Vitter: tea party will provide gas for GOP vehicle
The Wapo's David Weigel selects some nuggets from Vitty-cent's speech at the SRLC:
"The Republican Party will be the vehicle for positive, conservative change this November," said [Louisiana Senator David] Vitter. "The tea party movement will be the fuel that charges, even supercharges that vehicle." ... "I'll take a TV personality over a community organizer every day," said Vitter [referring to Sarah Palin and Pres. Obama]. That drew the biggest applause of the day so far.
I'm tempted to let those quotes stand, they're so stupid.
Yeah, tell the teabaggers that Vitter says they may serve as "fuel" for the Grand Ole Hoopty. That should please the true-believers in the movement. And by the way, "vehicles" are supercharged by air compressors not fuel, you posh dumbass. (Why not give the automotive metaphors a rest and work on finding a competent getaway driver instead?)
And then the TV personality thing-- huh? I know it was just a red meat applause-getter, but there's absolutely no kernel of insight. MLK was a community organizer. Would Vitty-cent really take MLK over an addled TV personality like, say, Morton Downey jr?
Geez, you could knock me over with a feather! After I rose to potential Senatorial candidate Stormy Daniel's defense in this post, saying that we shouldn't judge her political intentions by her saucy tweets, what does she do? Well she goes and tweets about possibly attending the SRLC!
Stormy is not enthralled by the steep cost of admission to the event, but that's what voters like about her-- her inherent frugality.
Ms. Daniels, please consider the upside. Wouldn't it be great to see all the top faces in the GOP-- conservative luminaries like Newt Gingrich, Bobby Jindal and Sarah Palin? "Porn queen meets former beauty queen"-- that headline's worth the price of admission right there. Also, you could talk with activists about abolishing income taxes, protecting children from sex predators, and the necessity of electing true, responsible conservatives in 2010.
Plus, I'm sure there's tons of undersexed men at a Republican conference, so you could casually mention your next adult film project: Filthy Bad Lieutenant: Port of Callgirls, New Orleans (which is still in development, as I understand it). Like the recently signed nuclear arms reduction pact with Russia, this appears to be a "win win" situation. But I wouldn't recommend using that particular example.
Please, Stormy, come on down and make a surprise appearance at the SRLC.
A number of days back, I added Back of Town blog to the "Lagniappe" section of the YRHT sidebar. Why's it way down there? I have no clue. Saving the best for last, perhaps. Like the way Your Right Hand Thief is at the bottom of your blogrolls, right?
Anyway, Back of Town is a blog about David Simon's Treme show which premieres Sunday night on HBO. And the quality of the recent commentary at Back of Town has been so good, I'm concerned that I may enjoy the blog more than the show itself. The BoT authors probably regard such overpraise as heresy, but read Ray's latest post (plus links) and see if you're not duly impressed.
I don't think I had visited Nancy Nall's blog since Ashley Morris linked to it in this hilarious post. Today she linked to YRHT and I went back to check out her post on David Simon's mention of Ashley on Colbert. I learned that J.C., Nall's webmaster, collected all of the comments Ashley wrote over the years (at NN) and put them in one place. There's over five hundred, and the overwhelming majority look interesting and substantial. Some of y'all might've already known about this treasure trove, but I hadn't discovered it yet. Now I'm going to sit down with a drink and read as many as I can.
Many Republicans and a few conservatives are in town for the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, being held at the Riverside Hilton. VIP registration is only $699 to hear the likes of Sarah Palin, Bobby Jindal, Newt Gingrich and beleaguered RNC chairman Michael Steele. David Vitter and Joseph Cao will get some time to speak on Saturday as well-- yay for the homeboys!
Most importantly, there was no word yet on whether potential Senate candidate Stormy Daniels will make a surprise appearance at the conference. (Wild rumors were circulating yesterday that she wanted to meet Sarah Palin and perhaps lay some groundwork for an eventual endorsement.) Stormy recently made a highly publicized switch from the Democratic party to the Republican party in the wake of the embarrassing RNC/Voyeur club scandal. I thought Stormy's reasoning was interesting :
As I have said for well over a year, it is time that our government and our tax policy begin rewarding entrepreneurship and creativity again. It is time again to inspire positive risks and out-of-the-box thinking in the interest of growing a strong economy and a strong America.
For me, this spirit can be summed up in the RNC’s investment of donor funds at Voyeur.
As someone who has worked extensively in both the club and film side of the Adult Entertainment Industry, I know from experience that a mere $1900 outlay at a club with the reputation of Voyeur is a clear indication of a frugal investment with a keen eye toward maximum return.
Many dismissed Stormy's statement out of hand. For example, operatives in her own party treated her announcement as a stunt, and wondered why she hadn't announced her intentions on Twitter, as if that is an exhaustive diary of one's interior life. Appropriately, I think, Stormy's tweets are about daily life, not attempts at penetrating political exegesis or campaign strategy. For example, recent Stormy tweets include: quick reactions to current events, complaints about work, communications with her many fans, and her taste in music and boyfriends. Big deal. Stormy tweets about prompt pizza delivery. Newt Gingrich tweets about his love of choco bunnies. Who cares?
The local alternative weekly dismissed Stormy's reasoning as "tongue-in-cheek drollery", and implied that this might all be in the name of self-promotion. To be fair, though, let's remember that last year Stormy spent her own money on a "serious" listening tour of Louisiana discussing her efforts "to remove child pornography from the Internet and keeping minors from viewing adult material... as well as [her] support for a national sales tax to replace the income tax and pushing to get troops home sooner from Iraq." That platform makes sense to a lot of people. After all, our current Governor, Bobby "the next Ronald Reagan" Jindal, shares Stormy's passion for punishing child porn merchants and sexual predators:
For the third year in a row, Gov. Bobby Jindal announced initiatives Thursday to combat sexual abuse of children with harsher penalties and expedited investigations to crack down on offenders and child pornography. ... "I want the message to the monsters that prey on our innocent children to be very clear, we will track you down, we will root you out, we will find you on-line -- and when we do we will punish you with every tool we have," Jindal said.
Stormy has a healthy, libertarian perspective on sexuality but also sincerely wants to protect Louisiana families from predators. Last year, Stormy even ran second to David Vitter in an online poll. Why not give her the benefit of the doubt about her potential intentions?
But back to her reasoning for switching parties. What's interesting to me is that she viewed the RNC/Voyeur expenditures through a business lens. She was interested, nay, inspired by the possibility of a high return on investment for the GOP. One of Louisiana's premier conservative bloggers, macaoidh at The Hayride, holds a remarkably similar perspective:
What’s the complaint here? Everybody knows it takes money to make money. Everybody who donates decent money to a cause expects to get his or her butt kissed and shown a good time. That’s a cardinal rule of development. ... So long as it’s not illegal, if it works what’s the difference? ... If [GOP Chairman Michael Steele] is sloppy with the party’s money but that $1,900 ended up making the GOP a few sheckels, then it might just be that the strip club scandal is the best example of his stewardship.
At the end of the day, I see it like this – if a few thousand bucks raised at a burlesque joint makes the difference in getting rid of Harry Reid or unseating Nancy Pelosi as the Speaker of the House, my conscience won’t bother me in the least.
Why is it that when Stormy makes the same point as The Hayride, she's dismissed out of hand? The Senator she may run against claims he's conservative, but as Stormy's campaign pointed out, Vitter voted for a huge expansion of the Medicare entitlement which will saddle our grandchildren with nearly $10 trillion in unfunded liabilities. Who is the real fiscal conservative? One who is inspired by small investments with high potential ROI, or someone who votes to put future generations $10 trillion in the red?
For some bizarre reason, the state Democratic party decided to jump in the mix and accused Stormy Daniels of "selling sex". This was met with a blistering response from Team Stormy:
[T]he spokesperson for the Louisiana Democrat Party (Kevin Franck) falsely accused Stormy of "selling sex":
“If the NRSC is uncomfortable with a Republican challenger who has a history of selling sex, I would suggest they reconsider standing by an incumbent with a history of paying for it."
For the record, any suggestion that Stormy Daniels has engaged in prostitution or any other illegal sexual activity is beyond the pale. We know, as well as all good Republicans and Louisianans know, that someone who would engage in the exchange of sex for money has no place in public office. We are asking Mr. Franck to please clarify his remark.
Now, one thing I don't like about that statement is the "Democrat Party" slur. That sort of lowbrow crap is beneath Stormy, and she should instruct her supporters not to indulge in it. Otherwise, very strong.
Apparently, on April 15th [!] all the political foreplay will conclude and Stormy Daniels will announce whether she will seek the office of U.S. Senate.
One last point. I think it's immature to write about a prospective U.S. Senate candidate like Stormy Daniels merely as an excuse to post large, scantily-clad photos of her displaying her enhanced cans. It's disrespectful. I know I'd never stoop so low, and I give a full-throated "tsk, tsk" to the pathetic horndogs who do.
Yellow "investigative journalist" James O'Keefe is a tool. (You probably already knew that.) As Brad Blog has been saying for weeks, the ACORN tapes are pretty much bogus. For instance, O'Keefe wasn't dressed as a pimp during his much ballyhooed (and sometimes illegal) ACORN interviews. And he didn't even present himself as a pimp. Pimpgate is pimpless. And the videotape he presented to the world was sliced in other grossly misleading and sensational ways. Rather than get both sides of the story, Fox News immediately treated the edited video as gospel upon its release, and nearly put it on a 24/7 news loop. So now that the unedited version is available, Rachel Maddow provided some revealing context on her show last night. (Video below.)
She finds that O'Keefe edited the interviews to imply things conservatives wanted to believe (i.e., the worst), and this cost the jobs of people who were sincerely trying to 1) alert authorities of illegal human trafficking and 2) counsel a young woman out of a life of prostitution. ("You can do anything"). O'Keefe wasted their time, videotaped them with a hidden camera, and then edited the tape to stoke furor at Foxbart News, which led to excessive outrage, and ultimately these people lost their jobs. But at least O'Keefe got famous.
I haven't seen the whole unedited tape, nor read the entirety of this CA AG report on O'Keefe's "sting". And I'm certainly not excusing the nearly defunct ACORN en toto-- especially the greedheads who were running the organization. But the instances Rachel Maddow highlights were obviously edited and decontextualized for maximum political misrepresentation. O'Keefe hides behind words like "investigative journalism" and "veritas", and receives rock star treatment at conservative conferences. In reality, he's dishonest-- a bad joke. O'Keefe's not a pimp. He's a political whore.
The accolade in the referenced article for Aaron Broussard by the politically connected, former President of the Kenner council, “13 count” plea bargained confessed federal felon -– Nick Baroni -– who defrauded the Navy when American forces were “dying” in Iraq and Afghanistan had the sincerity of Captain Renault, the character Claude Raines played in Casablanca, when Captain Renault pretended, and not credibly, to be shocked after being informed there was gambling on the premises of Rick’s Cafe.
Nick Baroni’s hypocritical praise, awash in an element of sophistry of Outer Limits phony idealism, for Broussard is not a pat on the back I would wish to have quoted on my behalf in the Times-Picayune, or in the sleaziest political gutter rag on the planet!
And additionally, Broussard’s pal, Nick Baroni, likely played a significant role in the criminal corruption of his son Keith (also a 13 count plea bargained confessed federal felon) in their third-rate father/son scam to rip-off the U. S. Navy in a time of war to abscond with a mega bundle of taxpayers’ loot drenched in the blood of U. S. fighting forces -– many of whom made the ultimate sacrifice defending the Constitution.
Proving that former Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard -– Nick Baroni’s fellow world traveler and prayer partner, has sunk to an embarrassing level of shame, the Times-Picayune had to scrape the bottom of the latrine to dig up a complimentary quote (I suppose Bernard Madoff was not willing to give a character reference, and Bush’s buddy -- Kenny “boy” Lay is in the ground) from one of the most disgraced, and reprehensibly vile and wretched persons since Charles Ponzi decided to enter the investment market -- Nick Baroni -- whose sons were awarded a largesse of $340,000 by the taxpayers for road and drainage improvements to a carwash owned by two of Nick Baroni’s sons.
But, Nick Baroni’s felonious perception of Broussard’s rectitude, substantiates that there is “no” shame among criminals -– a group I strongly suspect former Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard will soon become a member.
No doubt, Broussard’s abuse of power, excuse me, “expenditure” of $340,000 as parish president to the Baronis -– at the behest of Broussard’s former chief administrative officer, the disgraced Tim “would you like to buy some insurance for your employees” Whitmer, was what Nick Baroni had in mind when quoted in the Richard Rainey article saying, "Unfortunately, a lot of the stuff he has done won't be remembered . . ."
And if the federal grand jury is investigating the Baroni carwash, which took the taxpayers for a ride to the cleaners, Nick Baroni may have the embarrassing and dubious distinction of being one of the great record holders of all time in the Guinness book of world records, that is, corrupting every one of his children!
And I must question a racial double standard in the referenced article.
If an African-American mayor of New Orleans would have resigned in disgrace, a la Aaron Broussard, would the Times-Picayune have dared to put into print a complimentary remark from the former president of the New Orleans city council, the confessed plea bargained felon Oliver Thomas, for a disgraced mayor of New Orleans! Well, I think not.
And Oliver Thomas’ confession of criminal wrongdoing pails in comparison with the heinous criminal behavior of the treasonous Baroni crime family!
As a matter of racially bias propriety, since Nick Baroni is a white conservative Republican and Oliver Thomas is an African-American liberal Democrat -- and the stigma of a black liberal Democrat, with a criminal record, in present society is deemed to be a far more serious character stain.
Example: The political rehabilitation of white conservative Republican Sen. David Vitter has been frictionless as a sleigh ride and as smooth as a garden fresh Georgia Peach.
Vitter, an adulterer, and a purveyor of unquestionable “lies and hypocrisy,” and who most undeniably procured the services of prostitutes -- “illegally,” has a seeming lead in the polls that a candidate could no more overcome if his opponent were Silky Sullivan making up lengths in the final furlong of the 1958 Santa Anita Derby.
Furthermore, David Vitter’s undeniable participation in a criminally adjudicated racketeering organization played a role in the suicide death of Deborah Jeane Palfrey!
And David Vitter will likely waltz back to the Senate with a comfortable majority of the white Republican conservative elective giving the “whore-monger” their thumbs-up in the upcoming November election.
However, at the other end of the politically racially biased spectrum, example:
After former Congressman and former State Senator Cleo Fields was videotaped by the FBI pocketing cash -- being dished by former Louisiana governor Edwin Washington Edwards and “Fields not” holding public office at the time, and never indicted, much less convicted of a crime -- the political career and reputation of an African-American liberal Democrat was demolished as if Fields’ future in politics was sliced and diced and torn and shredded by a Vegematic!
Jindal made deal with Caldwell over healthcare lawsuit?
An intrepid YRHT source alerted us to a scoop from a newspaper in Eunice[!] that the big blogs have already picked up. Here's how Steve Benen ably summarized it:
There are 14 states (and counting) launching odd lawsuits against the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, and 13 are the result of conservative Republican state attorneys general. The exception is Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell, a Democrat. ... Amanda Terkel and Matt Yglesias have flagged an interesting report from a small Louisiana paper that suggests there may be more going on behind the scenes with this case.
It also turns out [Caldwell] may have been reluctant to become what he described as the "token Democrat" in the litigation, but was backed into a corner by Gov. Bobby Jindal. [...]
In a subsequent address to employees of his office, the Attorney General said the decision was made more out of the necessity of saving jobs in his agency than any real hope -- or desire -- of overturning the health care law.
One employee said Caldwell, in a candid admission, claimed that a deal was made with Jindal. Under terms of that agreement, the governor would not make additional cuts in the attorney general's budget if Caldwell joined in the litigation. Caldwell agreed to be the "token Democrat," he said, so that he might save additional job cuts by an administration whose state goal is to reduce the number of state employees by as much as 5,000 per year over three years.
... [I]f the report is accurate, it would not only be a pretty significant scandal for Jindal, it would also put the notion of a "Louisiana Purchase" and controversial, secret "backroom deals" in a whole new, bipartisan light.
This little dance scene goes out to Miss Constance McMillen , her girlfriend, and the other so-called "freaks" that attended the faux prom in Northern Miss. I hope y'all get to move far away from Itawamba County, which I believe is the setting of Faulkner's lesser-known work, The Shitheads and the Fury.
You are always welcome to be yourselves in New Orleans.
Ah, the presidential first pitch on Opening Day. A storied tradition fraught with no small amount of risk. I continue to hope that one day a POTUS will do an Al "the Mad Hungarian" Hrabosky impersonation as part of the first pitch ceremonies. It would be so cool! But, alas, the chances of that ever happening are terribly slim.
Ok, let's see how #44 does.
[Insert mandatory "Just a bit outside" joke.]
Dreadful! (Unless that was a slo-mo homage to the levity of John Kruk's at bat versus the Big Unit in the 93 All Star game.)
To make up for that, here's a few sweet fielding highlights from yesterday that will impress you (the last one is the best):
After courting Gov. Charlie Crist as part of his brilliant "Florida Strategy" in 2008, Rudy Giuliani's team was steamed when Crist changed his mind and endorsed McCain at the last minute. So yesterday Rudy went back to Florida to endorse... Marco Rubio, Crist's GOP opponent for U.S. Senate. After fluffing Rubio for standing "up for freedom" and "up to terrorists", Giuliani said "When Marco gives you his word, he keeps it".
So that's the subtext there.
Let's not forget a couple things. First, Senator Vitter endorsed Rudy Giuliani in 2008. Despite Rudy being "hard on guns and soft on gays" (by GOP standards), Vitty-cent was won over by sheer political ambition his belief that Rudy would make great appointments to the courts. Heh. That still makes me laugh. Vitter had this confidence, despite Rudy advising Pres. Bush to nominate Bernard Kerik to be the head of Homeland Security. Kerik initially refused the job[!], and the White House called him back and told him to reconsider.
Kerik was the one who juggled extra-marital affairs in a Manhattan apartment overlooking Ground Zero that was "supposed to be for the use of exhausted 9/11 workers". Nice. He's also been involved in bribery, tax fraud and umpteen other scandals. Kerik pleaded guilty to eight felonies, and was recently sentenced to 4 years in prison. In other words, he was a monumentally horrible choice to be Czar of Homeland Security. Yet despite this disasterous recommendation, Rudy still goes around acting like his endorsements should be respected. "America's Mayor" wanted Kerik to protect the Homeland and Vitter to chair the southern region of his Presidential campaign. Now he's endorsing some dude named Rubio because Crist screwed him over in 2008-- take a break, Rudy! ---
Sports columnist Dave Zirin writes about a hate crime on a black kindergartner who was tied to a tree by older bullies, stoned, and had the "N" word spray painted on his body. An outrageously incendiary story, right? But wait till you hear who the victim was. (Go read the article.)
Zirin rightly wants to establish the truth value of the account, since the kindergarten teacher denies that this ever occurred. No one should get a "mulligan" here, because someone is obviously lying. Zirin seems to want to believe the story and give the alleged victim the benefit of the doubt, but I'm pretty damn skeptical. For starters, the spray paint part is implausible. A kindergartner's torso doesn't provide much of a canvas for six letter words. And since when do elementary school bullies have spray paint and rope ready to hand? Also, how is it possible that this story about this person flies under the radar for so long?
Eldrick Woods-- the former kindergartner who is now a grown man-- should clear this up. If such a heinous episode is true, he should rebut those who are denying it. If it is false, or wildly exaggerated, he should correct the record and apologize.
T-P awards "Loving Cup" to Tulane University President Scott Cowen. After lauding his accomplishments, they touch on one of his more controversial decisions:
During that fall [in 2005 after Katrina/FF], Cowen devised a plan to restructure the university, a proposal that ruffled more than a few feathers because it closed Newcomb College, laid off 230 faculty members and eliminated all but two engineering majors.
The changes, he said then, were necessary for Tulane’s survival in a post-Katrina world where enrollment and resources would be depleted.
Noladishu documents the protests that accompanied the "restructuring" and says:
There's no getting around the fact that in the aftermath of... the Federal Flood, the largest engineering disaster in US history, Cowen axed the programs that could have made the most difference. In his own words, "If they don't fix the levees, everything we've done [with the Renewal Plan] is for naught."* What are we going to do Dr. Cowen? Sue our way to Category 5 Levees?
I wish Ashley Morris were here to react to the news. (We will always remember Ashley, but since two years have passed since he left, please consider donating again to his family.) Ashley trusted Scott Cowen about "as far as he could explode him". He was on the Tulane President like white on rice maggots. Here's a short but representative quote from Ashley regarding a similar circumstance:
I don’t have too much to say about the Gambit piece on NOLA universities, written by a Tulane undergrad and Gambit intern. As expected, Scott Cowen is portrayed as the visionary who made the painful but necessary bold moves to keep Tulane afloat.
I'll note one more news item, before presenting a palate-cleansing musical number. On March 19th I heard Kaare Johnson of WIST 690am report that Tulane will build a $100 million dollar athletic project that includes a "32,000 seat on-campus RETRACTABLE roof football stadium with a new administration building in one endzone and new basketball arena in the other endzone".
If true, that's awesome news for the remaining students and faculty whose departments weren't eliminated out of "necessity" following Katrina/FF. I wonder if engineering grads will help build it? --- Update:Clay points us to around the 7:40 mark of the extended Treme preview, where John Goodman's character quotes nearly verbatim from this Ashley Morris post (see "in the process" link above), saying: "Why would the university train people who know how to build things? Like, oh say computer systems, power grids, levees. Hey, who needs them?" From what I hear, Simon will appropriately credit Ashley's posts for informing the Treme script.
Note: some edits made after initial publishing --- * nsfw
May your eggs be full of sweets, and your sepulchres be empty (except for informative angels).
I love this passage, where Jesus fuels up before ascension. ===
Dr. Luke, chapter 24
37 They were fearful and terrified and thought they were seeing a ghost. 38 But Jesus said, "Why are you troubled? Why do you doubt what you see? 39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have a living body as you see I have."
40 After Jesus said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41 While they still could not believe it because they were amazed and happy, Jesus said to them, "Do you have any food here?" 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish.43 While the followers watched, Jesus took the fish and ate it. ... 50 Jesus led his followers as far as Bethany, and he raised his hands and blessed them.51 While he was blessing them, he was separated from them and carried into heaven.