Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Buddy Caldwell on party-switching rumors: "No comment"

Posted By on Wed, Jan 26, 2011 at 6:13 PM

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In an upcoming story, Gambit is examining the defections from the state Democratic party in recent months. Jeremy Alford takes a look at some of the disarray in the Louisiana Democratic Party, including the departures of Reps. Noble Ellington, Simone Champagne and Walker Hines, as well as state Sens. John Alario and Fred Mills. But Alford says Louisiana Republicans may be picking up their biggest scalp yet — that of state Attorney General Buddy Caldwell:

“The rumors are getting hot and heavy that [Attorney General Buddy] Caldwell is getting ready to switch parties,” says one longtime Democratic operative. “Then again, there has also been talk about him running for governor if no one qualifies against Jindal. He’s paranoid right now that there’s someone out there, some opposition. Caldwell is perfectly representative of what Democrats are going through right now.”

Adding fuel to the speculation is the lawsuit Caldwell filed on Jindal’s behalf last year challenging President Barack Obama’s Democratic-backed health care law. When contacted by Gambit on the possibility of switching parties, Caldwell offered “no comment.”

“Things are dicey right now,” the operative adds. “What happens if Caldwell does switch and [U.S. Sen.] Mary [Landrieu] decides not to run for re-election? Where are we at then? There will be no strong elected (statewide) personality. It’s all dying on the vine.”

More in next week's paper.

UPDATE, 1/27/11: Kevin Franck, communications director for the Louisiana Democratic Party, responds: "In his heart, Buddy Caldwell is a Democrat and whichever way the political winds blow he'll always be a Democrat."

The Gambit guide to the Oscars

Posted By on Wed, Jan 26, 2011 at 2:16 PM

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  • Photo by Alan Light

The Academy Award nominations are out, which means you have 32 days to cram if you want to dominate in your office's Oscar pool or impress everyone with your informed predictions during the Feb. 27 ceremony.

2010 was a relatively boring year for film, so if you couldn't guess at least some of the Best Picture nominees, you must have been living under the rock you got stuck under while canyoneering in Utah. But we're here to help in case you missed out on some of the nominated films. The Prytania Theatre screens four of the Best Picture nominees between now and March 3, and it also screens the films nominated in the Animated and Live Action Short Film categories (Feb. 11-Feb. 17). AMC Theaters does its annual Best Picture Showcase on Saturday, Feb. 19 and Saturday, Feb. 26 (AMC will announce this weekend the screening schedule and which local theaters will participate). Both the Prytania and the Theaters at Canal Place are hosting Oscar viewing parties this year.

Hit the jump for more information on all the Best Picture nominees and films nominated in other categories, as well as information on the viewing parties. Also make sure to vote for your Oscar picks in our C'est What? poll!

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Tonight: Best Coast, Wavves and No Joy

Posted By on Wed, Jan 26, 2011 at 12:03 PM

(Read Noah Bonaparte Pais' show preview in Gambit here.)

No Joy
  • No Joy

At the bottom of the bill for tonight's show at House of Blues (tickets here) is No Joy, whose fuzz-dripping debut LP Ghost Blonde (Mexican Summer) is full of screeching guitars and big, slow burning riffs, distorted psychedelics and hazy harmonies.

Stream the single "Heedless" and the band's self-titled 2009 EP here. You also can download the band's five-song Daytrotter session here.

Check out the manic, intense (and probably NSFW) video for the Jesus & Mary Chain-y "Hawaii" from Ghost Blonde.

Find more music from headliners Best Coast and Wavves after the jump.

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Jealousy in the art world

Posted By on Wed, Jan 26, 2011 at 6:28 AM

“I was the ‘charlatan’ of the art world. Then, when I had enough work amassed, I became a ‘satirist’ — a tricky word — of the art world, then ‘fine artist’, but who could live with it? And now, ‘We like your old things better’.” Robert Rauschenberg, 1972

Jealousy, to my mind, dismisses itself too easily as an explanation for bad behavior. Because I don’t feel it myself and I don’t see it in my artist-husband, I don’t understand it in others, and the concept seems a convenient excuse, the stock answer for why a successful artist endures ridicule.

And yet the history of art, or at least its written record, proves me wrong. One of the most famous accounts is the 1964 Venice Biennale, in which Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008) became the first American artist ever to win the Grand Prize at the prestigious international art exhibition.

Robert Rauschenberg, Retroactive I, 1964, Oil and silkscreen ink on canvas 84x60 in
  • Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut, copyright Robert Rauschenbert / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
  • Robert Rauschenberg, Retroactive I, 1964, Oil and silkscreen ink on canvas 84x60 in

A New York visionary bridging Abstract Expressionism and Pop, Rauschenberg has Southern roots. He was born and raised in Port Arthur, Texas, and his family moved in 1948 to Lafayette, Louisiana. Twenty-three year old Rauschenberg, however, went on to art school at the Kansas City Art Institute and Black Mountain College in North Carolina, never actually living in our state.

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Rep. Jeff Landry on lack of Gulf oil disaster mention in State of the Union

Posted By on Tue, Jan 25, 2011 at 10:30 PM

So there was no mention of the Gulf oil disaster in President Barack Obama's State of the Union address — or, for that matter, in Rep. Paul Ryan's GOP response, or Rep. Michele Bachmann's TelePrompter-challenged Tea Party Express response.

The omission was a long slow pitch across the plate for any ambitious Gulf Coast Republican politician who cared to take a swing at it, and newly minted Rep. Jeff Landry issued this statement less than an hour after Obama finished speaking:

“The President made a great speech, as he always does; but the American people understand the difference between words and actions. We are in desperate need for results. Since the $800 billion taxpayer-funded stimulus program began, we have lost 2.1. million jobs. Our debt is increasing by $54,373 per second. And our average price of gasoline is rising above $3 per gallon. Now is the time for the President to match his rhetoric with action on creating jobs, reducing spending, and shrinking the size of the government.

Tonight, the President missed a tremendous opportunity to address the on-going situation in the Gulf of Mexico. I would have preferred empty words to absolute neglect. Of 6,802 words in the President’s speech, not one addressed the Administration’s de facto moratorium, the resulting job losses, or the degradation of Coastal Louisiana’s economy. Mr. President, ducking the issue will not lessen our dependence upon foreign oil, wishing will not lower the price at the pump, and no amount of space race metaphors can put Louisianans back to work. It’s one thing to dream; it’s another to fantasize. We need leadership; we need action.

As the Congressman for Coastal Louisiana, I am personally offended that the President refused to recognize the 11 lives lost in the Deepwater Horizon tragedy. I am absolutely disappointed that the President refused to mention the thousands of hard-working Americans who have lost their jobs because of his politically-driven moratorium on the oil and gas industry.

The President may be willing to ignore them and may be willing to prohibit drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, but tomorrow he will not be able to stop me from drilling his Presidential Oil Spill Commission’s report and demanding answers to why BOEMRE is still not issuing permits on the shelf or deepwater — even though he supposedly lifted the moratorium. The great people on the Gulf Coast demand answers; and if the President is unwilling to address them in his State of the Union, I will address them in tomorrow’s oversight hearing.”

Sen. Mary Landrieu and Mayor Mitch Landrieu reax to the State of the Union

Posted By on Tue, Jan 25, 2011 at 8:15 PM

Though the leaked draft of President Barack Obama's State of the Union address made no mention of the Gulf oil disaster (which Obama himself had called "the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced" last June), neither Sen. Mary Landrieu and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu were impolite enough to point out that rather glaring omission.

Sen. Landrieu's statement began with a complaint about the foot-dragging on Gulf drilling, while Mayor Landrieu focused on education and social issues. Below the jump: both their statements in toto.

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Streetcars coming to Treme, Marigny and beyond

Posted By on Tue, Jan 25, 2011 at 6:30 PM

A week following the Federal Transit Authority's (FTA) announcement securing a new streetcar line on Loyola Avenue, New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) officials approved plans for another line — one running through Marigny, Treme and St. Roch neighborhoods.

Last week I wrote that those neighborhoods have largely been ignored from the streetcar conversation, echoing transit advocacy groups and the proposals they've written to build a streetcar line connecting the neighborhoods to the Central Business District and French Quarter.

Jeffery Schwartz, founder of Transport for NOLA, helped draw up the Loyola line's funding request that last week met final approval. Another funding proposal for a primarily residential line — one would link neighborhoods beyond St. Claude Avenue with Elysian Fields Avenue and the already-in-place line along the Mississippi River in the quarter — was shot down. The RTA's next focus would be planning a line along Convention Center Boulevard instead. Today, that changed.

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Oscar nominated Waste Land extended at Zeitgeist

Posted By on Tue, Jan 25, 2011 at 2:46 PM

The Oscar nominations for best documentary included a nod to Waste Land, an amazing story about the transformative power of art. Its recent run at Zeitgeist has been extended through this weekend (4 p.m. Friday-Sunday). Director Lucy Walker's film features the work of Brazilian-born artist Vik Muniz, who created a sort of collaborative portrait project with people who scrounged a meager living by picking garbage at the world's largest landfill, Jardim Gramacho outside of Rio de Janeiro. (Reviewed here, photos of Muniz's work here.)

Also receiving nominations are Exit Through the Gift Shop, a film about the British artist Banksy. The film screened at Chalmette Movies when it reopened. Also nominated is Restrepo, Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington's excellent documentary about spending several months with an Army unit stationed for 14 months in a remote area in eastern Afghanistan (Reviewed here, with Junger interview.). The other two nominees are Gasland and Inside Job.

More trailers after the jump.

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Oscar nominations

Posted By on Tue, Jan 25, 2011 at 9:22 AM

The nominees for Academy Awards were announced today, with the list for best motion picture of the year including 10 movies, including Black Swan, The Fighter, Inception, The Kids Are All Right, The King’s Speech, 127 Hours, The Social Network, Toy Story 3, True Grit and Winter’s Bone. The 83rd Academy Awards will be announced on Sunday, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m. on ABC. Celebrities will walk the red carpet at 5:30 p.m.

To see a complete list of nominees click here.

Or watch the announcement.

What would your vote be?

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Monday, January 24, 2011

NBA in pictures: Hornets vs. Thunder

Posted By on Mon, Jan 24, 2011 at 10:10 PM

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