Saturday, September 10, 2005

Today's Hoot!

Jim Treacher:
The HSTeam? Hunter's Angels?

Just trying to think of a name for the heroic, Hunter Thompson-centric rescue squad that Sean Penn brought with him to New Orleans. When you're swooping into a national disaster area to show those right-wing dummies how it's done and get people out of the water, or at least get the water out of your boat (The Penntanic?), you really want Douglas Brinkley and Matt Taibbi on your crew. Two of Thompson's drinking buddies (one of them his official biographer) + The guy some call the next HST + A bass boat = Fear and Rowing in Nawlins. Just because ol' Hunter used his .45 for a toothbrush doesn't mean these guys can't pick up where he left off!
Tim Blair has more.

Friday, September 09, 2005

"Is that a banana in your pocket, Sandy?"

Berger to Pay Fine from Sales of New Book:
"Your Honor, to complete my blockbuster book I need to do some academic research at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing," Mr. Berger said. "If I could just have a few hours of unmonitored study there, where they print U.S. currency, I'd be in a better position to pay my debt to society."

Thursday, September 08, 2005

The clue phone is ringing, but no one's home

One of them perfesser types has been cogitating again and apparently it hurt:
The U.S. "war on terror" is saving fewer lives than just spending the money on disease prevention and research, and has probably caused deaths by taking money away from basic services, an expert said on Thursday.

The accusation is not new, but Dr. Erica Frank of the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta said she has calculated the cost, in terms of lives, of the Bush administration's terror policies.
Frank warned there is a threat that because of the U.S. government's policy, enormous numbers of Americans will die unnecessarily.

On September 11, 2001, 3,400 people died because of the four intentional plane crashes in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. But 5,200 other Americans died that same day from common diseases, according to Frank.
Predictable tragedies happen every day. We know strategies to reduce deaths from tobacco, alcohol, poor diet, unintentional injuries, and other predictable causes. And we know that millions of people will die unless we protect the population against these routine causes of death," she wrote.

Yet more money is spent to protect against deaths that are not likely to happen.
Too bad she wasn't around to advise FDR after Pearl Harbor! The Doc even manages to work in Hurricane Katrina although it rather spoils her jones for predictable causes. Chill out, Doc - strap on some high heels and have a beer, a bratwurst, and a cigar.

Today's Hoot!

Greg Gutfeld (the voice of sanity at the Huffington Post):


Do you often find yourself fantasizing about becoming a Huffpo blogger? Do you love to read other blogs, digest their info, and then expel pre-chewed nut-bag assumptions into a concerned and earnest post? If so, you might be perfect for this blog!

So... how do you get the job?

Just tick the boxes!


Are you famous?
Do you know someone famous?
have you ever brushed up against someone famous?
Was it Warren Beatty?
Did you think he'd be firmer?

Is your husband famous?
(check one of the following)
- Yes I am Rebecca Pidgeon.
- Yes I am Laurie David
- Yes, I am Shiva Rose
- No, but my wife is rich AND famous, I am Brad Hall
- Other lady of leisure:____________________


Do you have a black and white picture of yourself, with your chin resting
comfortably on your fist? When you stare at this picture, do you get a
warm fuzzy feeling, not unlike urinating down your leg?
Ruh Oh! Much more japery by following the link including:
Randall Robinson says people were eating corpses in New Orleans.
-is this an example of what Bush calls "soft bigotry of lowered expectations?"
-Do you think Randall's desire to demonize Bush exposed his own delusional fantasies?
-Do you think Randall's pants were on when he wrote that fantasy?
The oinks of the perpetually offended are ringing through the comments section.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

He sure has a way with words

From Mac Johnson's New Orleans Didn’t Just Go Nuts -- It’s Been Nuts:
And at some point during the disaster, the most disturbing of all the infighting began. The thugs of New Orleans turned on their neighbors like a Mongol horde. Looting erupted, as did arson and robberies, shootings and beatings. Rape became an organized crime as gangs preyed on the defenseless stranded girls of New Orleans. Pharmacies were looted and hospitals were surrounded and invaded in a manic hunt for drugs. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin couldn’t stop such junkie armies from destroying much of what was left of the City’s medical infrastructure, but he could excuse them, explaining that it was all just people “looking for something to take the edge off their jones, if you will.” Actually, no, I won’t. (The mayor added a few minutes later in the same interview: “You know, I'm not one of those drug addicts. I am thinking very clearly.” And nobody said different, Mayor.)
At least drugs would be an excuse.

Today's Hoot!

Iowahawk keeps us up to date with Nawlins News Niblets. A selection:

In a televised interview with CNN's Larry King, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin today angrily criticized government response to the Katrina disaster, noting that state and federal officials had "failed to anticipate and factor in my obvious corruption and incompetence."

"What kind of bubble do these idiots live in?" said Nagin. "For crissakes, this is New Orleans, and me, we're talking about."


New Orleans Looters Association spokesman Kevin Broussard said his group would press local, state and federal officials for immediate delivery of emergency generators to power plasma screen televisions, silenced since the onset of New Orleans flooding.

"We in the looting community have now been without electric power and TV for 8 consecutive days," said Broussard. "America needs to step and fulfill its broken promise of rich colors and amazing lifelike high definition."


In a tear-streamed press conference Tuesday, Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco reassured state citizens that "It took a lot of time curled up on the couch with Lifetime TV and Hagen-Daaz, but I am going to get through this."

"I've heard all the petty, nasty comments," said Blanco, wiping a tear on the lapel of her robe. "Why don't you do something? Make a decision, people are dying. Put on a little makeup, you could be almost as pretty as Mary Landrieu."

"Well, let me tell you something, Kathleen Blanco is a survivor," she said. "And I promise the people of Louisiana that I will refuse to beat myself up over this."

Blanco Spokesman Jodie Edwards said the governor would return to the statehouse in Baton Rouge today to lobby the legislature to change the official state song to "I Will Survive," the 1979 Gloria Gaynor disco classic.
You can catch a video of NO Show Blanco performing the new state song here.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Today's Hoot!

Vampire Sucks Anne Rice's Brain Dry:
YES, FEARLESS VAMPIRE MULTIMILLIONAIRE AUTHOR Anne Rice seems to have had her brains Hoovered right out of her shrinking skull. Or perhaps she's been caught by the intellectual black hole of the New York Times Op-Ed and pulled over the event horizon and out of the universe all together.

After a banal 3rd grade history of New Orleans and a list of reasons to save New Orleans in Do You Know What It Means to Lose New Orleans? Rice reveals that she has absolutely no grasp or knowledge of the immense private and public relief efforts going forward second by second: "During this crisis you failed us. You looked down on us; you dismissed our victims; you dismissed us. You want our Jazz Fest, you want our Mardi Gras, you want our cooking and our music. Then when you saw us in real trouble, when you saw a tiny minority preying on the weak among us, you called us 'Sin City,' and turned your backs."**
Spoiler Warning!
** In spring 2005 Anne Rice moved to [La Jolla], California.
More japery by following the link. Now that Anne's big "blockbusters" are more like damp squibs, maybe she'll get back to her roots in soft porn!

Not so fast, pond scum

Noemie Emery:
Late last week, as New Orleans was sliding into savage conditions, some talking heads were glowing with pleasure at the idea of a moral meltdown of such immense proportions that it would not only bury George Bush in its rubble, but erode forever the country's self confidence. Or, as Robert Scheer would happily write, "Instead of the much-celebrated American can-do machine that promises to bring freedom and prosperity to less fortunate people abroad, we have seen a callous official incompetence that puts even Third World rulers to shame."

Not quite. The reason New Orleans slid so quickly from civilization into Third World conditions was that it was pretty much a Third World city already, and didn't have too far to go. In its violence, in its corruption, in its reliance on ambience and tourism as its critical industry, in its one-party rule, in its model of graftocracy built on a depressed and crime-ridden underclass that was largely kept out of the sight and the mind of vacationing revelers, it was much more like a Caribbean resort than a normal American city. Its crime and murder rates were way above national averages, its corruption level astounding. The latter was written off as being picturesque and perversely adorable, until it suddenly wasn't, as it paid off in hundreds of buses--that could have borne thousands of stranded people to safety--sitting submerged in water, and police either looting or AWOL.
Out of all the areas of the USA that were hit by hurricanes in recent years and out of all the areas that were hit by Katrina (some much harder than New Orleans), there's one that stands out for sheer tomfoolery - New Orleans. Gosh, what a surprise!

Monday, September 05, 2005

Today's Hoot!

Bill Quick:
I caught a snippet of the Larry Gold show on my way to work today. He said that the powers at ABC have forbidden any on-air use of the word "looter." He is bleeping any callers who use it, and is himself using the term "undocumented consumer."
You really can't make this stuff up!

Speaking of which, Jesse Jackson has his panties in a knot over the use of "refugee" to describe the people who fled New Orleans:
By definition, a refugee is "one who flees in search of refuge, as in times of war, political oppression, or religious persecution," according to the American Heritage Dictionary - and not an appropriate tag for the thousands seeking food and shelter after their homes were destroyed last week, some say.
I tend to have a more inclusive view like that expressed at WordNet Search:
refugee (an exile who flees for safety)
but since when did ole Jesse become such a pedant?
"To see them as refugees is to see them as other than Americans," Jackson said, "and that is inaccurate, unfair, and racist."
Say what? I kind of thought folks of all races were refugees from the storm damage and how, exactly, would that make any of them seem less American?

Even better, the reporter trots out one of those handy professors and some members of Congress:
"The use of the term refugee doesn't benefit anybody," said Richard E. Vatz, a professor of rhetoric and communication at Towson University.

"It's another way of depicting African-Americans as hierarchically low, and I understand why they wouldn't want to be associated with that."
Reps. Diane E. Watson of California and Elijah E. Cummings of the Baltimore area, both Democrats, also took issue with the word refugee.
Must make a note: "refugee" now derogatory, racist terminology according to usual wankers. No worries about these guys picking up the clue phone when it rings, I guess.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Maybe he had a double secret plan?

Drudge asks the key Nagin question

Or maybe he was too busy bugging out to Baton Rouge? Drudge keeps asking, but we would all like to know.

Revised career path for NO Mayor Ray Nagin

Ray Nagin Car Wash

What an opportunity! Maybe he'll sell franchises!

It's the Clown Posse!

Ray Nagin, Head Clown

Cut to the Head Clown, Ray Nagin:
The cursing had stopped. The tears were gone. Mayor Ray Nagin returned from his meeting with President Bush on Friday a picture of calm, leaning back against a railing in a hotel lobby that for the first time in nearly five days wasn't filled with stranded tourists.

"I feel much better. I feel like we've gotten everyone's attention and hopefully they'll continue to do what they're doing," Nagin said from the downtown Hyatt hotel, his temporary lodgings and command post since Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Big Easy.
By nightfall Friday, his tone had changed.

"Today was a turning point, I think," he said. "My philosophy is never get too high, never get too low. ... I always try to keep my emotions in check and yesterday I kind of went off a little bit. I was worried about that, but it maybe worked out. I don't know. If the CIA slips me something and next week you don't see me, you'll all know what happened."
I guess he hasn't been taking his medication and won't be likely to any time soon.
Nagin said evacuation has been hampered by officials' difficulty grasping where state authority ends and federal authority begins and he said he urged the president and Gov. Kathleen Blanco to sort it out.
No word on Ray's own authority and all the school buses down at the Ray Nagin Memorial Motor Pool.

But heck, ole Ray isn't the only performer on the card. How about New Orleans deputy police commander W.S. Riley? Aside from not having a clue that the Louisiana National Guard is a state agency reporting to Governor Blanco, he says they were laying down on the job:
"The guard arrived 48 hours after the hurricane with 40 trucks. They drove their trucks in and went to sleep."
The National Guard commander, Lieutenant General Steven Blum, said the reservist force was slow to move troops into New Orleans because it did not anticipate the collapse of the city's police force.
Riley said he did not even know how many police remained from a normal force of 1,700.

"Many officers lost their homes or their families and there are many we have not heard from. Some officers could not handle the pressure and left. I don't know if we have 800 or thousands today."
Glad he's on top of the situation!

And the entertainment would not be complete without Governor "NO Show" Blanco. President Bush had to twist her and Ray's arms to get them declare an evacuation and then she joined Ray for a little snooze. But she wants everyone to know that she's in charge:
Louisiana did not reach out to a multi-state mutual aid compact for assistance until Wednesday, three state and federal officials said. As of Saturday, Blanco still had not declared a state of emergency, the senior Bush official said.
Blanco made two moves Saturday that protected her independence from the federal government: She created a philanthropic fund for the state's victims and hired James Lee Witt, Federal Emergency Management Agency director in the Clinton administration, to advise her on the relief effort.
Woohoo! Way to go, "NO Show"!

Last and certainly not least, some of the New Orleans bit players noticed that their regular robovoters were missing:
As hurricane victims are being moved hundreds of miles from home, the president of the New Orleans City Council is demanding to know why Louisiana isn't housing more of them.

Oliver Thomas says Louisiana has many government buildings and gymnasiums that could be made into shelters. But instead, he says people are being even more uprooted and sent to places like Georgia and Utah.

Thomas believes exaggerated fears of violence have kept some Louisiana cities from offering more help.
Ya think?
Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco says she's trying to find more shelters in the state, but that all existing locations are full.

But state Senator Cleo Fields says that's not the case. He points to the abandoned England Air Force base as an example of a large in-state location that the governor should open to evacuees.
Don't let the "clients" get away!