Monthly Archives: June 2006

GRET STET OF CONFUSION

Wed, 28 Jun 2006 19:03:32

As the Kinks Ray Davies is wont to say: “We’re in a state of confusion whoah whoah whoah.” Governor Meemaw and C Ray are doing what they do best: sowing the seeds of confusion. At least it’s on different issues this time around. I guess that’s an improvement…

Item-1 Meemaw Chokes On The Smoking Ban: I thought that this was a done deal y’all. Governor Meemaw had allegedly pledged to sign Senator Marionneux’s smoking ban. So why is she allowing herself to be lobbied by the dread Rep. Cedric Richmond and officials of the Looziana Restaurant Association? Their arguments are specious: business in New York City eateries actually went up *after* they enacted a smoking ban. Additionally going wobbly on this issue is a sign of weakness on Meemaw’s part. Whatever happened to the comeback strategy? Weakness under pressure won’t win her any votes. Sign the bill Meemaw. It’s the right thing to do and the vast majority of your constituents are non-smokers. It’s time to make la vie en fumer a thing of the past.

Item-2 C Ray’s Endless State Of Emergency: Councilmen-at-Large Oliver the Actor and Arnie (Mr. Rogers) Fielkow sent our erstwile Mayor a letter requesting that the SOE be ended. In support of keeping the emergency powers City Attorney Penya Moses-Fields claims that the feds will stop being nice to us if the SOE is ended. (Penya? She oughta sue her parents for that name. She’s already being punished enough by being C Ray millionth City Attorney.) I’m skeptical. I think that C Ray wants to keep governing (if you want to call it that) with as little oversight as possibe. After all he *thinks* he knows what he’s doing: “Come on man. Trust me man.”

It’s time for the SOE to end. What has C Ray done with his quasi-dictatorial powers? Under the SOE he had the power to deal with the trash issue but did not do so until Monday. It’s time for the legislative branch to have the power to hold C Ray’s feet to the fire. (I love the smell of burning wingtips in the morning.) Yes he’s in a manic phase this week but he’s bound to take another extended nap soon.

Right now we have the *worst* form of government: a weak dictatorship. We just held an election so it’s time to return to democracy. I’d like to see if the new councilmembers are up to the job or if I have to start calling them council clowns like their predecessors and holdovers the two Cynthias Hedgehog-Morrell and Windy-Lewis.

Item-3 Oyster On Crime Confusion: My favorite bi-valvular blogger Oyster has an excellent post about the implications of *how* C Ray asked for the return of  the National Guard. Get thee to Your Right Hand Thief.

 

THE RETURN OF THE SHINY HEADED KING

Tue, 27 Jun 2006 19:11:03

It had been a week since C Ray made a public appearance in Debrisville. Yesterday it was all C Ray all the time. He declined to account for his whereabouts since the hysterical press conference on Monday June 19th. I have several theories as to where our shiny headed King was. Maybe he was visiting Superman in the Fortress of Solitude. Or he was hanging out with Judge Crater in his hideaway. VP Duce has been visible of late so perhaps he loaned his fuhrer bunker to C Ray. Hizzonner might have been in the Batt cave with ex-Council Clown Jay Batty. Enquiring minds as well as nosy bloggers want to know. In fact the public has a right to know what our Mayor has done with the 5 weeks since he was re-elected. Silly me expecting accountability. As C Ray would surely put it: “C’mon man. Trust me man.” Sorry man. I don’t man.

WHEN BLOGGERS COLLIDE

Sat, 24 Jun 2006 20:31:10

Yesterday I checked my top secret real name email and found a note from Schroeder of PGR reknown. He was forwarding an email invite to a blogger salon thingee. I scrolled down and learned that the hosts were none other than my friends Shane and Becky Landry. It was a surreal experience to be invited to a party by someone you only know from the blogosphere that turned out to be hosted by people you know in the real world. It made my day: I was able to e-tease Shane relentlessly which is always fun. Adding to the oddity was that Schroeder couldn’t make it. I was disappointed: he’s on my top secret list of NOLA bloggers I’d most like to meet. See ya next time boychik.

Anyway back to our evening at Chez Landry. When we arrived Dr. A expressed her mock outrage that our boy Shane had snubbed us. Becky piled on which is what she usually does. Poor Shane he’s someone people love to tease. Btw he has a new look: he’s clean shaven.  Dr. A approves.

Shane and Becky’s son Jesse spent much of the evening entertaining us with his madcap antics. He had some interesting syncretic warrior outfits: at one point he was part Jedi and part Roman. Just call him Jesse Skywalker Caligula. Ohmigod I just called the cute blond French boy Caligula. Oh well I can’t call him Nero: that’s C Ray… 

Ashley Morris and Dangerblond were there and I met Oyster and Maitri for the first time. They were shocked at how reserved somber and humorless I am in person. Anybody buying this? Oyster is very nice and extremely tall for a bi-valve. He might even be able to take Dangerblond in a fight but she’s much meaner. <running quickly for cover> I think Maitri may have said something about being the last incarnation of Vishnu or did she say that she was Mahavishnu John McLaughlin? Oh yeah that’s right it was something about being a Brahmin bull? I dunno I felt muddled…

Except for my presence it was a very congenial gathering: Becky Landry is always a great hostess and Shane is well Shane. When we get together we usually try to solve all the world’s problems. I let y’all know when we come up with something tangible. Since there were other targets in the room I decided NOT to tease Shane. There’s a first time for everything. I was pretty easy on Oyster and Maitri and trained my verbal fire on Dangerbroad and Ashley. At one point Oyster asked “Why are you sparing me?” I told him I’d catch him next time…

GOVERNMENT BY PTSD

Thu, 22 Jun 2006 17:39:30

I was watching the WWL morning news today and they had some guy from the Tulane School of Public Health talking about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It suddenly hit me that everyone at City Hall has PTSD or at least acts as if they do. Hell I probably have a mild case of it myself; especially this week when it’s hard to be optimistic about the future of NOLA.

Our city government needs less drama and more follow through. Monday’s press event was so emotional that it conveyed the impression that there’s a gangbanger on every doorstep. Let’s not forget that the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office (JPSO) considered 3 of the kids killed on Saturday to be suspects in at least 1 drive-by shooting. I nearly spewed when I heard Governor Meemaw refer to them as “these poor children.” I’m not in favor of allowing the gangbangers to wipe one another out BUT let’s tell the truth about what really happened instead of succumbing to drama.

I’m also struck by the weird comments coming out of City Hall about the curfew. They act as if they’re reinventing the wheel which is nonsense and not even good spin. I know for a fact that Second District Commander Captain Eddie Hosli rigorously enforced the curfew pre-K. The notion that we need to wait until next Tuesday to enforce the curfew is ludicrous;  the law is already on the books and there’s a place to house the little darlings. Pick ’em up ASAP.

Speaking of government by PTSD. C Ray remains incommunicado maybe he’s visiting VP Duce in his bunker. Check this out:

“City Council President Oliver Thomas said the mayor had not discussed the curfew with him since Monday. “The community is ready for the curfew to be enacted yesterday ” Thomas said. “We’re ready yesterday. We’re waiting on the mayor and the (police) chief.”

We haven’t caught a glimpse of C Ray in public since Monday. What is he doing? Waxing his head? Once again C Ray’s vanishing act shows why being a professional pol shouldn’t automatically be a dirty word: a savvier Mayor would have rolled out some good news this week to show that we’re not going straight to hell in that proverbial handbasket. I know that C Ray may have PTSD like the rest of us but if he can’t cope he should not have stood for re-election.

I also begin to wonder who is really running things at City Hall. Check out this quote from Governor Meemaw’s statement about sending in the National Guard:

“I spoke with Councilman Oliver Thomas early this morning and I told him that I am in full support of the New Orleans City Police officers and will work to stop this escalating criminal activity.  This afternoon I briefed the mayor on our plans to support the city with law enforcement efforts.”

I’m not sure if this just reflects Meemaw’s antipathy for C Ray or if Oliver the Actor called the Governor to ask for help while the Mayor dithered. Of course Oliver said some preposterous things on Monday too:

Are we going to rise up and protest against the thugs? Are we going to march on them?”

A march on the thugs? They have automatic weapons and enjoy using them, Oliver. It sounds like PTSD speaking y’all. Yo, Oliver we need less drama and more action from you too. This City is being governed by reflex right now as if City Hall were a giant nerve responding to stimuli without stopping to think. We need considered and intelligent action and not brave words and empty gestures.

THE ADRASTOS VIRTUAL TABLOID

Thu, 22 Jun 2006 15:32:12

I’m feeling vaguely like Walter Winchell today. Winchell was the political/gossip columnist and radio talking head who was very powerful during the Thirties and Forties. He had both FDR and J Edgar Heehaw (aka Hoover aka the G-man in a G-string) leaking juicy stories to him. Me I have no power and Deep Blog doesn’t have access to FBI files. I would however be willing to emulate Winchell and narrate episodes of a remake of “The Untouchables.” I don’t have his staccato machine gun delivery but I could work on it…

Anyway I was scrolling the Daily Kos this morning and came upon a post about of all things a story from the supermarket tabloid the Globe. I was at the store yesterday and the line was so short that I didn’t have time to scan the tabs for funny tidbits. The Globe claims that Laura Bush is pissed off at President Beavis because he’s drinkin’ again and foolin’ around with Condi (Large Scary Teeth) Rice; talk about white on rice. The tabloids will usually print anything about anybody and are frequently wrong BUT the Globe did get the Gary Hart President Elvis and Jesse Jackson sex stories right. So who the hell knows?

Below is the front page of the Globe. I like how Laura-Dubya-n-Condi are linked to the dread Angelina Jolie and Scott Fricking Peterson:

DOLLAR BILL: POOR, POOR PITIFUL ME

Sat, 17 Jun 2006 18:39:19

Dollar Bill Jefferson told some porkies yesterday about his ouster from the omnipotent House Ways & Means Committee. (A porky is a Britism for a lie and I thought it was time to use a word other than powerful to describe the committee.) Anyway our klepto Congressman claimed that he got a standing ovation from the caucus after his speech. Of course he’s the only one who has made that claim. Count me as skeptical: after all   to paraphrase Chris Difford the truth is not Dollar Bill’s middle name.

After that whopper Dollar Bill drifted off into cloud cuckoo land when he claimed that he would have won the vote if not for that racist meanie Nancy Pelosi “begging and arm twisting” members of the caucus. Bill Bill Bill: do you really believe the shit that comes out of your mouth? I certainly hope not.  There’s no way that the Democratic Leader would have called for a vote if she didn’t have the numbers. Granted Pelosi is no Sam Rayburn Dick Gephardt or Hale Boggs BUT she’s not a total fool.  She’s also one of the most liberal members of the House which makes her an unlikely racist.

Dollar Bill is desperate and backed into a corner so naturally he’s going to play the race card. Why not? It worked for C Ray. I’m sick and tired of the cult of the victim; especially when someone like Dollar Bill starts whining about being victimized. We live in the Age Of Oprah where being a victim is something to be proud of. This reminds me of some of the post-K semantic antics that struck me as very odd indeed. It’s okay to be called a victim but NOT a refugee? Weird weird weird.

Friday was a busy day on the Dollar Bill front: right after the vote there was a hearing before Federal Judge Thomas Hogan on the motion to suppress the evidence taken from Dollar Bill’s office. The Judge signaled that he is unlikely to buy the House leadership’s argument that they’re above the law. (That’s not literally their argument I decided to cut through the crap.) Astonishingly Bruce Alpert’s story in the Picayune missed the money quote from Judge Hogan. Check this out:“The speech and debate clause is not a  hide and conceal clause.” Yo TP editors tell your boy to pay more attention when he’s in a courtroom. I had to get the money quote from the WaPo. Of course the editors *may* have cut the quote. Either way y’all screwed up. I am shocked shocked; not not…

Finally back to the title of this post. I gotta do this or experience the wrath of blogger extraordinaire Ashley (Accidentally Like A Martyr) Morris. The title is of course borrowed from the late great Warren Zevon’s classic tune and Ashley ran a swell web site devoted to all things Zevon which is still online.  Anyhoo I keep visualizing Dollar Bill on a bandstand dressed up as Mr. Freeze and singing:

“Poor poor pitiful me   poor poor pitiful me. Pelosi won’t let me be lord have mercy on me. Woe is me.”

DEBRISVILLE POLITICAL NOTES

Fri, 16 Jun 2006 01:07:40

Item-1 DOLLAR BILL UPDATE: The House Democratic Caucus should be voting soon on whether to strip Dollar Bill Jefferson of his Ways and Means committee seat. (No dangerblond not that kind of stripping get your mind out of the gutter.) He lost some key support yesterday in the House Black Caucus. Two of that group’s most distinguished members John Lewis of Georgia and Charlie Rangel of New York plan to vote against Jefferson. Dollar Bill has now lost Atlanta and Harlem can Debrisville be far behind?

There have also been several interesting pieces posted about Dollar Bill’s wheelin’ and dealin’. Harper’s Online’s Ken Silverstein has been all over this story and even the Picayune took a break from protecting C Ray and published an article about a “loan” obtained by our Klepto Congressman. Alas my friend Stephanie Grace misfired the other day in her TP column when she urged the caucus not to vote against Dollar Bill because it would punish his home folks. It *really* won’t have that effect: the minority has NO power in the House of Reps; especially under the Coach/Bug Man regime. Yeah I know the Bug Man is gone but he’s still the insect pulling Denny Hastert’s strings. Hastert is to DeLay as OK Allen was to Huey Long. Jeez now I’m channeling the SAT…

Item-2  NOLA PRESS BIAS WATCH:
As we all know the other day in Chi-town C Ray was back in full tilt “Katrina was God’s revenge” mode He was quoted in the Chicago Tribune and many blogs but not in his hometown newspaper.  And yes there was some good news  in the form of the AFL-CIO’s investment in NOLA BUT these comments were still newsworthy.

C Ray was also interviewed by Eric Paulsen on WWL’s 6 O’Clock news without being asked about his regurgitated comments. In short the local press corps is back in booster/Ray Ray is our man man mode. Maybe the NOLA blogosphere should have a pool as to when the local MSM will deign to mention C Ray’s outburst in front of Jesse, Maxine and all the other folks who think that he’s a civil rights hero. Boy did they get the wrong  number…

QUEER EYE FOR THE GRIZZLY MAN

 Fri, 16 Jun 2006 01:12:45

I was finally able to get our Netflix subscription revved up this week. I’d tried in mid-May but the USPS wasn’t quite ready. Besides those of us who live in the 70115 zip code are used to having bad mail service. We had so many problems pre-K that Dr. A was on a first name basis with the manager of the mail sorting room at the Louisiana Street Post Office. He’s been transferred alas.

The first DVD in our queue was Werner Herzog’s “Grizzly Man” with music by the great Richard Thompson. “Grizzly Man” is about the real life adventures of nature naif and hammy actor wannabe Timothy Treadwell. Treadwell spent 13 summers hangin’ with the grizzlies in Alaska before becoming a pre-hibernation meal for a cranky old bear. Treadwell was not only an eco-warrior but he filmed his Alaskan jaunts and Herzog uses the footage to great and deeply twisted effect.

Anyway as we watched the film unfold we realized that Timothy Treadwell reminded us of Queer Eye fashion maven Carson Kressley. Treadwell’s voice mannerisms and even his hair were very Carson-like. Mind you a guy who hangs with grizzly bears is inherently butcher than one of the Fab Five but a resemblance is a resemblance. Here’s another view:

I’m not sure one would call them qualified for the separated at birth feature that ran in Spy Magazine during the Eighties BUT they’re pretty darn close. Carson has the good sense of course to keep away from grizzly bears so he remains undigested.

Back to “Grizzly Man” the movie. There’s a great extra feature on the DVD about the recording of the soundtrack. The music was largely improvised with the director present. It’s fascinating to watch guitar gods Richard Thompson and Henry Kaiser work and interact with Werner Herzog. The legendary German director urges restraint on the musicians; at one point telling the percussionist that he wants him to play softly: “I don’t vant it to sound like ze hippies playing in Golden Gate Park.” Bummer man…

 SICK POST-K HUMOR

Wed, 14 Jun 2006 18:31:42

In between getting tattooed and menacing his neighbors with a weedwacker Harvard Boy is a busy eager beaver junior shyster type. Oops I mean recent law school graduate…

Anyway when Harvard Boy gets bored with the law (and studying for the bar exam is duller than watching “Leave It To Beaver” reruns for 39th time) he passes on oddball links to all and sundry. This one is actually pretty damn funny: it’s a web site called How To Fucking Evacuate and it’s full of useless and largely obscene advice. I suspect that some sinister combination of Ashley Morris and Al Swearingen is behind it…

POLITICAL NOTES: GEEZER EDITION

Tue, 13 Jun 2006 17:57:00

The summer doldrums have arrived here in Debrisville: it feels like August already.  People are a bit grumpy and seem to have finally noticed how little progress we’ve made in the last 9 1/2 months. Anyway that’s really appropos of nothing; on with the show such as it is.

Item-1  Byrd Over The Senate: One of my favorite pols is Senator Robert Byrd (D-W Va.) He’s an American original and yesterday he made history: he has served for 48 years a total of 17 327 days thereby passing former record holder and lesser Senate light Strom (Who’s Your Daddy?) Thurmond. Senator Byrd is 88 years old and running for re-election. I usually think Senators that old should retire but there are exceptions to every rule and I’m rooting for him. He’s the institutional conscience of the Senate and he’s needed now more than ever.

Senator Byrd is a man of great dignity and decorum. He’s also willing to admit that he’s made mistakes during his career. The fact that he was briefly a Klansman in the Forties often comes up. And when it does Senator Byrd never ducks the issue and  always admits that it was the biggest mistake he ever made in his life. A certain President could learn a lot from Senator Byrd’s dignity honesty and decency.

Senator Byrd was the classic insider for most of his career: committee chairman; majority and minority leader.  But in recent years he has been one of the sternest Senatorial critics of the war in Iraq and the Beavis-Duce administration’s trampling on the constitution. Robert Byrd is old school and proud of it. 

I had the pleasure of meeting Senator Byrd several times when he was Senate Democratic Leader. It was the early Eighties and thanks to the fecklessness and incompetence of Jimmy Carter the Repubs had taken control of the Senate as well as the White House. But unlike other members of the Democratic leadership he was too courtly to use their nickname for the recently defeated President: “that asshole Jimmy Carter.” Digression time: I’ve long thought that Tip O’Neill’s tombstone should read: Never met a person he didn’t like except for Jimmy Carter. I know that this doesn’t fit the saintly current image of  the former President. It’s called spin and it’s a pity Carter wasn’t as good at it in 1980 as he is now.

What I remember most about meeting Senator Byrd was his handshake. My late father believed that you could judge a man by the firmness of his handshake. Robert Byrd passed the test: he gripped my hand and squeezed the living hell out of it while simultaneously slapping my back. I think that it took me a week to regain feeling in my right hand…

Item-2 Carvin’ Up C Ray’s Opponents: Sunday’s Picayune had a front page story about the dean of Debrisville political handlers Jim Carvin. Carvin has had a hand in every winning Mayoral campaign since 1969. That’s right 1969: when Tricky Dick was President and the Beatles were still together. The 76 year old Carvin is the ultimate hired gun.  He worked for Moon Landrieu and later demonized the Landrieus for C Ray. He worked for Marc Morial and then demonized Morial for C Ray. And on and on and on. Carvin’s career is proof that there are no permanent friendships in politics just temporary alliances.

In typical Picayune fashion Gordon Russell salts the story with pro-Nagin bias. If Carvin himself weren’t so interesting it would be inedible as it were. Instead of comparing the 2006 Mayor’s election to the 1990 Barthelemy-Mintz race the story compares it to Dutch Morial’s re-election campaign in 1982 which was nothing like this year’s campaign. Nobody in the mainstream media wants to compare C Ray to Barthelemy: Sidney’s second term was even worse than his first. Boosterism such as this should be restricted to the editorial section and should NOT be splashed across the front page. But the folks who run the Picayune don’t see things that way. That’s why after their brief shining moment last fall the Picayune has resumed its wicked wicked and biased biased ways.