Friday Reads from Louisiana La La LandPosted: April 11, 2014
So, I’m sorry but I have to go all local today on ya! There are just so many deliciously nonsensical things going on here that I cannot resist.
First, you know about our “kissing Congressman” if you’ve been awake and on line for several days. I first wrote about Congressman McAllister back in November when he won the special election. There were several things that separated him from the politics as usual up there in Crackerland Central.
First, he had never run for office before but he was rich enough from that old grifter business known as the funeral parlor to self finance and win. Second his buddies the let’s get ducks all horny and shoot’em for fun dudes helped him with commercials and such. Third, he’s been telling Louisiana that we really need to take that federal money and extend medicaid benefits under Obamacare.
Now, we already know that it’s worked for the poor folk in Kentucky. The difficulty down here is that our Governor doesn’t govern, he prepares his resume for his next political office and he’s got a small, tiny hard on for at run a the presidency. Which, brings us to Jindal Gate. Some of us think some of his buddies leaked the photos of congressman kissy face with Mrs. Peacock in the Alley by the camera.
The day this story broke was basically a day the press jumped on the usual republican family values dude falls short kinda headline day. But, over on facebook, a bunch of us who watch Louisiana politics like most folks watch the Saints thought hmmmmmmm, this is a little weird. Lamar–who actually manages to stay up later than me–got to writing the story first and he gets tremendous Scooby Snax for it. His article basically went viral but it seems that some folks are still trying to get back to the Congressman up in your family values face who was caught on video passionately smooching a friend’s wife who was also one of his paid staffers.
The deal is this folks. Check out the date on the video that’s been every where. The kiss happened before Christmas in his office with Mrs Peacock right in front of the security cameras which was also the office and the security cameras of his predecessor. This is the predecessor that retired early so Bobby Jindal’s handpicked buddy could go to congress. That hand picked buddy called McAllister a liberal for supporting the federal extension of medicaid that Bobby Jindal doesn’t like, won’t take, and has chosen as the first little policy roll out of his pathetic attempt to get national attention. Then, notice how quickly Politico got the tape. The story originated from the Oachita Citizen whose owner backed the opponent and basically runs a virtual small town paper that’s about as notable as the PTA minutes from your local elementary school. Lamar’s got a tick tock that really lays it all out for you.
The story was first broken at 12:19PM by The Ouachita Citizen, a fledgling website that claims to have a paid readership of more than 5,200 people but, based on third-party web traffic analytical data, likely has a daily audience of between 200-300 unique visitors. An hour and a half later, the story was on the front page of Politico. An hour later, it was covered by almost every national news outlet in the United States- Fox, CBS, The Washington Post, NBC.
With all due respect to John Bresnahan and Jake Sherman, the two Politico journalists who broke the story nationally, it defies logic that they somehow randomly stumbled on a story published on a website that even most Louisianians have never heard of and verified the authenticity and provenance of a blurry surveillance video (which, by the way, was behind a paywall) all within a span of 90 minutes. No, this leak was coordinated and planned, and more than likely, considering it was recorded nearly four months ago, it had been in the works for a long time.
Notably, The Ouachita Citizen strongly supported State Senator Neil Riser, calling Mr. McAllister a “liberal” in a bizarre, apoplectic rant, which, ostensibly was an endorsement of Riser but reads more like a scathing attack against McAllister for supporting Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. In its report on the McAllister video, The Ouachita Citizen claims to have received the video from an “anonymous” source, but somehow, inexplicably, they were able to verify the video’s provenance. The Ouachita Citizen, in my opinion, bordered on recklessness in their reporting, publishing Mrs. Peacock’s home address and implying, without any evidence whatsoever, that she may have never actually married her own husband. It seemed, to me, nasty and personal, motivated by more than a mere desire to inform the public.
So, the fun part started yesterday when the head of the Louisiana Republican Party and then Jindal got all in a righteous huff about the kiss. They called for his resignation because you know!!! Religious right wing indignation and all that! Funny thing is that both these asses were not so outraged when Diaper Dave Vitter was found on the list of the DC Madam and his diaper escapades went viral on the internet. So, blogger, journalism professor, and political junkie Bob Mann can’t help but wonder if Vitter’s wet dreams of being governor aren’t going to wind up in the diaper pail? I’ll see your kiss and raise you a felony soliciting prostitutes. You know, the same kinda thing that forced a New York Governor to resign. But, not David Vitter, he’s pathetic entitled lily white ass just keeps on going and going and going …
Vitter, as you will recall, was embroiled in a sordid sex scandal in the summer of 2007, finally admitting to a “serious sin,” which everyone knew meant he had paid prostitutes for sex.
As Louisiana Republican Party leaders from Gov. Bobby Jindal to the Louisiana Republican Party called for McAllister’s resignation, a logical question for many journalists and other observers was: “If simply kissing a female staffer is a moral outrage that should cost someone his seat in Congress, why is it a lesser offense for a U.S. senator to pay prostitutes for sex?”
It’s a very good question and one which neither Jindal nor party officials addressed today after condemning McAllister. Vitter, of course, refused comment, too.
I’ll save for another day a full review of the rank hypocrisy of Jindal and GOP leaders who think it’s just dandy for the morally challenged Vitter to continue serving in the United States Senate, but find themselves absolutely repulsed by the idea of McAllister’s on-camera lip lock.
That’s like forgiving a bank robber, and then throwing the book at someone who writes a bad check.
Regardless, the uncomfortable questions keep coming from reporters, from the Twitter-sphere and elsewhere. Sure, the questions will eventually go away once McAllister himself has gone away.
Yet, that almost every political observer in Louisiana – upon hearing about Jindal’s call for McAllister’s resignation – immediately thought of Vitter’s prostitution scandal should tell Vitter and his Republican allies something.
Vitter may have assumed his sordid past was behind him. It isn’t – and this time next year it may be front and center in the Louisiana governor’s race.
So what is Jindal all uptight about? He doesn’t say ONE word about Vitter but wow, the kissing congressman should resign because he’s an “embarassment”. Rank hypocrisy stinks enough, but there are those of us that really think he’s known about this tape for some time, is dropping it to get rid of a problem, and that some one close to him got that tape.
“Congressman McAllister’s behavior is an embarrassment and he should resign,” Jindal said in a statement. “He says he wants privacy to work on his issues with his family. The best way to get privacy and work on putting his family back together is to resign from Congress.”
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R): “It is far too early for me to be making an endorsement.”
“I appreciate his working with us on an issue that I think is one of the most important issues in the state of Louisiana.” — regarding Jindal’s 2012 education overhaul.
“I also appreciate his steadfast opposition to Obamacare, to the ACA.”
Yeah. Like I don’t smell that unique mix of Curry and Watergate salad coming from the Capitol City. Bobby and Diaper Dave may hate each other, but Jindal does not want any one messing with his foray into health policy wonkery. I really really want the FBI to go for it, believe me. Just in case you want to see the response to the Vitter thing by Jindal. Well, here it is.
While we are disappointed by Senator Vitter’s actions, Supriya and I continue to keep David and his family in our prayers. This is a matter for the Senator to address, and it is our hope that this is not used by others for their own political gain.
Other uber embarrassing things are just adding to my desire to see New Orleans ask France to negotiate a retake. This one tops my list. Please, please, please can some one read these idiots the first amendment with emphasis on the establishment clause?
Legislation that would make the Holy Bible the official state book of Louisiana cleared the House Committee on Municipal, Parochial and Cultural Affairs with a vote of 8-5 Thursday afternoon. It will now head to the full House of Representatives for consideration.
Rep. Thomas Carmody, R-Shreveport, originally filed a bill to declare a specific copy of the Bible, found in the Louisiana State Museum system, the official state book. But by the time he presented the proposal to the committee, he changed language in his legislation to make the generic King James version of the Bible, a text used worldwide, the official state book.
Still, Legislators became concerned that the proposal wasn’t broad enough and did not reflect the breadth of Bibles used by religious communities. In particular, some lawmakers worried that singling out the King James version of the Bible would not properly reflect the culture of Louisiana. The Catholic Church, for example, does not use the King James text.
“Let’s make this more inclusive of other Christian faiths, more than just the ones that use the King James version,” said Rep. Stephen Ortego, D-Carencro.
A few committee members fought the bill vehemently, saying the legislation was likely to upset some citizens who are not Christian and open the state up to legal challenges.
“I am so bothered by this bill that I just called my pastor. My pastor just said that he thinks we are going to have a legal problem,” said Rep. Wesley Bishop, D-New Orleans, who voted against the legislation.
Rep. Ebony Woodruff, D-Harvey, tried to amend the bill to declare “all books of faith” the official state books of Louisiana, but the proposal failed 5-8. When asked if he would be open to making “all books of faith” a group of official state books, Carmody was fairly adamant in his opposition.
Well not even New Orleans is exempt from the usual asshattery. After being found guilty of basically emptying the city’s accounts for personal trips, home improvements, clothes, family vacations, and all kinds of meals and stuff, we now have a plea for a legal defense fund for Ray Nagin. Yeah, try not to trip all over yourselves helping him get more money from others.
Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin’s legal defense fund is real, and it has at least one donation.
After rapper 9th Ward Gucci (@IAM9THWARD) tweeted a pic of a digital receipt acknowledging his donation, Nagin (@RayNagin) retweeted the shot, appended with a shout out. “Maximum respect. Donated, spoke out, not intimidated. U the man!”
Try not to spend that $10 all in one place Ray Ray!
I did want to point to a story about one recent story about a crime here in uptown near the Tulane Campus. This crime is really strange for a variety of reasons. Not the least is the name given to the victim by the perp.
She first encountered the man, who introduced himself as “Patrick,” on April 1. She was visiting the Carrollton home of a friend, and saw the man staring at her from behind cars parked in the driveway next door.
“He was this huge, beefed-up young guy,” she said, “and the neighbors are middle-aged. My friends and I are all in our 30s. This guy just didn’t fit in.”
She remembers him saying, “Hi, I’m Patrick.” Uninterested in engaging with him, she didn’t respond and he walked away toward Carrollton Avenue.
The next day, she returned to the Green Street home. She started getting out materials to finish painting the trim on her friend’s front porch. It was still daylight. She thinks it was 5:30 or 6 p.m.
Suddenly, there was “Patrick” again.
This time he approached within eight to 10 feet and began pestering her with questions, small talk, and overtures to go out. He even raised his tight-fitting T-shirt, trying to impress her with his hairless, hardened abs.
“I’m sure I rolled my eyes and probably snorted or something,” she said. “I can be pretty icy, but he just kept on. I was getting kind of pissy, because I came here to paint a house, not listen to some college boy chat me up. I’m old enough to be this guy’s mom, practically.
“He said, ‘Oh, I’m sorry if I offended you. Let me introduce myself.’ And I’m 90 percent sure he said his last name was Bateman.”
Patrick Bateman, she later learned, is the name of the fictional rapist, sadist and serial killer who narrates Bret Easton Ellis’ novel “American Psycho,” made into a 2000 film starring Christian Bale.
Tired of his advances, she packed up her paints and brushes and went back inside her friend’s house and locked the door behind her. She was alone.
The man in the front yard walked away, she recalled.
So a few minutes later, she went to the restroom, closed the door, and drew a bath. As she finished bathing, she heard the stereo turned on and assumed her homeowner friend was home early from work.
“But it was really loud, and it was NPR,” she said. “Like, who blasts NPR?”
The woman dried off and got dressed in a shirt, blue jeans and socks. Her boots, and a canvas bag with her cell phone, were left behind as she came out of the bathroom. She called out to her friend, then to her friend’s husband, momentarily forgetting he was out of town on business.
She came down the hall to find “Patrick,” staring at her impassively. A black rope was in his left hand.
“He looked so much bigger inside the house than he did outside,” she recalled. “This dude was massive.”
The woman — 5 feet, 5 inches tall and 130 pounds — says she has taken Krav Maga self-defense classes and is physically fit from a job requiring manual labor. “But this guy was probably 6-1 or 6-2, and he probably outweighed me by 100 pounds,” she said. “All that self-defense stuff just doesn’t work when somebody is that much bigger than you.
“It was like fighting a tree.”
It seems women and children are never safe.
Some times a kiss is not just a kiss.
Here are some other headlines that you may want to check out:
Well, that’s it from me. What’s on your reading and blogging list today?