Saturday, September 15, 2007

Total smackdown 

A group of about twenty New Orleans neighborhood activists just had a meeting in D.C. with Gulf Coast Recovery Czar Donald Powell... and they didn't hold back calling him on his bullshit. According to one participant, "it was a total smackdown"-- they aired their frank and brutal criticisms of the federal effort to help rebuild New Orleans, as well as Powell's role in that effort.

[Remember, this is the man who said the Federal Government was committed to building the best levee system in the world for New Orleans. Needless to say, they reneged on that promise-- among many others.]

Thanks to the neighborhood ambassadors from "our part of the world" who personally reminded Powell about the "ground truth" here in New Orleans. Also, big thanks to Friends of New Orleans, who helped make this meeting possible. You'll probably hear more details about this soon from other Nolabloggers who were in attendance.

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Wendy Cortez Yow Ming Ellis does interviews about Vitter 

Detailed interviews.

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Friday, September 14, 2007

Lavender Beans and Ricely Yours 

Link!

(via Americablog)

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Going balls out 

Fellow Pelican BS Alert informed us of a horrible story involving college football rivalries and... well, just read:

According to police, 32-year-old Texas fan Brian Christopher Thomas walked into Henry Hudson's Pub [in Oklahoma City] on June 17 wearing a Longhorns T-shirt and quickly became the focus of football "trash talk" from another regular, 53-year-old Oklahoma fan Allen Michael Beckett.

Thomas told police that when he decided to leave and went to the bar to pay his tab, Beckett grabbed him in the crotch, pulled him to the ground and wouldn't let go, even as bar patrons tried to break it up. When the two men were separated, Thomas looked down and realized the extent of his injuries.

"He could see both of his testicles hanging on the outside of his body," said Thomas' attorney, Carl Hughes. "He was wearing a pair of white shorts, which made it that much worse."

It took more than 60 stitches to close the wound, and police interviewed Thomas at a nearby hospital emergency room.

Surprisingly, during a moment of silence for 9/11, the President quietly signalled his solidarity with the de-testicled Texan by making a subtle, "hook'em horns" hand signal:


The second part's a joke.

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Mistaken identity? 

From Ashley, and Ashley's wife Soviet Block, we learn of this Radar investigation into the "Diaper rumors" surrounding Vitter. Radar interviewed both Wendy Cortez and Jeanette Maier (the D.C. Madam) about the issue:

Cortez tells Radar that Vitter never wore any diapers during their sexual transgressions, which she says occurred two to three times a week over a four-month period in 1999.

"That story referred to another client of [mine] and was later misconstrued by reporters and bloggers," Cortez explained. She also added that Vitter was always "very clean" during intercourse.

Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the accused "D.C. Madam," also doesn't recall any diaper-related indiscretions from Vitter. "I have no knowledge whatsoever of what activities Sen. Vitter did or did not engage in while a client of my service," she tells us.

Clearly it's a case of mistaken Johns. But will Vitter ever be anything but the butt of jokes? Will he be able to clear his soiled name? Depends.

Cortez says "the story" referred to another client of hers, not Vitty. My sources on this "story" trace directly to Jeanette Maier's Canal Street brothel-- not to D.C. or to the French Quarter. But it does seem doubtful that Vitty would have a fetish for the dipeys while he patronized the Canal St brothel in the early/mid 90's, and then lose it years later when he met with prostitutes in the French Quarter and in D.C.. So, Cortez has definitely raised serious doubts about the diaper detail in my report. Initially, the story broke online at YRHT. However, Noladishu first discussed the "rumors" about Vitter's "sick, sick fetish stuff" earlier the same day. The important thing of course, is not how Vitty was dressed, but that he was indeed patronizing brothels in New Orleans-- something he denied in his apology.

If Vitter respected his prostitute enough to be "very clean" during intercourse, why won't he "come clean" to Louisianans, and stop lying to them?

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"This thing about New Orleans is not just politics to me." 

This casual Friday, YRHT analysts are keeping tabs on two recent Chris Cooper stories in the WSJ about John Edwards:

Wall Street Journal (8/17/07):

As a presidential candidate, Democrat John Edwards has regularly attacked subprime lenders, particularly those that have filed foreclosure suits against victims of Hurricane Katrina. But as an investor, Mr. Edwards has ties to lenders foreclosing on Katrina victims.
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Asked about the matter, Mr. Edwards yesterday pledged that he would personally provide financial assistance to New Orleanians who are facing foreclosure by [firms linked to Edwards' portfolio] or have lost their homes already. "I intend to help these people," the former North Carolina senator said.

He also promised to cleanse his portfolio of any investments that may be profiting from their losses


Wall Street Journal (9/14/07)

Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, whose personal investments have been linked to foreclosure suits filed against three dozen victims of Hurricane Katrina, has helped set up a charitable organization to help the homeowners.

His campaign said Mr. Edwards had also redirected the investments, a $16 million stake in Fortress Investment Group LLC, within the private-equity company to ensure they no longer had ties to its subprime-mortgage businesses.

The Louisiana Home Rescue Fund will be seeded with $100,000 -- much of which will come from Mr. Edwards's own pocket, the campaign said, without specifying an amount.
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"I have to do something to help these people," [Edwards said on Aug 17th]. "This thing about New Orleans is not just politics to me."


Alright. Good on ya, John. I'll throw you a little sugar for taking care of that.

Observe Edwards' video response to the President's renewed commitment to our endless, , expensive, "enduring", open-ended commitment to Iraq's "security".



Now that's how you read a text into a camera. (Seriously.)

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Everyday, everyday I write the blog... 

Well, almost every day. And often I just excerpt or link to texts written by other people.

For example, today we learn from Agitprop that Senator Vitter had been selected "Theocrat of the Week" earlier this summer. Agitprop also notes that Vitter, a proud Church lector, practiced safe sex during his countless liaisons with prostitutes from around the country. (Except for, perhaps, that one time.) It is unclear how many Spermatazoan-Americans were terminated due to Vitter's un-Catholic practices-- millions? billions?

One wonders: why didn't Vitter listen to the "abstinence only" education programs he foists on the 30 and under crowd, with the aim of teaching them, in Vitter's words, "important lessons about health and character"? Also, why does Vitter discourage federal funds towards programs that educate young folks about contraception and birth control? I guess it's because teenagers are hormone-crazed, and their sex drives can impair their judgment. And that can lead to mistakes with repurcussions that last a lifetime.
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Update: Pam Spaulding reminds Fathers and Daughters that "Purity Ball" season has arrived. I hear those balls are always bouncing... what wonderful fun... not to mention the seafood cocktail, crabs and crawfish.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Two links + bonus rant 

1. Vote for Lara-- her New Orleans video is the best of the four. Please take my word on this.

2. A dim Texan with a smelly tie wants to fight Osama Bin Laden "to the death" at the park by Lufkin City Hall. Go get em, Hoss! I think most Americans feel the same way. They'd like to personally throttle OBL, and I daresay most of us would brave the trip to Burnt Scrotum, Waziristan (or wherever he is) to personally kick that spindly diabetic bitch's ass.

But that's the whole point. After 9/11, average American citizens shouldn't feel as if they must become traveling duellists or citizen bounty-hunters so that proper justice can be meted out to extremist leaders who murdered 3000 of our own.

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[Alright. That set me off. Commence Iraq rant in 3...2...1...]

Today, the White House renewed Bush's vow to get OBL, as Bush had done shortly after 9/11. But a funny thing happened after Bush made that vow-- a few months after the U.S. went into Afghanistan in late 2001, Bush sent Special Forces from Afghanistan to Kuwait (and Iraq). Around the same time, Bush began repeatedly saying he wasn't "truly concerned" about Bin Laden. Then, last year, Bush reiterated his position that hunting Bin Laden down with lots of Special Forces is "not a top priority use of American resources". Hmm

And now in 2007 we get White House Spokesmen Tony Snow cautioning us that the war on terror is "bigger than one person". Yes, no kidding, and thanks for the nice straw man! Hey Snow, do you know what else is "bigger than one person" (i.e. Saddam)? This fantastical democracy-building experiment in Iraq!!

Here are the real questions Snow should answer:

If the war on terror is "bigger than one person", why is the apparent American Resolve For Justice after 9/11 smaller than one man (OBL)?

Why is capturing Bin Laden and Zawahiri a question of American resources instead of American commitment? And why do supporters of our fantastical nation-building quest in Iraq argue just the opposite (it's a matter of commitment, not of resources)? In short, mere months after those towers collapsed, why was it a bigger national priority to bring Saddam Hussein to justice rather than Osama bin Laden? Why did we move heaven and Earth to go after Hussein, but we didn't move heaven and earth to go after OBL?

What are we to tell family members of the incinerated and crushed innocents of 9/11?

Sorry, folks! The thing is, Iraq had "better targets" than Afghanistan. And oil. Plus, Saddam tried to kill Dubya's daddy... so, that's why we focused on Iraq-- and hey, look: We successfully invaded a country and scoured it for a bad man named Saddam, who we found hiding in a hole. We made sure he received the justice he deserved. Hurray! But, see, we can't do that with Osama in Waziristan. It wouldn't be a good use of America's "resources". After all, we have to attend to our endless trillion dollar commitment in Iraq.
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"Slowly digested over a thousand years" 

More on the Vitter scandal from today's Times Picayune:


Adult magazine publisher Larry Flynt brought the prostitute who claims to have had an affair with U.S. Sen. David Vitter before the media on Tuesday and called on Vitter to resign the seat he won by campaigning on a platform of conservative values.
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Flynt, publisher of Hustler magazine and occasional political rabble rouser, ignited the prostitution scandal this summer when he uncovered Vitter's phone number in the records of an escort service based in Washington.

Shortly after that, [Wendy] Ellis spoke to the Times-Picayune about her trysts with Vitter in New Orleans. She since has sold her story to Flynt for an undisclosed amount, and it will appear in Hustler along with revealing photographs later this year.

"She looks damn good for her age," Flynt said of Ellis, who is 34. He said he also is helping her with a book deal.

"Damn good for her age"? Chreebus, Flynt! Where does he get off saying... I mean, I know he's made millions peddling barely-- but hasn't he seen Gina Gershon?-- anyway, the point is that the press conference scene looked like, well it reminded me of-- aw hell just see for yourselves:



Feel free to "Build a Joke" in the comments. Here's some materials:

Pictured above are Larry Flynt and Wendy Ellis, and on the right are Jabba the Hutt and Princess Leia Organa. Wendy's stage name, of course, was "Leah". And don't forget that Britney Spears is showing it for free in the news again and she's now about the same age Carrie Fisher was in '83, and Ellis was in '99, but don't say Britney's fat because she's not... yadda yadda. Also, big extra points if you can somehow work in "Vitter" and "frozen carbonite", or, as always, "bantha fodder".

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Adrastos correctly points out that Vitty had a very expensive habit. Add in the trips to strip clubs, plus the Canal St. and D.C. Madam's allegations and... I wouldn't be surprised if our junior Senator had spent over $100k on his "adult" fantasies over the years.


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Credit Rio Francis of the AP and George Lucas for the photos.

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*title reference
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Update: More Britney commentary found here.


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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Cortez: "I want Vitter to apologize to everybody he's lied to" 

The Hill:

“I don’t want him to apologize to me. I want him to apologize to everybody that he’s lied to,” [Wendy] Cortez said. She referred to Vitter’s wife, also named Wendy, who famously said she would emulate scorned wife Lorena Bobbitt if Vitter were ever unfaithful.


KATC:
Analysts said the political future of U.S. Sen. David Vitter again was thrown into question Tuesday after a former New Orleans prostitute vouched in person that the senator was one of her former clients.

"It's just a continuous drip of information, allegations, contradictions that are beyond his control," said Silas Lee, a New Orleans political analyst. "The question is what's the tolerance of voters."
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His survival has become "definitely more complicated," said Elliott Stonecipher, a Shreveport political analyst.

With Republicans reeling, they will take measures to save the GOP's image and keep the sex scandals from tainting the rest of the party, Stonecipher said. "Vitter could become the guy the party throws under the bus to keep the discussion where it is."


Times Picayune:

A woman who once worked as a prostitute in New Orleans said Tuesday that Senator David Vitter had sex with her several times a week from July to November 1999, shortly after he was elected to Congress.

Wendy Yow Ellis said she met Vitter through an escort service and saw him two to three times a week in an apartment at Dauphine and Dumaine streets in the French Quarter. Vitter was elected to the U.S. House in May 1999 and sworn in to office June 8.

At first, Ellis said, he knew her only by her stage name: Leah.

Ellis said the affair ended "abruptly" when she gave him her real name. She shares a first name with his wife, Wendy Baldwin Vitter.


New Orleans 99.5fm:

Wendy Ellis, appeared at a news conference called by Hustler Magazine publisher, Larry Flynt, who paid for her trip to California, a lie detector test and her story which will be published in his magazine early next year.

See the lie detector test results by clicking here. (PDF File)
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Ellis said that she came forward because she felt that Vitter, in effect called her a "liar," by saying the reports about his alleged activities in New Orleans were not true.


FOX News:

A former New Orleans prostitute who will be featured in Larry Flynt's Hustler magazine appeared at his office Tuesday to accuse Sen. David Vitter of having a sexual relationship with her in 1999.
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Flynt produced parts of an Aug. 22 polygraph test that he said confirmed her account, but Ellis could provide no financial records, photographs or other evidence to support her assertion that the Louisiana Republican was a client during that time.

Vitter has denied those claims.


WWL 870am:

"I met him through an escort service," said Cortez, whose real name is Wendy Ellis-Yow. "It was purely a sexual relationship."

"He would come into the entertainment club where I worked at, and it ended very abruptly."

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9/11/07 

The Bush administration was never more focused, coordinated or persistent than when it was connecting its argument for war in Iraq to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. They were tremendously successful in misleading an entire nation about Saddam, WMD's and 9/11. Unfortunately, when it came to liquidating Bin Laden, securing Afghanistan , nationbuilding Iraq, and rebuilding the Gulf Coast... this same level of focus, coordination and persistence was absent.

So on it goes. Al Qaeda has "reconstituted its core structure" in Waziristan, and Osama bin Laden is releasing "new makeover" videos... yet the debate in Washington on 9/11/07 is about preserving our escalated occupation effort in the Iraq morass.

I guess we should review what Louisiana's junior Senator said last year about the Trillion Dollar War in Iraq, and compare it to more recent comments:

9/12/06:

[Sen. Vitter] called the next four to six months critical to determining whether the fragile government, which has been beset with ethnic squabbles, will survive.
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Vitter said he was encouraged by a U.S. military-led campaign to quell the mounting violence in Baghdad, where murders reached an all-time high of 1,800 in July. He said anecdotal evidence suggested that the violence had dropped markedly.


9/11/07 TP:

Like most other Republicans, Vitter hailed the downturn in violence in Iraq's most troublesome quarters. While he expressed concerns over the pace of political progress, he said in a Senate floor statement Monday that he was encouraged that representatives of the three main tribal factions -- Kurd, Shia and Sunni -- had recently issued a joint statement about the nation's goals.

"I saw firsthand in Iraq something that is talked about quite openly, that is the challenge of matching political progress to the progress we are having in the military plan," Vitter said. "I met with both the Shia and Sunni vice presidents and saw firsthand the unfortunate lack of political progress. But there has been progress on this front since we came home."


Also, in addition to avoiding debate forums, Jindal continues to avoid the Iraq issue . Very sad. The TP reports:

Despite the all-day airing [of Gen. Petraeus' Iraq Surge progress report], Rep. Bobby Jindal, R-Kenner, declined to express an opinion. Support for the war has eroded dramatically over the past year and Jindal, polling first in the Louisiana governor's race, avoided taking a stand on the issue.

"Bobby looks forward to hearing Gen. Petraeus' continued testimony. Bobby continues to believe that it is important that we listen to the commanders on the ground guiding our troops -- instead of politicians -- when deciding the next steps in Iraq," according to Jindal spokesman Trey Williams.


Here are YRHT's previous "9/11" posts: The question I asked in my 2004 post still applies. My 2005 post is a version of an essay that was printed in the 9/11/05 Daytona Beach News Journal, describing my family's Katrina evacuation. The 2006 post is my personal "9/11" story, and a heartbreaking link at the Cunning Realist.

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Update: Via Kos, here's a clip of Sen. Feingold during the Iraq hearings.



Amen.

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Royal Alexander is an artless dunce 

The Times Pic has a front page story about an email from Royal Alexander to some members of the Louisiana Assoc. of Ambulatory Healthcare, who were concerned about upcoming Medicare/Medicaid rate cuts.

Republican attorney general candidate Royal Alexander offered to lobby federal officials for industry-friendly action in exchange for campaign contributions, according to copies of e-mail messages obtained by The Times-Picayune and confirmed by several recipients.
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Louisiana's campaign finance law states: "No person shall knowingly coerce or attempt to coerce another person to give or withhold a contribution."
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"I am willing to reach out to my D.C. staffer friends very quickly," Alexander wrote the men. "However... [I am running for Attorney General right now. And I am extremely busy.] So, in return for the precious time I am going to take away from my campaign for Attorney General to assist you, I am going to ask you to make a substantial financial contribution to my campaign."
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"I don't have time to waste on projects for people who don't care about helping me."


Before running for Atty General, Royal Alexander worked for Rep. Rodney Alexander (no relation), who is possibly the dumbest official in the state, if not the country. Royal and Rodney's handling of the Mark Foley emails was hideously inept, yet Royal was "very proud" of the job they did. Senator Vitter was also "proud" of how Rodney handled the matter. High praise ,indeed.

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Update: More on Royal at the Daily Kingfish.

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T-P previews press conference details 

There's a number of interesting details in the Times Picayune story about the upcoming press conference with Larry Flynt and Wendy Cortez about Senator Vitter:

Magazine publisher Larry Flynt paid for the [former prostitute] to take the polygraph test, and he plans to hold a news conference with her at his Beverly Hills office today to unveil the results and challenge the senator to submit to a polygraph.

The woman, Wendy Yow Ellis, claims that she had intercourse with Vitter in a French Quarter apartment at Dauphine and Dumaine streets in 1999, the year the Metairie Republican was elected to Congress.
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[Edward] Gelb, the polygraph expert, asked Ellis whether she had a "sexual relationship" with Vitter through an outfit called the New Orleans Escort Service. He then asked if the relationship continued for at least four months. The polygraph showed there was "no deception intended" in her answers.
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During a phone interview Monday, Ellis said she met regularly with Vitter in the French Quarter apartment and that he paid her through her pimp, Jonathan, whose last name she did not know. She said Vitter met her through the New Orleans Escort Service, not through the madam whose notorious Canal Street brothel was raided by federal agents in 2001.

Although that madam, Jeanette Maier, claimed in interviews that Vitter patronized her brothel and favored a prostitute named Wendy, Ellis said Monday that she has never met Maier.

"Never had, never will, don't care to," she said.

Ellis said she and Vitter had safe sex and that he did not have any unusual proclivities. She said he paid $300 an hour for her services.

"He was a very clean man," Ellis said. "He came in, took a shower, did his business and would leave."
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After [Canal St. Madam Jeanette] Maier and Ellis each claimed Vitter as a client, the senator and his wife held a news conference in which Vitter apologized a second time for the Washington allegations but denied "those New Orleans stories." He did not specify which of the stories he was referring to and made a hasty exit without taking questions from reporters.

Wendy Ellis (aka Wendy Cortez) denies knowing the Canal Street Madam, and says that Vitty didn't have "unusual proclivities". This contradicts recent claims made by the Canal Street Madam, who said that a Wendy Cortez (perhaps a different one) used to work for her, and that she had trouble keeping diapers in stock at the Canal St. brothel in the early to mid 90's when Vitty was a client. Also, Wendy Cortez Ellis claims that, contrary to what her ex-boyfriend told the Times Picayune, there are no photos of her and Vitter together.

And what's the deal with "Jonathan" the pimp, who did all the business transactions with Vitty?

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Monday, September 10, 2007

Press conference will provide details about Vitter and New Orleans prostitute 

Blogenfreude and Medium Jim alerted YRHT headquarters when they heard about this breaking AP report:

A former New Orleans prostitute who says she had an affair with Sen. David Vitter has passed a lie-detector test and will provide details of the four-month relationship at a press conference Tuesday, according to Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt.

Wendy Cortez, whose real name is Wendy Ellis, says she had a sexual relationship with Vitter, R-La., in 1999, when he was a state legislator.

Copies of the results of Cortez's polygraph test, which she took at Flynt's request, will be provided to reporters at the news conference at Flynt's office in Beverly Hills, Calif., Hustler said in a news release Monday.

Vitter spokesman Joel Digrado wouldn't comment on the Flynt news conference. In an e-mail, Digrado said, "Sen. Vitter and his wife have addressed all of this very directly. The senator is focused on important Louisiana priorities like the water resources bill and the Iraq debate."


"Sen. Vitter and his wife have addressed all of this very directly." No, they haven't spoken directly about "all of this"! And leave Wendy (his wife) out of it!

In fact, when Vitter was confronted publicly by The Flaming Liberal about the Wendy Cortez rumors, Vitty said "I think you know that that allegation is absolutely and completely untrue...I have said that on numerous occasions...I'll say that in any forum...Unfortunately, that's just crass Louisiana politics, now that I am running for the Senate. I have made that clear that it is all completely untrue."

Does Vitter stand by his previous denials of the Wendy Cortez rumors while he was running for Senate, and was his recent vague denial of certain "New Orleans stories" a continuation of that effort? Or has the story changed? Doesn't he owe Louisianans an explanation about this pattern of reckless behavior?

As I said in the infamous "Diapers" post (will that be one of the embarrassing "details" tomorrow?)

Don't blame me! I told you that more salacious information about Vitter was going to come out, and you can be sure that this isn't the last of it. The Senator should resign rather than prolong this beating. Years ago, Vitter knew the risks of his past indiscretions, and what they might do to his career and family (and state), yet he (and his wife) decided to press on and run for higher office and hope none of these things would ever surface.


If Goopers get in a tizzy over a gay bathroom tap dance, how are they going to explain their applause and acceptance of a lying whoremonger serial adulterer with weird-ass fetishes?

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Timmeh respekts the authoriteh strukture! 

Timmy Teepell is Rep. Jindal's campaign manager and a risen star in the Republican Party. We'll have more about Timmy and Jindal soon, but for now I wanted to share Timmy's interview with the Home School Legal Defense Association about "home school newlyweds" who choose to "reject usual dating practices". Timmy previously worked with the National Center for Home Education. You may find Teepell's story inspiring (the interviewer's queries are in italics):
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Today we welcome Timmy Teepell who is a home school graduate and currently the executive director of the Madison Project, which is a political fundraising organization. This July, he married his lovely wife Sarah. Congratulations, Timmy! Welcome to the program. Timmy, did you or Sarah ever date, in the traditional sense of that word?

Timmy: No we didn’t. I spent a lot of time with the Parkers, with the family, but there was never a sense between us of chemistry, or a romantic type of interest. We were very good friends, and I think the fact that we were both committed to not dating enabled us to become better friends, because there wasn’t that girl/guy awkwardness that a lot of times pervades relationships/friendships.

Well, obviously at some point in time you did switch to a chemistry that developed between you. What was the point of transition? What happened that changed from a friendship where you were there with the family to a romantic relationship that led to marriage?

Timmy: Well, I went home for three months to study law, and I began thinking about the different friends that I missed, and I realized that I was thinking about Sarah a whole lot more than I was thinking about the other friends that I had left behind. So, I began praying about it and just really felt the Lord leading that she was the one. And the next time I saw her it just seemed like the chemistry was there.

Timmy, thanks so much for being on our program today to talk with us again about your courtship and marriage with Sarah. What kind of principles did you and Sarah follow during your courtship period?

Timmy: Honoring her father, definitely. He laid down some pretty strict principles. He said no physical contact during the courtship period, and then to talk to him before we moved into the engagement period. So I went to him, we started courting in July, and I went to him in January to see if we could move into the engagement period. He said that he thought it would be great, and I waited until February 14th to propose.

How do these principles differ from dating?

Timmy: Dating puts a lot of strain on friendships between girls and guys, because you’re constantly thinking with each girl you meet, “Is this going to be a romantic relationship?” We were able to just keep it focused on friendship and on serving each other, and not focused on your selfish needs and wants. And when we were able to move into a courtship relationship, it was much different than dating because it was all under the authority of her father and honoring the authority structure.
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Update: Jeffrey makes a rather funny and likely prediction about Timmy's "Geek Appeal".

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