Pony Party, Anyone seen this?

I’m including a movie trailer in this pony….but not to tell you about a movie, but to ask about one.

Below is the trailer for the movie ‘Faubourg Treme: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans’, also mentioned on the San Francisco IFF website.  Apparently it is, as the title would suggest, a discussion of the history of the Faubourg Treme section of New Orleans, called simply ‘Treme’ by its residents, and otherwise known as the 6th ward.

The Death of a Blogger: Coins for the Ferryman

Down in New Orleans, they are burying the noted blogger, rabid Saints fan and local bon vivant ashley morris today. He leaves behind a wife and three young kids, and they need your help.


Ashley Morris

ACTION: What YOU can do to help NOLA

cross-posted with minor edits from dailykos as part of today’s NOLA diary-athon.

You’ve read about the situation in New Orleans.  You know there are still crumbled houses all over, that thousands have never come back, that the economy is crippled and crime out of control.  You’ve heard that the levees are still unimproved, the local politicians are corrupt or ineffective or both, and that the cable news networks no longer see the issue as sexy enough for your attention.  You’ve wondered if things can get better.

Good news: this diary is dedicated to you, and what you can do to help.

Katrina: The latest embarrassment

…also at orange

It seems our great national embarrassment, the federal response to Hurricane Katrina,  is the gift that just keeps on giving.


30 Mill: N’Orleanians vs N’Learians

A short rant on Priorities.

30 million to bail out the rich folks.  What?  Afraid they might make a late Lear payment? Of course all the employees who worked for B-S just got the big douche, being minor stock holders.  No job, no 401K’s nadda. No bailout for them.

Of course, I have a hard time working up a great deal of sympathy for those who make a living shuffling papers on other’s loans, milking profit off the middle class’ interest rates. I realize I am being simplistic, but still…..

This is even truer, because if we have 30 million laying around, why the fuck did we not use it in New Orleans? Never mind. We all know the answer to that.

Pictorial explanation below.

LA-01: Meet Gilda Reed’s Republican Opposition

Docudharma Note:  When I set up an account here, I originally intended NOT to simply cross-post my dKos diary.  That said, this is different.  I'm proud to be part of the 24 hours of blogging for Gilda Reed, progressive candidate for Congress from LA-01.  This is my entry in the round-the-clock blogging on dKos:

I was two years old when my family left Methuen, MA, for New Orleans. My mother, a NOLA native, didn't care much for Boston winters. She told my dad she was going back home with us kids and he was welcome to join us. My parents initially rented a house on Bonnabel Blvd., in Old Metairie, then bought a house not far away on Dream Ct. They moved closer to the lake when we outgrew that house, and that's where they lived out their lives.

T. Hale Boggs represented Metairie/Jefferson until his death in 1972. His wife Lindy succeeded him in the LA-02 seat and continued to represent the suburbs until the 1980 redistricting put Metairie/Jefferson in LA-01. There are still more Democrats registered in LA-01 than Republicans. It's just a matter of reminding them that Dems have done better by them historically than Republicans ever have or ever will.

This is what they will remember:

They'll remember the mold that covered the walls when they returned after evacuating for the storm.

They'll remember how they ripped out the walls of the houses they worked most of their lives to build and pay for.


They'll remember how so much of what they owned was carried away by trash collectors as worthless. (BTW, these photos are from my house.)

But most importantly, they'll remember the man who did absolutely nothing to help:

and they won't be too well-disposed towards those who think he did a good job.

Like Steve Scalise.

Gilda's opposition on the Republican side consists of Steve Scalise of Jefferson, Ben Morris of Slidell, and Tim Burns of Covington. Polls indicate that Scalise currently leads this field, with Morris five points behind him. (There is a 33% “Uncertain” in this race.) In spite of the large Uncertain percentage, my money is on Scalise, because the Republican money is on him.

Steve Scalise is 42 years old, from Jefferson, LA. He is married and has one daughter. His degree (from LSU) is in Computer Programming, and he lists his employment as a Computer Systems Analyst with Diamond Data Systems, a Metairie company specializing in DoD work.

In actuality, Scalise is a career politician, having been elected to office for the first time at age 30. He has been a Louisiana State Representative for the past 12 years (District 82). Scalise was unable to stand for a fourth term because of Republican-initiated/supported term limits. In spite of numerous expressions of interest in running for LA-01, Scalise ran for the State Senate (District 9), in the fall of 2007. His opponent in that race, former JP School Board member Polly Thomas (R-Metairie), predicted the exact situation that is unfolding now–that if PBJ were to win the LA-GOV race, Scalise would immediately qualify for LA-01, in spite of not even having been sworn into the office for which he was currently running. Thomas was savagely attacked by Scalise in the campaign for suggesting that he would abandon District 9 (if he were to win LA-01, Scalise would serve in one legislative special session and never represent the district in a regular session). Since the general election for LA-01 is 8-May, Senate 9 will be without representation, since there will be no time for a special election to fill the remaining 90% of Scalise's term.

Scalise is Roman Catholic, a graduate of Archbishop Rummel High School.

Scalise's positions on various issues:


Scalise lists “Strong National Defense” as an issue for his campaign, but there is absolutely no reference to the current Middle East wars on his website. The disrespect this does to our troops as well as the intelligence of the voters of LA-01 is incredible.


Scalise has been the NRA's go-to guy in the LA legislature for over a decade. He has authored legislation for the gun lobby on several occasions, most notably a bill to retroactively prohibit municipalities in the state from suing gun manufacturers.


Scalise is pro-life and has a 100% pro-life voting record with the Louisiana Right to Life Federation. The Louisiana Family Forum named Steve Scalise “Outstanding Family Advocate.” The LFF closely aligns themselves with Radical Cleric Dobson and Focus on the Family as well as Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council. Favors no exceptions for rape and incest.

Flood Protection

Scalise's campaign website says he supports funding 100-year-storm protection for Southeast Louisiana, yet he stands by the records of his predecessors. His friend David “Diaper Dave” Vitter, and PBJ both fully supported the Cheney Administration's ongoing underfunding of flood control projects for Southeast Louisiana. Scalise offers no explanation for this conflict in his words and actions.


Opposed re-building of affordable housing initiatives post-storm.


Voted last year to cut 1,532 state jobs from the budget, most coming from the Department of Health and Hospitals. Adamantly opposed to rebuilding Charity Hospital New Orleans, even though it was one of the state's largest employers, teaching hospitals, and the primary source of healthcare for the metro area's uninsured.


Voted last year to cut $177 million in education funding from the state budget. Supports tuition tax deductions for families that have children in parochial schools.

Marriage/Gay Rights

Chief architect of the 2004 “Defense Of Marriage Amendment,” which defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman. The amendment overwhelmingly passed in the legislature and at the polls. It was upheld in several court challenges and is now a part of the state constitution. Supports restricting no-fault divorce.

Voting Rights

Took the lead in deveoping “ballot integrity programs” for the LA Republican Party. The plans included increasing the number of Republican “poll watchers” for the 2002 Landrieu-Terrell Senate race.

Smoker's Rights

Opposed a ban on smoking in Louisiana restaurants (the ban passed and went into effect on January 1, 2007). What is significant about Scalise's opposition is that he did what one of his primary benefactors, the Louisiana Restaurant Association, told him to do. In many states, state-wide smoking bans are welcomed by restaurants, lest a county-by-county patchwork create inequities. In Louisiana, however, restaurants are gambling venues. By banning smoking, video poker players who want to drink, smoke, and gamble, have to go someplace else. That has caused a huge drop in restaurant gambling revenue. Scalise conveys the impression that he is a gambling opponent, but he serves a special interest that has made a lot of money from video poker in the last 15 years.

The Company He Keeps

  • Scalise's “Honorary Campaign Chairman” is former LA-01 Representative and almost-Speaker Robert Livingston. Livingston was forced to resign in the midst of House deliberations on the impeachment of President Clinton for being involved in a sex scandal, because he was implicated in a sex scandal. (Livingston is referred to as “almost-Speaker” of the House because he was Majority Leader at the time of Newt the Gingrich's resignation in 1996. Gingrich quit because he failed to deliver on his pledges to expand the GOP majority in the chamber. Livingston resigned before he could be elected Speaker. I point these things out here because I am utterly amazed at how many young progressives are ignorant of the GOP antics of the 1990s.)
  • Supports Senator David “Diaper Dave” Vitter, in spite of his involvement with prostitutes.
  • Endorsed by the House Conservatives Fund, who are also endorsing Adrian Smith (NE-03), Bill Sali (ID-01), David Davis (TN-01), Doug Lamborn (CO-5), Jim Jordan (OH-04), Michelle Bachmann (MN-06), Peter Roskam (IL-06) Tim Walberg (MI-07), Vern Buchanan (FL-13), and Jim Ryun (KS-02).
  • There are numerous “whispers” floating around Scalise, the sort of stuff that sounds like it comes right out of a Karl Rove-operated campaign. We cannot confirm any of these sorts of allegations at the present time, so we will not dignify them here. No doubt his Republican opponents will pull out those guns before the 3-March closed primary.

    Rebuilding Louisiana: Gilda Reed 24-Hour Online Fundraiser

    Help us support Kossack Candidate Gilda Reed for Congress in Louisiana's 1st District! She's running in a special election to fill the seat vacated by Bobby Jindal. We'll be posting diaries about Gilda for the next 24 hours to raise support and bring attention to her candidacy. Please join us and learn more about this great Democratic candidate!

    Donate to Gilda securely via ActBlue.

    Pony Party: A Very Merry Unbirthday!

         To me! To me! Now that we all have the theme song from the Mad Hatter’s Unbirthday Party stuck in our heads, you’ll be happy to hear that there’s at least a good reason for it.  Because actually, today really is my birthday. Yes, it’s true — I’m 27 years old. Awww, quit yer snickerin’! Just because I was already 27 once before doesn’t mean I can’t do it again. It was a fun year, and if something is good the first time, what’s the harm in revisiting the good old (but not that old!) days? It’s like an instant replay in sports – only better, because there are no sports involved.  

    Okay, now, you’re probably breaking out in a cold sweat just thinking – OMG, A GIFT, I DON’T HAVE A GIFT!!!! No worries!  Just put those platinum cards away! Really, there’s no need to get me a gift. I can’t even think of anything [Aston Martin] I want [Jimmy Choo] or need [Louis Vuitton].

    Just kidding! Honestly, I don’t need a single thing. I’m allergic to jewelry (for real!). My car is paid for (and it’ll be celebrating its 21st birthday this summer, so you can buy it a drink then). All my clothes come from vintage stores – known elsewhere as “thrift” shops, but hey, it’s Hollywood – land of embellishment, what do you expect?) And I don’t smoke, drink or do drugs (just high on life!).

            So … aside from being overqualified for the Most Boring Person Ever award, I’m also impossible to buy anything for. But since it’s the thought that counts (right, and this would be on what planet?) here’s a chance to think about giving a virtual gift that probably won’t be forgotten anytime soon. Just visit this week’s un-sponsor – Bad Gift Emporium (http://www.badgiftemporium.com/)- and go nuts! BGE is what I imagine eBay was like when it first started. A few crummy items that people hoped to unload for a couple of bucks. But like all good Pony Party sponsors, BGE doesn’t take itself too seriously. Some of the descriptions are pretty funny (and some are just weird – or both), like (ta da!)

                           Poker Memories Re-enacted By Frogs.


    “My best friend gave me this when I moved abroad as a memento of our weekly poker games. It is hideous but the gesture was so sweet, I have kept it for the past three years (hidden in the basement, away from public view).”


        Like so many other cherished gifts, this one is available, if the price is right. A word of warning: the BGE website is sluggish, so you might want to just go find a bad gift elsewhere. It’s not like they’re hard to come by!

         Okay, fun’s over (temporarily). Seriously, if anyone is feeling the least little bit generous, I highly recommend making a donation (no such thing as too small) by clicking on the “Rebuild NOLA” link on the right-hand side of the page . Plus, there’s great information on why and how you can do that in these diaries by kj (https://www.docudharma.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=4154) and Nightprowlkitty (https://www.docudharma.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=4138). (Apologies to any others I overlooked; please add them in the comments.)    

        If you’re not familiar with New Orleans, don’t understand what all the fuss is about or think Feds are doing an outstanding job on that rebuilding deal in the Gulf (that’s the Gulf in this country, not the other one we’re destroying), you might want to spend some time reading what Gentilly Girl (https://www.docudharma.com/userDiary.do?personId=1183) and Louisiana 1976 (https://www.docudharma.com/userDiary.do?personId=1099) have to say about that. (Full disclosure: Former NOLA resident here, best place in the world, imo.)

        Now back to our regularly scheduled nonsense.    

        Okay, the ball’s in your court. The ponies are pawing through six weeks of homework for tonight’s mid-term. Wish us luck, be excellent to each other and don’t forget – there’s the always informative Front Page and a whole bunch of remarkably coherent Recent and Recommended Diaries, where gifting is totally off the table. Enjoy it while you can because most likely I’m going to milk this birthday thing for all it’s worth!  

    Looking Back…

    Here is another look back at the first few months post-Federal Flood here in New Orleans. At the time Betts and I were in SoCal, and the only way for me to “be with” Gentilly was to use an e-list.

    This letter started a movement to build a community association, and ultimately it did. (Just not exactly my version of the dream.)

    The Summer of Our Discontent

    I’m going back and looking at the last few years, and like many others here, I’m bringing back past posts because they are still relevant.

    This is from July of ’06:

    This song has been driving me crazy all night… won’t go away:


    LAND OF CONFUSION- Genesis 1977

    “I must’ve dreamed a thousand dreams

    Been haunted by a million screams

    But I can hear the marching feet

    They’re moving into the street.

    Now did you read the news today

    They say the danger’s gone away

    But I can see the fire’s still alight

    There burning into the night.

    There’s too many men

    Too many people

    Making too many problems

    And not much love to go round

    Can’t you see

    This is a land of confusion.

    This is the world we live in

    And these are the hands we’re given

    Use them and let’s start trying

    To make it a place worth living in.

    Ooh Superman where are you now

    When everything’s gone wrong somehow

    The men of steel, the men of power

    Are losing control by the hour.

    This is the time

    This is the place

    When we look for the future

    But there’s not much love to go round

    Tell me why, this is a land of confusion.

    This is the world we live in

    And these are the hands we’re given

    Use them and let’s start trying

    To make it a place worth living in.

    I remember long ago –

    Ooh when the sun was shining

    Yes and the stars were bright

    We walked through the night

    And the sound of your laughter

    As I held you tight

    So long ago –

    I won’t be coming home tonight

    My generation will put it right

    We’re not just making promises

    That we know, we’ll never keep.

    Too many men

    There’s too many people

    Making too many problems

    And not much love to go round

    Just tell my why

    This is a land of confusion.

    Now this is the world we live in

    And these are the hands we’re given

    Use them and let’s start trying

    To make it a place worth living in.

    This is the world we live in

    And these are the names we’re given

    Stand up and let’s start showing

    Just where our lives are going to.”

    Obama in NOLA, or, I think I’m joining the cult

    From his speech at Tulane:

    …we know that this city – a city that has always stood for what can be done in this country – has also become a symbol for what we could not do.

    To many Americans, the words “New Orleans” call up images of broken levees; water rushing through the streets; mothers holding babies up to avoid the flood. And worse – the memory of a moment when America’s government failed its citizens. Because when the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast extended their hand for help, help wasn’t there. When people looked up from the rooftops, for too long they saw empty sky. When the winds blew and the floodwaters came, we learned that for all of our wealth and power, something wasn’t right with America.

    We can talk about what happened for a few days in 2005. And we should. We can talk about levees that couldn’t hold; about a FEMA that seemed not just incompetent, but paralyzed and powerless; about a President who only saw the people from the window of an airplane. We can talk about a trust that was broken – the promise that our government will be prepared, will protect us, and will respond in a catastrophe.

    But we also know the broken promises did not start when a storm hit, and they did not end there.

    When President Bush came down to Jackson Square two weeks after the storm, the setting was spectacular and his promises soaring: “We will do what it takes,” he said. “We will stay as long as it takes, to help citizens rebuild their communities and their lives.” But over two years later, those words have been caught in a tangle of half-measures, half-hearted leadership, and red tape.

    Yes, parts of New Orleans are coming back to life. But we also know that over 25,000 families are still living in small trailers; that thousands of homes sit empty and condemned; and that schools and hospitals and firehouses are shuttered. We know that even though the street cars run, there are fewer passengers; that even though the parades sound their joyful noise, there is too much violence in the shadows.

    To confront these challenges we have to understand that Katrina may have battered these shores – but it also exposed silent storms that have ravaged parts of this city and our country for far too long. The storms of poverty and joblessness; inequality and injustice.

    Well now… THAT is what I needed to hear.

    The Glitter! The Gold! The Glitz!


    warning: high graphic content

    Photobucket         Photobucket

    Blue     Photobucket


    Politico Stole Two Elections

    Note: Originally I’d planned on posting this Friday, but the library was closed due to bad weather. But it’s still current…

    Below the fold is how Politico screwed Katrina/Rita/flood survivors in Louisiana and Mississippi, and their supporters, out of having a question relevant to their plight asked during last Wednesday’s and Thursday’s debates.

    On Saturday, Jan. 26, on Daily Kos, I diaried a way, per colorofchange.org, to vote on Politico for the following debate question:

    Two years after Katrina and Rita and Gulf Coast schools, hospitals, police stations, roads and flood protection still lie in ruins, keeping displaced residents from returning and communities from recovering. Will you support H.R. 4048, the Gulf Coast Civic Works Act, as President to rebuild community infrastructure and create job and training opportunities for residents?


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