Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Undaunted Courage Gall

Posted By on Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 7:42 PM

Say this much for Louisiana’s travelin’ man, Gov. Bobby Jindal, he doesn’t let criticism bother him. Or falling poll numbers.

After seeing his approval rating fall from 68 percent to 55 percent in the last 18 months — and his “disapproval” numbers rise from 30 percent to 43 percent in the same time frame — largely as a result of his frequent fundraising jaunts out of state, Jindal remains a road warrior for his favorite cause: himself.

The same day that those troubling poll numbers were released by Southern Media and Opinion Research (SMOR), an independent Baton Rouge-based polling outfit, Team Jindal sent out yet another invitation for yet another out-of-town fundraiser benefiting the Man-Child’s perpetual non-presidential campaign.

This time Jindal is off to New York City for a Dec. 10 “roundtable discussion” with “Bobby’s Club” at the tony Union League Club of New York in the heart of Manhattan. The discussion starts at 3:15 p.m. and continues ’til 4 p.m., after which there’s a one-hour cocktail reception.

The venue is a curious one, given Jindal’s strident views on a strong, centralized national government. The Union League was founded by four wealthy, pro-Union professionals and intellectuals in 1863 with the avowed purpose of fostering “a political governing elite in support of the Union,” according to Wikipedia. “They recognized that a centralized government was essential to their prosperity.”

Perhaps the “roundtable discussion” will include some of Jindal’s thoughts on how a centralized government fosters prosperity.

It starts, of course, with paying one’s dues, and the price of admission to “Bobby’s Club” is a $5,000 minimum. For $10,000, you can be a “Host Member” — and for $25,000 you can be “General Chair.” For Bobby’s Club members at the minimal $5,000 level, that’s more than $111 a minute.

For those not willing or able to join the roundtable discussion, $1,000 will get you into the cocktail reception, which presumably will feature less discussion and thicker crowds around the canapé trays.

Meanwhile, Jindal remains unfocused on Louisiana’s $1.6 billion budget problem for Fiscal Year 2011-12.

Then again, maybe Jindal is on to something after all. Let’s see: At $111 a minute, if Jindal could attract 100 donors at the “Bobby’s Club” starter level of $5,000, and if he could raise money ’round the clock (which is pretty much how he approaches raising money for his campaign account), he could solve Louisiana’s 2011-12 budget problem in roughly 100 days — BEFORE the next legislative session.

Of course, that would require that he put Louisiana’s interests ahead of his own.

Ha! Sometimes I really crack myself up.

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Rebirth, remixed

Posted By on Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 5:58 PM

Vincent Broussard, sax player for the Rebirth Brass Band, just released an album of remixed Rebirth tracks
  • Photo from SlowDragProductions.com
  • Vincent Broussard, sax player for the Rebirth Brass Band, just released an album of remixed Rebirth tracks

Fans of the Rebirth Brass Band will likely know their saxophone player Vincent Broussard, if not by name, then at least by the sweet grooves that he plays.

Well now there's another reason to know him. On the side, Broussard is a DJ and enjoys remixing brass band music. That love for the music has turned into a full-fledged album that he's releasing today. "ReBirth ReVisted" is a compilation of Rebirth tracks Broussard has remixed through his company, Slow Drag Productions.

Broussard describes it as "acid jazz, electronic, downtempo mixed with a little funk." It's a fresh take on a classic sound and those interested should check out the album on iTunes and Amazon.

If you want to keep up to date with more of Broussard's music, check out his Web site at SlowDragProductions.com.

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Farewell, hurricane season

Posted By on Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 5:48 PM

No major U.S. landfalls this year. Sorry, AccuWeather.
  • No major U.S. landfalls this year. Sorry, AccuWeather.
This windy, cold, gray day in New Orleans was also the last day of the 2010 hurricane season, which means you can go ahead and eat some of those canned goods, drink the bottled water and concentrate on more seasonal terrors. You can also look back at some of the annual meteorological forecasts, some of which were accurate (NOAA!) and some of which were scarier but off the mark (Accuweather!).

If you want to kiss off the season with a non-hurricane party, the group Evacuteer (volunteers organized to help those without transportation out of the city if an evacuation is called) is having a party Dec. 9 to bid the season goodbye. Tickets are $25 and there will be food, music and all the usual hoopla you find at a New Orleans party. (Oh, and probably writing messages on hands with Sharpies.)


Dept. of Corrections Dept.: David Simon is not optimistic

Posted By on Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 2:59 PM

The blog Balloon Juice picked up on a correction from today's Washington Post, in relation to a gossip item about Treme (and The Wire) creator David Simon.

If you go to the original WashPo story, you find this note, which is opaque and no fun at all:

An earlier version of this story misquoted David Simon. This version has been corrected.

So what was the correction? Take it away, Balloon Juice:

A Names & Faces item in the Nov. 27 Style section, about a Johns Hopkins University course based on the HBO drama series "The Wire," misquoted the show's creator, David Simon, who visited the class this semester. According to Simon and the Baltimore Sun, he responded to a student's question about hopeful signs for her generation by saying, "There is nothing that makes me optimistic about the future of the country." The Names & Faces item incorrectly included the word "more" before "optimistic."

Drew Brees: Sportsman of the Year

Posted By on Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 1:50 PM

Sports Illustrated named Drew Brees the 2010 Sportsman of the Year
  • Photo lifted from
  • Sports Illustrated named Drew Brees the 2010 Sportsman of the Year

Congrats, Drew.

There's a glowing article in Sports Illustrated. There are also pictures. And then there's this video:

And, somehow, his importance to his team and city hasn't been stated enough.

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Jindal’s popularity plummets

Posted By on Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 11:11 AM

Louisiana’s traveling governor, Bobby Jindal, needs to start paying more attention to the problems of his home state — or risk losing more support among Louisiana voters. That’s the conclusion of pollster Bernie Pinsonat of Southern Media and Opinion Research (SMOR), a Baton Rouge-based polling firm that released new numbers on Jindal on Tuesday, Nov. 30.

The latest SMOR survey follows three earlier statewide polls starting in April 2009. Since the first 2009 survey on Jindal and key statewide issues, the governor’s approval rating has steadily declined — and his “disapproval numbers” have increased. The poll included telephone interviews with 600 randomly selected Louisiana voters from Nov. 15-17. The overall margin of error is plus-or-minus 4 percentage points.

The November SMOR poll shows Jindal’s approval rating was 55 percent — a 13-point drop from nearly 68 percent in April 2009. Meanwhile, Jindal’s negative job rating is up to 43 percent from just 30 percent in the spring 2009 survey. That’s a total “swing” of 26 percentage points against Jindal in the past 19 months.

Here’s a closer look at Jindal’s approval/disapproval numbers going back to the 2009 survey:

• Fall 2010 — 55% positive, 43% negative
• Spring 2010 — 61% positive, 37% negative
• Fall 2009 — 64% positive, 33% negative
• Spring 2009 — 68% positive, 30% negative

According to SMOR’s numbers, the biggest fall-off for Jindal came in the past six months — since he released his book, “Leadership and Crisis,” and after his many appearances on network television during the BP Oil Disaster. Jindal’s favorable ranking fell 6 points since last April, and his unfavorable numbers rose 6 points — accounting for nearly half his total swing since 2009.

Continue reading »

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Light Up

Posted By on Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 8:42 AM

It may be raining now, pouring actually, but a few raindrops shouldn't deter hardy New Orleanians from diving into holiday celebrations, whether your preferred greeting is Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Feliz Navidad, Habari Gani? for Kwanzaa or something else.

The Royal Sonesta Hotel (300 Bourbon St.) is holding its fifth annual Lighting of the Balconies ceremony tonight (Tuesday, Nov. 30), beginning with a performance by the Xavier University Gospel Choir at 6 p.m., followed by a second line parade led by the Treme Brass Band, Santa Claus, the Saintsations, Saints mascot Gumbo and the Royal Teddy Bear. Saints punter Thomas Morstead and Treme star David Morse will take the stage along with other locals, and it all culminates with the flipping of a switch by Childrens Hospital patients Jenna Clesi and Kendrick Williams to light up the balconies of the hotel at 7 p.m.

And it's not even Dec. 1 yet.

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Where to drink in New Orleans: the flowchart

Posted By on Mon, Nov 29, 2010 at 4:39 PM

While we just published our Bar Guide (and we're holding our Bar Stampede this month — prizes include $1,000 in bar tabs, people!), Ian Hoch decided to take a different approach to mapping out the city's watering holes. Just answer questions like "Are you from here?," "Are you a douchebag?," "Do you need a haircut?" and "Are you a vampire?" and let Ian's flowchart find just the right spot.


Click here for the big version.

The beef people

Posted By on Mon, Nov 29, 2010 at 12:57 PM

Arguing over who makes the best roast beef po-boy in town is a futile exercise when there are so many good ones from which to choose. But setting up culinary competitions is the meat and potatoes of the Food Network, the spot on your dial where people race to decorate "Sex and the City cakes," run around a giant kitchen pretending to be gladiators and compete in something called a 24-Hour Restaurant Battle. (And then there's this guy... and recipes like this... .)

All this ambivalence is prelude to the fact that the Food Network came down here not too long ago to stage a "food feud" between two exemplars of roast beef po-boy artistry: Parkway Bakery and Tracey's, and the results will air on Food Network Dec. 2 at 9 p.m. They're both really good po-boys.

I'll be watching. In the meantime, enjoy Sandra Lee's Kwanzaa cake for the millionth time:

Trouble the Water screening

Posted By on Mon, Nov 29, 2010 at 12:30 PM

Filmmakers Carl Deal and Tia Lessin host a free screening and discussion (6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 30, at Tulane University's Freeman Auditorium) of their award-winning film Trouble the Water, one of the best documentaries made about Hurricane Katrina and the levee failures. The filmmakers were set on making a documentary about the the National Guard's role in the storm response, but then they met Kim and Scott Roberts. The two 9th Ward residents had not evacuated prior to the storm, and Kim had caught amazing footage of the flooding on a camcorder. The first half of the film covers her neighbors preparing for the worst, the Roberts' seeking refuge in their attic and amazing scenes of floodwaters rising above street signs. The film retraces their escape from the flooded neighborhood, their displacement and return. It's an amazing chronicle of how their family coped with that extended experience.

The film was nominated for an Oscar and won the grand jury prize at Sundance and the best documentary prize at the IFP Gotham Awards.

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