Category Archives: C Ray Nagin


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:


Sat, 22 Dec 2007 06:00:10

It was a nasty Friday in New Orleans: gray damp and foggy which was fitting weather for the day after the debacle at City Hall. The weather also matched my mood but I did have a brief moment of clarity (sunshine?) when I realized who the loony left activists who have hijacked the public housing debate remind me of: Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin who dubbed themselves Yippies. In reality they were the Abbott and Costello of the Sixties New Left: they were in it for the theatre and nothing else.

Abbie HoffmanRubin-Pig


I’ve heard from several people who were in the Council chamber at the beginning of the day that the whole punch-up looked staged to provoke an overreaction from the Council and cops. If that’s so it worked as did the gate rattling by the neo-Yippies outside. While it may have been great drama it was a disgrace: both the police and demonstrators acted badly. I intensely dislike the use of tasers; if applied to a person with heart problems they can be fatal. Mercifully that didn’t happen. Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.

I think that the neo-Yippies will only be in town for as long as they can have their antics splashed on teevee and all over the internet. What’s more worrisome is the way that more sincerely motivated local activists have allowed these clowns to hijack their cause. The neo-Yippies are in it for the theatre: they don’t care about poor people in New Orleans. They’re into bringing bullhorns into public meetings and live to brag about lying down in front of bulldozers. Drama for drama’s sake is what the Jay Arenas of the world crave. 

Back to the original Yippies: Hoffman and Rubin. They were experts at hijacking worthy causes and turning them into violent farces by provoking the police to use the weapons of the day: nightsticks and tear gas. On black Thursday we saw tasers and pepper spray used at our very own mini-riot. Here’s hoping that it’s not just a warm-up for a bigger conflagration.

Finally,  my favorite Abbie Hoffman story. At Woodstock Hoffman briefly commandeered a microphone during the Who’s set. The Who were neither Yippies nor Hippies so when Pete Townshend realized they were being upstaged by Hoffman he did the only sensible thing possible: he kicked the Yippie foole in the ass and off the stage. Talk about direct action…



Fri, 21 Dec 2007 15:55:34

The best thing that can be said about the public housing debate/debacle is that it’s over. And it’s over not in the sense of the original Roy Orbison version but in the way that Michael Caine croaked the song at the end of Little Voice. The end came as a death rattle which led several of the national newscasts last evening. Another proud moment for us. Hey the punch-up might make Oddball on Countdown: Keith is quite fond of fights in legislative chambers after all. We begin in New Orleans…

In spite of all the lofty and moralistic rhetoric this episode brought out the worst in everyone. Of course cant and posturing always seems to do that. I’m inclined to think (wishfully?) that the most violent moments were initiated by non-locals. Why? New Orleans is a violent place but like good Mediterraneans NOLA violence is usually *personal* and not political. And thank God or whatever for that. Council meetings here feature a lot of screaming and posturing but not much punching until today that is.

I’m feeling somewhat Shakespearean tonight so all I can say is a pox on both your houses. I’ve also got the flu which makes me feel poxy or something like that and I’d love to use epoxy to seal certain mouths shut. The extremists on both sides made a rational debate on this complicated issue impossible so emotion and humbuggery were the order of the day. Pro-demolition forces-including the local rag-engaged in suspect and ofttimes slimy tactics and the pro-projects status quo demonstrators played right into their hands. The punch-up in the Council chambers provided cover for Carter and the Cynthias to vote yea. Are you happy Jay Arena? 

I’m too ill and disgusted to say more this evening and I’m not sure that I plan to revisit the subject in any event. Since I made a Roy Orbison reference at the beginning of the post I’ll end with some beauty amidst the ugliness now that it’s all over but the shouting:


 Tue, 10 Jul 2007 05:01:15

I’ve been too busy to comment on Mayor Airhead’s latest antics until now. The man is clearly a clown of the “a little song a little dance a little seltzer down the pants” variety. He keeps dropping broad hints that he may run for Governor and claims that “the race is wide open.” Sorry o Bald-n-buffed one the only thing that’s wide open is your mouth. I’m sure Bobby Jindal is shaking in his python boots right now over the prospect of facing someone with an approval rating of below 30% in NOLA and below 20% in the rest of the Gret Stet.

The Mayor appeared at a forum on public housing last weekend and morphed into a lefty for the crowd and Congresswoman Maxine Walters. Ms. Waters may be something of a mouthy headline hunter but she’s a genuine lefty not an ersatz one like our “worn out” mouthy headline hunter of a Mayor. That’s right folks C Ray claims to have has worked his well manicured fingers to the bone. Perhaps he’s worn out from being MIA during the late legislative session. Of course we probably did better without C Ray driving around the corridors of the Capitol in his clown car. Honk honk.

But where *was* Nagin during his long stretches of invisibilty? Informed blogosphere sources  (aka Mr. Clio) say that he’s been spending a lot of time in Dallas and that his family is living there. It doesn’t surprise me a bit. When Dr. A and I were in exile in Plano Texas just outside Dallas we frequented the Apple Store at a big ass upscale mall because there was no internet access where we were staying. Whenever we told people in the shops that we were from New Orleans they’d say: “Your Mayor was in here just the other day.” The joint was lousy with Nagin sightings y’all. Just call him Dallas Ray.

Back to the public housing confab. C Ray urged people to take their outrage as well as their keisters into the streets on 8/29/07. Once again he denounced those who are not helping New Orleans recover. Once again he acts as if he’s not one of THEM. The innocent bystander act is torn and frayed after nearly 2 years. Nagin is so much one of Them that I expect him to burst into song: “G-l-o-r-i-a Gloria.” There you have it folks: C Ray and a Van Morrison reference in the same sentence. My life is now complete or is that replete? Deplete?

When I sat down to write this post I wasn’t sure what street song worked best for the title. Street Fighting Man? Too action packed; too Rolling Stoned to describe our indolent Mayor he said channeling Robin Trower. I decided that the Doobie Brothers tune Takin’ It To The Streets worked better given the gossip about possible herbal self medication by the Mayor. But I’d rather post a video of the Stones so here’s Street Fighting Man man:

Finally Oyster has been en fuego on this topical topic for the last few days. Get thee to Your RightHand Thief and commence a readin and a scrollin’ yes siree Bob. Hmm I wonder who the hell Bob is and why we should yes sir him? Oh yeah: Mr. Gloomy Pants has a swell C Ray post over at the yellow blog as does Perfesser Morris who believes that the lunatic is truly on the grass… 


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.


Tue, 05 Jun 2007 19:30:11


I don’t usually post panels from comic strips but Monday’s Pearls Before Swine reminded me of a certain shiny headed faux hipster Mayor. Stephan Pastis is one of the most interesting cartoonists to come along in some time: he’s sort of like a sick and twisted version of Walt Kelly of Pogo fame. The series about Mayor Duck continues and can be found at LINK.
Now that I’m on the subject of Nagin man you may be wondering why I haven’t dived into the speculation about what if any higher office he may run for. It’s simple: C Ray is boring. As my friend Schroeder has pointed out many times C Ray is quite like the  incompetent simpleton who is the Current Occupant of the White House. He’s simply not a very interesting character. Nagin is a guy who lucked his way into success; it had nothing to do with his abilities or intellect both of which are limited. He’s Mayor Duck man.
If Nagin reminds me of George W Bush Dollar Bill Jefferson is downright Nixonian. He’s an awkward somewhat shy man with a powerful intellect and even more powerful character flaws. In Tricky Dick’s case it was resentment and paranoia Dollar Bill is quite simply the greediest sumbitch around. But like Nixon he *could* have done great things with his talent but instead Dollar Bill feathered his nest.
If you’re interested in what C Ray may be up to politically check out among others Conventional Wisdom Dubos,  Bayou Saint John David,  Oyster, Celcus, and Jeffrey. If Nagin actually decides to run for something I’ll have plenty to say but until then I’ll yawn and pass the buck.
See ya in the funny papers…


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.


 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…


 Sat, 09 Sep 2006 16:48:55

It’s an unusual Saturday in Debrisville. We actually know where C Ray is: he’s in Central City hobnobbing with some of Stacy Head’s constituents. I passed: it’s still summer and if I want to take in the hot air I’ll step outside. But on a normal day we have no clue as to where the Exploding Pie Tour will lead Mayor Happy Feet. That’s where a new (to me) web site comes in: Its mission is to track C Ray’s whereabouts and point out things around town that need his attention while he’s hangin’ with Jesse, Anderson, A, l Beavis and his other boys.

The web site is the brain child of a new resident Jeff Rosenfeld whose fiancee teaches at my alma mater Tulane Law School. Jeff has the odd notion that our Mayor in the immortal words of BTO should be “takin’ care of business” instead of tooling around the country playing celebrity global village idiot. There was a blurb about the site in today’s Picayune. Here’s the money quote:

“Rosenfeld said he was inspired to create it after his attempts to alert City Hall to potholes and other small problems were unsuccessful. “I found these Web links that go to dead ends and phone numbers that don’t get answered ” Rosenfeld said. “And as I’m looking at all the work that needs to be done I was noticing that the mayor’s been giving speeches all around the country.”

The crappy City web site is of course the legacy of former Chief Clone Greg Meffert who was too busy being a bureaucratic dilettante to do his job. Hmm sounds like C Ray except for the bureaucrat part. To paraphrase the philosophers Lol Creme and Eric Stewart   C Ray is “like a gourmet in a skid row diner a fitting menu for a dilettante.”

Anyway I think we should support Jeff in his attempt to document the Exploding Pie Tour. Check out his web site and let him in on any C Ray sightings.

100 DAYS????

Thu, 07 Sep 2006 04:06:06 

The unholy alliance between the Picayune and the Nagin administration seems to be crumbling. There’s an hilarious front pager this morning about an internal debate at City Hall. Is it about housing? No. Is it about crime? No. Is it about who gets to buff and wax C Ray’s head next? No. It’s about *when* the 100 days “plan” will be released. The Naginites seem to have a hard time counting y’all. I’m not sure if they use a calculator abacus or Rob Couhig’s fingers and toes. Here’s an extended passage from Michelle (Drum Boogie) Krupa’s story:

“…the mayor hosted a two-hour news conference in late July where he City Hall directors and community leaders offered evidence of progress toward the deadline which Nagin said would fall on Sept. 6 — today.

But counting from his inauguration today actually is the 98th day of Nagin’s second term; the 100-day mark falls on Friday.

Meanwhile Nagin said last week during his economic development jaunt to New York City that the 100 days culminates on Sunday. City Hall would mark the occasion with an announcement Nagin said though he didn’t say what day that announcement might come.

Couhig said Tuesday that he plans to update Nagin today on his committee’s progress but would not release details without the mayor’s approval.

Nagin intended the 100 days to be construed “not as a time period ” Couhig said but rather a short-range campaign to focus the attention of community leaders and his staff on quality-of-life issues such as trash collection and crime reduction that weigh on residents’ decisions to stay in New Orleans.

“I think the 100 days has a historical ring to it ” Couhig said “and it’s coincidental that it ends up two days after Labor Day.”

That is of course if today is indeed Day 100.”

Folks you cannot make this stuff up. The Naginites can’t count and they can’t STFU about how they can’t count. Dr. A and I hung out with Dangerblond last night and she’s so mad at Mayor Clown Ray that she said that she can’t joke about him any more. I’m angry too but I’m never too mad to mock a fool; especially since I think that there may well be method in his madness. Clancy Dubos has a brilliant column about C Ray as “double agent” in this week’s Gambit:

“If there is a vast white conspiracy to keep poor blacks who have been displaced by Hurricane Katrina from moving back to the city it could not have a better front man than Clarence R. Nagin mayor of New Orleans.

Nagin’s mindless self-serving utterances combined with his singular failure to devise and implement a recovery plan virtually guarantee that the rest of America will abandon us which means that those without means left to fend for themselves will be left behind — or left out completely. As clueless as he is the mayor surely must know this.

That Nagin should secretly champion the very conspiracy he so publicly attacks only adds to the deftness with which he advances the cause. Indeed he makes the perfect double-agent…”

I think that Clancy should stop mincing his words about Nagin and tell us what he really thinks.

The biggest problem for those of us who remain here is figuring out what we can do about a recently re-elected Mayor?  I’m not sure. The odds against recalling C Ray are long indeed but I think that a concerted attempt *could* rattle his cage or at least convince the City Council that it is time to end the state of emergency. Right now Debrisville has the worst form of government imaginable: a weak banana republic-style dictatorship that’s a front for the monied interests. The problem is that with the possible exception of  Stacy Head nobody on the Council has the cojones to get in C Ray’s face and tell him to lead or get the hell out of the way. Until someone with a politcal base relentlessly whaps Nagin upside the head the drift will continue.

UPDATE: Bayou St. John David has a typically sagacious post over at Moldy City entitled “100 Days Of Couhig.”