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24 September 2004

Friday Fiber: Silliness is all I've got 

In the last installment of Friday Fiber I promised everyone the spectacle a hurricane of response from BellSouth and Cox following LUS' release of its feasability study. But all you got for entertainment was this pitiful little Offspring-of-Ivan big rain. I was flat-out wrong. I can't imagine what is happening other than Cox and BellSouth has decided that their disinformation tactics have been working against them rather than for them. The story I hear now is that we should all look for an big push mid-October. Yes, another "October Surprise." That doesn't seem likely to me; remember that any big push intended to upset the populace only makes sense if they give it enough lead time for the public outcry they manufacture to build and influence the council. Mid October is just plain too late with the full proposal scheduled to go before the council somewhere in the middle of November. Plus there will be a major distraction in early November that will focus local attention elsewhere during the final runup. (You don't suppose that is deliberate on the part of LUS? Could be. Maybe they are planning on letting the national cacaphony drown out the local noise.)

My guess: they've decided to quit wasting their energy on trying to whip up a Lafayette population that just isn't prone to it since their tactics that have plainly offended those who actually make the decision. If I were them I'd work on patching up my tattered "governmental relations" with the council and the little-known LPUA. Their vote is the vote that counts.

----------------

But if I can't give you substance I can offer silliness. I've got two nice little bits of that.

I've not offered the readers of Timshel the entertaining if slightly nauseating story of the Cox vice president who decided that it would be great fun to lie a little as long as it served his cause. (What is it about vice presidents?) He decided to run a blog under the name "TJCrawdad" telling the folks that he was a Lafayette resident who loved all things French, Cajun and Creole—even that some of his favorite authors were Victor Hugo and Alexander Dumas. (Honest, see his blogger profile.) Of course, he really lives in Tyler, Texas and works out of regional headquarters as the vice president in charge of governmental relations. But, quite dimwittedly he used a screen name that he'd used all over the web and Doug over at LUFTTH found him out. After the dustup over that Cox redesigned their "Let the people vote" website to make it clear that they were sponsoring it and TJ Crawdad crawfished back into his hole. I thought he'd been buried. But no, cher, he's back for at least one more fitful post. In that post the vice president who is lying about who he is approvingly quotes a letter an employee wrote. Of course the employee doesn't bother to tell the public Cox is paying his bills. A nice little chummy echo chamber passing as "public opinion." The whole thing peeved me enough to elicit a full scale rant. If you're bored you can check it out: Disinfo Alert: Echo Chamber. These guys are shameless. And they hold you in contempt.

The second bit of silliness is more fun: LafayetteProFiber has put up a silly/serious little take off on the national color-coded terrorist alert system: the Lafayette Pro Fiber Disinformation Advisory System. There is an overview at the Threat System page and shelter in place directions at the Citizen Guidance page. It's sly, a bit canille.

The current threat level is Code Yellow: Elevated....



Time Killing Game of the Week 

Only one to link to this week.

Fingertime.com has all kinds of fun and simple ways to pass the time, so if the featured choice doesn't push your buttons, you should feel free to search around for something more to your liking.

As for me, I love tearing ass down the highway on a virtual Vespa, so I'm linking to Scooter Ace. Have fun; don't crash.

Quote of the Day 

In response to Dick Cheney's visit to the City Club in my hometown this morning:
A Louisiana spokesperson for the Kerry campaign, Renee Lapeyrolerie, responded: "It is the height of absurdity for Dick Cheney, a chief architect of the Iraq quagmire, to talk about the leadership needed to fix the mess in Iraq that he created.
This really is the heart of the matter, isn't it? George Bush and Dick Cheney made this mess. They haven't really offered any reason for us to believe they're going to make things any better, we are only supposed to trust their "resolve" and their "convictions". Instead they hammer away at Kerry hoping the public will just forget that they're the reason there's a problem in Iraq in the first place.

Meanwhile, the Kerry campaign has released a new commercial highlighting the dream world the White House is trying to build for the American public.

Here's a link to a video from KATC where you can see Dick Cheney's sneer in all it's glory, just click on the picture.Can't you see the contempt I have for you fools?

Birthday Wishes 

My big bro turns twenty-seven today. He's powering through his first year at law school in the fine city of Boston right now, so he's only commenting on the blog when the issue of a Saints stadium comes up, which hasn't been much lately. At any rate, we miss he and his wife being down here in Louisiana, and it's too bad all the Prados and our friends can't celebrate his birthday together. Hopefully the city of Boston will commemorate it with a weekend pounding of the hated Yankees. If you know--er--Bigshot Prado then send him an email or give him a call. I'm sure he'd love to hear from you. If you're lucky, though it's probably too late now, you could get him in the middle of one of his supposedly important classes.

Happy birthday brother, you've been too good to me.

Tauzin III now tied to Delay money 

Well, I'm a little disappointed that the Advocate didn't include a story about Billy Tauzin III's acceptance of $5,000 from the Americans for a Republican Majority PAC in their online edition.

The DCCC is demanding that he return the money. They say it's tainted. ARMPAC is our friend Tom Delay's political action committee, and a lot of the money is tied to the indictments that have been coming down the pike in Texas lately.

Billy Tauzin III's fundraising has already raised some concerns among politicians and journalists in this cycle, so it would seem that a story line is developing. But the people at the Advocate, despite their editorial page's reputation as advocates of reform and transparency in government, think this story minor enough to stuff on page 17 of the A section and not bother to include electronically.

"Minor" Senate Candidates 

Bruce Alpert breaks down the list of guys running on principle in the 2004 Louisiana Senate race. As usual, these guys are more interesting because they can usually say pretty much whatever they want. That doesn't mean what they have to say isn't valid, rather you tend to get more from these types of candidates than the men and women who run for office with a real chance to win because of the latter's political considerations.

Although I still can't quite believe that John Kennedy listed his favorite authors as Jean-Paul Sartre and Soren Kierkegaard in that profile from earlier this week. He even mentioned "Being and Nothingness" and "The Sickness Unto Death" by name. Now that's honesty for you.

Louisiana polling 

Mike Stagg, who readers at this site may or may not know to be a former gubernatorial candidate and partner in crime to Timshel contributor John over at LafayetteProFiber.com, sent an email out to our Lafayette Democrat listserv with some optimistic polling data included at the LA Times. It's from American Research Group, who are in the middle of polling every state in the nation, and shows Louisiana going to Bush by only eight points. Considering the +/-4 margin of error and that six percent consider themselves undecided, this would seem to put John Kerry in striking distance and categorize Louisiana as a solid battleground worth spending money and time trying to win.

Unfortunately we know Kerry has already decided to withdraw resources from the state beginning on Oct. 5, so what's the deal here? Just this week Adam Nossiter stated that Bush had a 17 point lead in the state, one point higher than Verne Kennedy reported back in July, which suggests that he had seen some new polls, but clearly not the ARG business.

So when you need info on all things polling, where do you go? Clearly the first bet is Democratic booster and pollster extraordinaire Ruy Teixeira at Donkey Rising. And what does he say about the American Research Group? Actually, not much, but he does extensively quote a political scientist at Emory who writes the following:
My analysis of ARG's September, 2000 poll of all 50 states plus the District of Columbia indicates that, in general, the poll was highly accurate. On average, the state by state results yielded an average lead for Al Gore of about 1 percentage point in September. On Election Day, Gore actually lost the average state by an average margin of 3.6 percentage points even though he narrowly won the national popular vote. This is due to the equal weighting in the average of heavily populated states and sparsely populated states. Gore carried 6 of the 9 most populous states while Bush carried 15 of the 20 least populous states.

...

The ARG September poll accurately predicted the winner of 45 of the 50 states.
There you have it, right? The ARG poll is highly accurate and predicted the winner in 45/50 states in the 2000 election. Unfortunately one of the five it got wrong is Louisiana, which went to Bush over Gore by eight points in 2000. Living here I don't think there was ever any doubt in most people's heads on election day that Bush was going to carry the state, which suggests that somewhere this poll is highly out of step with whatever public opinion is in Louisiana. At any rate, as much as I want to believe these guys are right and they corrected whatever problem allowed them to get it so wrong in Louisiana in 2000, I find it very difficult to take at face value. Right now it's probably an outlier, and until someone else bothers to check and/or the Kerry campaign starts treating Louisiana like the battleground state ARG says it is, I'm going to discount the accuracy of this poll.

Shocking Revelations 

I'm putting off the polling post because I wanted to point to a story in my local newspaper before my competitor for links to Advertiser stupidity got to it. Today my local paper considers the hard-hitting question as to whether or not animals have souls. Leaving aside the fetish photograph included with the report, and the question actually presented in the big, fat headline at the top of the front page of the "Accent" section, the Lafayette crack reporter Trevis Badeaux clears up something many people may not have been so sure about.
In fact, humans and the animal kingdom have been close companions since creation, as most theologians would agree. Where most differ is with the question: Do animals have a soul?
There you have it folks, the Advertiser asserts creation as stated fact. Quod Erat Demonstratum...which most people don't know actually means, "If the Advertiser says it, it is true." That's some excellent editing over there.

I [/heart] Louisiana 

Some people really can do the "gret stet" proud.

Who wants to bet whether or not this was a proud Chappelle graduate (no offense to my friends from the all-girl's high school, but c'mon, you know what I'm talking about...)?

Up on deck for tomorrow: good poll numbers in Louisiana! Could it be?

got the CSPAN link from that guy with the baby blue blog.

23 September 2004

All Apologies 

Ms. Kimberly Williamson Butler, OP clerk of court, on this weekend's election debacle:
“In my attempt to explain the circumstances, it was assumed that I was deflecting responsibility,” she said. “I am completely responsible for that system.”

...

“I would like to ask the forgiveness of the voters who were inconvenienced,” she said. “I also want to thank them for returning, some two and three times to exercise their right to vote.

...

“I would like to personally ask the mayor for his forgiveness for those comments,” she said.

...

“I personally made some mistakes,” she said. “One was not alerting the public sooner.”
Sounds like someone is more than a little concerned about the future of her job. Now what?

For the record, I'm pretty sure she meant to thank the people who returned two or three times to finally get the chance to exercise their right to vote, not those who voted two or three times, in which case she'd really have some major trouble on her hands.

Goodbye Astros. Hello...Expos? #&%)@! 

The Astros decided to end their affiliation with the New Orleans Zephyrs earlier this year after Nolan Ryan purchased some Cannuck AAA team and set in motion their move to Round Rock, Texas.

Now the AAA Zephyrs have signed a deal with the paragon of sports franchises, the Montreal/San Juan--maybe one day Washington DC--Expos. Hopefully the Expos will have a real owner, instead of being owned by every other owner, by next year or the chances of ever seeing players like Lance Berkman, Wade Miller, Roy Oswalt and other stars before their prime are going to be gone with the wind.

Maybe they can change their name from the Zephyrs to the '84 Expos. This could be their new logo:Or not...

Nice Turn 

Here's a good analogy from Tina Brown on Dan Rather and the infamous memos. Timshel posts it by way of Political Animal:
Like O.J. Simpson's infamous "struggle" to squeeze his big hand into the glove, the letter was just a lousy piece of evidence that should never have been produced in court. Now because CBS, like Marcia Clark, screwed up the prosecution, Bush is going to walk.
The only difference is that people cared about whether or not OJ killed his ex-wife and her boyfriend. No one gives half-a-damn about George Bush's National Guard record because they knew before and most of them still understand that he simply shirked his duty. It's a big "so what?" from people who spend too much time following politics. The ones making such a big deal about this don't mean to protect George Bush's reputation. Rather they mean to impugn a man and a network they've spent the last thirty years railing against.

Quickly 

Jim Brown is good today. Unsurprisingly lots of people on the Alabama Gulf Coast were very upset that Auburn played football Saturday, diverting many necessary personnel who could have better served their state by helping in the relief efforts. There's more to it, but that's the gist. Go see for yourself.

More Cheney 

The Advertiser more or less has the details on the Cheney visit. It reads more like a list of places to avoid rather than opportunities to see the Veep. At any rate, don't go anywhere near the Lafayette Regional Airport tonight, and avoid the Hilton like the plague. That's been where Cheney and other VIPs have stayed on their trips to Lafayette. Apparently the parking lot was blocked off for some time during the day yesterday while security advance teams dealt with the logistics of protecting a man who is paranoid enough to have spent countless weeks of his term in office in bunkers and other "undisclosed locations".

And if you're curious what a hundred dollar donation to the Boustany campaign gets you, don't look for much:
Preparations for Cheney’s visit will get into full swing today, a big meal is not in the works, Harb said. Danish and muffins are planned, as attendees will be standing for Cheney’s speech.


Add a thousand to that and you can get your picture with Cheney. Maybe for another thousand you can get him to take a bite off your danish, if you know what I mean.

Another story in the local paper that doesn't appear to be online is from a River Ranch resident who talked about the nightmare of trying to get in the neighborhood to go home while Cheney was in the middle of a fundraiser for Suzy Terrell in 2002. I get the feeling he isn't voting for Bush, but it's possible he really is just mad at how the visit inconvenienced him. At any rate, he says you shouldn't even bother to drive down Camellia Blvd. during the visit or you're likely to experience some nasty traffic as people trying to get into River Ranch are held up on the road.

Vitter Profile 

For whatever reason, I must have missed Morrell's profile yesterday, but today the Pic completes its series with an article on the lone Republican in the race to replace John Breaux. For the only question that matters, here's the defining moment of David Vitter's conservatism:
[While going to school at Oxford] Vitter said he saw firsthand the economic problems England was enduring because of its "socialist policies" and emphasis on big government.

A visit with a couple of buddies to a miners union meeting where a Labor Party leader addressed the crowd as "comrades" solidified the philosophy that has marked Vitter's two terms in the state House of Representatives and three terms in Congress.
I can't describe how much I respect this kind of knee-jerk reactionary political development. There's really nothing at all to say about this. Democrats=communists; social spending=socialism I guess that's the kind of worldview one can only develop in England in the eighties, smack in the middle of Margaret Thatcher's conservative governance over the country.

There's a lot more to read about in the article, so give it a looksee, but every time you hear that he's got some kind of nonexistent independent streak, consider this website helpfully set up by the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee.

22 September 2004

Snark 

Considering the celeb press's quick response in the latest Britney Spears brouhaha, Murph makes a modest proposal regarding our nation's political press:
we assign all celebrity editors, journalists and paparazzi to the White House Beat, because these people are born skeptics. These people don't believe a word a publicist tells them, they dig deeper, no matter what, and they always go to press with the most negative, speculative news possible. These people are slimy and low enough to get to the bottom of WMD, to photograph every cave in Afghanistan until Osama turns up and surly enough to tell Scott McClellan he's full of shit while at the same time figuring out a new hairstyle for John Edwards and finding a way to preserve our precious democracy and truth.

amen.

Cheney 

He's definitely coming Friday, but I don't know if I would call the City Club "posh", though I did once hear of a bartender there getting fired for fellating (sp?) a guest in the bathroom during a wedding reception. Maybe "Swank" would be a better term.

Ho-hum 

A couple of days behind and now I can't find anything to post on. Any requests?

Tauzin III 

Patrick Courreges gets another story almost completely from the info in a Congressional candidate's press release. I'm no expert on any of this, but from here Tauzin's energy plan looks like a mess of contradictions, which can be summed up in this statement:
Conservation: "No matter how much energy we produce, we still need to conserve our valuable resources. We cannot produce ourselves out of this energy crisis."
It's great that he acknowledges this all-too-obvious fact of life about the future of energy production in this country, but his "plan" is nothing more than incentives for more ways to extract the resources from Louisiana's coastal waters. He concedes that it's not a long-term solution, but doesn't seem to understand that concession. It would call for companies moving closer to the coast and deeper under the ground. There's no doubt that this could have some pretty significant short-term positive effects on jobs and new revenue in the state of Louisiana, but this isn't a plan, it's just a giveaway to oil and gas industry that Louisiana residents would be paying for in the not-too-distant future. Who would have believed a Tauzin would be shilling for the oil industry?

That wife of his sure is hot, though...


Mr. Bill and his wily band of superheroes kicked off their campaign to save America's Wetland yesterday when Governor Kathleen Blanco appeared with lifesize versions of the Estuarians at a Baton Rouge elementary school. Read about it here and here.

You can take a look at some of the spots at MrBill.com

Meanwhile, I'm growing more and more enamored of John Kennedy's plan to sue for the funding to reclaim our rapidly depleting wetlands. Lots of talk over the last few years hasn't really produced much action and filing lawsuits is something that can happen immediately. It should be part of a multi-pronged attack on the people who are getting rich off our wetlands while doing very little to protect them. 'Cause it sure ain't the people who live down in this district or the third.

Heavy Hitters 

Wow, the GOP either believes they've got a real shot at capturing the Seventh Congressional District this year or they're worried that they won't even land a spot in the runoff. Meanwhile, Republican David Thibodeaux continues to get the shaft from his party. Louisiana Democratic Party Chairman Mike Skinner believes it's the latter. I think I agree with him.

Why else would they float the possibility of bringing Dick Cheney in to support Charles Boustany before the runoff even begins?

This is just the kind of event I would love to go to, but if it goes down it will be a $100/plate luncheon at the City Club in River Ranch. For some reason I don't think I'll be invited...

The article says he's promoting this on his website despite being told by Cheney's people not to comment to the press about it, but I can't find it anywhere. Maybe Cheney's so scared about tipping off the people who hate him to where he might be that the early notice of the event will make him reconsider his trip. Who really knows about these things?

21 September 2004

From the mouths of babes 

This blog, probably due to the "next blog" button on the new "blogger toolbar" helpfully located at the top of the screen, recently diverted some lucky reader to Timshel.

If you don't want to follow the link, it's a blog hosted by an eighth grade social studies teacher in Wilmington, North Carolina. He posts a question a week for his students to answer when the mood strikes them. In response to "what makes this particular election so important," there are these responses:
Stephanie_p4_st20 said...
I think that this election is so important because most people don't want Bush to be president for another4 years. I'm not really in to politics but if I could vote, I would vote for John Kerry. I dont really pay much attention to what they say on t.v, but because of things that president Bush has already done, I think that Kerry would be a better president.

Taniqua_P3_St23 said...
Well I think this election is important because George Bush has done a very poor job of being the leader of this Country. He has said many inappropriate things made jokes at times when the world was at war. He has also started a war and got lots of people killed and now he wants the war to end. Some of the things Bush does are not appropriate. Although Clinton was not a very honest president he did a very good job at running this country. I know it would'nt happen but Clinton should run again. And if John Kerry doesnt get elected then i dont know what i would do.

cora p6 s8 said...
I think what make this a particlar election that Bush and the waffler(kerry). Are so paticlar to run for predint that why I think this election is so particlar. Yes because I am just a kid so I don't know what a lot of the thing they talk about is. But their is some thing I do know about becuas my mom dad and big brother talk about it a lot so I cut. In and hear what they are saying so a little about what they are talking about. Some of the thing I think they7 sould talk about is come out more beacuse all they do is sit on thair but and do notthing a lest that what I think they do all day long. A nother issuse they need to talk ia that they need to get the prdisent to do more thing . Beacuse I don't know a lot about the preenet. All I know is that he comed the army, navy, marines, air force,costgard, and navy seal. And that he runs the hold united state . That is my a pinden about this blog.

I believe the children are our future!

And by the way, is it just me or does that last response seem like it was written by someone trying to pose as a child? And if not, then it's clear that the Kerry supporters are much smarter than the Bush backer.

Promises, promises 

Okay, so I was wrong about posting anything else today. Things should return to normal tomorrow.

Still Here 

I've had some pressing personal matters to take care of today, but all is well and I expect that I may get some posting in at some point later in the day.

For today's assignment, read pretty much the entire Times-Picayune. There's all kinds of important stuff in there.

Uh oh! 

Better raise those threat levels, and just when it appears that the Kerry campaign finally seized on a message and maybe even closed the gap in some polls.

A couple of things to note before I hit the sack. Kerry was much better on Letterman tonight than his mostly worthless trip to Jon Stewart's show. The best line--surely written by the Late Show writers--was from the Top Ten Bush tax proposals. It was number 3, "Dick Cheney can claim George Bush as a dependent." It's funny because it's true.

And in the realm of all things fantasy...

I was leading my opponent this week by about two points going in to the MNF game. He had Donovan McNabb and I had dandy-Randy Moss. Looks like loss number two for this season. If only the liberal media weren't pumping up McNabb's value with their social engineering, I could have gotten him in a later round and won tonight's game.

20 September 2004

Weird 

Update @ 9:56 pm CST: Newsday reports, "Police searched the neighbor's apartment and found written material, which could be construed as a threat against the president, the sources said." Sounds pretty thin for the big Drudge headline. Distractions, distractions...

A credible threat against the President?

We're about due for an assassination attempt on a President, but there'll have to be more as to whether or not this was one.

via Drudge

Here's what I wrote about this some months ago:
My guess would be that President Bush stands a far greater chance of violence against his life than any of the Democratic candidates. I don't think it has anything at all to do with the rhetoric that's come out of either side; just that the president is a far better known person, so any one who is crazy enough to want to assassinate a public figure would be far more likely to seize on the President of the US than some relatively unknown Democratic nominee for the office. It's a matter of percentages is all.

I hope we're both wrong, though.

Wow 

I don't know how long this commercial "filmed" by Sophie Vitter, the Senate candidate's young daughter, has been running, but I just saw it during my local news broadcast, and it's excellent. Innovative, memorable, and substanceless, what more could you ask for in a campaign commercial? That daughter is cute as a button too. She's just old enough where it doesn't look she's being exploited.

Is the reinforcement of the family-man image supposed to insulate him from those dirty rumors simmering in some oppo-research team's files?

Is this some kind of joke? 

Instapundit writes:
HAVING HAD IT WITH RATHERGATE for the moment, and since the post-Ivan weather here is magnificent. I took off for the mountains today and just got back. That leaves me a bit behind the curve at the moment. But here's Rather's statement, and I have to agree with those who think it's not enough.

I want to know where the documents came from, and I want to know why Rather isn't more interested in getting to the bottom of all that -- and in telling us what happened. If he's not willing to do that, he should resign. Or be fired.
I care very little about the substance of the Dan Rather business, the part I found amazing is where he says "having had it with Rathergate..." From what I can tell, he has twenty-two posts on the flap up on his main page since Sept. 17. Considering all the updates, I'd estimate something around a hundred links to other sources about this business. Then the first thing he does after a trip from the mountains apparently meant to clear his head of this hooey is to compose another post with four more links. This cannot be healthy for a person.

Delusions of Grandeur 

The "World Series of Poker" tour is coming to Harrahs Casino in New Olreans. The delusions mentioned in the title aren't my own, but I can't wait to tell a good friend about this because he's convinced he'll be playing on ESPN one day. I look forward to hearing about the trip he'll probably want to take to New Orleans to find a spot at a table for the tournament. It's too bad I have to wait until "sometime next year."

I also mentioned this because it allows me segue into one of the funniest things I've heard during a football broadcast since the regular season began a couple of weeks ago. It was during last Sunday night's game on ESPN when Joe Theismann mentioned something about all the poker playing on television lately, and how he had never heard all these terms like "the flop" and "the river." Paul Maguire could barely hold back a fit of laughter at the incredulous statement that Theismann wasn't aware of these things. I'm sure most New Orleanians laughed as well considering Theismann's near-famous trysts with Our Lady of Harrah's New Orleans Casino.

By the way, the broadcast crew, which sadly is one of the better ones in the NFL, is worse off with the replacement of Mike Patrick by Pat Summerall. Summerall is simply too old for this job. I remember watching Saints games on CBS before FOX got the rights to broadcast the NFL and thinking Summerall was very good, but those days are long gone, and it's possible I was too young to make a judgment about those things anyway.

Damnit 

Eugene Armstrong beheaded...

When will this end?
I find "'Da Ali G Show" mostly funny, though inconsistent at times. However, Sam Schechner starts to answer a question that I've been wondering about for most of the run of its second season here. Namely, how does Sacha Cohen continue to dupe well-known and media-conscious politicos into doing his show?

What I'm more curious about is why these politicians let themselves be tortured with ridiculous questions without either walking out more often or calling Ali G on it. I guess that's a question only psychologists can answer.

And yes, "Borat's" "Throw the Jew down the well" bit may have been one of the funniest--and frightening--moments on television this year. Surprisingly Schechner links to everything else about Ali G except this video of that particular song. Perhaps it's too biting for Slate to do anything with other than mention. If you don't get it a little background on Borat may be in order. Here's sort of an unofficial blog on all things Borat, which you might find a little helpful.

Good Catch 

Michael notes the irony of Lake Charles-raised Tony Kushner's "Angels in America" taking home eleven Emmys on the same day that Louisiana started the process of turning back the clock on whatever gains homosexuals have made over the last few decades.

I usually hate dividing every issue into some kind of red state-blue state dichotomy, but here's one that really lends itself to the usually less than helpful explanation. It's truly distressing to see Louisiana take this step towards discrimination.

Quick Hits 

My blogging schedule is going to be out of step with the normal routine for at least the next couple of day because of some business around here, so before I handle some of it this morning here a few quick hits from around the state.

The T-P profiles Chris John with a promise to cover the rest of the "major" candidates.

Also, Jan Moller covers last night's candidate forum in New Orleans.

And people are really pissed off about the election debacle in New Orleans Saturday.

Meanwhile, my local rag, or someone who works for Gannett, interviewed new Economic Development chief Michael Olivier to find out what's in store for the "Gret Stet's" job future.

Finally, some Dems are considering suing Rodney Alexander because he hasn't returned their donations yet. I say have at him.

Have fun reading. Feel free to use the comments to discuss, and I'll be back sometime this afternoon.

State Dems and Kerry 

Adam Nossiter has a good column up about the song and dance routine John Kennedy and Chris John are doing in order to avoid anything related to an association with the top of the Democratic ticket in the elections on November 2.

There's no doubt in my mind at this point that outside of some illegitimate black baby showing up in Texas that Louisiana is lost for the Dems on November 2. I haven't seen any reporting on it, but a couple of weeks ago Verne Kennedy released his latest polling on the Senate race in Louisiana. This was done the day before the Bush campaign pulled any heavy-hitters they had left in the state, and the day before John Kerry's campaign had a conference call with reporters to discuss strategy and suggested they were going to concentrate on some other battleground states. I never saw any results for polling on the Presidential race, but Kennedy polled it last time when Bush was widely reported to have a sixteen point lead in the state.

At this point all the damage to Kerry that could have been done by weak Democrats unwilling to even stand up and admit to voting for the guy is done, and it can't be undone. Furthermore, by now if they want to win so badly they may as well just come out and bash Kerry, because he doesn't have a chance here anymore.

The ridiculous thing about the whole mess is that they should have just come out with a full-throated defense of their candidate from the beginning. I'm not saying they should have been campaigning all across the state for Kerry/Edwards, but neither should they have avoided any appearance that they might support the ticket. By trying to hide what anyone who follows these things knows anyway, they feed the perception that they're somehow out of step with what will eventually be a fairly insignificant majority of Louisiana citizens. By hiding from a political stance like this they hurt themselves and the national ticket. It's a real shame.

At least Arthur Morrell is unashamed. Too bad he doesn't have a chance either.

19 September 2004

Excruciating Victory 

Looking ugly in a win is better than looking great in defeat, but there's not a lot to be optimistic about after today's fiasco. Deuce's injury doesn't bode well either, though the Saints seem to play better when they face adversity, so we'll see.

I honestly didn't think the defense could be worse this year. If they make every back look as good as a chump like Kevan Barlow did today it's going to be a very long season.

On the upside, Brooks looked a hundred times better this week and our receivers generally caught the balls that were thrown to them. Look for Saints fans to develop a lot of anxiety problems this year.

Quick Hits 

I should point these out before I really sign off for the morning, so here's a good story about the problems with the evacuations in NOLA for Ivan. Traffic officials called it a success, which they're probably right about considering what they have to work with. Evacuees and New Orleans residents rightfully demand that state and federal officials should be involved creating more routes in order to give the city more options. You can read and judge for yourselves.

Meanwhile, John LaPlante at the Advocate uses his weekly column to address the issue. He says Baton Rouge needs another bridge over the Mississippi. That's probably true too, but the prospects of it happening anytime soon are worse than slim. And then there's this column from Bayoubuzz.com operator Steven Sabludowski, which emailer Richard P. says, "hits the nail on the head."

And don't look at this, because there's nothing to read here.
Hundreds, and possibly thousands, of Orleans Parish voters were prevented from voting or were delayed Saturday when about 15 percent to 20 percent of the parish's polling places failed to open on time, raising the possibility Saturday's results will be challenged.

At least one polling site had not yet opened by 3 p.m., but voting was not extended beyond the normal 8 p.m. closing time.
These problems don't cast any doubt over the amendment election, but candidates in NOLA races where precincts were affected ought to be a little worried about the validity of the results from these races. Also, these issues better damn well be settled before the Presidential election in November, because if Orleans Parish is the only parish where these kinds of troubles pop up, it's going to look a lot like the kind of voter suppression we're more used to from such bastions of democratic activity like Florida.

You do have to hand it to Fox McKeithen for taking the bull by the horns, though:
On Saturday, McKeithen and Butler both pitched in to help deliver machines. McKeithen, who has a commercial truck driver's license, drove a truck to deliver some of the machines.

Butler rode along on a truck and helped put voting machines into place at some sites.

McKeithen said he expects some losing candidates to challenge the elections in Orleans Parish. They are entitled to file suit in state court in New Orleans or Baton Rouge, he said.
Obviously these shouldn't have been problems in the first place, and the Secretary of State has to answer for them. I don't think there's anything nefarious going on here, but considering McKeithen said the election was going to go on unless there was a major disaster, one would have thought he had better contingency plans for this kind of event. One would have been wrong thinking that. Okay, that's it for now.

78% 

I expected this "defense of marriage" amendment to pass rather easily, but I never thought they could gather a percentage this high. Nothing to do now except express shamed disappointment. I still think we'd be better off writing a new state constitution than waiting on the Supreme Court to call this amendment un-US Constitutional, but we'll see about that.

Don't forget to watch the Saints today. I'm out for now.

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