Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Funny David Vitter Bumper Sticker

Here is the link to buy the David Vitter is a Hypocrite bumper sticker.

Monday, July 23, 2007

One of the Many Arguments for a Flat Tax

State bureaucrats pass a tax code that is so enormous and complicated even they don't understand it, and then they seem surprised that people aren't taking advantage of a deduction buried in the thousands of pages of tax code.

Blanco Caves in to Teachers Unions

Governor Kathleen Blanco caved in to teachers unions, vetoing a tax deduction for families paying private school tuition (Senate Bill 45). The amount of the deduction in comparison to the bloated state budget is so minimal that she couldn't even try to blame it on budget constraints.

NOPD Imitates Nola-Dishu

The NOPD says it will start offering better crime maps on its website. Nola-Dishu has been doing this for months.

Blanco Hurts Businesses

Governor Kathleen Blanco vetoed tax relief for businesses, saying she's concerned they may be unaffordable in the long run. She just rammed the biggest increase in the size of state government in history through the Legislature -- where was this concern with affordability then?

Monday, July 16, 2007

Top Ten David Vitter Excuses

10. I was just looking for Ted Kennedy -- he's at the brothel every day.
9. I was just enjoying a glass of wine and pleasant conversation for $300 an hour.
8. I'm addicted to Wendys.
7. Louisiana voters have elected Bill Jefferson, Ray Nagin, Eddie Jordan and Kathleen Blanco -- they have even worse standards than I do.
6. The hookers all speak very fondly of me. I'm one of their favorite johns.
5. I am a gay American.
4. Wendy (my wife, not my whore) is going to Lorena Bobbitt me -- isn't that punishment enough?
3. I oppose gay marriage, not straight married guys visiting whorehouses. I never said I opposed that. I am not a hypocrite.
2. Bill Clinton was a regular there. They named a bedroom after him.
1. Doesn't everybody pay hookers $300 an hour to dress them in diapers?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Senator David Vitter a Client of Canal Street Brothel

Senator David Vitter has not had a good 24 hours. Yesterday, he apologized for a "very serious sin" in his past, i.e., using the D.C. Madam's escort service. Today, not to be outdone, our own local Canal Street Madam brothel owner fingered Vitter for paying $300 for services in the 1990s.

U.S. Senator David Vitter visited a Canal Street brothel several times beginning in the mid-1990s, paying $300 per hour for services at the bordello after he met the madam at a fishing rodeo that included prostitutes and other politicians, according to Jeanette Maier, the "Canal Street Madam" whose operation was shut down by a federal investigators in 2001.

After they met, Maier said Vitter became a customer at the Mid-City brothel. He made several visits, she said, but had stopped coming before federal agents raided the brothel.

At the New Orleans brothel, Maier said Vitter spent time with several women, but preferred one in particular named Wendy. She said all the girls that were with Vitter described him as a kind, respectful man, who did not talk down to them or use drugs.

"I'm not out to ruin a marriage, I'm out to save a man," Maier said. "I want his wife to know he's a good man, I want his children to know he's a good father. If he had sex out of wedlock, so what? At least he stayed with his children."

Vitter and his wife, Wendy, have four children ages 13 and under.

It's surprising that the Canal Street Madam's list of clients has never been publicly disclosed. She wants to cash in on the list with a book deal, but one would think it would have been leaked by others by now.

I can just picture the conversation Vitter had with his family after this latest news broke:
Honey, kids, I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that I used to visit a brothel in New Orleans before I discovered the brothel in D.C. The good news is that the hookers found me to be a kind, respectful man who did not talk down to them or do drugs, like all their other politician johns. The Madam in charge of the brothel wants you to know I'm a good man and a good father. She's offered to write me a glowing letter of recommendation if I need any references for a new job in the near future.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Senator David Vitter Apologizes for Using D.C. Madam Escort

Senator David Vitter apologized Monday night for "a very serious sin in my past" after his telephone number appeared among those associated with an escort service operated by the so-called "D.C. Madam." Vitter's spokesman, Joel Digrado, confirmed the statement in an e-mail sent to The Associated Press.

"This was a very serious sin in my past for which I am, of course, completely responsible," Vitter said in the statement. "Several years ago, I asked for and received forgiveness from God and my wife in confession and marriage counseling. Out of respect for my family, I will keep my discussion of the matter there with God and them. But I certainly offer my deep and sincere apologies to all I have disappointed and let down in any way."

The statement containing Vitter's apology said his telephone number was on old phone records of Pamela Martin and Associates before he ran for the Senate.

Vitter should not have done what he did, but at least he had the sense to own up to it and issue a real apology rather than the more typical politician/celebrity non-apology apology followed by a fake stint in rehab.

He also better watch out for his manhood. Here is what his wife Wendy Vitter has said she'll do if she catches him cheating:

Asked by an interviewer in 2000 whether she could forgive her husband if she learned he'd had an extramarital affair, as Hillary Clinton and Bob Livingston's wife had done, Wendy Vitter told the Times-Picayune: "I'm a lot more like Lorena Bobbitt than Hillary. If he does something like that, I'm walking away with one thing, and it's not alimony, trust me."

Sunday, July 08, 2007

The Essential Hurricane Katrina Nonfiction Reading List

Today's Times-Picayune has a story on nonfiction Katrina books, focusing on a second wave of more recent works. (I couldn't find the link on the T-P's website. They really need to improve their site.) I've read some of the books and generally liked them. Here is the list:
  1. 1 Dead in Attic -- After Katrinaby Chris Rose. This is a new, expanded edition of his original bestseller (link here), including coverage up to January 2007.
  2. City Adrift: New Orleans Before & After Katrinaby Jenni Bergal, Sara Shipley Hiles, Frank Koughan, John McQuaid and Jim Morris.
  3. Code Blue: A Katrina Physician's Memoirby Dr. Richard Deichmann, chief of medicine at Memorial Medical Center.
  4. Down in New Orleans: Reflections from a Drowned Cityby Billy Sothern.
  5. Heart Like Water: Surviving Katrina and Life in its Disaster Zone, A MemoirbyJoshua Clark. A portrait of people in the Quarter banding together for survival in the aftermath of the storm.
  6. Hurricane Almanac: The Essential Guide to Storms Past, Present and Futureby Bryan Norcross, a meteorologist.
  7. Hurricane Season: A Coach, His Team and Their Triumph in the Season of Katrinaby Neal Anderson. How parents, teachers and students at John Curtis came together for their most challenging football season.
  8. Katrina: Mississippi Women Remember, photography by Melody Golding, edited by Sally Pfister. Photographs and narratives of women's experiences during and after the storm.
  9. Katrinaville Chronicles: Images and Observations from a New Orleans Photographerby David Spielman.
  10. No Ordinary Heroes: 8 Doctors, 30 Nurses, 7,000 Prisoners and a Category 5 Hurricaneby Dr. Demaree Inglese with Diana G. Gallagher. An account by the medical director of the Orleans Parish Prison.
  11. Storm World: Hurricanes, Politics and the Battle Over Global Warmingby Chris Mooney, looks at the scientific debate over whether global warming has caused larger, more intense storms or whether this is the result of ordinary cyclical changes.
  12. Sugarcane Academy: How a New Orleans Teacher and his Storm-Struck Students Created a School to Rememberby Michael Tisserand. The former Gambit editor recounts how Lusher first grade teacher Paul Reynaud created a one-room schoolhouse in New Iberia for displaced children.
  13. What Lies Beneath: Katrina, Race, and the State of the Nationedited by the South End Press Collective.
  14. Disaster: Hurricane Katrina and the Failure of Homeland Securityby Wall Street Journal reporters Chris Cooper (formerly of the Times-Picayune) and Robert Block.
  15. The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coastby Douglas Brinkley.
  16. The Ravaging Tide: Strange Weather, Future Katrinas, and the Coming Death of America's Coastal Citiesby Mike Tidwell.
  17. The Storm -- What Went Wrong and Why -- The Inside Story from One Louisiana Scientistby Ivor van Heerden with Mike Bryan.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Morial Ducks Questions About His Crimes

Former Mayor Marc Morial, who generally stays away from New Orleans while he waits in New York for the statute of limitations to run on all of the crimes he committed as Mayor, made a rare New Orleans appearance this week. Speaking at the Essence Festival, he recklessly compared the government's multibillion dollar response to Hurricane Katrina to the worst civil rights incidents of the 1960s. Then he talked about the non-issue of the "right to return." Last time I checked, there weren't any barbed wire fences and armed guards at the parish line preventing anyone, black or white, from returning to town. Typical lefty hack speech, nothing new there.

The only interesting part was his ducking of questions about his looting of the city treasury:

"I don't want to say anything positive or negative about any of it," he said. "I am proud of what we did when I served as mayor of this city. I'm very, very proud.

"I'm proud of the work and the record that we have. When I'm prepared to give a more thorough sort of post-analysis of my administration, I'd be happy to talk to you. But I'm not prepared to do that."

Asked when that might be, Morial said: "I'm not certain."

10 Ways to Keep Mosquitos Away

Thrifty Mommy has 10 ways to keep mosquitos away.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Magazine Street Still Closed

Unbelievably, the 1300 block of Magazine Street is still closed. It has been blocked for more than two years. What a failure of leadership. It is unacceptable for even the most minor street to be closed for that long, let alone a major street for commuters, shoppers and diners.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Joey Chestnut Defeats Takeru Kobayashi

After all the intrigue over six time defending world champion TakeruKobayashi's jaw injury, American underdog challenger Joey Chestnut ate a world record 66 hot dogs and buns in 12 minutes to win the championship. Kobayashi ate 63 but had a controversial "reversal of fortune" (i.e., he threw up) in the closing seconds which can lead to a disqualification or reduction in score.

Louisiana Citizens for Educational Choice

Louisiana Citizens for Educational Choice encourages people to urge Governor Blanco to sign Tuition Deduction Bill SB 45.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Kobayashi to Defend Hot Dog Eating Crown

It wouldn't be the Fourth of July without watching the Super Bowl of competitive eating, featuring reigning champion Takeru Kobayashi. The big story this year is Kobayashi's jaw injury, which has limited his training and may slow him down in the competition. Full details of his showdown with American underdog Joey Chestnut here.

Happy Fourth of July!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

President Bush Commutes Scooter Libby's Prison Sentence

President Bush commuted part of former White House aide I. Scooter Libby's prison sentence. This means that Libby will avoid serving a two and a half year prison sentence, but the conviction, $250,000 fine and probation still stand.

Defense Blogger has good coverage on it:
This all started with Joe Wilson's false allegation about pre-war intelligence and morphed into an investigation into who leaked the identity of his wife, Valerie Plame, as a CIA employee. The special prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, knew from the outset of his investigation that a) no crime had been committed because Plame was not a covert agent as defined under the act and b) that the State Department's Richard Armitage, not Libby, was the leaker. Nevertheless, Fitzgerald "investigated" Armitage's non-crime and produced no results aside from the conviction of Libby for having a different recollection of discussions he had with the media than the reporters had.

Here is the text of President Bush's grant of executive clemency. Here is the text of President Bush's full statement. The statement that "Mr. Fitzgerald is a highly qualified, professional prosecutor who carried out his responsibilities as charged" stands out. Why would he include that sentence, obviously false and which Bush cannot possibly believe, in his statement? I wouldn't expect that the President would attack Fitzgerald, but it would have been best to either not mention Fitzgerald at all or to question the investigation in more general terms.

Commuting the prison sentence but leaving the rest of the punishment intact should please about zero percent of the population. Those who understand the investigation know Libby should be pardoned. This half measure does little to satisfy them. President Bush should have pardoned Libby. The Wall Street Journal editorializes that:
Mr. Libby deserved better from the President whose policies he tried to defend when others were running for cover. The consequences for the reputation of his Administration will also be long-lasting.
If President Bush hoped that keeping the conviction and the rest of the sentence intact would appease the Angry Left, he is wrong. When will he learn that no matter how many times he supports the left, whether it's with No Child Left Behind, the illegal alien amnesty bill or the massive increase in non-defense federal government spending, the left will never like him. The New York Times, predictably, whines about Bush's move. This article has more whining from the usual suspects on the left, including Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Stenny Hoyer and John Kerry.

Fred Thompson advocated a pardon but is glad to at least see the prison sentence commuted. "I am very happy for Scooter Libby," Thompson said. "I know that this is a great relief to him, his wife and children. This will allow a good American, who has done a lot for his country, to resume his life."

Monday, July 02, 2007

Steve Kelley Cartoon on the Ted Kennedy Illegal Alien Amnesty Bill

Link here.

Long Term Outlook Bright for Louisiana Restaurants

The Louisiana State University AgCenter believes the long term outlook for restaurants in Louisiana is positive. This is based on demographic trends such as the increase in baby boomers who will be empty nesters and, presumably, will therefore eat out more.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Update on Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Mostly Cajun weighs in on Mayor Nagin's decision to pay Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to help us all achieve harmony, stress management and clarity of mind. He doesn't think it's a good idea.

Chris Rose: We Need More Playgrounds

I meant to link to this column from Chris Rose last week and forgot to. The point is that we need more playgrounds in New Orleans.
This does not seem to be an insurmountable challenge to other communities I have lived in or visited. But here, in New Orleans, the fact of life is that the playgrounds suck. They are unambitious in design and often consist of a single piece of equipment as if it were some negligible throwaway function of a city, a recreation department and a school system to create healthy environments for kids.