Category Archives: Bloggers

THE FOLLOWERS OF CHAOS OUT OF CONTROL

Wed, 27 Aug 2008 16:21:17

Mr. Wet sucks. Let me explain why. He’s one of my best  friends in the NOLA blogosphere BUT the sumbitch stole my Gustav related post title: Achtung Baby. It makes me wonder if he’s a psychic from all those years of wearing a hat and living in the frozen North. (It somehow gives me perverse pleasure to imagine him plugging in his car whilst conversing with a neighbor who sounds like Marge in Fargo. Oh ja you betcha.) But if Folse *is* a psychic I’m thinking he’s a fake; sort of like Sean Spencer the goofy fake psychic tevee detective on Psych. Hmm now that I think of it Mark’s son Matt is a goofball in the Spencerian vein…


Anyway since Mr. Wet stole my thunder I decided to use a line from another great ’80’s “alternative” band REM. The song Disturbance At The Heron House is actually political but the line “the followers of chaos out of control” sums up rather neatly the panic in the air here in Debrisville. Me I’m just cranky that this fracking storm may goose step into town this weekend and force Southern Decadence to cancel. It’s usually a big weekend for Quarter merchants. For the uninitiated Decadence is a cross between boys gone wild and a gay pride event. As my good friend with a thick French accent and a Russian name Paul Nevski once said to me: “During Decadence everyone in the Quarter is gay. Even the ‘omophobes are gay.”

Back to Gustav; at least the motherfracker has a proper scary name. I can respect a storm named Gustav; it evokes saurkraut beer gardens and Prussian militarism. As of now we don’t know where this Teutonic twit of a storm is headed but Dr. A and I are eyeing it cautiously and plan to indulge in a bit of brinksmanhip before deciding what to do which means we’ll be inviting ourselves to my cousin Tina’s house in Dallas if we need to bug out. Katrina was the first time we’d ever gotten out of Dodge and we’re only doing so this time if Gustav is a giant Stasi agent of a storm headed right towards us.

So it’s time to wait watch and prepare. I don’t think freaking out helps anything but I understand why folks who were hit hard in 2005 are flipping out. It’s time for us to be ghouls and root for Gustav to go elsewhere which only people in the Hurricane belt are allowed to do.  I usually hope that storms head to Kleberg County Texas home of the King Ranch where there are more cattle than people. So Gustav moove in that direction so the followers of chaos won’t get out of control:

WOMBAT MANIA

Sat, 28 Jun 2008 05:22:13

Wombat Mania

It’s a northern hairy nosed Homan wombat.

Some days I hate the internets but most days I love it. Where else could I learn more than I ever wanted to know about northern hairy nosed wombats at a site called Wombania.com? Where else could I learn that the Australian Treasury Secretary plans to spend his vacation babysitting wombats? The wombats are an endangered species down under and said Aussie Labour pol Ken Henry plans to do his bit to help said wombats survive. I applaud Mr. Henry’s wombat mania and for inspiring me to keep writing the word wombat which is one of the silliest words known to man woman child or I daresay wombat. Thanks Mr. Henry.

In all seriousness I hope that the wombat survives; hairy nose and all. I may not be as wombatty as some Ozzies because all I knew about the critters before tonight was that my high school crony David wrote a song called Wombat. Our little adolescent garage band used to play it but the lyrics were very un-PC so I shan’t repeat them here. All I can say is that wombat mania rocks.

Since we never recorded David’s little ditty there are no songs about wombats on YouTube; so here’s Oz’s own Midnight Oil doing a tune that is NOT about wombats. Damn I love that word. Must stop must stop…

Btw the Midnight Oil connection is less far fetched than it may seem. The Oil’s lead singer Peter Garrett is one of Henry’s cabinet colleagues he’s the minister for environment heritage and the arts. I suspect he’s a wombat fancier and/or marsupial maven as well.

Finally whilst YouTubing I learned that there is indeed a band called the Wombats and they’re not only Liverpudlians (another word I love) but also pretty good:

The key comment follows:

Holly

Mon, 30 Jun 2008 02:20:22 I love this. We’re a WOMBAT household… my husband’s nickname became wombat years ago as a co-op worker during college (the nickname was based on ‘a wombat’ as Waste Of Money Brains And Time) and since then, as a telecommuter for a group of 5 with 3 of them having the same name, it became his professional name. Wombat is on his business cards and for years, many of his co-workers didn’t know his first name. Some people thought that he didn’t even exist — we were flown up for an office party where I overheard two people saying that ‘they heard WOMBAT was there!!!!’ and wondering if it was a man or a woman. Anyway. This post totally made our night.

Adrastos Mon, 30 Jun 2008 02:37:38 Holly: Glad to be of service. Now I’m *really* glad that I didn’t quote those lyrics…

WE DIDN’T DROP IT

 Sun, 13 Apr 2008 03:21:57

Ashley’s funeral was a real Tale Of Two Cities moment: it was the best of times and the worst of times. There were many tears and much laughter. The speeches by Ray Oyster and two old friends of Ashley were fabulous; especially Ray’s take on Kermit Ruffins’ This Is New Orleans. And Howie Luvzus did a great job presiding over the event as the minister selected by the atheist…

My main fear about being a pallbearer didn’t happen: we didn’t drop the coffin; mostly thanks to Mr. Clio and Dillyberto. It *almost* slipped once but we didn’t screw up. Of course Ashley would have been the first to laugh if we’d dropped the casket…

The Jazz procession at the cemetery was led by Ashley’s favorite the Hot 8 Brass Band. The entombment was the hardest part of the day but the second line after it and the subsequent wake we’re joyful as hell. We drank too much swore too much and toasted the Mime repeatedly. 

I’ve posted Dr. A’s pictures at our Flickr site. LINK.  Derek Howie and Karen have posted some snaps of the Jazz funeral as well.  

UPDATE: Lisa Pal and Maitri have also posted pictures. 

THE STOOGEUM

Thu, 06 Mar 2008 16:39:08

Stooged

The traditional museum is a highbrow or at least middlebrow place. Things are changing. There are now all sorts of non-traditional museums including one devoted to the emphatically lowbrow comedy team the Three Stooges. The Stoogeum is run by a guy who’s married to Larry Fine’s niece. Larry of course was the stooge with the Jewfro who was relentlessly bullied by the tyrannical Moe.

I’d never heard of the Stoogeum until last week when Dr. A sent me a link to a story about it in the WaPo last week. It’s somewhat ironic because like most women Dr. A doesn’t care for the knockabout dumbshit slapstick that’s the specialty of the Stooges. She is however a good sport who has resisted the temptation to use a wrench on my nose a la Moe. Nyuk nyuk nyuk.
The great comedian David Steinberg had a classic routine about the Stooges which alas is nowhere to be found on the internets. The Steinbergian thesis was that the Stooges were archetypal figures and that all guys fit into a Stoogian category. Howzat for highbrowing up the lowbrow? I’m not sure that I entirely agree but it’s fun to contemplate. Moe was the ego Curly the id Larry the doormat with Shemp being somewhere between Curly and Moe. As applied to the NOLA political scene: C Ray is definitely a Curly,  Marc Morial a Mo,e and Arnie Fielgood is a Larry to the core. Among the NOLA bloggers Loki and Ashley are clearly Curlys but there’s a dearth of Moes or eenie meenies for that matter. I think Jeffrey has some Shempian tendencies. Note the resemblance:

Shemped

I’m just busting his chops y’all. Dr. A in fact thinks that Mr. Gloomy Pants is the cutest boy blogger and Shemp wasn’t exactly a matinee idol. He had a face that could stop a clock. I don’t think there are any Larrys among the NOLA bloggers and if there are calling someone a Larry isn’t very nice and I’m working on my image. I want people to answer the phone when I call at 3 AM even if I’m doing The Curly Shuffle:

I’m not really a hardcore Stoogemaniac. When it comes to comedy teams from the distant past I’m more of a Marx Brothers guy but it’s fun to bloviate about the Stooges. It’s also quite insulting to compare anybody to one of the Stooges as someone soitenly knew when they photoshopped this image of some Arizona Republican pols:

Three Arizona Stooges

McCain is definitely all Moe. Me, I’m just a wise guy.

LETTEN NAGIN OFF EASY?

Thu, 07 Jun 2007 16:33:18

The NOLA blogosphere’s lone investigative Zombie Ashe Dambala has yet another interesting post. It’s based on the comments of an anonymous reader about *why* the otherwise hyperactive US Attorney Jim Letten has left C Ray and his cronies alone. The information is unverified but it makes a world of sense. What follows is informed (I hope) speculation.

Here’s the gist of the post and my extrapolations therefrom: C Ray was a Republican until running for Mayor. His former aide and ex-Repub State Legislator Garey Forster (who also brokered the Couhig endorsement) spoke to Karl Rove about NOLA politics and told him that C Ray was the best Mayor they were going to get in NOLA. The upshot of this conversation was that C Ray has been left alone whilst they’ve investigated the hell out of the Morial administration which has the added benefit of bugging Senator Mary Landrieu. Landrieu as you may recall was elected by a whisker to her first term in 1996 and went through a Senate investigation as to whether her victory was due to Morial based voter fraud. A Senate committee chaired by John Warner (R-Va.) didn’t find any voter fraud and Mary was seated.
Back to Jim Letten. In the last few months we’ve learned a lot about how the Bush Justice Department is run. The US Attorneys who did NOT play ball politically were fired by Gonzo and his henchmen at the behest of the White House. Jim Letten who is a career prosecutor survived the Gonzo gate purge. He must have been playing ball on the focus on Morial scheme which also made sense from a prosecutorial sense: the Morial administration was rife with patronage and corruption. In short Letten could have his political cake and eat it too without becoming a complete Bush sycophant and whore. He appears to be a very gifted bureaucratic infighter as well as a talented courtier.
The recent raid on the LIFT production company offices indicates that any forebearance that Letten had for Nagin and his cronies may have ended. The Nagin regime was actively involved in the Treme film studio scheme that may be part of the Federal investigation into LIFT.
As I said at the beginning of the post I’m drawing inferences and trying to connect the dots on this thing. Dambala’s information comes from an anonymous source but it makes sense. I also don’t mean to cast any aspersions on Jim Letten: on balance he’s been a very good US Attorney. BUT career prosecutors are rarely appointed US Attorneys; especially not in the Bush-Ashcroft-Gonzalez years. Letten was in fact acting US Attorney for years after then Governor Foster’s choice Fred Heebe withdrew after giving everyone the heebie jeebies over allegations that he abused his ex-wife and ex-girlfriend.
Anyway it’s going to be very interesting to see how the LIFT story unfolds and how Letten’s office handles cases involving C Ray’s cronies in the future. Jim may no longer be Letten Nagin off easy.
Jeffrey and David have more on this story.

THE FAMILY JEFFERSON

Tue, 05 Jun 2007 16:44:44

It took a very long time due to the FBI’s arrogant decision to raid his Congressional office but a massive 16 count indictment has been handed down against Dollar Bill Jefferson. I’ve skimmed the indictment online and the case looks solid. It seems NOT to rely on the evidence gathered in the still under appeal search.

 Like Maitri I’m a bit sick of the endless Dollar Bill controversy but I do think it’s worthy of ongoing discussion. Jefferson   his family and associates have been major players in NOLA politics for some 30 years. Dollar Bill has *always* been ethically challenged which is why nobody was surprised about the frozen dough in his freezer. His re-election was equally unsurprising his main opponent Princess BOLD d/b/a Karen Carter ran an incoherent and inept campaign which consisted of proclaiming “I’m a reformer” over and over again. Her refrain was unconvincing and her campaign was as they would have said in the 1930’s from hunger.
Back to the indictment: in perusing it I was struck by how much evidence there seems to be against Andrea and the Dollar Billettes. (Sounds like a doo-wop group doesn’t it?) I suspect that the prosecution will dangle threats of family indictments as a means to get Dollar Bill to cop a plea. Thus far he shows no signs of doing so BUT he does have Big Daddy/Pater Familias syndrome: his relations are the only people he seems to care about. He certainly doesn’t give a rat’s ass about his constituents. The Picayune has once again demanded his resignation but I assume they know that it’s as likely as C Ray going four sentences without saying man man.
For other views of the indictment check out the TP’s Stephanie Grace Schroeder Oyster and the only person who thinks Dollar Bill will walk Mr. Gloomy Pants of the yellow blog. I’m sure others will chime in soon as well.
 
UPDATE: Celcus pulls out his 12-string guitar and strums up a helluva post about Dollar Bill. LINK.
 
UPDATE TOO: Josh Marshall has an amusing clip up at Talking Points Memo about the Fox Noise Channel’s inability to tell one African-American Congressman from another. LINK. 

ASHLEY MORRIS HAS A PARTY/LOKI HAS HAIR

Tue, 24 Oct 2006 20:00

The NOLA bloggers are sociable people. It was one more Saturday night with the bloggers; Bob Weir was nowhere to be found. Dr. A and I went to Casa Morris for Ashley’s birthday party. Professor Morris not only writes like a dream and swears like demon he makes a mean daiquiri. The things were strong enough to bitch slap yo brain. Just the way I like them. Among the local bloggers present were Oyster Ray Lisa Minor Wisdom Becky Loki Maitri and Trotsky. Trotsky? Who the hell is Trotsky? That’s for me to know and you to guess.

Unfortunately Dr. A was too busy drinking berry daiquiris and admiring the Morris’ pink kitchen appliances to take any pictures. In fact I had a chat with young Katarina Morris about all the pink in the kitchen. She likes it; me too. I asked her if she’d ever heard of Pink Floyd. She hadn’t but she knew who Drew (They Call Me The) Brees is. No surprise there.

After eating birthday cake we departed Chez Morris and went to hang out with George (Loki) Williams and finally meet his kitty tribe. Actually we went to visit the humid kitties and George was merely our facilitator. (Jeez now I sound like da Bingla.) George is not only a feline fiend he’s a one man juke box of sorts. He broke out the tunes and played all sorts of swell stuff. I believe that Loki has a new cause; to make me cool again. It could be an uphill struggle; it’s hard to be cool and a curmudgeon at the same time. I revel in my crankiness. It’s part of my charm such as it is.

NEWSFLASH: Loki has hair. When we last saw him he had that head stubble look  Dr. A was pleased with the change. She believes in hair and has a whole lotta locks herself. But George who will be marrying the lovely Alexis very soon may shave his punkinhead again before tying the proverbial knot. Dr. A is opposed but Loki is a force of nature so he’ll make like Lindsey Buckingham and go his own way. I’m not sure however   if the convict look and a kilt go together very well. Well maybe on death row: they’ve all kilt here. <rim shot/groan> On that note I’ll close; much to everyone’s relief…

UPDATE: Very sad news via Maitri. Loki’s father died unexpectedly last night. If you’d like to express your condolences please post a comment at this entry at Humid City.

 IMAGINE ALL THE YACHTSMEN

Thu, 21 Sep 2006 03:42:02

It’s NOLA blog echo chamber time time time time. Actually some of the other bloggers *have* been all over this story: Oyster has been piratical in his analysis and Schroeder has been pianistic. The big shout out however goes to my favorite American Zombie Dambala. He broke the Greg Meffert/Imagine Software/Yacht story weeks before the Picayune. Dambala has been very gracious and complimentary about Gordon Russell’s work on this story. And Gordon *is* one of the best reporters at the TP so the praise is merited. Here are links to Mr. R’s Sunday and Wednesday stories.

For those of you who aren’t part of the NOLA blog echo chamber chamber chamber chamber here’s a brief description of what’s going on. Greg Meffert recently resigned as NOLA CTO chief cook and bottle washer. In short he was C Ray’s right hand man and chief clone. Meffert went around standard city contracting processes to give Imagine his former company most of NOLA’s technogeek business. Meffert’s successor as CTO is former Imagine partner Mark Kurt. It’s a relationship as incestuous as a Mormon polygamy cult or an Appalachian jug band.

The spiciest part of the current controversy revolves around the ownership of a yacht the Silicon Bayou; as in microchip not implant get your minds out of the gutter  folks. Meffert claims that he owns the yacht despite all the evidence to the contrary. It appears as if Imagine Software is the real owner. Why does this matter? If Imagine owns the yacht a city contractor has been doin’ favors for the man who claims to be purer than Caesar’s wife man: Clarence Ray Nagin man. I love the smell of hypocrisy in the morning. Meffert steadfastly maintains that he owns the yacht but my gut tells me that he’s covering for C Ray. It’s what  C Ray’s krewe of clones does…

Finally the title of this post was inspired by Mistah John Lennon’s song “Imagine.” It has been a mystery to me why this song has endured: it has some of the worst lyrics John ever wrote. It sounds as if it was run through the Yoko meat grinder y’all. Anytime I hear Yoko rag on Macca’s lyrics I think what about “Imagine” or “Oh Yoko?” Me I woulda called the last one “Oh no Yoko.”

Elvis Costello wrote a song called “The Other Side Of Summer” that contained this cool parody: “Was it a millionaire who said imagine no possessions?” And like me Declan is a Lennon fan but a bad lyric is a bad lyric is a bad lyric is a bad lyric. Damn I wish I could shut off that fricking echo chamber effect effect effect effect…

SPIN CITY VERSION 2.1

Thu, 14 Sep 2006 04:59:59

I have a rather vile cold today so I’m going to skim the surface of C Ray’s 103 Day “plan” press opportunity. Skimming the surface is what the buffed-n-bald one does after all. One thing C Ray is good at is hijacking other people’s work and taking credit for it: he must have learned that in the corporate world. Yesterday he claimed that C Ray’s Wrecking Service was responsible for towing away abandoned and/or flooded cars. The state however took the lead on that front after the Naginites repeatedly dropped the ball and/or shot themselves in the foot. You pick the image: they do a lot of both.

I was also amused by the notion that the planning process has been a continuum rather than a messy series of false starts backtracking and backsliding. The Mayor’s chart makes it look as if the BNOB was never intended to formulate a plan and was merely a prelude to the Binglerized (my new favorite word) so-called Unified New Orleans Planning process. As my main man Bayou St. John David said earlier that’s bullshit. But the entire Nagin enterprise is built on BS and wishful thinking. I guess that’s the why the streets smell so funky and I do NOT mean that in the Art Neville or James Brown sense of the word funk…

Speaking of stinky streets and trash, born again Naginite Rob Couhig claims that trash collection has “returned to something like normal.” Oh yeah? Maybe on Planet Nagin but those of us who live on Planet Debrisville have gone from twice weekly trash pickup and weekly recycling collection to one weekly garbage pickup and NO recycling. And we’re still paying for the pre-K level of service.

I’m also struck by how thin the Naginite bench is: he has 3 count ’em 3 former opponents advising him and Virginia (Big Box) Boulet and Rev. Tom the Rebuker are as hapless as Couhig. Every time Virginia Boulet talks about bringing big box stores to Debrisville a voice in my head asks: Where? Big Box Boulet keeps her own counsel which means that such businesses will never come to Orleans Parish or more likely they’ll try and stick them in historic and unflooded neighborhoods Uptown or in the Marigny.

 Also C Ray is finally considering appointing a recovery co-ordinator which is something that should have been done last winter. Being a Republican at heart C Ray plans to hire consultants to run a search process which will delay things further. It fits his philosophy which is to kick the can down the road and hope that the FEMA fairy sprinkles money dust on Debrisville.

Here’s C Ray’s message in a nutshell: I’m responsible for all the good stuff and someone else is to blame for the bad stuff.

For other views on C Ray’s recent activities check out David at Moldy City; G Bitch and a surprisingly negative editorial in the Picayune. I guess publisher Ashton Phelps has been hobnobbing with non-NOLA nobs lately or somthing…

UPDATE: Maitri had an encounter with the Bald One at One Shell Square.

UPDATE TOO: That sly dog Markus is channeling Shakepeare’s Henry V in explaining how and why Nagin fails to inspire us. And Schroeder batters deep fries and serves up C Ray on a platter.

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER?

 Sun, 10 Sep 2006 18:40:35

The Picayune is getting scooped on stories in its own backyard by the national press. They ran a story today about expats returning to NOLA post-K. Not a bad article but three of the same people” Ashley Morris Ray Shea Mark Folse and their families were featured in the LA Times way back on August 9th. Go team Picayune.

In other blogger related items Gordon Russell let the preternaturally feisty Karen Gadbois have the last word in what was otherwise a puff piece about C Ray’s District B rap session. Here it is:

“Early in his remarks Nagin chided the news media for recent reports questioning the timing and apparent lack of substance of a “100-day plan” he announced after his election. “They’re asking ‘Can we count to 100? When did it start? What do we mean?’ ” Nagin said prompting a woman in the audience Karen Gadbois to retort: “Well you said it.”

Nagin grinned. “I understand I said it ” he said. “It’s just not that big a deal. Well it is a big deal but not the way it’s being portrayed.”

While most in the audience chuckled along with the mayor Gadbois who lives in Carrollton pronounced herself unmoved after the meeting. “I think he glossed over the real issues ” she said. “I’m still upset about the 100 days. And I’d like to hear what plan he has other than market forces. I’d like some specifics. His honeymoon’s over.”

Attagirl Karen. I hope you left some teeth marks when you bit C Ray in the ass. Chomp.

There’s one more blogger related Picayune item to report. Editor B and XY were featured for the 11th time in Stephanie Bruno’s Long Road Home series in Saturday’s paper. Bart’s library fund raising efforts were mentioned but they didn’t print the picture of Bart in a suit and Professor Homan in the beer hat. I smell a coverup…

Finally Chris Rose has belatedly noticed the fact that folks are peeved with C Ray for being out of town so much. Yo Chris you’re about 5 weeks behind the curve as usual. The bloggers have been talking about the Exploding Pie Tour for weeks. Btw Chris the Car 54 joke was really lame. Jeez now I’m channeling Jeffrey the cranky librarian.

Of course Chris Rose works for the Picayune whose motto seems to be: better late than never…