Government & Politics
 

The Macedonian candidate … and other tales of guile and folly

1. It’s unfortunate my recent Superman column puzzled so many readers, because I don’t know how to make my warnings any clearer or more dire. Perhaps reading this recent news story might help others comprehend the problem. Apparently, former New Orleanian Bo McCalebb is playing basketball for the national team of … Macedonia.

That’s right, our local talent is leading a Southern European country through qualifying rounds for the 2012 Olympics. The story even quotes one of McCalebb’s teammates, who exults: “[McCalebb is] the best guy! He’s Macedonian! He has a passport! He got rid of his American passport!”

No doubt Shaq and Superman are toasting their protégé, as their insidious schemes start to bear fruit.

2. In more hopeful news, Saintsnola alerted me to a tweet from Times-Picayune sportswriter James Varney during coverage of the Saints-Bears game on Sunday. Varney wrote: “New Orleans, surprisingly, still waiting for first same-sex appearance on the Coors Light ‘Kiss-Cam.’ ” (“Surprisingly” is the key word, here.) After banging this drum for nearly a year, I’m gratified to see the issue regain momentum. Saintseester responded to the tweet by claiming she had seen “2 hot babes” lock lips on the kiss cam. Unfortunately, there’s no hard evidence as yet to support her claim, but if I find some — and I plan a thorough search — you can be sure I’ll inspect the footage from every angle to verify its authenticity.

3. Speaking of closely studied footage, I’m already tired of the NFL’s new requirement that officials review every scoring play in every professional football game. I mean, sure, I want accurate rulings during the game as much as the next guy, but the next guy has fallen asleep during all this mandated post-touchdown hoo ha! Rule changes are squeezing the joy out of this game. The period after a touchdown during an NFL game has become one of the most tedious viewing experiences in sports.

Here’s how it plays out: First, a team scores, and the players can’t celebrate too much or else they’ll get a penalty. The fans cheer, but they can’t fully abandon themselves to Dionysian frenzy because the gods in the replay booth might reverse the play. So instead of hugging strangers and dancing in the aisles, fans have to watch the screen for a few minutes, while the replay officials confirm the score. Finally, when they do, the crowd can utter “yay.” Next comes the no-drama extra point followed by a commercial break (though we’re used to those things). Then the game resumes, sort of, with a kickoff. However, since 2011 rule changes moved the kicking tee up five yards, every kickoff results in a touchback or a poor return that should’ve been touched back. Then comes another commercial break which perhaps concludes with an NBC football promo that borrows its melody from Joan Jett’s “I Hate Myself for Loving You”– which pretty much describes my feelings for professional football this year.

I wouldn’t mind as much if all this reviewing ensured fairness. But it doesn’t. For example, during the Saints-Bears game, the replay officials still botched the call on Sproles’ touchdown scamper! He clearly stepped out of bounds at the two-yard line. Whodats didn’t mind because the call was in their favor, but what about next time?

4. Have you seen New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin on the tweeter tubes lately? He’s tearing them up! For example, during the marsh fire on August 30 he tweeted: “Air quality disaster in N.O. First casualty was truth. BS, nothing can be done. During K we used helicopters. Fire boats? Come on leaders.”

Few applauded Nagin’s tweet– but he appeared to be right– because shortly afterwards, helicopters began dropping water on the marsh fire.

Then on September 14 Nagin tweeted as follows: “Every1 talking about escalating crime in 504. Are drug treatment centers funded? # NOPD on streets? Crime stats? Media, where are the facts?”

Wow. Coming from the man who downplayed rising crime in the spring of 2006 in order to get re-elected, that’s pretty rich.

Unabashed, Nagin kept the world informed about his travel itinerary. Our former mayor is very transparent, these days. Nagin’s tweet read: “Just landed in LA. Next up 14 hour flight to Sydney. Not my idea of a good time :)”

I replied to Nagin that he should “say hi” to former Recovery Czar Ed Blakely for us. And sure enough, Nagin is speaking at an emergency conference in Australia with Mr. “Cranes-in-the-Sky” himself.

I’m haunted by the thought that Nagin might’ve found his true leadership niche … on twitter. Ray Nagin on Twitter seems so much more engaged and pro-active than he did while in office. More transparent, too. Perhaps our city’s first “technology mayor” was just too far ahead of his time. He needed social media to catch up with him before he could show his stuff.

5. Clancy Dubos notes the stubborn fact that the $250k loan which radio pundit Garland Robinette took from River Birch owner Fred Heebe occurred between Robinette’s criticisms of the Old Gentilly Landfill and the announcement of the FBI’s investigation into River Birch. However, Gambit commenters responding to his column seem unpersuaded that this chronology in any sense exonerates Robinette from the charge of selling out to Heebe. The vehement reaction to this story still stuns me. I don’t think even Dubos’ column will sway public opinion very far in Robinette’s direction. So it’s difficult to see how Robinette survives or resurrects himself after this. It seems as if public anger won’t be sated until he has to leave his “Think Tank” radio show.

6. This one made me spit out my cereal.

Rep. Jeff Landry

Sunday’s Times Picayune editorial page razzed Rep. Jeff Landry after he got the run-around by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement. Apparently, Landry was angry after waiting in the lobby for 20 minutes before  finally being informed that the officials he came to see weren’t there. So Landry complained that BOEMRE was acting “like the CIA and Gestapo.” The T-P said Landry’s rhetoric was out of line, but here’s their explanation for why: “Equating the CIA with Nazi henchmen is offensive.”

They didn’t chastise Landry for comparing his 20-minute wait to the tactics of Nazi secret police. Instead they seemed most offended because Landry maligned the CIA! As if his statement would’ve been just fine if he hadn’t mentioned them!

Whatever you do, don’t besmirch The Company, even in passing. It’s offensive!!

Certainly, I would’ve taken a different editorial angle. But the T-P’s reasoning behind their “razz” on Landry was pretty funny —  funnier than the entire comics section, in fact (except for Doonesbury). Still, it’s clear that Landry is fond of equations. And if he thinks the CIA and Gestapo are roughly comparable, I wonder what other unconventional equations  are circulating in his head?

Help us report this story     Report an error    
The Lens' donors and partners may be mentioned or have a stake in the stories we cover.
  • http://spacetimecurves.blogspot.com kelley b.

    Connecting the Company to the Gestapo? Aside from their mutual fondness for waterboarding, if they told you about the connections, they’d have to… well…