Oh No You Didn't

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Editorial: After Charlottesville

Posted By on Thu, Aug 17, 2017 at 6:09 PM

Charlottesville, Virginia, Aug. 12, 2017. - CREATIVE COMMONS/ANTHONY CRIDER
  • CREATIVE COMMONS/ANTHONY CRIDER
  • Charlottesville, Virginia, Aug. 12, 2017.

Watching the images and hearing the words out of Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend was depressing, sickening, infuriating — and necessary. Necessary because the country got a good look at the people who call themselves the “alt-right,” which is their sanitized term for neo-Nazis, white supremacists, Klansmen and other haters who feel emboldened in America today. It’s also necessary because some of them are planning similar rallies in Boston, San Francisco and elsewhere in the coming days and weeks.

Some of the malefactors who caused harm in Charlottesville also were in New Orleans during the weeks surrounding the hotly contested removal of four Confederate monuments. It’s easy to say New Orleans was lucky it didn’t have the chaos and death that marked Charlottesville, but it was more than luck. It was planning.

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Monday, July 24, 2017

Alabama Senate candidate uses audio of Scalise shooting in campaign ad

Posted By on Mon, Jul 24, 2017 at 2:42 PM

U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks.
  • U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks.

Audio from last month's shooting of U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise and three others at a baseball field in Virginia is being used in a campaign ad by a U.S. Representative from Alabama  who hopes to replace Jeff Sessions in the Senate.
U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, a Republican running in a Senate special election to replace Sessions, debuted the ad featuring the sound of gunshots and the information that "Mo Brooks gives his belt as a tourniquet to help the wounded." It closes with a gripe about the "liberal media" asking Brooks questions about gun control after the tragedy, and reiterates Brooks' support of the Second Amendment.

Brett Horton, Scalise's chief of staff, tweeted that the audio "makes my stomach turn," while an unnamed spokesperson for Scalise told NBC News, “I guess some people have their own ideas about what’s appropriate."


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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Remembering Bill O'Reilly and his Hurricane Katrina remarks

Posted By on Wed, Apr 19, 2017 at 2:00 PM

Bill O'Reilly. - CREATIVE COMMONS/DONKEY HOTEY
  • CREATIVE COMMONS/DONKEY HOTEY
  • Bill O'Reilly.
In the long list of inane — not to mention assholic — remarks made by political pundits following Hurricane Katrina and the federal floods, those of now-former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly surely make the Top 10:
Many, many, many of the poor in New Orleans are in that condition [dependency]. They weren't going to leave no matter what you did. They were drug-addicted. They weren't going to get turned off from their source. They were thugs, whatever. ... It's the absence of personal responsibility, which the government can not force you to be responsible, not in a free society.

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Sunday, February 12, 2017

Krewe du Vieux sends up the world in a crowd-pleasing, profane parade

Posted By on Sun, Feb 12, 2017 at 2:31 AM

"The Russians Are Coming" was a Krewe du Vieux float by subkrewe Krewe of Comatose, parodying President Donald Trump's cozy relationship with Russia — featuring him being sodomized by Vladimir Putin. - ALEX WOODWARD
  • ALEX WOODWARD
  • "The Russians Are Coming" was a Krewe du Vieux float by subkrewe Krewe of Comatose, parodying President Donald Trump's cozy relationship with Russia — featuring him being sodomized by Vladimir Putin.

Carnival's most irreverent walking krewe, Krewe du Vieux, rolled (or is it staggered?) tonight through the Faubourg Marigny and French Quarter. This year's theme — "The Crass Menagerie" — was interpreted widely by KdV's 17 subkrewes.

The theme was elastic — perhaps too much so. Floats and marchers encompassed everything from the "Audubondage Zoo" to Wikileaks — and, of course, plenty of barbs thrown at President Donald Trump. Many of the marchers made reference to the president's famous "grab them by the pussy" quote, with people strutting down the street dressed as vaginas and the traditional "Pizza Sluts" brigade bringing all matter of genitalia to the route. Comatose had a funny float featuring Trump being sodomized by Russian president Vladimir Putin ("The Russians Are Coming").

Krewe of K.A.O.S. had a winner with "Orange is the New Black," which somehow mashed up the TV show of the same name, Trump's odd skin color and A Clockwork Orange, with marching "droogs" dressed like Malcolm McDowall in the film A Clockwork Orange. Krewe du Mishigas sent up Trump's immigration executive order with a clever throw called the "Alien Visa Application," and there were "I Voted" stickers with Putin instead of George Rodrigue's Blue Dog, but many of the throws and handouts weren't as inspired as in years past.

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Saturday, February 4, 2017

The Advocate is very disappointed in you, LSU students

Posted By on Sat, Feb 4, 2017 at 2:40 PM

Artist's conception: A meeting of The Advocate editorial board.
  • Artist's conception: A meeting of The Advocate editorial board.

You Baton Rouge campus radicals are on notice, because the editorial board of The Advocate is on to your subversive ways. A remarkable opinion piece posted yesterday tut-tutted the LSU students who held a demonstration against President Donald Trump's immigration executive order:
We’re not sure how leaving class will demonstrate to Trump — or anyone else — that the president should rethink his policies. Maybe gathering in the evening or on a weekend, when most students are out of class, would have revealed how many of the participants were willing to sacrifice their social lives, rather than an instructional session – to make their voices heard. Wednesday’s midday protest, on the other hand, looked a lot like playing hooky.

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Sunday, January 29, 2017

Louis C.K., 'alternative facts,' a market for Marigny and other stories you may have missed this week

Posted By on Sun, Jan 29, 2017 at 9:00 AM

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• FEST, FEST, FEST: The 2017 Jazz Fest lineup was announced. You people on Twitter had a few thoughts. And Aaron Neville is part of the just-announced French Quarter Fest lineup.

• COMING TO TOWN: Louis C.K. is coming to town this week for a couple of just-announced shows. The Pixies are coming later.

• LGBT NEWS: The LGBT Community Center is getting a new home. And a new eldercare group is launching a health care provider network for LGBT seniors.

• KRISPY KRUNCHY KING CAKE: Where you can eat king cake topped with crickets.

Lots more under the jump ...

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Thursday, January 26, 2017

'Alternative facts'? No — just the facts, please

Posted By on Thu, Jan 26, 2017 at 12:37 PM

Kellyanne Conway, adviser to President Donald Trump, told Meet the Press that the White House was providing "alternative facts," not falsehoods. - CREATIVE COMMONS/GAGE SKIDMORE
  • CREATIVE COMMONS/GAGE SKIDMORE
  • Kellyanne Conway, adviser to President Donald Trump, told Meet the Press that the White House was providing "alternative facts," not falsehoods.

“You’re saying it’s a falsehood. And they’re giving — Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts.” Kellyanne Conway, adviser to President Donald Trump, on NBC’s Meet the Press.

“Alternative facts” may sound like something cooked up between George Orwell and Stephen Colbert, but President Trump’s administration doubled down on them during his first few days in office. Conway coined the term “alternative facts” on Meet the Press the day after presidential press secretary Sean Spicer held a belligerent press conference during which he insisted “the media” miscounted and downplayed the number of people at Mr. Trump’s inauguration the day before.

Spicer, Conway and Trump are entitled to their belief that the inauguration was the most beautiful in history, or the most historic, or any other superlative they might imagine. They are not, however, entitled to their own “facts” — which were contradicted by several objective criteria, including photographs of the National Mall, satellite images and ridership numbers from Washington D.C. public transit.

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Monday, September 14, 2015

Y@ Speak: Rivalries, Chapter 1,000

Posted By on Mon, Sep 14, 2015 at 12:20 PM

Twitter: A Place for Feuds. Last week we watched car dealerships vs. eyebrows, Bobby Jindal vs. Donald Trump, and the ongoing tragedy of the New Orleans Saints vs. itself. Plus: Drew Brees wrestles alligators, Mayor Mitch Landrieu's will-he-or-won't-he house arrest, and bilingual pets.

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Michael Brown absolves himself of Hurricane Katrina blame in Politico editorial

Posted By on Thu, Aug 27, 2015 at 11:17 AM

MICHAEL BROWN: FEMA’s nimble. We’re only 2,500 people. We can move on a dime.
STEPHEN COLBERT: Uh-huh. And what dime were you standing on during the hurricane?
 — From Brown's 2006 appearance on The Colbert Report

You thought we could get through Katrinapalooza week without hearing from Michael "Brownie" Brown? Dream on. The disgraced former FEMA head, who now has a radio talk show in Denver, weighed in with his usual chorus of "It Wasn't Me" on Politico this morning:
People are still saying now, as they said then, that what went wrong in New Orleans a decade ago was all my fault. They were wrong then, and they are wrong now. There were many dark moments in those three weeks on the Gulf Coast, and FEMA and the federal government certainly made some mistakes, but perhaps the worst part was being held responsible for the things that I didn’t control at all.
If you've heard Brownie revise history over the years, there's little new here, except a new chorus of blaming the media (of which, it should be pointed out, he's now a member). "My mishandling of the press during the disaster response was among my greatest mistakes," he writes, citing CNN's Anderson Cooper and Time magazine as two of the worst offenders.

His conclusion? Cut down the size of federal government (of which, it should be pointed out, he was an employee):

Today government needs to affirmatively reassert its commitment to the all-hazards approach to disasters. Whether a disaster is man-made, natural or the result of terrorism, the response is the same. And the federal government must not become a first responder. The more state and local governments become dependent upon federal dollars, the weaker and more dependent upon the federal government they will become.

Why is that important? Disasters happen every day. The federal government should be involved only in those disasters that are beyond the capacity of state and local governments to handle. Centralized disaster response at the national level would destroy the inherent close relationship between citizens and those who save their lives and protect their property in times of everyday disasters. We must not allow that to happen.
Those who want more Brownie on Brownie can listen to his talk show Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. New Orleans time, where he promises more hot takes and hard truths.

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Friday, August 14, 2015

Chicago Tribune columnist: "What I was thinking"

Posted By on Fri, Aug 14, 2015 at 6:06 PM

Original online title: ""In Chicago, Wishing For A Hurricane Katrina."
  • Original online title: ""In Chicago, Wishing For A Hurricane Katrina."

Kristen McQueary, the Chicago Tribune editorialist who pissed off vast swaths of New Orleans, Chicago, and the Internet yesterday with her wish that a "Hurricane Katrina" would strike Chicago and clean up that city's "rot," has come back 24 hours later with a "what I meant to say" piece.

Here's what McQueary meant to say, according to her:
I used the hurricane as a metaphor for the urgent and dramatic change needed in Chicago: at City Hall, at the Chicago City Council, at Chicago Public Schools. Our school system is about to go bankrupt, and the city’s pension costs and other massive debts have squeezed out money for basic services.

I wrote what I did not out of lack of empathy, or racism, but out of long-standing frustration with Chicago’s poorly managed finances.
The original column, McQueary wrote, came after a Trib editorial board meeting with Mayor MItch Landrieu, who was in Chicago to talk about the city's recovery — and, presumably, the Katrina10 commemoration, which is designed to both memorialize the tragedy and put forward the city's best face at a time when we once again have the world's gaze.

In that sense, it's a PR campaign, which is fine; that's what a traveling mayor is for. But one hopes an editorial board at one of the country's most powerful newspapers would dig deeper than an elected official's political spin, and all McQueary seemed to carry away from the meeting was this:
Residents overthrew a corrupt government. A new mayor slashed the city budget, forced unpaid furloughs, cut positions, detonated labor contracts. New Orleans' City Hall got leaner and more efficient. Dilapidated buildings were torn down. Public housing got rebuilt. Governments were consolidated.

An underperforming public school system saw a complete makeover. A new schools chief, Paul Vallas, designed a school system with the flexibility of an entrepreneur. No restrictive mandates from the city or the state. No demands from teacher unions to abide. Instead, he created the nation's first free-market education system.

Hurricane Katrina gave a great American city a rebirth.
Unmentioned: billions of dollars in federal recovery money and insurance payouts, which had a lot to do with what progress we've made; bootstraps and volunteerism only goes so far. Dumping that kind of money into Chicago, even without a tragedy, would probably perk up things there as well.

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