Saturday, June 14, 2008

Jindal's political demon 

Governor Jindal will appear on Face the Nation tomorrow morning.

He'll probably not be asked about this week's blogosphere boomlet regarding his "exorcism" essay.

Over at Clownhall, Kathryn Jean Lopez defended Jindal with her signature logic:

Can we please not use religion against another candidate this cycle?
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[T]he insinuation appears to be that Jindal is a weirdo. The article that is circulating revolves around an "exorcism" Jindal experienced as an undergraduate at Brown University. While exorcisms should not be tried at home or in your dorm room, it is not breaking news that there is evil in the world. That a young man recognized this while in college is not a scandal.

Totally unrelated CNN news story:

It may be difficult for modern-day Western cultures to fathom, but in Western Kenya, beliefs in ghosts and witches are very real.
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"I believe there is witchcraft and the witches kill," [Paul] Magoma says while building a chapel. His fellow workers concur: Witches exist and can put spells on people.

... At the top of a hill outside Kisii, Joseph Omache practices his craft. Omache is a shaman, or traditional healer. He throws bones and communes with ancestors to help heal physical and spiritual ailments.

"It is very painful when somebody kills another person in the name of witchcraft," he says. "Why couldn't they come to me so that I can perform my herbal potion to identify the real witch so that I can go ahead now to trap him and then we can see what to do?"

Omache says that in his 10 years of studies and decades of practicing, he has never come across a witch.

While witch-hunting should not be tried in a dorm room or without a competent shaman, it is not breaking news that there is evil in the world. That a man like Paul Magoma recognized this while building a chapel is not a scandal.
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When Jindal helped exorcise the demon out of his friend Susan, was it cast into the herd of swine in the Louisiana State Legislature?

Just askin'.

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From the Roman Ritual on Exorcism: "Therefore, I adjure you, profligate dragon, in the name of the spotless Lamb, who has trodden down the asp and the basilisk, and overcome the lion and the dragon, to depart from this [person]."
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Partial list of recent exorcism-related deaths here.
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Credit Hairy Fish Nuts for the idea behind this blog post.

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Friday, June 13, 2008

Rejected Jindal 4 Prez slogans 





All the backbone of Buddy, with added pigment!











Vitty-cent said I couldn't whore my way out of a wet paper bag, and he was right!
















Generation Jindal loves my Imaginary Geek Appeal







Exorcise your inalienable Christian rights!













Like Lenin said, "Sometimes-- history needs a Piyush."














My goal is to go duck hunting more times than John McCain has been married.












White House: Jindal:: Peanut Butter: Jelly

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The pay raise that will try Louisiana's soul 

I don't know why certain (invariably small) issues awaken the political spirits of the masses. Perhaps it's the "last straw" effect, when something outrageous fits into a running narrative, and everyone climbs on board. This pay raise deal seems to be the latest "thing" that has set everyone off, and conservative pundits in particular are marking the day in blood:

In a column titled "Louisiana: Let The Revolution Begin Over Legislative Pay Raise", Jeff Crouere writes:

Finally, the sleeping giant has awakened. The people of Louisiana have been roused from their decades old slumber. The issue of a legislative pay raise has struck a chord like no other issue in years.

As noted by political watchdog C.B. Forgotston, “The people of the state are more upset about this pay raise than anything I’ve ever witnessed in my lifetime of living in Louisiana.”

Well, if that's true it's pretty freakin' sad. I guess if Governor Jindal vetoes this bill, we can go back to being complacent about flood protection, the coast, schools, jobs, roads, crime, housing and rebuilding New Orleans.... until, presumably, a few decades pass and the Legislature wants to award itself another raise. Then a new generation can safely revolt! (Of course, there might be fewer South Louisiana leges at that time because 1/3 of the state will have washed away, but why should that possibility elevate anyone's blood pressure?)

Crouere continues:

One very beneficial impact of this [pay raise] debate is that, finally, voters are paying attention and inundating the Governor's office, legislative offices and media outlets with their denunciations of this monstrosity. It is the type of passion that I have been waiting to see all of my political life.

Crouere hopes that this pay raise kerfuffle will inspire a lasting civic passion in Louisiana where the Katrina/Rita/Federal Flood disaster of '05, and the prospect of a Nazi Klansmen Governor in '91, couldn't. Lay your bets, Pelicans.

As noted by Forgotston in an open letter to Jindal, “If you don’t side with us on this issue, all of the reforms that you are pushing (and have passed) will be meaningless.” [oyster note: most of them already were] As usual, Forgotston is quite right. All of the legislative accomplishments from tax cuts to ethics reforms will be lost on the public if this pay raise becomes law.
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[This] is the equivalent of a political death sentence.

This overheated rhetoric is the equivalent of a future YRHT blog post that writes itself. Anyhoo, Chad Rogers-- who has never saw fit to "rant" about, say, Louisiana's coastal destruction-- is there to keep things in perspective:

Jindal needs the support of those who have fought the longest and the hardest for reform in this state.
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If he fails to veto this bill and allows it to become law, the consequences will be disastrous, for his future and to the future of this state. Among the ranks of reformers I have spoken to, a kind of despair is already setting in. It is painfully clear that if Mr. Jindal doesn't take a stand on this, the hopes reformers (most of whom have worked longer and harder than I) will be dashed and many of us will acknowledge permanent defeat.

It will be considered nothing less than treason, a knife plunged into the heart of anyone who had hopes for Jindal as a reformer. If the legislators get a raise, Jindal will have left them for dead crying "Et tu, Bobby?"

These are the stakes.

Those aren't the "stakes" at all. Acting like this is a life or death matter, or that this "issue" will have lasting political impact, is naive. But I'll play along for political purposes.

Governor Jindal: if you don't veto this bill, it will be the greatest catastrophe for the "Gret Stet" since... since... well I can't even remember when. Three Novembers ago, when I was gutting my flooded house, and throwing out my daughter's moldy toys, all I could think about was the heinous possibility of those damn legislators passing themselves a pay raise. And sure enough, they did it, and now I am hella-pissed!!

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And precisely what constitutes being a "reformer" in Rogers' mind, anyway? Is it someone who works hard to torpedo a competent alternative to Ray Nagin, and "would have voted for Nagin" if they lived n New Orleans?
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Jeffrey has an excellent post on this "issue".
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Update: The (websiteless?) Greater New Orleans Republicans speak out on the issue. These are the "reformers" who, like Rogers, endorsed Ray Nagin for re-election. To my knowledge, they have kept their reformist jaws shut about the massive pay raises Nagin has awarded to his executive branch.

The Conservative Voice warns: "Bobby Jindal is the best chance Louisiana has ever had to be President of the United States since Zachary Taylor but should he fail to publicly veto the pay raises he will throw that opportunity away."

Jindal says he disagrees, but won't veto it.

Forgotston: "Rush owes President Ronald Reagan an apology."

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David Simon will make a tribute to Ashley at DePaul commencement 

Thanks to Maureen Ryan of the Chicago Tribune for writing an excellent summary of the story.

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Update: Ray points us to the live webcast.

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H/T Hana

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Republicans driving lege pay raises? 

Heaven forfend!

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Something Liquid This Way Comes 

No, I'm not talking about the pron film, I'm talking about all the flooding upriver.

I hope the President goes out of his way to remind our stricken Midwestern friends that there will be a zero tolerance policy for looting.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Nagin administration undertips New Orleans servers 

Following up on E's post about our cheapskate Mayor "supporting" the New Orleans service economy with a measly 15% tip (on our dime, for his anniversary lunch), BayouStJohnDavid made a comment at Library Chronicles pointing out that there are even worse offenders.

On 9/24/07, Sanitation Director Veronica White tipped $10.18 on a tab of $77.82 at the Grand Isle Restaurant. I calculate that as a 12.8% tip.

And on 11/21/07, Executive Counsel Becca O'Brien tipped $3.60 on a tab of $33.47 at the Sake Cafe. I calculate that as a 10.7% tip.

Assholes!

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It takes an ocean of lies to hold us back 

I was going to write about this earlier, but Scout Prime beat me to it.

In short, the WSJ Opinion page takes the deeply misleading pro oil-drilling talking point that was recently circulating throughout the Louisiana blogosphere-- that there were no "major" Gulf oil spills after Katrina and Rita-- and turns it into outright falsehood. The WSJ states:

Democrats are going to have to grow up. The oil-rich areas they want to leave untouched are accessible with minimal environmental disturbance, thanks to modern technology. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita flattened terminals across the Gulf of Mexico but didn't cause a single oil spill.

Actually, there were at least 146 reported spills in Federal waters after Katrina and Rita, totaling over 700,000 gallons, the equivalent of seven "MAJOR" spills. Here are 43 satellite pictures of giant oil slicks in the Gulf of Mexico after Katrina, stretching for scores of miles.

Worse, EIGHT MILLION gallons spilled out of Louisiana oil facilities after the storms. (The famous Exxon Valdez spill totaled 11 million.)

How is this not causing "a single oil spill"?

The WSJ tells Dems to "grow up". Well, I'd like to tell the WSJ to grow a pair but they'd probably royally botch that job, as well

Stop lying about the environmental disaster that occurred along Louisiana's coast in order to further your narrow energy agenda!! Stop diminishing the risks we take on behalf of the country!

The WSJ piece concludes by implying that John McCain needs to support coastal drilling or he'll lose the election. This is comically stupid. If McCain supports drilling, he'll lose Florida, and he can't win the election without winning Florida.


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"My lunch happens here. My card is American Express." 

Now this could be an interesting development. Mayor Ray "transparency" Nagin and his top staff were taking personal lunches on the city's dime. The T-P's Gordon Russell reports:

On at least three occasions in late 2007, one of them his wedding anniversary, Mayor Ray Nagin treated his wife to lunch at an upscale New Orleans restaurant and paid for it with a credit card billed to taxpayers, a review of Nagin's daily planner and billing statements shows.

From September 2007 through January 2008, Nagin charged 70 meals to taxpayers at a total cost of $6,628. In the vast majority of cases, there is no indication of who, if anyone, he was entertaining.

The same is true for charges on city-financed credit cards racked up by Nagin aides Ceeon Quiett, the mayor's communications director, and Kenya Smith, his director of intergovernmental affairs.

Though Nagin, Smith and Quiett accounted for nearly two-thirds of the about $180,000 charged to taxpayer-financed credit cards in a six-month period, they are the only city officials whose explanations for the charges were not in records released after a request from The Times-Picayune.
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In a story on the credit cards published last month, Smith, who is essentially a lobbyist for the mayor, said his charges are attributable to his steady wooing of local, state and federal officials, as well as "a huge cross-section of stakeholders."

He said in a May 17 e-mail that the documentation supporting his expenses would answer any criticism of his spending. "You will be quite surprised to learn the names of the dinner invitees," he wrote.

Nearly a month later, the paperwork, if it exists, has not been made public. Smith, who announced Monday that he will resign from his post June 20 to pursue other ambitions, did not directly answer questions about the matter Wednesday.


From Nagin's 2007 State of the City address:

Everything that I have done and continue to do has been with a total focus on a full recovery and what is best for all the people of this great city.

I chose life and a growing city.


"Total focus" my ass! You didn't choose "life", you chose lunch!

Just as a patient must make adjustments to his lifestyle after a traumatic event or illness, so did we in New Orleans.

Let me talk briefly about some other things that just had to be done to put us in position for full recovery.

With the virtual destruction of our economy, we were forced to make some major adjustments, such as the elimination of roughly half of our city's workforce.

This meant that these key citizens who had lost all their possessions would now also lose their source of income.

And those city workers who remained would be doing the jobs of two or three people.

Next, we streamlined and reorganized city government from top to bottom.

We followed through with the treatments and the patient has responded favorably, and others have taken notice.

Moody's has recently returned the city of New Orleans bond status from "junk" to "stable."

This vote of confidence from Wall Street recognizes our prudent fiscal management and signals that the city is open for business and that indeed new orleans is a good investment.
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Update: The f*cking Mayor tips only 15%, on his anniversary, on the public dime, at Lilette!!
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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I'm going to bed 

Fox News refers to Michelle Obama as Obama's "Baby Mama", and a Mitch Romney donor from Utah markets a monkey Obama doll.

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"I had a group of Russians approach me two years ago... through David Vitter" 

We Saw That informs us that Senator Vitter is cranking up his re-election campaign.

Vitter Blue, again. That's awesome.

Perhaps the Senator can answer a few (non-Medicare related) questions about why he introduced former Representative Curt Weldon-- who is currently at the center of a corruption probe-- to Russians with access to President Putin's inner circle.

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Big thanks to intrepid tipster joejoejoe for the link. More here.

Update: More here, as well.
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This just in... 

TPM "discovers" Jindal's exorcism essay, and figures it might become an issue if McCain selects Bobby for veep. (Not that he's gonna.) TPM requested a comment from Jindal's office, but there was no response.

Don't despair. Put it on ice for three to seven years. It'll keep.

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Update: Richard is flabbergasted, and has apparently been living under a political rock for the past couple years.
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Update: Much to my surprise, TPM updated the story and noted that Louisiana bloggers like the Daily Kingfish have covered the issue. Jeffrey was doing it back in 11/08/03.
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E.D. Hill apologizes 

Fox News' E.D. Hill "clarified" her "terrorist fist jab" statement yesterday, saying:

Now, I mentioned various ways the Obamas' fist pump in St. Paul had been characterized in the media. I apologize because unfortunately, some thought I personally had characterized it inappropriately.

Who the hell was she referring to, then? Precisely which media outlet had already characterized Obama's "fist pump" as a "terrorist fist jab"?

Don't tell me that a deleted comment from Human Events is quotable "media". Just don't tell me that.

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The insidious "McCain is confused" meme 

The Obama camp plays chopped quote "gotcha" to solidify the powerful "McCain is confused" narrative.

The Obama campaign and Democratic leaders accused Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) of being confused and heartless after he told NBC’s “Today” show Wednesday that it’s “not too important” when U.S. troops return from Iraq.
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Susan Rice, an Obama foreign-policy adviser, accused McCain of “a real disturbing, even disconcerting, pattern of confusing the basic facts and reality that pertain to Iraq.”
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“It is really becoming more crystal clear to a lot of Iraq that John McCain simply doesn’t understand it – that he confuses who Iran is training, he confuses what the makeup of al-Qaeda is, he confuses the history … of what has happened between Sunni and Shia and how deep that current runs,” Kerry said.

Rice criticized “real confusion and lack of understanding of the situation in Iraq and, indeed, the larger region, that John McCain evidenced yet again in his comments on the ‘Today’ show.”

Actually, as Josh Marshall notes, McCain isn't really "confused". But the Obama campaign isn't going to pass up an opportunity to youtube the maverick with a "chopped quote" that plays into the "confusion" meme. It's too powerful to pass up.

Jeff Crouere expects Obama to lose the election:

Despite the political disadvantages from his party, McCain now has the advantage going in to the fall election.

If he was facing Hillary Clinton in the fall election, McCain would be the underdog, Facing Barack Obama, McCain is the favorite.
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The only way for Obama to win in the fall will be to invite Clinton to join the ticket. An Obama-Clinton ticket would be a powerful political force and would insure victory for the Democrats in the fall. Leading Democrats should encourage the two candidates to resolve their differences and unite for the betterment of their party. Despite the political advantages, due to the political fireworks between the two, a political marriage is unlikely. Thus, expect a McCain victory this fall.


Here's what I say: don't be fooled-- Obama's the favorite, and he knows how to win. He will pick a white male with military experience to be his veep. Obama's numbers among women, Hispanics, and white working class and jewish voters will improve during the summer. (Some pundits will act surprised by this.) The media will treat Obama more favorably than McCain, and he'll end up winning by like 49-47%. The projected electoral map will get bluer and bluer as November approaches (and the economy continues to sag). We'll do the electoral math later on, but I think Libertarian Bob Barr and a surprisingly high black Democratic turnout might yield some very interesting red state "surprises" on election night.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Hacks laugh at Mike Bayham 

Why does a $2 political pundit like Mike Bayham act as if national political figures should be listening to him? Here's his latest I-told-her-so:

Months ago this arch-Republican offered some good free advice to the junior senator from New York: drop out before things got too nasty and cut a deal with Barack Obama by which the first-term senator from Illinois would back her in the Democratic primaries in 2012 if Obama lost this November.

Unfortunately for the former First Lady, she did not follow my counsel and met the same end without a deal.

Why the hell should Hillary Clinton, much less anyone, follow Bayham's "counsel"? After militating for the re-election of George Bush in 2004 and Ray Nagin in 2006, why does Bayham think anyone should listen to him? Hasn't he done enough damage? Shouldn't he take a break, and go into the back storeroom and rest his thick head on a 50lb sack of Chicken Lay 'n Mash for a few years?

Maybe, just maybe, if Bayham wanted Hillary to take his "good free advice" he shouldn't have called her names like "Screeching Warrior", and referred to her party as the "Democratic Reich". (And then a couple weeks later he has the gall to shake his head at the anti-Hillary "media bias". Horrible, isn't it?)

Then there's this unattributed locution by Bayham, penned days after Todd Purdum's heinous Vanity Fair piece:

Whether the Clintons want to admit it or not, the official close of the primary season on Tuesday marked the end of their 16 year domination over the Democratic Party. The man who thrives on being the bride at every wedding and corpse at every funeral never surrendered the reins of his party when he left the White House; he just loaned them to cronies like Terry McAuliffe.

Probably just a "coincidence".

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So, what happened to Bayham's fellow Greater New Orleans Republicans? Their web site is down. Say it ain't so! Did these political luminaries close down their "headquarters" in Rogers, Arkansas and slink away into the night? After all the good these "arch Republicans" did New Orleans? Aw, what a shame.

Perhaps GNOR should've taken my good free advice and not supported Ray Nagin's re-election.

Good riddance, douchemooks.

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Bush gives Saudi Arabia nukuler technology 

Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass) writes in the WSJ:

Last month, while the American people were becoming the personal ATMs of [OPEC], Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was in Saudi Arabia signing away an even more valuable gift: nuclear technology. In a ceremony little-noticed in this country, Ms. Rice volunteered the U.S. to assist Saudi Arabia in developing nuclear reactors, training nuclear engineers, and constructing nuclear infrastructure. While oil breaks records at $130 per barrel or more, the American consumer is footing the bill for Saudi Arabia's nuclear ambitions.
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In 2004, Vice President Dick Cheney said, "[Iran is] already sitting on an awful lot of oil and gas. No one can figure why they need nuclear, as well, to generate energy." Mr. Cheney got it right about Iran. But a potential Saudi nuclear program is just as suspicious. For a country with so much oil, gas and solar potential, importing expensive and dangerous nuclear power makes no economic sense.

The Bush administration argues that Saudi Arabia can not be compared to Iran, because Riyadh said it won't develop uranium enrichment or spent-fuel reprocessing, the two most dangerous nuclear technologies. At a recent hearing before my Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman shrugged off concerns about potential Saudi misuse of nuclear assistance for a weapons program, saying simply: "I presume that the president has a good deal of confidence in the King and in the leadership of Saudi Arabia."

That's not good enough. We would do well to remember that it was the U.S. who provided the original nuclear assistance to Iran under the Atoms for Peace program, before Iran's monarch was overthrown in the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Yes, that history shouldn't be forgotten.

And recent history might also be of some use, too. Fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers were Saudis. Twice this year President Bush has traveled to Saudi Arabia, hat in hand, and represented the U.S. in the following way:

"I hope that OPEC, if possible, understands that if they could put more supply on the market it would be helpful."

Love the Texas bravado, there, W. And after they twice rebuffed Bush's strongly-worded "hopes" on the international stage, he decides to reward them with some nuclear infrastructure.

Think about that when you're watching the numbers spin at the gas pump today.

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"I got an idea of something we can do with a gun" 

T-P:

The sponsor of a divisive bill to allow concealed handguns on Louisiana's college campuses has scrapped the proposal for the legislative session.

Rep. Ernest Wooton, R-Belle Chasse, faced strong oppostion from higher education officials, campus police chiefs and college student leaders.

Ah yes, the brilliant Rep. Wooton-- always working hard to keep us safe. Last we heard from him, he was part of a coordinated conservative smear campaign against State Senate candidate Cheryl Gray. Wooton endorsed Jalila Jefferson-Bullock (Dollar Bill's daughter) as someone who "works best with Republicans and will help Governor Bobby Jindal pass his agenda..."

See, here's how it works. Louisiana Republicans and conservatives say they love reform and hate corruption... at least until a corrupt officeholder might be replaced by a reformist liberal. When there's a liberal in the mix, a fascinating political recalibration occurs amongst conservatives, and suddenly the corrupt officeholder doesn't look so bad. Principle goes out the window, and strategitude reigns supreme. It seems that many conservatives believe that no matter how corrupt or incompetent an officeholder is, they're preferable to any liberal.

Sure enough, Republicans united to help re-elect the incompetent laughingstock Nagin over Mitch Landrieu, because political dynasties are bad and Nagin "understands business".

Conservatives united to help re-elect Rep. Bill Jefferson over Karen Carter. (Suddenly political dynasties weren't so bad.)

And some Conservatives and Republicans even supported Jalila Jefferson-Bullock over Cheryl Gray, because Jalila would be tough on crime (ha!) and more supportive of Jindal's "reformist" agenda (double ha!).

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Monday, June 09, 2008

Oh, the unmitigated horror! 


This photo shows former President George Herbert Walker Bush (aka Poppy) trading a "terrorist fist jab" with the President of Germany.

Imperfect Union charts the spread of these hand movements, which can only interpreted as an expression of islamofascist solidarity. They're infectious, too. Even New Orleanian Harry Connick jr succumbed to this dangerous jihadi trend, and taught his daughter these terrorist dark arts. Worst of all, I'm sad to report that all Rising Tide participants are now under suspicion because of last year's convention graphic, which looks like an invitation to "dap":



Come get some.

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Update: More at here and here.
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Thx to Lamar for the link.
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Heh 

Senator Vitter was recently on Kaare Johnson's radio show on the "mighty" 690am (WIST). According to the Flaming Liberal, Johnson shielded Vitty from all callers, which is rather disappointing.

Perhaps when Vitter visits again, Kaare can ask him about the status of the DC Madam's civil trial.


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RT3 

After some informal discussions, it seems that Rising Tide 3 should again occur the weekend before the Katrina/Federal Flood anniversary (8/29).

So save the dates: Rising Tide 3 will be held in New Orleans August 22, 23, 24.

Tentative Schedule outline:

Friday August 22: Probably a social gathering in the evening.

Saturday August 23: All day Conference

Sunday August 24: Volunteer/Service Day


More details coming soon.

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Faith-based history: the last refuge of a failure 

Wapo:

Meet George W. Bush, time traveler.

He's in Poland in 1939 as Nazi tanks advance on Warsaw, then flying with his Navy-pilot father to battle imperial Japan. He's alongside Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War, William McKinley on his deathbed and Franklin D. Roosevelt on D-Day. He lingers with Harry S. Truman, another U.S. president deeply unpopular in his time.

President Bush leaps forward as well, envisioning a distant future in which Iraq is a tranquil democracy, Palestinians live peaceably alongside Israelis and terrorism is a tactic of the past.
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As the door begins to close on his tenure, Bush is increasingly drawing on selected events of the past to argue that history will vindicate him on Iraq, terrorism, trade and other controversial issues.


Cunning Realist:

History's verdict is the last refuge of a failure -- and psychologically, a rejection-free zone. So expect the no-expiration-date rationalizations to bubble up from Texas for the next few decades.



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PTSD 

Over the weekend, the T-P had a haunting two part series about a local man (and his brother) who became a Marine and met a very tragic end after returning home. It's a very sobering but important piece on post-traumatic stress disorder.


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Updated slightly for accuracy. Thx el stevo.

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Sunday, June 08, 2008

McCain confused about what he said in Kenner 

Tuesday night, after confusing New Orleans with Kenner, Senator John McCain began his speech by noting that the "media often overlooked how compassionately [Hillary Clinton] spoke to the concerns and dreams of millions of Americans".

But when reporters asked him about this statement a few days later, McCain denied making it:

I did not [say that]-- that was in prepared remarks, and I did not [say it]-- I’m not in the business of commenting on the press and their coverage or not coverage... My supporters and friends can comment all they want about the press coverage, and that’s their right. They’re American citizens. I will not because I believe it’s not a profitable enterprise for me to do so.

Video proves otherwise (45 seconds in).

Is McCain aware of the things he reads? Does he even review prepared remarks before reading them to a national audience? If so, then why this bizarre denial?

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All Hail Varg at the Chicory! 

He bet me that Big Brown wouldn't win the Triple Crown, as I predicted, and he was right. So, YRHT will salute Varg's superior prognostication skills by proudly displaying the Chicory badge on all posts this week.

(I was supposed to incorporate the chicory vines into my blogskin template, but have been unable to successfully do so.)

Varg's latest post has video of Clint Maedgen's amazing performance of "Summertime Rolls".

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