Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Broussard, Wilkinson plead not guilty

Posted By on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 12:53 PM

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Former Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard and former parish attorney Tom Wilkinson pleaded not guilty to 38 counts — in theory carrying maximum sentences totaling 695 years each if convicted for all of them — of conspiracy , wire fraud and theft of programs receiving federal funds today in U.S. District Court before Magistrate Judge Frances Stacy.

According to the indictment, Broussard and Wilkinson in late 2003 improperly hired Broussard's then-girlfriend, now-ex-wife Karen Parker as paralegal supervisor for the parish attorney's office, despite the fact that Parker was unqualified for the position and was actually working in ID management for parish employees.

Read the indictment here: Broussard__Aaron___Wilkinson__Thomas_sind.pdf

Between 2003 and 2010, the government charges, Broussard increased Wilkinson's salary from $100,000 to $184,000 and in return, Wilkinson kept Parker on his staff, gradually increasing her salary from $48,000 to $64,000.

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Smithsonian magazine names Taceaux Loceaux one of "20 Best Food Trucks" in the U.S.

Posted By on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Alex and Maribeth del Castillo.

Congratulations to Alex and Maribeth del Castillo: Smithsonian magazine has named their food truck, Taceaux Loceaux, to be one of the "20 Best Food Trucks in America." Why?

Taceaux Loceaux, as their name suggests, serves “Nola-Mex” tacos. Yes, that includes the ubiquitous Korean taco (Seoul Man); other favorites include the Aieee, which contains spicy-hot andouille sausage, and Messin’ with Texas, a BBQ brisket taco. The husband-wife team, Maribeth and Alex del Castillo, recently opened a permanent location inside the nightclub Chickie-Wah-Wah, which will offer an even more varied menu of tacos and new goodies like ceviche and homemade salsas.*

* According to Gambit A&E editor Will Coviello, Taceaux Loceaux is now out of its partnership with Chickie Wah Wah.

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More funny people: Stupid Time Machine

Posted By on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 11:55 AM

This week's cover story looks at The New Movement theater before its doors open Saturday, March 3, at 1919 Burgundy St. On the blog, we'll look at some of the comics taking its stage.

Tonight at 8:30 p.m., Stupid Time Machine wraps its weekly residence at The Den at Howlin' Wolf, a Tuesday night improv show in the bar's brick-walled space. Founded in 2009, the improv group (Derek Dupuy, C.J. Hunt and Mike Spara) co-founded The New Movement's New Orleans theater and helped produce events and teach classes before it found its Marigny home. The crew also performs sketch, with comic Dane Faucheux, and was recently featured on FunnyOrDie.com.

Derek Dupuy

Following one of its high-energy, manic Tuesday night weekly performances, Stupid Time Machine talked to Gambit about performing and teaching comedy in New Orleans, going on the road, and teaching high school students about improv:

Dupuy: We were on different improv teams, along with Grace Blakeman, and we would just all hang out socially, and that was sort of the dream team. We would improvise with just the people we were excited about improvising with — this would be the pick. Before we could really do that, we all had a love of sketch comedy. So we wrote a sketch show called Love in the Time of Swine Flu and put that in the New Orleans Fringe Festival, and that went really well.

Hunt: The name came about because we needed a name for the New Orleans Fringe Festival, and we were like … We needed something. At the time mustaches were big, and I’m so glad we didn’t choose a mustache name. We were like, Danger ’Stache! Mustache Party! And that would be so… [shakes head] so we chose that. And that went really well, and from that, I guess we are a group now.

Spara: We started taking that show on the road, to Texas and eventually, after a while, we took it to New York City, but between that, for about four or five months, we liked writing and performing together so much we decided improvising together.

So doing the opposite.

Spara: Exactly.

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Take with a grain of salt: Anonymous declares (literal) war on U.S. government

Posted By on Mon, Feb 27, 2012 at 1:32 PM

The thing about Anonymous "news" is that it's difficult to "verify," meaning that not only is it difficult to determine where the "news" comes from or who's disseminating it, but even if you had that information, it's difficult even to know what "verifying" it is, since (as we've heard, often) no one person speaks for the non-group.

Case in point: Today, someone or a group of someones affiliated with the worldwide Anonymous collective or possibly someone looking to discredit it (see what I mean, anyway) has posted an open call for war on the U.S. government.

They've done something like that before, right? Yes, indeed they have, except this time (claims the release) they/he/she/it mean(s) actual (?) war (?). They're calling it "Operation V," as in "for Vendetta," or at least that's how it seems from the video.

We are not calling upon the collective to deface or use a distributed denial of service attack on a United States government agency website or affiliate. We are not calling upon the people to occupy a city or protest in front of a local building. This has not brought on us any legislative change or alternate law. It has only brought us bloodshed and false criticism ...

Therefore, Anonymous has decided to openly declare war on the United States government. This is a call to arms. We call upon the Citizens of the United States to stand beside us in overthrowing this corrupted body and call upon a new era. Our allegiance is to the American people, because they are us, and we are them.

So there's that. But my favorite part is the first comment.

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Oddly enough, this news (or whatever) comes on the same day that Bradley Manning was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

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Y@ Speak: Life after Carnival edition

Posted By on Mon, Feb 27, 2012 at 12:28 PM

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  • Scott Satchfield
The piles of plastic detritus and sodden stuffed animals have been cleaned from the streets. The dance teams have stowed away their sequined leotards and tassel boots. The purple, gold and green specks of sugar have been wiped from so many office kitchen counters. It is in a haze of glitter (that you're still trying to remove from your bedroom carpet) and optimistic Lenten promises that we say goodbye to the Carnival season. Yes, Lent is upon us, and the black hole-like vortex of Catholic Guilt (and endless commercials for fish sandwiches) envelops all of us no matter our religious affiliations. But it looks like none of you gave up tweeting, so that's good. I wouldn't have been able to get through this week's GOP debate or Oscars telecast (where a Louisiana-made film grabbed a statue, by the way) without it.

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Someone in Muses knows about stickers on d'Etat floats

Posted By on Mon, Feb 27, 2012 at 11:44 AM

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During the Krewe d'Etat parade, an unidentified group of people placed many stickers on floats and vehicles throughout the procession. More on that and photos here. The image on the stickers shows a red high heeled shoe stabbing the d'Etat skull figure in the eye.

Someone who claims to be a Muse posted something about the sticker campaign on the gawker blogs. Link to this "leftoverhill" person's feed here. She wrote: "Sister Muses- did we all help with Operation Sticker during Krewe D'etat? That was fun."

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Consent decree news: NOPD seeks contractor to perform survey of citizen, cop, detainee concerns

Posted By on Mon, Feb 27, 2012 at 11:03 AM

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), as we all well know by now, is set to oversee the operations of the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) under a federal consent decree. The NOPD has been working out the details of the agreement with DOJ for a while now, quietly, and there's not a whole lot we know yet.

We have learned the following in the past month, though: NOPD has contracted a liaison, Daniel Cazenave, to work as a go-between during (and presumably after) implementation of the decree; police are now in the midst of forming community advisory boards for each district, a DOJ recommendation; and we've known for a while that whatever agreement comes out, NOPD will probably address, in one way or another, the problems identified in last year's highly critical federal investigation.

One of the recommendations in that report was that police "Develop and implement mechanisms, such as recurring community surveys, to assess recent experiences and current attitudes about NOPD among all communities throughout the City, and changes in these experiences and attitudes over time." The report noted, optimistically, that NOPD was in the process of seeking funding and preparing a request for proposals (RFP) to do just that.

Last week, that RFP was finally released. According to the document, now posted on the city's web site, the survey will measure concerns about the department, not only among residents or NOPD employees, but also "detained arrestees" and the local and federal employees involved in the consent decree negotiations themselves. The ultimate goal, reads the document, will be to "create a set of baseline measures against which the outcomes of the DOJ Civil Rights Division’s collaboration with NOPD can be assessed over the next several years." The survey, then, will form the NOPD's measure of progress under DOJ oversight.

(Read the full description after the jump)

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Sunday, February 26, 2012

On second thought, fascist dictator will not be banned from Oscars

Posted By on Sun, Feb 26, 2012 at 11:40 AM

Apparently bowing to pressure from fake tyrants across the globe, the Academy has lifted its Oscar ban on Supreme Leader Shabazz Aladeen of the Republic of Wadiya. Aladeen will be allowed to walk the red carpet at tonight's ceremony along with other Hollywood luminaries.

Aladeen gloated via Twitter this weekend:

"VICTORY IS OURS! Today the Mighty Nation of Wadiya triumphed over the Zionist snakes of Hollywood. Evil and all those who made Satan their protector were vanquished and driven into the Pacific Sea. What I am trying to say here is that the Academy have surrendered and sent over two tickets and a parking pass! TODAY OSCAR, TOMORROW OBAMA!"

Aladeen also posted this photo, complete with Oscars tickets and solid-gold gun, as proof of his outright defeat of the Academy:

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Tonight: standup comedians Sara Schaefer and Scott Moran

Posted By on Sat, Feb 25, 2012 at 10:00 AM

The New Movement's Hashtag Comedy Tour makes its return toCarrollton Station (8140 Willow St., 865-9190) tonight. Last year, Kyle Kinane and New Orleans' own Sean Patton headlined the Hashtag tour stop at the venue — and this go-round, it's Sara Schaefer and Scott Moran on the mic.

Schaefer is an Emmy Award winner from the staff at Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and was named one of Comedy Central's "Comics to Watch" in 2010. She also is a former New Orleans resident and Best Week Ever vet, and she hosts a podcast, You Had to Be There, with fellow comedian pal Nikki Glaser. She also is the person behind this blog. Here's Schaefer goofin' with New York Magazine's "10 new comedians that funny people find funny," of which she was named.

Moran, host of Upright Citizens Brigade's Hot Dang! show, also performs, joining New Orleans comics Chris Trew and Scotland Green with host Andrew Polk. Show is 9 p.m., and admission is $5.

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Friday, February 24, 2012

The Human Centipede II is playing at Prytania, if you're into that

Posted By on Fri, Feb 24, 2012 at 5:17 PM

I'm not necessarily recommending you see The Human Centipede II — I found the second installment of Tom Six's gastro gross-out franchise (which isn't over yet, people) to be entirely unwatchable. The handful of humorous horror movie cliches and the "is this really a movie?" factor made the first film somewhat digestible, but the second film is basically an 88-minute-long nightmare from the bowels (pun completely intended) of hell.

But it was a midnight screening at the Prytania Theatre that introduced me to the first film, and the experience of seeing the reactions from fellow viewers was enough to make me not completely regret the evening. If you can stomach it, the theater screens the sequel at midnight Friday and Saturday. Besides a brief stint during last year's New Orleans Film Festival, this is the only time I've seen the film screened in the city since its 2011 release (there's probably a reason for that).

Looks like some people are excited!

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The trailer, if you dare, is after the jump.

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