We hardly knew ye.
For all the scrutiny and (deserved) criticism BP and the dozen agencies with Deepwater Horizon Incident Command received over their lack of transparency, they sure did send plenty of updates, whether through email, Twitter, Facebook they may have adjusted the paradigm for disaster response communication. Of course, there is and always will be the need to question their updates and sources, but us in the press (and those following online) are kept up to date with general procedures, whether its well capping, how many gallons of oil/water mix have been captured, how many Vessels of Opportunity participants are available, how much boom is available. You get the idea.
BP and National Incident Commander Thad Allen have insisted they're dedicated to the Gulf, determined to stick around as long as necessary, an when they've decided "how clean is clean."
Those final days may be approaching, as Deepwater Horizon Response announced today all its future announcements will no longer come from the go-to DeepwaterHorizonResponse.com, but from RestoreTheGulf.gov (not to be confused with RestoreTheGulf.com), beginning Sept. 29. The former will no longer be updated.
So, update your bookmarks, and bid farewell to Deepwater Horizon Response, the official site for Deepwater Horizon Incident Command.
This year's Ponderosa Stomp couldn't have come at a better time. Just as it launches into its ninth year now as the authority on rock 'n' roll obscurities and Louisiana legends the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and museum will designate Cosimo Matassa's J & M Studios (838-840 N. Rampart St.) as an official landmark. The studios now join KLRU-TV, the home of Austin City Limits; The Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa; the Whisky-a-Go-Go in Los Angeles; King Records in Cincinnatil; and Cleveland's Brooklyn High School and WJW Radio, where DJ Alan Freed first aired the term "rock 'n' roll." (The ceremony is 10 a.m. Friday outside the former studios at 840 N. Rampart.)
GAMBIT: When was the last time you were in New Orleans?
Who wouldnt want to win tickets to an upcoming Saints game even if the price of entering was providing your cell phone number to a political campaign? It must have seemed a great idea in the offices of Rep. Anh Joseph Cao, whose campaign website (www.caoforcongress.com) offered supporters the chance to do just that by texting the word TIX and/or giving up their cell numbers.
The problem? Nothing on the site indicated that providing a phone number was opting in to receiving text messages from the Cao campaign and, unlike most sweepstakes, there were no rules or odds posted, no number of stated tickets to be given away, nor even the dates of the contest or the prize: just the vague promise of a chance to win tickets to upcoming games. Even stickier: the prize had already been given away, according to Cao's campaign manager.
When Gambit called the Cao game on Sept. 21 for clarification, it turned out the prize were for the teams season opener which was Sept. 9. The tickets had already been awarded (the winner: Desmon Benn of Algiers), though the campaign was still collecting phone numbers with the promise of giving away more tickets.
We just did it for the Saints-Vikings home opener. We dont have any more scheduled, but were hoping to do more, said Cao campaign manager David Huguenel. This just happened, and we are in the process of changing our website.
Huguenel conceded the problem with holding a contest in which the prize had already been awarded two weeks before, but said, We were certainly not trying to deceive anybody; were not trying to confuse people. Im confident we did everything within the rules of FEC (Federal Elections Commission) compliance.
Cade Cypriano, the campaigns director of new media, said there would be another ticket giveaway at some point, but we dont have the name of the game yet. Cypriano said the first giveaway had harvested some 800 phone numbers from supporters, and that the campaign was hoping to give away tickets for the Saints-Steelers matchup on Oct. 31.
A contest with no existing prize or stated rules? Julia Queen, a public affairs specialist for the FEC in Washington, D.C., said the commission had no hard and fast rules for giveaways of this sort in exchange for cell phone numbers. Believe it or not, the FEC rules on the Internet havent been updated since 2006, Queen said, referring Gambit to the U.S. House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct.
By this afternoon, the Cao campaign website had been changed; the tickets were clearly stated to be for the Steelers game, and some boilerplate rules had been added:
Limited to one entry per mobile number. Winners will be notified within 24 hours of promoted event. Promotional entries and any subsequent information provided are to be used by Joseph Cao for Congress in compliance with FEC regulations, and will not be further distributed at any time during the 2010 congressional campaign. Entry should not be viewed as campaign contribution, and is not deductible as charitable contribution. If you are are under the age of 18 please consult with a parent or legal guardian before entering.
Cypriano also forwarded Gambit a document titled "Internal Memorandum Mobile Campaign 8/1/2010," which stated, in part, "Joseph Cao has experienced success in tailoring SMS technology to his congressional race, and once re-elected, looks forward to exploring the utilization of text messaging to increase transparency and accountability within congressional representation."
A flock of
pink Black and Gold flamingos has landed at the entrance to New Orleans City Park, in tribute to last night's Saints victory over the 49ers. Check 'em out:
Are they an installation by someone at the nearby New Orleans Museum of Art? Hybrid mutant escapee birds from Flamingo Island at the Audubon Zoo? Gambit's Lauren LaBorde called NOMA to find out , and it turns out that the playful exhibit was dreamed up by the folks at City Park, not the museum. They're brand-new, and they'll be flocking in front of the park after every Black and Gold win. So now you know.
More flamingo pictures under the jump:
Mayor Mitch Landrieu was singled out yesterday in an essay by Tina Brown, the former editor of Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, who now publishes her own web newsmagazine, The Daily Beast. In the essay, titled The Mayors Who Can Revive America, Brown said, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu also feels like a rising national star to me, and noted, In his first 100 days, Landrieu worked to "reorganize the dysfunction of the city government," revamping the police department, and staunching the citys bleeding out of a $67.5 million budget shortfall. Thats a schedule more ambitious than the first six days of Genesis. Brown also contrasted Landrieu's performance to that of the incompetent showboat Ray Nagin and the wingnuts dominating the Tea Party movement and compared him (favorably) to New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg. Also taking a swipe at President Barack Obama, Brown concluded, But maybe what we need is not to export White House wisdom to the frontlines. Maybe what we need is to import frontline grit into the White House.
Quick Note: An ill-advised midnight snack after the Saints thrilling victory Monday night led to my stomach deciding to keep me in bed for most of yesterday, delaying this post. I apologize for his selfish behavior.
As defending Super Bowl champion, the Saints have started the season with two games in prime time, on days when no one else was playing. But even when things get back to normal with Sunday's noon game against Atlanta, the Saints' 2-0 start has reinforced the notion that every defending champion wears a bulls-eye on his back.
Just think, would anyone have predicted that Alex Smith would (nearly) out-perform Drew Brees? Would any Who Dat be happy to hear that their team forced five turnovers but only got a safety and a field goal from them? Really, not even the staunchest 49er supporter could have thought Monday Night's game would come down to a semi-deflected field goal as time expired. But what the Saints' 25-22 win highlights is that this is something people need to come to expect. The Saints are Super Bowl Champions and everyone will try measure themselves to them. When everyone is giving you their best shot every week, it's going to take your best to just hold them off.
Oh, and that whole injury thing could be an issue. But onto the imaginary feast!
Earlier this year, comedian Paul F. Tompkins (Best Week Ever, Mr. Show, The Daily Show, Real Time with Bill Maher, Tenacious D, podcasts, podcasts, podcasts, etc.) announced a plan: Get 300 people in your town to join a Facebook group by a target date and he'll perform in said town. New Orleans managed to grab just over 300 by the deadline, and Tompkins made good on his plan. On Aug. 30, Tompkins announced a show date and venue: Oct. 2 at Republic.
Sorry to say only 29 tickets have been sold for the Republic show. This is not only not 300, it is not enough for a show. There really needs to be some movement in sales or I'll have to cancel the show. I really don't want to do this! I've never been to NOLA and I was very much looking forward to going.
I have never had to do this before. And I only feel like I might have to here because tickets are selling so well everywhere else. So if you haven't bought a ticket yet, please do. If you know people who aren't on Facebook who know about this show, maybe suggest to them that buying a ticket might be a good thing to do.
And if there's some reason people aren't attending the show that my knowing about would make a difference, please let me know.
Hope to see you October 2nd!
He then followed with, "I guess I'm confused as to why this group which is over 300 people exists." Well, there are a few reasons: Most show-goers here buy their tickets at the door, and most show-goers are pretty lazy. We're blessed with year-round, amazing concerts and events. Touring bands have increased their presence in the city over the past few years, and sometimes they're just a blip compared to what else may be happening that night. Tickets are bought on a whim, but most "big" events can assume a large draw. But this does not mean New Orleans is also an attractive spot for headlining comedians. It's out of the way, most venues are standing-room-only, there is a lot of chatter over the performances, etc. Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter performed at The Parish at House of Blues in 2006, and, well, here's Black's take on the show:
Here's Ronnie Lamarque's all-singing, all-dancing Saints-stravaganza commercial for 2010, which at times could be mistaken for one of those dancing-silhouettes iPod ads ...
... and here's the classic 30-second version from 2007, in which the Superdome is magically transported next door to St. Louis Cathedral ...
Gambiteers -- which one is better?
Last week, Gambit reported that state Sen. Butch Gautreaux was the only candidate in the lieutenant governors race to have signed a pledge sent out by the North Central Louisiana Tea Party Patriots a pledge that included supporting the U.S. Constitution as explained in the Federalist Papers. Over the weekend, the Morgan City Democrat asked to have his name withdrawn from the groups website, calling his signature on the pledge a mistake and saying the Tea Party has a "nihilist rhetoric and eccentrically regressive perspective":
I have, at no time, ever endorsed or shared the goals, purposes, or methods of the Tea Party. My name's appearance on the NCLA Tea party website and pledge is a mistake that, now brought to the attention of the campaign, is being rectified as quickly as possible. I will be asking that my name be removed from all NCLA Tea Party affiliated content.
The rest of Gautreauxs statement below the jump, along with other lieutenant governor/Tea Party news including which candidate is being supported by former President Bill Clinton, and which one has the endorsement of U.S. Rep. Michelle Bachmann
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