Saturday, April 30, 2005

Had enough yet? 

... well?

Greg Peters depicts Louisiana politics like nobody else. Catch his latest comic here.
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Friday, April 29, 2005

Don't panic. 

(AP)- Housing prices are outstripping wage increases in many areas, meaning more people are either spending above their means or living in dilapidated conditions, according to a pair of studies being released today by the Center for Housing Policy, a coalition pushing for more affordable housing.

It's generally accepted that a family should not spend more than 30 percent of its income on housing to ensure there is enough money for other necessities.

But in the last five years, the number of low- and middle-income working families paying more than half their income for housing has increased 76 percent. In 2003, 4.2 million working families spent more than half their income on housing, up from 2.4 million in 1997.

It may get messy. Bring a towel.
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Thursday, April 28, 2005

Shell Oil just wasted some money. 

From T-P columnist Angus Lind

Shell Oil recently commissioned an independent study to find "Autopias," evaluating the 50 largest metro areas in the country on the basis of -- are you sitting down? -- "where cars would most like to live if they had their way." Basically, if cars could talk, they'd tell us where they want to live.

Well, Phoenix was No. 4, Atlanta No. 3, St. Louis No. 2 and -- pop a Valium -- New Orleans was numero uno, at the top of the list.

What I'm hearing is: "Hi! I'm a car. I want to spend my life on New Orleans streets."

Somebody call the Funny Farm.
This is another direct quote: "The Shell study showed that some cities clearly have an edge in how vehicle-friendly they are, and New Orleans topped the list, thanks to the time and effort local drivers invest in caring for their vehicles."

Well, if you live here, it's not like you have a choice; you have to take care of your car. With so many streets with potholes designated as historic landmarks, potholes that have devoured small children, dogs and bicycles, you visit a front-end alignment mechanic about as often as you pass by your grandma's house.
Have you had the pleasure of attempting to negotiate, in Algiers, a one-block stretch of Woodland Avenue between Tullis and Gen. DeGaulle that looks as though seismic activity has resulted in a jumble of upended tectonic plates?

And then there's the 6000 block of Gen. Diaz in Lakeview where you can't go faster than 5 mph unless you want to visit an oral surgeon.

Don't forget Calhoun Street between Claiborne and Fontainebleau in Uptown New Orleans. It makes some of the roadways in the funkiest towns in interior Mexico look like drag strips.
[Since this is my neighborhood, I'll just add that the same stretch of State Street is even worse.]
I repeat: New Orleans' top ranking in the survey was based in part on its No. 1 ranking in the quality of fuel and motor oil category and the fact that LOCAL RESIDENTS SPEND MORE ON CAR CARE THAN RESIDENTS IN MOST OTHER AREAS."

(Cars "jump for joy" to be in the Crescent City.)
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Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Happiness is... 

From the local news:

A teacher arrested after her gun turned up in the back pack of a pre-schooler has been fired. The teacher, 25- year- old Natasha George, was working at "Happy Kids" daycare and pre-school in New Orleans east. The school wasted no time relieving George of her duties. And says despite what happened, "Happy Kids" is still a safe haven for children.
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Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Guess who's coming to Justice Sunday? 

La Grace, as Yatpundit would say, asks some questions about the FRC's Tony Perkins (and Bill Frist).

How is it that a failed Senate candidate managed to corral the Senate's majority leader into participating in his weekend judge-bashing fest, which was built around the poisonous arguments that the third branch of government is running rampant, and that those who oppose a handful of extremely conservative judicial nominees are somehow "against people of faith"?

More importantly, why did Bill Frist agree to lend his name and reputation to the "Justice Sunday" telecast, broadcast from a mega-church in Kentucky and beamed to 44 states?

OK, we know the answer to that last question.

Frist wants to be president, and he's decided he'd rather have the noisy, highly organized religious right establishment with him than with somebody else. Hence his threat to change the long-established Senate practice of allowing a substantial minority to avert a vote on the Senate floor, in order to push through President Bush's most controversial nominees.

As for Perkins, a former Louisiana lawmaker who missed the runoff in his attempt to unseat Democrat Mary Landrieu in 2002, Sunday's broadcast is just the latest indication that his voice, and his views, have come to carry inordinate weight in the circles of power.

So what are those views?
Perkins and Republican leaders have talked of stripping funding from certain offending courts, according to a recording of a strategy meeting excerpted in the Los Angeles Times. And the American Prospect, a liberal publication, quoted him telling allies this: "The court has become increasingly hostile to Christianity, and it poses a greater threat to representative government -- more than anything, more than budget deficits, more than terrorist groups."

Have a look at the inspiring Family Research Council web page. Chock full of fundagelical delights, to be sure. But take a moment and look at the left column, and pan down to the "Marriage: One Man. One Woman." button. Seems like there's a rather progressive promotion of so-called "interracial" marriage there. Am I wrong, or is there a white groom marrying a bride of color? How interesting, indeed!

I'll have to buy me one of those bumper stickers (though the actual text might have to amended a bit). Remember: it's Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.

And it's the "Rock of Ages" not the age of rocks.

Update: Yatpundit has more on Perkins and David Duke.
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"Gret Stet" Eloquence 

C.B. Forgotston says this is the quote of the year so far:

"[A] pimple on a bee's ass." Baton Rouge Advocate, April 21, 2005.

That's how LA Insurance Commissioner and Bees' Ass expert Robert Wooley describes the public outrage over his purchase of a luxury vehicle with the public's money.

I think Chuck at Looka! found a better one:
"You've got a better chance picking fly shit out of black pepper with boxing gloves on."

-- [jazz clarinetist] Tim Laughlin, when asked by Bummy Matthews if he thinks the Saints will ever make it to the Super Bowl.

My current favorite all time quote is from Huey Long when he was informed that Hiram Evans, the "exalted cyclops" and Imperial Wizard of the Texas KKK, would campaign against him in Louisiana.

"Quote me as saying that that Imperial bastard will never set foot in Louisiana, and that when I call him a sonofabitch I am not using profanity, but am referring to the circumstances of his birth."

[One time Evans "led a group of Klansmen who forcibly removed Alex Johnson, a black bellhop, from the Adolphus Hotel and wrote 'K.K.K.' on his forehead with acid."]

Feel free to add your favorite colorful Looziana quotes below. Limit your Silver Fox citations to one per entry, please.
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Monday, April 25, 2005

Dare to dream. 

Move over Bob and Bremer. Dark humor in Iraq has a new face. And this time the jokes are intentional:

Baghdad- The Bedouin furiously rubs his lantern while ordering the genie to come out and grant him his three wishes. The genie emerges from the lantern in full splendor, and bows down in front of the grinning Bedouin.

"I am at your service sir. I am prepared to grant you three wishes and fulfill your dreams.

"But as you are an Iraqi I have to warn you from the start that there are three things I can not change for you in Iraq: Security, jobs, and the infrastructure!"

The crowd, which had gathered around the small wooden stall to watch the TV show, burst out in laughter.
[T]hese days the best-selling [video] is the Kashkool Comedy Show starring Nahi Mehdi and Ihssan Dadoush. "I sell about 150 copies of their episodes every day. Their show outsells all the other ones, like insurgents videos, belly dancers or even music videos," said the stall’s owner Ahmed Al-Lami.
"Comedy is the best way to highlight all the bad things that are happening to us and our fellow citizens," Dadoush said.

"Not only are we delivering a statement about the suffering of the Iraqi people but the show has given new meaning to my life," Mehdi said.

Tahseen Salih, who was buying a copy of the show, likes how Dadoush and Mehdi deliver their message.

"They have managed to funnel our grief into laughter. Instead of worrying about power shortages, flooding sewage pipes, the never-ending traffic jams, and the constant insecurity among other ills, they make us laugh bitterly and help get us over our sorrows," Salih said.
But Dadoush and Mehdi have set their sights on a bigger challenge. "We hope that in the near future we will be able to present our style of comedy to the entire Arab audience," Mehdi said.

Don't stop at Bahrain, fellas! Bring your dark humor over to America! Especially Branson, Missouri. Lord knows the heartland could use an infusion of updated material from wacky immigrants.

(Just, whatever you do, please don't mess with Shoji or his women.)
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Sunday, April 24, 2005

Underwater Dance Club 

There really is an underwater dance club in New Orleans. Previously I didn't know exactly where it was, but Ratboy and Ratgirl showed me the way last night. It was hotter than Satan's armpit down there amongst the stalagmites-- and, sadly, we neither puked nor broke the dance floor-- but it was still a fun party nonetheless. Some of the drinks were free.

Prior to the Quintron and Miss Pussycat show, Glyn Styler and the Clergy performed, and were perfect in their own way. And what's better than that?

But there's nothing like Q on the organ accompanied by P on the maracas. Someone likened them to the "B-52's dry humping the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion". Yet that only reveals the limitations of language.

I swear the Crescent City will be infinitely poorer should Quintron and Miss Pussycat ever leave it.
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