This is no ham sandwich

As the saying goes, a good prosecutor can persuade a Grand Jury to indict a ham sandwich.

NY Daily NewsIn this case however , an Orange County, CA Grand Jury returned a true bill in a 44-count indictment of Democrat super-donor and self-described “best friend” of Nancy Pelosi, Kareem Ahmed.

He was named as the “ringleader” in a conspiracy involving a multimillion dollar scheme to defraud the workers compensation system.  The sealed court documents  obtained by KPCC 89.3 public radio also named Ahmed on charges of involuntary manslaughter of a minor.

Kareem Ahmed’s largest contribution of 2012 …. went to the effort to re-elect President Barack Obama in his race against Republican challenger Mitt Romney. Between February and March of 2012 he gave $1 million to “Priorities USA Action,” the Progressive super PAC founded by Obama White House aides Bill Burton and Sean Sweeny


Paul Winters, at Dignitas News has the story.  READ IT ALL !!

The Blues is Alright

I grew up in Jackson, MS aka the Crossroads of the South, the home of MALACO Records and their homegrown label, Chimneyville Records.

King Floyd’s “Groove Me” was a huge hit for the label in the early 70’s, and it was kind of cool to know that R&B hits were recorded just down the street, and even cooler to say one of your friends played background horns for King Floyd, or Jean Knight’s “Mister Big Stuff”, Little Milton’s “The Blues is Alright”, and my personal favorite — any of a half dozen tunes from ZZ Hill including this nugget “Someone Else Been Stepping In.”

The magic behind Malaco, the “Creole Beethoven”,  passed away almost two years ago. RIP Wardell. You made a difference

It’s Championship Night!!!

UK v KU in the Supe for the 2012 championship. Who you got?

In case your tv fritz’s out, here is a link to the game

Wash us away

A lot of terms are floating around in reports of the Mississippi River flood — Bonnet Carre Spillway, Morganza Spillway, Old River Control Structure, river stages, flood gauges, crests, and the floods of 1927 and ’37.

What does it all mean, exactly?

The Mississippi River, normally one-half mile wide at Memphis, is now nearly 3 miles wide. As the River continues setting record crests along a swollen path of watery destruction, many have begun to ask, “Is this the Big One that makes New Orleans a Backwater?

2011 Flood photo essay from Natchez Democrat

Corps using the entire arsenal to fight the flood.

LSU Football Player’s Inspiring Story

I received this story in an email from one of my LSU alumni relatives. It was posted on one of their fan boards.

With the 2010 football season rapidly approaching(19 days and counting), I thought this story would be a good read for football fans and non-football types, as well.

This weekend I got to visit with a good friend from Slidell. She is a Chemistry teacher at Slidell High where Armand Williams is from. Armand was raised in New Orleans East. He and his mom lost everything in Katrina so they moved to Slidell to start over. She was telling me that Armand was one of her best students that sat in the front of class, paid attention and always did his assignments, just a top notch kid.

During the football season for Slidell she noticed that Armand went from being a leader in the class to sleeping through classes. He went from making top grades to average grades. Like any good teacher would do she went to him and asked him what in the world was going on with him. He let her know that he and his mom were homeless and living in his mom’s car. She didn’t have a job and didn’t have the money for food so when he ate his free lunch at school that was the only meal of the day for him. Here is this 6’-3” football player that was sleeping in the back seat of a car with his mom, trying to do well enough in football to get a scholarship, trying to keep up his grades. All on just one school lunch every day.

Right then she gave him her cell and her husband’s cell and said “I want you to call me or my husband every day after you get done with football. We’ll come pick you up from school, you’ll eat dinner with my family and after that you’ll do homework with my kids.” Armand did just as she asked and he went right back to getting great grades and paying attention in class. She also worked with his mom to get her reestablished in a home so Williams could have a place to stay. One night after doing homework and eating with her family they dropped off Armand where his mother was living. Just minutes after dropping him off at his mom’s place they got a call. His mom left a note on the door saying she was leaving and that he was on his own, he needed to find a place to live. From there on he lived with my friend’s family. He had a stable home and as much food as he wanted.

As most of you know Armand wasn’t an instate player that LSU really showed a lot of interest in. His senior year Slidell had a very young QB that wasn’t the best passer, so the only way that they could get him the ball consistently was by WR screens. He didn’t have outstanding stats or the best highlight tape so a lot of top teams didn’t really know what he could do. So he committed to Arkansas who gave him the best offer that he had.

After the season he went to Emfinger’s All-Star game in Texas. He got a chance to play with a good QB and lit it up. He finished the game with over 200 yards receiving and won MVP of the game. Luckily Coach Gonzales was there and saw what this kid could do with a good QB. He called Miles and told him that LSU had to offer him a scholarship and asked why they weren’t recruiting him already. Shortly after he earned an LSU offer and quickly committed.

A few days after reporting to LSU for the summer Armand called my friend and was in a full panic. Apparently Slidell High didn’t process his transcript papers correctly so he was going to have to leave school if he couldn’t produce a sealed and signed (by the high school principal) copy of his transcripts. Luckily she was able to get a copy the same day and bring it to LSU.

While there she wanted to check on how he was doing with football and see if there was anything she could do to help Williams. When she got to the ops center she found Coach Gonzales and he brought her to Miles’ office where she got to meet with the offensive staff. Miles was the first to greet her, he got out of his chair and gave her a hug and told her, “Welcome to the LSU family, we don’t shake hands here. Thank you for all you’ve done, I know it wasn’t easy but it is appreciated.” They let her know that they are going to play Armand on special teams this year and they wanted him to get up to 220 lbs (he’s not that far off from that now) so that he could be ready to try to fill in where Rueben Randle is playing now in 2011.

While saying goodbye to the coaches Miles told her that he looked forward to seeing her in the family section at the LSU games. She told him that she had never been to an LSU game before because she’d rather watch the game in HD at home and avoid the crowds. Miles told her “You are Armand’s family. You are in the LSU family. If you are really concerned about him doing well and about LSU doing well we need to be able to look up from the field and see those who support us. I can’t wait to meet the rest of your family after our first home game this year.” Needless to say she promised that they would go to all the home games.

I just thought it was a cool story. In one year’s time this kid is going from living in a car and only eating one meal a day to earning a scholarship at LSU, getting good grades in summer school, and in about a month and a half he’ll be running out of the tunnel in Tiger Stadium in front of 92,000. He just needed a lot of food, a place to call home and family support. I’m glad he’s at LSU.

Such a great story of good people helping a good kid facing a rough time.

I sincerely hope Armand will take full advantage of the opportunity that has been presented to him. We so often hear of young men on athletic scholarships that behave badly or don’t take advantage of their opportunities.

Having faced adversity at such a young age, I think this young man will have a level of experience and maturity most of his teammates can’t comprehend.

Below is a video of this young man playing football. I like the way he conducts himself and how he courteously gives the ball to the referee after scoring, instead of acting like so many do…idiotic.

French Quarter Beatdown

Allee Bautsch, a Bobby Jindal fundraiser, and her boyfriend Joe Brown were assaulted in the French Quarter Friday night for “wearing a Palin button,” according to a story pieced together by the Louisiana news blog The Hayride.

The Hayride confirmed from a visitor with Allee Bautsch … “in the hospital Saturday morning that she and Brown were followed and attacked expressly because they had Palin pins on (she heard one of the attackers say “Let’s get them, they have Palin pins on”) – so the attack WAS politically motivated as its victims understood it. It was not a mugging, it was not an argument gone wrong and it was not a bar fight.”

A few days ago, following the MSM narrative, Cokie Roberts compared the rhetoric of Tea Partiers to the first shots in the War Between the States at Ft. Sumter. I’ll be interested in reading her response to this politically motivated assault which occurred in her home state. Hope we won’t have to wait too long.

h/t Kristinn (FR)

8.8 Quake rocks Chile

Excellent photo essay from LA Times.

Hurricane Who Dat!

With 3:24 left, Saints defensive back Tracy Porter returned a Peyton Manning pass for 76 yards to give the New Orleans Saints a two-touchdown margin in Super Bowl XLIV.

More from AP

About that last Favre interception

Update for State fans:
State falls to vandy, Jarvis just 27 blocks away from the record, and the NCAA still sucks. Full story at VZille …

A possible explanation for Brett Favre’s inexplicable, 4th quarter interception in the NFC Championship Game, which aborted a game winning Vikings drive … from Rick Cleveland’s blog

For all those who have criticized Favre for throwing instead of running on that last play against the Saints, check out Brett’s left ankle and his right hamstring.

Dang, son. That’s UGLY.

100 million bushels of corn lost to snow

Update: USDA releases report.

“Heavy snow in parts of the Midwest could cause as much as 100 million bushels of the 2009 corn crop to be lost. According to analysts in several Corn Belt states, a significant number of acres were yet to be harvested when snow came in December. Now, with the storm that struck the first week of January adding more snow, a lot of the corn still in the field will be there for the rest of the winter. It likely won’t be harvested until spring and significant yield loss will occur.” (source)

The USDA releases its annual crop production summary estimates for 2009 January 12, 2010.

See also: 2010 Food Crisis

UPDATE: This article from The Guardian says “Food prices to soar” as the effects of the Big Freeze become evident.

Monday links

Here are a few stories of interest this morning …

Remember Jeremiah Wright and the Trinity Church in Chicago?  Of course, who can forget “G-D America.” Paul Ibrahim, writing at North Star describes his recent visit to Trinity Church. Here is an excerpt:

As a Christian, I was stunned that a Christian pastor was partitioning me from those sitting immediately next to me based on nothing but our skin colors. I suddenly felt unwelcome. And at the conclusion of Parker’s speech, I had no choice but to quietly leave.


Gregg Harper, freshman congressman from Mississippi, has (along with 9 others) co-sponsored a bill to exempt residents of Washington DC from income tax. It’s called “The no taxation without representation act.”

(From Pike County Times)

So, if I’m reading this right, DC lobbyists will not have to pay income taxes? C’mon Gregg! K Street must love this bill, but it sure won’t fly on Main Street.


Finally, here is a story about a creepy sounding disease that has been flying under the radar, called morgellons … As is you didn’t have enough to worry about …

Morgellons is a terrifying disease reaching pandemic status. Yet because the symptoms of the disease are so bizarre, people who have it tend to withdraw and become isolated from society. With mysterious fibers and parasites coming through lesions in their skin, Morgellons sufferers often live in fear. As a result there is no pressure on the medical establishment to become educated about the disease, and most practitioners continue to view it as isolated instances of delusional parasitosis..

Weekend Roundup

Senator Gravitas linkage:

1) An American Expat in SE Asia opines .

2) Howard Kurtz on Anonymous Sources .

3) Haroon Saddikki on Senator G’s heritage.

4) SF Chronicle takes issue with using Senator G’s middle name.

5) IBA quotes Sen G’s remembrance of the muslm ‘call to prayer’.

6) Senator Gravitas himself defends his “Christian Religion.

More……. I went to Walmart today and finished replacing all of the food items that the Mrs. and I donated to the food bank last month. Got to watch those expiration dates on the food items.

I also got a couple of solar-powered lanterns for $15 ea. I haven’t seen those before. I’ve been looking for a battery charger with a hand-crank to put in my emergency kit, and one that will charge a cell phone, but I haven’t found one yet. Might check e-bay.

The DHS recommends that every household maintain food and water for a week’s worth of self-sufficiency. I really can’t figure why anyone would have any less than that. Katrina’s aftermath kind of changed my thinking on doing more than just thinking about self-sufficiency, and actually doing the necessary things to fend for ourselves.

Interestingly enough, DHS has recommended that hospitals maintain sufficient supplies of food, water and meds to fend for themselves for up to 90 days. Ninety days! I dare say very few hospitals have enough storage space to keep that much food, water, and generator fuel on hand. In this day of “just in time” inventory management, it is asking a lot for our community hospitals to allocate resources to purchase that quantity of supplies. By the same token, I can’t imagine why the government would ask them to do so if there weren’t a real probability of the day coming when this type of preparation would be necessary. I told Mrs. Nuke that if 90 days was good enough for the hospital, it was good enough for us too.

My bro-in-law gave me a food dehydrator that he had in storage. I’m going to try my hand at making jerky next week. Maybe some banana chips, too. Any of y’all ever used one of these thingamajigs before?

Friday Nite Video, Open Thread, Linkfest, and WFFOT

A couple of days in New Orleans.

A friend of mine was saying to me on the elevator this morning, “It’s a nice place to visit, but I’m ready to go home.”

I said, “No. It’s not even a nice place to visit anymore.”

Sure is good to be back home.

Here’s a nice old video for your WFFOT pleasure. Links, trackbacks, comments, etc. are welcome.

This is the World Famous Friday Open Thread.

WFFOT: Just because.


Linkfest Haven, the Blogger's Oasis

Trackposted to guerrilla radio, 123beta, Right Truth, Leaning Straight Up, Cao’s Blog, Big Dog’s Weblog, The Pet Haven, Conservative Cat, Adeline and Hazel, The Crazy Rants of Samantha Burns, The World According to Carl, Pirate’s Cove, The Pink Flamingo, Celebrity Smack, Wolf Pangloss, Dumb Ox Daily News, A Newt One, CORSARI D’ITALIA, Right Voices, and The Yankee Sailor, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

LSU – Ohio State: Redemption and validation


NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Redemption and validation.

sec.jpgTop-ranked Ohio State enters the BCS national championship game against LSU searching for redemption, hoping to bury the memories of an embarrassing loss in last year’s title game.

“As much as you try to forget about it, there’s no way of forgetting about it,” Ohio State fullback Dionte Johnson said. “I can close my eyes and go through that game like I’m still there.”

The second-ranked Tigers come into Monday night’s showdown at the Superdome looking for validation, trying to prove they were indeed the team most deserving of a chance to play the Buckeyes for the title.

“I really feel it was our destiny to be here,” LSU receiver Early Doucet said. “For things to go the way they went – us losing to Arkansas, Pittsburgh beating West Virginia and Oklahoma beating Missouri – it all fell into place the way it did and I just think it was meant to be.”

That’s a good theory. How else to explain how two teams that lost their second-to-last games are playing for the national championship?

The winner will become the first school to win two BCS titles since the Bowl Championship Series began in 1998. The Buckeyes won it in 2002, then lost 41-14 to Florida as a prohibitive favorite in last year’s championship game.

LSU won the BCS title in 2003, beating Oklahoma right here in New Orleans, the Tigers’ home 90 miles south of Baton Rouge.

bigten.jpgOhio State (11-1), the Big Ten champions, and LSU (11-2), champs of the Southeastern Conference, have been two of the nation’s elite programs over the past six seasons; the Buckeyes have won 66 games and the Tigers 63.

Yet, there’s been little talk about dynasties or a place in history going into this championship game.

The winner will get a crystal football and the title of BCS national champion, but the debate over which team is truly the best in the country will continue, especially by fans of Southern California and Georgia.

There’s even been speculation about voters in The Associated Press poll choosing one of those other teams as No. 1 after the Buckeyes and Tigers are through. That, however, seems unlikely.

For Ohio State, getting to this point was a surprise on two levels. The Buckeyes started the season ranked 11th, not even considered the best team in the Big Ten.

“We knew we had to step up because we lost so much star power,” said Ohio State quarterback Todd Boeckman, who passed for 2,171 yards and 23 touchdowns as Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith’s replacement.

Led by a stingy defense and a steady offense, powered by bullish running back Chris “Beanie” Wells, the Buckeyes rose to No. 1.

Then Ohio State lost 28-21 to Illinois in November and appeared to be out of the national title race. A string of upsets and surprising results put the Buckeyes back on top, though the skeptics – and there are still plenty – also returned.

None of Ohio State’s opponents were ranked in the top 20 when the Buckeyes played them this season. After last year’s sad showing against the Gators, Ohio State and the Big Ten took a bashing. The Buckeyes were labeled too slow to keep up with the sleek SEC teams.

“I’m not buying that,” Doucet said.

Still, the record does show Ohio State is 0-8 in bowl games against SEC teams.

The Buckeyes say they’ve learned from last year’s debacle. That they’re more focused. They arrived in New Orleans less than a week before the game and have mostly hunkered down in their hotel instead of bopping around Bourbon Street.

“Last year players were enjoying themselves a little too much,” All-America linebacker James Laurinaitis said.

Laurinaitis, defensive end Vernon Gholston and cornerback Malcolm Jenkins anchor the nation’s No. 1 defense, which yields only 11 points and 225 yards per game.

“I watched a lot of film on them and they are a big, fast and tough defense and they can really play well together,” LSU quarterback Matt Flynn said.

When they started the season ranked No. 2, Flynn and the Tigers were squarely among the favorites to reach this game .

How LSU got here, though, was anything but routine. The Tigers are the first team with two losses to play in the BCS title game.

“This team went through some highs and lows and a lot of drama,” LSU coach Les Miles said.

Miles was a leading man in the LSU’s dramatic season, taking some gutsy chances on the field and being publicly courted by Michigan off it.

LSU twice lost when it was ranked No. 1, both times in triple overtime. When the Tigers dropped their second game at home against Arkansas, a shot at the national title seemed lost.

One last wild weekend in an unpredictable college football season gave the Tigers a third chance to be No. 1.

The Tigers say they’re healthier than they’ve been in months. The defense, which was one of the best in the country early in the season, wasn’t as dominant down the stretch when All-America tackle Glenn Dorsey was hampered by knee and tailbone injuries. Flynn missed two games, including the SEC championship, with ankle and shoulder injuries. A groin injury took Doucet out of five games.

With Flynn back at full strength, LSU expects to go back to the two-quarterback system – with Ryan Perrilloux occasionally relieving the starter – that helped the Tigers average 39 points per game.

A potent offense against a dominant defense. Two storied programs meeting for the first time in 20 years.

For all the BCS championship game has to offer, it still almost sounded as if Miles was reminding everyone at his final news conference Sunday that the winner will be crowned national champion.

“I couldn’t think of a better way to end the college season than 1 playing 2 for the right to be 1,” he said.

Redemption or validation will be nice, too.

Thanks, Ralph. Nice piece. OK sports fans. Riddle me this………..

Q: What’s the difference between an Ohio State cheerleader and a catfish?

A: One of them stinks and has whiskers………….and the other one is a fish.



Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans

I miss New Orleans, and I’m not alone.

The Times takes a poignant look at the community, the people, and the spirit of a city that is only a shell of its former self.

…the accounts from people who left New Orleans after the storm, the missing or ruined physical landscape is barely half of it. Even more absent now is the human landscape — the network of friends, relations and acquaintances that often, in New Orleans, helps compensate for fragmentary families and neighborhoods that can be dangerous. Life in the city takes place outside the home as much as inside; now, that would not be possible.

“It’s not New Orleans to me,” said Ms. Shanklin, the retired bus driver in Terrebonne Parish. “And I find myself asking, Where are all the people? I see all the empty houses, and I knew once there was people in all those houses.”

“Where are the people, you know? Where are the people?” Ms. Shanklin said. “It’s like somebody threw a bomb on it.”

My small hometown has grown about 15% since Katrina. Most of the new residents are from New Orleans.

It’s sad.


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