For good or ill, the holidays are in full swing. 2019 has been an eventful year for the Gret Stet of Louisiana, Bayou Brief, and little old me. We’ve re-elected our Democratic Governor, the LSU Tigers are poised to win their fourth national championship, the Saints are Super Bowl contenders, and Senator John Neely Kennedy hasn’t said anything crazy for a whole week. I guess he wasn’t pleased about becoming a national laughingstock; more about the man I call Neely later.

After waxing nostalgic in my last column, the snark is back as is the segmented format. It’s not unlike an orange only without the peel. I can, however, promise zest, bitter sarcasm along with some occasional sweetness. I’ll skip the blood orange jokes because I have satsumas on my mind as well as in a bowl on my kitchen counter. Plaquemines Parish satsumas to be precise.

We begin this edition of the 13th Ward Rambler in earnest with some political season’s greetings from Chairman Adam Schiff:


I wrote about the new holiday meme at First Draft so I won’t quote myself but send you there instead. It’s a diabolical plot to have more hits at my other home on the interweb. Humor me.

It’s time to kick things off with a segment whose alternate title could be How Sweet It Is.


As a fanatical Coach O fan, I am thrilled by the Tigers season. They appear to be a team of destiny, which is a thing in football. I am beyond pleased for Ed Orgeron and his guys, especially since the championship game will be played in the Superdome. They must beat Oklahoma first but anyone who bets against LSU will be immediately denounced as TIGER BAIT.

QB Joe Burrow is the leading candidate for the Heisman Trophy. He’ll be the first Tiger to win since Billy Cannon in 1959 and only the second ever. I would be remiss in not posting Cannon’s legendary Halloween run against Ole Miss:

Hopefully, Burrow won’t duplicate Cannon’s post football career as a dentist and convicted felon. I think Joe will dodge the Billy bullet: they make a lot more money in pro football than they did in Cannon’s time with the Houston Oilers, Oakland Raiders, and Kansas City Chiefs.

Joe Burrow’s emergence as the best player in the country has led to a plethora of comparisons. Some say Tom Brady; both men are absurdly handsome in an all-American boy kind of way. I think Burrow’s skills as a passer and runner make him a right-handed Steve Young. I know I’ll get some shit from Saints fans for this since Young played for the San Francisco 49ers. Get over it and move on, y’all.

Speaking of moving on, it’s time to talk politics.

The Second Phoniest Man In American Politics

The first is, of course, Donald J. Trump. It’s hard to top an Insult Comedian with a dead nutria pelt atop his head for sheer phoniness but Louisiana Senator John Neely Kennedy is giving President* Pennywise a run for his money.

I’ve been asked if I ever plan to update my Neelyisms piece. I might but I came to bury Neely today, not praise him. The cornpone, hicking it up act just isn’t funny anymore, especially when it’s in service of defending Trump by spreading lies about the Ukraine affair. The Russians ratfucked our 2016 election, not Ukraine. You’re spreading Russian disinformation, dude. 

Neely has combined his love of publicity with relentless pandering to the dimmer members of the MAGA cult. It’s earned him some well-deserved mockery, especially for the way this well-educated man plays the fool. Louisianans know that Neely is a phony, not a nitwit but it’s not obvious to the national press corps. 

Here’s a Twitter exchange between former Gambit Weekly editors Kevin Allman and Michael Tisserand:

Kevin, who is leaving Louisiana in the broad daylight this week, wrote a scathing piece for the Gambit about our Junior Senator:

Before President Donald Trump’s hero worship of Putin, no American politician would have dared to appear squishy on Russia. Kennedy’s servile parroting of the Ukrainian interferencemyth goes beyond shameless water-carrying for the president. It is, frankly, dark and disturbing. It makes us wonder all the more why he spent that Fourth of July in Moscow.

If Kennedy were a dumbass, his recent actions could be chalked up to political naivete or just plain stupidity. But he is no dummy — far from it — which raises even more troubling questions about him.

Meanwhile, we’ll take the word of U.S. intel agencies over Kremlin propaganda. On the question of 2016 election interference, John Neely Kennedy is full of borscht.

The late, great cartoonist and writer Greg Peters called what I just did “lazy quoting of better writers.” Kevin Allman is going home to Southern California to hang out with his elderly mother and pursue other literary opportunities. He will be missed.

Back to John Neely Kennedy. I’m particularly vexed by his shameless opportunism because I voted for him twice when he was a Democrat. In 2004, when he ran for the Senate as the center/left alternative to Blue Dogs and Diaper Dave, I was a strong supporter. The last line of Some Like It Hot applies here:

Now that I’ve ranted about Neely’s shameless hackery and verbal hickery, let’s close things out on an upbeat note.

Bayou Brief Briefs

In addition to becoming the 13th Ward Rambler on September 5th, I’ve written some pretty darn good stuff for Bayou Brief this year. Is it immodest to pat myself on the pack? Even if it is, a brief recap is in order. It’s the age of braggadocio, after all. Believe me.

Before I was the 13th Ward Rambler, I was the listicle guy:

Louisiana Tunes: The Top 50 Songs About The Gret Stet.

Set In Louisiana: Top 40 Movies 1938-Present.

I also wrote features about New Orleans culturethe end of the NOLA newspaper warthe Zulu conundrum, and Krewe du Vieux. I feel a Sinatra song coming on:

Speaking of Krewe du Vieux, we just had our annual fundraiser at which both the mother krewe and sub-krewes raise money. It’s a dubious cause but it’s ours all ours.

My very own Krewe of Spank is notorious for our Dirty Weiner Drop sideshow-type game. Past targets have included Bobby Jindal, pervy super chef John Besh, creepy real estate developer Sidney (Trashanova) Torres, and David Vitter.

This year’s target was the mendacious minority whip from Metry, Steve Scalise.

I decided to skip the picture with the beer can shoved in Scalise’s big fat bazoo. The Dirty Weiner Drop is not for the faint of heart. If you want to see it, click on this link.

It’s been a great year for Bayou Brief. Lamar has done a tremendous job of creating and maintaining an internet news site loaded with fine reporting and writing. We’re on the map and nobody’s taking us off it, ya heard? Please consider donating some money so we can keep on rocking it.

Finally, all I want for Schiffmas is impeachment with the prospect of some GOP votes in the Senate. This is my last 2019 column in the Last Month Of The Year. See you in 2020.

The last word goes to the Staple Singers and Chris Isaak with a holiday gospel classic: