Monthly Archives: April 2006

 KENNER: AN UGLY MAYOR FOR UGLY TIMES

Fri, 28 Apr 2006 04:59:59

Another week another election. This week’s epic struggle is the Mayoral runoff in Kenner which is a burg best known for the airport and its vicious politics. I last visited the Kenner Mayor’s race in late March. I try to avoid visiting Kenner itself whenever possible…

Mayor Ugly aka Phil Capitano is running what is called in the trade a “comparative” TV ad against his foe Endymion’s Captain Ed Muniz. The title of the ad proves that Mayor Ugly knows from irony: it’s called “Peace.” According to Mayor Ugly’s spin doctors Muniz is bopping around Kenner threatening people if they don’t support him. As the ad progresses   it shows Muniz turning  a sinister if somewhat sickly shade of green. Yes folks that’s right Ed Muniz is really the Incredible Hulk. He looks more like Bill Bixby than Eric Bana but either way who wants a Mayor who flips strips and jumps? Here are two views of Captain Ed as the Hulk. Note the Mardi Gras colors in the drawing. The Incredible Hulk is clearly down with Carnival:

Mayor Ugly has done us a public service by exposing Muniz’s double life. But the Kenner Hulk is not content with taking the Mayor’s office away from its rightful owner he’s also trying to stack the City Council:

I’m glad that Mayor Ugly will NOT stand idly by while Muniz stacks the Council with Pezheads. The Hulk must be stopped.

Things get worse: Hulk Muniz may have national ambitions. There are rumors that he’s placed fellow hulks in high places. This is what a certain adviser to President Beavis looks like without her makeup:

RUNOFF PLOTTING

Wed, 26 Apr 2006

Item-1 Follow The Money: If anyone hoped to get a brief respite from Mayoral politics after the primary they will be bitterly disappointed. On Tuesday morning both the Picayune and the Librarian guy pondered where Gorilla Ron Forman’s supporters will go now that he’s endorsed Mitch Landrieu. Both pieces came to similar conclusions: follow the money. It’s unclear if those who ponied up for Gorilla Ron will support Mitch or revert to enabling C Ray. In short whither the plutocracy? I think that nouveau riche hustlers like Canizaro and Bollinger may support the man they’ve owned for 4 years BUT old money New Orleans now finds C Ray clownish and gauche. Of course my primary crystal ball turned out to be cracked so Jeffrey could be on the…ahem…money.

I think that where the Forman and Couhig backers land will hinge on more than just greed or even ideology. We’ll see who in Debrisville is truly provincial and who will take a look at the big picture and say: “Holy crap Nagin is a worldwide joke. If he’s re-elected we’ll continue to be ridiculed on a daily basis.”

Here’s hoping that the C Ray cringe factor will be more important than ideology to many conservative voters. They should remember this: to people outside Debrisville C Ray is a joke and a bad one. Trust me he’s a joke to liberals as well as wingnuts. If we give C Ray a pass we’ll be mocked relentlessly. I don’t know about you but I’d rather be the mocker than the mockee…

I’d like to offer a slogan free of charge to the Landrieu camp- Landrieu or Laughing Stock: It’s Your Choice.

It’s time to take one more swipe at shipping maggot…I mean magnate Boysie Bollinger. (What’s up with the doofus nickname? I bet his wife is a sorority girl named Bitsy or Buffy.)  He’s playing a devious double game with his buddy the Mayor. While C Ray is busy extolling the magnate’s virtues Boysie has set up a Republican PAC that plans to use Nagin as its whipping boy in next year’s statewide election. Governor Meemaw will of course be their whipping girl. Jeez this is sounding very kinky. <cueing up “Mondo Bondage” by the Tubes>

Item-2 Chief Of Politics Riley? There’s been a lot of talk lately in the national press about political Generals. In Debrisville we have a political police chief. Warren Riley ran for Criminal Sheriff with C Ray’s backing in a special election in 2004. Riley lost to Marlin Gusman who is a politician so oily that the only time I shook his hand I checked to make sure that my watch wasn’t missing.

Yesterday Chief Riley announced that there was a payroll fraud investigation targeting Captain Harry Mendoza who is the commander of the traffic division. There are allegations by police union honcho Lt. Dave Benelli that the investigation is politically motivated: Mendoza has close ties to the Landrieu family. Riley has denied Benelli’s accusation BUT Mitch Landrieu has pledged if elected   to conduct a national search for a new police chief. Draw your own conclusions…

Slick Trick In Red Stick

Wed, 26 Apr 2006 18:17:42

I’m not usually in the business of praising a Louisiana State Senator especially a Republican but let us now praise Senator Art Lentini of Kenner. Lentini added an amendment to an animal cruelty bill that would classify cockfighting as animal cruelty thereby making it illegal. Past efforts to ban this fowl custom have failed because they were assigned to the committees in charge of agriculture which are of course dominated by backward boobs from rural Looziana.

Here’s the slick trick: Lentini added his amendment to an animal cruelty bill before the Senate Judiciary Committee. This way the measure will at least make it to the Senate floor. Previous efforts have died in committee. Well done Mr. Lentini.

I’ve heard the arguments about Cajun tradition (yadda yadda yadda) in support of cockfighting. Segregation and anti-miscegenation laws used to be traditions in these parts too. Some traditions need to be discarded and cockfighting is something that should be thrown on the scrap heap of history along with my pre-K refrigerator.  It’s time to join the 21st Century and ban this barbaric bloodsport.

ORLEANS PARISH PRIMARY POST-MORTEM

Mon, 24 Apr 2006 05:00:00

I seem to have recovered from Saturday. I had an emotional stake in several of the District B Council candidates who wound up getting steamrolled by Stacy Head’s late surge. I still cannot believe that Quentin Brown got 654 votes. Quentin seems charming from a distance but to meet him is to understand this: in a campaign full of wackjobs he was the bull goose loony. Quentin is the nut’s nut and should have gotten *fewer* votes than Manny Chevrolet Bruno’s 100.

I clearly overestimated the voters desire for change post-K. There are two ways to react to a crisis like the one we face: to seek drastic change or to take comfort in the familiar. A goodly number of voters yesterday did the latter; hence the good showing by incumbents. The folly in this approach is obvious: New Orleans has been in decline for years and our feckless and wasteful government has sped that decline. Returning to office the very people who helped get us in this mess makes no sense whatsoever but this *is* Topsy Turvy Town after all.

C Ray *seemed* like a breath of fresh air 4 years ago but his program for reform was limited in scope. Pre-K I had already come to the conclusion that C Ray had what a Sixties hipster would have called an alligator mouth and a hummingbird ass. Translation: he was all talk and very little action. He did reform some of the city’s contracting processes but his major anti-corruption move was the taxi cab bureau fiasco; the blame for which he shunted to Crazy Kim and publicity crazed NOPD 8th District Commander Captain Louis Dabdoub.

I have received emails from friends around the world asking me how the hell C Ray could lead in the primary. My somewhat disingenuous reply: it beats the hell out of me. Like Oyster I spent election day driving around the city casing polling places and talking to people. While my Uptown peregrinations made it clear to me that the Jefferson machine was out in force and that Gill-Pratfall and Stacy Head would make the run-off in District B I saw no signs of concerted pro-Nagin activity. Obviously many of the black folks who screamed at C Ray about land grabs Joe Canizaro and his incompetence ended up voting for him. The purveyors of the NOLA conventional wisdom were correct and those of us who thought that change was in the air were wrong. It all boiled down to race: some people voted for C Ray because in his own phrase he looked like them.

Where do we go from here? I’m less pessimistic than Jeffrey over at the Library Chronicles who thinks Mitch Landrieu may be toast and less optimistic than the presumably pseudonymous Al Scramuzza at the Third Battle Of New Orleans who thinks Mitch will win in a landslide. I think that *some* of C Ray’s business supporters might go oozing back now that he’s admitted that conservative magnates Joe Canizaro ad Boysie Bollinger are still with them. BUT C Ray is unlikely to recoup his pre-K support among the Uptown and Lakeview gentry. He’s insulted them once too often and those folks expect the help to be polite to them.

Mitch Landrieu’s challenge is to assemble a coalition by walking carefully through the racially polarized landscape of Debrisville. I think he’s equal to the task: subtlety is called for and Mitch is a subtle man which is a word that has never been applied to C Ray. I also expect C Ray to make his usual gaffes and spend part of the next month removing his foot from his mouth. Finally since the CW about racial voting patterns held true I’m hoping that the CW that an incumbent who is in a run-off is in deep trouble will hold up too. For what it’s worth: I think the final result will be Landrieu 51.5 Nagin 48.5. How’s that for precision in imprecise times?

For more in depth election post-mortems check out Oyster Jeffrey and the mime’s mime Ashley Morris.  Jeffrey has a lot of fun with C Ray’s weird “exploding economic pie” image from his victory speech. I wonder if it tastes anything like Paul McCartney’s flaming pie? Here’s hoping that the exploding pie blows up in C Ray’s face: SPLAT.

WHITHER THE NOLA CONVENTIONAL WISDOM?

Sat, 22 Apr 2006 05:10:29

It’s nearly upon us; even I’m a bit worn out from writing about today’s election. Yeah I know   I’ve been mainlining the election for weeks but even a politcal junkie needs a break. Mine will come on Sunday. As the late great Warren Zevon would have surely said at this point: “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.”

Now you’re probably asking yourself: what the hell does this have to do with the entry title? Not a helluva lot but like the candidates and their peeps I’m tired punchy and in need of a few shots of Wild Turkey on the rocks as an insomnia cure. Before moving on to the topic at hand Ashley Morris posted some terrific election related entries Friday. Check ’em out. Ashley’s been on fire this week I hope there’s a fire extinguisher in his domicile…

On to the NOLA CW. Most of the local pundits expect this election to follow recent patterns which means that the voters will split along racial lines. That’s the CW according to pollsters Silas Lee Susan Howell and yuppie cretin Conventional Wisdom Dubos. And they COULD be right. But this election is skewed weird twisted; name your adjective there’s something odd in the air post-K.  My colleague the Lord of the Librarians gave his predictions earlier today. Here’s his call in the Mayor’s race:  “Nagin 25% Landrieu 20% Forman 15% Couhig 9% Boulet 7% Watson 7% Wilson 5% Other Nuts split remaining.”

It’s a respectable guess but I think that Landrieu will run first and finish at least 5 points ahead of the second place finisher. I think that Mitch will do better than expected among black voters. The race for second will be between Nagin and Couhig. Yeah that’s right: I think Couhig is the candidate with momentum and he could even squeeze past C Ray into the run-off. Gorilla Ron Forman is dropping like a stone among conservative New Orleanians and Couhig is picking up his votes. Gorilla Ron will finish fourth. I think Tom Watson is going to surprise and get a lot of protest votes: I think he’ll get at least 10% of the vote. Lots of black folks never cared for C Ray and are royally pissed off at him post-K. The Rev will be their vehicle to send a message to Mayor Jive Talk. C Ray’s loose lips may finally sink his ship…

Back to the NOLA CW. The pundits are convinced that C Ray will get the bulk of the black vote in the primary and will make the run-off where he’ll get 80% of the African-American vote. I’m skeptical: he was *never* popular with working class and poor black folks and post-K lost the bulk of his black middle class support.  In New Orleans yard signs are a good indicator of support and there are very few Nagin yard signs around town; even in predominantly African-American neighborhoods Uptown that have repopulated post-K.  I lived in a racially mixed neighborhood and few of my black neighbors plan to vote for C Ray. This is all anecdotal BUT it’s what I keep hearing all over town. If I’m wrong sue me in the virtual court of  opinion. I can take a punch. Hey I didn’t mean that literally…

MAYORAL MUDDLE ON RAMPART STREET

Fri, 21 Apr 2006 05:12:11

I missed the Mayoral candidates debate on WWL two weeks ago because of the District B forum that my group co-sponsored. Sir Jeffrey the Librarian wrote a scathing post about the debate and its format. I thought his comments might have been OTT but they were spot on. WWL used the same muddled format last night and it was a fricking mess.

Rule number one of dealing with candidates is to place strict time limits on them and then whap their knuckles with a ruler if they go over. That never happened tonight. Moderator/anchorman Dennis Woltering was like a lion tamer without a whip. One should always carry a whip when dealing with candidates; especially where Peggy Wilson Rob Couhig and Tom Watson are concerned.

WWL’s formless format led to the candidates acting like 3rd graders on espresso. Even C Ray was a bit more animated tonight; he had to be just to get a word in edgewise. C Ray did however look depressed at times. I almost felt sorry for him until he said that the city was “ready to rock and roll.” If he says that one more time I swear that I’ll accost him and slap a clown wig on his shiny bald pate. Don’t make me do it C Ray…

Slight digression: I watch WWL news all the time but since Lucy Bustamante replaced Karen Swensen I tune into WDSU at 10. Norman Robinson may be cranky but he knows what he’s talking about. Lucy is to be blunt a twit. And tonight the twit was on the panel of reporters questioning the candidates. In the future they should keep Lucy away from the grownups table; she should stick to swimming in the shallow end of the news pool. Jeez talk about mixed metaphors…

The ridiculously incoherent format makes a coherent analysis impossible so it’s time for the:

ADRASTOS BOTTOM LINE

1. Mitch Landrieu: Calm articulate and bald. That’s Mitch in a nutshell. The frontrunner played it safe but looked good in contrast to some of the nutbars and wannabes running against him.

2. Rob Couhig:  Fiery articulate and bald. That’s the NOLA Bug Man in a nutshell. He recycled some soundbites but looked in command of the facts even if he’s not. Style is everything on the tube and Rob Couhig has something going on. His supporters are claiming that he’ll make the run-off. I’m dubious but I expect him to do better than expected; especially if Forman continues to falter.

3. Gorilla Ron Forman: I still don’t like him BUT it was his best performance in the series. He looked in charge and gave several good answers. He seemed to have used less Vitalis on his hair than at the last debate. Hair matters on the boob tube; especially when your opponents have so little…

4. Virginia Boulet:
She’s not wearing well with me. She keeps proposing things that the Mayor has no power over. I’d love to see everyone in Debrisville have health insurance BUT we’d need the legislature to pass it and they’re not giving us anything that the people in Ruston don’t get. Ditto with her idea about moving UNO downtown: UNO is a state school the Mayor has no power over them. Virginia alarmed me with her proposal for upscale condos on the lakefront. Just what we need is more housing for yuppies….

5. Tom Watson: He was tamer than in the ABC-26 debate that I missed because I was at NONPACC with Stacy Head and  Renee Gill-Pratfall. I wish that he’d called C Ray a liar tonight; it would have livened things up. I *still* think that he’ll do better at the ballot box than the public polls indicate.

6. C Ray Nagin: He looked depressed for much of the debate but never seemed to be on the verge of fallng asleep. That’s an improvement over Monday. His closing statement was surprisingly crisp concise and coherent. He still seems to be sleepwalking his way through the campaign. I’m one of the few people who thinks that he may NOT make the run-off but then again who the hell knows?

7. Peggy Wilson: She still looked shrill and crazy but the format diluted her. Yay dilution.  It’s funny I’ve run into Peggy more than a few times over the years and she never looks crazy when she’s looking at the deli section at Langenstein’s. On TV she looks madder than Syd Barrett. I think wild eyed is the term that I’m groping for. I do have some good news for her: after getting a royal bollocking on Saturday she’ll have more time to spend with her grandchildren.

RED STICKINESS

Thu, 20 Apr 2006 05:03:42

The idiots at the State Capitol in “storm ravaged” Baton Rouge are at it again. The govmint of the gret stet is on its knees after Katrina and Rita and what are our legislators doing? Waving about little fetal dolls and banning abortion as they did some 16 years ago.

I call it the Roberts-Alito bill folks.  Some right-to-lifers think that with President Beavis’ most recent appointments they’ll have the votes on the Supreme Court to overrule Roe v Wade. Wrong: there are still 5 sitting justices who will never support this sort of sweeping ban. Hell even the dimwits in Red Stick know that: this law will *only* take effect IF Roe is overruled. They don’t even have the courage of their convictions: I say pass this piece of shit get sued and lose. There was a similar bill passed in 1990 but unlike Buddy Roemer Governor Meemaw will sign this abomination.

It’s all about politics. The Repubs love abortion as a wedge issue but the last thing that the national Republican party really wants is a court ban on abortion. That would energize the national pro-choice majority and make it harder for the likes of Earl Turd Blossom of Rove to bamboozle the nation into thinking that the government has a right to tell women what they can and cannot do with their bodies.

Do we really want the bozos who populate the Louisiana legislature telling doctors how to practice medicine? I think not.

In my view abortion should be legal safe and rare. That’s how it is in civilized societies but we live in a quasi-theocracy where the ignorant and unqualified presume to tell the rest of us how to behave. The Beavis-Duce administration crusades against theocracy abroad but practices it at home. What’s the difference between the Iranian Ayatollahs and American Religious Right? Well one bunch wears turbans and the other toupees but that’s the only difference that I can see…

That’s the end of today’s Adrastos sermonette. The collection plate is located by the exit please be generous: we in Debrisville need the Do-Re-Mi.

CRAZY CANDIDATES UPDATE

Fri, 14 Apr 2006 19:10:48

I don’t know if there’s something in the water but there’s nuttiness in the air again. I was hit by a flying pecan the other day…

Item-1 C Ray On The Eyewitness Morning News: C Ray was live on WWL shooting his mouth off this morning. It is after all what he does best.  For one thing he claimed that LSU Med School hadn’t decided if it would return to NOLA. Wrong: there *was* some hesitation last fall but once Dr. Larry Hollier took over as Chancellor the decision was made to return to Debrisville.

C Ray’s second misstatement was a biggie: he claimed that LSUHSC is running a SURPLUS because Charity Hospital hasn’t re-opened. Yo C Ray they still haven’t been paid for all the post-K autopsies they did in St. Gabriel among other things. They’re hemorraghing money at the same rate that stupid things come out of C Ray’s yap. And we all know how fast that is…

Finally C Ray said that it would be “crazy” to vote him out right before Hurricane season starts. He also stated that all his people would quit immediately if the rascal in chief is thrown out. Zat a promise C Ray? Chief Clone Meffert will stop supervising things that he knows nothing about? Sounds like a plan to me…

Item-2 Crazy Kim Goes To The Photoshop: Local blogosphere diva Laureen Lentz has learned that Kimberly Williamson Butler  has a really lame webmaster. Her campaign web site has posted a picture showing Crazy Kim ostensibly in the Quarter. An eagle eyed websurfer noticed that the backdrop is actually the ersatz French Quarter at Disneyland. Everyone uses Photoshop but you’d think that Crazy Kim’s people would use a shot of the real Quarter drunken tourists pickpockets and all. Of course that would involve conscious thought…

I know that I promised not to post about Crazy Kim again after Harvard Boy threatened me with the weedwacker. But this was too juicy to pass up. It even made Wonkette yesterday. Everyone but Laureen dropped the ball on this one: I guess the rest of us NOLA bloggers were too busy gossiping about whether or not Mr. Clio would really wear his  Fleur de Lis costume in the Crescent City Classic tomorrow. You gotta do it man. Dr. A is bringing her camera and wants to bring home a picture of a racing FDL. Do it for Debrisville Mr. Clio: we need a grown man who is willing to look goofy for our city. Of course we already have C Ray for that…

Here’s a real reason: do it to avoid widespread mockery in the blogosphere.

Mandatory pop music reference: To paraphrase the sultan of swing himself Mark Knopfler; in the Eighties we wanted our MTV in the naughts we want our Fleur de Lis.

Do it for the chillun and the old people. Hey you might even drop a few post-K pounds as part of the deal. Choose wisely Mr. Clio we’re countin’ on ya man…Jeez now I sound like C Ray channeling Quentin Brown. That brings this entry full circle and to a conclusion.

Is Jay Going Batty?

Fri, 14 Apr 2006 05:00:00

The District A City Council race gets uglier all the time. The spirit of Uncle Earl is hovering over the district. Why Uncle Earl? There’s some crazy ass shit going down in that race. These candidates make Quentin Brown look reticent y’all. Incumbent and sole Council Repub Jay Batt is fighting for his worthless political life. One of his opponents Shelley Midura seems to have gotten under Council Clown Batty’s skin. Jaybird doesn’t like it when someone calls him on one of his slippery statements and ex-foreign service officer Shelley Midura seems to specialize in doing so. Way to go Shelley.

Shelley must be catching on: tonight I saw a Batt TV ad attacking Ms. Midura for evacuating pre-K.  Yo Jayhawk she wasn’t in office and I don’t recall seeing you out rescuing people or critters immediately post-K. If I were in the Midura camp I’d break out the champagne: Batt going batshit on Ms. Midura elevates her into his main opponent. I know that Shelley has been saying some rough but true things about Mr. Batty but it’s customary to save your negative ads for the general election. Why? In a primary voters can say “a pox on both your houses” and vote against any candidate who goes negative. I’m not sure what kind of pox; nobody ever says. In any event be it chicken pox small pox or even epoxy it’s nothing you want to fool with…

Jay Batt is so unpopular that there’s a group devoted to his defeat: Anybody But Batt.  They have a rather amusing web site that recites chapter and verse about Batt’s double dealing with his constituents and his slavish support of developers.

It seems that Jay Batt and I *do* have one thing in common: he too like half of New Orleans has a blog. Mind you I doubt that he writes it himself. I’m sure some poor staffer labors away writing and posting pro-Batt dreck.  But we bloggers need to stick together except that is when we don’t. This is one of those occasions. You’re on your own Jaybird. And I don’t think you’ll be invited to the next Debrisville blogger slumber party not even if you promise to bring Maker’s Mark. Well maybe you can drop the whiskey off and we’ll drink to your impending political demise. Bottoms up Jayhawk…

WELCOME TO MR. FIELKOW’S NEIGHBORHOOD

Thu, 13 Apr 2006 05:00:00

Arnie Fielkow used to be a big kahuna for the New Orleans Saints. He became a folk hero of sorts last year when he clashed with Tom (Archie Bunker) Benson over returning the team to Debrisville. Arnie won the war the Saints are home but lost the battle: he was forced out by Benson. I assume Benson called Arnie a dingbat and he declined to stifle. I hope Arnie gave him a raspberry on his way out the door.

Arnie is now running for City Council at Large and was endorsed by the local rag yesterday. Mind you it was a wussy endorsement: they gave the nod to Oliver Thomas and Nimby Clarkson as well for the two at large seats. Arnie is a very nice man who is running a well financed and very gentlemanly campaign. Last night he was on WDSU with Norman Robinson and it occurred to me who Arnie reminds me of: Mr. Rogers. That’s right Fred Freaking Rogers of kiddie TV fame. Arnie has a perpetual (and sincere) grin on his mug and his speech patterns are eerily like Mr. Rogers. Here’s a link to Mr. Fielkow’s web site: scroll down to where it says “watch” and click on the commercial called “winning with unity.” Then you’ll see why this Fielkowgood candidate reminds me of Mr. Rogers.

Btw I don’t think that being like Mr. Rogers is a bad thing. Who didn’t love Fred Rogers? He was a sweet man in a sweater for chrissake. Mr. Rogers would know how to deal with that mean ole Katrina Kaiser Donald Powell. He’d give him milk and cookies and have a heart to heart chat with him.

The good news for Arnie Fielkow is that he does NOT remind me of Eddie Murphy’s SNL era parody of Mr. Rogers. Eddie was Mr. Robinson and he was a man with a troubled past and the slammer in his future. Mr. Robinson not only hung out with Mr. T but taught the boys and girls all sorts of useful words.