Saturday, October 13, 2007

Kentucky beats LSU 

I blame the bad karma from Bobby Jindal's "I ♥ UK" Kentucky Wildcats ad.

Update: the ad ran again Sunday morning on Fox Channel 8.

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Friday, October 12, 2007


Enough about New Orleans. What's the latest news from Baton Rouge?

After a lengthy and often emotional debate, the Metro Council rejected a resolution Wednesday calling for the acceptance into the community people from all walks of life, including people of all sexual orientations.

The largely symbolic resolution fell one vote short of the seven it needed to pass.

The resolution would have pledged to accept people of “all races, sexes, creed, colors, religions, ages, ancestries, disabilities, sexual orientations, nationalities, marital status, political affiliations and people of all walks of life.”

Naturally, this sort of talk is highly controversial to the self-proclaimed protectors of our "Family Values".

[Opponents] of the gesture, including several religious leaders, said the resolution would protect immoral behavior and even encourage pedophiles and those who engage in bestiality to come to Baton Rouge.

“Civil rights protection should not be granted on the basis of preferences of sexual activity,” said Darrell White, a representative of the conservative Louisiana Family Forum and a former city judge.

White’s comments prompted an emotional reaction from resident Paul West, who said he had not planned to speak on the resolution.

“I am the father of a gay son,” West said. “He does not perform bestiality, he is not a pedophile, and, Judge White, he is not immoral.”

These Lousiana Family Forum folks believe teaching evolution is "dangerous", and that a city being open to gays will encourage a migration of bestialists, because, as Louisiana's own Anntichrist S. Coulter has noted, it's such a bloody slippery slope from one to the other!! (Actually, perhaps the slope from bestiality TO extreme right wing views is more slippery... for some. We can only speculate.) However, these shameless LFF clowns will still defend Senator Vitter's antics, because he deals them tasty earmarks from the Federal trough so they can spread their stupidity.

H/T to the Flaming Liberal.

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New Orleans: Proud to call it Hell 

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that USA TODAY scooped the Times Picayune on a rather important story about Recovery Czar Ed Blakely's radically scaled-down N.O. recovery plans.

Like so many things in post-Fed Flood New Orleans, this news is unbelievable, yet unsurprising:

After struggling for months to come up with $1.1 billion for stage one of New Orleans' hurricane rebuilding plan, city officials faced with growing public frustration intend to move ahead with a drastically scaled-back first step of $216 million.

The blueprint being released Friday by city Recovery Director Ed Blakely is far more modest than the one he issued in March. But he said it will at least get the rebuilding started and give the public desperately needed signs of progress -- which, in turn, will encourage private investment in New Orleans.
The plan -- the general outlines of which were approved by the City Council earlier this year -- is not the radical remaking of the city urged by some urban planners who wanted to see a New Orleans with a much smaller footprint, and with people moved out of flood-prone areas.

Instead, it largely embraces Mayor Ray Nagin's settle-where-you-will philosophy, while also endorsing the removal of blight and the creation of parks, affordable apartments and vibrant communities.
Blakely, who began work in January, more than 16 months after Katrina...

Yes, we remember the hopeful beginning of "Day Zero". Those were good times. Cranes were on the horizon, buffoons were on the run. But, somehow, all that great imaginary momentum dissipated quicker than the Saints' playoff chances.

The article continues:

[Blakely] had hoped to have $1.1 billion in federal grants, private investment and hurricane bond proceeds for the rebuilding. But the money has been slow in coming through, particularly the private investment New Orleans needs so badly.

So Blakely said he will move ahead with $216 million, consisting almost entirely of federal grants, and hope more money will follow.

"It's certainly enough to lay the first couple of stones," he said.

Lay "the first couple of stones"? This is what we get from this highly paid World Class Reconstruction specialist?! Two hundred million to lay a few stones, and "hope" that "more money will follow"? That's considered a good "first step" at this point? Really!?!


At least the USA TODAY article concluded with a quote from someone with honor and sense; someone who tells it like it is:

LaToya Cantrell, president of the Broadmoor Improvement Association, worries the sluggish rebuilding may have a chilling effect on private donations. She said groups donating money to jump-start neighborhoods want to see timelines for completing projects.

"There seems to be a lack of urgency within those halls and walls of City Hall," she said.


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Argumentum ad Seinfeldumb 

In the latest, regularly-scheduled Ann Coulter kerfuffle, I found the following remarks to be much more revealing and interesting than Coulter's outrageous view that Judaism should be eliminated, and that Jews are merely imperfect Christians* (a view shared by many Christian fundagelicals, btw).

Applause to CNBC host Donny Deutsch for his snappy comeback in this exchange (although he gets a round of "boo's" for promoting Coulter on his show in the first place):

COULTER: ... I give all of these speeches at megachurches across America, and the one thing that's really striking about it is how utterly, completely diverse they are, and completely unself-consciously. You walk past a mixed-race couple in New York, and it's like they have a chip on their shoulder. They're just waiting for somebody to say something, as if anybody would. And —

DEUTSCH: I don't agree with that. I don't agree with that at all. Maybe you have the chip looking at them. I see a lot of interracial couples, and I don't see any more or less chips there either way. That's erroneous.

COULTER: No. In fact, there was an entire "Seinfeld" episode about Elaine and her boyfriend dating because they wanted to be a mixed-race couple, so you're lying.

DEUTSCH: Oh, because of some "Seinfeld" episode? OK.

Those troublesome "mixed" couples! They're always trying to instigate something by parading down the street in their different skin colors, with their "mixed" kids. Isn't it so obvious what they're doing, purposely trying to "fish" for derogatory comments on the street like that? Why do they need to go outside their race and look for trouble? Doesn't it stir the ultra-pure blood in you?

In 1987 13% of Americans "completely agreed" that it's ok for blacks and whites to date one another. Today, that number is over 45%. Call me liberal, but I say that's progress, and I proudly belong to that 45%.

But, from out of nowhere, Coulter uses an argument based on a Seinfeld show to say that "mixed" race couples in NYC are artificial, and have chips on their shoulders, and are waiting for others to make comments. Because, you know, Coulter and her ultra-right fellow travelers have always been on the side of Christian Angels when it comes to racial attitudes. Back when that Seinfeld episode was initially aired, I'm sure they were in that small minority that "completely" approved of "interracial" dating. Because it's the liberals who are the real racists, and now it's up to the conservatives to point out how so many "mixed" couples are going too far-- walking down the street with their thoughts, and their looks, and shoulder "chips" ... etc., you know, just like in that Seinfeld show!

If only there was a Christian Seinfeld show... that would be the perfection of comedy!

Update: The point of my facetiousness is to simply point out that when societal attitudes begin to change for the better regarding race, it always seems like (many) far-right conservatives are waiting to seize on (or invent) anything that could be considered an "overreach". Stuff along the lines of: Yes, we suppose mixed race couples are acceptable in this day and age, but do they have to be so consciously smug about it? or Perhaps the DA in Jena was a tad harsh, but we don't need outside agitators to divide us!

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

"An interesting schmethical question" 

Louisiana D2D's Mike Stagg investigates Bobby Jindal campaign donors who apparently circumvent individual contribution limits by donating through multiple LLC's.
Update: Also, please go see this (unrelated) post by Scout.

* post title inspired by Johnny Caspar, a character in Miller's Crossing.

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OK, the Hornets are back 

New Orleans Nation previews the Hornets for Slam Magazine online.

I think the N.O. Hornets will be regarded as an extremely dangerous and exciting team this year, and will find a way to make the playoffs.


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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

"Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial 'outside agitator' idea." 

Yesterday, I was paging through the latest Louisiana Weekly and came upon a huge half-page "Bobby Jindal for Governor" advertisement. Naturally, the ad was filled with standard Jindal campaign boilerplate, which is fine, but what struck me were the three very curious photos that accompanied the text.

Remember, the Louisiana Weekly's readership is primarily black New Orleanians. Ok, so what did the three photos depict?

Well, the first photo shows a cheesy white yuppie family taking a walk in the park. A smiling blonde boy is riding on his smiling dad's shoulders while a smiling wife watches the fun.


The second photo shows a bulldozer clearing a lot.


And the third photo is a close-up shot of a cotton plant.

Huh? (Nothing in the ad mentions farming, btw.)

So, in Jindal's print ad we observe a photo series of yuppies, bulldozers and cotton. Yuppies, bulldozers and cotton. Yuppies, bulldozers and cotton. (See for yourself here on page 6 of the pdf.)

I must say, that's quite the imagistic trifecta to present to black New Orleanians.

After Jindal's "outside agitators" comment during the Jena 6 marches, I think we have a right to ask why Bobby's second gubernatorial campaign is so tone-deaf to African American Louisianans, in contrast to his good-faith outreach efforts in 2003. Why is that?

In a recent Kos diary, Nightprowlkitty brilliantly juxtaposes Jindal's "we don't need outside agitators [causing] problems" comment with the words of Martin Luther King, who wrote:

Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial "outside agitator" idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.

We don't know how familiar wunderkind Jindal is with Martin Luther King's words and views. However, we do know that while MLK's son was peacefully marching for justice in Jena, Jindal was courting North Louisiana voters with the same loaded phrases used by the segregationists of yesteryear. (This is a fact which both the media and Jindal's political rivals have inexplicably ignored.)

No, we don't know the extent to which Jindal has studied MLK or the civil rights movement. Everyone tells us that Jindal is very smart, and chooses his words carefully. Yet, on the same day Martin Luther King's son visits the state to address injustice, Bobby Jindal warns North Louisianans about the problems "outside agitators" might cause. Why is that?

Jindal may or may not know much about Rev. Martin Luther King's words and deeds. Based on my research, it's difficult to say. However, Jindal is on public record praising a different sort of "activist reverend", who Jindal holds in high esteem. In a coming post, we'll disclose the identity of this activist pastor whom Jindal explicitly admires.

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I'm rubber, you're glue 

... or perhaps it's the reverse.

From Agitprop we learn of more tragic and disturbing "family values" behavior from a conservative Christian pastor, and former dean at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University.

An Alabama minister who died in June of ‘accidental mechanical asphyxia’ was found hogtied and wearing two complete wet suits, including a face mask, diving gloves and slippers, rubberized underwear, and a head mask, according to an autopsy report.” He also had a dildo up his ass, but it was wearing a condom.

I hope the esteemed Reverend didn't purchase his dildo in-state. The Head Pelican reminds us that it's still illegal to sell such products in enlightened Alabama.

And here's the Bush administration using tax dollars to make commercials featuring preteen kids who are telling me to tell my kids to "wait until they're married to have sex".

Thanks, Bush.

But Maybe I don't want to tell my kids that. Maybe I have a more sophisticated sex education message in mind: one that is realistic and has a better chance of communicating my values rather than backfiring horribly (resulting in resentful slutiness or an early and unhappy marriage).

Or Maybe *shudder* my sons or daughters will choose not to get married. What then?

Or Maybe *double shudder* one of my sons or daughters will be gay. Yeah, just like the Vice President's. Despite living in the "land of the free", gays aren't allowed to get married, so they should never have sex, right? All because of self-hating cretins who would rather replace the Bill of Rights with select passages from Leviticus.

Then again, Maybe I'm wrong. Perhaps we should all be like Britney Spears and "just trust" President Bush to competently manage our wars... and our sex lives. For example, to me, the Bush administration's efforts to teach abstinence to 29-year olds seems incredibly weird.... but then I'm a liberal with no "moral clarity". Even though I've taught courses in ethics, I still see the world in shades of grey, therefore I don't have the "moral clarity" to understand how incredibly dangerous the libertine gay ass sex agenda is to the sacred institution of breeder marriage-- unlike our sanctimonious "family values" Senators and pastors.

I would like to live in a world where freaks are free to be freaky, and closet-freaks don't funnel their self-hatred into homophobic and sexphobic legislation.

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Jindal loves the Kentucky Wildcats 


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La Grace 

From her T-P column on the recent City Council candidates' forum:

While other candidates talked of finding peace with the administration despite recent, very public dust-ups, [Jackie] Clarkson advocated using the budget, the council's main source of power, to even the scales.

[Virginia] Boulet said that the council "has the power to create a parade. If the mayor wants to be at the head of the parade, he can. If he doesn't, he doesn't...Five votes overrides a veto."

It was left to gardener and perennial candidate Quentin Brown, who provided comic relief for the evening, to serve up the obvious rejoinder.

Why's Boulet talking so bad about the mayor, Brown asked. "She endorsed him."

More at Moldy City, Adrastos and Ashley Morris. (Bonus Ashley 1981 FSU ID photo here.)

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Swiss Hiss 

From the NYT:
“To Create Security,” the poster reads.

The poster is not the creation of a fringe movement, but of the most powerful party in Switzerland’s federal Parliament and a member of the coalition government, an extreme right-wing party called the Swiss People’s Party, or SVP. It has been distributed in a mass mailing to Swiss households, reproduced in newspapers and magazines and hung as huge billboards across the country.

I'm concerned about people who self-identify with white sheep, and who spend a lot of time thinking about deporting others.

I'll cast my lot with the black sheep.

Update: In the comments, We Could Be Famous informs us about Islamo-fascism Awareness Week, which will be coming to college campuses (like Tulane's!) at the end of the month.

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Pumps still unfixed, says whistleblower 

First Draft has the details. Here's one:

In her disclosure, [the whistleblower] outlined extensive problems with the hydraulic pumps that the Corps overlooked in order to allow the contractor “to meet time-sensitive deadlines, and to avoid government imposed damages and instead earn financial incentives."

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Monday, October 08, 2007

The T-P and Bobby Jindal go together like Peanut Butter and Jelly 

I don't think the Nazarene himself would get a heartier, more unqualified recommendation (in the Sunday edition, which is nice):

Mr. Jindal brings keen intelligence, discipline and creativity at a time of great need. By instinct, he is a rare combination of policy analyst, people person and problem solver. He has a record of being inclusive, of attracting talent without regard to party or ideology.
[W]e have this high expectation for Mr. Jindal's legacy: that our state will become known as not only a great place to live but a magnet for the best and brightest, including our own; a breeding ground of entrepreneurial energy and jobs; and a leader in education and health care.

Mr. Jindal's educational and professional credentials are unmatched.
His energy and innovative approach to government are refreshing, as is his instinct for efficiency, business-friendly measures and job creation. And his ability to dig into the nitty-gritty work of government is impressive.

But it's Mr. Jindal's intangible qualities that give shape to a leader: a sense of purpose, a strong ethical compass and a passion to make our state a better place.

Bobby Jindal is our unequivocal choice at this crucial moment in Louisiana's history.


I'll come back to those words, as needed. I could spend some time dissecting all the curious talk of Jindal's "instincts" and "intangibles" and review some of my past criticisms, but since I'm so unenthralled by Jindal's competition, what good would it do? (The dude looks like he'll win in the primaries with 60%.) I have one more post in the works about wunderkind Jindal's connections to the far right, and the willful suspension of intellect he engages in to maintain those connections, but what's it gonna matter?

For now, I'll just try to cheer myself up with this Family Guy clip.

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Sunday, October 07, 2007

Tiger rag 

That was quite a game between LSU and the Gators; a true classic, to be sure. No one loves a Gator loss more than I do, but as a non-LSU fan I must comment on a couple of things that irritated me during the telecast.

Can someone please explain to me why Coach Les Miles is so unloved by LSU fans? I'd take that guy on my sideline any day. The confidence he showed in his players on those 4th downs was tremendous. Going for the outright win was incredibly ballsy.

Yes, the win over Florida in 1997 was a wonderful and extremely loud game. I'm indebted to Medium Jim, who had an extra ticket for the event, and made my first (and only) time at Tiger stadium one that I'll never forget. Still, I don't need CBS and some LSU player telling me that the '97 win was so great because Florida had previously won 25 straight SEC games, and that the Tigers "proved" that they were beatable. Only eight games earlier, in 1996, the Florida State Seminoles "proved" that the Gators were beatable, but since it wasn't an SEC game I guess it doesn't really count..

Note to LSU fans: a rival is a team you actually play regularly. This supposed "rivalry" between LSU and USC is so artificial and lame. If you brag about how tough your conference is, but still feel the need to invent a rival you don't play... something's probably amiss. Seriously, who the heck is LSU's biggest rival? I personally have no idea. Florida? Auburn? Ole Miss? USC? Tulane? whatever team Saban is coaching?... someone clue me in. Does any other team regard LSU as their biggest rival?

Perhaps I have a skewed view because I grew up in the state of Florida, but college football border wars and intra-state blood battles provide a whole 'nother level to the college football experience. Most LSU fans simply don't know what it's like to have their workplace or school or church full of fans from a rival school that beats you every other year or so. Trust me, it's a helluva lot easier to win or lose if you live in a "one school" state without a legitimate arch-rival.

During the ESPN telecast of the FSU-NC State game, I giggled very immaturely when Florida Governor Charlie Crist introduced the FSU Offensive squad and made special mention of Seminole Wide Receiver De'Cody Fagg.

Note to ABC: Thanks for including advertisements for Fall sitcoms on your score "crawl"! If there hadn't been updates every 15 minutes about Tuesday's "Cavemen" episode, I would've felt totally cheated.

I don't know the details of Tulane's loss to Army, but they're assuredly gruesome. Last I saw, the Wave was up late, and appeared to have things in control.

Congrats to Stanford, Kansas and all the other upsetters the past two weeks.

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