Friday, October 31, 2008

OnCrack Inc. 

From the T-P:

"[Sen. Ted 'tubes' Stevens] should resign," [Senate candidate John N.] Kennedy said as he campaigned for the Senate seat now held by Democrat Mary Landrieu. "You can't serve in the United States Senate with that kind of cloud over you."

Me wonders, does our embattled junior Senator David "Vitty-cent" Vitter agree with Mr. Kennedy?

Then this:

Kennedy told a small group of supporters at a Baton Rouge restaurant Wednesday that his campaign's latest polls show Landrieu leading the race 45-44, a statistical dead heat.
Kennedy's campaign released a report from its pollster, [OnCrack Inc.] OnMessage Inc., showing that the results include responses from 900 likely voters interviewed Sunday through Tuesday.

If the John N. Kennedy campaign is not smoking crack (notice I said "if"), and they really are in a statistical tie, and are in position to pull off an upset win, all due credit must go to his ground game.

The vast John N. Kennedy volunteer armada has knocked on over half a million doors. That's nearly 1 in every 3 Louisiana households. What did you say to the JNK volunteers when they knocked on your door?

It's a pity that Presidential candidate John McCain doesn't have a commensurate volunteer armada at his disposal. Str8 Tawlk must envy the Kennedy campaign's disciplined "crack" staff, and their massive, enthusiastic volunteer ground game. It will surely make the difference on Tuesday.

Boy, this campaign is much much different than when Kennedy's run for Senate as a Democrat in 2004. That year, Kennedy didn't have much of a campaign presence in the metro New Orleans area. He endorsed John Kerry for President, and gave a full-throated speech about economic justice down by the riverfront. But his campaign was anemic, and his "ground game" was invisible. If memory serves, I think Schroeder procured the only Kennedy yard sign in the entire Greater New Orleans area.

It's much, much different this time around. Everywhere you go, there's that Kennedy "electricity" in the air. People can't get enough of the guy. His face is everywh--

Alright, I'll stop slathering on the sarcasm extra thick. But the crack comment and the door knockin' bullshit got under my skin.

Hopefully the consolation of philosophy will help soothe John "the 'N' stands for Nomentum" Kennedy, should his vast campaign volunteer armada somehow fail him on election day.


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It's not small, it's "fun size" 

... that's what he said.

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We thank The Dark Wraith for these Halloween graphics:

Heh. But, to be fair, here's a Dark Wraith graphic that mocks the ObamaBorg.

Happy Halloween. I'm going out as a socialist.


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Is the John N. Kennedy campaign smoking crack? 

It seems to be the sort of question to ask nowadays, when someone provides numbers that are (perceived as) patently ridiculous.

For example:

Through Wednesday, the Landrieu campaign said its volunteers, working with the coordinated Victory 2008 campaign of the state Democratic Party, had called 819,951 households and knocked on 27,906 doors trying to drum up votes for Landrieu's third term.

The Kennedy campaign and its Republican volunteers had knocked on 534,000 doors and made 139,000 telephone calls on behalf of the challenger.

Knocked on half a million doors? No chance. No way. Kennedy's massive armada of campaign volunteers couldn't knock on half a million doors if they were on the assembly line at a door factory.

I mean, they're basically saying that one in three Louisiana households were paid a visit by Kennedy volunteers. One in three! Did you get a visit? I sure didn't. And then the paper reports this wildly farcical number as fact, instead of (falling into the fetal position convulsing with laughter and then) asking "Should citizens who hear this statistic assume that the Kennedy campaign has an extremely... um... libertarian stance on the legalization of crack cocaine, and that the campaign itself fires up the rock on a near-hourly basis?"

A campaign that has trouble getting more than a dozen people in the same room to hear Kennedy speak wants you to believe that they've knocked on half a million doors.

update: Via Reduct Box, we learn that ABC news picked up the story:

The Kennedy campaign's response probably wasn't its best moment. Campaign spokesman Lenny Alcivar told the New Orleans Times-Picayune that the people who conducted the poll were "smoking crack" and that "no one believes it."

The Landrieu campaign immediately pounced on the gaffe-tacular moment.

"Just so I'm not mistaken, the Kennedy campaign is accusing students at SLU of being crackheads? Is that right?" campaign spokesman Brian Welsh asked rhetorically in a statement released Wednesday.


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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Music news 

There's been local speculation that the next OBL "album" will be released soon.

It's a disturbing thought.

And so is the notion that writer James Montgomery is being serious in this preview for the long awaited GNR album, "Chinese Democracy". (Not to be a spoiler, but I hear that "Disaster Girl" will be on the cover.)

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Via WST, the UK Telegraph reports:

A horse had to be cut free with a chainsaw after it managed to trap its head in a tree. The neighbour was able to carefully set the horse free using a chainsaw.

The young filly needed to be freed from the tree after curiosity got the better of it and it wedged its head between separate sections of the trunk.

Stupid animal.

From WIIIAI, a BBC news item:

A passenger on a French train had to be rescued by firemen after having his arm sucked down the on-board toilet.

The 26-year-old victim was trapped when he tried to fish out his mobile phone, which had fallen into the toilet bowl, and fell foul of the suction system.

The high-speed TGV train had to stop for two hours while firemen cut through the train's pipework.

The man was carried away by emergency services, with the toilet still attached to his arm.


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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Back to hell 

In a sympathetic and understanding post, The Mighty Favog excerpts an article from the Columbia Journalism Review that details some of Chris Rose's demons. Wet Bank Guy writes about them here. I wouldn't wish Chris Rose's problems on my worst enemy, as the CJR makes painfully evident.

[T-P writer Chris] Rose’s breakthrough column in the fall of that year, describing his depression and the lucidity that anti-depressants brought, was titled “Hell and Back,” and it ended with an altar call. For those who recognized themselves in him, Rose wrote, “Let me offer some unsolicited advice, something that you’ve already been told a thousand times by people who love you, something you really ought to consider listening to this time: Get help.”

And they did. Rose’s column “sent hundreds and hundreds of people to their physicians,” says [T-P Features editor James] O’Byrne. “I know that just based on the physicians that I have, who themselves got fifteen or twenty patients to come to them and say, ‘I read Chris Rose’s column. I think this may be me.’”

The next week, Rose urged readers to look for the “red flags” of mental illness in their neighbors. “I don’t mean to get all Oprah on you here,” he wrote, “but if you see the opportunity, help a guy get his shoes on, because sometimes it’s harder than you know.” In fact, for Rose, recovery was proving harder than just taking a pill. Feeling impatient, he started upping his dose of Cymbalta. Then he added painkillers to the mix. He began withdrawing again, and losing weight, until he weighed what he did in eighth grade. His columns became “unrunnable,” says O’Byrne, who spiked three in a short span of time. “They were just angry, rageful rants against life and the universe.”

Finally, last April, Rose’s wife Kelly arranged for an intervention. She and O’Byrne, along with three neighbors, confronted the columnist at his house and urged him to enter rehab. He didn’t need much persuasion. Not only did Rose understand he was in trouble, but he had an additional incentive: he had also recently learned that he was a bone-marrow match for his sister, who had leukemia. “I thought, ‘I’m gonna save Ellen’s life and then write a story that will blow people away,’” Rose says. “And I get to be the hero.” Rose went into rehab for thirty days, kicking both the painkillers and the antidepressants. But not in time to donate marrow to his sister, who died three months later.

Oof. That is some tough stuff. And, again, I'm sympathetic to his plight, and the midnights of the soul he has gone through (and will go through). I hope Chris Rose gets the help he needs to get back on his feet, but I still stand by everything I said about antidepressants in this post.


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When ya get First Drafted 

I have a post up at First Draft on hoaxtress Ashley Todd, and will have another one up later tonight about the end of Vietnam politics.

Ashley Todd was no mere "volunteer", as has been reported. She was being paid by the College Republican National Committee. After she claimed she was robbed and assaulted and mutilated by a tall black man, John McCain called her to express his sympathies.

I just hope he didn't try to cheer her up with his joke about the "marvelous ape".
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Get Politically Punch Drunk at "Politics with a Punch" 

Gotta agree with A Little to the Left over at the Head Pelican. Thursday's "Politics with a Punch" line-up looks like a doozy. Scheduled to appear:

Jay "perhaps you've seen me doing bidness on Canal St." Batt, Former Councilman, Chair-Louisiana McCain Campaign

Virginia "Nagin Enabler" Boulet, Chairman of Obama Campaign, Louisiana

Manny "Chevrolet" Bruno, Comic-Troubled Man for Troubled Times

Joe Johnson, Former Saints Star, Member of Saints Hall of Fame

Norman "perhaps you've seen me reporting live on Canal St." Robinson, News Anchor, WDSU-TV, Channel 6

Chris "I have always felt like I was more alert and alive than anyone in the room" Rose, Times Picayune Columnist, Author and Commentator

John Slade, Political Cartoonist, Radio Talk Show Host, Comedian


Remember, the show starts at 8pm, but Happy Hour begins at 6pm. Cheers!


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New Nagin budget includes tax increases 

Because, you know, it can't be said enough: Mayor Ray "understands business". And there's no excessive spending on city contracts that could be trimmed.

Prytaniawaterline expresses my sentiments exactly.

Update: The DP informs us that Mayor Nagin had this to say about Recovery Czar Ed ("Eddie?") Blakely's recent comments about his future in the city:

Now as far as his future, I’'m going to do what I normally do with him-- —just sit down in December and we talk about is this a good time for you to continue or are you ready to go back. I think a reporter sat him down after he had a couple of bottles of wine and he got a little too relaxed and started talking about how homesick he was. So as far as I know he’s going to be staying...


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Sign of the funkapolypse 

I prefer to think the mysterious "Eddie" sign refers to Eddie Bo.


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Monday, October 27, 2008

We are the web portal we've been waiting for... 



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Like, OMG! 

Senator Tubes goes down. A recent intertubeview:


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Heaven or New Orleans? 

As I said, Saturday morning was beautiful. But for me, this Monday morning is blustery and ominous. I feel like I'm walking with some unfriendly associates out by Michoud Crossing, and I'm looking up at the rustling tree leaves. Up ahead, something smells bad.

This unsettling feeling was only enhanced as I hurried past St. Henry church this morning, glancing at the patron saints candles and the flowers placed on the steps, outside the locked doors:

Three Catholic communities that for more than 100 years supported New Orleans families through the joys and wounds of childbirth, death, love and heartbreak celebrated Mass on Sunday for what may be the last time, many of their members red-eyed or silent and grim-faced, standing on the steps of the churches.

But at two of the parishes, some defied archdiocese officials and stayed.

At St. Henry, an Uptown parish of about 325 families, a handful of parishioners took the first overnight shift of what they described as an open-ended occupation intended to save their church.


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Oh what a beautiful morning 

"Dang this is purty" one Good Ole Boy tourist said to the other as they walked through Jackson Square on an impossibly beautiful Saturday morning.

The oyster fam was in the center of da Quarter, indulging in beignets, shaped balloons, trumpet tunes, and the works of talented artists. The weather was absolutely perfect. I sat down on a bench alongside a man who was sleeping, and read a ridiculous (yet sublimely ironic) news article in the local paper. I looked up and saw Andrew Jackson waving his hat towards an apartment where a woman used to live. Legend has it that she fancied him quite intensely, but he cared not... However, she held sway over how Jackson's statue would be positioned, so she had the last laugh, every morning, seeing him salute her on rearing horse... so they say.

Later, in 1862, Yankee General "Beast Butler" inscribed "The Union Must and Shall Be Preserved" on the front and back of Jackson's statue. Then in 2005 President George Bush used the Jackson Statue and St. Louis Cathedral as a backdrop when he promised to "do what it takes to rebuild" a city reeling from a federal flood. (And three years later New Orleans' biggest paper endorsed a black man for President, saying "we could use a national leader who appreciates that we are more than a sentimental memory of a college romp on Bourbon Street".)

Fun fact: Last week, my wife Lovely was in complete charge of a Lucky Dog cart for a brief period of time. She fervently believes that the foot long death dogs "must and shall be preserved".
Update: Varg shares photos of the day. Varg also informed me that Stag shot Billy.

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