched right arm from falling off.

Coach of the Year: There's been talk lately that this was slipping away from him but last night's game clearly reestablished Soupy as the front runner. Of all the things we could point to from last night's game, I think the onside kick in the third quarter is the best example of Payton's feel for the game. The kick allowed the Saints to answer Terrell Owens's fluke TD reception through the hands of Fred Thomas with two scores. That completely killed Dallas's only shot at gaining the momentum. There's more, of course. The offensive game plan was well thought out as always. The reverse on 4th and short was gutsy. Did the Saints get called for holding, false start, or delay of game even once last night? We say it every week but the quarterbacking and the coaching have made all the difference this year. Still... is he a big enough jerk to be considered an elite coach? Remains to be seen.

So that's how this election cycle looks to me at this point. We're still waiting to see if Harry Lee will make a recommendation. I hear he thinks Hollis Thomas has a "fat mouth".

More stuff from last night:
  • The Saints wore those stupid leotards again. Compounding the fashion faux pas was fullback Mike Karney who appears to have taken some advice from all the teenage girls he communicates with via his gay-ass MySpace site. The plump Karney scored the first three touchdowns of his career last night while sporting a bare midriff. Not a good look.

  • Saints fullback Britney Spears celebrates hitting the endzone one more time. Someone alert Chris Rose.

  • Unusual Jim Henderson complaint: The Saints' play by play man is one of the best in the business. But did he really break into a spontaneous "Reg-gie Reg-gie" chant while describing Bush's 61 yard touchdown reception? Yup.. listen via nfl.com's highlight reel. Come on, Jim. We expect better.

  • This game also gave us an occasion to celebrate r's birthday. Our regular Dome group (plus Shehateme who we don't get to see very often as of late) took over the oyster bar at Acme on Iberville St and engaged in much frivolity throughout the game. In case you haven't had the opportunity to discover this for yourself, oyster shooters are a bad idea. r's decision to consume eight oyster shooters....really bad idea. r is a fervent Cowboy hater. The Saints couldn't have given her a better birthday present.

  • Quote of the night: Menckles says, "Sometimes I have trouble telling right away if it's Deuce or Reggie with the ball... but then I remember, Reggie's the one who can fly."

  • Yeah,whatever.

Finally, calm down, everybody. After beating the national media darling Cowboys, the Saints are going to start generating some buzz. Soupy's job now is to keep it from getting to the players' heads. The rest of us, I guess can go as nuts (link fixed) as we deem appropriate. Or is that go as crazy as we deem appropriate? I don't know if this will influence any of your travel plans but.. sources (Leo) have indicated to us that the halftime entertainment at this year's superbowl will in fact be Prince. Is it a sign?

Write your own jokes dept.

NY lawsuit claims Taco Bell served food unfit for consumption

Sunday, December 10, 2006

New Toy

Radio Blog Club

Stream online music on your blog... create your own playlist... be a big dork generally.

For demonstration purposes, today's tune is Helter Skelter because 1) It's still in my head because it was playing while I was throwing darts at Cosimo's last night, and 2) Adrastos made a strange reference to it recently. Enjoy.

Oh... found this via Designs On You BTW.. so.. you know h/t there, as the kids say.

Local Rags

I think The New Orleans Levee is really starting to hit its stride. Check out their "40 Over Paid" in the latest edition. Good stuff.

Good post-mortem from MyDD

Matt Stoller:

Well it sure looks like Jefferson is going to be reelected. A few years ago I might have been quite upset and self-righteous about it, but it does seem like corruption is a small matter in New Orleans, and there is good reason for residents to have no faith in charges against someone like Jefferson even if they are true. It's hard to imagine the complete breach of faith that city has with the Federal government and the rest of the country. There are just no trusted streams of information in a city like that, it's all rumors at this point, and when rumors are the only source of information, you believe what you want to believe. This is the electorate responding to what a total breakdown of leadership looks like.

Anyway, the question now is whether Jefferson will get back his committee assignment until he's indicted. Ugh. This situation is just so embarrassingly awful.

I have two fun predictions here.
  • Jefferson will get his committee assignment back because...

  • He will not be convicted.... may not even be indicted.

Note: Keep in mind, I can't predict anything correctly other than crazy elections in Orleans Parish.

Two things on my mind this morning

One: I'll just repeat what I said after the Mayoral election:
It's not the end of the world. We've already been through that in August 2005.

Two: I never thought I'd say this but I think the Saints need a big night from Reggie Bush to win this one.

Ehhh I'll just say it here

I've just spent election night out drinking heavily with Menckles. The following was nearly a comment to Adrastos's excellent election night post-mortem... but I thought I'd just put it here in case I don't have anything thoughtful to say tomorrow.

I love this city. It is the only place on Earth I understand. To paraphrase Chris Rose, I am not suited to live anywhere else.

Jefferson's reelection bodes all sorts of practical ills for our district..city..state. I decided at the last minute to vote against him largely because of his terrible voting record (he voted pro-NAFTA pro-CAFTA, pro-Iraq War, pro-Bankruptcy Bill) He needs to be punished for that.

At the same time.. I can't help but smirk at the bemused outside observers of this race.. who truly don't understand or respect the complex mechanics of our politics. If we can take anything positive from this experience it is that the Americans do not get us.. and yes, kids, that is a good thing.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Support your library

The Hero Foundry have placed the 2006 Convention Season Sketchbook on eBay to raise funds to help put comic books into libraries, schools and hospitals that cannot afford them. Proceeds from the auction will go towards purchasing comic books and graphic novels for the New Orleans Public Library System, which was ravaged during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.


Oh Good Christ!

It looks like Dollar Bill might be dropping out of the already postponed election eve debate.

And so ends the dismal race... without an opportunity for theatrical televised folly payoff. Anti-climax indeed.

Almost Home

House votes to advance offshore oil measure

Legislation that would greatly increase Louisiana's share of federal offshore oil revenue was approved in a U.S. House vote Friday afternoon, and a key supporter said it would likely be up for a Senate vote late Friday or Saturday.

And that's a bigger almost than it seems.

The new money would still fall short of fulfilling the state's needs. Scientists estimate that it would cost more than $20 billion to re-engineer the Mississippi River and build levees to better protect the lower parts of Louisiana vulnerable to catastrophic flooding.

See also here for more cautious pessimism.


I think it says something that a Congressional race this ugly between two reprehensible candidates involving all manner of strange alliances, unorthodox strategy, buffoonish kingmakers, and national press has become such a non-event locally. It says that we're busy with the holidays. It certainly says that we're fatigued by the slow and slowing pace of recovery. But I think mostly it says that we all feel like we've been to this rodeo already.

Last month, when I posted about this race, I tried to demonstrate that Jefferson's campaign was following a strategy brilliantly executed by Ray Nagin in his successful reelection bid earlier this year. Nagin got away with bizarre racially based, emotional appeals to the fears of both black and white voters. Jefferson has built his campaign according to that template.

Shamelessly quoting myself:
Jefferson is also close to pulling off a clever trick similar to Nagin's. On the one hand, by playing the federal investigations of his activities as a federal witch hunt tied to the anti-New Orleans conspiracy, he establishes himself as the "black" candidate. (Both candidates are, in fact African-American.. thus the quotes.) Jefferson has made other inroads in this direction by pandering to local ministers through some uncharacteristic complaints about his opponent's pro-abortion and gay rights stances. Social issues like these have never been part of Jefferson's platform and don't usually figure at all in New Orleans politics.. but it will help get Dollar Bill access to a solid GOTV mechanism in the ministers. The trick comes in where Dollar Bill has also positioned himself as the "white" candidate on the West Bank of Jefferson parish. Folks on that side of the river are still defensive over criticism of the Gretna police who famously forced a crowd of mostly black storm refugees back across the Mississippi River bridge. Carter appeared in Spike Lee's "When the Levees Broke" denouncing the actions of the Gretna police. For these comments she has been taking heat from the powerful Jeff Parish Sheriff and other law enforcement officials who are now supporting Jefferson. Dollar Bill has out-pandered Carter in key portions of both the white and black communities with carefully targeted, implicitly racial appeals. If it works (and such a strategy worked for Nagin) it's both a beautiful and terrible thing to witness.

The campaign has largely followed this script. In my mind, the following are the most significant events that could indicate how the voting will go tomorrow.
  • On November 29, the Housing Authority of New Orleans and HUD reluctantly held an obligatory public meeting in regards to their plans to demolish the four largest.. and by most accounts still viable.. public housing complexes in New Orleans. It's an awful plan which most of the tenants rightfully perceive as an attempt to force "undesirables" off of what can be developed as valuable property in a "mixed income" housing development. Predictably the meeting was a raucous affair. New Orleanians tend not to pull verbal (or even actual) punches on such occasions. It was also meaningless. HANO announced today that it was going ahead with the demolitions despite the overwhelming opposition. Sitting in the front row during the public meeting was none other than Congressman William Jefferson, who stood up, received a loud ovation from the crowd and made the following statement.
    "Being poor is not a crime," Jefferson said, quieting the room after he rose from the front row to a splash of cheers and flashbulbs from the press. "These are good, decent people."
    Jefferson's pandering on this issue solidifies his hold on what I've termed the black anti-conspiracy vote. The Times-Pic's Lolis Eric Elie explains Jefferson's appeal this way.
    To understand Jefferson's appeal at the hearing, you must first understand the context.

    Most of the attendees at the meeting were former residents of New Orleans public housing developments. The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development has barred them from reoccupying their homes without any public discussion of the reasons for their evictions.

    Having already decided to tear down several of the public housing complexes, the feds were compelled by the courts to hold public hearings on the future of these developments.

    But the feds didn't ask the residents whether they thought the sprawling complexes they had once called home should be torn down. Rather, they merely asked the secondary question of what should be done with the land after the demolition.

    The hearing clearly violated the spirit of democracy and transparency.

    Sitting in that room, observing the disingenuous way their government treated them, it seemed the crowd concluded the federal government was also being disingenuous in its treatment of Jefferson.

    This is important because it explains how Jefferson has managed to insulate himself from corruption charges among a key voting demographic. The T-P asked Jefferson supporters about the "$90,000 question" and turned up some telling evidence that this valid mistrust of the federal government is indeed giving Jefferson traction.
    Interviews with Jefferson supporters reveal deep skepticism about the Justice Department's motives and questions about whether it will be able to make a corruption case against him.

    Bishop Paul Morton, pastor of Greater St. Stephen Full Gospel Baptist Church, said in service in Atlanta last weekend that if anyone else had been found with $90,000 in his freezer he would have been indicted by now. But the federal government, Morton said, is leaving Jefferson to twist in the wind without the ability to contest the accusations.

    G.J. Hodge., who describes herself as a New Orleans senior volunteer for a wide range of community organizations, was helping out Tuesday at Jefferson's campaign headquarters. She said people who wonder about the money in his freezer just don't know that lots of folks keep their cash at home, most traditionally under a mattress, rather than in a bank. And she said the current government investigation wouldn't be the first time the government tried to "pull a person down who has risen to significant influence."

    Oh and one more thing. At that housing meeting, Karen Carter was nowhere to be found.

  • Next we have the curious case of the Jefferson Parish Sherriff Harry Lee and his announcement that, while he does not endorse Jefferson, he wants it known that he has "utter contempt" for Karen Carter and her "fat mouth". I commented to Adrastos the other day, that while Harry Lee is a race-baiting buffoon, he is not stupid nor is he to be taken lightly when he lines up against you in Jefferson Parish. While Carter was absolutely right to say what she said in Spike Lee's film, she has not stood by her statements forcefully enough in the face of this attack. Her only response was to lamely state that she "looks forward to working with Harry Lee in the future" or some such ass kissing bullshit. By attempting to "take the high road" as many equivocating pols of her ilk like to put it, she has ceded the most emotional and motivated sections of the white vote as well as the black vote to Jefferson.

These are the tells that indicate to me that Jefferson can pull this off. Having said that, I will add that I am nowhere near as confident as I was when I called the mayoral race based on a somewhat similar analysis. This is going to be a close race of attrition. Turnout is expected to be at or near 20 percent. In such a situation, the stronger candidate is the one with the most emotional base support and the most effective GOTV organization. I think Jefferson has a big edge in the first category and a slight edge in the second. And it goes without saying that it helps to be the incumbent in any circumstance.

Conventional wisdom states that when asking voters to vote AGAINST an incumbent, it is just as important to give them a reason to vote FOR you. Barring any fireworks in tonight's debate, I don't think Carter has done that. Her.. poorly communicated.. message has mostly been, "Gee that Dollar Bill sure looks corrupt-ish" but Carter is tied to a local political machine family and has not escaped allegations of impropriety herself. The fact that she doesn't present an attractive alternative to corruption in the eyes of most voters seems to have lost her the votes of white conservatives who are rooting for a do-over following a Jefferson victory and subsequent indictment. She will sweep the center-left white yuppie vote.. but that's about all she can count on.. and it wasn't enough to put Mitch Landrieu over the top either.

Finally a word about Mydd.com's role in covering this election. I could be harsher to Tim Tagaris because I think his reporting on the race has been compromised by Mydd's anti-Jefferson agenda. His trip was funded by Mydd and he is charged with demonstrating a return on their investment by drumming up contributions to the Carter campaign. I think that's obvious and I found it off-putting at times during the campaign but it is what it is. As I re-read his posts, however, it is more than clear that Tim has done an excellent job of observing and reporting on the ongoing state of affairs in New Orleans post-Katrina. It is difficult sometimes for those of us who live with it each day to comprehend the degree to which most of the country simply doesn't give enough of a shit to keep paying attention. I hope that Tim's reporting reaches enough politically active readers to keep us on the agenda as a new and hopefully more sympathetic Congress takes over in Washington.

Ray being Ray

The ever-quotable Ray Nagin is apparently looking for money draino so he can unclog the internet tubes.

Wonder if that money drain would look anything like this.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The reason your season ticket purchase is worth it.

Saints fans are nuts.
Mr. Clio has a video of the performing troupe I mentioned briefly after the Eagles game. These guys sit very near our section in the Dome and they are always like this. Although we don't appear in the video, we were indeed in the crowd observing this spectacle on the Superdome exit ramp Sunday.

Dear Internet Security-type people,

Is it bad when you start getting spam from yourself?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Iraq Study Report Due Today

I'm not planning to be impressed. And, as usual, there is very little I can say that Taibbi can't say better.
And so, when faced with an unsolvable or seemingly unsolvable political conundrum, most politicians feel there's only one thing to do. You appear onstage with your rival party's leader, embrace him, announce that you're going to find a "bipartisan" solution together, and then nominate a panel of rotting political corpses who will spend 18 months, a few dozen million dollars, many thousands of taxpayer-funded air miles, and about 130,000 pages of impossibly verbose text finding a way for both parties to successfully take the fork in the road and blow off the entire issue, whatever it was.

It's important, when you nominate your panel, to dig up the oldest, saggiest, rubberiest, most used-up political whores on the Eastern seaboard to take up your cause. That way, you can be sure that the panel will know its place and not address any extraneous issues in its inquiry -- like, for instance, whose fault a certain war is, or whether the whole idea of a "War on Terrorism" needs to be rethought, or whether the idea of preemptive defense as a general strategy is viable at all, or whether previously unthinkable solutions may now have to be countenanced, or whether there is anyone currently in a position of responsibility who perhaps should immediately be removed from office and hung by his balls. Your panel should contain people who are not experts or interested parties in the relevant field (since experts or interested parties might be tempted to come up with real, i.e. politically dangerous solutions), but it should contain people who are recognizable political celebrities whose names will lend weight to your whole enterprise, although not for any logical reason.

The Hollis Thomas thing

The NFL has suspended Saints defensive tackle Hollis Thomas for the remainder of the regular season due to a positive test for a banned substance. Thomas and his agent and the team doctor are (sort of) claiming that the positive test (might) be caused by Thomas's asthma medication. I have a few problems with that argument.

1) According to the T-P, the Saints' doctor wrote the NFL a letter listing the names of the substances in Thomas's medication. They are.. according to the doctor.. fluticasone, albuterol, and salmeterol. Thomas tested positive for something called clenbuterol. It is Dr. Amoss's theory (he uses the phrase "highly plausible") that the related substances in HT's system could have caused a "false positive" test for the one that showed up. The equivocating language here indicates to me that the doctor is attempting to sell a "plausible" theory by burrying it under a screen of long similar sounding names for things.

2)Thomas is a 9 year veteran who has had this condition his entire career and yet claims in the T-P that he began this drug regimen during training camp this season. Thomas has in fact been receiving treatment for asthma for a number of years.

3)In today's article, Thomas and his agent state that the substance he tested positive for is not a "mass-building" anabolic steroid yet in the same article.. and in the video Ashley links to, Thomas's major complaint is that he can't have tested positive because he's not trying to gain weight. Again this looks like two contrary arguments thrown out for diversionary purposes.

4)Thomas and his agent.. who have been fighting this thing all season.. have gone to extraordinary lengths in order to cynically frame this issue in the press. About a week before the ruling was handed down, they conveniently planted a puff piece in the paper highlighting Thomas's struggles with asthma.

Even if the facts here weren't so deliberately confused by the player, the agent, and the doctor, cheap publicity sell jobs like that are always suspicious. Whatever the circumstances, the NFL.. after reviewing the case for four months.. didn't buy Thomas's story. I'm not buying it either.

Update: The anti-doping site, Steroid Nation has some info about the substance Thomas tested postitive for.

I see Thomas was caught with Clenbuterol, a favored drug of bodybuilders for some time now. Clen is a beta-agonist/antagonist that could be used in treating asthma; however it has been on everyone's banned list for years now.

Clen is used by bodybuilders for cutting. Thomas is a big (har humph) man. It would not surprise me that he was using Clen to control weight.

Clen is also supposed to pack on lean body mass (muscle) perhaps thru HGH or another mechanism.

A man Thomas' size might be playing with fire in taking Clen. Clen may have cardiac side effects (hypertrophy). As in the case with Kory Stringer, that's not a good thing.

Clen is not FDA approved. BUSTED.

Update 2: In the comments below, Leo points out that Hollis does still have something to contribute this holiday season:
Hollis Thomas at Republic New Orleans
Sunday, December 17th

New Orleans Saints Defensive Specialist Hollis Thomas will be hosting his toy drive, entitled “Share Your Christmas,” where he will be bringing toys to children hospitalized during Christmas. Join Hollis after the Saints/Redskins game for a toy drive to benefit patients at Children’s Hospital who won’t be home for Christmas. Please bring a toy and receive complimentary and preferential admission.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

"Are You Threatening Me?"

So glad we've apparently hired Beavis to head our recovery office.

In his first public appearance as a government official, Blakely, 69, was brutally blunt with some of his answers, vague with others and a bit testy toward the end of the news conference when asked to describe how he expected the city to look a year from now.

"Come back," he said. "I'm not explaining any more today, because that, I think, is not a question that anyone can answer. What are you going to be doing next year? I'm not answering questions unless they're really questions. That sounds like a threat."

I have serious doubts about this. I'll just repost here what I said on Moldy City last night.

I think the question he termed a "threat" was about his vision for the city a year from now. Sounds to me like the kind of question someone who fancies himself a "recovery czar" would be all too happy to pander away at. Instead he gristled defensively.. on the first day on the job. Not a good sign.

Also read David's post. He tends to be more thoughtful where I am merely flippant.

Update: Oyster has also weighed in with a post that prompts more flip remarks from me.

Update 2:More discussion from Da po'boy and Schroeder.


It has been a long time coming, but, Sunday, Saints fans finally got to see the breakout performance they've been waiting for from a high priced and overbilled player many were beginning to have serious doubts about. With two interceptions, Mike McKenzie finally performed like the impact player the Saints thought they were getting when they traded for him. One of those interceptions proved to be the turning point of the game. San Francisco recovered an onside kick after narrowing the score to 14-10 early in the third quarter. McKenzie's diving pick of an Alex Smith pass on the ensuing play killed the 49ers momentum and stands as the play that won this game for the Saints.

"Shut-down" corner, McKenzie finally shuts somebody down


  • A close second to McKenzie's play is the 16 yard scramble by the one-armed Drew Brees on a big 3rd and 8 keeping the Saints very next drive going. Brees capped that drive with a touchdown pass that put the Saints up 24-10. The Niners were playing a futile game of catch-up for the rest of the day.

  • One arm.. but some nice legwork gets the job done

  • Maybe Brees was aided in his effort to elude 49er tacklers on that scramble by the "slimming" black leotard he was wearing. This was the first occasion in over three seasons on which the Saints decided to dress as an unusually fat ballet troupe. We were hoping we had put this horror behind us. Time to fire off yet another round of angry letters to Saints management.

  • Also ably filling his stupid black pants was Deuce McAllister. It's pretty simple. When Deuce gets the ball, the Saints win games. Sunday, he got the ball 26 times and steamrolled the San Francisco defense for 136 yards. Particularly impressive was the following sequence which ate up seven and a half of the game's final ten minutes. The box score reads:
    D.McAllister left guard to NO 33 for 3 yards
    D.McAllister left guard to NO 48 for 15 yards
    D.McAllister left tackle to SF 47 for 5 yards
    D.McAllister left end to SF 44 for 3 yards
    D.McAllister left end to SF 35 for 9 yards
    D.McAllister left guard to SF 29 for 6 yards
    D.McAllister left guard to SF 26 for 3 yards
    PENALTY on SF, Defensive 12 On-field, 5 yards
    M.Karney left guard to SF 20 for 1 yard
    D.McAllister left tackle to SF 17 for 3 yards
    D.McAllister right tackle to SF 15 for 2 yards
    J.Carney 33 yard field goal is GOOD

  • The good teams put you away by running over you in the 4th quarter. Deuce makes the Saints a good team

  • The good teams also win by stopping their opponent's running game. The Saints are confounding in this area. They have bottled up two of the league's best in Warrick Dunn (twice) and Frank Gore yesterday, but they've also been burned badly by DeShaun Foster, Jamal Lewis, Willie Parker, and Rudi Johnson. Maybe they're improving... but I won't belive it until I see it two weeks in a row at least.

  • Tom Benson is an ass. We really don't need to hear him get up and make a freaking speech before the game ends. Especially if that speech is really just a lame sales pitch based on his not raising the already obscenely high price of his frivolous product. (I also noticed the offer was an if-you-act-before-Februrary kind of deal.. so it's likely the Saints will raise ticket prices next year) Put that scam in the paper the next day if you want to, but during the game, sit your fat ass down!

  • Once a fuckmook, always a fuckmook

  • If the Saints want to beat Dallas, they'll need their starting receivers back. It doesn't look good, though. Colston and Horn could play but I don't think the kinds of injuries they have heal very quickly... especially while the players keep trying to play hurt. Expect both of them to be limited for the rest of the season. Which is a shame because, while Devery Henderson has improved, he still drops too many balls. We already know about Mr. Copper's problems. The Saints do have one other guy they throw to a lot... but it turns out he has trouble hanging on to the ball himself at times.

  • Goddammit, quit waving to your daddy in the stands and hold the ball with both hands!

  • The Panthers lost tonight. This gives the Saints a two game lead in the division with four games remaining. It's like this. If this group is going to win a Superbowl, they need to do it this year. I know they're a flawed team now.. but they won't get better next year. Horn will be year older, Deuce and Reggie will not be so willing to share the backfield, Charles Grant will likely be too expensive to retain, Soupy won't command as much respect from the players through their fear of the unknown, and the whole team will be burdened by the increased expectations. Win it this year or not at all. Of course, they could still lose the next four and miss the playoffs... and we won't have to worry about any of that.

Friday, December 01, 2006

More ground war

Karen Carter has some enthusiastic sign waivers working the corner outside the library right now. It's pretty funny becuase they may be distracting the film crew who have taken over the basketball court (not to mention all of the parking on the block) for most of today. Much like the election.. I can't decide which group in this confrontation I'm more eager to root against.

Every Picture Being Cancelled

Pollard says he's done with touring... for now at least. He never made it back to NOLA in.. I guess... the last three or four years which is a shame since the man's music is about 90% of my internal soundtrack....the remainder being cereal jingles. Fans will just have to content themselves with.. eh seven or eight new records over the next 12 months.

More here.