Saturday, February 14, 2009

Stormy Daniels invites Larry Flynt to be her campaign manager 

T-P:

In a telephone interview Thursday from Tampa, Fla., Daniels said that while Flynt had nothing to do with the "Draft Stormy" boomlet that has drawn her into contemplating the 2010 Louisiana Senate race, "I have reached out to him in the last couple of days that I want to discuss if he wants to be my campaign manager."

Now we're cooking with gas! Gimme Flynt and Stormy in front of microphones, and I'll be a happy camper.

Those who are unimpressed with the growing Stormy Daniels for Senate movement might wish to contemplate this observation from the article:

The Daniels campaign is clearly intended to mock and embarrass Vitter.

Daniels enters the scene just as Vitter has appeared to regain his footing on Capitol Hill and as a favorite for re-election.

Indeed, all the national and international stories about Stormy include a recap of Vitter's hypocritical and unexplained history with prostitutes. After all, Vitter is an unindicted co-conspirator in the D.C. Madam case. (But he's much more than that, too.) And all this occurs while Gov. Jindal is headlining fundraisers for Vitter and then travelling out of state to make speeches about the "coarsening of our culture".

On national TV, Stormy Daniels asked a damn good simple question that no other rival candidate will have the guts to ask Vitter, and it's a question that he certainly won't directly answer.

"I might be a porn star but I haven't done anything illegal. And I guess the big question is ...why is David Vitter in office, ...why is he not in jail?"

Bayou Buzz draws out some corollary queries:

What is most compelling is the interview on CNN when Daniels was asked about her parallel to Senator Vitter. She said that at least she did not do anything illegal.
...
...Daniels statement raises an interesting moral question-- despite her occupation, she has not committed a crime and by implication, Vitter has.
...
Do the Louisiana voters have a right to know more about Senator Vitter's behavior so they can judge if he committed a crime? Do the Louisiana voters have the right to know the facts surrounding David Vitter's actions so they can determine if his standing as US Senator is no better than that of a porn star?

(An aside: I wonder what Vitter thinks of Jan Ramsey's "stimulus" plan to legalize prostitution and pot in New Orleans and make it an American Amsterdam?)

Some have worried that Stormy's potential candidacy will cause a backlash from Louisiana fundagelicals. And yes, signs of a "backlash" are already apparent. But it's not a pro-Vitter backlash, it's a backlash against the GOP-- at least among those who share Tony Perkins' frustrations.

And if there's any truth to this Mother Jones article, Sen. Vitter should be tied up, legs akimbo, and beaten with a wet diaper. But then, on second thought, he might like that.

According to Vitter, the GOP is basically betting the farm that the stimulus package is going to fail, and the party wants Democrats to go down with it. "Our next goal is to make President Obama and liberal Democrats in Congress own it completely," he said. Instead of coming up with serious measures to save the economy, the party intends to devote its time to an "we told you so" agenda that will include GOP-only hearings on the bill's impact in the coming months to highlight the bill's purportedly wasteful elements and shortcomings.

While Vitter seemed to think this was a brilliant new political tactic, voters might be less enthusiastic than Federalist Society members about politicians who spend the next 18 months rooting for the economy to get worse, just to prove a point. But, in Vitter's world, that's the price you apparently have to pay for sticking to your principles, call girls be damned.

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Warmin' up 

The Book is posting videos that get my Carnival juices flowing.


Find more videos like this on bandhead.org


St. Augustine Marching 100 - Feb 13, 2009 - Not Gonna Write You A Love Song

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E makes the case for restoring Charity Hospital 

Read his post. I like the way E clearly lays out the case, and I am inspired by his righteousness.

What is it about the Charity building that makes it incongruous with a modern facility?

Nothing. In fact, the RMJM Hillier plan does not plan to preserve Charity's interior or anything about the outdated ward layout. They propose preserving the solid limestone exterior while building an entirely brand-new facility inside.

LSU has never taken the time to properly evaluate the structure of Charity. One of their major claims by LSU is that Charity is unsound structurally because of rusted connectors in the limestone shell of the building.

In fact, RMJM Hillier took a thermal image of the building and found that the building wasn't even constructed with connectors.

The "daylight" that E spotted in Governor Jindal's recent statement about the LSU hospital (plus the financing and budget problems) actually has me thinking that a new facility built on the remnants of an historic Mid-City neighborhood might not be a political fait accompli.

This video by a prestigious architectural firm isn't bad either.

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Happy Birthday... to Bill Russell 

As you may have heard, yesterday was the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln. (Tempting as it was, I didn't choose to "celebrate" the day by walking around Wal-Mart saying "Darwin Loves you, brother" while wearing a shirt that says "Man + Nipples = Evolution"). There has been a lot written about Darwin and Lincoln in recent days, but I still think the best celebration of these two historical giants occurs in Duran Duran's Union of the Snake video. The lyrics are clearly about Lincoln's attempt to preserve the Union of the "Snake", and the tenuous "borderline" between slave and non-slave states, but the video recognizes Darwin, too, with evolutionary imagery and recreations of some extinct reptilian species. A brilliant work.

But in this post I want to celebrate Bill Russell-- a giant in sports history. Yesterday was his 75th birthday, and I'm going to take this opportunity to recognize him.

Born in West Monroe Louisiana, Bill Russell is the greatest basketball player of all time. Why? Because in so many ways, large and small, he was further ahead of the game-- a game he fundamentally "changed"-- than anyone else, in any era. Forget his "statistics" (as impressive as they are) and his "highlights". Evaluate Bill Russell by his intensity to win, and his career results: eleven championships in thirteen years.

How did Russell win so many championships? He consistently sought ways to make everyone on his team play better and consistently sought ways to make everyone on the opposing team play worse. In other words, Russell's teammates didn't merely "feed" off of his individual greatness. No. Russell learned how to make his team better and more successful. He did all the little things that helped everyone else on his team. Similarly, he learned how to make everyone on the opposing team worse. Russell wasn't just an innovator of defensive tactics. He customized these tactics into a specific gameplan for each opponent he faced, based on their tendencies and their strengths/weaknesses. This preparation made him seem a "step ahead" of everyone else, and this made him psychologically dominant on the court. He was always inside your head but you couldn't get inside his. And he was tremendous "in the clutch", when the game was on the line. Thus, Russell was a player/coach by example long before he was officially named player/coach in 1966 (the first African-American coach in NBA history).

Granted, Russell could be a "prickly pear" at times, and he was surrounded by great players and coaches. But notice that those Celtics teams couldn't win championships before or after Russell. And in the 1958 Finals, when Russell injured his foot in Game 3, the Celts lost that series to the St. Louis Hawks, led by Bob Pettit. It was Bill Russell that transformed those very good Celtics teams into an unmatched championship dynasty.

All due credit, of course, to Magic, Jordan, Kareem, Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson, Bob Pettit, Maravich and the other all-time greats, but Bill Russell is the first player I'd want on my team and the last player I'd want on the opposing team-- if I wanted to win.

Skeptical? Then read this article explaining why Russell is "the greatest winner American team sport has ever known". Here's an excerpt:

Russell was the first player to help generate his team’s offense from his own defense, as dazed Minneapolis Laker coach John Kundla said after watching Russell lead the Celtics to a sweep of his team in the 1959 Finals.

“That’s quite a twist, isn’t it, having a defensive player mean the difference?” said Kundla. “We don’t fear the Celtics without Bill Russell. Take him out and we can beat them … He’s the guy who whipped us psychologically. Russell has our club worrying every second. Every one of the five men is thinking Russell is covering him on every play. He blocks a shot, and before you know it, Boston is getting a basket, and a play by Russell has done it.”

A year later, the St. Louis Hawks managed to take Boston to a Game 7. Unfortunately for them, Russell didn’t have the flu. He scored 22 points and hauled in 35 rebounds while dominating play at the defensive end. The Celtics won 122-103, which led Bob Pettit, perhaps the NBA’s greatest forward before Larry Bird came along, to pay Russell a tribute.

“I think he played today what could be called one of the great games of all time,” Pettit declared. “He made us think every second we were out there. He made us respect him every second of the game.”

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Freaky Friday the 13th 

Looks like it's off to an early start.

Singularity sent me to a Cryptogon post that really spooked me. Today is messy (and getting messier) and I have a bad feeling about tomorrow.

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Update: And then not long after I write that, there's a massive last-hour rally from the depths to end the day flat. Still worried about tomorrow, though.

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Stormy Daniels wants to wrestle Vitty-cent 

If I were in Senator Vitter's shoes, I'd jump at this opportunity.

In her recent interviews about a potential Senatorial candidacy, pron star Stormy Daniels has repeatedly said that she would be willing to wrestle Vitty-cent-- literally!

In her Daily Beast interview, Stormy said "I absolutely would [challenge Vitter to a debate] but I don't think he has the balls to confront me... [so] if that doesn't work I'd be happy to wrestle him." Then during her CNN appearance on the Rick "not dirty" Sanchez show, she exulted "I would like to tackle [Vitter] alright!"

I say go for it! Let's do this thing. Can you imagine a "Vitty versus Stormy" Main Event in the SuperDome, televised on Pay-per-view? And in the tradition of the Cheney Dunk Tank, we could make it a "stimulus event"-- half of the money raised would go to state tax cuts, and the other half would go towards Coastal Restoration projects and the completion of Interstate-49. Everybody wins!

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Some posts should be left in the draft folder 

1. I have sox just like those!

2. While strolling down the street, I had an untimely loss of gastro-intestinal control right in front of an attractive gal who was standing outside a store. Luckily, there were some tuba players warming up nearby so I smiled and said "Don't you love this time of year?". I think she bought it.

3. At the grocery I passed right by the meat aisle and forgot to pick up some beef. My mistake.
...
Get it? My miss-steak.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Gov. Charlie Crist: hose-grabber 

WSJ:

In Florida, Mr. Obama sought to show that his [stimulus] plan has bipartisan support, as he was joined by that state's Republican governor, Charlie Crist. "When the town is burning you don't check party labels," Mr. Obama said. "Everybody needs to grab a hose, and that's what Charlie Crist is doing here today."

Pardon the immaturity, but that quote tickles me pink.

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Stormy Daniels climbing Red Stick Biz poll! 

Amazing! This morning, Stormy Daniels climbed into second place in The Baton Rouge Business Report's online 2010 Senatorial poll. Results as of 1am CST:

Who would you vote for if the U.S. Senate elections were held today?

David Vitter 40% 821 votes
Jim Bernhard 29% 614 votes
Stormy Daniels 30% 615 votes


Vote here, and sign the petition to encourage Stormy to run!
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Update: Poll is now closed. The final tally is

David Vitter 39% 897 votes
Jim Bernhard 28% 645 votes
Stormy Daniels 32% 728 votes
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The Draft Stormy team sent me a news bulletin with links indicating that this story is now becoming an international sensation.

News of Stormy's potential senate run has not been confined to domestic publications, like the front page of the Baton Rouge Advocate, or MSNBC. Indeed, Stormy's taken the entire world by storm!

From the UK Telegraph, which notes that "Stormy Daniels said she is prepared to wrestle Louisiana Senator David Vitter, if the Republican incumbent refuses a face-to-face debate over the issues," to Infobae, from Dnevik to clicRBS (none of which we can undestand), our message is resonating.

Perhaps it is safe to assume that honesty, integrity and strength of character are universally valued!

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Fun fact! Stormy Daniels has parts in The 40-year old Virgin, Knocked Up, Superbad, Pineapple Express and Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Also, Stormy's patriotism is on display at the 2:50 mark in this Maroon 5 video, where she enthusiastically waves a large American flag.
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The U.S. Senate will never be the same.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Best indicator yet that the stimulus will work 

After discerning the contours of economic history so perceptively in his 1999 book Dow 36,000, James K. Glassman keeps offering macro-economic advice to the American public. This time he tells us we need to be careful, because there aren't a lot of historical examples where fiscal stimulus actually worked.

Glassman is the guy who said that stocks would decline sharply if Clinton were reelected in 1996, and who confidently claimed in 1999 that the Dow was poised to triple (from 12,000) in the next three to ten years. He concludes his most recent commentary thusly:

Stimulus...is unnecessary and almost certainly harmful, a policy based on hubris and anxiety, rather than on history and good sense.... Americans now understand that the economic future is not so assured as they believed a couple of years ago, and it is time for decisions to be made-— in a manner careful, sensible, and unstimulated.

Wow. It certainly takes hubris to write "Americans now understand that the economic future is not so assured as they believed"... after being an unapologetic contributor to that false belief!

Here's what Glassman said to his fellow "Americans" in 1999:

What is dangerous is for Americans not to be in the market. We're going to reach a point where stocks are correctly priced, and we think that's 36,000 ... It's not a bubble. Far from it. The stock market is undervalued.

Then in 2006 he defended the book's premise, but instead of saying the Dow would triple by 2005, he "pushed the deadline out to 2021". Not wrong, just early, you see?

And who can forget this classic article that former New Orleanian Glassman published in his magazine titled (what else?) The American? Written two years ago by Thomas Bethell, it deals with the recovery of New Orleans. Try to savor this keen analysis:

Critics portrayed Nagin's reelection, in which he benefitted from absentee ballots cast by New Orleans refugees in places like Houston and Memphis, as the city's refusal to accept the need for change. Yet a case can be made that Nagin was the better choice, more attuned to exploiting the unforeseen opportunities that inevitably arise in a post-disaster period. Nagin is an improviser, not a planner, and that may be what is needed.

Mother of gawd, that's still such a bewildering and mind-bending statement. Not to mention just plain wrong.

Which leads to the question: on important matters, is Glassman and company ever right?

One should proceed cautiously, of course, but the evidence is scant.

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Gloomy post at First Draft 

link!

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Monday, February 09, 2009

"Politics can't be any dirtier of a job than the one I am already in." 

Writer, actress, director Stormy Daniels-- she's a triple threat!-- is scheduled to appear on CNN's Rick Sanchez show at 2:20pm CST today. Here's the latest online CNN story about Stormy.


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Update: Online Daily Beast story here, and Raw Story write up here.
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Update #2: Video of Sanchez video (thx wst):



Money shot quote:

"I might be a porn star but I haven't done anything illegal. And I guess the big question is not just why is David Vitter in office, but why is he not in jail?"

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Richard isn't impressed and says we should draft someone with brains. Then he undercuts his point a bit by suggesting that John Breaux would fit the bill.

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Matt McBride's latest letter to New Orleanians 

Dear New Orleanians,
Just about three weeks ago, at the January 22nd Permanent Pump Stations Industry Day presentation, the Corps told contractors and the public that they would be awarding the design-build contract for the lakefront permanent pump stations in the first quarter of 2010. One can see it on page 26 of the slides shown at that presentation:
It was also on a list of future contracts, issued less than two weeks ago on January 30th (see bottom of page 6):
Now, on a contracts page that is updated more frequently than the PDF version above, the date of contract issuance has been quietly moved back yet another quarter, to the second quarter of 2010. Scroll down to the very bottom of the main Corps hurricane protection contracts page to see the date for contract PCCP-01:
Or click here for a direct link to the permanent pump station contract page:
Both pages - revised on February 5, 2009 - have the second quarter of 2010 as the contract issuance date.
This is how the Corps subtly moves the goalposts without making a stir. And before long, projects are pushed back so far it seems like they will never be built. Will they ever explain this latest delay? I doubt it.
Matt McBride

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Quotes of the Weak 

"With blogs, people can find and narrowly cling to their own brand of idiocy and never have to go elsewhere. The fact that blogs have become "news sources" should scare you.

"By their very nature, "Web logs" are written from the perspective of the contributor. Masses of people are taking a single opinion from one person or small group, acting upon it and spreading it as fact. This is also sometimes referred to as a 'cult.'"

-- David Dinsmore, reporter for the Alexandria Town Talk newspaper


“It’s the greatest challenge of my generation.”

-- Junior Louisiana Senator David Vitter, describing his opposition to the stimulus bill. Previously, a month before his hooker scandal blew up, Vitter believed that protecting marriage from homos was the "most important issue".


“You know, I was kind of looking forward to being sued for being fiscally prudent. I really was. I think that would have been a great chapter in my book, don’t you think?”

and

“I’m just going to let them pass their little ordinance.”

and

“I’m done. I have implemented transparency.”

-- New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin

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Stormy Daniels has your stimulus package right here! 

Stormy Daniels is seriously considering a Senate bid, and planning a Louisiana "listening tour". Congratulations to Stormy Daniels fan Zach H., who began the "Draft Stormy" campaign effort. Where did you first hear about this story? On Louisiana political blogs, of course.

Here's the CNN interview with Stormy:



Here's a previous interview with the Daily Beast:



DB: Would you enter the Republican primary against David Vitter?

SD: I haven't decided yet. I have never been involved in politics before, but apparently they are calling me to duty.


Stormy then challenges Vitter to a debate, but doubts he has "the balls" to accept. She then challenges him to a wrestling match, and offers up the following campaign slogans for her candidacy:

Stormy Daniels: screwing people honestly

Stormy Daniels: at least I don't wear a diaper

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