Sunday, September 07, 2008

Trouble the Mayor 

Five minutes into the "Trouble the Water" documentary, New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin walks out.

If that's not enough of a recommendation to see "Trouble the Water", I don't know what is.

But prior to his ignorant and rude exit, Nagin had a conversation with the indefatigable Kimberly Roberts, whose Federal Flood experience is profiled in the film. Here's a transcript of what was said. There's so many "quotes of the weak" here, I can't even excerpt them all:


KIMBERLY RIVERS ROBERTS: I want to know what is— you know, what are the people, the leaders of New Orleans, are going to do about the neglect that’s going on in the city?

MAYOR RAY NAGIN: Unfortunately, we can’t change 200-300 years worth of habits overnight. The good thing about Katrina, if there is a good thing, is that we’ve got our economy going in a much better direction. There’s lots of jobs, opportunities, and business.

"Habits"? "Good thing"? Pardon my french, but that sort of talk is bug fuck crazy.

And why does OUR businessman mayor credit a disaster for turning our economy around in a "much better direction"? When he was first elected, didn't he promise to do that without "benefit" of a disaster that killed thousands, and destroyed untold billions of property and infrastructure?

KIMBERLY RIVERS ROBERTS: I’m talking about real jobs with living wages. We’re still—

MAYOR RAY NAGIN: Let me just tell you a couple of examples. And I know this is something that is—we need to have a deeper discussion about.

KIMBERLY RIVERS ROBERTS: Right, right, right.

MAYOR RAY NAGIN: Just things like, you know, working at Gene’s po’ boy shop.

KIMBERLY RIVERS ROBERTS: Yeah, yeah.

MAYOR RAY NAGIN: They’re paying, you know, $1,500, $1,800 a week to their cooks.

KIMBERLY RIVERS ROBERTS: No, they’re not, man. I’m putting [inaudible] Gene’s, man.

MAYOR RAY NAGIN: To their cooks.

KIMBERLY RIVERS ROBERTS: They’re not.

MAYOR RAY NAGIN: I’m telling you what they’re doing.

KIMBERLY RIVERS ROBERTS: I cook. I cooked in the French Quarter before, and I’ve tried everything.

MAYOR RAY NAGIN: You ought to try, because I just left Gene’s not too long ago.

I never knew that making po boys could be so lucrative. But our Accountant-in-Chief assures us that cooks at Gene's are pulling down 80+ grand per year, serving up sandwiches. And we've been assured by others who endorsed his candidacy that Mayor Nagin "understands business"... so who am I to question OUR Mayor's assertions? After all, he just left Gene's not long ago.

I wonder what Nagin will say about New Orleans, after he leaves office?

Hey man, y'all have no excuse for being poor at this point. I told you to let go of all those old French/Carribean/outlaw habits, and cultivate a proper work ethic. Fill your schedule with profitable business. Show up. Get yourself some "dirt", or a city contract. Embrace the opportunity to participate in disaster capitalism. Pretty soon, you'll be farting through bamboo silk undies.

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Hearty Propers go out to... 

Maitri, Karen, and all other New Orleans area citizens who have not forgotten about our brothers and sisters "down the bayou" in the coastal parishes. Many of our fellow South Louisianans did not experience Hurricane Gustav as a "near miss", or a disaster "averted". Their current troubles go far beyond temporary power outages, interstate traffic frustrations, and inadequate local leadership. So let's remember Terrebone and Lafourche parishes and the Houma Nation, and let us show them the same generosity and attention they showed us after Katrina (many New Orleanians, including myself, lived in Houma for a while during the Katrina aftermath).

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Thursday, September 04, 2008

New Orleans' Sarah Palin? 

Congressional candidate and former TV reporter Helena Moreno recently blundered in a debate when she couldn't answer a policy question about the Stafford Act. But she claimed that her supporters (like former FBI chief Jim Bernazzani) will vouch that she's a quick study.

Related?:

Mr. McCain's advisers said Friday that Mr. McCain was well aware that [V.P. candidate and former TV reporter Ms. Sarah] Palin would be criticized for her lack of foreign policy experience, but that he viewed her as exceptionally talented and intelligent and that he felt she would be able to be educated quickly.

"She's going to learn national security at the foot of the master for the next four years, and most doctors think that he'll be around at least that long," said Charlie Black, one of Mr. McCain's top advisers, making light of concerns about Mr. McCain's health, which Mr. McCain's doctors reported as excellent in May.

Of course, Moreno wants to represent a district that is much different than Palin's Alaska. Southern Louisiana, for example, is hot, flat, and rich in culture. Alaska is cold, mountainous, and rich in moose. Southern Louisiana subsists on oil and gas, fishing, state socialism, and suffers from too many teenage pregnancies. Alaska is ...no doubt much much different.

So, despite the support of uber-Republican kingmakers like Boysie Bollinger, Moreno has to tamp down any hard right views she may have. For example, when she praised the surge in Iraq in her announcement speech, she added an important qualifier:

I do believe the surge has worked, and while I am frustrated by our reason for entering into battle, I am focused on our success against terrorism and tyrants.


You see, down here in the thunderous (sub)tropics, you can't go "full wingtard" and expect to win. It just won't work. Alaska, however, is a different place:

Gov. Sarah Palin told ministry students at her former church the United States sent troops to fight in Iraq on a “task that is from God.”

In an address last June, the Republican vice presidential candidate also urged ministry students to pray for a plan to build a $30 billion natural gas pipeline in the state, calling it “God’s will.”

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I hear congratulations are in order for young Master Trig Paxson Van Palin. The Alaska Governor's five month old will soon be an uncle! That's cool. And the baby-daddy's name is pronounced "Levee"? That's cool, too. I was disappointed, though, that Gov. Palin didn't write the announcement about Trig's sister's pregnancy in the voice of God, as she did for an announcement about Trig.

Bill Maher jokes:

This isn't a presidential ticket, it's a sitcom. "The Maverick and the Milf".


GMILF-to-be, Bill. GMILF-to-be.

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Australian Senator on oil tanker safety 



"...And twenty thousand tons of crude oil"

Maybe I was the last to have seen this, but it's worth two viewings.


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Update: Thanks to Uncle Jim for showing me this

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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

If English was good enough for Jesus, then Palin is good enough for me 

You know that part in "Defending Your Life" where Albert Brooks' character is in the afterlife, and he is shown a compilation of all the boneheaded mistakes he's made, throughout his life, in quick succession? A sort of "lowlight reel", if you will.

This is what's in store for Gov. Sarah Palin over the coming weeks.

I mean: wow. Just, wow.

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Fun fact: oyster knows how to passionately say the Pledge of Allegiance (to America), en Francais.
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Update: Here we go. Here's the scene I was referring to. It's starts about 45 seconds in.



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h/t Blageur

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"Tier one" companies? 

They need to be let in early to check on their "stocks", see.

First of all, what constitutes a "Tier One" company in New Orleans? I didn't know we had any. Secondly, just the concept of this pisses me off, and is like an invitation to infiltrate. If they stop me at one of the designated roadblocks, perhaps I'll just flash my (homemade) "badge" which I fashioned out of an old school ID and my Sears charge card. I'll say: "I'm going in to check the vital 'stocks' of Toughskins at our Metairie store. A police escort is not necessary."


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Update: What Barbawit said.
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Update #2: What Jeffrey said, too. I recommend blasting Ozzy Osbourne's "No more tiers" single, while going through checkpoints.

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Monday, September 01, 2008

CNN just reported that a levee had "breached" 

Update #2: Local networks seem to cast doubt on CNN's "breach" report. WWL just said there's only overtopping at the Industrial Canal.
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This is a Category 2 storm that's not even directly hitting New Orleans, full force. I know we're on the strong side of the storm, but according to the radar, it looks like New Orleans has been largely between the most intense portions of the storm bands.

So, if this CNN report is accurate, and a levee has indeed been breached (not just merely overtopped) there will be serious flooding in surrounding neighborhoods. I believe the CNN reporter said the breached levee was near the ninth ward-- or perhaps lower 9th-- and was getting flooded, although not yet to the same extent it did after Katrina. But still.

We'll wait for confirmation on this report before going off. If this is true, though, there will be some Category 5 force ranting in store, I promise you.
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Update: We Saw That has video of an earlier report by Gary Tuchman where he indicated that parts of the industrial canal were experiencing more than "overtopping".

Also, my blog content is stuck at the bottom of the page when viewing it through MS Internet Explorer browser. Anyone know a quick way to fix this?

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Hope everyone's safe.

The oyster clan is on Florida's "first coast"/"fun coast"/"space coast". We're near Daytona, in Ormond Beach-- "the birthplace of speed". As this site informs us, Glenn Curtiss set a motorcycle land speed record of 136 mph on Ormond Beach on January 20, 1907-- a record which stood for 23 years .

Those of you who evacuated I-10 East Saturday and Sunday might've forgotten the concept of "speed". (And let's not forget the mandatory I-59 diversion. Later, I'll have more to say about Mississippi and Alabama's closure of I-10 to Louisiana traffic later. Of course, we don't play that stuff and took 90 east to the 11 bridge and down Gause back to 90, around the interstate diversion, then back on I-10, then back on 90 when 10 got congested, and around the Hank Aaron loop in Mobile to avoid the tunnel traffic, and then East on I-10, hopping back on 90 to avoid accident/rubberneck congestion when necessary. Gov. Haley Barbour can't slow us down.)

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