Category Archives: Gret Stet Politics

Saturday Odds & Sods: Higher Ground

Blue Night by Edward Hopper.

The tropics have been busy this week. There are two named storms in the Gulf. Neither is headed our way, but it’s been a wet week. Oh, to be on the dry side of a storm.

It was qualifying week for the 2020 election in the Gret Stet of Louisiana.  Senator Double Bill Cassidy gained a name opponent when Democratic Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins filed to challenge him. He has his work cut out for him: he’s not well known in South Louisiana. The spineless incumbent remains a heavy favorite.

The most interesting local race is for Orleans Parish District Attorney. Incumbent Leon Cannizzaro is retiring, which makes it a wide-open race. City Council President Jason Williams looked like a very strong candidate until he was indicted on federal tax charges. The funniest moment of qualifying week was when Williams told us not to be distracted by his indictment. Dude, you’re running for DA. You need a better argument than that.

This week’s theme song was written by Stevie Wonder for his smash hit 1973 album Innervisions.  It’s about reincarnation or some such shit but I like it for the funky groove.

We have two versions of Higher Ground for your listening pleasure: Stevie’s original and a 1989 cover by Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Glad I was able to funkify your lives today. I took lessons from the Meters:

That George Porter Jr. bass line makes me want to jump…to the break. See you on the other side.

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Saturday Odds & Sods: This Forgotten Town

Subway Portrait by Walker Evans.

The weather in New Orleans has been almost as crazy as President* Pennywise this week. We’ve had record heat as well as torrential rain that caused some street flooding. There were thunderclaps so loud that they interrupted PD’s beauty rest. Now that’s loud.

It’s also lizard season in the Crescent City. They’re everywhere. I have to look down as I descend our front stairs to avoid stomping on them. The cat is obsessed with capturing and tormenting lizards whenever they get inside. I’ve rescued several already this year. Leapin’ Lizards.

A new Jayhawks album dropped last week. XOXO is more of a collaborative effort than past records. It features songs and lead vocals by band members who are not named Gary Louris. Tim O’Reagan and Karen Grotberg’s lead vocals are a welcome addition to the Jayhawks’ musical arsenal.

This week’s theme song, This Forgotten Town, is the opening track on the new album. It was written by Gary Louris, Marc Perlman, and Tim O’Reagan. We have two versions for your listening pleasure:

This is not Gary’s first town tune. There’s also this unforgettable song from Smile.

Let’s leave this town and jump to the break.

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Bayou Brief: Mask Wars

Image by John Valentino.

My latest 13th Ward Rambler column is online at Bayou Brief. In Mask Wars, I ponder political performance art and three of its Louisiana practitioners: State Rep Danny McCormick, Picvocate columnist Dan Fagan, and State Attorney General Jeff Landry.

After the column was written, Landry tested positive for COVID, which gave me the chance to write a rather amusing afterword. He subsequently issued a legal opinion from quarantine that the mandatory mask order issued by Governor John Bel Edwards is unenforceable. The opinion is strictly advisory, so it amounts to sound and fury signifying nothing. It’s also much like this venerable expression:

“Offering an opinion is like peeing on yourself in a blue serge suit. It feels warm and no one knows you’ve done it.”

There’s a dispute as to who first said this, but I first saw it in Gay Talese’s NYT book The Power and the Glory. It was attributed to former Times executive editor Turner Catledge. Catledge was from Mississippi and retired to New Orleans. After Catledge’s death, Dr. A and I went to an estate sale at his Garden District house. I bought his copy of that Talese tome. If only I could find it among the book clutter in my study. So it goes.

In other Mask War news, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp finds himself in a peach of a pickle. In a breathtaking display of hypocrisy, he’s banning local governments from mandating masks. Other than party affiliation, why is he a hypocrite? He wore a mask while welcoming the Impeached Insult Comedian to Georgia the other day. Trump was unmasked. Freedom, man.

Finally, one more Mask War note. Earlier this week, historian and New Orleanian John Barry wrote an opinion piece for the NYT about the pandemic. It was excellent except for this passage:

Social distancing, masks, hand washing and self-quarantine remain crucial. Too little emphasis has been placed on ventilation, which also matters. Ultraviolet lights can be installed in public areas. These things will reduce spread, and President Trump finally wore a mask publicly, which may somewhat depoliticize the issue.

Trump flip flopped on mask wearing the day after this piece ran. I’m glad Barry hedged his bets by using the word somewhat. Never assume that President* Pennywise will stick to a position for more than a few days. As I said in Mask Wars, “He’s consistently inconsistent.”

The last word goes to Fleetwood Mac with a Christine McVie song:

John Neely Kennedy Can Go Fuck Himself

The junior Senator from the Gret Stet of Louisiana is at it again: 

“America is going through a rough patch right now,” Kennedy said. “Some people seem to be enjoying it. Maybe they just hate America. Maybe they just enjoy watching the world burn. I think some are liking the chaos because they think it gives them a political advantage. Part of that chaos is being caused by our schools closing. For our kids, we need to open them.”

If I didn’t know better, I’d think he was describing the Kaiser of Chaos. He’s the one who enjoys watching the world burn and uses chaos as a political weapon. Projection thy name is Neely.

I’ve called Neely many things over the years but McCarthyite is not among them. There’s a first time for everything.

People who are worried about the impact of a premature school re-opening, don’t hate America. I know I don’t. I hate President* Pennywise. They’re not synonymous despite what Neely, Hannity, and their ilk think.

Fuck you, Neely.

On with Neely’s rant:

“I can promise you for many of our kids, keeping these schools closed is going to hurt them far worse than the coronavirus can. France, Germany, Denmark, Austria, Vietnam. Even Vietnam has opened their schools,” the Senator said. “And they’ve done it safely and we can too and we should too and if I can say one of the thing.”

They’ve opened their schools because their governments handled the pandemic competently and reduced the number of COVID-19 cases to a tolerable level. We’re currently experiencing an explosion of cases because of premature and ill-advised re-openings. Heckuva job, Trumpy.

What baffles me about the GOP response to the pandemic is that it’s good politics to be on top of it. Angela Merkel’s popularity was at an all-time low, but her handling of the pandemic has made her “mother of the nation” again as she leaves office. In contrast, Donald Trump is the shame of the world six months before he leaves office.

Fuck you, Neely.

“I know some people in good faith disagree with me and I respect that. Let’s have the debate. But there are some people who want to keep our schools closed because they think it gives them a political advantage. And they are using our kids as political pawns and to them, I say unashamedly they can kiss my ass. That’s wrong to do that the kids of America. Not the people in good faith but those who are just enjoying the chaos because they think it’s going to help them in November,” Kennedy finished.

Nobody wants the schools to stay closed indefinitely. I agree that kids are better off in school but they’re not better off if they risk contracting and spreading this deadly virus. I suppose the born again McCarthyite Senator agrees with the old wingnut aphorism, “Better Dead Than Red.”

I do not.

Neely’s extended whine shows that Republicans know that they’re in deep shit and sinking fast. There’s nothing more ridiculous than a politician attacking other politicians for being political. Fuck you, Neely.

It’s a pity that the Louisiana Democratic Party is so dysfunctional and inept that it isn’t mounting a stronger challenge to Neely’s colleague Double Bill Cassidy. At least the current chair, Karen Carter Peterson, will be gone soon. The most noteworthy thing that happened on her watch was her attempt to force John Bel Edwards out of the 2015 Governor’s race. I am not making this up. I wish I were.

Back to Neely. Cussing out your enemies may sound all manly and shit but it’s a sign of weakness and desperation. It makes Neely sound like the bat shit crazy criminal who is leading his party to defeat in November. There’s nothing phonier than a fake tough guy and that’s what Neely, Trump, Hannity, and the whole crew are: fakes in the news as opposed to fake news.

I wish it were anatomically possible for Neely to kiss his own ass or better yet go fuck himself. It’s what he deserves; that and serving in the minority in the 117th Congress.

The last word goes to Harry Nilsson:

The actual title of that tune is You’re Breaking My Heart, but I prefer to be direct when it comes to John Neely Kennedy.

Fuck you, Neely.

Twit Takes On Twitter

President* Pennywise has been a busy boy of late: pitching fits and issuing orders left and right. Far right.

It’s unclear how meaningful Trump’s social media executive order will be. I was initially dismissive but the good people at TPM think it will, at the very least, cause chaos and confusion. It’s all the Trump regime seems capable of right now. That’s why I call him the Kaiser of Chaos.

One group that seems likely to benefit are lawyers, which is ironic given all the Republican fulmination about trial lawyers, especially here in the Gret Stet of Louisiana. Phony Eddie Rispone spent much of his losing campaign attacking billboard lawyers. So it goes.

As with so much of Trump’s recent flailing about, the twit taking on Twitter is a sign of weakness. Twitter was afraid of Trump until recently. His inane and untrue rantings put the platform on the map: people who wouldn’t know a twit from a tweet have heard of it thanks to the Impeached Insult Comedian.

The fact that Jack Dorsey and his minions have turned on Trump is a sign that he’s losing. So much for all the winning the Kaiser of Chaos promised his supporters. It’s another sign that he’s following in the footsteps of Charlie, not Martin Sheen. The latter played a fictional president who was re-elected. That prospect is slipping away, which brings us to a brief musical interlude;

That song should be inapposite as it’s about a lost love, but Trump is acting like a scorned lover rejected by the Tweeter Tube. Oh well, he’ll always have Mark Zuckerberg.

I stumbled into a piece this morning that perfectly captures Trump’s latest toddler tantrum:

And what kind of president issues an executive order only to defend himself? This action is only because his feelings were hurt. This executive order doesn’t have anything to do with protecting anyone except Donald Trump. While the Trump cult and Republicans label liberals as ‘snowflakes,’ they are the most vicitimed and whiny people on the planet. Their leader is such a snowflake that he’s issuing an executive order because his feelings were hurt. In case you’re a Republican, THIS is why there’s a great big giant Trump Baby balloon. And the worst thing is, Twitter hasn’t even restricted him. He can still lie and defame people on Twitter without any empathy.

In short, Trump is what a friend of mine calls a whiny titty baby. He should stick a pacifier in his big fat bazoo and STFU. We all know he’s incapable of that, but I can dream, can’t I?

The last word goes to Richard Thompson with a song that fits Trump’s current losing streak:

The nerve of some people. I don’t know who you think you are.

Bayou Brief: The Age Of Uncertainty

My latest column for the Bayou Brief went live at 11 AM yesterday. I’m trying to make the time and day, Wednesday, a bi-weekly thing. Regularity in regular features floats my boat. Oops, that sounded like a laxative commercial or some such shit. I should flush that paragraph, but I won’t. I don’t want to bring on another toilet paper apocalypse…

I had a lot of fun writing The Age Of Uncertainty. There’s even a vaguely amusing story about the writing process. I had a notion that I wanted to write about masks, reopening, and pandemic politics BUT I didn’t have a theme to tie everything together in a wordy bundle. The idea of stealing a Galbraith title came to me in a moment of wakefulness at 3 AM on Sunday morning. Sometimes insomnia can come in handy.

I spend some time in the column pondering the masking of America:

An important part of making phase-1 work is a willingness to wear a mask in public. I understand why people dislike masking. I have a size 8 head, which makes it difficult to find a mask that fits. Additionally, I’m almost as blind as a bloody bat and I’ve had a problem with my glasses fogging up while masked. It’s a pain but it’s imperative to protect others from your germs. I don’t know about you, but I prefer to keep my germs to myself and for you to do likewise. It’s one reason I’m staying in my Bat Cave for the time being.

It’s all part of being a grown-up. You gotta do what you need to do, not what you wanna do. What I wanna do is post a Graham Parker song with mask in the title:

Bayou Brief: Under Pressure, Nungesser

My latest column for the Bayou Brief is online. I take a look at the pressure brought to bear on New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell to reopen the city and a lukewarm pandemic apologia by the Gret Stet Grifter, Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser.

This time, I decided to tease you with the opening paragraphs of the column:

Citizens of the Gret Stet of Louisiana and residents of New Orleans aren’t used to competent government. The incompetence reached new heights when both Bobby Jindal, who I always called PBJ, and C Ray Nagin were in office. They were both wreckers: one deliberately, the other out of indifference. One thing they had in common was incompetence.

That’s why the performance of Governor John Bel Edwards and Mayor Latoya Cantrell during the coronavirus crisis has been so gobsmacking. They’ve been communicative without panicking like Nagin and clear without self aggrandizement like PBJ. In a word: competent.

Bayou Brief: Hell Of A Spell

My latest column for the Bayou Brief is online. There are a few more jokes in this pandemic edition, Hell Of A Spell. There’s also a helluva tagline if I do say so myself and I do:

Peter Athas on Tony Spell’s death tabernacle, John Neely Kennedy being stuck on stupid, Kevin Allman’s crusade against Mardi Gras misinformation, and other signs of our troubled times.

My sole regret is that I neglected to make a Jimmy Swaggart joke when I cracked wise about Roy (Judge Pervert) Moore and the Mall of Louisiana. A lost opportunity because the Swaggart empire used to own the land the mall sits on. I must be slipping.

I used Richard Thompson’s When The Spell Is Broken as a segment divider. In this shameless plug post, he gets the last word with a live version:

Coach O’s PSA

College football and politics have long been inseparable in the Gret Stet of Louisiana. Huey Long was a fanatical LSU Tiger backer and meddler. He was even known to suggest plays. I have no idea if they were any good but he was the Kingfish so the coaches had to listen.

The intersection between college football and politics continues in the 21st Century. One of the perks of Governor John Bel Edwards’ job is his friendship with Ed Orgeron. When it came time for the state to make a COVID-19 PSA, there was only one choice: Coach O.

My feelings about Coach O are well known. Putting his gravelly voice to use in this way is a masterstroke. He has credibility with the people who think this pandemic is a hoax cooked up by liberals. Will they listen to this Louisiana folk hero? Beats the hell outta me, but it couldn’t hurt. We need all the help we can get in this crisis.

Coach O also appeared at a press briefing with the Governor the other day:

As everyone else read from papers and spoke formally, Orgeron approached the lectern, firmly placed his hands on each side and took control like he was in his own football element. He looked confident. They provided him no script or guidance. He just took over.

“I’m here on behalf of the state of Louisiana,” Orgeron said. “I’m a guy who was born in Louisiana, loves Louisiana and is head coach of the national champion LSU Tigers.”

He told the crowd he just sat in on the briefing and said it was the most organized, most intense, most well-informed meeting he’d ever been in. “I can promise you this, the state of Louisiana is fortunate to have Governor Edwards be our leader,” he continued.

Orgeron urged young people to not be selfish and stay inside. He said there’s no need to be on the streets doing “all kinds of stuff.” He continuously spoke of following the game plan.

Then, after Edwards took questions from reporters for nearly 15 minutes, a question came specifically for Orgeron. Edwards ceded the floor to the coach. “Lots of people are afraid right now,” the reporter asked. “Why is fear not the appropriate response, and what would you tell folks who are afraid?”

“Have faith,” Orgeron said, his hands behind his back calmly. “Have faith in the game plan. We’re gonna get through this. There’s gonna be some rough times, but we can’t give in to it. Fear makes you give in to it. Have faith. Grow strong. Grow as a team. Lean on each other.”

The Athletic’s Brody Miller missed one detail. Coach O closed by saying this:

Yeah, you right, Coach.

Your President* Speaks: The Scalise Files

There aren’t any Scalise Files that I know of, but the Impeached Insult Comedian made some bizarre comments about the mendacious minority whip from Metry at his unhinged acquittal celebration. Here are some excerpts via TPM:

“A man who is braver than me and braver than all of us in this room, he got whacked. He got whacked. My Steve, right? I went to the hospital with our great first lady that night — right, honey? — and we saw a man that was not going to make it.”

“A lot of wives wouldn’t give a damn. A lot of wives would’ve said, how is he doing? She couldn’t even talk, she was inconsolable. Most wives would say, not good, listen I’m going home now. The doctor came in and the wife was a total mess. She was really devastated. It really looked like he had a 20, 25 percent chance.”

“You’re more handsome now. You weren’t that good-looking. You look good now. He looks better now, can you believe it? I don’t know what the hell that is. It’s true. Better now.”

As always. Trump’s remarks are about him; one could even call him President* Projection but I have enough nicknames for him already.  The comments about “most wives” are sickening but typical of the Misogynist-in-Chief. It’s why the gender gap has turned into a gender canyon.

Steve Scalise is not now nor was he ever handsome. He looks like he’s wearing a chia pet on his head.  He does, however, make an excellent butt plug:

Perhaps President* Pennywise could give Steverino some combover tips. As I’ve said before, Trump’s hairdo resembles a dead nutria only without the scary orange teeth. There are tons of the little fuckers in the Gret Stet of Louisiana but they’re an invasive, not native species. At one point they were so prevalent in Scalise’s home parish of Jefferson that then Sheriff Harry Lee had his deputies shooting them in the canals. I am not making this up.

That was a non-sequitur worthy of the Impeached Insult Comedian, but I won’t insult his wife or anyone else’s for that matter. I’m shocked that he didn’t use Henny Youngman’s classic line:

I wonder if Trump has ever read Henny’s book? Even his oldest, stalest jokes are better than Trump’s material. Who am I kidding? Trump read a book?

Perhaps the Impeached Insult Comedian’s remarks about “most wives” were intended to ensure Melania’s presence if something bad happens to him. Nah. That’s giving him too much credit.

Take my president* please.

 

Starring Steve Scalise

I mentioned a top-secret party in an undisclosed location last Saturday. Now that it’s over, I can unbutton my lip: it was Krewe du Vieux’s annual fundraiser, the Brew Dieux. It raises money for both the mother krewe and for sub-krewes like Spank, We sold food and booze and had our annual sideshow game: the dirty weiner drop.

In past years, our targets have included Bobby Jindal, John Besh, Sidney Torres, and David Vitter. This year it’s the mendacious minority whip from Metry, Steve Scalise.

IMG_2954

Courtesy of the Krewe of Spank.

IMG_2955

Courtesy of the Krewe of Spank.

We made just south of $100 on this gross-n-grotty game. Winners received a trip to the Spank world of crap to win a crappy gift. I am not making this up.

Saturday Odds & Sods: Behind The Wall Of Sleep

Sleeping Girl by Pablo Picasso.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the impeachment hearings ate my week. It wasn’t a snack, it was a tasting menu of scandal, malakatude, and heroism. Democrats have found their mojo: I was proud of their performance in the face of Republican shouting and conspiracy theorizing. That was down to Chairman Schiff  who refused to take any shit from committee GOPers. I’m less confident of the performance of Judiciary Chairman Nadler but the ball will soon be in his court. Stay tuned.

This week’s theme song was written by the late, great Pat DiNizio in 1986 for The Smithereens debut album, Especially For You. The band had been kicking around New Jersey for years before hitting the big time with this great rock song.

We have two versions of Behind The Wall Of Sleep for your listening pleasure: the original video and a 21st Century live version.

There’s a Black Sabbath song with the same title but metal is not my thing so I’ll pass.

Now that we’ve caught up on our sleep, let’s jump to the break.

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Gret Stet Goober Race Wrap Up

The Gret Stet of Louisiana dodged a bullet last Saturday when Governor John Bel Edwards defeated know-nothing nitwit Eddie Rispone. The latter proved that you need more than TV and internet ads to win a statewide race. The incumbent proved that you can overcome primary overconfidence and win if you mobilize the Democratic base instead of depressing it. That’s what happened in the first round. As you can tell, I’m simultaneously relieved and underwhelmed. Team Edwards should have won this in the primary. That should not be overlooked.

It’s been forgotten that six months ago, Louisiana Republicans could not find an A-list candidate to take on Edwards. Senator John Neely Kennedy preferred going on TV to spout Neelyisms in defense of President* Pennwyise and nobody else of any stature was willing to run against the conservative Democratic Governor. That’s how they ended up with two nobodies like Doc Abraham and Eddie Rispone as their standard bearers.

As always for any Democrat in any state, the key to Edwards’ win was turnout. In the primary their GOTV operation was lousy, let’s crunch the Goober race numbers.

PRIMARY

Democrats:   636,993

Republicans: 696,399

RUNOFF

Edwards:  774,469

Rispone:  734,128

Repeat after me: TURNOUT, TURNOUT, TURNOUT.

I see the footprints of the Trump effect in those vote totals. The Trump rallies during the runoff seem to have backfired. Note that the GOP vote only increased by 38K whereas Edwards’ total went up by 138K; much of that in Orleans Parish. New Orleans saved John Bel Edwards’ ass, let’s hope he shows some gratitude.

In other Trump effect news, Edwards carried heavily Republican Jefferson Parish next door to New Orleans 57% to 43%. It’s jam packed with the sort of educated suburban voters who Trump repulses nationwide. Edwards even got 40% of the vote across the lake in St. Tammany Parish; one of the richest and most Republican parishes in the Gret Stet.

I should pause to thank Rispone and Trump for my most seen tweet ever:

Those were the voters mobilized by Trump’s rallies. This is the kind of backlash I could get used to, y’all. In my own 13th Ward precinct it was Edwards 217 Rispone 11.

One of the best quotes about the Trump effect came from anti-Trump GOP strategist Tim Miller in the Failing New York Times:

“If you had any doubt that Trump was a human repellent spray for suburban voters who have a conservative disposition, Republicans getting wiped out in the suburbs of New Orleans, Louisville and Lexington should remove it.”

Let’s move on from the Insult Comedian.

This tweeted graphic by New Orleans native and Larry Sabato right-hand man Miles Coleman shows the shifting voting patterns in Louisiana:

Acadiana aka Cajun Country in Western Louisiana *used* to be the Gret Stet’s swing region. That’s no longer true. Rural and oil patch voters seem to like Trump, which means they supported his hand puppet Rispone. I suspect this is as permanent a shift as anything in politics. Of course, a Democratic candidate of the caliber of Acadiana natives Edwin Edwards, John Breaux, or Kathleen Blanco could change that in a heartbeat.

Is there any national message in the 2019 Gret Stet Goober race? It was largely decided on Gret Stet issues, but the key was TURNOUT, TURNOUT, TURNOUT. Plus, there’s gold in them thar suburbs. It’s refreshing to know that there are still conservative leaning voters who think POTUS should be presidential instead of an Insult Comedian with a dead nutria pelt atop his head.

I’m just glad it’s over and that my Eddie Rispone impression is now moot. No more TV ads from sleazy PACs supporting Rispone and slandering his opponent. Huzzah.

The last word goes to Frank Zappa and the Mothers:

Saturday Odds & Sods: Still Learning How To Fly

Der Vogelmensch by Max Ernst.

It’s been colder than hell in New Orleans this week. It’s not Wisconsin cold but it’s fucking cold. We had some electrical issues that one of my Spank krewe mates fixed. It’s good to know “people who need people” I understand they “are the luckiest people in the world.” I cannot believe I just went there. In order to salvage my cool cred, here’s some Oscar Peterson:

It’s election day in the Gret Stet of Louisiana. I’m cautiously optimistic that Blue Dog Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards will be re-elected. I hope the voters will remember that Coach O wants them to vote for the Governor. Geaux, Tigers. Geaux, Team Blue.

This week’s theme song was written in 2003 by Rodney Crowell. It’s the opening track of his Fate’s Right Hand album and features one of his finest couplets: “Life’s been good, I guess. My ragged old heart’s been blessed.”

We have two versions of Still Learning How To Fly for your listening pleasure. The original with a full band and a live acoustic rendition.

While we’re in mid flight, how about a song with a similar title by an equally great artist?

It’s time to land. See you on the other side of the break.

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Bayou Brief: Ode To Coach O

My latest column at the Bayou Brief is online. In which I tell my Tiger fan origin story and discuss the ultimate underdog, Ed Orgeron.

I’m literally waiting for the electrician so I’m not sure if I’ll post again today. That’s why I’ve decided to share today’s earworm. It’s winter music from the North Country:

I know what you’re thinking: isn’t that a Dixie Chicks song? True dat but it was co-written by Gary Louris.

The Case Of The Missing Coattails & Other Tales

The scattered off-year election returns largely confirmed what happened in 2018. Suburban voters are dubious of Donald Trump and prepared to vote Democratic. The MSM and some Democrats, however, remain afraid of the Trump base despite all evidence to the contrary. As Michael F wrote yesterday, the MSM has been going to the wrong diners.

I know nothing about local politics in the Philadelphia suburbs. I do know what it means when voters expel Republicans from power in favor of Democrats. They’re tired of the farce that is the party of Trump. They voted to send out the clowns as did voters in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

It’s time to slice this post into segments like an orange. It may involve some navel gazing but what’s a bit of navel gazing among friends?

Bluegrass State Goober Race Goes Blue: Tuesday’s most delightful upset took place in Bourbon country where Democrats restored the Beshear dynasty to power. Adding to the pleasure was the Insult Comedian’s election eve rally where he attempted to make the race about him and impeachment. His man, Governor Matt Bevin, lost.

Trump’s sycophants then claimed that Bevin was trailing badly until their dear leader intervened. Another lie: the race was as tight as a tick in all the polls. I guess Trump forgot to pack his coattails. He’s a terrible surrogate, he spends most of the time talking about his favorite subject, himself.

It’s unclear what Bevin’s next move will be. The Commonwealth of Kentucky does not seem to be set up for successful recounts or challenges, but Bevin is whining like a stuck pig about the injustice of it all.

A reminder that Bevin was extraordinarily unpopular with voters, especially in suburban communities across the river from Cincinnati. I have a fairly conservative friend from Kentucky who calls Bevin, Governor Prick.

Then there’s the McConnell factor. The Turtle and Bevin are strange political bedfellows. Bevin primaried Moscow Mitch in 2014 thereby setting the stage for his victory the next year. I’m not sure how far the Turtle is willing to stick his neck out for Bevin since his own numbers are low. Stay tuned.

Whither The Gret Stet Goober Race: President* Pennywise brought his tail-less coat to Monroe, Louisiana to campaign for fake outsider Eddie Rispone. I wish Gret Stet Democrats had had the same reaction as their Bluegrass counterparts: defiance in the face of Trumper provocation. Instead there was whimpering among the tweeting classes who are convinced the incumbent Blue Dog Goober, John Bel Edwards, will lose badly.

There’s no evidence that Rispone has rolled to a big lead, in fact, the race remains as tight as a tick. I’m going to ride that Ratherism until it limps.

I’m on the record as being a clothespin Edwards supporter but all Rispone has to offer is vague promises of a Trumpier future with the reality of a return to the failed policies of Bobby Jindal. No, thanks.

A final reminder that, while Trump rallies may rev up his base, they should have the same effect on his opponents. The Emperor not only has no clothes, he has no coattails.

Who The Hell Is Afraid Of Mike Bloomberg? Not me. He’s running because he’s afraid of Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. Sure, he’s richer than God but Democratic primary voters are unlikely to look favorably on a guy who went from Democrat to Republican to Independent back to Democrat, Make up your plutocratic mind, dude.

New York City Mayors do not have a distinguished track record as presidential candidates. Remember Presidents Lindsay, Giuliani, or DeBlasio? Me neither.

Of greater concern is Bloomberg switching back to independent for a vanity run that would help his former constituent, the Insult Comedian. Stay tuned.

The Alabama Comeback Kid?  Pinhead former Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants his old Senate seat back. President* Pennywise is not amused and seems poised to oppose Sessions. The most likely benefactor of this scrum is the most vulnerable Democratic incumbent, Doug Jones.

Run, Jeff, run.

Finally, the Insult Comedian plans to attend the epic LSU-Alabama game tomorrow in Tuscaloosa. There was a brief flap over the Bama student body president threatening students who boo the First Boor, but he walked that back.  Free speech, academic freedom, and all that shit.

LSU has lost 8 straight to Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide but I’m cautiously optimistic about the game. Good luck to Ed Orgeron and his charges. I plan to yell myself hoarse tomorrow, which means I’ll sound like Coach O by halftime. Btw, he’s supporting Edwards for Governor. A Tiger win could be a good omen for the Gret Stet Goober run-off. I expect the game to be as tight as a tick.

Bayou Brief: Inside The Pocket Of A Clown

My latest column for Bayou Brief is online​. I borrow a Dwight Yoakam lyric for the title, Inside The Pocket Of Clown.

The clown in question is President* Pennywise. Inside his pocket is the mendacious minority whip from Metry, Steve Scalise.

The column was written before Scalise’s bizarre “Soviet impeachment” speech. Uh, Steve, impeachment is part of our British inheritance. There was no such thing as “Soviet impeachment.” They were not big on trials after Stalin’s death.

In the post Stalin era, the procedure was to pronounce sentence then execute the accused immediately. Sometimes by firing squad but more likely than not by a gunshot to the back of the head in the courtyard of the KGB’s Lubyanka Prison. If you’d watched The Americans, you’d know that.

I also adapted Michael F’s Pennywise image for the piece:

Thanks, man.

The last word goes to Dwight Yoakam:

Gret Stet Goober Race Update

I’ve haven’t written much about the Louisiana Governor’s race here for a couple of reasons. First, my Gret Stet ramblings are on display at the Bayou Brief nowadays. Second, the race is depressing for a variety of reasons that I’ll describe below.

In 2015, I was enthusiastic about the candidacy of Blue Dog Democrat John Bel Edwards. Why? He was running against David Vitter who, while good for the satire biz, scared the shit out of me as a potential Gret Stet Goober. When Edwards won, he became a dragon slayer. I am still grateful for that.

Edwards’ record as Governor has been fairly good. He undid some of the damage done by Bobby Jindal to state government with Medicaid expansion being his greatest accomplishment.

As he approached re-election, Edwards has moved steadily to the right capped off by the horrible abortion bill he signed in May. Here’s what I said earlier this month about Edwards and reproductive rights at the Bayou Brief:

I voted for Edwards in 2015 knowing that he was anti-choice. If he was a no-exceptions right to lifer then, I did not want to know: he was the anti-Vitter. I assumed that such a basically decent man would have the same position as former Governor Blanco and other Blue Dogs. I was wrong. These are darker times and the so-called pro-life right believes they can realize their dream of reversing Roe in one fell swoop. Their dream is my nightmare.

In 2019, I am strictly a clothespin voter in the Governor’s race. Team Edwards is so terrified of Louisiana Trumpers that they’ve taken the Democratic base for granted.  That hurt them in the primary: African American voter turnout was low. If they can’t fix that, Louisiana is in a fix.

The fix is Republican candidate Eddie Rispone. His platform consists of three words: Trump, Trump, Trump. He’s an ignorant rich dude who recites the same buzz words repeatedly: conservative, businessman, outsider, and his greatest hit, Trump, Trumpity, Trump.

Rispone is an insider posing as an outsider and a know-nothing posing as a know-it-all. In last night’s debate, he could not explain WHY he wants a constitutional convention. If elected, he will be the most ignorant Governor since singer-actor Jimmie Davis who is best known for buying and slapping his name on the song You Are My Sunshine as well as his staunch defense of segregation in the early Sixties.

The power behind Rispone is contractor Lane Grigsby who my Bayou Brief colleague Sue Lincoln dubbed The Great Grigsby. His goal seems to be to Trumpify, Kochify, and re-Jindalize state government. Rispone is his dim and sporadically genial front man.

Dr. A declined to watch last night’s Edwards-Rispone debate live and, as usual, she was right. I watched it later and found it depressing. The moderators sucked as did the candidates. It was Rispone’s only run-off debate and his performance was dismal. It was the battle of the unprepared vs. the overprepared, Governor Edwards who came off as a smug dick. It scares me that I like former Governor Mike Foster more than either of these bozos. And I never voted for the man that Clancy DuBos dubbed Governor Warbucks.

Eddie Rispone was so bad in the debate that he reminded me why I’m voting for Edwards. Both candidates suck but Rispone sucks harder. His best bet is to nationalize the race by making it about the Insult Comedian. The Governor’s best bet is to keep it local by making it about PBJ. It boils down to Trump vs. Jindal. Is it any wonder that I’m bummed out about this race?

Voting for the lesser of two evils is the adult thing to do but it’s not a helluva lot of fun. I’ll be glad when it’s over.

The last word goes to Wilco with a song that I’ll be singing on November 16th:

 

Bayou Brief: The Ghosts Of Saturday Night

My latest 13th Ward Rambler column for the Bayou Brief is online. It focuses on the remarkable events of Saturday October 12, 2019 including the Gret Stet Governor and Jefferson Parish President races, the Bad Shepherd’s comeback, the Hard Rock Hotel collapse, and the latest boil water advisory in New Orleans.  It was the opposite of this Macca song:

I use several tunes by Tom Waits to make my point such as it is. He’s the only guy who can give LSU head football coach Ed Orgeron a run for the money in the gravelly voice sweepstakes. Now that’s a contest I’d like to see.

I also add TFC to the world’s acronymic lexicon:

Every time something goes haywire in New Orleans, I mutter to myself TFC: This Fucking City. I love New Orleans but sometimes this town dances on my last nerve. Saturday October 12, 2019 was such a day.

This post just got even more meta: I quoted myself in a post plugging my writing elsewhere.

Speaking of meta, the last word goes to Tom Waits with a song that was the last word of the 13th Ward Rambler column that used another one of his songs as a title. Confused? Me too. I’ll shut up and let Tom Waits growl-sing at you:

Repeat after me: This Fucking City.

Saturday Odds & Sods: Something’s Gotta Give

Piazza d’Italia by Giorgio di Chirico.

It’s election day in the Gret Stet of Louisiana. As I stated in my last Bayou Brief column, I plan to affix a clothespin and vote for Governor John Bel Edwards. Here’s hoping that we don’t have a run-off with more visits from the Trumps and Mike Liar Liar Pence On Fire. They’ve held events in small-ish venues but there have still been empty seats. A good slogan for Pence’s next event would be: Empty Seats For An Empty Suit.

We’re having our first cool front of the year. Fall hasn’t exactly fallen but we’ll take what we can get. The only seasons you can depend on in New Orleans are summer and carnival. I forgot football season: LSU and Florida are squaring off tonight in Red Stick. Here’s hoping the Tigers feast on Gator.

I have a new motto: Surreal times call for Surrealist art. This week’s featured image is by the Italian Surrealist, Giorgio di Chirico who was originally a Futurist. That gives me an excuse to quote Marinetti’s Futurist Manifesto: “Oh, maternal ditch.”

If you expect me to explain that quote, you’re out of luck. I’m feeling cryptic like a proper Surrealist if there is such a thing. There were more than a few improper Surrealists if you catch my drift.

The title of this week’s theme song aptly describes our current national situation: Something’s Gotta Give. It was written by Johnny Mercer in 1955 for the Fred Astaire movie, Daddy Long Legs.

We have three versions for your listening pleasure: Fred Astaire from the movie, Frank Sinatra, and Ella Fitzgerald.

Lets make like Daddy Long Legs and crawl to the break.

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