Category Archives: Gret Stet Politics

More Hick Schtick From John Neely Kennedy

The junior Senator from the Gret Stet of Louisiana is the man I love to hate. I considered two Sue Grafton inspired titles for this post, P Is For Phony or H Is For Hypocrite, before settling on this one. It would take a crack detective such as Kinsey Milhone to locate Neely’s integrity, after all.

Neely loves to go on teevee and denounce the liberals; one of whom he used to be. That was before he lowered his political IQ and became a Fox News favorite. He did it again the other day but first some background snark about Neely’s hick schtick.

As Treasurer of the Gret Stet of Louisiana for seventeen years, Neely was a publicity hound, but his brand was as a skinflint guarding the public coffers against both Democrats and Republicans, not the rabid wingnut of today. He was every bit as hard on Bobby Jindal as on his Democratic predecessor, Kathleen Blanco. Of course, he was a Democrat until 2007.

Neely didn’t start hicking up his accent and speaking style until he changed parties. Before then, he was not ashamed of being well-educated and articulate. The dumbing down began in his second run for the US Senate in 2008 against incumbent Mary Landrieu who had also served as Gret Stet Treasurer.

Neely perfected his hick schtick in his successful run for the Senate in 2016. Having secured the prize he’d spent his entire life chasing, he became one of the loudest Trump sycophants and enablers in a Republican party full of them. I wrote a long piece for Bayou Brief in 2018 about what I called his Neelyisms: the cornpone “wisdom” he dispenses on the boob tube.

The Neelyisms stopped being funny when he started using them to defend retrograde, racist, and downright stupid policies. After the slaughter in Boulder, Colorado he said that what America needed was idiot control, not gun control. He’s not really an idiot, he just plays one on teevee.

Neely popped up on Fox News the other day and deployed his cornpone “wisdom” against Major League Baseball for relocating the All Star Game from Atlanta to Denver:

Forget Mars. We need to search for intelligent life in the Major League Baseball commissioner’s office. I have never seen anything like this. Commissioner Manfred has a fiduciary responsibility to Major League Baseball. His job is to do the very best that he can not to suck. He has failed at that. Think about what he’s done. Major League Baseball is losing popularity to football and other sports. His job is to grow it. So what is the first thing he does? He decides to get involved in national politics and alienate hundreds of millions of Americans who actually like the Georgia bill and think that it is an honest effort for election security.

The commissioner hasn’t explained why he thinks these hundreds of millions of Americans who support the Georgia effort are a bunch of racists. He hasn’t bothered to explain why he thinks the bill is racist. The only excuse I can think is he made all of these decisions after his morning beer. I have never seen anything like it. It costs $150 to attend a major league baseball game in some cities. Is this going to encourage people to go? I just don’t think so.

This has nothing to do with Jackie Robinson. It has nothing to do with race.

It has everything to do with race, Senator. In fact, Jackie Robinson was born in Georgia, but his family fled Jim Crow and moved to California in search of a better life.

Republicans are afraid that they’re losing their grip on power in Georgia, so that state’s lege passed an atrocious bill that overwhelmingly effects black voters who are overwhelmingly Democratic. It might as well be called the Beat Raphael Warnock Bill.  One would think that logic would reach a man who was an adjunct professor at LSU law school for 14 years, but he’s only interested in the next election. His election.

Neely is also fond of mocking diversity and claiming that racism is not systematic. Our old pal Deep Blog saw the faux idiot on Faux News the other day and got a bellyful of his pseudo ignorant spiel. He sent me a screen shot of Vanderbilt University’s yearbook from 1973. John Neely Kennedy is second from the right on the top row:

The observant among you have surely noticed that, except for two Asian dudes, everyone on this page is of one race. It explains a lot about John Neely Kennedy. He not only mocks diversity, he’s uncomfortable with it. Imagine that.

Presumably, Vanderbilt is considerably more diverse in 2021 than it was in Neely’s day, which was a mere 9 years after that pricey private school was fully desegregated. In the Seventies, Black Commodores were still rare on the University’s Nashville campus unless some students owned records by the band then fronted by Lionel Richie.

John Neely Kennedy is a cornpone con man who thinks diversity is for suckers. To paraphrase Teddy Roosevelt, Neely talks loudly and carries a hick schtick. I look forward to voting against him in 2022.

Since Neely is so fond of guns, the last word goes to The Commodores with the title track of their debut album:

Bayou Brief: March Musings, Not Madness

My latest column for the Bayou Brief is online. It’s full of spiteful goodness.

Here’s the tagline: “13th Ward Ramblings about the New Orleans Sewerage & Water Board, the Second District Congressional race, and the Shame of LSU.”

Did someone say shame? Cue the music for a double dose:

Saturday Odds & Sods: On The Silent Wings Of Freedom

Photograph by Stanley Kubrick.

A bird got into our house while I was taking a jab nap. Claire Trevor was determined to get the poor wee house sparrow. I tried grabbling CT to close her in somewhere to no avail. I yelled at the cat to keep her away from the open door as the bird hopped from ceiling fan to ceiling fan. It finally flew out the front door. That’s as adventurous as it gets at Adrastos World HQ these days.

Mother-in-Law #1 is 99-years-old and in bad shape at her assisted living joint in Baton Rouge. The good news is that we’ve been able to visit her twice including yesterday. Her body is failing but her mind is still sharp. I’m not sure how long she’ll last but it’s a relief to be able to visit after not having seen her for 14 months because of the pandemic.

I’m voting later today in the special election called to fill Cedric Richmond’s congressional seat. I’m as underwhelmed by the choices on offer as I was by Cedric. The leading candidates are two hacks from New Orleans and a young firebrand from Baton Rouge. Since I do not want to be represented in Congress by someone from Red Stick, I’m voting for the hack I’m acquainted with, State Senator and former City Councilman Troy Carter. I loathe the other hack whose name shall not cross my lips.

This week’s theme song was written by Jon Anderson and Chris Squire for Yes’ 1978 album, Tormato. Yes are known for their great album covers. This is not one of them. The music is still pretty darn good.

We have two versions of On The Silent Wings Of Freedom for your listening pleasure: the studio original and a 2006 live instrumental version.

Follow the flying fingers of Chris Squire and jump to the break. No finger jokes this week. Pinky swear.

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Saturday Odds & Sods: Day After Day

La Décalcomanie by Rene Magritte

I’m getting vaccinated this afternoon at the Morial Convention Center. I’m a bit nervous and uncertain as to which vaccine I’ll be getting. I’m fine with any of them. The one-shot J&J variant has considerable appeal because I hate needles. Here’s hoping I get jabbed by someone with a light touch. Just don’t give me a smiley faced Band-Aid. I hope that’s not too much to ask. Enough jab jabber.

It’s pollen season in New Orleans. The mighty oaks are spewing forth their yellow poison (to me) and my eyes are red and runny. If I were a Republican, I’d turn this into a culture war grievance but I’m not so I won’t.

This week’s theme song was written in 1971 by Pete Ham for Badfinger’s Straight Up album. It was a smash hit across the globe hitting number 4 on the Billboard charts in the US&A. The song was produced by George Harrison and featured George on slide guitar and Leon Russell on piano.

We begin with the Badfinger original:

I had no idea that the second version existed until I checked out Second Hand Songs. Ladies and gentlemen, Bradyfinger:

The Brady Bunch kids cut two albums of then contemporary hit songs. It’s weird to hear a chirpy version of Pete Ham’s mournful song. If it weren’t so damn funny, I’d give it the finger, then eat a Butterfinger. Candy is the cure for many of the ills of society including Bradyfinger.

Speaking of fingers:

It’s time to cut out (cut off?) the finger jokes and jump to the break.

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Freedom, Man

Greg Abbott, John Bel Edwards, Tate Reeves.

The Party of Trump specializes in diversionary tactics. The Governors of Texas and Mississippi announced yesterday that their states are wide open for business. Not only that but all mask requirements have been lifted. Why? Freedom, man.

It’s not just freedom, man. Both states are still suffering mightily from winter freeze related issues. You’ve all heard about the mess that messed with Texas and its Governor Greg (Hey) Abbott. Wintry shit hit the fan in Mississippi as well. Parts of Jackson, MS have been without potable water for two weeks. Jackson is the state capitol where Governor Tater Tot plays at governing. Both Hey Abbott and Tater Tot needed to distract attention from their failures so why not declare victory over COVID? Freedom, man.

That makes the Gret Stet of Louisiana the meat in a stupid sandwich.  John Bel Edwards is the only Democratic governor in the Deep South and he too loosened some restrictions but we still gotta mask up.

Repeat after me:

It’s all so stupid and short-sighted. Now that we have a competent national administration, there’s good news on the COVID front. President Biden announced that there should be sufficient vaccines for the entire adult population by the end of May. We just have to hunker down and be patient.

I, for one, don’t confuse recklessness and impatience with freedom, man. The majority of us have made sacrifices to limit the spread of the virus. Selfish dipshits like Hey Abbott and Tater Tot are exasperating and irksome. Hey Abbott is also guilty of the Republican sin of hypocrisy: he’s been vaccinated. Freedom, man.

I’m trying out a new nickname for the dumbass Texas Governor. “Hey Abbott” was something that Lou Costello said to Bud Abbott in all their movies. It was often a sign that Costello was in trouble and needed help. Sounds like Texas in 2021. Freedom, man.

Here’s an image from one of Bud and Lou’s weirder movies, Abbott and Costello Go To Mars:

The rocket misfired and the boys landed in New Orleans during Carnival. By analogy, that’s why New Orleanians are so alarmed about Hey Abbott and Tater Tot’s actions. We’re concerned that unmasked morons from their states will visit and leave a new COVID spike in their wake. That’s a price of freedom, man that we’re unwilling to pay.

For the featured image, I memed a picture of the Governors of Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi with lyrics from the venerable song, Stuck In The Middle With You, which was revived by Quentin Tarantino for Reservoir Dogs. It sums up how I feel today: “Clowns to the left of me. Jokers to the right. Here I am, stuck in the middle with you.”

The last word goes to Stealers Wheel:

Freedom, man.

Bayou Brief: The 14th Month Of 2020

I took a break from my other home on the internet, Bayou Brief. The hiatus is over: the 13th Ward Rambler is ready to rumble.

In my return column, I ponder Carnivals past and present and take aim at New Orleans tourism honcho, Stephen Perry. It’s called 14th Month Of 2020 because it feels like it. Make it stop.

I’m not sure if I’m on fire but the Neville Brothers certainly were at this 1987 show:

Have I mentioned lately how much I miss Art Neville?

Gret Stet Sycophant

There are those in the Gret Stet of Louisiana who somehow think Steve Scalise is capable of changing his stripes. Remember when he was gravely wounded in the Congressional baseball team shooting? Some folks in South Louisiana hoped that he would modify his position on gun control. He, of course, did not.

You’re probably asking yourself why do some people kid themselves about this mook? Here’s a bullet list:

  • He’s “nice” in social situations.
  • He’s friends with Cedric Richmond.
  • Having him in a leadership position is “good for Louisiana.”

The latter point is an editorial page standby. It’s a relic of the days when we had Congresscritters who brought home the boudin/bacon for the Gret Stet. Those days ended in 2014 with Mary Landrieu’s defeat.

All Steve Scalise cares about is ideological purity and keeping on the good side of the Impeached Insult Comedian:

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) on Sunday made clear that he stands by former President Trump as he took great pains to deflect from Trump’s incitement of the mob behind the deadly Capitol insurrection last month.

Scalise claimed on ABC News that he just simply “ended” up at Mar-a-Lago last week to do “some fundraising” in Florida.

“I was in Florida doing some fundraising throughout a number of parts of Florida, ended up at Mar-a-Lago and the president reached out and we visited,” Scalise said. “I hadn’t seen him since he had left the White House and it was actually good to catch up with him. I noticed he was a lot more relaxed than his four years in the White House.”

After saying that his conversation with Trump in Florida was “more about how he’s doing now and what he’s planning on doing and how his family is doing,” Scalise was pressed on comments by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who blamed Trump for inciting the mob behind the deadly Capitol insurrection hours after the attack last month — only to later backtrack on his rebuke of the former president’s actions.

Holding fast to his loyalty to the former president, Scalise said that there was “a lot of blame to go around.”

“At the end of the day, the people who stormed the Capitol on January 6th, it was a disgrace and they need to be held accountable,” Scalise said.

Scalise asked after Trump’s family during his Mar-a-Doorn visit. See, I told you he was “nice.” And he didn’t blame Nancy Pelosi for the mob violence. How “nice” is that?

He also continued to dodge the notion that Joe Biden won the election:

“Once the electors are counted, yes, he’s the legitimate president,” Scalise said. “But if you’re going to ignore the fact that there were states that did not follow their own state legislatively set laws, that’s the issue at heart, that millions of people still are not happy with and don’t want to see happen again.”

Aww, he cares about people’s feelings. How “nice” is that?

Steve Scalise is smart, not nice.

He’s smart enough to sand off the rougher edges of his repellant ideology in polite company. That’s “nice”?

He’s smart enough not to take a dump on the living room carpet in broad daylight like the Kaiser of Chaos. That’s “nice”?

He’s smart enough to brag about being a more respectable David Duke then deny saying it for years. That’s “nice”?

The good news is that many people in the Gret Stet of Louisiana don’t buy Steve Scalise’s “nice” act. The bad news is that there aren’t enough to vote him out of office. My condolences to the folks in New Orleans who are stuck with him as their Congressman. He ain’t going nowhere. How “nice” is that?

The last word goes to the Steve Scalise butt-plug that made its First Draft debut in July 2015.

Enjoy It While It Lasts: Bill Cassidy’s Vote

People got carried away yesterday when Gret Stet Senator Bill Cassidy voted to uphold the constitutionality of trying a former president. Many read way too much into the vote. Double Bill is not an instant-moderate. In fact, it’s the first time he’s colored outside the right-wing lines since being elected to the senate in 2014.

I tweeted out mild praise of Cassidy, but others were more effusive. It shows how low the bar has gotten when a minor act of decency reaps a whirlwind of acclaim. I’m skeptical. Double Bill remains David Vitter’s creature and the Gret Stet GOP is rabidly pro-Trump:

An unexpected reversal from Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy (LA) who voted in favor of the constitutionality of former President Donald Trump’s impeachment on Tuesday, drew ire from the Louisiana Republican Party who quickly issued a statement to criticize the move.

“We feel that an impeachment trial of a private citizen is not only an unconstitutional act, but also an attack on the very foundation of American democracy, which will have far reaching and unforeseen consequences for our republic,” the party wrote in a statement Tuesday.

“We also remind all Americans that former President Trump is innocent of the politically motivated, bogus charges now pending against him in a kangaroo court presided over by an openly hostile political opponent,” the statement said.

Nothing in Cassidy’s political history leads me to believe he will vote to convict the Kaiser of Chaos. He’s a very timid and cautious pol. Yesterday’s vote was a trial balloon not an act of courage.

I think Cassidy’s vote is about impressing the ten Republican senators he joined in proposing the since rejected COVID relief bill alternative. He showed some leg for Romney, Sasse, Murkowski et al to establish his dealmaking bona fides.

I hope I’m wrong, but my opinion is based on watching Cassidy since 2014. He’s a bog-standard right-winger who has always voted like one. He’s a drone, not a maverick.

Repeat after me: Bill Cassidy is an empty suit until proven otherwise.

While we’re at it, the last word goes to the original studio version of the song that’s not about my senator:

 

Bill Cassidy Is An Empty Suit

Gret Stet Senator Double Bill Cassidy was a non-entity during his first term. He’s now trying to position himself as a dealmaker a la former Louisiana Senator John Breaux. It’s a hopeless cause as he lacks Breaux’s wit, charm, and intelligence. In his day, Breaux was one of the best-liked solons, which was an asset when it came time to deal. Double Bill is an empty suit with the wit and charm of a reanimated corpse.

If Cassidy wanted to inherit the Breaux mantle, he dropped it yesterday in his appearance on Meet The Press as reported by TPM’s wonderfully named Summer Concepcion:

After insisting on “Meet the Press” that he will consider the evidence as an “impartial juror” during the impeachment trial, Cassidy accused House Democrats of doing an “incredibly poor job of building a case before their impeachment vote.”

“(Trump) wasn’t there. He wasn’t allowed counsel. They didn’t amass evidence. In five hours, they kind of judged and boom, he’s impeached,” Cassidy said. “Now, I’m told that under the Watergate, under the Clinton impeachments, there were truckloads of information. Here, there was a video. There was no process.”

Cassidy then compared Trump’s second impeachment trial to a “show trial” in the Soviet Union.

“I mean, it’s almost like, you know, if it happened in the Soviet Union, you would’ve called it a show trial,” Cassidy said. “I’m sorry that that’s the way the process went down because process is important when it comes to justice. And there was no defensible process there. But hopefully, they’ll build a case and bring it to us.”

This may be smart politics if you want plaudits from the Impeached Insult Comedian, but it won’t help you cut deals across the aisle. John Breaux always supported the nominee of his party, but rarely took strong stances either in favor of or opposition to presidents of his own party. During the Clinton impeachment melodrama, Breaux largely kept his own counsel but eventually voted against both counts in Clinton’s senate trial. Breaux wanted to keep his options open so he could deal. With the dread Chuck Todd as his witness, Cassidy essentially committed against sanctioning the president* he has sycophantically supported. When substance is not on your side, argue process.

Comparing the second impeachment of Donald Trump to a Soviet show trial may go down well among Dipshit Insurrectionists but it’s historically and factually inaccurate. The Kaiser of Chaos chose not to be represented by counsel and presidents are NEVER PRESENT during House impeachment proceedings. That’s what comes of making hyperbolic historical comparisons: defendants *were* present during the Stalin era show trials. Cassidy’s misuse of this historical analogy is akin to people who comment on things posted on social media without reading them.

This is Double Bill’s second stab at being a dealmaker. He proposed a widely derided health care “reform” bill in conjunction with fellow Trump sycophant, the Incredible Mr. Lindsey. It went nowhere but led to Cassidy becoming a punchline as well as punching bag for teevee chat show host Jimmy Kimmel. I wrote about Double Bill’s failed effort as a dealmaker in a 2017 malaka of the week post.

I was appalled when the MSM painted the group of ten Republican senators who met with President Biden to discuss alternatives to the COVID relief bill as moderates. If Double Bill Cassidy is a moderate, I’m a Nixon idolator.

The main reason that I used the featured image above of Double Bill is that David Vitter is Victor Frankenstein to Cassidy’s creature. Vitter pulled this former Democrat out of obscurity and helped elect him first to the House, then to the Senate. One of many good things about Vitter’s departure from the Senate is that he’s no longer there to pull Cassidy’s strings. The downside is that he was replaced by the phoniest man in Louisiana politics, John Neel Kennedy. The Mr. Haney shtick is wearing thin, dude.

I have no idea why Bill Cassidy thinks he can be a dealmaker. His voting record places him on the right of his own party. Dealmakers typically come from the ideological center of the Senate. His feeble attempts at dealmaking have come to naught thus far. His future efforts are likely doomed by his need to carry water for the oil and chemical industries, which led him to attack President Biden for being petroleum hostile. Fossil fuels are about to live up to their name and go the way of the dinosaurs. The future looks as green as Double Bill’s face in the featured image. Just ask the folks who run Ford and General Motors.

I originally called this post Bill Cassidy Can Go Fuck Himself, but I couldn’t muster the requisite outrage to match the title. He’s too dull a figure to inspire fiery profanity. He’s as dull as dishwater and as bland as tuna casserole. He’s a dull man who inspires tepid condemnation. He’s so boring that I refuse to call him Doctor Senator Cassidy. I tried it once, then scrubbed the idea…

Repeat after me: Bill Cassidy is an empty suit.

The last word goes to the good old Grateful Dead with a Weir-Barlow song that has nothing to do with dull Double Bill:

Tweet Of The Day: White Flag Edition

I’m late to this because I was busy covering Pardonpalooza and the Inauguration. The Tweet in question was posted on Tuesday but I don’t see a sell-by date on it, do you?

It comes from Gambit Editor John Stanton who has yet to change his handle to @nolabigjohn, which is the only bad thing I have to say about him.

In repose they do indeed resemble what I prefer to call a Klan gown. I know they’re called robes, but they look like a graduation gown’s evil twin. They also resemble the robes worn by old line New Orleans Carnival krewes. It’s probably best that Krewe D’Etat, which dispenses right-wing satire and is ruled over by a dictator is in mothballs this year along with the rest of the krewes. That way we’re spared an election fraud float.

The flag display looked less Ku Klux-like when the wind picked up but there was still a major problem: the flag color.

White flags? Really? The city of New Orleans honored our COVID dead with the international symbol of surrender. Holy misplaced symbolism, Batman.

Repeat after me: NO WHITE FLAGS.

Mayor LaToya Cantrell is an odd political figure. She ran an excellent campaign complete with a great communications strategy. As Mayor, her comms operation has been oddly inept. The white flag display is not their first mistake and is unlikely to be their last.

Lucky for Cantrell, the last incumbent mayor to lose re-election was Robert Maestri way back in 1946. Mayor Maestri is best remembered for accompanying FDR to Antoine’s and saying, “How ya like dem ersters, Mr. President?”

Political trivia doesn’t get more trivial than that.

The last word goes to Bruce Springsteen with a song that John Kerry used as his campaign theme song in 2004:

Repeat after me: NO WHITE FLAGS.

Saturday Odds & Sods: Forbidden Fruit

Photograph by Andre Kertesz.

The weather has been god awful in New Orleans most of the week. Cold, cloudy, and gloomy. It’s enough to make me mutter “Bah Humbug” under my breath as I write this. I also envy Claire Trevor her fur coat and ability to lie close to the space heater without catching on fire. One of our former cats, Window, singed her whiskers on an old-fashioned wall space heater in our old place on Pine Street. So it goes.

I’ve been listening to The Band a lot the last few weeks. Just call me a throwback music buff. Robbie Robertson wrote this week’s theme song for The Band’s 1975 album Northern Lights Southern Cross. The album remains overlooked and underrated; I’ve always liked it, especially this song. It’s a perfect album opener and a fine Odds & Sods theme song.

We have two versions of Forbidden Fruit for your listening pleasure: the studio original and the Band live in 1976.

Now that we’ve tasted the forbidden fruit and been banned from the garden of eden, we might as well jump to the break.

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Bayou Brief: Louisiana Potpourri For $400, Alex

I had a lot of fun with my latest Bayou Brief column. It’s dedicated to the late, great Alex Trebek and Louisiana Jeopardy fans. The tagline is in the form of a question: “What are 13th Ward Ramblings on Alex Trebek, Carnival 2021, Cedric Richmond, Karen Carter Peterson, and Jason Williams?”

I’m sure you recognize the first name, the others are New Orleans politicians; one of whom is leaving Congress to work in the Biden administration.  That means we’ll have a special election for Cedric Richmond’s House seat some time next year. Karen Carter Peterson is a likely candidate. Jason Williams is running for District Attorney and he’s an underdog in Saturday’s runoff. Now you know who these guys are.

That’s all, folks.

Quote Of The Day: Diplomatic Gumbo

As I listened to the incoming UN Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, I was proud to be an LSU graduate.

Here are edited highlights of her remarks yesterday:

I learned from my family. Mr. President elect, thank you for those generous words that you said about me. My parents had very little back in Louisiana where I grew up, but they gave me and my siblings everything they had and I know how proud they would be of this day. On this day, I’m also missing my mentor, Ambassador Ed Perkins, who served as the US Ambassador to the United Nations under President George HW Bush and President Clinton. And who was also from Louisiana. He told me constantly, “Linda, don’t undersell yourself.” And he would always do everything possible to lift me up.

He passed away last week, but I know he’s here with us today. And on this day, I’m thinking about the American people, my fellow career diplomats and public servants around the world. I want to say to you, “America is back, multi-lateralism is back. Diplomacy is back.” Mr. President elect, I’ve often heard you say how all politics is personal, and that’s how you build relationships of trust and bridge disagreements and find common ground. And in my 35 years in the foreign service across four continents, I put a Cajun spin on it. I called that gumbo diplomacy.

Wherever I was posted around the world, I’d invite people of different backgrounds and beliefs to help me make a roux and chop onions for the Holy Trinity and make homemade gumbo. It was my way of breaking down barriers, connecting with people, and starting to see each other on a human level. A bit of lagniappe is what we say in Louisiana. That’s the charge in front of us today. The challenges we face, a global pandemic, a global economy, a global climate change crisis, mass migration and extreme poverty, social justice are unrelenting and interconnected, but they’re not unresolvable if America is leading the way. Thank you.

I come from a food-oriented family and live in a food-oriented city, so this was a perfect message for this season. It’s also a refreshing antidote to the nonsense spouted for four years by Team Trump on the foreign policy side. To paraphrase Gordon Ramsey, isolationism can piss off out of my kitchen.

The entire Biden event was a refreshing antidote to the weeks of crazy following the election. The grown-ups are back in charge. Imagine appointing people on the basis of their qualifications, not on how they look. That’s what gave us the Exxon CEO as Secretary of State and he was by no means the worst appointee. He did, however, provide me with Tea for the Tillerson puns so it wasn’t all bad.

Speaking of puns, I’ve heard before that the incoming Secretary of State is a fellow punster. He certainly has a punworthy name: Blinken. I hope he does the pun community proud and doesn’t get in too much trouble with the media for having a sense of humor. It will be a refreshing change from the ponderous pomposity of Pompeo.

The appointment that pleased me the most was that of John Kerry as the climate guy. Appointing someone who’s an equal is a sign that Joe Biden is comfortable in his own skin and that the incoming president is serious about climate change, which is some serious shit.

Team Biden has a mess to clean up but it’s what Democratic presidents do. The magnitude of Team Trump’s corruption and incompetence makes it an even bigger challenge but most of it is reversible. Repeat after me: help is on the way.

Back to Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield. She’s from Baker, Louisiana, which is right next to Red Stick, but I won’t hold that against her. I eagerly await the inevitable “she’ll be good for Louisiana” pieces from the Gret Stet punditocracy. In this case, they might be right. She does present a refreshing stylistic contrast to the cornpone shtick of our fake hick junior Senator, John Neely Kennedy.

The last word goes to Little Feat with the number 8 song on my Louisiana Top 50:

Election Day In The 13th Ward

I slept in this morning. I can’t remember the last time I slept past 8. Since we fell back that means it was 9:18 to my body when I awoke. My insomnia has been back with a vengeance during the pandemic. This has got to be an omen of sorts. If nothing else, it leads to a swell musical interlude:

I did something else this morning: I voted. I’ve always liked the ritual of election day, especially in the 13th Ward. I prefer to walk 4 blocks to St. Katharine Drexel School to cast my ballot. Early voting is fine for other people. It breaks my election day ritual.

Hurricane Zeta nearly fucked up my ritual. There were widespread power outages in New Orleans. The Gret Stet used to have non-partisan Secretaries of State who wanted everyone to vote but now we have a GOP political hack named Kyle Ardoin. He refused to fund generators for powerless polling places. Fortunately, Entergy came to the rescue. Kyle Ardoin is such an asshole that he forced me to praise the utility company. He can go fuck himself.

It was a long-ass ballot. As I said last week at the Bayou Brief, there was too much on the ballot. This time, I even voted in a few judgeship races. I took great pleasure in voting against the Trashanova’s candidate. If you’re puzzled by that reference, click here.

Many people are worried about what Trump and his followers will do after they lose the election. I am not. Most Trumpers are as cowardly as their dear leader. They’re into performative politics, which I’m on the record as despising. Those guys who tote automatic weapons do it for show. They’d pee themselves if they had to use them. And the much ballyhooed traffic incidents of last weekend are just as cowardly: the Trumpers never left their vehicles. It’s all a reality show to them.

Could there be isolated violent incidents? Yes.

Will there be systematic violent incidents? Hell no. Planning and organizing are not natural to Trumpers. They’re better at moaning and whining.

Repeat after me: Trumpers are pussies. They should grab themselves.

A word about Joe Biden. He may not be the most eloquent nominee of my lifetime: Barack Obama and Bill Clinton take that prize. What Joe has in spades is passion and sincerity. When he goes after the Impeached Insult Comedian, he means every word, which reminds me of another old song:

I know, everything reminds me of an old song. It’s my affliction, what can I tell ya?

Election nights at Adrastos World HQ usually involve pizza. This year, one of our local pizza joints has added Detroit Pizza to its menu. It’s somewhere between New York and Chicago pizza crust-wise and it’s baked in a square pan. This year it will function as a tribute to voters in the swing state of Michigan.

I plan to make an early and relatively brief appearance at the Zoom Crack Van thingamabob. While I’m not as geeky as Steve Kornacki, I like to watch the returns closely. The last time I went to an election party was in 2008. I watched the returns while everyone else socialized. So it goes.

A quick programming note: I’m skipping Album Cover Art Wednesday this week. I’ll be up watching returns until some ungodly hour.  I’m paying special attention to Texas, Georgia, and Arizona.

Perhaps this should be my new motto:

For the kids out there, it’s a variation on “Cut off my legs and call me Shorty.” I obviously watch too many old movies.

The last word is dedicated to all the nervous Democrats out there. We got this. Mister Spock agrees:

Too Much Is On The Ballot/Hurricane Zeta Update

My latest column for the Bayou Brief is online. It’s my reflections on the upcoming election with a local emphasis. Here’s the tagline:

13th Ward ramblings on the 2020 election, Orleans Parish style. Sidney Torres is NOT on the ballot; he just acts like he is.

In other news, Hurricane Zeta strengthened in the wee small hours of the morning. After half-a-dozen games of hurricane dodge ball it appears headed our way. I’m not sure how this will impact my blogging, but I expect to lose power as this is a wind event. Anything I’m able to schedule this morning will appear but it’s unclear if there will be a Saturday Odds & Sods this week. Only the Shadow knows and we’re not speaking.

We just moved our porch furniture inside. Claire Trevor digs it. I thought she’d be unnerved by the extra clutter, but she just sniffed it and moved on. Cats are much tougher than humans.

I’ll try and check in later today. I *was* planning to write about why the 2020 presidential election is NOT 2016 but I need to remove any possible projectiles from our back yard. The good news is that Zeta is moving fast. It’s always better when an uninvited and unwelcome guest does not linger.

Believe it or not, we’re having a cold front tomorrow after Zeta zips through. 2020, man.

The last word goes to John Fogerty:

I wouldn’t advise walking in this or any other hurricane, y’all.

George Wallace Called Him Mousey Tongue

The special Senate election in Georgia is getting nasty and weird. Doug Collins, seen above next to George Wallace, is attacking Kelly Loeffler over the Warhol that was spotted at her palatial crib:

George Wallace called him Mousey Tongue. How about you, Dougie?

Rich people have Warhols, Dougie. If your man President* Pennywise had any taste, he might own one himself. He did, however, consort with Andy and a polo pony:

I betcha thought I was making that up. It reminds me of a classic Ed Norton moment from The Honeymooners:

Polopopnies? Sounds like my ancestral region, the Peloponnesus.

My mother loved that Honeymooners routine. In fact, she added Poloponies to the name of the infamous Brutus the beagle chihuahua mix. Not my favorite dog: I caught Brutus peeing on the cover of my copy of Tupelo Honey by Van Morrison. It’s a pity that Van wasn’t there to admonish the dog who renamed that fine album Tupeelo Honey. Now I need some of this:

It’s funny to watch Collins and Loeffler try to be the Trumpiest Trumper in Trumpistan when the Impeached Insult Comedian is increasingly unpopular with other GOPers. Does that make them Throwback Trumpers?

If David Pecker still ran The Enquirer, he’d want to know. Enquiring minds and all that shit.

I don’t know about you but I’m rooting for this guy:

For some reason, Georgia has adopted the Louisiana open primary system. Who copies the Gret Stet in politics? Food, yes; politics no.

I refuse to call it a jungle primary because of connotations that George Wallace and Doug Collins would surely get.

2020, man.

The last word goes to Van Morrison:

 

Bayou Brief: Governor Warbucks & Uncle Earl

My latest column for the Bayou Brief is online and ripe for reading. The prose, however, may be overripe in places.

Here’s the tag line: “Peter Athas on the death of former Governor Mike Foster and how Trump’s illness has evoked the final years of Earl K. Long.”

I included my name so you’d know I wrote it.

I compare Earl Long to Donald Trump. Uncle Earl is the winner:

However unhinged Earl Long became at the end of his life, he was a better man than Donald Trump. He wasn’t a malignant narcissist who only thought of himself. He genuinely cared about poor people regardless of their race. He was a kinder, gentler populist before that term was besmirched by the Impeached Insult Comedian.

Get thee to the Bayou Brief.

That’s all folks.

Bayou Brief: 2020 Fatigue

My latest 13th Ward Rambler column for Bayou Brief  is online. In it, I concede that I’m as tired of 2020 as everyone else. I tried not to blame the year but it got the best of me. What can I tell ya? I’m only human.

Here’s the tagline:

“13th Ward Ramblings on bad years in American history, Metry woman’s nomination to SCOTUS, Jeff Landry, the Gret Stet Senate race, and the NOLA go-cup controversy.”

Let my people go-cup. Confused? This image may or may not clarify matters:

Via Howard H on Pinterest.

Thus spake the Krewe du Vieux sub-krewe of Mishigas in 2014. It wasn’t a great year, but it beat the hell outta 2020.

To understand the go-cup shtick, you’ll have to read the column. Go figure.

Bayou Brief: Stuck On Stupid

My Bayou Brief column is usually published every other Wednesday. That changed this week because of Hurricane Sally. I was concerned that many of our readers would lose power and internet connection. Instead, Sally decided to visit Alabama and Florida. My condolences to everyone in the impacted areas.

Here’s the tag line for this week’s column, Stuck On Stupid: “13th Ward Ramblings on the Louisiana Democratic Party, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell, and wayward wingnut pundit Dan Fagan.”

The part about Gret Stet Dems has received the most attention but my favorite bit is about former Picvocate pundit Dan Fagan. That’s Fagan with an A, not an Fagin with an I like this guy:

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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