Saturday, September 12, 2009

Couhig's coming back for more? Inconceivable! 

Via the DP, natch, WDSU reports:

New Orleans businessman Rob Couhig confirmed Friday night that he will soon decide whether to run for the city's top office.

Oh. Triple. Freakin'. Goody.

I mean, where to start? Rob Couhig is the wonderful businessman who helped re-elect Nagin over Landrieu in 2006. The rationale of his "Couhig Conservative" swing vote bloc was that four years of Nagin is better than eight years of Landrieu. And they were soooo right, weren't they? Hasn't Nagin's second term just zipped right on along? I guess time flies when you're caught in an explosion of rapid progress. Four short years after Nagin was re-elected-- look how far we've come! The cranes in the sky, the vibrant economy, the recovered neighborhoods, the safe streets, the clean, transparent government, the racial harmony.... Praise song for Nagin and his political abettors like Rob Couhig! We couldn't have done it without them. (Don't you just shudder to think what would have happened to the city if-- gasp!-- Mitch Landrieu had been elected Mayor? P-eww. His idea about doing a national search for a new police chief-- cuckoo! cuckoo! His "get things done" approach-- what a bizarre mentality! His troublesome associations to the dreaded *dun Dun DUNN*... Politics of the Past-- why, that might've resulted in a scandal! )

Needless to say, thanks to Couhig's unerring guidance, we sure as hell dodged a bullet re-electing Nagin over Landrieu in 2006. But, since we can't re-elect Ray Ray for four more years, a new mayoral decision is at hand for New Orleans.

And Rob Couhig announced that he's running! Yay! Bootstraps in every pot!

Oh, wait. He didn't quite announce that he's running. Couhig announced to the media that "he will soon decide whether to run for Mayor". So that's an announcement that he's... still deciding. Apparently Couhig needs more time to make up his mind: he needs to think it over and talk to people and go over all the pros and cons. Hmm. I just worry that after he lambasted Mitch Landrieu in 2006 as the "Prince of Vacillation", some folks might interpret Couhig's current dithering in much the same way. That might look bad.

Nevertheless, he announced that he'd announce something soon. Regarding his mayoral decision-making, here's exactly what Couhig told WDSU:

I think the city's psyche is fragile, and we need to make sure that when we go after it, we can deliver a win.

So, Couhig acknowledges that the city has been through a lot over the past four years, and he wants to make sure that if he runs again, he can "deliver a win". He doesn't want to get the city's hopes up by running, only to shatter the city's fragile psyche if he can't win and become mayor.

Pardon me one sec, while I enter into an uncontrolled laughing fit, throw myself to the floor in hysterical convulsions, shit out my spleen, then jump out my window and plunge to my death in a euphoric state of laughter-endorphin overload.
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There, I feel better now.

To recap: Couhig... doesn't want to... damage... the city's "psyche" by... running again and not winning? Is that the supposed conundrum he's trying to resolve before he announces? Wow. It seems inconceivable, but that's the most charitable interpretation of Couhig's bizarre statement that I can muster.

I would welcome Rob Couhig to join the 2010 mayoral race. More choices and more voices are a good thing. And I think the joyous hope of bold, Couhig Conservatism in the Mayor's office is such an inspiring prospect, that it outweighs the potential psychic damage which might be inflicted if the city temporarily leaves its senses and elects someone else. I think it's worth the risk, but then I'm a risktaker. I don't blame Couhig for making a considered decision on the matter. He doesn't want to hurt us again by running and losing. One thing's for sure: no other candidate is more responsible for where we are today than Rob Couhig, so I sure hope he runs on his record. And if he needs assistance, he can count on me to be there every step of the way to remind him.

As for Couhig's electoral chances, I don't blame him for taking some time to assess the current political landscape. I presume that Couhig's "base" will be the 50,000 newcomers who he hoped would settle in New Orleans after the storm. As The American magazine stated:

Couhig says the city will not be revived by returnees but rather by newcomers who sense the coming opportunity.
Bonne chance, Monsieur Couhig.

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2001 Concert for NYC 

Bowie: "'Heroes'"



Bowie: "America"

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Sports beat 

Cousin Pat finds the only football preview you'll be needing.

But in case he's wrong, Jeffrey offers a season long preview of the Saints. (His 9-7 prediction is low, in my book. Ten is the safer prediction, but mine goes to eleven. So let's say 11-5.)

Then, you should read Raving Black Lunatic, who writes about Caster Semenya in moving terms.

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Greenwald explains it to me 

Thank you.

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Friday, September 11, 2009

9/11 Day of Service 

From the AP: "On 9/11, day of mourning becomes day of service"


Instead of us simply remembering the horrible events and more importantly the heroes who lost their lives on 9/11, we are all going to turn into local heroes,” said Ted Tenenbaum, a Los Angeles repair shop owner who offered free handyman services Thursday and planned to do so again Friday.

Similar donations of time and labor were planned across the country after President Barack Obama and Congress declared the day would be dedicated to service this year for the first time.

I remember on 9/11 feeling shaken, helpless and wanting to do something. So I decided not to cancel the business trip that I had already scheduled for that day. Naturally, I listened to the car radio while I was on the road. Lovely didn't want me to travel, but I assured her rural Mississippi was probably not on the terrorists' list of hot targets. Many other Americans felt similarly. They gave blood and tried their best to get on with the necessary exchange of goods and services. I didn't like to leave my wife on that day, and I didn't make many sales during the business trip, but deep down I still think it wasn't a bad decision.

The Day of Service idea is a productive one, I think. Remember the victims and heroes, the tragedy and terror... pause and pray... but you can also do something extra, to help someone right now. Most of us experienced the "events of 9/11" watching it unfold on tv. I watched the replay of the 9/11/01 Today Show on MSNBC today, and I'm really not going to make that a yearly ritual.

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Update: Omigawd: on cue, Rush is horrified by this idea of a 9/11 day of service co-existing with a day of remembrance, lambastes Obama for lying, and states this corker:


Community service is one of the baby steps toward fascism.

Surely there are principled, intelligent conservatives who understand that Obama "can't be all four"*, but my do they stay quiet when their Talking Headcases conflate the facts of history and the meanings of words. I thought cons were passionate about those sorts of things. They're trying to defeat a health care bill by alarming grandma enough to go to the town hall, telling her "socialists want to kill her", and that Obama is a liberal/radical/fascist/communist/muslim/African/extremist bent on the confiscation of wealth and the destruction of babies. Grandma proceeds to stand up and yell to her Representative: "The Government must take its hands off my Medicare!"

It's pretty simple to have a Manichean mindset. Praise jeebus, only two categories! Dubya was a Manichean, and Dick Cheney was happy to provide him with lists of "good" and "bad".

Worked out well.

Now conservatives with national audiences LITERALLY toss around terms like socialism, fascism, communism and radicalism throughout their commentaries on Obama. He is BAD, therefore he is everything that has ever been BAD... and hardly anyone calls them on this sustained "willful stupidity".
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Update 2: Yes, projects like Huck's might bear good fruit among the "silent" (minority) of thoughtful conservatives allowing stupidity to flourish amongst their fellow travelers. Who knows where the saturation point for stupidity is, but it feels very very close.
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* Thx to Charlotte

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On 9/11, Beck discusses levee failure conspiracy theory 

This one, as much as it can be pieced together from the crazed nonsense, is a doozy.

(Credit: KG)
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Through the magic of the intertubes Jeffrey says:

Beck is like the Michael Jordan of crazy. You just find yourself standing and applauding at his unparalleled talent.

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Open letter to blogosphere from David C. Bellinger 

YRHT is proud to publish the following email from David C. Bellinger.
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9/11/2009

Dear: Blogger

Understanding is Key to Reforming Health Care; Not Misinformation

Re: Times-Picayune, "Scalise Town Hall Moved to Larger Building; Fontainebleau Gym Holds More People", St. Tammany Bureau, Sept. 1, 2009


I was indeed shocked, and appalled, to read in the Times-Picayune that Congressman Steve Scalise (R-Metairie) professes that our nation has the best health care in the world -– and is in opposition to the Democratic health care reform.

A quick check of the World Almanac, in terms of infant mortality and life expectancy, shows otherwise.

Almost all advanced countries have better national health statistics than the United States, and many not so advanced countries as well.

Furthermore, 700,000 Americans yearly land in bankruptcy court due to medical crises. In Britain, France, Germany, and Japan the total sum of medical bankruptcies is “0.” Even the not normal liberally thinking AMA –- the nation’s largest association of medical doctors -– has embraced the “public option” as a means of given persons more medical insurance choices -– referring to the largely Democratic supported bill as “America's Affordable Health Choices Act.”

Congressman Steve Scalise's assertion that he has proposed common sense health care reforms is a disguise to place a band aid on a broken and antiquated system of health care -– which has existed for far too many years benefiting private insurers -– which needs invasive surgery to make available, affordable and accessible health care to all.

David C. Bellinger
(404) 762-8779
Atlanta, GA
e-mail: davidc53@juno.com

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

"yellin' in my ear, you try to control me" 

The overreaction to Rep. Joe Wilson's childish, false shout during President Obama's speech has unearthed some highlights from Wilson's illustrious career that are too much fun not to pass along.

Apparently, this twisted dipthong believes that promoting heritage is honorable if you love the confederacy, but not if you're Strom Thurmond's inconvenient offspring. I'll have one more, but will include it in a future post.

For now, Op Ivy:



lyrics

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Fed investigation into Nagin's Meff lab continues apace 

Rising Tide "Ashley" Award recipient, blogger of the year, The American Zombie, had it first.

Most of the local blognoscenti already know this, but perhaps it's worth reiterating, and The Gambit Weekly's recent description of "Best Local Scandal" will serve nicely for our purposes:

1. Ray Nagin Emails — We should call this one "the best scandal you never saw" because Hizzoner's emails are still under wraps — at least from the public. Word has it that the FBI, which served warrants on City Hall weeks ago as part of a wide-ranging investigation of the city's IT office, already has the mayor's emails. This all started when Nagin violated state law by not turning over his emails and his 2008 calendar to WWL-TV reporter Lee Zurik, who filed a public records request for them. When Zurik and WWL sued Nagin to get the records, city attorneys told the court that Nagin's records had to be deleted from an overcrowded city server. Turns out Nagin's were the only emails deleted — and they were removed deliberately, not automatically because of space concerns.

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This blog will live in Acronyminy 

YRHT

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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

What's cookin' in Nagin's Meff lab? 

T-P:

New documents unveiled on the eve of a civil court trial hint at a kickback scheme between former New Orleans technology chief Greg Meffert and computer giant Dell Inc., attorneys for the plaintiffs say.

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Noladishu links 

Clay at Noladishu alerted me to the news that James K. Glassman has been named the founding executive director of the George W. Bush Institute. Glassman seems well-qualified to serve as the steward of Bush's legacy, and to run his think belief tank. Anyone who can look you in the eye and explain why Dow 36,000 wasn't wrong, should have no trouble navigating around the historical concerns of the "reality based community".

The Bush institute will stand next to the Bush library and the Bush museum, all of which, presumably, will be positioned to deter submarine attacks.

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I've written several posts recently, but Clay has written several good posts recently, which should command your attention.

One on floodpumps and floodwalls states:

In a long-lasting/high-intensity storm, large parts of the city , especially Gentilly (drained by PS#3 & #4), Mid-City and Lakeview, will flood.
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Bottom line: The pumping capacity of the City of New Orleans is seriously constrained. Sections of the city, especially Gentilly, Lakeview, and Mid-City, WILL flood in storms significantly less intense than the minimal 100-year level we expect. The extent of the flooding will be proportional to the storm intensity and duration. The system will not be fixed for several years at the current rate. Major weakpoints in the system (the weakened walls) will still not be fixed by the time the system is complete.


Not good.

Read these, as well: Erl #1, and Erl #2.

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Nine times 

09/09/09... cool-- unless you're reading this blog while doing a handstand. Then it's terrifying.

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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Oh Lord 

From Suspect Device we learn that U.S. Rep Charles Boustany (R-La) will respond to President Obama's speech to Congress Wednesday night.

Sterling career move. What's next? Is Boustany going to audition for drummer of Spinal Tap?

Wonkette informs us that Boustany was a bipartisan proponent of the granny-killing "death panels", so he's already forfeited the support of the deathbagger GOP base. Dr. Boustany calls health care a "kitchen table" issue, but this is coming from a twit who paid nearly $20k to purchase a fake English title, so that during his next vacay overseas he could call himself Lord Douchemook of Fumblebum, or something.

Popcorn, please.

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Paranoid, obsessed, black-hearted, mobbed up, villainous... 

... and I haven't even begun describing Nixon's dark side.

AFP:

Ted Kennedy, who died Tuesday, so enraged Richard Nixon that the disgraced president pushed in 1971 for snooping on the senator for proof he cheated on his wife, according to once-secret recordings.

And Nixon, who secretly taped some 3,700 hours of his conversations between February 1971 and July 1973, does not hide his disappointment and frustration when an aide reports back that the Massachusetts senator is "very clean."

"The thing to do is to watch him," he says in a September 8, 1971 recording, one of several conversations in which Nixon, apparently fearful for his 1972 reelection prospects, lashes out at Kennedy.
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"Do you have anybody in the Secret Service that you can get to? Do you have anybody that we can rely on?" the president asks aide John Ehrlichman, who replies: "Yeah. Yeah. We've got several."

"Plant one. Plant two guys on him. This could be very useful," says Nixon

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Vitter in search of paid dates 

While the Senate is in session, no less.

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So stupid and manageable 

Maitri helpfully digs into the historical ethers, and pulls out some Presidential quotes to students that might be helpful, if you want to keep things in perspective.

But since perspectivism is a nationalist socialist plot by muslim fascist sleeper cells... well, that just makes me part of the conspiracy-to-indoctrinate, doesn't it?

Obama tells students to be responsible for their educational performance, which is nearly the most important educational lesson a student can learn. (The other most important meta-lessons involving education are 1) to realize that you are responsible for your own education and 2) to learn that analytical methods and imagination are more important than memorized data and uncritical acceptance of long-held beliefs/errors [research credit: Einstein]).

Instead of applauding Obama, Conservative Deathbaggers scream in pain, and keep their kids home from school. This sort of behavior can't help but prompt... sincere questions (thx night is half gone). They believe this is patriotic resistance to "socialism", a term they don't understand, since they freely conflate it with fascism.

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Socialist interlude:

Average health care cost to employees in 2004 (out of pocket plus ins. premiums): $2,225

Average health care cost to employees in 2009 (out of pocket plus ins. premiums): $3,826

Source
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Science? Another plot! Sherry Melby, a teacher in a Missouri school district asserts "I don't think evolution should be associated with our school." Story here.

As the Dead Kennedys observed, these addled, apocalyptic "Patriots" would be the FIRST to fall in line during a new Fourth Reich. The very first. They only need to be directed to fear a subset of humanity that is portrayed as menacing: Muslims, Mexicans, liberals... etc.

Glenn Beck: [The otherish enemy] threatens our liberty. There's no time for questions. Attack!

Deathbagger patriots: You heard him, attack! We'll ensure the homefront is properly supportive of this sacred mission.

These Deathbagger mouthbreathers are so stupid and manageable, they make the Tool Academy line-up look like a faculty photo from MIT.

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"New Orleans and its residents have been ruthlessly slandered" 

The New Orleans News Ladder posts Crescent City Ray's response to a Mississippi newspaper opinion piece complaining (justifiably) that this year's Katrinaversary coverage once again ignored the Gulf Coast's recovery. In an editorial titled, "Will the history books be accurate?" Stan Tiner, the editor of The Sun Herald, voices his concern that the "first draft" of history is thus far incomplete, and may soon congeal without proper recognition of the sufferings and recovery of the Gulf Coast. The Sun Herald editor then invites journalists to report on Mississippi's recovery, and then compare and contrast it to New Orleans' recovery.

Then Tiner goes on to say:

[B]eyond the studies of progress, it seems to many in our part of the world that there is an obligation on the part of the national media to get the story right in both breadth and depth.
See, if I were responding to this piece, I'd get sidetracked by Tiner's use of the phrase "part of the world". His praise for the "DNA" in his "part of the world" also gets me prickly.

In fact, a good investigation of our situation would objectively show that a pretty good [recovery] job has been done. It is a success built upon a long history of cleaning up and rebuilding after many hurricanes, good regional cooperation between local governments, and excellent leadership, from the governor’s office to city halls across the Coast.

Also, it is in the DNA of local folks to tackle these problems with a strain of personal responsibility and energy that is among the best you will find anywhere.

However, Crescent City Ray seeks common ground with Tiner's basic contention that the history books must be written accurately. "Amen", he agrees. Crescent City Ray grants that the Coasties were hit hard and did a good job cleaning up and rebuilding, but in strong language he points out that although New Orleans' story has received "attention", attention does not equate to an accurate historical account.

The beautiful serene Mississippi Gulf Coast and its wonderful people experienced one of the very worst natural disasters in our nation's history and hardly anyone even noticed or cared.
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On the bright side, at least the Gulf Coast isn't slandered by outsiders to the extent New Orleans suffers. The Gulf Coast even gets well deserved credit for their recovery efforts. At least the state of Mississippi seemed to receive nearly adequate federal funds in a timely manner for your storm losses along the coast.

Just as terribly wrong, New Orleans and its residents have been ruthlessly slandered like no American city has ever experienced anywhere else in our country. While official, well documented, negligent engineering by federal engineers in the design of our flood control structures and their foundations was absolutely the direct cause of our deaths, unprecedented and nearly total destruction, losses, discomforts and embarrassments, almost everyone everywhere thinks that dry, tame, west side of big bad Katrina 'overwhelmed' and 'devastated' New Orleans.
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They believe our disaster was 'natural', us flood victims caused our flood, we deserved our fate and too many feel we should even be denied the right to exist. There are too many insulting and damaging myths about us to list here.
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Both Southeast Louisiana and the Mississippi Gulf Coast deserve vindication and justice. We need the nation to know the truth. Outsiders cannot understand how all the misinformation has seriously disillusioned so many. Nor do they care.

The disturbingly wrong recording of history is insulting and has permanently scarred the psyche of both storm and levee failure victims. It's just wrong. Somehow, we must find a way to unite, organize and get the story out right.
Amen.

Misinformation is still rampant. I've chronicled and mocked some of it, mostly from conservative sources. But misinformation coming from mainstream and left-leaning sources is just as bad, if not worse.

At this year's Rising Tide, keynote speaker Harry Shearer said that so far we've "lost" the media war "battle" about the facts of the Federal Flood. He's correct. For example, CNN titled it's 4 year retrospective, which focused mostly on New Orleans, "Katrina: After the Storm". They interviewed the executive director of the Make it Right Foundation, who used the misleading term "Katrina-level flooding". Just today, Facing South published a piece that begins:

In August 2005, we watched in horror as the Bush government left residents of New Orleans to fend for themselves against 175 mph winds and rising waters.


Really? Is that what we "watched"?

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Nationalist Socialist indoctrination of Obama Youth begins 

The Right was Right. Look at this speech.

When I say "look at it" I don't mean you should actually read it, of course. No. Foam at it. Get angry and enraged over it. Complain about it. Keep your kids home over it. You've been told things about this unprecedented national brainwashing, and now your blood pressure's up-- why stop now?

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