She's 4'10", Creole/Irish, a "former ballerina and tap dancer... brown skin, jet black hair... lovely legs. Can scale and gut a fish and make it look sooo easy. Loves baseball. Adored by everyone. Absolutely hilarious. Gets hair done on Fridays, plays poker on Mondays."
By the way, the study doesn't actually make any recommendations. In fact, here's an excerpt from the end of the report:
"Efforts to date do not point to a single effective risk reduction strategy. No single strategy for comprehensive hurricane damage risk reduction, other than entirely abandoning communities in South Louisiana, will guarantee safety for the population along the coast."
Basically, what this study has done is just collect all the alternatives, so that more meetings can be held. The Corps has placed a paragraph in the report meant to blunt criticism that the public was expecting recommendations from this report, and there are none (and, yes, I am aware that was reported earlier, but that doesn't mean that every member of the public in South Louisiana will remember or care about it):
"Congress also directed a technical report rather than a reconnaissance or feasibility report as described by normal USACE policy. The technical report will contain many of the same components as a reconnaissance or feasibility report, such as presenting the results of the formulation and evaluation of alternatives. As outlined by the Congressional direction, the technical report will contain a 'comprehensive hurricane protection analysis and design…to develop and present a full range of flood control, coastal restoration, and hurricane protection measures…for comprehensive Category 5 protection.'"
Expect to see that argument when people start asking, "why are there no recommendations other than, 'have more meetings?'"
Update #2: Here's some previous YRHT commentary on this.
In any event, let me spare you the suspense about how this will turn out. I predict that, when the USACE report finally comes out in 2008, it will not suddenly transform the Bushies into fervent supporters for Cat 5 flood protection for South Louisiana. No, they will view Cat 5 protection the same way they viewed it back in 2005; as too costly and too complex. President Bush will make no firm commitments or appropriations for Cat 5 levees and wetlands restoration. His adminstration will continue playing "run out the clock" with Louisiana, a stricken state that has no time to lose.
There ya have it, Louisiana. Two and a half years after Katrina, and the USACE presents us with a "Decision Matrix". Our recovery Czar, Donald Powell-- who advised us to wait and see "what the science dictates" about Category 5 protection-- is retiring. Thanks, guys.
The house whiskeys at Aidan Gill for Men are Jameson Original and Powers. They are well-known, reasonably smooth examples of blended Irish whiskey that also happen to be affordable. Proprietor Aidan Gill pours free drinks for the clients...
The few bottles of [Gill's] beloved Green Spot, an elegant aged whiskey Gill has "smuggled into the country by my mules," are rarely cracked. Gill is fond of saying that he would only pour the bracing spirit, unavailable for purchase in the United States, should the pope happen to drop in for a trim and/or shave.
But... Gill revealed that he made an exception when gonzo journalist -- and renowned chemical abuser -- Hunter S. Thompson came by not long before his death in early 2005.
"So I give this gob sod a glass of Green Spot," Gill said in his spicy Irish brogue. "He's got a glass of white wine in one hand and a bag of drugs and firearms in the other. Without even looking, without giving it a second thought, he poured the Green Spot straight into the wine. I didn't know what to say."
Ouch. Well, it's not the first time HST made a spectacle of himself in N.O..
The pairing of grooming with inebriates in Gill's shop has helped foster an uncommon loyalty from some of his clients. Peter Bodenheimer has been a Gill client for nearly 20 years. In that time he's acquired the habit of dropping by the shop, which moved to Magazine Street in 1999, for a whiskey between haircut appointments.
That sounds like a rather pleasant habit to acquire. Since Peter's a friend of mine, I'll helpfully plug an effort with which he is currently involved by linking, sans permission, to the "Start Up New Orleans" post at the Gambit Weekly web site. (Update: Varg has more thoughts here.)
Peter B. has also been known to play cards at fairly expert levels. Last night was an exception. But at least Peter doesn't spend hours in the tank before making a ridonkulous blunder, like some people I know. *wink* Thesestories were part of our discussions last night.
Bush heard tales of all-night tea drinking sessions to coax local residents into cooperating, and of tribesmen crossing mountains to attend government meetings seen as building blocks for the country’s democracy-in-the-making.
“I must say, I’m a little envious,” Bush said. “If I were slightly younger and not employed here,I think it would be a fantastic experience to be on the front lines of helping this young democracy succeed.”
“It must be exciting for you... in some ways romantic, in some ways, you know, confronting danger. You’re really making history, and thanks,” Bush said.
Yeah, being on the front lines in Iraq does sound like a blast. It's just terribly unfortunate that when Bush was younger, there were no opportunites for him to "confront danger" on the "front lines", defending "freedom" in a war in a foreign land.
Thanks for protecting Houston airspace from the Viet Cong in 1968, Dubya. Just guessing, but perhaps there were some young men on the front lines in Viet Nam who were "envious" of your arrangement.
What fails to receive enough attention is the tremendous work done by the U.S military in helping this city of sin, which was incapacitated in the aftermath of the unkind, but not unreasonable Hurricane Katrina. One reader was especially thankful for the National Guard soldiers that restored order to a population out of control, crediting the Guard patrols with saving her home from the looters that ravaged businesses blocks away.
I'm sure that, in this post, "The Blog of New Orleans" scrupulously observed the "Terms and Conditions" at the Ruth's Chris Steak House web site. That is, I'm sure "The Blog of New Orleans" contacted Ruth's Chris Florida headquarters in writing, and received permission to hyperlink to the site before they did so. Also, I'm sure that "The Blog of New Orleans" also got written permission to use the Ruth's Chris trademarked graphic that headlines the post.
Otherwise, if "The Blog of New Orleans" did not seek and receive such permissions, it may have made itself vulnerable to scathing and sarcastic criticisms from the unruly "wahoos" in the nolablogosphere.
The Special Agent in Charge of the New Orleans office of the FBI tells 995fm.com the FBI has wrapped up its investigation into the placement of threatening posters in the downtown area last fall.
James Bernazzani says that following an "aggressive" investigation by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's office, officials have determined that the threat posed in the posters to destroy privately owned condos in the city, "lacks merit."
Whew. Since those threatening posters went up, I've been more nervous than a long-tailed whore in a church full of Christian rockers. (Or something like that.)
Bernazzani tells 995fm.com, "it was basically a bunch of social misfits who scared some people."
Ricky alerted me to an article from the Independent Weekly, which transcribes an exchange between Sen. Vitter and a reporter, where Vitter actually answered a question about Spitzer, prostitutes, and double standards.
Here's the exchange, as told by reporter Scott Jordan:
“New York Democratic Gov. Eliot Spitzer just resigned today after it was revealed that he had an affair with a prostitute,” I said. “I also just read an editorial in the Ouchita Citizen today that noted if Spitzer resigns, you should resign also over your past transgression. How do you respond to people who say that there’s a double standard at work here?” ... “I made a very serious mistake a long time ago, and I have to live with that every day,” Vitter replied. He sounded genuine and contrite. “That’s not a flippant statement. I need to spend my whole life making up for that.”
Then his tone turned a bit defiant. “Anybody who looks at the two cases will see that there is an enormous difference between the two of them,” he said. “The people that are trying to draw comparisons to the two cases are people who’ve never agreed with me on important issues like immigration and other things.”
What's the "enormous difference" that would justify Spitzer's resignation but not Vitter's?
That Spitzer preferred higher-priced talent? That Vitter (likely) transacted with an escort who is a Congressional subordinate? That Spitzer didn't publicly lie about the scope of his transgressions?
A publicly traded affiliate of the Carlyle Group said yesterday that lenders were seizing its assets, sending the fund, Carlyle Capital, into insolvency.
The collapse of Carlyle Capital is the first time a Carlyle Group fund has failed and is a stinging embarrassment for the... private-equity powerhouse, which has built an international reputation with a client list that reaches around the world. ... By yesterday the fund had defaulted on $16.6 billion of debt and said it expected to default soon on its remaining debt. The fund's $21.7 billion in assets were exclusively in AAA mortgage-backed securities issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, traditionally considered secure and conservative investments, which it was using as collateral against its loans.
In a statement, Carlyle Capital said that it had been unable to meet margin calls in excess of $400 million over the past week and that it expected its lenders to take control of its remaining assets. ... Carlyle Capital stock closed at $2.80... yesterday before the announcement, off 89 percent from its peak.
"I honestly think [the gay agenda is] the biggest threat our nation has, even more so than terrorism or Islam... They want to get [our precious straight children] into the government schools so they can indoctrinate them... They are going after our young children, as young as two years of age, to try to teach them that the homosexual lifestyle is an acceptable lifestyle. You know, gays are infiltrating city councils... they are winning elections. One of my colleagues said We don't have a gay problem in our community...well you know what, that is so dumb. If you have cancer in your little toe, do you just say that I'm going to forget about it since the rest of you is fine? It spreads! This stuff is deadly and it is spreading. It will destroy our young people and it will destroy this nation."
"I'm a guy and I've heard about the Vagina Monologues but I don't know what was going on. I didn't know anything about it and she started to describe this event - look, you know I've got a script and I'm not following it - and I was absolutely blown away at how awesome this work is. I mean, she is doing God's work. So, I stand before you, a vagina-friendly Mayor. I am in! And you know what? It is so appropriate right now. New Orleans, Louisiana is the birthplace of jazz, you know, but it is the birthplace of so many tremendous women."
"I cannot tell you how important it is that we understand the true nature of Islam, that we see it for what it really is. In fact, I will tell you this: I do not believe our country can truly fulfill its divine purpose until we understand our historical conflict with Islam. I know that this statement sounds extreme, but I do not shrink from its implications. The fact is that America was founded, in part, with the intention of seeing this false religion destroyed, and I believe September 11, 2001, was a generational call to arms that we can no longer ignore."
Yesterday the WSJ's Gerald Seib assessed vice presidential possibilities for John McCain. After naming Guvs Mark Sanford and Tim Pawlenty (who I predict will get the nod), Seib then devotes a paragraph to our favorite whiz kid:
Finally, here's an intriguing [V.P.] possibility: How about Louisiana's new governor, Bobby Jindal? He definitely provides youth (age 36), is a former Rhodes scholar who's actually worked on health-care reform while running Louisiana's health agency, and has experience in the House. As an Indian-American, he'd go a long way toward defusing the Republican Party's current image as anti-immigrant, and he's Catholic to boot, which helps with a key constituency. OK, he's probably too young -- but he sure is articulate and that, plus his nontraditional ethnic background, makes him appear to be a kind of Republican version of Sen. Obama.
Have a cigar you're gonna go far...
--- Also, I want to just mention Kimberley Strassel's WSJ column in today's paper. In it, she blames Spitzer's "media enablers" for not being critical and skeptical in their coverage of Gov. Spitzer. She writes that
Journalism has many functions, but perhaps the most important is keeping tabs on public officials.
I'll note here that the print WSJ totally ignored the Vitter/D.C. hooker story when it came out last summer. I was surprised, but I was told that the wsj "doesn't do many stories on things that happen below the waist", which is fair enough.
I'm not saying the WSJ used different standards with the Spitzer and Vitter stories, or anything like that. Just noting these data points for the record.
Adrastos points out some small errors in this T-P article which describes how the Spitzer story is stirring up "dirt" that Sen. David Vitter had hoped settled. The article concludes by looking ahead to the next scheduled embarrassment:
Even without the Spitzer case, Vitter was likely to find himself back in the headlines soon. The D.C. Madam's trial is scheduled to start next month, and Palfrey has hinted that she will call him as a witness.
The double standard between Spitzer and Vitter is open for all to see as Louisiana’s perceived leaps in perception take a lump as New York demonstrates to the world that they know how to deal with hooker loving electeds. As for Jindal, member of the 4 person RGA executive committee who called for Spitzers resignation, the usual pablum. From Vitter, the usual cowed silence.
Here's lagniappe from James Carville, explaining the disparity: “Spitzer is a former prosecutor and is governor of New York. He has powerful enemies. Vitter is Louisiana’s junior senator and nobody really knows him or cares that much about him.”
Val is about to work with 50 cent on a film in New Orleans called "Microwave Park" directed by Irwin Winkler's son Charles Winkler.
*** I play a burly rough but loyal cop. 50 is my partner.... xox v ***
Kilmer has replaced Robert DeNiro, who was going to be the "burly rough but loyal" cop in the corrupt (post-K?) NOPD. The film is tentatively titled either "New Orleans" (guh!) or "Microwave Park". Let's pray it's the latter. Apparently, the film has been in production for quite some time. Perhaps DeNiro dropped out because he just finished a crime drama with 50 cent titled Righteous Kill. ---
More of "Actor - Composer" Kilmer's best work here.
I don't know if I should thank Leigh for alerting me to this article from New Orleans Magazine.
I wonder if any written piece of local "journalism" has ever made me more frustrated with the level of discourse in this city.
I have no response to the article because it is such a blatantly biased distortion of the truth.
Leigh, you should cancel your subscription. This crap needs to be pushed to the margins.
Well, it's my duty to inform E and Leigh about New Orleans Magazine's linking permissions policy. The policy can be found at the address below. (I didn't hyperlink to it because I am a very good boy, and I didn't want to violate New Orleans Magazine's hallowed link policy):
For those who do not wish to cut and paste the above non-link, here is the relevant portion of New Orleans Magazine's "Linking Permissions" policy that I am referring to:
Linking to Web articles
It is possible to use NewOrleansMagazine.com or New Orleans Magazine articles in electronic formats. Most World Wide Web uses are limited to a maximum posting period of one year. [oy note: Huh? I don't know what the hell that means.]
Advance permission is required in order to link to an article on NewOrleansMagazine.com or New Orleans Magazine.
There you have it.
Now, do Leigh and E actually believe that they are entitled to link "willy nilly" to whomever they please on the World Wide Internets-- sans permission?!!? I think not.
A vast array of pharmaceuticals — including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones — have been found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans... the presence of so many prescription drugs — and over-the-counter medicines like acetaminophen and ibuprofen — in so much of our drinking water is heightening worries among scientists of long-term consequences to human health. ... How do the drugs get into the water?
People take pills. Their bodies absorb some of the medication, but the rest of it passes through and is flushed down the toilet. The wastewater is treated before it is discharged into reservoirs, rivers or lakes. Then, some of the water is cleansed again at drinking water treatment plants and piped to consumers. But most treatments do not remove all drug residue.
And while researchers do not yet understand the exact risks from decades of persistent exposure to random combinations of low levels of pharmaceuticals, recent studies — which have gone virtually unnoticed by the general public — have found alarming effects on human cells and wildlife.
A new study shows that the number of Americans with at least one prescription has increased from 67 percent in 2000 to 74 percent in 2006. Not surprisingly, Louisiana, a regular bottom-dweller in health care studies, ranks among the top states with the highest incidence of consuming certain prescription drugs. In fact, this state has the dubious distinction of being the No. 1 state overall for the greatest prevalence of usage for 2006.
Gotta replenish those trace amounts of who knows what in our aquifers. But small little parts per billion won't kill you... in the short term... probably.
In Georgia, the General Assembly has passed a statewide water-use plan, but questions remain about how it will be funded and how it will be implemented. Alabama is just beginning the process, with Gov. Bob Riley saying recently that his state will conduct a statewide assessment of all water resources, above and below ground. This, he says, is the first step in creating a statewide water policy. ... But before any of the states get very far in their water planning, there’s still the matter of the 18-years-long “Water Wars” to be settled among Alabama, Florida and Georgia. You may recall that the governors of the three states met in Washington, D.C., late last year with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and pledged to work together and “play nice” to try and reach some sort of compromise.
That was then, and this is now. A federal appeals court recently threw out an agreement that Georgia had reached with the Corps of Engineers for water rights to a major federal reservoir outside Atlanta, handing Alabama and Florida a major victory in the states’ years-long water wars.
The 2003 agreement with the Corps would give Georgia about a quarter of Lake Lanier’s capacity during the coming decades and is the foundation of Georgia’s long-term plans for supplying drinking water to the rapidly growing Atlanta region.
Alabama and Florida challenged the pact, arguing Georgia doesn’t have a legal right to the federal reservoir, which was initially built for hydropower. ... More than one expert has likened the collapse of the region’s water resources to a natural disaster waiting to happen.
“This whole situation has been like Katrina in slow motion,” says David Goldberg, a “smart growth” advocate and Atlanta-based writer on urban affairs. “It’s the same confluence of factors. There’s Mother Nature, the Army Corps of Engineers and the utter failure to plan for the growth of metro Atlanta.”
Not sure I like the Katrina comparison, but perhaps it's not as hyperbolic as it sounds. ===
Now that Federal receipts are plunging while outlays are growing, methinks we won't be hearing so much of that conservative "happy talk" about "rising revenues" in the wake of Bush's (unsustainable) tax cuts. Perhaps Dick Cheney will again try to create a new government agency to prove his batty beliefs in supply side voodoo (no offense intended to followers of Ashe), but I think the wingnuts will start focusing more on finding ways to blame Democrats for the current recession. ("They threatened to repeal the tax cuts, and business lost confidence!")
[The] federal deficit [is] not the true measure of Washington's burden on the economy. The true measure is the overall share of economic output that the federal government consumes.
This was a point insistently made by Nobel Laureate economist Milton Friedman, who died just over a year ago.
Under George W. Bush, federal tax receipts did continue the sharp decline they began in the last years of the Clinton Administration. Most of the decline was the result of a recession-bound economy, both pre- and (especially) post-9/11. ... After 2004, however, federal receipts did tick up again, reflecting the economic expansion, peaking at 18.8% of GDP in 2007.
Now federal receipts are falling as the economy slows, to a projected 17.6% in fiscal 2008. Federal spending, however, has increased quite relentlessly. It was 19.4% in 2002 Bush's first full fiscal year in office, up from 18.5% in fiscal 2001 (which began in October 2000 and reflected President Bill Clinton's last budget).
Federal spending is projected to be 20.5% of GDP in fiscal 2008. That's the highest level of federal spending since 1995. Remarkably, we've been here before. A very similar reversal of the positive trends developing under the Reagan administration occurred once George H.W. Bush succeeded to the White House in 1989. It seems to be a family tradition. It just isn't particularly conservative.
--- Conservatives and their Supply Side Voodoo reminds me of the song"Tribal Convictions", by Voivod. Fwiw, hearing Voivod play this song in 1989 at the Bonham in Orlando was possibly the best concert moment in all the shows I've seen. Never heard bass like that, before or since. Anyway, just sharing. (A little known band named Soundgarden opened for Voivod that evening.)
I've just got here To find underbrains I'll watch their voodoo That starts the rain ... We've never seen...that before It's what we've been...waiting for It just arrived To save our lives The flying lord The god of all time Have no idea....what it thinks But have no fear...we trust it It is the leader Of our sacred wars Came from the sky It rules so far ... They're searching for something Something to believe in... Their convictions Blood effusion Is it a crime Their convictions Self-destruction At the right time Their convictions Exploitation Under the sign It's gonna be more It's gonna be war It's gonna be... Who's the god Who's the dog
Dead Pelican publisher Chad Rogers was a guest on Jeff Crouere's Ringside Politics radio show on 990am this morning, when a wonderful exchange occurred. A caller named "James" from Metairie phoned into the show, and asked Rogers if he regretted writing that he would have voted for Nagin over Landrieu in 2006.
Rogers sputtered and stuttered a bit, but then got his bearings and proceeded to dissemble in grand fashion. He argued that when he wrote his rant about voting for Nagin, he was attempting to be "optimistic" after the N.O. mayoral election. See, he didn't think it was a good time to say that the city was going to hell in a handbasket, as others were doing, so he claimed that he was being "optimistic" for the sake of New Orleans. (New Orleanians know how soothing that patented Rogers' optimism can be, don't we?) Rogers was acting like his rant about voting for the incompetent Nagin-- and against the competent Landrieu-- was his way of bucking up New Orleans during a stressful time.
Now, this might be remotely arguable if Rogers hadn't spent several paragraphs in that same 5/23/06 rant talking about why "all Louisianans" must stop "the political incest" of the ineffectual "Landrieu" family, which (in his view) had brought the state "to its knees". In that rant, Rogers clearly believes that Nagin is preferable to Mitch Landrieu if for no other reason than his last name isn't "Landrieu". So for Rogers to characterize his 5/23/06 rant (which blasted the Landrieus and "endorsed" Nagin) as some sort of "optimistic" offering to weary New Orleanians... well, that doesn't even pass the laugh test.
In response to James from Metairie, Rogers couldn't bring himself to admit that he regretted saying he would have voted for Nagin over Landrieu. James responded by saying that voting to re-elect Nagin in 2006 was like voting to re-elect Bush in 2004. Then James explicitly blamed the white cross-over vote for putting Nagin over the top. (I call this demographic "theCouhigConservatives".) Big cheers to James for making these excellent points.
Interestingly, Jeff Crouere put his own 2 cents into the discussion and praised Mitch Landrieu as the obvious choice in 2006. Crouere said that "he did everything he could" to militate for Landrieu's election that year, even though he disagreed with many of Landrieu's positions on policy. Crouere had nothing but effusive praise for Landrieu as a competent, capable, superior alternative to Nagin. Rogers was silent while Crouere talked up Landrieu.
While I think Crouere might've exaggerated his 2006 support for Mitch Landrieu on his radio show this morning, I do give him the benefit of the doubt on this one. At the time, I recall him being extremely critical of Nagin, and indicating that Landrieu was the best choice. He may honestly feel like he did "everything he could" for Mitch under the circumstances. I don't know. (BSJ David may recallthingsa bit differently on this micro-issue, and doesn't cut Crouere as much slack as I do.)