Saturday, September 26, 2009

The future's so bright, I gotta wear blinders 

T-P:

While he stopped just short of delivering a formal announcement Friday, John Georges couldn't have made it any clearer that he intends to run for mayor.

I haven't been this excited since I chain-smoked a pack of Camels while spending a hundy in a video poker stall. Finally, an outsider businessman who's not afraid to call it like he sees it.

Asked [in an interview with WBOK radio] to assess the performance of Mayor Ray Nagin, who cannot seek re-election because of term limits, Georges took a pass.

"I don't believe in going backward, I believe in going forward
, " he said. "Until you walk in the shoes of a mayor of New Orleans, you really don't understand what's going on in this city. There's a lot of people pulling in the wrong direction, a lot of people fixated on the wrong things, and there's a lot of people with hidden agendas."

You can't assess Nagin's performance until you've walked in his shoes? Are you serious!? Gracious! You mean you can't use your own shoes to walk to the gym and then to a lunch date at Lillette's? Throw in some bullshit lip service about "transparency" in the afternoon, and you got a pretty good idea of Nagin's basic mayoral routine. Are we to infer from Georges' limpdick refusal to "assess" (read: criticize on a black radio station) Nagin's record that he might not aspire to be a big improvement over Nagin? Perhaps once Georges gets into the mayoral shoes, he'll decide that Nagin did a pretty dadgum good job; perhaps he will decide that the best he can do is to try and preserve and enhance the Nagin legacy for future generations. Right?

Georges is not even willing to risk a lukewarm, "on the one hand/on the other" assessment of Nagin on a black talk radio station, for fear of alienating black voters. This guy is such a spineless putz. He has no political talent. He makes me want to vomit. I loathe his "if I don't offend them, maybe I can buy them later" mentality.

So, we're only looking "forward" are we? Phew, that's a relief, because I was worried Georges was going to repeat his wild claims about Bobby Jindal having "orchestrated" his child's home birth, and how Bobby intentionally put his son "at risk" so that he could play "midwife". I'm sure the Governor and his merry men have forgotten all about that zinger, among others.

And if we're looking "forward", we won't be reviewing how Georges teamed up with the odious Derrick Shepherd back in 2005 to remove Shawn Barney from the State Senate race. And if we're looking "forward" we won't be calculating how Georges tripled the going rate in street money to secure Orleans parish during the Governor's race. "Politics of the past" and all that...

See, we're so busy looking forward, we can't assess the past.

===
Update: Thx to Adrastos for the kind link. As you may know, he's also a featured contributor at First Draft. We Could Be Famous has more on the prospect of Georges.

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Asking and receiving 

Earlier this month I cited an editorial by Mississippi's Sun Herald which complained about the lack of media coverage the Gulf Coast was receiving on the four year anniversary of Katrina (and the Federal Flood). The piece invited the media to investigate the recovery in Mississippi, and welcomed any comparisons between the recovery in Mississippi and the one in New Orleans.

So, after writing that Mississippi was "more invisible than ever" to the national media, the following national stories popped up during the last three weeks. We'll just quote the first couple sentences from each piece.

New York Times Editorial 9/20/09, titled "Mississippi's Failure":


Mississippi is trumpeting its success at rebuilding since Hurricane Katrina decimated its Gulf Coast counties four years ago. But that progress has largely bypassed people like James Johnson, an impoverished and arthritic 74-year-old who has been sleeping on a thin cushion in a FEMA trailer, searching for help to rebuild his shattered home.

USA TODAY story from 9/24/09 titled "Many in Miss. still lack homes after '05 storms":


John Moody spends each night huddled on a thin sleeping bag in a tent in a thick wooded area in the center of this coastal city. He keeps a steel pipe nearby, in case of unwanted visitors.

Ever since Hurricane Katrina destroyed his home and a sputtering economy took his job, Moody, an unemployed truck driver, has lived in the woods.

Ouch. Gotta be careful what you wish for, I guess. If you're going to call out the liberal national media, you better understand that they'll go out of their way to find the exceptions that prove the rule. And you can bet your bippy they'll skewer you with 'em. But, in the interest of balanced fairness, YRHT must also dutifully note that after the Sun Herald praised "the excellent leadership" of the "city halls across the Coast" in their earlier editorial, yesterday they reported:


A federal investigation of former Gulfport Mayor Brent Warr and his wife, Laura, came to an end Friday when Brent Warr pleaded guilty to one felony count of FEMA fraud and was sentenced to three years probation.

Brent Warr also will have to repay $9,985 to FEMA and serve 100 hours of community service, U.S. District Court Judge Walter Gex III ruled.
...
Stan Harris, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi, issued a statement after the hearing saying that the government is pursuing all cases of Katrina fraud, no matter who the person is.

“It is of particular concern when a public official — in this case, then a sitting mayor — engages in theft through deceit of government funds for personal benefit,” Harris said. “This case is an example that no one is above the law.”


Sometimes when it rains it pours.
===

Update: At the risk of piling on, I must take this opportunity to note the strange case of former Mississippi Rep. Chip Pickering. You may recall that after Katrina I was trying to warm up to ole Chip. He was all set to become one of my favorite conservative pentecostal Republicans from Mississippi. Then he had that sparkling cameo in Borat... everything seemed to be coming up roses for Pickering. He had the pedigree, the charisma, the extreme right-wing agenda, the fervent religiosity... Mississippi politics was his for the taking.

And holy crap what a downfall! Shockingly, Chip cheated on his wife, got caught, and then "chose his mistress over his congressional career and his wife". That's right, with the help of the C Street gang of holy hypocrite powerslaves, Chip ruined his marriage and his political career, and then resigned from Congress, divorced his wife, and took up as a lobbyist for the telecom firm owned by his mistress.

Freak!

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Saints football pizza digest 

This week, the sports airwaves have been saturated with never-ending reiterations of the following super-secret, ultra-perceptive analysis from local and national talking heads: "Why won't anyone recognize that the Saints are good and Drew Brees is one of the best QB's in the league?".

Thanks for the inside juice, handicappers. A nation of Jimmy the Greeks couldn't hold you back.

If there's anything that signals that the Saints upcoming contest with Buffalo won't be easy, it's the widespread insistence that the Saints aren't getting sufficient propers after they dispatched a bad Lions team and a Philly team with a newbie starting QB.

Well, actually, there's one other reliable indicator that this week won't be a packet of butterscotch. It comes in the form of this simplistic analysis by YRHT whipping post Mike Bayham. Bayham has been described on this blog as being "dumber than a sack of wet hair". Recently he said:

Saints are a 6 point favorite against Buffalo; judging by the team’s margin of victory in the first two games, a Saints win should easily cover the 6.


And judging from Bayham's record of prognostications (Peggy Wilson could make the 2006 mayoral runoff, McCain will beat Obama...) that sort of superficial analysis is the kiss of death. I mean, by that logic you could say that judging from Atlanta's first two games they should give the New England Patriots all they can handle and then some. Uhhmm, verily I say to you, I would not want to be the Falcons (+4) this week for all the whiskey in Ireland. Expect a thumping in Foxboro.

Anyway, as far as the Saints are concerned-- they ARE good. Quite good. Hell, one could say they are on the doorstep of "a great team becoming greater". They will cover a lot of spreads this season, and will win several close ones that they would've lost last season. There's a sense of optimism and cohesion on this team, a sense of "made luck" that didn't exist last year. This team has a better sense of the "intangibles"-- it's something difficult to describe, but real nonetheless. (Regarding that last link, I must admit that Rocky III is my favorite in the series-- don't know why. Regarding Rocky IV, though, I gotta ask: Rocky concludes his marathon Siberian training montage by climbing a frozen mountain and raising his arms victoriously alone on a mountaintop... as the sun is setting. I mean, is that safe? How do you climb down a strange mountain in the dark?)

Yes, Drew Brees is mega-awesome. I grew up a Miami fan and watched at least 95% of the games Dan Marino ever played. Brees is the only quarterback that reminds me, truly, of Marino. He's tremendous-- his passing talents are otherworldly (video here). I secretly find myself wanting him to start a drive with a long field, so he can get gaudier stats*. And that's a feeling I haven't had since I was cheering the 80's Dolphins.)

This Saints team reminds me A LOT of the Marino-led Dolphins teams of the eighties, and as you'll recall they didn't win many playoff games or championships. So that's a problem. The Defense needs to tighten up. Like Larry David (5:40) they have long ball issues. It's not good, but perhaps there's potential for enough defensive improvement so that they might/could peak at the end of the season and if the stars align... well, let's not get ahead of ourselves.

To recap: the Saints are good, Brees is great, the defense is meh, the kicking game is excitingly good and bad and the future looks good. The Saints might very well torch blitz-happy Buffalo, and send our fans into another week of ecstasy. It could happen! But, let me just say that based on my experience, most of the time, in this situation, Saints -6 over Buffalo is the sort of "easy" looking wager you often lose. Therefore, expect this to be a dogfight to the end. Saints 28 Bills 24.

Sunday, Mike Ditka did indeed say that New Orleans fans were "the best in the world". True dat. YRHT salutes Ditka in the manner to which he is accustomed.

Incomparably, Moose Denied is really all you need when it comes to Saints commentary, so don't expect this redundant football digest to be a recurring feature here on YRHT. We cannot compete with locutions such as "Where Clubber meats the Choad".

But since you can't help but read the Yellow Blog of Infinite Malcontentedness-- it's our favorite guilty pleasure, too-- you'd be wrong to skip the weekly, belated Saints game commentary. Unfortunately, this week Jeffrey erred a bit in his prognostications. See, he's still reasoning based on his initial ultra-gloomy prediction that the Saints would be a 9-7 team this year. So now he has to think the Saints will lose the next two out of three to support his earliest prediction. Obviously, this team is better (and less snakebit) than last year, so this "working back from 9-7" formula is going to quickly prove ridiculous after the Saints start 4-2, 5-1 or 6-0. He'll have to adjust soon or look like a pussy plain ridiculous.

And I'm not sure exactly how a football post got hijacked by a silly but contagious discussion on pizza, but here is my contribution to the effort, which will be presented in the form of a one act drama.

===
Setting: Two weeks ago at the Bud's Broiler on Calhoun St. Oyster is eating a #1 on a bench, reading the Gambit. Two male Tulane students, presumably freshmen, enter. They are frustrated. They see two other male Tulane students, presumably upperclassmen, who are eating.


Frustrated Freshman student #1 loudly complains to his friend in a way that everyone can overhear:


Where the hell is the pizza place on Schmearo Street? All I saw was a Papa John's!


Tulane Upperclassman #1 responds assertively, in a way everyone else can overhear:


It's called SOUTH MIRO Street, Dildo Baggins, and Naked Pizza is beside the huge upside down Frostop mug.


Oyster sprays Diet Coke on his Gambit Weekly.


The Frustrated Freshmen turn and leave.



Fin.
===

Belated thanks to Ratboy, who had me over for the second half of the Saints game on Sunday. We consumed a delicious shot of Eagle Rare bourbon as the Saints put the game out of reach.

The previous Sunday Ratboy and I heartily enjoyed the game at the Dome with all the usual suspects. Unfortunately, Ratboy's car was towed because it wasn't a full 20 feet from the intersection. As we went under the overpass to retrieve the vehicle, Ratboy decided to break through the gates and try to get his vehicle without following any of the necessary, uhm, procedures. This bit of recklessness alarmed the gatekeeper and resulted in a stern lecture from the attending officer, followed by significant attitude on Ratboy's part-- despite my best attempts to be a diplomat amongst the turmoil, the authorities decided that we would not be allowed to get the vehicle until Monday. (So we phoned Ratgirl, and she got it for us. Thx Ratgirl!)
===

Cliff wants to believe that Reggie Bush is still the Saints' "X-factor", but, like Jeffrey's prediction of a 9-7 record, I think this will look more and more implausible as the season wears on. I'd love to be wrong on this one, but YRHT had decided that Bush's contributions will be permanently alloyed throughout his career. Cliff muses that perhaps Reggie's "ex factor" is inhibiting his (potential role) as "X factor". Recently, "someone" told Cliff that Reggie "was back with Kim Kardashian".

Over the summer, Kim Kardashian and Reggie Bush split due to scheduling conflicts. A couple days ago no less of an authority than the Las Vegas Sun reported that:

While Kim Kardashian has dabbled in dating professional athletes, she recently swore off sporty guys. The 28-year-old has self-imposed a “no more athletes” rule, which effectively dashes any hopes of a reunion with her ex, New Orleans Saint Reggie Bush.


Aw well.

In other Kardashian news, Kim's sister Khloe is apparently ignoring her sibling's rule about sporty guys, and is reportedly about to wed pro basketball player Lamar Odom: their "whirlwind one-month relationship – which has included bar hopping and attending movie premieres together" will consummate on Sunday in a "classy" wedding ceremony.

All the best to those star-crossed lovers.

In doing research for this post I realized that Kim and Khloe's sister Kourtney Kardashian and her off/on beau Scott Disick were some of the "beautiful people" in the Dome luxury box from last year. At the time Cliff observed:

Is Kim Kardashian going to be at every game? Will they show her on television every time Reggie does something good? I just hope Reggie isn’t hanging out with the rest of the people who were in that suite. That was not a New Orleans looking group. I can’t see them coming to a crawfish boil.

At the time I wanted to know who the pretty boy was. In the fullness of time, all things are revealed. It was Scott Disick! Mystery solved. There's no word yet on whether Scott intends to marry (the pregnant) Kourtney, and officially join the Kardashian clan.

===
* No, I don't do Fantasy Football.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

"It's enough to make a man join the Progressive Democrats." 

Jeffrey quotes the TPM piece Adrastos linked to yesterday, and titles it "The People who Put Bill Jefferson in Jail".

OMG! Yes, one of the Feds who "put Dollar Bill in Jail" is a total mouthbreathing idiot, and it's amazing his recklessness didn't compromise the whole case. The FBI fired this schmuck, by the way. And his relationship with a woman who didn't testify obviously doesn't mean Jefferson is suddenly not guilty of his multiple crimes.

No doubt, it'll be very tempting for Jefferson's supporters to say this FBI agent's conduct was the reason that Jefferson was "put" in jail. A whole alternate narrative could be created for the gullible. But Jefferson is not in jail because he was a "warrior" who was "picked off" by a deranged FBI agent. No. Jefferson is in jail because his sophisticated career of coordinated theft finally caught up with him (and his friends and family). About time, I'd say.

Saying a disgraced FBI agent is the reason Dollar Bill is in jail is like saying Jefferson's lawyers "forced" the man into bankruptcy. Same difference.


---
* This YRHT post title should be seen as an alternate title to Jeffrey's post. It makes reference to a humorously dark line in Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises, and is about as far as I can go in his direction with it. "Progressive Democrats", of course, refers to the local political organization that William Jefferson founded.

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Voice of a new Kenner-ation 

Over the years, I've had a lot of fun with the City of Kenner's motto, "America's City!"

If you don't understand why that's obviously humorous, then you haven't been to Kenner.

As I've previously discussed, I used to live in a big apartment complex in Kenner. It was by a shopping mall parking lot and across the street from a strip mall. It was located directly under the flightpath of arriving jets landing at da Airport, and just down the street from several chain store restaurants... in other words, it was one of the most enviable addresses in Kenner.

Anyway, my inside sources have learned that Kenner Mayor Ed Muniz plans to change the City of Kenner's motto after he is re-elected next year. I can't believe it either. No longer will Kenner be "America's City!"-- instead, it will be:


Kenner: A Great City Becoming Greater


I'll be able to work with that.

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News story on Slidell school transportation incident 

From yesterday's T-P:

A Slidell man accused of threatening his daughter’s school bus driver...

Well let me stipulate at the outset that it is never a good idea to threaten people, especially a school bus driver who is only trying to do their job.

...said the incident took place after the driver yelled and cursed in front of his students and tore up a hat his 4-year-old had been given in class.

That rotten sonofabitch!! If some bus driver cursed at my Pearlgirl and tore up her school hat, I'd... I'd... I'd do something violent and creative, that's for sure!

"I told him I was going to rip off both his legs and then beat him with them," said [John Polk, the angered father], who added that he did not raise his voice as he spoke to the driver.

Yeah! What he said.

Polk said he then walked away as D’Antoni yelled at him, using an expletive referring to poultry excrement. D’Antoni then called police, who showed up a few minutes later, interviewed both men and gave Polk a summons for assaulting a teacher and disturbing the peace.

"Poultry excrement"... *snort*. Umm, yeah, it's highly "chickenshit" to not beat the tar out of an asshole bus driver who is practically asking for a butt-kicking. Conversely, taking your frustrations out on four year olds-- yelling profanity at them and tearing up their hats-- now that's how real men handle problems. Right, D'Antoni?

According to other parents, the bus driver had previously yelled at kids to "Shut up" and "Sit [their] ass down". What a piece of work.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Pretty pictures 

Charlotte's "Sandbar on the Mississippi".

New Orleans Daily Photo's "Gargoyle".

Mayor Ray Nagin's "Integrity".

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"This is disturbing" 

Levees.org's latest press release:

The Army Corps of Engineers spent a half billion dollars on pump stations and related structures for the New Orleans outfall canals with 40 pumps that were supposed to last 50 years, but will have to be scrapped after just 5, according to the Office of Special Counsel (OSC).

And the Corps has apparently been lying about it.

Since 2007, Corps spokespersons have been telling the public that the MWI hydraulic pumps are temporary when records clearly show that the Corps went to Congress in 2006 and requested money for improvements, including pumps that would have a 50-year life, not 5. In addition, the Army Corps' contract with the pump vendor calls for a bearing life of 50,000 hours which represents a "very long life span, likely in excess of 50 years."

Now the Corps is claiming they said from Day One that the pumps were temporary.

But here is the truth. What was temporary from Day One was the housing structures that supported and surrounded the pumps, not the pumps themselves.

If this were not bad enough, the OSC has warned the President in a June 2009 letter that the expensive $40 million dollar pumps likely will not function if needed in a hurricane.

This is disturbing.

And it is one more reason the citizens of Louisiana and the American people deserve the 8/29 Investigation, a truly independent analysis of the levee failures, and the decision making involved, of the flooding on August 29, 2005.

Click here and demand the 8/29 Investigation. http://salsa.wiredforchange.com/o/1625/t/4583/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=2949
...
Click here for more on the OSC report about the defective pumps.

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YRHT submission for new Tejas GOP logo 

Thx to Noladder, who informed us about the contest. Respectfully, then:

Purity of Ideological Essence

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The Onion remains funny 

Link!

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Open letter to blogosphere from David C. Bellinger 

YRHT is proud to publish another email from David "The Flaming Liberal" Bellinger, who is discussed in Max Blumenthal's new book "Republican Gomorrah".
===

“President Obama’s Race, and Partisan Politics is the Issue”

Re: Local 'tea parties' protest president's health care plan, New Orleans Times-Picayune, By Cindy Chang, Sept. 19, 2009

Dear Blogger:

Typical of the conservative/right-wing hypocritical opposition to the Democratic health reform plan was personified in the referenced article.

The concern of tea party attendee Mr. Robert Hilburn of non-proposed, or existent, cuts to Medicare by President Obama, or Democrats, was of astonishing interest.

In 1995, Texas Gov. George. W. Bush lauded a Republican Congressional initiative, led by House Speaker, Newt Gingrich, to cut Medicare by $270 billion over seven years, and praised the Republican leadership to have the courage to balance the budget. [-- Source: “Tape Reveals Bush Lauding Medicare Cuts,” By Dana Milbank, Washington Post Staff Writer, Tuesday, September 26, 2000; A10 -- http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A16115-2000Sep25.html]

Furthermore, as President, George. W. Bush proposed draconian cuts to Medicare, which included cutting Medicare reimbursement for the blood-clotting factor 54 percent for persons afflicted with hemophilia.

In addition, among other cuts for the elderly and disabled, President Bush proposed the Medicare reimbursement for breast biopsies be cut 27.5 percent. [-- Source: “Government Proposing Cuts in Many Medicare Payments,” New York Times, by ROBERT PEAR, September 22, 2002]. On the other hand, President Obama and Democrats supporting the public option have merely proposed that Medicare be more efficient in its spending-- a proposal one would think any reasonable person would applaud. But reason, in the current hysteria of health care reform, on the part of the political right, is non-existent. Since no tea parties, or any revulsion, emerged from the current conservative crusaders to protect Medicare, when defined cuts were proposed by Republicans, then I say “President Obama’s race, and partisan politics is the issue.”

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

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Calling all Metairie preservationists 

USACE wants to let us know that there's a meeting tomorrow night. What's it about?

The Corps is hosting a public meeting to discuss the possible impacts and mitigation measures that may be taken to build risk reduction measures at the south shore of the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway.


Impacts? In Metairie? On what?

Construction of a concrete T-wall and ramp on the south shore of the Causeway would result in adverse effects to historic properties including the Causeway and southern Toll Plaza, a canopy with the original “Lake Pontchartrain Causeway” sign, a toll-takers booth, and administrative buildings.


A toll plaza?!? USACE has to have a meeting on the "impacts" on a lame toll booth canopy? Are you serious? Is Metairie so bereft of culture and history that their community elders wish to preserve a hideous toll booth?

I mean, look at the "iconic" toll plaza "landmark" and the amazing aesthetic quality of its original[!] lettering. Driving over the Causeway Bridge, did you ever give the structure a second thought*? One time I did, and the thought was this: why the hell is this fugly nuisance still here?

The current plan is to spend $300,000 tax dollars to "mitigate" the "loss" of this "iconic" p.o.s. eyesore.

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Charity 

Once again, E at WCBF militates for the restoration of Charity in a way that makes me second guess my assumption that the new LSU Medical Center on top of an historic neighborhood is a fait accompli. Also, Tom Piazza recently wrote a hard-hitting op-ed about saving Charity. It's titled "House Thieves, on a grand scale", and was powerful enough to make me second guess my assumptions, as well.

[Rebuilding Charity] would give downtown a badly needed revitalizing mechanism, and it would save people's homes, and it would get medical care to the city more quickly.

Why isn't it being done? Because a handful of greedy bastards want a shiny monument to their own power and ego. It's not about getting health care to the people of New Orleans. It's about money and power.


While I'm a little more agnostic on the Charity/LSU med center issue than E or Mr. Piazza, I do applaud their passionate advocacy.

My sources tell me that the lawyers representing a prominent Beer Garden in the proposed new med zone told their clients that they better start planning to relocate. That's probably the surest indicator I've seen for what's coming down the pike.

Let's make the last Oktoberfest in the old hall one to remember.
===

Update: My mention of Piazza set Jeffrey off in the comments, and he pens an inspiringly passionate statement in his own right.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

But do they swarm in balls during floods? 

T-P [editorial] warns of crazy raspberry ants from Tejas:

Louisianians who are restoring landscaping destroyed by Hurricane Katrina could inadvertently bring an invasive insect pest into the state, agriculture experts warn.

Raspberry crazy ants, which have become a big problem in Texas, could move into Louisiana by traveling in sod, mulch, soil and plants.

Orbis Quintus sounded the alarm in January, saying the crazy ants were worse than fire ants. Jeffrey sensed impending doom years ago.

---
Update: The information from this editorial seems to be based on this article from the Houma Courier.

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I tried 

Our moral defenders from Oklahoma are protecting us from the gay menace. Again.

Since they have nothing better to do, they are telling us that all porn is gay porn. I don't know if this simplistic formulation will work. Five years ago I gave the "porn agains" some (nsfw) advice, but they apparently didn't take it.

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Cowtown's Colossal Football Ziggurat 

Other than Saints victories, few things in modern sports are more inspiring than seeing Cowboys owner Jerry Jones step on to the field to see his "Boys" lose a football contest in the final seconds.

I'm hoping this expensive football ziggurat becomes a veritable living museum of such moments.

Having former President George W. Bush christen the place with the inaugural coin-flip is a pretty good start.

Go Eli!
===

Update: Made to order, Eli Manning leads the Giants to a last second win, disappointing the 100,000 metroplexuals in attendance.

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