Saturday, April 17, 2010

It's always sunny in Philadelphia, unless it's raining chunks 

The Fanhouse blog tells us about a police captain named Michael Vangelo from Easton, PA... (Hey Latin Teacher lives in Easton!) ...who took his daughters to the Phillies/Nationals baseball game (sounds wholesome; hey, Eli is a Phillies fan!). I wonder what transpired?

According to NBC Philadelphia, Vangelo, 43, says from the moment his family sat down, a group of unruly men starting disturbing anyone near them.

"They were yelling vulgarities, obscene language," Vangelo said Thursday. ... I had beer thrown on me and... one individual... actually spit on my 11-year-old daughter," he said.

Ew. Yuck. How exceedingly, disgustingly boorish. Then again, you're at a sporting event in Philly, so you pay your money and you take your chances. But still, spitting on a kid? Surely it can't get worse than that, right?

Vangelo eventually reported the men to the ushers who promptly ejected them from the stadium.

Three cheers! Good guys win. Bad guys lose.

And that's when things went from bad to worse.

Huh? How?

[Another] fan -- identified by police as Matthew Clemens -- was sitting with another, unrelated group of fans who were also disciplined for acting out when he allegedly did what Vangelo describes as the "most disgusting thing" he's ever seen.

Good gravy! What could possibly be more disgusting than a stranger spitting on your daughter?

Clemens, 21, positioned himself behind the 11-year-old's chair, stuck his fingers down his throat and vomited on the girl and her father, police said. "He leaned forward, he projectile vomited all over me and my daughter."

Give me a second to process this.... Ok, I can't. That's beyond wrong.

Other fans tackled Clemens to the ground ("He was still vomiting on the other fans that were holding him down," Vangelo said) before he was arrested on charges including assault and harassment.

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Friday, April 16, 2010

"Delay means money" 

Bad Vitty.

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Good on ya, Trombone Shorty 

USATODAY has an article and video about Trombone Shorty (aka Troy Andrews), who is celebrating the release of his first "national" album titled Backatown. Shorty talks about his music-infused upbringing in the Treme neighborhood, and is excited to play himself in three episodes of the HBO drama Treme.

USATODAY also profiled Trombone Shorty two years after the Flood, here.

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Draft Jon Hamm for Senate 

The writers at Stinque make a mad proposal. There may be residency issues, but who the hell cares?

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Stormy Daniels will not run for Senate 

As a businesswoman, Ms Daniels believes she cannot raise enough money to compete with the special interests who fund the major candidates. However, she offers an olive branch of sorts to fellow Republican David Vitter, saying she will endorse him if he (or any other candidate) supports her Fair Tax plan. Quoting from the Team Stormy press release:
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“And so here on this tax day, the day when we pay our due to the government we elect, let us be reminded that our government is truly elected by the lobbyists and special influence peddlers who are so eager to trade values for influence. And that it is Senators like David Vitter who do their bidding by placing a higher value on campaign cash than our tax dollars.

“From the first minute that I set about exploring a potential candidacy for the US Senate, I have talked about the need for a tax system that rewards instead of punishes hard work and enterprise. It is for this reason that over a year ago I called for the abolition of the Internal Revenue Service in favor of the Fair Tax. And yet, while many so-called conservatives like Senator Vitter have bent over backwards to pander to the burgeoning ranks of anti-tax conservatives and Tea Partiers, he has not once joined me in this call. Why?

“I believe so strongly that the time has come to reform our tax system that I would be willing to consider overlooking Senator Vitter’s hypocrisy and support him if he would come around to the need for real tax reform including abolishing the IRS and implementing the Fair Tax. That goes for any other candidate in any other race."
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Let's show this prehistoric city how we do things in other downtowns... 

I'd forgotten about the post-k/FF "ghostbusters". Jeffrey has a run-down of the various law enforcement "solutions" tried since the flood. Don't neglect the ghostbusters video clip, it's a doozy.

Federal oversight of the NOPD seems inevitable.


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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Another Big Breitbart story trends along a familiar arc 

Scandalous revelation exclusively on Breitbart[!]... damning video[!]... conservative webs are outraged over MSM not covering 'smoking gun'... Fox takes lead, MSM follows... controversy rises... and ebbs... then a great while later the "damning video" turns out to be extremely misleading.

Did Andrew Breitbart learn this modus operandi when he was Matt Drudge's towelboy, or did he show a talent for bunkistry earlier in his life?-- Perhaps when he attended Tulane?


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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Marking shell casings with hand grenades 

I was compiling a New Orleans criminal justice and recap, but Eli Ackerman at The Lens already has written a concise account (his links, my highlight).


Over the past week, we have learned of a third guilty plea in the Danziger Bridge cover-up, a new federal civil rights investigation into the Beach Corner Bar incident (the U.S. Justice Department’s eighth confirmed), and new brutally chilling details about the racist vigilantism allowed to occur in Algiers during the aftermath of Katrina.

Oh, and 15 people were shot in New Orleans in the past three days, including Saturday’s octuple shooting on Canal Street. The weekend before, 13 people were shot.

This is a real crisis.

And it only seems to worsen. But there's plenty of ready-to-hand material on the streets to mark the shell casings.

Police Chief Warren Riley is quick to point out that most of the multitude of federal investigations into the NOPD relate to incidents which occurred before he was promoted to Superintendant. He's not responsible for them because they occurred under a previous "administration". Well, it was the same mayoral administration (Ray Nagin) throughout, and way back then Riley was only a lowly Chief of Operations for the NOPD, which obviously rendered him completely powerless and out-of-the-loop. Now he's shocked to learn about all the evidence supporting allegations of cover ups and guilty pleas by NOPD.

I'm tired of this crap. The Feds are too. Cliff argues that nothing fundamental about the crime problem will change until thug culture is totally marginalized, and its difficult to disagree with that. But a total housecleaning at the NOPD is also a necessary step, which incoming Mayor Landrieu seems prepared to do... but will it be enough to satisfy the feds?

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In other law enforcement news, lawman Steven Seagal has a "unique" situation developing.

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Monday, April 12, 2010

Mooks on parade 

After the first day of the SRLC, Ben Smith of the Politico reported that none of the Republican speakers saw fit to mention the historic catastrophe which flooded the host city 4 1/2 years earlier. Good, I thought. That's a glaring and perhaps revealing omission. So here's how Ben Smith reported the story:


Five years after President Bush's failed response to a natural disaster in New Orleans deeply damaged his party's credibility and helped sweep them from power, top Republicans speaking to supporters in New Orleans tonight made no mention of Hurricane Katrina.

UGGGH! Even after several commenters (including myself) brought the error to Smith's attention, he didn't make a correction. Idiot. Doesn't he know "the flooding of New Orleans was a man-made catastrophe, a federal f-ck-up of epic proportions and decades in the making". That's factual, right? Everyone knows that the federal levees broke due to gross engineering failure. What informed person of letters could disagree?

Well, heh, perhaps as a cautionary introduction to the Treme episode last night, WUPL aired "Once upon a time in Mexico" from 7pm to 9pm CST. This movie boasts the delicious "f-ckmook" scene, which Ashley Morris leveraged at appropriate moments, like when Bush neglected to mention New Orleans or Katrina/FF in his State of the Union speech.

And lo and behold, the mooks are indeed coming out of the woodwork. dsb nola at bark, bugs, leaves and lizards finds an example of mookery on stilts:


Troy Patterson has a friendly write-up of Treme at Slate, but his closing paragraph has a glaring error:

But where [Robert] Altman’s viewpoint [in Nashville] shares something with the Brit interloper’s, [David] Simon sides forcefully with the home team, tacitly expressing more than a little sympathy for the steaming conspiracy theorist who tries to toss the journalist over a levee.

"Sympathy for the steaming conspiracy theorist"? Are you doglegging me? Did he really say that? ... *checking link*... good gracious, he did! That reminds me of a bad joke:

What's better than winning a gold medal at the Special Mooklympics?

Not being Mooktarded.

What the hell? Goodman's character goes out of his way to debunk the conspiracy theories involving Katrina and Betsy, and then makes a factually true statement about the Flood in New Orleans. He's rightfully and understandably "steaming". But this dipshit at Slate, who is so well-informed about Robert Altman*, reveals his dangerous ignorance about the catastrophic facts regarding very recent history. And he's not alone!

I guess it's just a reminder how much mythbusting is left to be done. I'm glad New Orleans has an ally like David Simon in this effort.
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Update: I don't care if Patterson's Treme review is generally positive. That almost makes it worse. In the same way that the gist of Ben Smith's story seems helpful until you see how it is handcuffed by Katrina Shorthand, so too is Patterson's positive "review" of Treme. The critic liked it for the wrong reasons, because, for him, a "most telling" detail is Simon's sympathy for a "steaming conspiracy theorist" who tries to "toss the journalist over the levee". Wrong and wrong! Here, Simon sympathizes with an informed truth-teller, who released his anger by trying to throw a camera into a canal.

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* Congratulations to Patterson on his heroic ability to carefully watch movies. I admire his stalwart ass. Now, perhaps instead of interpreting films through other films, he could try finding out the facts related to the "setting" of Treme, as he calls it.

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