Tuesday, September 30, 2008


More lost Sarah Palin interview outtakes.

The final crack

Is America ready for a woman to serve President or Vice President?

Yes, I think so. Hillary Clinton's candidacy garnered a great deal of passionate support this year. Were she not so easily tied to her pro-war record, she probably would be your next President.

Is America ready for a complete imbecile to serve as President or Vice President?

Well, yes, obviously. One need not look very far into history for that answer.

Is America ready for a complete imbecile who also happens to be a woman to serve as President or Vice President?

We're working on it! But we may not be there yet.

New Bailout Plan

The Federal Treasury will put $700.00 Billion into the office pool and spend the rest of the year waiting for the "one shining moment"

Of course... if you're gambling with the Wall Street smart guys, you gotta expect they'll be looking for an angle. If it turns out that "Hot Rod" Williams shows up on WaMu's payroll, you know you've been had.

Heckuva job

Heckuva job, "Browny"

Monday, September 29, 2008

Deuce has come to save us

This was sight for sore eyes yesterday. It was nice to see them win one for him.

More later once I get my pictures uploaded.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Phoning it in

Seems we just can't get on track with the game re-caps this year. Fortunately, much like the Saints, we have three fourths of a season remaining with which to get this corrected. But for now, let's just take our lumps and get on with it so we can focus for next week. Below are the bullet points I wanted to develop after the Denver game but never got around to it:

  • Colston's injury isn't the problem. Without their number one receiver in the game, the Saints still managed to post 421 passing yards. Some of this has to do with the fact that Drew Brees is a pretty good quarterback. Some of it has to do with the fact that the Broncos' defense sucks.

  • Deuce McAllister's absence isn't the problem. Sure the Saints can't run the ball. But that has more to do with Soupy's pass-happy tendencies than anything else. Soupy has been the subject of a minor fan insurrection this week over the Deucebaggery issue. As much as I love to jump all over coaches for being assholes, I disagree. Here's what I told Adrastos this week:
    As we all know, I'm always on the lookout for arrogant genius coach syndrome. And I do think that Soupy has a problem from time to time with his pride in the cutesy offense he has so lovingly drawn up. But I'm not quite ready to jump all over him regarding the Deuce issue. I don't quite see Soupy holding Deuce out and throwing the ball too much specifically so that he can spite his critics or malcontented players. And believe me... as a Saints fan who lived through the Mora years, that is precisely the thing I am watching for.

    I still think that if Deuce were ready he'd be in there. Still... it's a thing to watch for.

    If it comes out that Payton and Deuce have some sort of personal problem we don't currently know about, I'll change my mind on this. But for now, Soupy gets the benefit of the doubt.

  • The injuries in general are not the problem. Poochie is out. Who cares? Colston and Deuce, I've already talked about. Fujita comes back this week. Watch the defense continue to not tackle anybody. Jammal Brown went down and was ably replaced by Zach Strief. Strief was called for a holding penalty that negated a touchdown. But the call was utter bullshit.

  • Reggie Bush is a dick. I suppose one could make the argument that he had a big game statistically, but remember, Denver's defense really really sucks. Bush also fumbled once and pouted in a bizarre manner all day. Several times I noticed him unnecessarily spiking the ball or tossing it at random people after the play. He could have been called for unsportsmanlike conduct at any point during the game.

  • Uh oh the kicker sucks! We went through this last year as Olindo Mare cost the Saints at least two games due to his general suckery. Martin Gramatica cost them this game by missing from 51 and 43 yards. The second miss would have put the Saints ahead late in the game.

  • LSU's Les Miles is a very bad football coach and should be fired. Because he pompously ran off his best quarterback during the offseason, he has been experimenting with rotating two inexperienced replacements. Amusingly the young replacements are one skinny kid who runs pretty well and one fat kid who throws well... but often stupidly.

    Rotating QBs is usually a bad idea. Rotating two inexperienced and emotionally fragile QBs is a really really bad idea. Luckily for Miles the skinny kid got hurt against Auburn forcing the coach to stick with the fat kid who eventually gained enough confidence to play well. But Miles is expected to go right back to rotating QBs this week. Les Miles is a very bad football coach and should be fired.

  • The Broncos defense... in addition to being crappy... sports some humorous nomenclature. It's fun to watch your team get chased around by Ebeneezer Ekuban, Niko Koutouvides, and John Engelberger all day. Almost worth having to watch Reggie Bush play.

  • Gold pants now 1-2. This is a trend that cannot continue.

And that's it. Again, please accept my sincere apologies. I promise to do better next week. But right now the weather is very nice and I'm going outside to get some air before I have to watch Les Miles coach tonight.


Southern Recycling relocating to St. Charles Parish

Don't let your unsecured barges hit you in the ass on your way out.


D-BB endorses Obama

Endorsement undoubtedly subject to change three or four times before election day.

5 out of 5 Louisiana lawmakers agree

The Paulson bailout plan roundly sucks

Now watch them all vote for something just as bad anyway because, you know, the "crisis calls for swift action" or something like that.

Condos not OK

The trends are truly coming un-bucked.

On the bright side, there's bound to be some good money to be made in demolishing them after the next "emergency"

Pissing Contest

Some candidates in U.S. Congressional District 2 are taking that metaphor a bit too literally.

But during the taping Friday of the only televised debate of the contest, two of Jefferson's most formidable challengers -- state Rep. Cedric Richmond and former TV news anchor Helena Moreno -- spent more time trying to discredit each other on those same issues than the nine-term incumbent.

The nasty confrontation ended with Moreno, stung by what she called Richmond's outrageous "suggestion" that she uses drugs, marching out of WDSU-TV's downtown New Orleans' studios and into a nearby clinic, where she voluntarily submitted to a drug test.

She quickly delivered the results -- a clean reading -- to The Times-Picayune.

Let me make one very astute remark about this Congressional race:

All of the candidates are unbelievably crappy.

But at least the T-P's Donze and Krupa are on the ball enough to indicate the winner of this particular debate:

Jefferson didn't attend

The primary is October 4, but the magic is in the air now.

New New Orleans

We will all be remade in the image of the trustafarians

Before the Flood the condescending little douchebags were at least good enough to remain on the Tulane campus until graduation when they left town and spent the rest of their lives telling their Yuppie friends about how charmingly backward we all are... and about that time they got sooo drunk at Bruno's.

But now that there are so many condos available, they're staying here to help knock everything down.

Closed Circuit

You really do have to hand it to our "transparent" city government for figuring out as many ways to un-transparentize itself as it has. We're fortunate enough to have so many frequent "emergencies" to take advantage of. But even that doesn't work all the time. However, if you can manage to get yourself sued as often as possible, you may never have to conduct business in public again.

Most of Monday's meeting was held in closed session because Southern Electronics' lawsuit against the city was on the agenda.

But Head said the private discussion held under the cloak of executive session had little if anything to do with the lawsuit and should have been in the open.

She also said that administrators at the meeting, including lawyers and purchasing agents, appeared shocked upon hearing of the payments to Ciber.

At least one of her colleagues was surprised as well.

"Jesus, Mary and Joseph, " said Councilwoman Cynthia Hedge-Morrell, after being told the gist of the letter. "Every time we ask questions, it's, 'you know, we're in litigation.' "

These are heady times in New Orleans. We are writing the textbook on Disaster Capitalism for local government.

Eye contact

Shut up about it, you fucking pack of snickering eighth graders. Yes, McCain's body language was bad but it is so far from the point of anything worth talking about that it takes the light from that point 100 years to get to.... Iraq where John McCain will have it spend another 100 years.

Remember back when you all complained sooo much about how the children in the news media fixated on Al Gore's sigh? This is just like that. Congratulations, now you're doing it too.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Shorter Debate

McCain: The world is full of scary evil people who only want to cause mayhem. I will kill every one of them before they kill us.

Obama: I completely agree with that description of the world but I think I will probably see that we kill at least as many of the bad guys as he will by setting slightly different priorities as to who we kill first.

McCain (In light of the fact that this debate allowed him to salvage what was otherwise a debacle of a week for him by running and hiding behind "the troops", one wonders why McCain tried to duck this one)

Update: Adrastos has some "quick and dirty" observations which you should check out, but which I am linking to here in order to call attention to my comment there which I will now shamelessly cross-post:
I don't think Obama has ever really learned why he has so many precociously stupid but enthusiastic supporters. People are waiting for someone to challenge these global imperialists and their bloody wars-for-the-profit-of-the-few. If Obama would articulate this... give words to the collective dissatisfaction, he would knock McCain right on his ass. But instead, Obama is running the Kerry strategy; arguing that he is a shrewder manager of the bloody empire instead of taking it on. In short, he's NOT THE CHANGE HIS SUPPORTERS BELIEVE IN.

We can talk forever about how many times McCain lied or got facts wrong or failed to make eye contact or looked grumpy and we'll all be very right about that and feel good about ourselves. But we're missing the point.

The point is Obama had an opportunity to light a political fuse that needs to go off and he timidly refused to do so. This was a very bad moment for him.

Also, there is more debate reaction here from the cheering section.


The Mayor's "emergency powers" continue to knock everything down.

The peach house was demolished today. No notice to the property owner, who was waiting on Road Home money and was going to repair the house and move home.

It appears that the house was declared to be in Imminent Danger of Collapse, but the homeowner said there is only minimal damage to the house.

On most days, most of your councilpersons prefer to pretend this is not happening. But it happens all the time.

If you are the sort of person who gets his or her communications taken seriously by elected persons, now might be a good time to take advantage of that privilege.

Another option involves John McCain suspending his campaign until the crisis is averted but that never seems to work out very well.

Word of the Day


Yes, I know. Unacceptably late with the football post again. Lots going on. Will be back later.

Sarah Palin is kind of dumb

Are we sure she is suited to follow in the considerable footsteps of Dan Quayle?

Traffic Court

Yes, they are back on Broad Street despite what it says on the City's perpetually useless website. No, they aren't taking credit card payments yet... but they ARE taking personal checks although this fact has not been very well publicized. I'm out a pretty penny now but at least the Tercel is legal for the first time in over four years.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Oregon St. 27 Southern Cal 21

If the Monday Section B was thicker than one page, you wouldn't have this problem

Corps searching for seepage problem at 17th Street Canal

No longer "bucking the trends"

At long last:

National economic crisis felt locally
0:54 PM CDT on Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Susan Edwards / Eyewitness News

The local economy typically goes in cycles and financial experts say right now it is in a downward spiral. One of the biggest problems for residents here, the job market.

Apparently that unorthodox economic strategy of having your city blown up isn't working so well after all.

And I was very near to completing the requirements for my sandwich artist license. Maybe somebody will bail me out.... or possibly offer to sterilize me.

Old School?

You know you're getting old when a newspaper headline can refer to two faddish, finesse-based, pass-happy, gimmick systems of offensive football as "Old School"

Bring back the wishbone. Then we'll start to talk about "Old School".

This bailout is 900 miles wide

Or... you know... whatever big number scares you enough.

In fact, some of the most basic details, including the $700 billion figure Treasury would use to buy up bad debt, are fuzzy.

"It's not based on any particular data point," a Treasury spokeswoman told Forbes.com Tuesday. "We just wanted to choose a really large number."

via Suspect-Device

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Birth Control Policy in State House District 81

NY Times 1991:

Some state legislators have seen Norplant as a tool for reducing the number of children born into poverty, and by extension, curbing welfare costs. A Kansas legislator proposed that welfare recipients who accepted Norplant be paid an extra $500, plus $50 a year. The bill was quickly voted down.

In Louisiana, State Representative David Duke, the unsuccessful candidate for governor, proposed legislation offering $100 a year to welfare recipients who used Norplant. That, too, was defeated.

Duke's district, State House District 81, is currently represented by John Labruzzo.

In the comments here, Clay points out that the Hatin' 81st was also represented by Vitty Cent back in his "serious sin" filled "past" Quite the fertile ground for solid family values legislators, that Hatin' 81st is.

Upperdate: Labruzzo has said he plans to "research" this issue. The T-P's Mark Waller and Jan Moller give him a head start here.

State Rep. John LaBruzzo says the government should consider cash incentives for poor people to undergo reproductive sterilization, because society is careening toward a day when persons on public assistance outnumber taxpayers and the economy collapses. A look at Louisiana welfare numbers suggests his fear is unfounded.

Figures from the state Department of Social Services show recipients of the main form of welfare, the Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program, have plunged from a monthly average of 280,177 people in fiscal 1990-91 to 13,504 people in 2006-07. The monthly grant to a qualifying mother with two children is now $240.

Total annual spending over the 16-year period dropped from $187.2 million to $16.5 million, less than legislators earmarked for pet projects.

The main reason for the decline, said Social Services spokeswoman Cheryl Michelet, is the 1996 federal welfare reform legislation signed by President Clinton. It put a five-year lifetime cap on benefits.

Why the OPSB election matters

Leigh writes:

....The only consolation the current board members seem to have these days is that, now that the state has had control of darned near all of the public schools for the past three years, it sees how difficult the task really is.

Oh, sure, the state is continuing with certain...errm...traditions in that it is going through superintendents like there is no tomorrow. Its Master Plan for the public schools seems to have been cobbled together with the express directive behind it of ticking off darned near everyone in the community except those who will benefit from its Quick Start constructions. Eventually, however, things will progress far enough along that the state may well toss the schools into the OPSB's laps, because it really isn't that easy to run a school system without a board. "Take this sucker back!!!" they'll say to the repentant, cowed stepchild made to pay for its crimes since well before 8-29's events transpired to drown the city.

Will the board be ready for this?

Much more... go read

Note: Perhaps some candidates in this crucial election should at least try to read the Facilities Master Plan. Or... failing that... become aware of it.

"Grave Threats"

Bernanke Sees `Grave Threats' to Financial Stability (Update1)

By Craig Torres

Sept. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the U.S. is facing ``grave threats'' to financial stability and warned that the credit crisis has started to damage household and business spending.

``Economic activity appears to have decelerated broadly,'' Bernanke said today to a congressional Joint Economic Committee hearing, downgrading the assessment of Fed officials when they met on Sept. 16. ``Stabilization of our financial system is an essential precondition for economic recovery.

Why not just go the whole nine and call it a "great and gathering danger" since there is abundant evidence that the same movie doesn't end any differently upon the ninth viewing.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Today Les Miles said...

LSU quarterback Andrew Hatch suffered what head coach Les Miles described as, "a nick to the head region," in the third quarter last week against Auburn.


Labruzzo's Evacuation Final Solution

Metairie lawmaker considers bill to fund sterilizations
by Richard A. Webster Staff Writer

NEW ORLEANS - State Rep. John LaBruzzo, R-Metairie, fears Louisiana may be headed toward an economic crisis if the percentage of people dependent on the government is not decreased.

His solution: pay impoverished women $1,000 to have their tubes tied so they will stop having babies they can’t afford.

The idea came to LaBruzzo after hurricanes Katrina and Gustav when the state was forced to evacuate, shelter and care for tens of thousands of people.

"I realized that all these people were in Louisiana's care and what a massive financial responsibility that is to the state," LaBruzzo said. "I said, 'I wonder if it might be a good idea to pay some of these people to get sterilized.'

At a recent Ringside Politics With a Punch event, Rep Labruzzo loudly and repeatedly stated that Louisianians need to DRILL and DRILL NOW. Wonder what caused him to alter his position on this.

Note just for kicks: Labruzzo's State House District 81 seat is the same one once held by David Duke.

Update: In the above-linked article, Rep. Labruzzo states that he is "researching the issue" in order to decide what kind of a bill he may introduce in order to get this program rolling.

Here, Varg emails Rep. Labruzzo with a list of possible research questions.

Upperdate: And now the Modest Proposals come rolling in.

Stupid Spam Filter

Doesn't seem to be working today.



Yesterday Coach Soupy threw a big hissy fit to the NFL office whining that before this Sunday's pivotal play in Denver on which his team failed to pick up the one yard it needed, one Bronco's head was kinda sorta lined up a bit over the line of scrimmage. He made a HUGE deal out of this. The T-P sports editors got all excited and created a detailed graphic representation of the infraction for today's edition which uses circles and arrows to highlight the perpetrator... who incidentally had no actual affect on the play in question.

Meanwhile one of the Saints' starters was apparently cheating the entire game.

Adrastos has named Coach Soupy his "Malaka of the Day" but for reasons different from those noted above.

"Ethereal financial instruments of unknowable value"

Never mind that, though. Shut up and pay your taxes so that the big club you are not in can "move forward."

Paulson and the Federal Reserve are trying to replay the bailout approach used in the 1980s for the savings and loan crisis, but this situation is utterly different. The failed S&Ls held real assets--property, houses, shopping centers--that could be readily resold by the Resolution Trust Corporation at bargain prices. This crisis involves ethereal financial instruments of unknowable value--not just the notorious mortgage securities but various derivative contracts and other esoteric deals that may be virtually worthless.

Despite what the pols in Washington think, the RTC bailout was also a Wall Street scandal. Many of the financial firms that had financed the S&L industry's reckless lending got to buy back the same properties for pennies from the RTC--profiting on the upside, then again on the downside. Guess who picked up the tab? I suspect Wall Street is envisioning a similar bonanza--the chance to harvest new profit from their own fraud and criminal irresponsibility.

Poochie is the new Cam Cleeland

Out 4-6 weeks with a hernia. Should have laid off the cheeseburgers.

Monday, September 22, 2008

So far behind we're.... really really behind

Please take a look at E's analysis of the Wholesale Demolition School Facilities Master Plan for Orleans Parish

There's a lot going on there and E invites you to add your own perspective/criticisms on the plan if you have any.

This bit stood out in my mind

Rather (than) embracing the urbanity of our community, the acreage requirements that inform the closure of many schools located in dense neighborhoods impose an arbitrary suburban-style benchmark that actually has no real correlation with academic performance. This design preference of Concordia-Parsons forces the school district to waste precious time and money negotiating land acquisitions and swap transactions when there are buildings open right now that could be renovated at prices cheaper than building new. Further, the suburbanized campus vision and the neighborhood school closures that the policy necessitates flies in the face of national trends predicting a re-migration to cities and the best academic research on long term environmental benefits of 're-densification' of urban cores spread thin during white flight's asphalt boom.

Local contractor Concordia and Iraq War profiteer Parsons have been paid well to develop this behind-the-times demolition plan. Another example of your free market recovery at work.


Hearing in 7th Ward on master plan for New Orleans public schools
by The Times-Picayune
Tuesday September 23, 2008, 6:00 AM

A public hearing on a $1.8 billion New Orleans public school facilities master plan will be held today at 6 p.m. at A.P. Tureaud Elementary School, 2021 Pauger St.

Shut up and pay your taxes


Here’s the thing: historically, financial system rescues have involved seizing the troubled institutions and guaranteeing their debts; only after that did the government try to repackage and sell their assets. The feds took over S&Ls first, protecting their depositors, then transferred their bad assets to the RTC. The Swedes took over troubled banks, again protecting their depositors, before transferring their assets to their equivalent institutions.

The Treasury plan, by contrast, looks like an attempt to restore confidence in the financial system — that is, convince creditors of troubled institutions that everything’s OK — simply by buying assets off these institutions. This will only work if the prices Treasury pays are much higher than current market prices; that, in turn, can only be true either if this is mainly a liquidity problem — which seems doubtful — or if Treasury is going to be paying a huge premium, in effect throwing taxpayers’ money at the financial world.

And there’s no quid pro quo here — nothing that gives taxpayers a stake in the upside, nothing that ensures that the money is used to stabilize the system rather than reward the undeserving.

As citizens, you aren't entitled to accountability for or any benefit whatsoever from the various crimes your tax dollars are used to cover up. There's a big club. You ain't in it. Shut up and pay them.

Coming soon: As consumers, it will all be up to YOU to save the Holidays by running up your credit card balance. Shut up and do it.

Update: Senator Dodd's plan which provides for at least some protection for foreclosed homeowners, as well as a better oversight framework is slightly less crazy than just handing Wall Street $700 billion.

Upperdate: Here is Athenae's better post about who is and isn't in the big club.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Turning numbers low and high

If you've got some time today, please watch this interview between Bill Moyers and Kevin Phillips. When I was growing up, Phillips was one of a vanishing (now extinct) number of non-crazy Republicans out there. His new book Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics, and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism is just out. Here are a few pertinent passages from the interview.

BILL MOYERS: You wrote in that AMERICAN PROSPECT piece that some people, particularly in the reform community and among progressives, see this as a great opportunity for returning to the New Deal regulatory period instigated by Franklin Roosevelt in the pits of the Depression. You don't think that's happening.

KEVIN PHILLIPS: Well, I mean, there's several difficulties here. First of all, at this point, what you've got are the Democrats are the party right at this point that's getting most of the financial money. When Franklin D. Roosevelt won in 1932, we know he wasn't getting most of the financial money.

The second thing is I don't think we're more than partway through. The Democrats think it's going to be another 1933, they get in there, they can do all the New Deal stuff. My feeling is that they're coming in halfway and they're going to have to make hard decisions that are going to eat the Democratic coalition like a bologna sandwich. They're going to start civil wars-

BILL MOYERS: How come? What do you mean?

KEVIN PHILLIPS: Well, if you're going to bail out Wall Street while you're saying oh, the Social Security recipients, maybe they don't even need that money. A lot of people in the financial community basically want to push Social Security on some sort of voluntary basis and needs test it and get rid of it. Now, a lot of Democrats in the labor movement are very nervous about Obama. They put out press releases talking about Rubin-nomics because they see that the flesh of the Democratic Party carries a lunchbox. But the new soul of the Democratic Party wears a pinstripe suit.

BILL MOYERS: And the Republicans, what do they do?

KEVIN PHILLIPS: Well, they're-

BILL MOYERS: More of the same? I mean-

KEVIN PHILLIPS: Well, different flavors. I can't imagine anything worse than having another four years of George W. Bush. I think he's probably the biggest disaster at the worst period of time that we could ever have a disaster in modern history. But could the Republicans be different and better? Oddly enough, I think they might have a small bit of integrity as opposition people, whereas subordinate to Bush and all the people that control national Republican politics, the Republicans were a waste of time.

But, for example, Senator Grassley of Iowa was ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee. He opposed the Fannie/Freddie Bill and said it was a payoff to Wall Street and K Street. That's the lobbyists in Washington. You now have the Senator of Alabama, Shelby, who's the ranking Republican on Senate Banking, totally opposed anymore bailouts. We've got to let the markets do it. Well, the National Republican Party doesn't believe that for one minute.

Because they get their money from the same people.

That's right. The same money goes to the Democrats.


BILL MOYERS: But we are going to have a new president in January, no matter how despairing people may be about that. What is the first thing you would find convincing if he did it to meet this meltdown, this issue, this crisis?

KEVIN PHILLIPS: Well, I guess I would without talking out of school particularly, Obama told me one time he read some of my books. So I would be very interested and impressed if he in January started to say something has really gone wrong in this country. And I'm not sure that I or anybody else can turn it around. But we borrowed so much money.

We've let this Las Vegas version of what used to be ordinary banks in our ordinary hometowns go berserk. Our currency is having enormous problems. People are losing their homes. We've got to face up to what our problems are and talk about how this happened. Who did it? Why? Who made the money?

Well, I think if he were to start talking about I'd take him seriously. But I think half of Washington would have a problem in their stomach needing quick relief, let me put it that way. Cause you don't rock that boat. You pretend that it's a sound economy. And if it's not sound, it's nothing that the old Democratic elixir can't fix, you know? Old New Deal in a bottle. We'll have a couple of swigs and you'll be happy again. I don't expect him to level.

BILL MOYERS: But is it conceivable to you that a John McCain might have gotten the message now to see what's at stake in the presidency that he would hold if he is elected and that he might actually turn out to be a reformer?

KEVIN PHILLIPS: Well, I think there's some element there in contrast to what you've sort of osmose at the Harvard Law School, what you osmose in a naval family I think would be much less sycophancy toward Wall Street and the money crowd. So I think McCain has that. On the other hand, he doesn't have any knowledge. Anybody who thought that Phil Gramm was somebody who could instruct you in fairness to ordinary people and your — this is the guy, "Nation of Whiners" remember Phil.

Dance with the answers like you know where you're at

The new Bob band kicks ass, BTW.

Click it!


Now they want to turn Charity Hospital into condos. Why not an ice cream shop? Or maybe a sushi place?

Sucker punched

Goldschmidt is moving to Japan. We're not certain how long she'll be gone. The popular theories at present are a) two months b) two years and c) until the stomach discomfort becomes unbearable. Whatever the duration of her absence turns out to be, we thought it fitting to give her a good send-off on Saturday night. For this purpose we booked a table for eleven at NOLA. Having not dined there since Consuela's birthday 4 years ago I was very much looking forward to giving it a second try.

Turns out, as surprisingly good as that first visit was, this one was just as disappointing. I don't meant to be too hard on the place. There were extenuating circumstances. The flooding from Ike and Gustav had affected the availability of fresh oysters and crabmeat which limited the menu quite a bit. And it's never easy to handle such an obnoxious and drunken party of eleven... especially when it lingers well after closing time. The service staff handled this challenge beautifully. The food didn't come through quite as well.... or at least, my choices didn't live up to expectations. Here are some of those choices. (Copying from the NOLA menu)

Miss Hay's Stuffed Chicken Wings with Homemade Hoisin Dipping Sauce
The wait staff could not have recommended this more highly. However, it could not have tasted more like an order of shrimp toast from Hot Wok. Not that there's a whole lot wrong with that. I was just disappointed since Menckles had ordered the..

Prince Edward Island Mussels in a Garlic-Chardonnay Broth with Foccaccia Bread
(For some reason this is now only on the lunch menu) Admittedly, it's hard to go wrong with steamed mussels. These did not go wrong and she enjoyed them very much. Meanwhile I was left to live with my decision to take a chance with the chicken wings. Not saying I didn't eat them. I like Chinese take out as much as the next guy.

Blackberry Stout Glazed Hickory Smoked St. Louis Ribs with Orecchiette Pasta-Brie Cream "Mac & Cheese" and Honey Baked White Beans

The sauce was sweet and peppery and it was satisfying to blend it with the creamy pasta. I'm also noticing that white beans are becoming a hip side dish as of late. I've seen them offered on four different menus over the past few months. (My favorite version of this was a tomatoey white bean and shrimp soup I had at Cochon back in July.) Here they served to further the "dressed up BBQ" gimmick of this dish which wouldn't have been as tiresome a thing if the ribs had not been so tough and overcooked. My fingers got all sticky from eating this. It wasn't worth the mess. Especially since r was enjoying the...

Garlic Crusted Texas Redfish Cooked in the Wood Burning Oven with Brabant Potatoes, Wild Mushrooms, Bacon and Sauce Beurre Rouge
As a result of my one bite sample of this fish, I am doomed to hate myself forever for ordering those ribs. I usually know better than to pass on a decent looking grilled redfish. But, since the crabmeat and oysters had been 86ed, I had decided to stay away from the seafood altogether with obvious unsatisfactory results.

And so the results of my two visits to NOLA have been mixed. The first experience was outstanding. The second was mildly disappointing... although it may have been my fault for ordering poorly. We'll have to give it another shot sometime during the next four years. After much drinking and shouting nonsense across the table at one another, (Did you know that "flowtion" is a word? It is if you need a quick rhyme for ocean and are stupid.) we moved the party to a local drinking establishment for more stupidity.

There it was learned for the fifty-thousandth time in human history that if one does choose to talk politics drunkenly, one should not drunkenly talk politics with a drunken person who is clearly not listening to you. Especially if the drunken person clearly not listening to you is a "doing-very-important-things" type who tells you that you are THE person to blame for everything wrong with Louisiana since you a) are white and b) harbor some fondness for Louisiana progressive politicians such as Huey Long. Especially if the drunken person clearly not listening to you proceeds to sucker punch a friend of yours who happens to be roughly one third her size.

As momentarily amusing as learning these things for the fifty-thousandth time can be, the very fact that they have been learned fifty-thousand times says something about how one is probably getting too old to amuse oneself in this fashion. So once everything calmed down, we relocated to yet another local drinking establishment and learned for the fifty-thousandth time that we are probably getting too old to stay out until 5:00 AM anymore as well. At least, Goldschmidt has some eventful memories to bring with her to Japan... if she remembers enough of the evening clearly.

Since some of you may have guessed by now that this is your weekly Saints round-up post, you may wonder why you have been made to suffer through these sad diversions on dining and douchebaggery. There is a very good reason and it is this. As we lay on the couch Sunday in our hungover haze watching the Saints go down to the Washington Redskins, it occurred to us that Saints tight end Jeremy Shockey

reminds us a great deal of Food Network star Guy Fieri.

And nobody brings the worlds of dining and douchebaggery together like Guy Fieri. A bit too fat to be a part-time surfing instructor, not quite hardy enough to be a roadie/bouncer for Bon Jovi, Fieri has found his niche getting paid to drive all over the country eating chili-cheese fries on television. I'm not saying I wouldn't do that myself if the opportunity came along, but it's clearly the frosted hair that landed him the gig and... well even I would never stoop that low.

Fieri, whose "look" is basically that of an anthropomorphic Mountain Dew ad with a cholesterol problem, was best distilled here by Anthony Bordain.

Guy Fieri… did you ever see the Simpsons episode where it’s decided that Itchy and Scratchy need a sidekick? So a committee gets together and they invent one called Poochie…. Guy Fieri kind of looks like he’s been designed by committee.

And so by the transitive property of general douche-hood, Jeremy Shockey will henceforth be referred to in this space as Poochie.

Saints-Redskins (all game photos once again stolen directly from NOLA.com... which is not to be confused in any way with NOLA restaurant):

  • Pants factor: Based on our experience with a long term trend holding that the Saints tend to perform better under Sean Payton while wearing their traditional gold pants than they do in the black bicycle tights, we are tracking the pants factor on a game by game basis this year.

    An argument could be made, however, that the Saints were affected more by wearing their black jerseys in the hot weather than by the more nebulous pants factor this week. Game commenters mentioned the heat several times noting that this or that Saint was getting extra time on the sideline recuperating. Deuce McAllister who was not expected to play in this game was forced to take a few snaps in order to relieve the overheated Frenchy Thomas. We understand that Poochie needed IV fluids at halftime.

    The Redskins usually wear white jerseys at home. But more often than not, they pair this with burgundy (BURgundy not bruGUNdy) colored pants. Sunday they went with an all-white look which may have made a major difference for them. Still fresh, Washington rallied for 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter while the overheated Saints were still trying to catch their breath.

    Still we can't excuse away the fact that the Saints wore gold pants and lost. They are now 1-1 on the season while properly panted.

    Redskins QB Jason Campbell wears all white after Labor Day and gets away with it

  • Poochie helped put the Saints in the hole early and did nothing to help them climb out of it. His fumble killed a promising drive on the Saints first possession of the game setting up a Washington field goal and their first lead of the day. On the Saints' very next possession, Drew Brees aimed a pass at Poochie which doinked off of the tight end's hands and into the arms of a defender. The Redskins capitalized on this turnover with another field goal. A few minutes into the second quarter, the score was Poochie 6 Saints 0.

    Here we see the ball squirt through Poochie's extra-greasy fingers. Lay off the grilled cheese for once, Poochie!

  • The Redskins' kicker is named Shaun Suisham. (Pronounced Sweeshum) A name like that generally bodes ill in the game of football. Suisham missed two makeable field goal attempts. Lucky for him, they didn't affect the outcome and he lives to Sweesh another day.

  • The Saints got their asses kicked physically in this one. On both offense and defense, the Saints found themselves (as they so often have in the Soupy Payton era) utterly out-muscled. Washington out-gained the Saints on the ground 149 yards to 55 while dominating the time of possession 34:14 to 25:46.

    While the Saints are probably embarrassed that Clinton Portis steamrolled them for 96 yards and 2 touchdowns, I'm feeling slightly less bad since he started on my fantasy team this week. Based on what we've seen so far, I may be in the market to acquire future Saints opponents as the season develops.

    Meanwhile the Saints' rushing game was pathetic. Bush and Frenchy combined for another underwhelming 2.2 yards per carry. Frenchy was stacked up on a crucial third down and one. The shortcomings of Reggie Bush as a running back are just not worth discussing anymore. While most fans are expecting the situation to improve by the mere insertion of Deuce McAllister into the lineup, we are not so optimistic. Sean Payton has built a wimpy finesse offense in a game that is still most often decided by brute force. The acquisition of Poochie was supposed bring some much-needed toughness to this outfit. So far, Poochie fits right in with the rest of the Wimpys out there. Must be the cheeseburgers.

    Poochie will gladly pay us Tuesday

  • Congratulations to Robert Meachem for his first touchdown reception as a Saint... only about one year late. Not bad, buddy.

    Funny thing is, some fans think Meachem was open because the Redskins were busy covering Poochie

  • Congratulations also to Santana Moss for accomplishing in Week 2 what the Saints were determined that Joey Galloway would not in Week 1. Moss proved that the Saints defense is every bit as susceptible to the big play this year as it was last year. Moss caught 7 passes for 164 yards and contributed a big 27 yard rushing play on an end-around. And, of course, he beat rookie DB Tracy Porter for the 67 yard game-winning score.

    Kind of makes you wish Jason David had been in there.

  • The Hire-Me-As-Your-Scouting-Director moment of the week: Just this evening, as I scramble to complete this overdue post, I check NOLA.com to find an article by Reggie Bush apologist Jeff Duncan which sort of sugarcoats the fact of Bush's massive failure as a pro athlete thus far. There's a lot in this article that I may return to but for our purposes here, I'll highlight this one bit.

    Of the masses who make a living analyzing the NFL, (NFL analyst Michael) Lombardi is the most outspoken critic of Bush. Not of his talent, which he believes is special, but of his effectiveness as an every-down runner.

    Bush reminds Lombardi of Eric Metcalf, a similarly skilled scatback he selected for Cleveland with the No.¤13 overall pick in the 1989 NFL draft. Metcalf's numbers are remarkably similar to Bush's. In his 12-year career, Metcalf returned 12 punts and kickoffs for touchdowns, twice rushed for more than 600 yards in a season and in 1995 caught 104 passes.

    Yet, Metcalf's career average on 630 rushes was 3.8 yards a carry. Bush averages 3.6 yards a carry.

    And now, for kicks, let's flash back to something I wrote at the end of last season.

    This offseason, we'd like to see a few things happen. First, if Reggie Bush has to come back, perhaps he'll work on dating fewer C-list celebrities this summer and start watching film of former Brown-Falcon-Charger Eric Metcalf. Metcalf entered the league as a running back. But his slim body and finesse running style suited him more to the receiver position as a pro where he excelled after making the move. Bush has similar talents to Metcalf and has already demonstrated that he contributes the most to the Saints' offense when lined up as a wideout. If Pierre Thomas is going to get more playing time, and especially if Deuce can come back at all, Coach Soupy should consider making this move.

    NFL player personnel departments, you know where to find me.

  • Kicking game is one third of football: While the offense and defense were getting their asses handed to them by the far more physical Redskins all day, the Saints remained in the game thanks to their near dominance on special teams. Almost everything went right for New Orleans in the kicking game. The coverage teams limited the dangerous return tandem of Rock Carwright and Antwaan Randle-El. Josh Bullocks forced a Randle-El fumble on punt coverage. Martin Gramatica nailed a 49 yard field goal to put the Saints ahead at halftime. And, of course, Bush contributed a (very Metcalf-like) punt return for a touchdown that put the Saints (we thought) comfortably ahead at the end of the third quarter. Although, as Oyster has become fond of saying, "an un-alloyed Reggie Bush highlight is a very rare thing." While Bush's taunting penalty incurred on that punt return may seem like a ticky-tacky thing, recall that Bush was flagged for the very same thing at a crucial moment in the NFC Championship game two years ago in Chicago. Whatever you think of the call or the rule, Bush should know better than to test that particular boundary by now.

    In the fourth quarter, Steve Weatherford badly shanked two punts helping to set up Washington scoring drives. But apart from that black mark, the Saints special teams played an outstanding game. There was talk afterward that the otherwise outplayed Saints nearly "stole" this one. The all-around superior play in the kicking game is what got them so close.

    Could be he was just pointing at his teammate on the sideline and thinking "Hey that guy looks a lot like Poochie!"

This afternoon, some yahoo called in to WWL screaming that the Saints REALLY NEED to run Deuce "35 times, at least" this Sunday afternoon in Denver or else they've blown it for the year. Do football fans in this town have trouble even remembering one season into the past? If the Saints lose Sunday (which most of us expect they certainly will) they will be 1-2. No one who watched them start 0-4 in 2007 and almost sneak into the playoffs anyway, can possibly be ready to throw in the towel at that point.

If you want to worry about something, Saints fans, try this. With Poochie and his all-grease-and-cheese diet around as an example, the Saints may not be in danger of losing football games so much as gaining unsightly pounds. Here we are just coming in to Week 3 and some of these guys are already starting to chunk up on us. We're looking at you, Coach Soupy.

If the Saints don't find a way to restore team discipline fast, the next sucker punch might get them right in the soft spot.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Free Market Recovery at Work


If you are a fan of irony, consider this: The conservative movement has utterly hated FDR, and his New Deal programs like Medicaid, Social Security, FDIC, Fannie Mae (1938), and the SEC for nearly 80 years. And for the past 8 years, a conservative was in the White House, with a very conservative agenda. For something like 16 of the past 18 years, the conservative dominated GOP has controlled Congress. Those are the facts.

We now see that the grand experiment of deregulation has ended, and ended badly. The deregulation movement is now an historical footnote, just another interest group, and once in power they turned into socialists. Indeed, judging by the actions of the conservatives in power, and not the empty rhetoric that comes out of think tanks, the conservative movement has effectively turned the United States into a massive Socialist state, an appendage of Communist Russia, China and Venezuala.

Pairs well with this:

The Mayor is the chief enforcement officer, and he’s failing in the executive’s prime responsibility: protection of the public and enforcement of the law. It’s partly incompetence, but he clearly suffers from a nasty strain of the deregulatory fever that’s bringing us the Wall St. meltdown. This Mayor apparently believes that if you suspend regulation and don’t enforce the law, the City will rebuild faster.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

More lessons learned

Earlier this week, we talked about how the only significant improvement in the State and local political leadership from Katrina/Rita to Gustav/Ike came in the area of handling the media. Turns out the Feds' scorecard looks about the same.

Yes, we know you're here for the football

Even though we promised this week's Saints re-cap would be on time, it's actually going to be EVEN LATER than last week's. It should be worth the wait... at least for those of you who enjoy bar fights and grilled cheese that is so. In the meantime, let's enjoy a Saints-Broncos preview in this video from a Denver fan.

And then let's enjoy that fan's earlier angry resignation from the internet... which he obviously hasn't stuck to.

Links courtesy of joejoejoe

"At least you have the land"

At some point, someone has to raise the liability issue with regard to the ongoing madness.

After Hurricane Katrina, Williams put $34,000 of her own money into renovating the house. But when she returned from evacuating after Hurricane Gustav she got a phone call from her contractor she'll never forget.

"He said he didn't even know how to tell me -- that my house was gone. I thought he was clowning. I said what do you mean the house was gone?" said Williams.

She questioned how the city could tear down her house when she had a building permit, an elevation certificate and Road Home money coming her way.

"What am I supposed to do? Road Home is giving me money to fix the house that was there, but there is no house," she said.

Last week, Williams said she took the matter to the Safety and Permits department.

"The man was very nasty. He said it was emergency demolitions that they were doing around the city. It got torn down and there's nothing anybody could do about it. He said, 'At least you have the land,'" said Williams.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Nagin nails one

Our levees withstood Gustav with Category 3 storm surges and Category 2 winds. Clearly, this is not sufficient. Our community deserves a flood protection system that allows us to feel secure in the face of storms, rather than dealing with frequent evacuations.

The rest is just the usual bullcrap.

Who wants to bet...

...this does not go over well.

Worst environmental disaster in US history

LA's vanishing coastline

Still losing

Nagin: Teardowns now need consent of City Council member
by Michelle Krupa, The Times-Picayune
Tuesday September 16, 2008, 10:31 PM

After taking heat for suspending the work of a panel that reviews requests for demolition permits in many historic neighborhoods, Mayor Ray Nagin has agreed to stop issuing teardown orders for properties that usually fall under the committee's purview.

Such demolitions will be allowed, however, if the City Council member who represents the property gives his or her consent, officials said.

So... the NCDC review is still under suspension and it is now incumbent upon Council members to request a stay of execution for each property.

Update: More at WCBF

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Still losing.

It is at the point where the entire system has been thrown into chaos. Councilmembers are being given assurances unreviewed properties will not be knocked down in their districts at the exact moment those properties are in fact being knocked down. Either the city has no control over its contractors, or the administation has no compunction lying directly to the council.

Either way, carefully crafted - and functional - democratic processes have been thrown under bulldozers because of a massive lack of leadership and an abundance of duplicity.


Governor PBJ and Mayor Nagin are winning the PR battle of this Hurricane Season. Our highest profile representatives of state and local officialdom learned after the Federal Flood that the most important thing to do when a hurricane approaches South Louisiana is to make sure your ass is covered politically.

Specifically, the representatives of local officialdom sought to insulate themselves against the most stinging political criticisms leveled against them by the Right during the Katrina aftermath. Thus Ray Nagin made sure everyone witnessed that he was sufficiently insistent that everyone flee the storm well ahead of time. Thus Nagin also made sure everyone knew he would be extremely tough on looters. Thus Nagin and Jindal made sure everyone knew that this time every bus would be put to use.

During the frantic hours of Unnecessary Evac 2008... before the storm hit and while everyone's attention was most clearly focused on what was coming out of the pols' mouths... Jindal did an excellent job of appearing composed and conversant with facts as he crammed in as much irrelevant-but-nonetheless-impressive-sounding data as possible about the particular capabilities of each available helicopter and which unit of which branch of which service was planning to fly around in each helicopter and at which point flying around in helicopters might become necessary.

This is the sort of thing that makes a positive political impression on certain people; the appearance of "steady leadership" coupled with an ability to memorize and recite facts. Not being much of an elitist authority-humping, minutiae-obsessed, technocrat-nerd myself, I'm somewhat less impressed with this kind of showmanship. Instead, I tend to be the sort of person who, while sitting in an Unnecessary I-59 clusterfuck listening to officials congratulate each other on the radio about how great a job they are doing, tends to think, "You know what? These fuckers, they lie" But the lying wasn't what was important. What was important was the timing of the lying as it framed the political narrative during the crucial moments so that, even during the subsequent ugliness, everyone would still be talking about how well things were going.

And how well did things go? For those of us who were able to evacuate in our own private vehicles, things went pretty much the same as they did during Katrina. We packed up our shit and sat in traffic for 18 hours until we found somewhere to crash and watch from afar as Jim Cantore and Anderson Cooper tried not to look too gleeful while everything dear to us was threatened with oblivion. The only difference is, there was slightly less actual oblivion involved this time. (Or at least the oblivion that did occur wasn't quite as politically sensitive as it could have been) But for most of those who evacuated on their own, there were a few uncomfortable days followed by a moment of outrage over the "tiered" reentry plan and then a Saints game. It was bad, but not as bad as Katrina because the city did not flood.

For those who were not in position to evacuate and return on their own, things went a bit differently.

Hundreds of coastal residents using state-provided evacuation transportation arrived at north Louisiana shelters on Aug. 30 and 31 to find the facilities short of toilets and without showers. The bathroom facilities eventually arrived, with the private contractor saying the state agency did not order the portable showers until Sept. 1, the day Gustav arrived.

For all the time the Mayor and the Governor spent patting each other on the back, their "Assisted Evacuation Plan" was very nearly an epic failure mitigated only by the fact that the evacuees could be returned to their homes in relative short order.... however uncomfortably this task was accomplished. But despite this... and despite the Mayor's "Special Rate" gaffe last week... both the Mayor and the Governor are winning politically this Hurricane Season.

Despite Nagin's goofiness and the criticism he took over the reentry plan, what matters most politically is that when Gustav threatened, Ray Nagin went on television and said the looters were going to Angola. That lie, being a well-timed lie, is what will make the most enduring impression. Plus, Nagin was sharp enough to take advantage of the "emergency" in order to remove inconvenient obstacles to his precious wrecking balls. It isn't perfect for Nagin, but it's good enough.

For Jindal, it's nearly perfect. PBJ has pulled off the remarkable trick of receiving full public credit for his hands-on leadership and in-depth knowledge of emergency helicopter operations while somehow avoiding any responsibility for the activities the entire State Department of Social Services. How does he do that? It's partially in the timing. Jindal knows to play the man in charge role while everyone is afraid, and to play the outraged outsider while everyone is angry. Recall that in addition to his public dissatisfaction with the DSS performance, Jindal also made a point to berate Entergy in the press after the storm. Don't expect much to come that, however.

But the true political gold here lies in the self-correcting power of class prejudice. In the eyes of most Louisiana voters, the poor performance of the DSS in sheltering evacuees as well as distributing food stamps is really just another invitation to blame poor people for being poor. One need only spend a few minutes with local talk radio or with the NOLA.com commenters to understand this fully. So since nobody really cares that "assisted evacuees" are treated well or that they are returned home in a timely fashion... if at all.. or that anyone ever receives food stamps, Jindal gets enough space to criticize the performance of his own administration with no real political consequence for that poor performance.

Congratulations, Mayor Nagin and Governor Jindal. This Hurricane Season was beautifully played.

Palin's critics should just get to the freaking point

We already know that Sarah Palin is a lying ethically challenged, anti-feminist, creationist, paranoid control freak who is frighteningly unqualified to be anywhere near the level of political and military power she aspires to be. We get that. But that's not what America most needs to understand here. What Americans need to understand right now is that even if they... despite all of the above... decide to vote for Sarah Palin for Vice President, she very likely will not have sex with them afterwards.

Louisiana's vanishing coast

The worst ongoing and largely ignored environmental disaster in U.S. history.


Wow what a perfect storm of awfulness this Gambit blog post is. For those of us who can't decide if we hate the Yuppie crowd at the Delachaise more than we hate the entitled Tulane [correction: Loyola] brats who will one day grow up to be the Yuppie crowd at the Delachaise, this is a difficult fight to pick sides in.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Ike ruins the weekend for my fantasy football team

Texans-Ravens postponed. I was counting on some Flacco magic. Oh well. Very sorry, Houston Texans fans. I hope no one takes this opportunity to suggest that you shouldn't be allowed to have any sports teams in your storm-prone city anymore.


City demolition continues unabated.... accelerated, in fact, by the Mayor's "Gustav state of emergency" order to abolish review of the demolition permitting process. And while I think it's very cute that the kids tend to get some of their indignant complaint letters read these days, I think that we're finding the indignant letters of the internet age are just as easy to ignore as the indignant letters of olden yesteryear. Welcome to the new age.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Making an impression

Yesterday I was in line at the Wal-Mart on Tchoupitoulas behind a mother and her two daughters who had evacuated to New Orleans from Texas in order to get out of the way of Hurricane Ike. They were buying what looked to be a week's worth of supplies in case they were stuck in a New Orleans hotel for that long. I have no knowledge of any "tiered" reentry plan for Houston so there's hope that these ladies will be going home sooner than later.

The Texans were in high spirits about the whole business... which is always encouraging to see from people dealing with the stress and uncertainty of hurricane evacuation. They discussed their situation with the cashier who was sympathetic and hospitable as you would expect most New Orleanians to be with anyone unfortunate enough to share our accustomed experience of running from storms.

Most touching was the glow of civic pride emanating from the cashier as she helpfully (and quite earnestly) suggested to the evacuees that upon returning to their hotel they ask about the "Mayor Ray Nagin Special Rate. It's a special rate for you all. I saw it on the news."

The Texans were grateful for this advice. The cashier, I'm sure, was only too glad to have been helpful to these folks in their time of need. I hope it works out for this family and I hope they come away with pleasant memories of how they were treated while they were here. But the set-up I witnessed at the Wal-Mart wasn't a good sign. If those ladies did go back and ask about the special rate, they likely just made another unnecessary headache for themselves. And the Mayor just managed to misdirect the well-meaning good wishes of an unwitting citizen toward the task of furthering the buffoonery.


Ruthie the Duck Girl dies of cancer at 74
by John Pope, The Times-Picayune
Friday September 12, 2008, 10:36 PM

Ruthie the Duck Girl, a French Quarter eccentric who zoomed from bar to bar on roller skates, often wearing a ratty fur coat and long skirt and trailed by a duck or two, died Sept. 6 at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge. She was 74.

Ruthie, whose real name was Ruth Grace Moulon, had been suffering from cancer of the mouth and lungs when the residents of her Uptown New Orleans nursing home were evacuated to Baton Rouge as Hurricane Gustav approached, said Carol Cunningham, a close friend who watched over her for nearly 40 years.

Update: More from Oyster

Friday, September 12, 2008

Mommy State

Face it. The National Weather Service obviously sees at least part of its mission as being a benevolent propaganda mill for emergency managers.

Adding: I won't emulate every asshole talking head in the country and presume to tell coastal Texas residents in the path of Ike what to do. But I will wish them all luck and hope for the best.

Are there any Saints defensive players left?

Not many. It's a long season.

Where's the outrage here?

Seriously I can't decide. Is it that John McCain sees his job as "somewhat divorced from the day-to-day challenges people have" or is it that he assumes someone like Ray Nagin isn't.

Things to come in President John McCain's first term

Exactly what Athenae says.

Neely is a funny word

While I tend to side with the Kennedy campaign in its assertion of a right to fair use of a news clip, I am more than pleased to see the producers of that news clip call the lying liars on their lying. Well done, FOX8.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I read this whole article three times looking for the name Jeanette Maier... but no dice. I'll skim it again for "Gidget"

But which Tier were they in?

Mandatory evacuations cost people money. Very often the expense exceeds people's disposable income. If the government is going to force people to spend money they don't have, it should plan to compensate them when they return. If the government is going to arbitrarily force some people to stay away longer than necessary, then we might be talking about punitive damages.

Of course, according to the Mayor, none of this would be a problem if we all worked in the hyper-lucrative food prep industry.

And help the Iraq... such as

Palin on the Bush Doctrine

Update: Damn you, TBogg! That was my gag, you bastard!

Oh well... there's really no such thing as an original thought anyway.... particularly in the mode of snark.

Giving them the "Mayor Ray Nagin Special Rate"

No, not that one.

No shelters are open in New Orleans, but Nagin said thousands of hotel rooms are available to accommodate evacuees. "Just ask for the Mayor Ray Nagin special rate," Nagin said. "I guarantee you're going to get one of the best rates you've ever gotten in the city of New Orleans.

We're fine with that one... whatever it might be.

We're talking about this one.

However, at $200 a ton, the price charged for storm waste pickup by SDT, which collects garbage and sweeps streets in the French Quarter and Central Business District, dwarfs the roughly $12 a ton charged by DRC. The city's two other regular trash haulers charge $30 and $60 a ton, respectively, for the work.

Also... seems the "Special Man"'s office door is wide open while the Mayor's emergency powers are in action.

Update: Sources are telling me that anyone who actually calls a NOLA hotel tonight inquiring about the "Mayor Ray Nagin Special Rate" will find that none of them know what the hell the Mayor is talking about.

Upperdate: Gambit's Kevin Allman shares his call-around results here.

And... naturally the quote has made it all the way to Houston. Expect the "THANKS" to begin rolling in any minute now.
(NOCVB's Mary Beth) Romig was unable to say what that rate was, but said summer hotel rates were generally lower in the French Quarter and surrounding areas.

Is the People's Penthouse available?

All the Nagin that's fit for your noggin

Collected here by Clay in another of his comprehensive aggregation posts.

Dome Reentry Plan


Among the more amazing things I've read lately regarding Unnecessary Evac 2008 and its insulting aftermath, was this article in Friday's Times-Picayune regarding SMG's preparations for the Saints-Bucs game.

Superdome officials set up a telephone line and a Web site before Hurricane Gustav that allowed them to keep in contact with their various employees after the storm, and they already were coordinating with all of the necessary service providers on the day the storm hit.

So far, Superdome officials have received a very good response from the displaced employees, most of whom will be back in New Orleans by Sunday. An additional 150 employees will be bussed in from Houston's Reliant Park, which also is run by SMG. And another 65 employees likely will be called in from SMG-operated facilities in Bossier City and Mobile, Ala.

It takes about 2,500 employees to staff a Saints game in the Superdome, including 125 to 130 New Orleans police officers. Thornton anticipates a full staff, and possibly a few extras.

Those employees who have not been in contact with Superdome officials are encouraged to call 1.800.756.7074 or to visit the Web site at www.superdome.com.

The groups that have been hardest to reach have been the nonprofit groups who work some of the concession stands through Centerplate, a food service sub-contractor. Members of those nonprofit groups are encouraged to contact either the Superdome or Centerplate at 504.558.6260, ext. 6622.

Centerplate also has been bringing in replacements from outside the city, so the concession stands should be fully staffed with workers and food and drink.

In other words, a day and a half after the stubborn Mayor was made to take down the roadblocks turning away weary evacuees returning to Orleans Parish, AND while the State, City, and surrounding Parishes were in the midst of poorly coordinating the return of "City Assisted" evacuees (a process that would not end for a few more days) SMG already had a plan in place to ensure that sufficient labor units would be present to serve overpriced beer and hot dogs on Sunday... regardless of whether or not their actual employees were back home... or still alive for that matter. Such is life in the big (but ever-shrinking) city. The folks running things only bother with us at all so long as we are needed to enable their entertainments to go on without too much trouble. One wonders why anyone pays them any heed at all. Well I don't listen. Not anymore. Count me among the citizens who James O'Byrne hypothesizes will refuse to jump the next time the local political clowns say jump. I'm already one step ahead in ignoring the orders of Superdome management. Recall that our experience with Superdome concessions at the Saints-Texans pre-season game left us vowing to resort to guerrilla tactics once the regular season was upon us. Sunday's game gave us an opportunity to put the new system into action.

Okay so I couldn't find my flask on Sunday morning. That was a bit of a setback. Luckily there were still plenty of Tropicana orange juice bottles left over from Unnecessary Evac 2008.

Once emptied, they make fine portable storage for Old New Orleans Amber Rum and fit quite conveniently into a cargo pants pocket. And since the road weary Superdome security staff tend not to pat down the fans potential threats very thoroughly below the waist, the little bottles facilitate smuggling almost as well as the flask would have.

I say almost because while the bottles do fit in the pockets, they carry a bit awkwardly. This was more of a problem than it otherwise would have been since we walked the 2.1 miles to the Superdome this week. We did this for two reasons. 1) RTA had not yet re-instated service while evacuees were still being bused into New Orleans. 2) We're currently down to one bicycle in the household. So one of us walked to the Superdome. I actually sort of Frankenstein limped there. Still the walk did yield some good things.

Firstly, it afforded us the opportunity to stop in at Lucky's for a proper Bloody Mary.

Bloody Mary

Longtime readers of the Yellow Blog sports section already know that a decent Bloody Mary is an essential part of any Saints gameday experience. Up until this year, the best (yet priciest) in town were available at the Superdome. It's a shame that Dome officials have ruined one of their finest products this season. The Lucky's Bloody Marys were excellent and, of course, far larger and more affordable than the current Superdome offering. But I still felt like I was being deprived of something.

Next, it allowed us to encounter... uh... this thing.

"Mr. Big Easy"

Its sash reads, "Mr. Big Easy 2008". It is also wearing a Derbigny for Judge sticker for no apparent reason. Any idea what's going on here? Anyone?

Finally, if I had been on the bicycle that day, I'm not sure I would have noticed that the Superdome is conveniently located right next to the "Yatt" Hotel.

Yatt Hotel

This is, of course, only appropriate.

And then there was football. Above exceptions notwithstanding, this week's game photos... as always... are shamelessly stolen directly from the NOLA.com Saints galleries.

  • The Saints unveiled a new sideline mascot for this season. "Sir Saint" is the team's latest attempt to cash in on the retro fad that has driven the recent resurgence of merchandise bearing this 60s era Saints logo. The mascot is a walking version of that logo (which I always thought was called "Joe Saint") but dressed in all-black (bad omen, as always) and a cape. Prior to team introductions, Sir Saint warmed up the crowd by lumbering around the field and attempting to launch air-propelled T-Shirts into the stands. Three of the four T-shirt guns failed to fire properly. This could be a very long season.

  • The morning radio blather had already told us not to expect Deuce McAllister to play in this one so we were concerned, but resigned to this fact when we got to Dome. The pleasant surprise came when the Saints took the field with Frenchy Thomas starting at running back. Saints fans spent the better part of the 2007 season waiting for Thomas (or somebody) to take the rushing load away from Reggie Bush (who clearly couldn't handle it alone). Frenchy got the call Sunday and did not disappoint. Bush got his carries... and was a factor in this game (more on that later) but was nowhere near as effective as Thomas was rushing the football. Thomas isn't as flashy as Bush, but runs tough and with a deceptive shiftiness that already has Saints fans comparing him to old favorite Dalton Hilliard. The Saints' offense wasn't perfect Sunday, but with someone besides Bush getting more carries, they're clearly on the right track.

    Reggie Bush 3.6 yards per carry Not Reggie 5.2 yards per carry. More Not Reggie, please.

  • I'll admit it. I have trouble figuring out Drew Brees sometimes. Something about his game is obviously greater than the sum of its parts. Or at least he always looks like he's playing far crappier than he actually is. Observe. Here is a list of comments on Brees I texted to the Tweeter Tube at various points during Sunday's game:

    1) (1st Quarter) Brees misses a wide open Devery

    2) (2nd Quarter) Brees is off

    3) (Still 2nd Quarter) Brees bad throw hangs Colston out to dry (This may have actually been the play where Colston was injured. He was hit hard going after an overthrown slant pass.)

    4) (3rd Quarter) Brees bobbles snap So far this is his worst game as a Saint

    But was it, though? Here are the numbers. 23 completions in 32 attempts for 343 yards, 3 touchdowns and one interception. The one interception, by the way, was thrown while Brees was being leveled by a blitzing Buc defender. And even though it was returned for a touchdown, it's really difficult to fault Brees for a mistake there. All told, if that's Brees's "worst game as a Saint" shouldn't we just send him to the Hall of Fame right now? And yet there I was in the Superdome repeatedly expressing my frustration while Brees was racking up arguably the best day (second highest yardage total) of any quarterback in the NFL that week. What explains this?

    As we said above, the Saints offense, despite the numbers, wasn't exactly in high gear this week. Brees's touchdowns all came on big plays of 39, 84, and 42 yards each. The Saints' only sustained drive of the game resulted in a 34 yard field goal late in the third quarter. The rest of the game, they were shaky and, indeed, frustrating to watch. The Saints can't expect to rely on fluke plays all year and expect to win consistently.

    At the same time, Brees wasn't exactly inefficient completing over 70 percent of his passes. Brees made the 84 yard touchdown pass to Devery Henderson hapen by having the presence of mind to look deep on a free play. And the touchdown to Patten was perfectly dropped over the defense. So even if Brees may have looked like crap at times Sunday, the results are impossible to argue with. Someday I'll figure this out well enough not to worry about it as it happens.

    Even more puzzling... he's still working with just the one good arm.

  • By the way, Devery's touchdown might be the best play we've seen him make as a pro. Even the fastest NFL receivers don't usually outrun the coverage. Making a play like that requires much more subtle body control and positioning executed while still running at top speed. Henderson hip checked the defender on that play at exactly the right time to separate himself and still maintained the concentration necessary to catch the ball. It was a big moment for a guy many people thought might not even make the team this year.

    There's still hope for Devery yet

  • Nicely done, Saints D: The Saints' pass defense performed far better against the Bucs on Sunday than at any point all of last season. The pass rush only sacked Jeff Garcia twice but generated consistent pressure all day long. The play in the secondary was nothing short of remarkable. Habitual Saint-killer Joey Galloway was limited to a very human 56 yards receiving with no big back-breaking touchdowns. Rookie corner Tracy Porter turned in several nice plays in single coverage situations knocking away passes which could have gone for big gains... including one in the end zone. Randall Gay was as solid. We also noticed that Jason Craft and Aaron Glenn got on the field while Jason David spent the afternoon just eating up a roster spot for some unknown reason.

    The Saints pass defense turned the expectations of the fans on their head... so to speak (okay that was bad... sorry)

  • Jesus Christ, Saints D: Meanwhile, the Saints' run defense was utter dogshit. Earnest Graham and the fifty-thousand year old Warrick Dunn ripped the Saints for 146 yards (7.3 per carry!) on the ground. An argument could be made here that the Buccaneers blew this game by not simply keeping the ball on the ground more than they did. The Saints just never stopped anything until the quarterback got involved. Sedrick Ellis and Jonathan Vilma were brought in during the offseason to keep this sort of thing from happening. Vilma made 7 solo tackles on Sunday. We only noticed him on passing downs, however. Today Ellis said this ,
    "I'm still learning (the three-technique)," Ellis said. "A lot of people think there isn't a big difference between the two positions but there is a big difference, especially in the techniques you have to use against the run. But I'm getting more comfortable."
    That makes one of us. This could be a very long season.

    If this were the only play in the Bucs' plan, the score might have been 50-0

  • Look, people. Reggie Bush just plain sucks. There really is no argument about this. Yes, he had his usual moments as a safety-valve receiver. Yes, he (sort of) scored the game-winning "touchdown". But you can't look at his overall performance and give him a passing grade... hell you can't even convince me he belongs on the team any more.

    Bush lobbied this offseason for a more regular role as a punt returner. Watching him perform these duties Sunday was like watching CNN coverage of Hurricane Gustav. In each case the performers clearly have no clue what they're dealing with, often proceed in the wrong direction, and the audience feels like it's just there to gawk in case something awful happens. Plus, we've all seen it so many times, we're numb to and bored by it... perhaps dangerously so. Bush leaps backward... Bush runs sideways... Bush twists pointlessly... all for no gain or worse. Bush badly misjudged one punt which sailed 20 yards over his head before being downed inside the Saints' 10. With Reggie Bush handling the punt return duties, the Saint started 4 of their first 7 possessions inside their own 20..... 3 of those inside the 10. What the hell is the guy doing out there?

    Meanwhile, we won't mention the 3.6 yards per carry. It just bores me. Oh what the hell let's at least mention the fact that it is actually skewed a bit on the high side since 26 yards of Bush's total came on one play... which he then managed to countermand by 15 yards anyway by committing a face mask penalty at the end of his run.

    And then, of course, there's that game-winning touchdown. What can we say but... uh no. Not even close. Not even by two yards was that even near something we would consider a touchdown. The fact that Gruden didn't challenge that call combined with the Buccaneers' self-defeating unwillingness to stick to their running game is grounds for firing the coach right now if I'm a Tampa fan. But that's not the scariest thing about that botched call. The scariest thing about it is that it may be an indicator that Reggie Bush is beginning to receive the dreaded star treatment from the referees. The only thing worse than Reggie Bush is Reggie Bush benefiting from the corrupt favoritism of NFL officials. Please, God, do not let this be the beginning of a trend.

    All this AND we have to share the Dome with Kardashians? This may be the worst football season ever before it's overwith

  • Pants factor: In this game, the Saints wore their traditional gold pants (with white jerseys) instead of their alternate black leotard get-up. In the past, we have noted not only that the black pants are a gaudy fashion offense but also that the Saints seem to perform much more poorly while wearing them. The 2007 Saints were 5-3 in gold pants and 1-6 in the black. (The win against Jacksonville was disqualified since the Jaguars wore nearly identical pants that day) This year, we will keep a running count of the pants-to-performance relationship. The properly panted Saints are now 1-0.

    The key to beating the Saints this year may be catching them without their gold pants. Cato June seems to have that in mind here.

  • All-douche play of the game: During the second quarter, Reggie Bush badly whiffed on a block in pass protection forcing Brees to dump the ball early on a screen pass to Jeremy Shockey. The play went for -1 yards. Seeing Bush and Shockey combine for negative yardage in this fashion was another indicator of just how long this season could be.

    The Saints are hoping Shockey picks up some of the slack with Marques Colston out of the mix. Seems a bit over-hopeful.

  • What happened to Roman Harper? Somewhere during the fourth quarter, I noticed Josh "Never Mind The" Bullocks in there missing a bunch of tackles. Harper didn't show up on the injury report. Was he benched? Why?

    Update: Harper has a hamstring injury. This could be a very long season.

  • Hollis Thomas is now officially out for the year. This could be a very long season.

    Hollis Thomas is not necessarily gone for the year.... just probably gone from the Saints.

    Apparently, defensive tackle Hollis Thomas was released with an injury settlement rather than placed on injured reserve on Wednesday, making him eligible to re-sign with the Saints or any other NFL team this season.

    Saints Coach Sean Payton explained that the Saints decided to keep that window open, even if it meant possibly losing Thomas to another team. If Thomas had been placed on injured reserve, he would not have been eligible to return this season.

    Payton said the Saints will stay in touch with Thomas as he continues to rehab from his torn triceps, with the possibility of bringing him back down the road.

    Good luck, Hollis. It's a long season.

  • Just after halftime, an uncomfortably large representation of Bob Breck (wearing Saints jersey number 30) appeared on the jumbotron with an update on the bearings of Hurricane Ike. The crowd booed for two minutes. We assume they were booing Ike and not Breck... but who knows?

    Some fans were actually prepared for the Ike-jeering interlude

After evacuating the Superdome, we reconvened at a local... reasonably priced... drinking establishment mainly to poll random people on whether or not they planned to evacuate for the next hurricane. The standard answer was one or another version of, "Not if they won't let me back in." Next year could be a very long Hurricane Season.