Monday, March 31, 2008

Fear of the Known

In his speech on ethics, Governor Jindal said:
"There will be some who will work to prevent this change because they fear the unknown. They fear change.
They fear a Louisiana where what you know is more important than who you know."
I would have to disagree. Most Louisianians fear the known much more than they fear the unknown.

Excerpt from The Advocate:
The first business to benefit from state economic development aid under Gov. Bobby Jindal is run by a man whose family and businesses donated at least $135,250 to the governor’s campaign and local Republican Party causes during the past year.
Jindal introduced the donor — Gary Chouest, of Galliano — as a leader of Louisiana business in the same March 9 speech when the governor proclaimed before the Legislature that the state’s political culture had moved beyond “who you know” motivations.
Jindal used part of the state’s $1.1 billion surplus to put $10 million in a Terrebonne Parish port expansion. Jindal also gave an additional $4 million grant to the project.
The state Legislature approved both proposals earlier this month.
The taxpayer dollars help Chouest’s privately owned companies expand a state-of-the-art shipbuilding facility and to upgrade the port where the new plant is located.

h/t wesawthat

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Patrick Williams begins his Long Walk

Democratic Representative Patrick Williams is off on foot to Baton Rouge for the upcoming general session of the legislature.

He left Shreveport early this morning and hopes to reach Baton Rouge by the end of the month. He is walking to call attention to education, welfare and healthcare concerns.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Carmouche running for 4th District Seat

Better buckle up, the 4th District Congressional Race just got interesting.
Highly Popular Democratic Caddo District Attorney Paul Carmouche announced today he is running for Jim McCrery's 4th District seat in Congress. “I am running for Congress because of the people of Northwest Louisiana are ready for change and need a strong, independent voice who will stand up for our values,” Carmouche said in a release to The Times. “I will fight for Louisiana’s working families and work to provide better healthcare for our veterans and reservists, give our middle-class families the tax relief they need, and stand up for Louisiana’s values in Washington.” Carmouche received his juris doctorate degree from Loyola University Law School. Carmouche and his wife live in Shreveport and have two children.

Political Sex Hounds

The Times-Picayune has an excellent column by James Gill concerning the Spitzer-Vitter comparison.
Excerpt: "U.S. Sen. David Vitter is obviously correct when he says that "anyone who looks at the two cases will see there is an enormous difference" between him and Eliot Spitzer.
There are, it is true, superficial similarities when two sanctimonious humbugs in high office get caught humping whores in Washington.
But, at a philosophical level, there is no comparison. Vitter, as befits a Republican who styles himself a fiscal conservative, stuck to a relatively modest budget, apparently never paying more than a few hundred an hour for sex.
Read the entire article at

Meanwhile, Political Sex Hounds:

Iraq War Blogswarm

Read the article over at The Wounded Bird. I can't improve on it.

Statement of Purpose:
This blogswarm will promote blog postings opposing the war in Iraq and calling for a full withdrawal of foreign occupying forces in Iraq. Five years of an illegal and catastrophic war is five years too many. On the March 19 anniversary of the conquest of Iraq by the Bush Administration, there needs to be a loud volume of voices countering the pro-war propaganda from far too many politicians and corporate media outlets.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Vitter Should Resign

Louisiana received some decent publicity recently from the special sessions for ethics. It was a great PR move, if nothing else, and made it appear that the state was on the right track.

All of that good publicity, however, was negated by the scandal surrounding New York governor Eliot Spitzer, who resigned due to his dealings with a prostitute.

How could that affect the public perception of a state half a continent away? The answer is simple: David Vitter.

Just about every major media story about Spitzer linked to our junior senator who was also involved in a similar scandal. Unlike the governor of New York, who immediately resigned his office in disgrace, the senator continues to stay in office. If this isn't disgrace enough, the Republican establishment in Louisiana is all for it.

Governor Jindal, who says he wants to 'clean up' Louisiana's image, called on the governor of New York to resign. When asked about Vitter in this context, he issued a statement saying "Senator Vitter has already addressed this and is back at work for the people of Louisiana. The people of New York can deal with the Governor of New York."

And deal with him they did. There was really no question that Spitzer would resign because the people of New York (Democrats and Republicans) were demanding it.

In that strange soup that is Louisiana Politics, however, nothing is so simple. Republican State Chairman Roger Villere sees no similarity between the two. Spitzer was a governor who was charged with enforcing the law, so he had to go. Vitter merely helps make laws, so it's okay. Go figure. There is nothing wrong with a whoremonger, so long as he is not a governor.

VITTER: It's about immigration and stuff, stupid!

Scott Jordan has a very interesting article in The Independent. In one of Vitter's "telephone town hall conferences" Jordan snuck in a question as to why Vitter should remain in office. Vitter's reply was “I made a very serious mistake a long time ago, and I have to live with that every day,” Vitter replied. He sounded genuine and contrite. “That’s not a flippant statement. I need to spend my whole life making up for that.”
Then his tone turned a bit defiant. “Anybody who looks at the two cases will see that there is an enormous difference between the two of them,” he said. “The people that are trying to draw comparisons to the two cases are people who’ve never agreed with me on important issues like immigration and other things.”

Safe bet: They will never call Scott again to participate.

The Reduct Box has posted a video on YouTube dealing with this:

Don't go away mad - just go away!
David Vitter should resign now. He doesn't have to apologize, he doesn't even have to acknowledge the real reason. Use the old 'I need to spend more time with my family' line. Say whatever is convenient. Just go away.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Spitzer and Vitter: Big Apple vs Big Easy

New York Governor Eliot Spitzer resigned today after stories emerged about his trysts with a prostitute. In the eyes of his constituents, he did the right thing by falling on the sword and ending his political career. New Yorkers, in fact, demanded it. You see, they apparently have higher moral standards than we do.
David Vitter continues to serve in the senate after his name popped up on the phone list of the 'DC Madam'. Vitter also has been linked to a prostitute in New Orleans who enjoyed a full page spread in Playboy earlier this year. The silence from the governor on down has been deafening. Spitzer resigned in disgrace, while Vitter continues to serve in disgrace.
I have a news flash for our governor, who wants to give Louisiana a new image. It will not happen as long as David Vitter is our junior senator. As they say up in the middle of the state, that just 'won't slop the hogs'. That dog won't hunt.
As long as this festering sore remains on our body politic, we will receive the same scorn that we always have.
The Village Voice today lamented that 'New York is now Louisiana'.
Ben Smith of Politico, when asked why Vitter continues to serve, said that "New York's morals are hardly Louisiana's."
Does that make you proud? Is it time to speak up?
Here is our latest video effort offering a comparison of the two men.

Spitzer Resigns: Vitter Hides

"Men don't pay prostitutes to have sex with them, they pay them to leave afterwards."
- anonymous

How do you tell a New York 'liberal' Democratic governor from a 'family values conservative' Republican Louisiana senator? One has the decency to resign his office when he has disgraced himself and his constituents and the other doesn't.

Eliot Sptizer resigned as Governor of New York today after evidence came out that he had been paying a prostitute for her services. The same charges came out last summer about our junior senator, David Vitter. Vitter simply said that he had sinned, that God and Wendy (the wife) had forgiven him and that he wouldn't answer 'endless' questions about it.

Turned out that meant not one single question. Of course, most of the 'family values' crowd came out in Vitter's defense, but were strangely silent on Spitzer.

Our new governor also lost a couple more credibility points as he was one of the Republican governors who called on Spitzer to resign. He has been strangely silent about Vitter.

My next line was going to be that if David Vitter had an ounce of decency, he would step down now, using Sptizer as an example; no need to write it, we know that Vitter does not have the decency to do the right thing.

What is it with these wives? I realize that both Ms Spitzer and Ms Vitter are lawyers and professional women. I'm sure that affects their way of thinking and helps them control their actions. I can't help but think that it would be refreshing if just one of these women, Spitzer, Vitter, Craig or Clinton would step up and say "You go out there and face the press yourself you sonofabitch." That's the way it would happen in the real world.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

People in Kentucky Terrified of Internet Bullies

Kentucky State Representative Tim Couch (R) filed a bill this week to outlaw anonymous posting online.
The bill would require anyone who contributes to a website to register their real name, address and e-mail address with that site.
Their full name would be used anytime a comment is posted.
If the bill becomes law, the website operator would be fined five-hundred dollars for a first offense and one-thousand dollars for each offense after that.
Representative Couch says he filed the bill in hopes of cutting down on online bullying. He says that has especially been a problem in his Eastern Kentucky district.
I don't know how he thinks the State of Kentucky can police the internet, but best of luck.
Thank God we have these 'small government' Republicans to protect us.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Barack says "No We Can't"

video: barack obama responds to talk of a joint ticket with hillary clinton

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Eighteen States aim for Cyber Command

There is stiff competition for the permanent home of the Air Force Cyber Command. The provisional command is located at Barksdale AFB in Bossier Parish. Fifty-Six bases in eighteen states are lobbying for the plum assignment. The Air Force Times reported today that the field is limited to the following states: Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah and Virginia.

Meanwhile, the state and the parish have each put $50,000,000 into the pot to attract the permanent command, which is expected to create thousands of collateral jobs in the area.

The governor was back in Bossier City on Thursday and said that Cyber Command is "the single most important economic development project for our entire state." Jindal also pledged an additional $7,000,000 to improve Interstate 220 access to the Cyber Innovation Center near Bossier Parish Community College and to ease entry onto the east side of Barksdale Air Force Base.

The Natchitoches Chamber of Commerce is holding a seminar Tuesday to bring together senior military personnel from 8th Air Force headquarters at Barksdale and the Cyber Innovation Center in Bossier City with leading panelists from industry and academic institutions.

Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover has pledged support for LSUS in developing support for the command.

                The Air Force is already using Cyber Command as a recruiting tool:

                Some of the competitors to Barksdale are:

                • Hanscom Air Force Base, 15 miles northwest of Boston, is convenient to Route 128 high-tech firms, Harvard and MIT. It provides worldwide support for the Air Force's Electronic Systems Center.

                • Hampton, Virginia, is only 200 miles from the Pentagon and the nerve centers of U.S. government. It is home to the Air Combat Center and the Air Force Global Cyberspace Integration Center.

                • Pennsylvania would like to host Cyber Command, but no specific location has yet been proposed. Pennsylvania has several Air National Guard installations, but no remaining Air Force bases.

                • Michigan would like to host Cyber Command, but no specific location has yet been proposed. Michigan has several Air National Guard installations, but its Air Force bases closed in the 1990s.

                • Little Rock Air Force Base in Arkansas is the home of Combat Airlift.

                • Located in southern Illinois near St. Louis, Scott Air Force Base is home to the Air Mobility Command and the Air Force Communications Agency. It's crawling with geeks.

                • Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama, is the home of Air University, the Air Force's center for professional military education.

                • Keesler Air Force Base of Biloxi, Mississippi, has a strong tradition of electronics and radar operations. It's a major meteorology center, too: The next storm it tracks could be a network one.

                • Megan Lucas, president of the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce in Nebraska, told three reasons to pick her city: "We have the infrastructure, dual power grids and dark fiber."

                • U.S. Rep. (D-Texas) Ciro Rodriguez explains the high-tech acumen of his community: "The robust cyber-security research community ... has transformed the Alamo City into a national leader on the subject."

                • Albuquerque, New Mexico, is home to one of the U.S. Air Force's largest bases. Centrally located and close to high-tech research facilities, it's well-equipped to host Cyber Command.

                • Colorado's Cheyenne Mountain, constructed 600 meters underground, is the former home of NORAD. Currently on warm standby, it could be the perfect place for the Air Force Cyber Command headquarters.

                • Hill Air Force Base is an Air Force Materiel Command base located near Ogden, Utah, about 30 miles from Salt Lake City.

                • Yuba City, California, is 170 miles from Silicon Valley, America's technological heartland.

                Air Force Cyber Command Website

                Friday, March 7, 2008

                Mayor of Mandeville Returns Toy Money to Poor Children

                Mandeville Mayor Eddie Price has given $2,300 back to the police charity that bought him Wal-Mart gift cards and other presents with money donated by local residents to help needy people. Price wrote the check to the Mandeville Police Citizen Service Fund on Wednesday after a Times-Picayune article disclosing the gifts prompted angry reactions from people who have given to the fund, which runs a well-publicized Christmas toy drive. Police Chief Tom Buell, who is in charge of the fund, said Thursday he would consider resigning as police chief if he believed it would help quell the controversy that has followed the disclosures. Price, who makes more than $96,000 a year, has said he accepted $1,300 in Wal-Mart cards, a hunting bow and a gun cabinet because he thought they were Christmas and birthday gifts from city employees.

                Monday, March 3, 2008

                Jindal Endorses McCain: McCain in Hot Water

                Just as John McCain is catching flak from just about everyone over his praise of fundamentalist pastor John Hagee after Hagee endorsed him, our governor jumped in the line of fire today with his endorsement of McCain. Perhaps he (or Buddy Roemer) can persuade McCain to denounce Hagee.
                "I'm very honored by Pastor John Hagee's endorsement today," McCain said at a news conference. "He has been the staunchest leader of our Christian evangelical movement in many areas, but especially, most especially, his close ties and advocacy for the freedom and independence of the state of Israel."
                Hagee, standing beside McCain, said he admired the candidate's pro-Israel stance, commitment to nominate conservative judges and opposition to abortion.
                "Victory is within our grasp because John McCain knows it's never wrong to do the right thing," Hagee said.
                McCain attempted to backtrack a little today with this mild statement:
                "I don't have to agree with everyone who endorses my candidacy. They are supporting my candidacy. I am not endorsing some of their positions. . . . And I am very proud of Pastor John Hagee's spiritual leadership to thousands of people . . .
                If Barack Obama had said that about Louis Farrakhan, we would never hear the end of it.
                Hagee, you will recall, said that God punished New Orleans with Hurricane Katrina because there were gay events scheduled in the city that weekend.
                Hagee wants to bomb Iran now so we can hasten armageddon. He's ready for the end of the world, and the heck with God's schedule, he wants the USA to host the event.
                Oh, and then there's the great whore, the Roman Catholic Church. Glenn Greenwald has a great article on this and more at

                Clarification on John Hagee's views:
                I was challenged by a friend to document the statement above about hastening Armageddon and that Hagee is ready for the end of the world, particularly that Hagee desires to hasten Armageddon.
                1. Hagee did indeed address the end of the world, but emphasized that when he uses that term, it means the end of the world as we know it. He does agree with Senator Lieberman that we should launch a pre-emptive strike against Iran. Lieberman believes that this will forestall a nuclear attack from Iran.
                2. Whether we do it through a 'preemptive' strike, or whether Iran acquires nuclear weapons and bombs Israel, as Hagee believes they intend to do, he believes that the anti-christ is alive today, and that within 20 years the Christian church will be raptured - taken physically into heaven.
                3. At that time will come the tribulation - a period of 3½ years.
                4. After the tribulation comes the great tribulation for a period of 3½ years.
                5. At the end of the tribulation will be a war ending in the battle of Armageddon, which will result in the return of Christ.
                By his own words, Hagee believes that from today the tribulation is about 20 years away and the end of the great tribulation, and the beginning of war is 7 years from that time - so, sometime within the next 30 years we will approach Armageddon.
                I hope this has helped to clarify his views.

                Here are Pastor Hagee's views on the Catholic Church.

                Sunday, March 2, 2008

                What about Lobbyists who are not Registered?

                As we pointed out in an earlier post:

                A lege may have all the tickets to professional, semi-professional and collegiate sporting events, musical concerts and other entertainment venues as well as golfing, fishing or hunting outings that they can scrounge up - if a registered lobbyist is not paying.

                If, however, you need tickets for a concert, say a Hannah Montana concert, no problem. Just don't get them from a registered lobbyist.

                C B Forgotston tackles this in his latest post What about non-registered, illegal, lobbyists?
                It is well worth the read.

                Now that we have Ethics, Let's spend some money!

                Now that the legislature has voted itself some ethics, it is time to look at the governor's proposed budget. Jindal is following the national Republican line: cut taxes and increase spending. I suppose his thinking is that it has worked so swimmingly well at the national level, we'd might as well give it a shot. Why act like a 'tax and spend' Democrat when you can follow the lead of the 'borrow and spend' Republicans?
                Spending levels will be maintained at most levels, with increases in several areas, particularly education & health care. At the same time, the governor will seek a $100,000,000 decrease in business taxes in an effort to attract new businesses to the state.
                One education initiative that is likely to come under close scrutiny is a $10,000,000 'scholarship' program to encourage school choice. Rep. Karen Carter Peterson, D-New Orleans, questioned the program. "That wouldn't be vouchers, would it?" Peterson said.
                Well Karen, yes it would. A rose called by any other name . . .
                State jobs will be cut in nearly every department. No one is scheduled to be laid off - the cuts will be effected by attrition.
                If it seems strange for a new governor who complained about 'out of control' spending during the campaign, just look to his mentor, Mike Foster. Doesn't take long to connect all the dots.
                Jindal seems to be off to a successful start: talk conservative, cut some taxes (preferably for business), have a window dressing special ethics session which basically accomplishes very little, increase spending, talk religion, and before you know it Rushbo is talking you up for vice-president.
                Successful start for Jindal, same old same old for the citizens of Louisiana.