Pulp Fiction Thursday: Rumble At The Housing Project

We just finished watching David Simon’s new show for HBO, Show Me A Hero. I was relieved that it was closer in quality to The Wire than Treme. It’s about politics, the law, and public housing. And it inspired this week’s choice for PFT:



Wednesday Night Music: To Keep My Love Alive


It’s time for a brief return to Billy May day here at First Draft. This tune comes from an album called Anita O’Day and Billy May Swing Rodgers and Hart. Talk about truth in advertising.

On the surface, To Keep My Love Alive is a chirpy show tune until, that is, you pay closer attention to the lyrics. That’s the sardonic tone Lorenz Hart brought to his collaboration with Richard Rodgers. It’s another reason I’ll take their stuff over the other H in Rodgers’ life: Hammerstein. I do, however prefer Hammerstein’s first name: Oscar, Oscar, Oscar. So does my cat.

Presidential Pet Peeves

Last week New Orleans was awash in robustly resilient bullshit and Presidents, current and former. My buttons were pushed by the manner in which the Oval Ones were referred to. Bullshit is, of course, bullshit whether it’s robust, resilient, or just plain ridiculous. Those are the three Rs of contemporary New Orleans.

Where the hell was I? Oh yeah, the two common misuses of the language regarding Oval Ones that drive me crazy. First, civilians referring to the sitting President as the Commander-in-Chief. They’re only in command of the military, not us. There was, in fact, considerable confusion over an ad taken out by malakatude hall of famer Harry Shearer in the dead tree edition of the New Orleans Advocate:

Shearer full page ad in the Advocate

It was published on the day the sitting President visited and, as you can see, asked the “Commander-in-Chief” to admit to Federal responsibility for the flood, which President Obama did. There was a lively debate on my social media feeds as to whether it was aimed at President Obama or the Texas Napoleon who returned the next day to his Waterloo. I was pretty sure he was referring to Obama but, once again, neither the current Oval One nor his incompetent predecessor is the “Commander-in-Chief” of anything but the armed forces. In short, we don’t gotta salute. Now that I think of it, W deserves a one-finger salute…

My second Presidential pet peeve: referring to ex-Presidents by the title. There’s only one President at a time. Harry Truman preferred to be called Judge or Mr. Truman. When asked why by a college kid, he said, “There’s only one President at a time, son.” Harry was right and didn’t even engage in the robust bullshit for which he was known. Try fact checking Merle Miller’s Plain Speaking some time. Let’s just say that Harry was an old-fashioned storyteller in the vein of Sam Clemens…

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when the media started calling ex-Oval Ones by the title and addressing them as Mr. President. For example, TR was *always* called Colonel Roosevelt as a former President. My hunch is that this imperfect practice was perfected between 1993 and 1994 when we had a bumper crop of former Presidents: five count ’em five. And two of those ex-Oval Ones, Nixon and Reagan, were notorious for an almost fetishistic love of the ceremonial side of the office. I suspect Nancy would have objected to people calling Ronnie Governor or Mr. Death Valley Days Host. He would have been okay with the Gipper…

I know, I know, people have been misusing the title for many years. That doesn’t make it right or any less annoying. One thing I love about the interwebs is that you can find stuff such as the Protocol School of Washington’s, Honor & Respect: The Official Guide to Names, Titles, and Forms of Address. It’s a mouthful, I know. I must admit  that consulting it makes me feel oddly like Miss Manners. Here’s how the author, a chap named Robert Hickey, answered the question of how to address a former President:

I have been directing people to refer to former presidents as President (last name). Is that correct?
            — Anna McDonald, Stafford, Virginia

Dear Ms. McDonald:
This issue is complicated since we hear former Presidents referred to as President Clinton and President Bush on the media all the time; Here’s what is the correct formula as it appears in my book (assuming they didn’t have an honorific other than Mr./Ms. to go back to … as General Dwight D. Eisenhower did.):
Former President of the United States
    Envelope, official:
The Honorable
(Full name)
   Letter salutation: Dear Mr./Ms. (surname):
    Conversation: Mr./Ms. (surname)

Here’s the WHY behind the correct form. This is the traditional approach for any office of which there is only one office-holder at a time. So, with officials such as mayors, governors or presidents … only the current office holder is addressed as Mr. Mayor, Governor, or Mr. President … formers are not addressed that way.
That’s not to say some reporter might not call a former mayor Mayor Smith or a former president President (Surname). But doing so is incorrect and confusing to the public. The former office holder is no longer due the precedence and courtesies we extend to the current office holder. He or she speaks with the authority of a private citizen. We honor former office holder’s service, but the ‘form of address’ — which acknowledges the responsibilities and duties of office — belongs only to current office holder.

Uh oh, looks like Harry was wrong about that whole Judge Truman thing. Since I’m going all Miss Manners and Perry Protocol on your asses, I might as well post Mr. Hickey’s answer as to how to address a former Oval One in person:

Greeting from Canada. I will meet President Clinton in a few weeks in person.  What should I call him when I meet him or when I introduce others to him: Mr. Clinton, or President Clinton? Thanks for your help.
— Politico, Toronto

Hi Politico:
Former Presidents of the United States are most formally directly addressed as Mr. (Name) and are identified as “President of the United States from Year-Year”.
You will hear the media say President Clinton in a news story to be clear who is being discussed. The media using “President (Name)” in the third person makes many think it is a correct form of address.
The correct form for formal introduction — e.g. from a podium before his speech to the audience would be something likeIt is my pleasure to introduce The Honorable William Jefferson Clinton.
In conversation address him as Mr. Clinton. 
If you make an introduction say Mr. Clinton may I present… 

— Robert Hickey

This Robert Hickey chap seems to be the Dear Abie of the protocol set. He is absolutely correct. There is only one President at a time unless, that is, Hillary is elected, then Bill may try to do some finagling. It won’t work: she’s banished him to the couch before and would have no problem doing so again.

I’m an unlikely person to be a stickler for protocol. I am, however, a stickler for the proper use of the English language. Additionally, I believe in honoring the modesty inherent in small r republicanism.  (That makes me what Gore Vidal called a citizen of the Old Republic, not the Empire.) The President is not a hereditary monarch who holds the title even after abdication. The people are sovereign, the sitting President is the temporary occupant of the White House.

The moral of the story is: don’t believe everything you see on teevee or read in the newspapers or online. Mister is good enough for former Presidents until, that is, we have our first woman former Oval One, then Ms. will be good enough for her.

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Billy May

Billy May is best known as a stellar big band arranger who worked with Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Anita O’Day, Ella Fitzgerald, Mel Torme, Bing Crosby, and Peggy Lee among others. He also had a solo career as a band leader playing swingin’ instrumental space age pop in the 1950’s and ’60’s. Here’s a May album cover sampler:

Billy May- Cha Cha

Billy May- Bacchanalia

Btw, that album predated the parade in New Orleans by some 14 years. May day will continue after the break.

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The Rules You Have to Pretend Exist: Both Sides Do It

Ron Fournier really outdid himself yesterday morning: 

Trumpmania is what you get after the conservative wasn’t compassionate and the liberal abandoned hope for change. He’s a symptom, not a cure

— Ron Fournier (@ron_fournier) August 31, 2015

Yes. Liberals bear equal responsibility for a xenophobic whackjob making a mockery of the already mock-worthy electoral process because liberals somehow “abandoned hope for change” while ushering in universal health coverage, marriage equality, two more women on the Supreme Court and the end of two damn wars, while conservatives were busy debating just how many blood draws it would take to get $200 a month in food stamps for your hungry children.

I can see the equivalence there, can’t you?

This Trump thing has really brought out the desperation in the old guard of the Beltway press corps. As long as they could treat politics as a tennis match between two equally matched and equally worthy opponents, in which the only doubt about the outcome is whose name gets engraved on the trophy, they were free to not pay attention very much. Go to all the parties, stay at the ones with the hottest women and the best food. Watch the tussles happening on the House floor with detached amusement; it’s not like any of this MATTERS, right?

They’ve spent their whole lives like this, following these rules that they created and pretended were ironclad: Both sides deserve mention, both sides are equally good or bad, both sides are equally to blame for any failing. This allowed pundits like Fournier to bounce back and forth between Democratic and Republican camps being, if not everybody’s friend, at least nobody’s enemy. He followed the rules and therefore was virtuous.

Then along comes Donald Trump, who rips the fucking doors off the whole thing. Whose rhetoric is so utterly hateful and whose campaigning is so nakedly greedy and small that it just gobsmacks the people who expect the rules to be followed. Trump’s candidacy would, if they had the self-awareness God gave a carrot, force people like Fournier to confront the polite fictions that keep everything running smoothly, question the bullshit he feeds himself and his readers, and begin to consider that perhaps there is a difference between a president who tried to close Gitmo (even if he failed) and one who wants to put all of Mexico in there.

If he did start to question that, though, the fucking earth might cave in underneath him, so Fournier twists himself into knots trying to make Donald Trump the fault of liberals AS WELL AS conservatives, because that way Fournier can go about his business and nothing has to change.


Not So Stormy Monday

We survived the influx of teevee crews, MSM reporters, carpetbloggers, disaster tourists and former Presidents. I stuck to my guns and avoided the hype as much as possible. I did, however, make an exception for President Obama’s outstanding speech last Thursday wherein he acknowledged the man-made nature of our post-K disaster. That was something his feckless predecessor never did.

Other than the sign I posted last Friday, I ignored the Texas Napoleon’s return to his Waterloo. I made an exception, however, for pictures of W dancing with a high school principal. He moves like a white preppie who went to Yale and learned to dance for Debutante balls and Cotillions:


Photograph by Chris Granger Nola.Com/Times-Picayune.

I nearly captioned that picture Dancing On Our Graves, but decided to credit the photographer instead. The good news was that W was here for a few hours and his presence only made us a bit crankier. It was always destined to be a tough week in the city I used to call Debrisville.

I was true to my word and avoided all official and unofficial events. Instead, I went to a party thrown by some very dear friends on  the tenth year anniversary. We spent the day grilling, drinking, playing cards against humanity (the game is clearly fixed since I didn’t win) and swapping the odd Katrina exile story but we mostly kept it light. That was aided and abetted by some adorable rug rats splashing in the pool while the grown ups drank and ate sausage and pulled pork. Thanks again, Greg and Christy. You rule as well as rock.

The star of the day was my favorite 2 year old hellion who is alternately solemn and silly. After splashing too much for his big sister’s taste, my nephew by choice Nate wore what we call his old Cuban man outfit:

Old Cuban Toddler

Bubbly Nate. Photograph by Dr. A.

We all drank and ate too much but it beat the hell out of being resilient with the Mayor and the boosterazzi. Passing the day with friends and extended family was the way to go.

I was trying to resist the urge to humble brag but decided to go for it. Last Monday’s post Katrinaversary Blues: Of Resilience Tours, Carpetbloggers & Disaster Tourists seemed to strike a chord with my fellow New Orleanians and it was shared around Facebook as if it were a cat video. I think Della Street was jealous. I was also honored by the good people at Word Press with a slot on their FreshlyPressed showcase page. It brought us quite a bit of traffic as well as some new readers.Thanks for all the kind words and comments both here at First Draft and elsewhere on the interwebs. I hope y’all will return for our regular fare: my colleagues Athenae, Tommy T, Michael F, and Doc are all outstanding writers. Please check them out.

Now that I’ve humble bragged, here’s a little touch of the blues to justify the post title. Actually, a whole lotta blues:


Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – gruesome grab-bag edition

Morning, everyone!

Well, I was going to do a bit on the Perd Hapley Bryce Williams shootings, but Ms. A made that superfluous.

So – that leaves us with Trump.

Not trying to say he’s sucking all the air out of things, but he’s sucking the air out of things. Freeperville is no exception. The non-nutjobs have given up for the most part, and the Trumpaholics have taken over. Something horrible was said by The Darnold or reported on?

Good news for Trump!

Former Ku Klux Klan Leader David Duke Throws Support Behind Donald Trump
The Wrap ^ | August 25, 2015 | Itay Hod

Posted on ‎8‎/‎26‎/‎2015‎ ‎1‎:‎03‎:‎22‎ ‎AM by 2ndDivisionVet

Trump is “the best of the lot,” Duke says of GOP frontrunner

GOP frontrunner Donald Trump can count on at least one die-hard fan: former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke.

Self described “racial realist,” Duke, praised Trump during a recent rant during his online radio show, calling the business mogul a “good salesman.”

Duke, who ran unsuccessfully for president as a Democrat in 1988 and later served in the Louisiana House of Representatives, also said he liked Trump because of “the fact that he’s come out on the immigration issue,” adding, “he’s an entrepreneur and he has a good sense of what people want to hear, what they want to buy.”

While Duke admitted Trump’s proposals could be a political ploy to get the nomination, he agreed with the real estate mogul’s policies aimed at mass deportation of undocumented immigrants, calling him “the best of the lot” among the crowded GOP primary field.

After complaining about the “Jewish domination” of the media, Duke said Trump is telling it like it is.

“Trump, he’s really going all out. He’s saying what no other Republicans have said, few conservatives say.”

Trump’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Listen to Duke’s comments on Trump below


You can’t stop someone from endorsing you. I wouldn’t put it past Karl Rove or someone similar paying Duke to do this.
1 posted on 8‎/‎26‎/‎2015‎ ‎1‎:‎03‎:‎22‎ ‎AM by 2ndDivisionVet
Karl Rove’s fault!
To: re_nortex

He’s simply a liberal.

Of course he is.  “White Power” has been the rallying point for liberals since August 6, 1965.

Like half the country, and doing what liberals do. Mothers, fathers, sons and daughters. Husbands and wives.

Liberals ALL belong in cages for the safety of the human race.

4 posted on ‎8‎/‎26‎/‎2015‎ ‎1‎:‎11‎:‎21‎ ‎AM by Norm Lenhart

He seems nice.
Auschwitz file
To: Norm Lenhart
Liberals ALL belong in cages for the safety of the human race.Frankly I consider liberals as less than human and, therefore — like you — think it is wise and prudent to secure them in cages and/or detention camps.

7 posted on 8‎/‎26‎/‎2015‎ ‎1‎:‎14‎:‎56‎ ‎AM by re_nortex (DP – that’s what I like about Texas)
Yeah, yeah – we get it.  Untermenschen and all that.  Fuck me Freddy – can’t you nincompoops get through one thread without making Godwin throw up?
To: 2ndDivisionVet

Yes this article seems to be an answer to a question that nobody asked…right out of left field. Maybe next they will hold a seance with Hitler to find out if he likes Trump.

5 posted on ‎8‎/‎26‎/‎2015‎ ‎1‎:‎11‎:‎55‎ ‎AM by cabojoe

Sorry I asked.
To: 2ndDivisionVet

[Trump’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.]

For once, Team Trump may be stumped.

Should be interesting to see how Team Trump handles this.

They better answer fast, or else the media may smell blood in the water, or wherever.

11 posted on 8‎/‎26‎/‎2015‎ ‎1‎:‎19‎:‎44‎ ‎AM by Vision Thing (“Community Organizer” is a shorter way of saying “Commie Unity Organizer”.)

I see what you did there.
One Freeper tries to have it both ways, and the cognitive dissonance is like a slow-motion car wreck:
To: 2ndDivisionVet

We’ll be seeing a lot of these ‘he must be a racist’ by association hit pieces in the near future.

But with the excesses of this clown negro regime the danger of a ‘critical mass’ moment exists revealing the so called racists of our distant pass(sic) were absolutely correct on the condition of black culture and their devastating effect on civilized society.

47 posted on 8‎/‎26‎/‎2015‎ ‎6‎:‎22‎:‎24‎ ‎AM by exPBRrat

Thank god you escaped being associated with racism.  That was a close one.
Of course, “re_nortex” (ah, how I love ya) knows who’s really to blame:
To: Reno89519

Seriously, KKK?As was in the 19th and 20th Centuries, so it remains in the 21st Century:

The Ku Klux Klan is a Democrat outfit!

Um, not since the Southern Strategy, no.  Duke did indeed run as a Democrat in 1975, but failed miserably.

You guys always leave out that he switched to the Republican Party in 1988 and immediately started winning, although his myopia on issues like Da Joos (who for some reason, mostly vote Democratic – perhaps they didn’t get the memo), and drug-testing for welfare recipients (an infamous Republican bette’ noire) and his penchant for raising money and gambling it away brought him down.

They’re on the side of the abortion industry and seek to exterminate Jews

(see above)

and blacks.


Their goal is nothing less an all-white America, populated by fellow leftists.

Jesus fuck – have a care you don’t pull a muscle doing those obscene mental gymnastics.

Duke has spoken of his affinity for Russia. Why? Because it’s white — but above all, liberal!

25 posted on 8‎/‎26‎/‎2015‎ ‎1‎:‎41‎:‎37‎ ‎AM by re_nortex (DP – that’s what I like about Texas)

That’s right, sheeple!
Russia, home of oligarchs, the Stasi, political prisons (like the Freeperati think we should be in), persecution of LGBT people, where dissidents are routinely imprisoned and murdered, is a liberal dreamland.
I’d also like to point out that you guys are the ones routinely jerking off over manly bear-riding man Putin, not us.
More bullshit after the Duke boys…

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Denying Birth Certificates to Children

There’s really no level of mean we won’t go to, to prove we just want to be mean: 

Six U.S.-born children and their Mexican citizen mothers who lack legal status were the original plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed by the Texas Civil Rights Project. The lawsuit has since expanded to 17.

The state has said it is enforcing laws already on the books requiring specific types of identification that the women don’t have. The state says it does not accept the Mexico government-issued matrícula consular ID card from parents wanting to obtain their child’s birth certificate.

Families have also said they have been unable to present non-U.S. passports to obtain the birth certificates.

“We have a system in Texas in which people who are born here are being relegated to a second-class status because of who their parents are,” said Manny Garcia, executive director of the Texas Democratic Party. The state’s elected offices are held by Republicans and the attorney general, Ken Paxton, who has been enforcing the identification requirement, is Republican.

Which is the same party that will tell you, in a voice from the depths of hell broadcast through the mouth of Scott Walker, that a child conceived of rape or incest is blameless for the actions of his or her biological parents. But apparently if that baby’s parents are illegal immigrants, put its day-old ass on a bus to the border, it’s obviously got the Mexican cooties or something.


‘They made a decision not to be a viable newspaper’

Here’s yet another example of “newspaper companies made the choice to destroy newspapers which means newspaper destruction was inevitable due to randomness and things like ‘change’ that we are not going to explain or quantify or really research anyway, here is some mush:” 

Hurricane Katrina dealt a staggering blow to New Orleans 10 years ago this week. A far lesser, but still lingering, punch came in late 2012 when Advance Publications, the owner of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, launched a bold strategy to arrest the paper’s financial free fall.

A bold strategy. Firing a shitload of people is a bold strategy now. Because nobody else has ever tried that before. Bold!

And financial free fall? Hardly. The Times-Picayune was profitable at the time Advance brought the axe down, but you’re not going to read about that here.

What are you going to read about? If you guessed “corporate weaselmouth nonsense,” congratulations, you win this bucket of bullshit!

“Our company recognized that iteratively changing the business culture was not going to solve the problem,” says Mathews, whose face appeared on mock “Wanted” posters at the peak of the “Save the Picayune” campaign. “We could no longer do it incrementally.”

What the does that even mean? Changing the business culture? Let’s review: They knifed a bunch of dedicated people in the back, made home delivery incomprehensible and inaccessible, switched up their printing schedule three times in a year, and then blamed their customers for not throwing money at them. That has tits-all to do with the business culture or incremental changes, and everything to do with you guys being morons who could screw up a popsicle stand on the hottest day in July.

It’s certainly not news that America’s newspapers have been battered by the Internet and the recession. Over the past decade, the nation’s 1,300 daily newspapers have lost about 25 percent of their revenue and an equal percentage of their daily subscribers, according to the Newspaper Association of America.

Which still does not tell me if that leaves them with enough revenue to do their jobs. “Less” is not “insufficient” and it’s incredibly lazy to use the two terms interchangeably. The conventional wisdom is not the same as fact.

Farhi goes on to note that cutting print has meant cutting the thing that makes the money, but somehow that didn’t factor into his assessment of the Advance strategy (if you can call “let’s hope nobody notices we’re just greedy bastards because the Internet is here for us to blame” a strategy):

Asked whether the “digital-first” strategy is succeeding, the normally voluble Mathews pauses. “I don’t think you can say that,” he replies. “There’s not a finish line that any of us see in the near future.”

But hey, at least it’s BOLD!


Sunday Morning Video: Fats Domino Live In Holland

Now that we’ve gotten past the Katrinaversary, it’s time for some good old New Orleans rock and roll. This show aired on Dutch teevee in 1976. Dig the crazy plaid jackets on the sidemen:



Saturday Odds & Sods will return next week.

Texas Napoleon Returns To His Waterloo Redux

Here’s a picture of a man protesting outside Warren Easton High School where former President George W. Bush is making his only K10 appearance. The sign says it all:

W Protest

Photograph by James Karst. He wins the day.

Glad this guy has an oversized barf bucket. He may need it.

Friday Guest Catblogging: Boris In The Box

Boris is back and fluffier than ever:

Boris in the Box

Photo by her human, Paul.

The Not So Great Fleur de Lis Ban Hoax of 2015


City of New Orleans Flag.

I guess it must be a slow news week in New Orleans because one of our local teevee stations, WDSU, ran a story about an obviously fake letter, he said in a voice dripping with sarcasm. There was even a Twitter teaser from one of the station’s anchors.

No, not Scout’s little buddy. It’s another Scott Walker who, to his credit, has had fun with having the same name as Gov Deadeyes. The other reason it works so well is that viewers in New Orleans watched NOLA Scotty blow last night. What would we do without Charlie Pierce? Back to my own  shebeen…

WDSU’s first story about the fleur de lis ban letter was “balanced” and treated it as if it *could* be authentic. Holy False Equivalency, Batman. Not only that, but it ran at the top of the newscast in a week when local news is plentiful to say the least. The current story at their web site concedes that the letter is a hoax. I wish I had gotten a screen shot of the earlier version but I did not. If I had you could *really* watch NOLA Scotty blow.

The reason that this annoys me so much is that local teevee news in New Orleans is actually quite good. WDSU is stuck at third place in the ratings so they’re resorting to stunts like this one as well as tweeting selfies during commercial breaks. The problem is that there’s no story here. They’re pandering to a combination of gullible members of the twittering class and the “don’t erase our history and heritage” types who are rabidly opposed to removing Confederate monuments.

Here’s the back story. The “they’re going to take away our fleur de lis” meme is one of the straw men that is being trotted out like a hooded night rider with a flaming cross by the “don’t erase our history and heritage” krewe. I alluded to this in a post I wrote on July 20, The Fog Of History: The Jacksonian Straw Man. With a very few, very nutty exceptions, nobody is advocating eradicating the fleur de lis, which has  gone from being a symbol of the French crown to the symbol of the City and of our beloved Saints. Insert a Who Dat at this point for those who do such things.

As to the content of the letter, it’s ridiculous, preposterous, and incredible. Note the letterhead, the spacing, the crossed-out FDL inside a circle. Nothing looks right. For me, the biggest tell was this passage:

Our staff along with with former US Senator Mary Landrieu are also in negotiations with Mr. Benson and the NFL on changing the Saints logo and/or perhaps choosing a new logo for our city’s football team that would have no offensive religious overtones.

First, Mitch is a egotist and would say “my staff.” Second, anyone who knows anything about the dynamics of the Landrieu family would spot this as a false statement aimed, mostly, at Lakeview and Garden District Republicans. Mary is the oldest child and her kid brother Mitch is fifth in the sprawling Landrieu family tree of nine chirren as Santa Battaglia would surely say. In short, the younger brother wants to be independent except during campaigns. I recall seeing Mary taking charge of the stage when her brother was elected Mayor on his third try in 2010. She called him Mitchell and he visibly shuddered. This passage of the fleur de lis ban letter plays into New Orleans GOPer notions of the conspiratorial Landrieu family with father Moon and sister Mary pulling the strings. Insert evil laugh. End of this extended foray into pop family psychology. Your hour is up…

The tone of the letter is aimed at local conservatives who hate all the Landrieus and those, including many on the Left, who hate this Mayor. I’ve said it before and I’ll said it again, Mitch Landrieu’s record is a mixed bag, I like parts of it and dislike others. I’m not crazy about his relentless, resilient boosterism and advocacy of gentrification, but I believe he’s sincerely motivated on the Confederate monuments issue. His father was instrumental in removing the Confederate battle flag from the City Council chambers, after all. Uh oh, I just sent the Landrieu conspiracy buffs into hyperdrive. Regardless of that, this letter is bogus, a fraud, a fake, a hoax and a tasteless one at that.

Timing and context are everything in life. If this letter had popped up on April Fool’s Day, it and the WDSU story would have been mildly amusing. Instead, it appeared on August, 26, 3 days before the Katrinaversary when people’s emotions are raw and old wounds have been re-opened. It’s like picking at a scab and drawing blood. We didn’t need this right now. And WDSU shouldn’t have used it as clickbait and a ratings ploy. Additionally, the people who are most likely to support removing the Confederate monuments, American-Americans, are the least likely to have benefited from the so-called resilient recovery. And they know it too.

I hadn’t planned to write such an epic post but context matters and I needed to explain some things to our readers outside of New Orleans. I hope I’ve clarified matters but if not, what can I say? I promise to be more resilient next time…

That concludes this episode of watching NOLA Scotty blow. Heckuva job, WDSU.

Penn Jillete On Donald Trump’s Hair

 Penn Jillette, Donald Trump, Trace Adkins - All-Star Celebrity Apprentice

The Insult Comedian tries to hitch a ride from Penn Jillette & Trace Adkins.

I mentioned not long ago that I was watching a season of the Celebrity Apprentice on YouTube hoping to get some insights into what makes the Insult Comedian tick. All I’ve learned is that he likes yes men, ass kissers, brown nosers, and people who tell him how awesome he is. I learned more from an excerpt from magician Penn Jillete’s memoirs published by Salon back in 2012:

I wasn’t even going to say anything about Trump’s hair. I live in a glass house. I’ve always had ugly, out-of-style hair. Trump’s hair is a lot better than mine—but as I sat there for hours half listening to Donald carry on, it struck me exactly what his hair looked like. It looks like cotton candy made of piss.

There you have it, ladies and germs, Donald Trump’s elaborate combover resembles cotton candy made of piss. It has absolutely no nutritional value just like his crappy reality teevee show and his futile quest to become the first insult comedian elected President.

Here’s an appearance Penn and his hair made on The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell on July, 15:

Repeat after me: Donald Trump will NOT be the first Insult Comedian with hair that looks like cotton candy piss to be elected President.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Hearses Don’t Hurry

I’ve always liked the tile of this obscure potboiler; mostly because it enables me to punish you with a real groaner.

Really? I always thought William Randolph was a young Hearst in a hurry. I better hide or Death is going to smite me for that one…


Untalented Artist To Visit City He Let Drown

From Album 5

Well, not when the untalented artist was doing untalented, amateur art, but only when he was leader of the free world. Adrastos has already covered this, but if I may add a visual interpretation and a few additional remarks…because, in its own way, the tragic horror, and subsequent epic, incompetent, gross failure by the Bush administration demonstrate how history repeats.

The same folks loudly taking victim blaming to new heights ten years ago now loudly, obnoxiously, smugly…and, of course, stupidly…pin their hopes on the single person who’d be an even worse executive than Dubya: a loud-mouthed-fraud and casino magnate. You’ve got Jeb (Jeb!) flailing as haplessly as Mike Brown. Rick Santorum’s still around, spewing now and again — remember his proposal to cite and fine those, who, for whatever reason, were unable or unwilling to evacuate?

About the only piece missing, and I guess this is a slight improvement, is I can’t think of any equivalent of Dick Cheney…who, as an aside, is still in my mind the worst Veep in history…which is pretty amazing when you consider that list includes such notables as Andrew Johnson…and Aaron Burr, who only shot and killed Alexander Hamilton.

Congratulations Racists and Assholes It’s Fucking Christmas For You

Two people (three if you count the shooter but I don’t just now) are dead but hey, don’t let that get in the way of the carols you’re singing: 

Breitbart News reacted to reports that two Virginia journalists were shot to death on-air by a disgruntled former co-worker by publishing an article with the headline, “RACE MURDER IN VIRGINIA: BLACK REPORTER SUSPECTED OF EXECUTING WHITE COLLEAGUES – ON LIVE TELEVISION!

On August 26, two employees of Roanoke, Virginia CBS affiliate WDBJ were shot to death while reporting from Smith Mountain Lake, a public recreation area popular for boating and fishing. The gunman, who later shot himself but apparently survived, is reportedly a former employee of the affiliate.

Breitbart News reacted to the shooting with a race-baiting article authored by editor-at-large John Nolte. The piece was widely condemned by other members of the media, many of whom pointed out Breitbart News’lengthy history of racially charged reporting and commentary. The headline has since been changed.

A 24-year-old reporter who had just fallen in love and a 27-year-old cameraman who by all accounts was a stellar human being are dead, and because the shooter was black, it’s fucking Christmas morning for exactly who you think it would be Christmas morning for.

It’s Christmas morning for Breitbart’s gibbering insects and Christmas morning for the Freepi. It’s Christmas morning for those jerkoffs on Fox News who want to know when we’re gearing up for the next race war, and it’s Christmas morning for the All Lives Matter scolds. (Whose angry yowls, by the way, are the exact human equivalent of you showing up at a stranger’s funeral yodeling about how nobody there mourned your great-aunt Harriet when she was killed by a folding couch.)

It’s Christmas morning for everybody who hates reporters, too, hates reporters and will gladly advocate killing them, including by lynching them. It’s Christmas morning for everybody who can’t be bothered to give a shit when reporters are kidnapped and beaten and jailed and raped and abused. It’s Christmas morning and they get to go to fucking church.

Are they ever going to church. The church of “black on white” crime and the church of specious statistics, the church of tallying up outrages on a little white board and the church of don’t you dare politicize my politics, don’t you dare call my actions in the public sphere political. The church of gun-free zones are free fire zones, the church of more concealed carry, like double-secret-concealed carry, performing the sacrament of if every Democrat was dead none of this would be happening because gunmen would be too scared of the guns. They are going to these churches and they are praying and praying. Will the circle be unbroken, by and by Lord, by and by.

It’s Christmas morning for everybody who thinks we need some kind of example of black people behaving badly to prove … what, that black people  can be assholes, like that’s a point? It’s Christmas morning for your dad’s co-worker who wants to keep score of what Al Sharpton said about what where how many times. It’s Christmas morning for your racist uncle and his racist kids, and it’s Christmas morning for the deliberately stupid on the campaign trail who pretend they don’t know when they fucking know

It’s Christmas morning for whocouldaknowed, and whatyougonnado, and the department of inevitability and the seduction of inertia and everyone everywhere is confessing even as they continue to commit the mortal sin of despair. It’s Christmas morning for people who want to bitch on social media that social media is ruining the way we communicate (because, like, a shooting is fine if the guy wouldn’t have to go and post VIDEO about it like a ghoul) and it’s Christmas morning for “look at this dumbass Tweet, America is doomed.”

Every fucking dumb asshole on the planet has thoughts and prayers, and GIFs with hearts and crosses and doves and shit and they are plastering them all over Facebook because it is Christmas morning for pretending you care about somebody else when if we cared about anybody else we would have stopped this after Columbine or Sandy Hook because SCHOOLKIDS, fucking kids in school. Reporters, especially local TV, do a hard goddamn job and a friend got a call from a local TV station “localizing” the story asking if there was anything that journalists could have done to protect themselves. It’s Christmas morning for I guess we have to wear flak jackets to cover local tourism, and even then.

It’s Christmas morning for the worst in all of us right now. Open your fucking presents, racists, only take care not to burn yourselves on the shotgun shells. Compare your holiday hauls, sanctimonious dickheads and gay-bashing, woman-hating, anti-press “conservatives.” Mind the gunfire and don’t dance along with it too fast. Someone could get hurt.


ps. In answer to the above.


Tweets Of The Day: Texas Napoleon Returns To His Waterloo

One of the most annoying, aggravating, and irksome things about this year’s Katrinaversary is, of course, George W Bush returning to the scene of the crime. He’s about as popular here as a dead refrigerator full of rancid, rotting crab, shrimp, and crawfish. Maggots have a higher approval rating in Orleans Parish than Bush.

Two NOLA Twitteratti rather neatly summed up my un-resilient reaction to the news of Bush visiting this upcoming Friday.

I can never get enough of John Fogerty’s post-K rant and roll song, Long Dark Night, so I’ll give him the last word:

Brownie’s in the outhouse
Katrina on the line
Government’s a disaster
But Georgie, he says it’s fine

Come on,
Lord you’d better run
Be a long dark night
Before this thing is done


Album Cover Art Wednesday: Wake Of The Flood

I usually post this feature at the stroke of midnight but I want the stench from the Hurricane Katrina Snowglobe post to have faded away. Let’s have a nooner instead. Uh oh, that was a bit Ashley Madison of me…

I’ve already posted a Grateful Dead LP cover but this one fits the theme of the week. Wake Of The Flood was the first Dead album released on their own label. It was plagued with returns and production problems. The cover by Rick Griffin, however, is swell:

Wake of the Flood

The music is pretty darn good too, especially the sublime Eyes of the World:


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