Saturday, September 19, 2009

Farcebook advice 

Slate informs us that today is Farcebook's "Talk like a pirate day".

Sounds rather [*earmuffs*] hella-gay to me, but since I don't do the Eff-book social networking, how would I know?


My advice: if you're going to act like a pirate, and plunder some valuable booty, wait till afterwards to check your "wall of shame", or whatever the farcebookers call it.

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Some posts should be left in the draft folder 

Here's another installment in an irregular, unsuccessful series we do here titled, loosely, "some posts should be left in the draft folder". This one was written on 11/27/08 of last year. But it contained some [dead] links and quotes that were interesting. So, rather than analytically integrating the content of this old post into the preceding one, I'm just going to vomit it up here, separately, and make y'all do the heavy lifting.

Sorry to be so lazy, but it's the weekend.
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Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. He's one to watch. Many conservatives view Jindal as the ideological heir to Ronald Reagan, and since conservatives' "ancestor worship" of the Gipper is practically Oriental in its intensity*, that's really saying something.

Conservatives think Jindal is the man to lead the GOP out of the wilderness and back to the White House. He's a future president, according to Grover Norquist (and when has Grover ever been wrong about anything?) The other day Jindal had a slip of the tongue and he acknowledged the possibility of a run for national office when he told an Iowan that he's "not yet" running for the presidency.

Over the holiday weekend, as speculation about Jindal's political future accelerated, some pundits in Louisiana grew frustrated, and wanted to know more about the Wonder Guv's policy solutions for Louisiana's multifarious woes. For example: How will Jindal pay for his proposed market revamp of the state's healthcare system? Insolent pundits! Don't they know not to bother the Right's "political meteor" with detailed policy concerns?

Granted, Jindal did recently talk substantively to President-elect Obama about funding construction of I-49 in Louisiana. That's a good thing, because I think there are some "Future corridor of I-49" road signs in South Louisiana that are older than I am. Hopefully Jindal can get a funding commitment for this important, stimulative infrastructure investment. Also, Jindal gave a very curious and revealing answer to a question in a recent NYT interview.

NYT: Did you always want to be in politics?

Jindal: It was not something I anticipated doing. I always thought I’d go to medical school. I got accepted into medical school and did not end up going.

NYT: Where were you accepted?

Jindal: At Harvard.

NYT: Wow. Why would someone with so much knowledge of biology sign a bill allowing the biblical story of Creation to be taught in science class?

Jindal: I don’t think that schools should be run by bureaucrats. I think these decisions need to be made by local school boards.
In terms of teaching my own kids at home, I do believe there is a Creator. Catholicism doesn’t teach authoritatively on evolution or the origins of life, but we do believe that God is our Creator.

Yet, this Thanksgiving weekend, as Jindal's political future was parsed nationwide, and as statewide pundits pressed the new Guv for clearer policy priorities, I was... reminded of a passing comment Jindal made during a Christian radio interview over two years ago.

Guess I'm just weird like that.

Bobby Jindal did an interview with the hosts of the Christian Wallbuilders show on 10/18/06. During that interview he raved, absolutely raved, about historical huckster David Barton's pseudo-erudition. Jindal waxed rhapsodic about Barton's ability to formulate "powerful" historical arguments based on original historical documents. Now, for those of you who don't know, David Barton is a fundagelical who tours the country and speaks to grassroots conservatives, explaining why he thinks that God is punishing America for the ever-increasing amounts of separation between church and state. Barton speaks to believers about America's "forgotten history", with selective emphasis on a small batch of (mis)quotes that seemingly demonstrates the profound Christianity of the Founding fathers. Barton's goal is to close the church/state separation that exists, so that America can become a Christian nation again, and regain God's favor.
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[Note from 9/19/09: Jindal oriented his whole gubernatorial campaign around small towns in central and northern Louisiana. He continues to visit these towns, going to church and distributing medals. Ostensibly, this would be very good practice for an aspiring candidate who one day wished to campaign in a presidential primary in the small rural towns of Iowa.]
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I worried about "brain drain" in LA until Jindal got elected 

Baton Rouge Advocate:

The state’s top school board Wednesday approved procedures for residents who object to materials that challenge the teaching of evolution in public school science classes.
That's nice. If you're a parent who has qualms about sham non-science being taught to your child in place of real science-- you have recourse! Just like the parents who pulled their kids out of school to avoid indoctrination by President Obama, pro-science parents can make a fuss when schools knock the stuffing out of Chuck Darwin's "theory". That's fair, right?


The rules, which were praised by evolution critics, stem from a law approved last year by the Legislature.

Backers say the law is needed to give science teachers more freedom to challenge traditional theories, including Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.

Critics contend the measure, called the Louisiana Science Education Act, is aimed at injecting religious themes into public schools.

The statute allows science teachers to use supplemental materials, in addition to state-issued textbooks, to teach evolution and other topics.

We might have evolved from common ancestors going back hundreds of millennia to Africa and beyond, or we might just be the descendants of Adam and Eve, who lived 5,000 years ago and rode dinosaurs to church. (Important historical fact that should be in any scientific "supplemental" material: Adam and Eve didn't have bellybuttons!)

Little Green Footballs[!] informs us that Governor Jindal's buddy, the historical charlatan Dan Barton, is up to the same sort of mischief in Tejas with history textbooks.

Previous YRHT entry: "He really believes this stuff"

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Nagin: "warrior" for transparency 

When Mayor Nagin injects race and the need for transparency into an issue, your suspicions should be activated.

[Nagin's] hourlong interview on WBOK, which targets a mostly black audience, had strong racial undertones, though the mayor never directly mentioned race. At several points during the wide-ranging discussion, Nagin advocated for more discussion about what he sees as an effort to diminish the political gains made by African-Americans.

"I think we're now at the point in this city, where we can no longer afford to have so few warriors in the game," Nagin said, citing himself and Councilwoman Cynthia Hedge-Morrell as examples of 'the few leaders who are stepping up."

When so few others join in, he said, "it's easy to pick those folk off."

I see. So when evidence of unethical or criminal behavior surfaces in the Mayor's office, it's an effort by whites to pick the remaining black "warriors" off. That's convenient.

Nagin... said he intends to keep the spotlight squarely on the inspector general's office during his final eight months in office.

"It's not right, in my opinion," he said. "And we need to do something about it. So, I'm going to do my part with my bully pulpit. And I'm going to start calling for full transparency, full disclosure."
This guy... I mean "shameless" doesn't even begin to describe it.

Remember what originally prompted the American Zombie (Ashley award winning blog of the year) to expose the cronyism and corruption in Nagin's IT office? A petty, loathesome act of political spite in the wake of the 2006 mayoral election.

[Nagin] recently sent bags of Oreos to a handful of African-American politicians who supported Mitch Landrieu in the Mayoral election... including Karen Carter... among others.
According to Da Paper, Cheron Brylski is "[Karen Carter] Peterson's longtime campaign adviser". Brylski, you'll recall, is also the public relations associate for Louisiana Technology Council President Mark Lewis. She had her doors vandalized ("sealed") in January. On June 30, the day before a press conference in which LTC alleged the Mayor's digital records were intentionally erased, Lewis came home to find all of his exterior doors sealed. (The day before the vandalism, the Nagin administration had been informed about the upcoming press conference.)

Combine that with rumors of an illegal nighttime NOPD police raid on the home of a forensic computer analyst who was working for a federal entity probing City Hall, and there's a pretty unsettling pattern of (alleged) intimidation.

But warrior Nagin is feeling vulnerable, and he's worried about others picking him off.

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Update: Zombie has more here.

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Rosh Hashanah, a time for reflection 

According to the Jewish calendar, the year is 5769. According to the Chinese calendar, the year is 4706. This means that the Jews went without Chinese food for 1,063 years.

This period was also known as the Dark Ages.


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Thx jkas

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Tax evasion and prostitution (and drugs) are very serious issues 

NYT:


The scandal-ridden program that allows industry to provide oil and natural gas directly to the Interior Department in lieu of cash royalty payments will be killed, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said today.
...
Federal oil and gas royalties are one of the government's largest sources of non-tax revenue.

Most recently, a Government Accountability Office report made public this week found that inadequate Interior tracking and verification of natural gas royalties paid in kind are leading to forgone federal revenue.

Well, it's good to see that this program will be dropped, and taxpayers will get a better return on their assets. But what was the "scandal" the article referred to?

RS:

Under Bush, the Interior Department became a lawless bureaucracy that actively worked to enrich the nation's most powerful energy interests. Top-level officials secretly allowed oil companies to keep billions in royalties owed to taxpayers, opened up 26 million acres of federal land to oil and gas drilling, denied wilderness protection to another 220 million acres, rewrote scientific reports to eliminate safeguards for endangered species, and even snorted coke and had sex with the very oil interests they were supposed to be regulating.

Oh dear. If this happened under Obama it would be worse than ACORN.
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Update: Ha! This time I beat Atrios to the punchline.
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Update #2: Greenwald does it mo'better, with lotsa links and insightful stuff.

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What's Jindal been up to these days? 

Forgotston lays into Jindal for grandstanding:


Yesterday afternoon late the Governor’s Office of Propaganda issued a press release saying that Bobby had issued an Executive Order to terminate state funding and contracts with ACORN.

According to the media reports from the Capitol, since Bobby has been governor the state has neither funded or contracted with ACORN.

Oh. Malkin celebrates this cessation of nonexistent funding, saying "another pipeline closed off".

Last week, Jim Brown came to Jindal's defense about taking expensive trips to church on his taxpayer-sponsored twirlybird. (I recall how many conservatives blasted former LA Guv Kathleen Blanco for taking a helicopter to New Orleans as Hurrican Katrina was on its way, in order to stand with local and state officials as evacuation and preparedness information was announced. That was viewed as an extravagance at the time, by our thrifty cons.) Anyway, Brown writes:

Across the political spectrum we also have under the gun Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, who has dissolved all legal boundaries between church and state by traveling each Sunday by state helicopter to visit various churches, primarily in the northern part of the Bayou State. The converted catholic governor has been receiving criticism in local and national press for intertwining public funds for travel and protection to both worship and speak at religious services. But is he setting a new precedent for Louisiana governors? Hardly!

In my 28 years of public life, I personally spent many a Sunday, and other days of the week, tagging along on state aircraft with most of the living governors, as we were invited to participate in religious services and pageants.

So, now we're judging Jindal by the "politics of the past", are we? Funny, I thought he clearly disassociated himself from the "poor leadership" of the past in his inaugural.

Brown's post includes an interesting anecdote about the Big Dog, and ends with this pleasant quotation:


“I hope I live to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, we won’t have any public schools. The churches will have taken them over again and Christians will be running them. What a happy day that will be!”

-Rev. Jerry Falwell

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Heckuva job! 

USA TODAY:

The incomes of the young and middle-aged — especially men — have fallen off a cliff since 2000, leaving many age groups poorer than they were even in the 1970s, a USA TODAY analysis of new Census data found.
...
Household income for people in their peak earning years — between ages 45 and 54 — plunged $7,700 to $64,349 from 2000 through 2008, after adjusting for inflation. People in their 20s and 30s suffered similar drops. Older people enjoyed all the gains.

For eight years we heard that the "Bush Boom" had created an economy that was "strong and growing stronger". Massive tax cuts, heavy government spending, historically low interest rates, an accommodative Fed, two wars, and a mega-housing boom yielded... this:

INCOME SHIFTS

Change in median income from 2000-08 (in 2008 dollars):

Age Men Women
15-24 -9.7% -3.3%

25-34 -11.7% -2.9%

35-44 -6.8% -0.8%

45-54 -11.2% -4.8%

55-64 -2.3% 20.6%

65-74 8.0% 8.7%

75+ 1.9% 3.5%


Source: Census Bureau
The stock market (Dow), which is an imperfect gauge, lost almost 25% during Bush's eight years of capitalistic nirvana. It is up nearly 20% during the first eight months of President Obama's socialist tyranny.
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Update: Atrios wrote an almost identical post way before I did. Embarrassing.

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Swine Flu Pandemic Pandemonium 

Oh Bother.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Kudos to Cao 

Huck wanted to see Rep. Anh Cao buck his party in a substantial way:

[T]hough I like Cao, I am not willing to give him a break or pat him on the back [for his vote to censure Rep. Joe Wilson]. He's got to show some courage in bucking the GOP on some of the tough, thorny, big issues before he gets any true kudos from me for representing the desires and interests of his largely progressive and Democratic constituency.


And Cao delivers, on commonsense Student Loan reform (aka, the SAFRA bill). Sure, it's not the toughest or biggest or thorniest issue out there, but Cao was only one of six Goops to join the Dems.

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"Too evolved for U.S. audiences" 

From Racy Mind, we find a McLean's article titled "Darwin movie too evolved for U.S. audiences":

Creation, the British movie about Charles Darwin that opened the Toronto Film Festival, has been critically acclaimed and sold in almost every territory around the world. Yet the film cannot get distribution in the U.S. because its subject matter is considered “too controversial,” the Telegraph reports. The movie, starring Paul Bettany, details Darwin’s “struggle between faith and reason” as he wrote On The Origin of Species. It also depicts him as a man who loses faith in God following the death of his 10-year-old daughter, Annie. U.S. distributors have resolutely passed on the film, concerned that it would “prove hugely divisive in a country where, according to a Gallup poll conducted in February, only 39 per cent of Americans believe in the theory of evolution,” the paper reports. Already the movie has sparked fierce debate. Movieguide.org, a site that reviews films from a Christian perspective, described Darwin as the father of eugenics and denounced him as “a racist, a bigot and an 1800s naturalist whose legacy is mass murder,” contending his “half-baked theory” directly influenced Adolf Hitler.

Cork the forks, kids. We've become a nation of Ruprects. Oklahoma, Oklahoma, Oklahoma!

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Qow 

"Saints can swim. Lions can't."

-- Former Saints QB Bobby "the Cajun Cannon" Hebert explaining on WWL 870am why New Orleans would prevail over Detroit (in the Superdome) on a rainy football Sunday.


"Takes a tough man to make a tender forecast. Keep f*cking that chicken."

-- Fox 5 News Anchorman Ernie Anastos to his weatherman, Nick Gregory.

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Update:

"Just as he is ACORN, just as he is Van Jones, he is racism."

Radio host Rush Limbaugh on President Barack Obama.

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Open letter to blogosphere from David C. Bellinger 

Regret Passing of Elizabeth Beth Ricky, but Stain of David Duke still Haunts Louisiana Republican Party

Re: “Elizabeth Rickey, GOP Activist,” New Orleans Times-Picayune, by Danny Monteverd, September 15, 2009

Dear Blogger:

Elizabeth Rickey’s courageous efforts to combat the influence and political rise of David Duke’s practice of hate politics must never be forgotten. Ms. Rickey’s intrepid deeds to discredit the claim by the Nazi uniform wearing, cross burning, white power shouting, Jew hating, Klan Wizard that Duke had disassociated himself from his past of hate included a trip to Chicago, after Duke was elected to the Louisiana State House, to photograph Duke shaking hands with Art Jones, then the vice chairman of the American Nazi Party, at the convention of the ultra-conservative Populist Party.

However, regrettably, and quite amazing, remnants of the era of David Duke remain in the Louisiana Republican Party State Central Committee, where Ms. Rickey once served. The election of one of Duke’s most vehement supporters, a former appointee to the Causeway Commission by the Jefferson Parish Council, and perennial candidate for public office, Keith Rush, to a seat on the Louisiana Republican Party State Central Committee, in June 2007, reversed whatever gains made by the GOP to cut its ties from the Duke legacy. With the help and support of Kenner’s Republican mayor, Ed Muniz, who nominated Rush to fill a vacancy, Rush was elected without opposition by the party’s central committee. Even more regrettable, but not surprising, Rush was re-elected to the Louisiana State Republican Party Central Committee, with a 2-1 majority from a district (82nd District, Sub-district A) in Metairie, Duke’s old stomping ground.

As noted in the Times-Picayune article referenced above, taking leave of her Ph. D. studies at Tulane University, “Ms. Rickey worked for the election of John Treen when John Treen opposed Duke in a run-off election to serve in the (Louisiana) house 81 District.”At the other end of the deep Mariana Trench low, in the spectrum of “no shame” respectability and gutter decorum, in the 1989 House 81 run-off, “Duke has no notable political figures behind him, but longtime New Orleans area radio talk-show host Keith Rush endorsed him this week.” -- Source: “Flood of Endorsements likely to help Treen, Analysts Predict,” by Barri Marsh, Times-Picayune, 1989. Moreover, a further mega stain on the Louisiana GOP, on the scale of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, Rush has been named to the Southern Poverty Hatewatch blog: http://www.splcenter.org/blog/2007/08/02/duke-supporter-elected-to-louisiana-gop-governing-committee/ -- an unimaginable embarrassment, even by Louisiana standards. And when Keith Rush was a talk show host at WTIX (now WIST) the U. S. Secret Service paid a visit to the station to give a warning because Keith Rush was putting out words that "encouraged" violence against William Jefferson Clinton, then the President of the United States!

Keith Rush represents the worst of Louisiana’s history of hate, and Rush can only bring more disgrace to the soiled legacy of Louisiana politics.And when will we read that the Republican Party will disassociate the Party from Keith Rush, and his sordid past? But, thus far, “no” Republican official has denounced Rush serving as a member on the governing body of the Louisiana GOP! Furthermore, David Duke backed Rush’s candidacy for a Jefferson Parish Council seat in 1991, telling supporters in an endorsement letter, “He thinks like we do. He believes in the things we believe in.” –- Source: “BLACK DISTRICT AND A DUKE PROTÉGÉ,” by James Gill, Times-Picayune, April 21, 1991. And from a Keith Rush remedial campaign letter when running for the Jefferson Parish council to known supporters of Duke, which I would say with confidence, assuredly included a generous assortment of skinheads, Klansman, and neo-Nazis, and a myriad of Arian believers as well: "Dear David Backer” – and how is Mrs. "Backer"?

Having Rush serving as a GOP official on the Party’s State Central Committee, in 2009, I cannot imagine a less appropriate testament by the GOP to honor Elizabeth Rickey’s valiant work, and what a shame. As a person who once had the honor of knowing Ms. Elizabeth Rickey, a Republican I sincerely admired and respected, I take her passing with sorrow and deep regret. She was indeed a most decent and accomplished lady. And Ms. Rickey, was the niece of Mr. Branch Rickey, who hired the great Jackie Robinson in 1947, breaking the color barrier of major league baseball.

David C. Bellinger, formerly (due to Katrina) of New Orleans, not wishing to return to a state which would embrace a politician who spoke for and supported the agenda of David Duke, and who is now serving in an elected capacity with the Louisiana GOP.

Atlanta, GA
(404) 762-8779
E-mail: davidc53@juno.com

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Embarrassed Vitter skips vote to strip ACORN of funding 

The LA Dems press releases coming from Kevin Franck's office are consistently tremendous. The scale of improvement from a couple years ago is olympian. Look how he turns the tables on Vitty-cent:


As pressure mounts for congressional investigations into charges that ACORN provided financial assistance to prostitutes, David Vitter skipped a key Senate vote yesterday to deny federal funds to the controversial group.

In a press release issued yesterday morning, Vitter declared himself the "Senate's most outspoken critic of ACORN" and highlighted an amendment he offered last week to strip all federal funding for the group from the transportation appropriations bill. A few hours later, the Senate voted on an identical amendment, but Vitter did not cast a vote.

Today, the Advocate reported that Vitter has joined other Republicans calling for an investigation into whether ACORN employees "advised people posing as a pimp and prostitute how to skirt federal tax laws." "For months, David Vitter has been leading the charge to deny federal money to ACORN, but as soon as the topic of prostitution comes up, he doesn't even show up to work," said Louisiana Democratic Party Spokesman Kevin Franck.

Vitter may have skipped the vote to avoid calling attention to his own admission that he frequented prostitutes, according to Franck.

"Tax evasion and prostitution are serious crimes that should be investigated and it would be very surprising if David Vitter and the services he has paid for did not violate tax laws," Franck added.



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Franck's impeccable framing dominates the news coverage in these Gannett and ABC stories. I mean, Vitty should be getting traction on these issues, but he is neutered by a simple press release which notes that he is a recovering whoremonger. Vittycent didn't even vote on the ACORN issue, and has to hide so he won't have to respond to these embarrassingly effective LA Dem attacks.

Don't Louisiana conservatives want a Senator who has the stones to cast a vote stripping federal funding from ACORN?

(Graphic Credit: Michael)

Bravo, Kevin Franck. Now that's how you do an effective press release. More of Franck's releases here.

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Beck steals from Rising Tide Conference 

They're saying that Glenn Beck's "9-12" deathbagger logo is based on a design from some socialist party.

I doubt Beck would lift something directly from a Commie-symp group. [Update: Apparently yes, he would.] However, I think the deathbaggers might lift the cascading, tri-fist design from the first Rising Tide conference. Compare for yourselves:



It's simple: Beck loots from the stricken city he doesn't understand, yet loves to disparage.

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(Per usual, my tongue is slightly in cheek here.)

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I don't know the answer to Schroeder's question 

Do you?

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OBL apparently has another tape out:

In the recording, the voice discusses what motivated the al-Qaeda network to launch the 11 September attacks. He explained that they were, in part, fuelled by US support for Israel.

"The time has come for you to liberate yourselves from fear and the ideological terrorism of neo-conservatives and the Israeli lobby," the voice in the tape says.

"The reason for our dispute with you is your support for your ally Israel, occupying our land in Palestine."


Hey, thanks for the advice bin Laden! But you know what? Even if we stopped supporting Israel and dumped the neoconservatives who consistently inject stupid ideas into our national discourse, and y'all responded by ceasing all hostile operations against the U.S.... even if all that hypothetically happened, there'd still be this unresolved 9/11 incident on your rap sheet. You remember, it's the one where you initiated a coordinated attack that murdered thousands of innocent Americans. Yeah, that one. It still sticks in our craw, a bit, and you and your co-conspirators need to be brought to justice for it.

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