10 July 2010


Well, I decided not to run in the 7th against Charles Boustany. Apparently no other Democrats chose to run against him either. This is the same man who has told mayors and other local leaders that he just doesn't think it's right to fight for spending projects in the district because of general federal budget problems (sorry, can't find the link at theind.com where Nathan Stubbs published a story about this about a year or so ago). No challenger. Yep. Welcome to Lafayette, bitches.

The two "big races to watch" if you're concerned about partisan politics are in the 2nd District and the 3rd District.

I'd add the 4th too as something of a long shot.

In the meantime David Vitter is still a complete douchebag. It's unlikely it comes back to haunt him in this election, but the possibility is there. Clearly there are people out there who know his secrets. When they become credible sources to the state or national press is what matters.

For the Record 

I don't think much will come of Chet Traylor's entrance into the Republican primary contest for David Vitter's Senate seat. I'm fine with it as long as it forces him to spend a little money and depresses some of his natural conservative support. I just don't think it will make much of a difference.

To call Chet Traylor well-known or suggest that this will make the primary a "barnburner" seems a little ignorant of our political situation down this way.

[updated shortly after posting for the following]

The suggestion that the "business community is abandoning" Vitter is absolute nonsense. The only community that might abandon Vitter is the Christian right. Vitter will continue to have the support of most of the south Louisiana "do whatever you do" Catholic rubes. He will see seepage from the evangelical economically depressed areas of central and north Louisiana, but there's much less population there for that to matter.

Again, hopefully it makes him spend some money, but "barnburner?" C'mon.


It's actually Saturday now, but whatever.

Your game this week is Coma.

Difficultish. Artistic. Ambient. Brian Eno may or may not have been involved in it's production.

07 July 2010

David Vitter. Liar. 

Among all those other things.

The Saints go to tax court 

The Saints haven't paid taxes on the annual "inducements" the state issued during the last decade.

In a just-filed U.S. Tax Court lawsuit, the partnership owning the Saints acknowledges that it didn't treat an $8.5 million annual payment from the state of Louisiana as income and therefore didn't pay taxes on the sum. Rather, the team said the money was an addition to "working capital" and a nontaxable transaction.

I'm no tax lawyer. I file a standard deduction and it takes me about 10 minutes to do my taxes, so I can't speak to any of this and really don't care to research what the responsibility to the IRS is from these inducement payments. If these inducements helped the Saints win the Super Bowl last year, well, good work state of Louisiana! Maybe we can find some way to make BP pay for Benson's responsibility to the IRS. Maybe the Saints can get Susan Spicer to file a lawsuit on their behalf against BP for some future lost revenue due to their negligence. Just enough to cover their IRS penalties and court costs.

In the meantime, what did that $8.5 million get us? Maybe this finally answers some questions I had a few weeks ago on one of my tweeter personas. Specifically, who the hell paid for all this?

Ornstein helped arrange logistics such as game tickets and travel for players’ in-laws, minimizing crises. He also dreamed up irritations for the Saints’ opponent, the Indianapolis Colts, including strategically placing the Saints’ fleur-de-lis symbol around the Miami area.

"There is a little bit of a propaganda battle to how we travel -- the hotels we’re staying in, what the wives are getting, the flowers, the cameras, the billboards -- and that’s one thing we felt like we needed to win prior to even playing the game," Payton said in an interview today. "By the end of the week, the scene was the fleur-de-lis everywhere."


Ornstein said there were about 20 billboards, placed along the routes most likely to be traveled by the Colts’ buses after consultation with local police. He was hoping they’d annoy Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, who’d just won a record fourth Most Valuable Player award.

"I brought my billboard guy with me and I said, 'I want that sign, that corner, that corner, that corner,'" Ornstein said.


[He made] sure the Saints players and their families received extravagant gifts such as cell phones and cameras during the week leading up to the game, and had an opportunity to show them to the Colts.


"Here’s our guys with their camcorders that have 'New Orleans Saints Super Bowl 44' on them, all filming the Colts guys," he said in an interview. "Well the Colts had just checked into their hotel and they had a Super Bowl hat and a Super Bowl t-shirt and it just didn’t cut it."

Money well-spent if you ask me.

Your Day in Qualifying 

Qualifying for fall elections opened today. No surprises anywhere that counts yet.

I haven't decided yet whether I'll challenge His Lordship Charles Boustany in the 7th. You'll all know by Friday at 5pm.

06 July 2010

Too far removed from state politics these days... 

This video's been floating around. I'd care but Vitter's got the Senate race locked up so tight it doesn't really matter.

A Rose For Emily 

The Faulkner story is one of my favorite works of short fiction. In real life it's even more dismaying.


By the way 

Everything on the sidebar is outdated. Don't email at the link. Maybe one of these days I'll update that stuff. Or maybe I'll just quit blogging again. In the meantime I'm pretty sure I'm going to go to Rising Tide this year. Should be a good time and I hope to meet a bunch of people who belong on an updated sidebar.

05 July 2010

900 Barrels a Day. 

In a March report that was not questioned by federal officials, BP said it had the capacity to skim and remove 491,721 barrels of oil each day in the event of a major spill.

As of Monday, with about 2 million barrels released into the gulf, the skimming operations that were touted as key to preventing environmental disaster have averaged less than 900 barrels a day.

The rest of it is being burned off or otherwise "dispersed." We really have no way to know the extent of the environmental disaster that will unfold from the oil. Not to mention the methane emanating from the reservoir. I'll continue to assume we're mostly getting a good and proper fucking.

27% chance is a low probability. 

That's news to me.
The agency signed off on the minerals service’s biological evaluation, even though that assessment considered only the risks to wildlife based on spills of 1,000 to 15,000 barrels - a minuscule amount compared with the hundreds of thousands of barrels now spewing into the gulf. The assessment also noted that even such modest spills carried up to a 27 percent risk of oil reaching the critical habitat for some endangered species.


"Would people get on a plane if they knew it had a one in four chance of a major mechanical problem?" Mr. Rohlf asked, adding, "Federal wildlife agencies made conscious choices - under the guise of science - to allow offshore oil drilling with an identical risk of serious harm to endangered species."

Okay, maybe you don't care about wildlife. What's the risk for a person to step on a rig to go to work (note stats in link include both on & offshore extraction)?
Median days away from work are a key measure of severity of injuries and illnesses. In 2007, the drilling oil and gas wells industry had a median of 30, much higher than the median for all industries of 7. One reason for the high median days away from work is that 25 percent of injuries and illnesses with days away from work are fractures, which typically have a long recovery time. Commonly, workers are injured by being struck by objects (32 percent of cases) or being caught in objects, equipment or material (21 percent of cases).


Meanwhile our latest efforts to protect wildlife from oiled marshes and other migratory stopping points is to try and trick them into stopping in places a little farther north. Hopefully they don't mean areas like Lake Pontchartrain. Likewise let's hope we don't try to trick them into going to Texas. It seems the oil is everywhere now.

[update 2030 7/5/10 for formatting purposes]

Fire a bunch of teachers maybe? 

How do we make education cheaper in our state? Why doesn't the legislature ask "how do we make education better" instead?

Anyhoo, can't wait to see what the latest efforts from the Reason Foundation bring us...

please note that I don't think making education cheaper is a bad thing. Nor do I think that simply throwing money at a generally crappy system will make it better. I just thing the goal of this commission is a little off base...

04 July 2010

Fuck you very much David Vitter 

The junior Senator from Louisiana showed up in Lafayette tonight to discuss why it's important to respect our troops. Sent me home. I'm having trouble finding reasons to be patriotic.

Happy Independence Day 

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