Category Archives: David Vitter

Bill Cassidy Is An Empty Suit

Gret Stet Senator Double Bill Cassidy was a non-entity during his first term. He’s now trying to position himself as a dealmaker a la former Louisiana Senator John Breaux. It’s a hopeless cause as he lacks Breaux’s wit, charm, and intelligence. In his day, Breaux was one of the best-liked solons, which was an asset when it came time to deal. Double Bill is an empty suit with the wit and charm of a reanimated corpse.

If Cassidy wanted to inherit the Breaux mantle, he dropped it yesterday in his appearance on Meet The Press as reported by TPM’s wonderfully named Summer Concepcion:

After insisting on “Meet the Press” that he will consider the evidence as an “impartial juror” during the impeachment trial, Cassidy accused House Democrats of doing an “incredibly poor job of building a case before their impeachment vote.”

“(Trump) wasn’t there. He wasn’t allowed counsel. They didn’t amass evidence. In five hours, they kind of judged and boom, he’s impeached,” Cassidy said. “Now, I’m told that under the Watergate, under the Clinton impeachments, there were truckloads of information. Here, there was a video. There was no process.”

Cassidy then compared Trump’s second impeachment trial to a “show trial” in the Soviet Union.

“I mean, it’s almost like, you know, if it happened in the Soviet Union, you would’ve called it a show trial,” Cassidy said. “I’m sorry that that’s the way the process went down because process is important when it comes to justice. And there was no defensible process there. But hopefully, they’ll build a case and bring it to us.”

This may be smart politics if you want plaudits from the Impeached Insult Comedian, but it won’t help you cut deals across the aisle. John Breaux always supported the nominee of his party, but rarely took strong stances either in favor of or opposition to presidents of his own party. During the Clinton impeachment melodrama, Breaux largely kept his own counsel but eventually voted against both counts in Clinton’s senate trial. Breaux wanted to keep his options open so he could deal. With the dread Chuck Todd as his witness, Cassidy essentially committed against sanctioning the president* he has sycophantically supported. When substance is not on your side, argue process.

Comparing the second impeachment of Donald Trump to a Soviet show trial may go down well among Dipshit Insurrectionists but it’s historically and factually inaccurate. The Kaiser of Chaos chose not to be represented by counsel and presidents are NEVER PRESENT during House impeachment proceedings. That’s what comes of making hyperbolic historical comparisons: defendants *were* present during the Stalin era show trials. Cassidy’s misuse of this historical analogy is akin to people who comment on things posted on social media without reading them.

This is Double Bill’s second stab at being a dealmaker. He proposed a widely derided health care “reform” bill in conjunction with fellow Trump sycophant, the Incredible Mr. Lindsey. It went nowhere but led to Cassidy becoming a punchline as well as punching bag for teevee chat show host Jimmy Kimmel. I wrote about Double Bill’s failed effort as a dealmaker in a 2017 malaka of the week post.

I was appalled when the MSM painted the group of ten Republican senators who met with President Biden to discuss alternatives to the COVID relief bill as moderates. If Double Bill Cassidy is a moderate, I’m a Nixon idolator.

The main reason that I used the featured image above of Double Bill is that David Vitter is Victor Frankenstein to Cassidy’s creature. Vitter pulled this former Democrat out of obscurity and helped elect him first to the House, then to the Senate. One of many good things about Vitter’s departure from the Senate is that he’s no longer there to pull Cassidy’s strings. The downside is that he was replaced by the phoniest man in Louisiana politics, John Neel Kennedy. The Mr. Haney shtick is wearing thin, dude.

I have no idea why Bill Cassidy thinks he can be a dealmaker. His voting record places him on the right of his own party. Dealmakers typically come from the ideological center of the Senate. His feeble attempts at dealmaking have come to naught thus far. His future efforts are likely doomed by his need to carry water for the oil and chemical industries, which led him to attack President Biden for being petroleum hostile. Fossil fuels are about to live up to their name and go the way of the dinosaurs. The future looks as green as Double Bill’s face in the featured image. Just ask the folks who run Ford and General Motors.

I originally called this post Bill Cassidy Can Go Fuck Himself, but I couldn’t muster the requisite outrage to match the title. He’s too dull a figure to inspire fiery profanity. He’s as dull as dishwater and as bland as tuna casserole. He’s a dull man who inspires tepid condemnation. He’s so boring that I refuse to call him Doctor Senator Cassidy. I tried it once, then scrubbed the idea…

Repeat after me: Bill Cassidy is an empty suit.

The last word goes to the good old Grateful Dead with a Weir-Barlow song that has nothing to do with dull Double Bill:

Saturday Odds & Sods: The Best of Adrastos 2015


Scrooge meets Marley’s ghost by E.A. Abbey, 1876.

Twas the day after Christmas and all that was stirring was a mouse and a keyboard. It’s time to embark on an ego trip and present the Best of Adrastos 2015 in lieu of a proper Saturday post.

I do have a theme song only it’s not the post title this time around. I’m not certain if it’s entirely accurate but, hey, it’s the Chairman of the Board. Who’s gonna argue with Francis Albert Fucking Sinatra?

I started off with 48 candidates before winnowing it down to thirty, which is still excessive but it’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to or something like that. Jeez, now I sound like Al Lesley Gore. I’ve organized the posts into categories and I state that categorically.

I have no illusions that anyone will read all the posts in one sitting but they’ll be here awaiting your perusal.

Saturday Odds & Sods: I think of this weekly outing as my writer’s post. I assiduously polish and rewrite them instead of the more spontaneous approach I bring to the daily grind.

July 18, 2015: Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On.)  Tricky Dick meets Antoni Gaudi.

August 12, 2015: You’re With Stupid Now.   Mr. Truck meets Quentin Tarantino.

December 12, 2015: Sinatra Centennial Edition.  The title says it all.

As Frank himself would say, the best is yet to come after the break:

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Diaper Dave’s Last Hurrah

Last night was the annual Krewe du Vieux Brew Doo. It’s a party/fundraiser for the mother krewe and sub-krewes such as my very own Spank. For years we have conducted a carney style game called the dirty wiener drop. It involves a hot dog, a blow-up picture of a politician’s face, and a ladder. I don’t know the rules. I’m not sure there are any.

This year Diaper Dave was the target for a second and last time. The blow-up was created by Spank’s mad creative genius, Wendar the magnificent:

Diaper Dave

Here’s how it looked after it was set up at the Den:

Diaper Dave Den

It was nice to have Diaper Dave to kick around again. Unfortunately, this Squeeze song was my theme song for the day after:

The Political Obituary Of David Vitter


Screenshot from a GumboPac ad.

I don’t usually take politics personally. I did as a young political junkie but it was too painful when my candidate lost. I’ve always made an exception for David Vitter. This FB status I posted yesterday sums it up:

David Vitter has been media shy since 2007. I cannot imagine why. Before that he was a local media whore. He was on the New Orleans stations so often as a State Rep and a Congressman that I called him Live Shot. It was when my hatred for him grew like poison ivy. He was a sanctimonious dweeb who went on and on about “conservative reform” and how he planned to clean up the Gret Stet of Louisiana. He was strident and annoying albeit in dorky way. Very little has changed in that regard. Vitter never owed his political success to his oratorical prowess.

Vitter is the sort of politician who went hunting for witches and burned them whenever possible. It’s the root of his epic dispute with Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand and his predecessor and mentor Harry Lee. I’ll let Stephanie Grace clue you in:

Vitter was first elected to the state House in 1991, the same year ethically compromised Edwin Edwards returned to the Governor’s Mansion for a fourth term. The young, ambitious legislator from Metairie wasted no time positioning himself as a prominent adversary to the governor, largely on issues surrounding the state’s fledgling gambling industry and other ethical matters.

Vitter also aimed his ammunition closer to home, including at the parish’s then-sheriff, the late, larger-than-life Harry Lee. Lee was a member of Edwards’ circle, a supporter of gambling and a man who saw no conflict in his job as chief law enforcement officer and, say, his personal friendship with a convicted felon. Lee viewed Vitter as little more than a self-righteous grandstander. He and Vitter clashed repeatedly and wound up in court several times, and it was Vitter who inspired one of Lee’s most memorable quips.

“My job is to catch crooks,” Lee said, and “my hobby is to expose hypocrites.”


It wasn’t just Vitter’s habit of targeting fellow politicians, his push for term limits and sunshine on their cozy Tulane scholarship insider deals, and his habit of filing ethics complaints that made him an outcast, his enemies would say. It also was his personality, his adversarial attitude, his willingness to do anything to grab a headline or simply to win. When Vitter ran for Congress in 1999, most of his colleagues opposed his bid…

That’s Bitter Vitter in a wingnut shell. A hypocrite who specialized in burning bridges all the while lecturing his colleagues about how pure and noble he was. I’ll give him credit for his willingness to take on someone like Harry Lee who was the most popular figure in Jefferson Parish for most of time as Sheriff. It’s fitting that taking on the current Sheriff was part of his undoing. Here’s a 2007 picture of Lee and Normand:

STAFF PHOTO BY RUSTY COSTANZA Sheriff Harry Lee announced today, Thursday, August 16, 2007, that his cancer has returned.He maintained his usual sense of humor and also announced that will run for re-election. Chief Deputy Newell Normand, second in command at the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office, is on the right.

TP staff photograph by Rusty Costanza.

If there’s an afterlife, I’m sure that Harry danced a Chinese Cowboy jig on Diaper Dave’s grave. I hear that Sheriff Normand had a helluva time at the Edwards victory party. Hope he had one for Harry.

One of the main reasons Vitter got skunked in the runoff is the way he treated his fellow Republicans. He was as arrogant and patronizing to them as he was to everyone else. The attack ads he ran in the primary against fellow GOPers Scott Angelle and Jay Dardenne alienated scores of Gret Stet Republicans. It was too much for many of them to swallow. Vitter violated the first rule of holes: when you’re in one, stop digging. It’s an appropriate image since Vitter dug his own political grave by running the wrong campaign at the wrong time. 

In addition to Vitter’s political death, there’s something else to celebrate. His anti-Syrian refugee scare tactics did not work. Edwards’ lead held up under the assault even though he was not exactly a profile of courage on the issue. The most important thing was to defeat Vitter.

David Vitter is the only politician I’ve ever compared to Richard Nixon as a human being. Nixonian lies and dirty tricks are staples in the political pantry of the current Republican party. It’s Tricky Dick’s party, not Ronnie’s. It’s more personal than that: like Nixon, Vitter is a loner who seems consumed with resentment over his treatment by the media and political establishment. Like Nixon, Vitter’s life seems to be an ongoing pity party. And like Nixon, Vitter is a paranoid motherfucker. They both had a vice that contributed to their undoing, for Tricky it was booze. We know what it was for Diaper Dave:

BOOM ad.

The BOOM ad screenshot via CenLamar

The whole spygate saga opened a window into Bitter Vitter’s style and personality. He is a vengeful and vindictive person, which is why it’s such a relief that he won’t control the State Police. We’ll never know if Vitter would have tried to use the LSP as a political tool but I, for one, am glad that it’s not even a possibility.

While we’re walking the scandal beat, I’d like to give Jason Brad Berry and Lamar White props for their role in Diaper Dave’s downfall. Jason kept pursuing the hooker story and Lamar used it as cudgel against Vitter. Well played, y’all.

I take great personal satisfaction in writing Vitter’s political obituary, but I know that his NOT running for re-election will make it easier for the GOP to hold his seat in 2016. I think it would have gone to a Goper in any event. Once again, the priority was taking out Bitter Vitter. When he lost Jefferson Parish to a Democrat, his political career was over. I must admit that I’ll miss having David Vitter to kick around but I am relieved that he will not be my Governor.

Deep Blog and I have spent quite a bit of time talking about Vitter’s political demise so I’ll give him the last word:

I think his legacy is two-fold: First, he did more than any other individual to make Louisiana a solidly Republican state through party building at the grass roots level, precise messaging, very successful fundraising and unrelenting criticism of the opposing party.

Second, he proved that fear, anger and intimidation are still powerful political weapons, especially in the hands of someone without a conscience, but the oldest rule in politics is still “What goes around comes around,” and if you spend an entire career fucking over people you’re supposed to work WITH, sooner or later you’re going to be hoist on your own pee-tard–probably in a very ugly and public manner

Louisiana Politics: Gret Stet Goober Race Wrap Up Act Two

I had a classic blogger moment on social media this morning. An old friend in California asked me how it was possible that David Vitter lost because she’d heard he was a shoo-in. I told her to read my posts and to ignore the national MSM. They have an eerie tendency to engage in group think: Louisiana is a red state therefore it’s impossible for such a thing to happen. This is classic rotation in office, after 8 years of a GOP Goober making a mess of things, the voters elected a Democrat. So many people are locked into the Red state/Blue state narrative that they forget candidates and records matter. That ends this brief lecture on civics.

Let’s get on with some random and discursive comments via my beloved sub-headers:

The Polls Were Right: Many of my friends were freaking out before the election because they expected the worst of the electorate. I could not blame them. Underneath my calm exterior, the hateful refugee baiting made me feel as if I’d consumed 12 cups of coffee. Jittery and overcaffeinated. I fell back on Andrew Tuozzolo’s poll aggregate, which showed Vitter trailing by 12 points. The pollsters nailed it.

Why were the polls right here and not in the Bevin-Conway Kentucky Goober race? The polls there were fewer in number and conducted more sporadically. Politics in the Gret Stet is a major form of entertainment, which means that more frequent pulse taking is no gret surprise…

The Picayune Factor: Once again, the Vestigial-Picayune got it wrong in a glowing endorsement of Bitter Vitter. Instead of being honest and saying, “he may be an asshole but he’s our asshole,” they went on and on about his effectiveness. They came within an inch of calling him a divider, not a uniter. Some uniter, he lost his home parish.

Speaking of the Zombie-Picayune, my friend Kevin Allman has this to say about that:

Let me spell it out: Fuck you sideways, Advance Media fuckheads. The picture in question came from the Instagram page of one of JBE’s communications peeps:


Photograph via MP Kray.

Since our next section involves half of what you see in the picture below, we’ll discuss it after the break. Think of it as the blogging equivalent of wrapping it in plain brown paper if you catch my drift. But first Welcome to Sleazy Town courtesy of the Krewe of Spank:

Hookers & Blow

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Louisiana Politics: Gret Stet Goober Race Wrap Up Act One


Homemade yard sign in Uptown New Orleans. Photo by Dr. A.

It was the most fun I’ve had watching election results since 2008. John Bel Edwards was elected Gret Stet Goober without breaking a sweat. The same can’t be said of many of his supporters, but I expected this result. I did not, however, expect a 12 point win. The other big shocker of the evening was Bitter Vitter’s announcement that he was NOT running for re-election to the Senate in 2016. I did not see that coming ,but I have the feeling his wife insisted. Some of the NOLA twitter people are starting a Vitter divorce pool. Homey don’t play that.

I’m breaking this mighty effort in two because I started having premature Goober race withdrawals on Friday and, in the immortal words of Bryan Ferry, I simply Can’t Let Go. Additionally, and I know you’ll be shocked to hear this, I’ve been drinking Canadian Club like Don Fucking Draper tonight and while I’d like to teach the world how to sing, I might keel over in exuberant exhaustion. In short, I’ll stick to instant analysis for now.

It was clear by 8:15 that Edwards was headed for victory: he got 59% of the early vote. That came to around 20% of the total of votes cast. It’s now clear that the die was cast when Vitter crashed and burned to 23% in the primary. Despite all the mud he threw, he was toast before the runoff campaign really began. Plain white bread toast. Burnt toast.

Edwards once again exceeded expectations throughout the Gret Stet. He got an Obamaesque 87% of the vote in Orleans Parish and even won Vitter’s home parish of Jefferson 51-49. That was a real shocker. The moral of that story: don’t mess with Sheriff Newell Normand. In my precinct, Diaper Dave got a mere 12 votes out of some 243 cast. I’ve rarely been prouder of my hood.

The relentless anti-Obama message from Team Vitter clearly did not work. People simply did not believe that Blue Dog John Bel Edwards from Amite, La was an Obama liberal. I was also pleased that Edwards did not run away from the President, he merely drew distinctions on certain issues. There are some silly billies on social media who think that Team Edwards reinvented the political wheel. They did not. They went back to the future.  John Bel Edwards is the 2015 edition of the John Breaux, Bennett Johnston, Kathleen Blanco model Democrats who dominated Gret Stet politics pre-Katrina. It’s unclear if that model will work as well in future federal elections but we shall see.

Louisiana remains a red state in national elections BUT I think the racist fever of the Obama years has finally broken. The frenetic attacks on Governor-elect Edwards simply did not work. The spell is broken. It doesn’t mean the Democrats will win Louisiana in 20016 BUT it means we’ve returned to our normalish reddish, purplish hue. That was a very ishy sentence: ish you is or ish you ain’t my baby?

I’m running out of steam right now. It’s been a long day including an awful beatdown administered by Ole Miss to my beloved LSU Tigers. I am so pooped that this post is relatively pun free. I’ll bid you good night and I’ll wrap it up in more detail either tomorrow or Monday. I feel like I was run over by Thunderbird, which ain’t as fabulous as the song below by a certain blues rock band from Austin, Texas:

Wrap it up. I’ll take it.

Saturday Odds & Sods: After The Fire

Keith Haring

Artwork by Keith Haring.

It’s election day in the Gret Stet of Louisiana. Rachel Maddow likes to call our Saturday elections weird but I think the proper word is sensible. In theory, it should boost turnout and my philosophy on voting is the more the merrier. It’s another reason I’d make a lousy Republican.

There were a lot of folks urging me to vote early this year. I prefer to stroll 4 blocks and vote at Xavier Prep on Magazine Street. I like the morning walk, plus I enjoy seeing the same poll workers every election day. After Katrina, the polling places were consolidated, which makes good sense but removed a certain element of NOLA quirkiness. For example, I got a kick out of voting in a neighbors raised basement when we lived on Pine Street in the Carrollton district. It was a mom-n-pop polling place, which made it fun to vote there.

I originally wrote a paragraph about my call on the Gret Stet Goober race for this post. I moved it to yesterday’s post, which gives me an opportunity to quote myself:

Speaking of Andrew the T, he’s conducting a Goober election results pool. I finished second or thereabouts in the primary pool. We’re asked to pick vote totals for the candidates as well as a turnout guesstimate. The prize is bragging rights and y’all know what a braggart I am. Here’s my entry, Edwards 52 Vitter 48. Turnout 43%. Here’s hoping I’m right. If Diaper Dave wins he’ll be pissed and we’ll be in a world of hurt. He’ll fling dirty diapers at us like an adolescent zoo chimp. Splat.

This week’s theme song is inspired by last Saturday’s horrific attack in Paris. Pete Townshend wrote it for the Who to play at Live Aid but it wasn’t ready for the show. It’s about what happens *after* a crisis is addressed, in that case, famine in West Africa. Pete’s conclusion is that “the fire still burns.”

We have two versions of After The Fire. The first is the songwriter himself from the 1986 Deep End Live concert video with a stellar band featuring Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour on lead guitar.

Since Pete wrote the song for Roger to sing, he gave him first crack at recording it. I prefer Pete’s rendition. Roger’s studio recording has too much synth and drum machine for my taste. The vocal is good though. No surprise; Roger could still belt it out in 1985.

There will more Odds & Sods after the break and I suspect the break still burns…

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Louisiana Politics: The Night Before Gooberpalooza 2015


John Bel Edwards gives David Vitter the stink eye. Photograph via the Advocate.

The Gret Stet Goober race has been a helluva ride. I’ll take it over a fucking roller coaster any day. I’ve never understood the appeal of going really fast then puking at the end. Now that I think of it, that described the condition of many Louisiana Democrats yesterday. There was a whiff of panic in the air because of Vitter’s decision to run against the non-existent Syrian refugee menace. I was downright jittery myself after losing so many Gret Stetwide elections in recent years even though there was a strong reply ad from GumboPac.

When you have a bad case of political jitters, who you gonna call? Not Ghostbusters, but Deep Blog. I considered sending out smoke signals but that might upset Oscar and Della. Instead, I reached into my bag of Watergate analogies. You may recall that Woodward signaled Deep Throat with a potted plant on his balcony. I signal Deep Blog by mentioning his name on the Tweeter Tube. Then, as if by magic, I got a text with a link:

Actually, the link was to the movie version of Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead, but the Ella Fitzgerald/Billy May version swings more. If we’re going to celebrate, why not do it big?

It turns out that Deep Blog, who has been expecting a Vitter surge, was the soul of optimism about the Goober race. Why? He’d seen a reliable private tracking poll showing Edwards with a 10 point lead. Additionally, that pollster believes that early voting for JBE was so strong that he may have this in the bag.  I’m not as optimistic as that: I think 55-45 is the best it’s likely to get, if our voters turn out in waves tomorrow. I’ll have my more restrained call later in the post, but it looks as if I might be writing Bitter Vitter’s political obituary this weekend. I’ll take a narrower split as long as Vitter loses. But a complete defenestration of Diaper Dave would be more fun than pillaging Aqaba with Lawrence of Arabia.

One reason for my concern has been the deluge of political ads we’ve been subjected to in the New Orleans market. The pro-Vitter ones are increasingly ugly and packed with lies about Syrian refugees flooding the state. 14 ain’t much of a flood. Here’s a teevee ad from a PAC tying Diaper Dave to Gov PBJ:

As my regular readers know, I hate relying on polls as the basis of my analysis. But we seem to have gotten to the point where the die has been cast; as you can see from this tweet by Andrew Tuozzolo:

Andrew is a political professional as well as a self-described “armchair poll QB.” He’s been crunching the numbers throughout the campaign and I respect his analysis. Here’s my reading of the situation: Vittter is gaining but a week of xenophobic “terrorist” baiting is not enough to change the dynamics of this campaign. The voters have Jindal fatigue and seem sick and tired of being sick and tired of Diaper Dave’s baggage as well. I have an admission to make at this point: I thought the hooker issue would not work and would backfire to Diaper Dave’s benefit. I was wrong and Lamar was right. There, I said it.

Speaking of Andrew the T, he’s conducting a Goober election results pool. I received an honorable mention in the primary pool. We’re asked to pick vote totals for the candidates as well as a turnout guesstimate. The prize is bragging rights and y’all know what a braggart I am: TOP OF THE WORLD, MA. BOOM. Here’s my entry, Edwards 52 Vitter 48. Turnout 43%. Here’s hoping I’m right. If Diaper Dave wins he’ll be pissed and we’ll be in a world of hurt. He’ll fling dirty diapers at us like an adolescent zoo chimp. Splat.

Finally, the post title. I realize I’m posting this while the sun is still out but The Night Before is one of my favorite mid-period Beatle songs. The title has NOTHING to do with the brand new bro-comedy of the same name. I have standards and while they’re low ones, I’m not big on slapsticky bro-fests featuring dudes in ugly holiday sweaters. I would never invite those bozos to a Gooberpalooza shebang: they’d get drunk and burn the joint down. And now without further ado, the Fab Four get the last word:

Hysteria Is As American As Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie and Chevrolet


It’s happening again: the hard men of the Republican party are scared to death of Syrian refugees. They’ve turned it into a meme and a campaign issue. The best response I’ve seen thus far came from President Obama:

“These are the same folks oftentimes who suggest that they’re so tough that just talking to Putin or staring down ISIL, or using some additional rhetoric somehow is going to solve the problems out there. But apparently, they’re scared of widows and orphans coming into the United States of America as part of our tradition of compassion,” he said. “First, they were worried about the press being too tough on them during debates. Now they’re worried about three-year-old orphans. That doesn’t sound very tough to me.”

I’ve already written about David Vitter’s attempts to use this as a wedge issue in the Gret Stet Goober race. It’s unclear if it will work or if voters will give Diaper Dave a wedgy, but Team Vitter took it one step further yesterday. Here’s what Gambit’s Clancy DuBos had to say about it:

I got a phone call this afternoon from Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand regarding an email he received today (Wednesday, Nov. 18) from the Louisiana Republican Party. The email, like U.S. Sen. David Vitter’s entire gubernatorial campaign these days, falsely and deliberately tries to foster mass hysteria about Syrian refugees in Louisiana. It is, in my opinion, the most irresponsible, desperate, even despicable piece of campaign hysteria I have ever seen — and I’ve seen a lot. Worst of all, the GOP has the gall to solicit money at the end of the email.

“Somebody’s going to get killed” because of this kind of thing, Normand said to me. He’s right. Catholic Charities, the arm of the Archdiocese of New Orleans that is helping resettle Syrian refugees in Louisiana, already has received threats, which Louisiana State Police Supt. Mike Edmondson confirmed yesterday (Nov. 17).

Ironically, David Vitter’s wife Wendy is the general counsel for the Archdiocese of New Orleans, which means she also is the lawyer for Catholic Charities — the people who are bringing in refugees. Apparently the senator is so desperate that he doesn’t even mind throwing his wife and Archbishop Gregory Aymond under the bus for a few cheap political points.

For the record, the Syrian man that Vitter and the GOP say is “missing” and “unaccounted for” is totally accounted for. He had to fill out multiple forms before moving around in Baton Rouge, let alone before moving to Washington D.C. to be with his family. (See The Advocate‘s story HERE confirming all this.) It’s noteworthy that The Advocate story came out a full day before the GOP sent the hysterical email, which means they had to have known they were spreading lies in order to foster hysteria — and raise money.

This whole episode shows just how desperate Vitter has become. Apparently there is no lie he won’t tell, no line he won’t cross, no life he won’t put in jeopardy if that’s what it takes to win. He has been called “Bobby Jindal on steroids,” but that’s an understatement. He’s more like Frank Underwood on steroids.

I’ve said FU to Bitter Vitter many times over the years, but this is reprehensible even by his loathsome standards. It’s well documented that Vitter only values human life in vitro and doesn’t give a shit if his rhetoric leads to someone getting hurt. FU sideways, asswipe.

The country is in the throes of its latest bout of hysteria over THE OTHER. It’s nothing new in our history. We’ve had two red scares, repeated bouts of anti-immigrant hysteria, and dizzying flights of xenophobic frenzy since the founders were in knee-pants.

I’m on the record as a full-fledged member of the pro-immigration camp, but there’s a common sense approach to this problem that should satisfy most people except for vote hungry Republican politicians and unrepentant bigots. Only 2% of the immigrants are military age males between the age of 18-30. It is not unreasonable to assume that ISIS/ISIL/Daesh will try to infiltrate a few young fighters into our country. They’re not stupid, after all. That 2% should be subjected to an even more rigorous level of scrutiny before being granted entry. Is that method foolproof? Hell no, but it strikes me as an attempt to instill some common sense into the situation. As always, Charlie Pierce sums it up nicely at his joint.

The level of hysteria on the Right is reminiscent of the cosmic freak out after 9/11. The chickenhawks whipped up hysteria to suit their purposes, but the initial fear was not purely irrational. Who the hell wants to be blown up by some mook wearing a bomb belt? The difference this time is that the White House is trying to extinguish the xenophobic blaze, not adding fuel to the fire with inflammatory rhetoric. It’s a time when it’s good to have No Drama Obama as the Oval One.

The good news about the current hysteria is that it will eventually dissipate. It’s happened before. Remember the so-called Ebola crisis? Republican politicians and the MSM responded in a similar fashion, but eventually that wave of hysteria died with a whimper, not a bang. I even created an Ebola Hysteria category here at First Draft. It was last used over a year ago. This too will pass:

It’s time to circle back to the post title. In various forms, hysteria has been with us throughout our history. American hysteria often involves a toxic mixture of gullibility and xenophobia. Many people assume the worst of others, and believe who or what they want to believe i.e. Fox News. It’s why conspiracy theories are so popular in a country that’s never experienced a military coup. It’s why I’ve come to the conclusion that, as in the old Chevy teeevee commercial, hysteria is as American as baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet.

Louisiana Politics: Gret Stet Goober Race Gobsmackery

Vitter and Jindal in 2010

Bitter Vitter and PBJ in 2010. Photograph via Getty Images.

I didn’t plan to write so extensively about the 2015 Gret Stet Goober race. I didn’t expect it to be so bloody interesting. Louisiana became more like other Southern states in the post-K/PBJ era, which was a pity for me as both a Democrat and a pundit. This year’s Goober race has changed that: the weirdo factor is back. Big time. If gobsmackery isn’t a word, it oughta be. It certainly fits the mood here with 3 more shopping days until our political Christmas. I’m hoping it won’t morph into Thanksgiving and produce a turkey: a narrow win by Diaper Dave.

I’m going to break this down Saturday Odds & Sods style. It may reflect some wishful thinking, I wish the election were today:

The PBJ Factor: Let’s begin with the seemingly unrelated story of Bobby Jindal’s exit stage far right from the GOP nomination scrum. I was a bit surprised; not because I thought he had a chance but because I assumed Team Jindal was as delusional as always. I expected PBJ to stay in the race until after the Iowa caucus and bible camp. There were times where he appeared to be gaining some traction among the crazed biblethumpers who do the wintery caucus thing in the Corncob state. In the end, the lane he hoped to occupy among homophobes and 1950’s nostalgists was occupied by Dr. Sleepy and Tailgunner Ted. PBJ tried staying alive by saying outrageous shit but nobody does that better than the Insult Comedian. Buh bye, Bobby.

PBJ’s exit is less interesting than its timing. It came 4 days before the Goober runoff and became the top Gret Stet political story thereby overshadowing Bitter Vitter’s attempt to save his ass by running against Syrian refugees.

Here’s the back story: PBJ and Diaper Dave loathe one another. Vitter held his infamous serious sin/hooker press conference on the same day in 2007 that PBJ announced his second, and ultimately successful, Goober campaign. Guess which story got all the headlines? Jindal then declined to support Vitter’s successful attempt to hold on to his Senate seat or his re-election bid in 2010. Now that’s bad blood.

I’m not the only one who thinks that PBJ’s suspension (I’d give him permanent detention instead) was timed to fuck with Vitter’s Goober campaign. The Louisiana Lizard King aka James Carville thinks so too:

“It smothers the news cycle,” said Carville, who has hosted two fundraisers for Edwards. The timing “will help John Bel. When you’re behind, you need to win the news cycle. If you’re Vitter, the last thing you want is to see Bobby Jindal in the news.”


“I wonder if he didn’t do it now to mess with Vitter,” Carville said.

Even if that wasn’t PBJ’s intention, it has the effect of freezing the news cycle and reminding everyone that the widely despised PBJ is still Governor. It hasn’t been easy to tell since he’s been the Dauphin of Iowa for the last 6 months.

I think it’s payback pure and simple. It fits the hoary Sicilian aphorism: “Revenge is a dish best served cold.”

Vitter’s Refugee Hypocrisy: Vitter has spent most of the campaign running against President Obama. That hasn’t stopped. He’s now attempting to use ISIL and Syrian refugees as wedge issues. I realize it makes no sense to run against both ISIL and the refugees, but logic has nothing to do with it. It’s a raw appeal to emotion, hatred, and xenophobia. It’s what Diaper Dave does.

I’ve been on pins and needles that it might work, which is one reason I’m giving John Bel Edwards a mulligan on his support for Jindal’s “ban” on Syrian refugees. I put air quotes around the word ban because the Governor has no authority whatsoever to bar immigrants from entering the state. It’s a purely symbolic issue and I don’t want Edwards to die defending that hill in the last week of the campaign. I hope he’ll reconsider when the dust settles and he’s elected Governor.

Essentially, I am an anti-Vitter voter. The only people who think JBE is a liberal are teanuts or on Vitter’s payroll. I believe the top priority is to defeat Diaper Dave and end his political career. He’ll still be a Senator but he’ll be a de facto lame duck if he loses Saturday. That will make him a decoy duck for challengers next fall. The decoy image has me reconsidering my home decor:

It’s time to circle back to Vitter’s rank hypocrisy on the refugee issue. He flew to Washington to preen and posture about it on the Senate floor yesterday. But his frenetic activity has obscured an important fact, Vitter’s wife, Wendy, is Chief Counsel for Catholic Charities in New Orleans. That’s right, the group that has helped to resettle 14 Syrian refugees in Louisiana.

For more on Vitter’s egregious refugee hypocrisy, read Bob Mann’s piece for Salon, David Vitter’s desperate last stand: He throws his wife under the bus-again. For once, the feverish Salonatic headline is accurate.

The Shy Vitter Voter Factor: In addition to my concerns that Vitter’s racist and xenophobic slurs might work, I’m convinced that Vitter is underpolling. Most recent surveys have him 15+ points behind Edwards. I’m convinced that there are a substantial number of Vitter voters who are too embarrassed to admit that they’re voting for the sleazy Senator. I’m not the only one. Gret Stet Democratic campaign consultant Andrew Tuozzolo is also concerned:

The mention of the Bradley effect sent shivers down my spine. It’s a reference to the 1982 California Goober race where longtime Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley led in all the polls and wound up losing on election day. Bradley was moderate and very experienced. His only “liability” in the eyes of many voters was that he was African-American. That’s why people lied to the pollsters, they didn’t want to admit to bigotry at the ballot box. Hmm, Bigotry at the Ballot Box  sounds like a pulp fiction paperback waiting to be written…

In the UK, this is called the shy Tory factor. It came into play at this year’s general election when the Tories surprised even David Cameron by winning a majority. I wonder if the Posh Boy scheduled a date with a pig to celebrate? What is it with politicians named David anyway? At least Cameron isn’t a po-faced, psalm singing son of a bitch like David Vitter.

Here in the Gret Stet of Louisiana, David Duke underpolled in both the 1990 Senate and 1991 Goober races. That’s why I’m as nervous as that proverbial long tailed cat in a roomful of rocking chairs. Holy shit, another corpone image. First purt near and now this. What’s next? Reveenooer references or a guest shot on Duck Dynasty? I don’t think I have to worry about the latter after this or this.

I was so disconcerted by the possibility of a shy Vitter voter factor that I texted Deep Blog last night during my krewe meeting. He/she/it was reassuring about the state of the Goober race in between ranting about Diaper Dave. Here’s a transcript of our non-Socratic dialogue:

Adrastos: Getting nervous about the refugee thing. Vitter is acting more like his old self. The fucker.

Deep Blog: Yep. Vitter is ISIS’ best friend in Louisiana because he’s spreading fear and panic, which is exactly what terrorists want. Vitter and ISIS: a match made in hell.

Adrastos: Do you think it will work?

Deep Blog: Not sure. Latest 2 tracking polls have JBE up by 15. Still, we’re talking about David Viitter, the Grigori Rasputin of Louisiana. No matter how many poisons and bullets you put in him, he refuses to die…

The only difference between Diaper Dave and Rasputin is that Vitter would probably remove a dirty diaper whereas Rasputin would revel in the filth of it all. That’s the difference between a rogue and a hypocrite. I’ll take a rogue any day even if they’re stinky…

Now that I’ve grossed you out, I’ll end this seemingly interminable post by asking my fellow Louisianians to vote on Saturday. If you’re a Lefty, vote for the Blue Dog, it’s important. It’s time to throw Diaper Dave on the ash heap of history alongside PBJ.

Louisiana Politics: The Final Gret Stet Goober Gabfest

I’m glad the Gret Stet Goober debates are over and done with. They’ve been entertaining if you like blood sports, but not particularly edifying. The moderators, were once again, terrible. They asked the crowd to be quiet at the very beginning and never again. The crowd was rowdy, which made it hard for the candidates and viewers to hear the questions. It was another time when the people at a live event *forgot* that it was being televised and stepped on the event. Damn, I sound fussier than Miss Manners inspecting a frat house terlet, but a good moderator can keep a crowd under control. At the risk of being repetitive: these were not good moderators.

I thought Bitter Vitter performed better than in last Tuesday’s LPB debate. He lied constantly but more effectively, especially about his “serious sin.” He now claims it ended 15 years ago but nobody believes him. And why should they? He lies every time he opens his mouth.

Edwards was not quite as sharp tonight. But he stayed on the attack most of the evening and fought Diaper Dave to a draw. The two candidates spent a good part of the evening calling one another liars; even though Bitter *is* a liar, it’s time for John Bel to move on and close on a high note.

The weirdest moment in the evening came when Vitter went on and on about-get ready-a purple party bus:

Vitter hammered Edwards for having an event last week at a “very adult New Orleans night club” and hiring a purple party bus to ferry voters to the polls for early voting. Edwards said he was there with his wife. “Not as interesting as your date night, Senator,” he added.

At least it was LSU purple, Senator. The event in question was held at the Lyve Club on Tulane Avenue in a primarily black neighborhood. It’s not a place that I’m likely to go but the Vitterites are implying that it’s purt near a strip club. It’s not. Despite being a snooty city boy, I love the term purt near. It makes me feel almost bucolic…

Vitter’s purple party bus rant is yet another racist anti-New Orleans attack from his campaign. I’m not sure if it will work: Vitter nailed down the hardcore racist vote long ago.

As I said earlier, I think the debate was a tie, which in baseball goes to the runner; not sure about debateball.  Neither side did much to move any votes. They were no knock-out punches. Vitter, however, was in much better form, which makes me nervous. He may have a few more dirty tricks up his sleeve before this is over. He’s already running a despicable ad capitalizing on the Paris terrorist attacks. Anyone surprised? I thought not.

It smells like 2002 all over again. Let’s hope it doesn’t work this time.

Louisiana Politics: Gret Stet Goober Race Hits The Homestretch

Gret Stet Goober race indicators remain favorable for Democrat John Bel Edwards. A new poll shows him at 51% with 38% of the honky white vote. Sorry for going all Sixties on y’all there. If the election were held today, the undecided vote would break for him 54-38. Early voting was VERY strong for Edwards with a substantial increase in African-American turnout.  The problem is that we’re 5 days out and Edwards *may* have peaked. It’s not a bad thing if he holds his vote but there are signs that Team Vitter may be getting its shit together.

Vitter will be running on a xenophobic, anti-Syrian immigrant theme for the last week of the campaign. He’s hoping that he can scare some GOP voters straight by scaring the diapers pants off them. Here’s an excerpt from an open letter the Vitterites sent to New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu:

As you know, New Orleans is expecting an influx of Syrian refugees, some of whom have already arrived. Based on all the information available to me, I have no confidence that these refugees are being fully and properly vetted to ensure they contain absolutely noterrorists elements.

Please join me and others in demanding that President Obama stopaccepting these Syrian refugees immediately, and stop settling any into New Orleans, given this unacceptable lax security and lack of full vetting on their backgrounds.

14 Syrian refugees is an influx? That’s the grand total that have come to Louisiana since civil war broke out in Assadville. Meanwhile, PBJ remembered that he’s still Gret Stet Goober and has joined other Republican Governors in demanding a stop to Syrian immigration.

He had to do something after losing the Steve King endorsement to Ted Cruz. I expect comments about the size of Syrian calves next from PBJ.

Back to Vitter. His use of the Syrian refugee issue makes me nervous. I expect him to hit it hard in overwhelmingly Cajun Acadiana where people have close historical and emotional ties to France. Clearly a Governor has nothing to do fighting ISIL, but it’s likely to scare up a few more votes from Republicans who planned to stay home. I use the word scare literally: fear of the other and of terrorism is all Vitter has going for him at this point.

It’s no surprise that Bitter Vitter is a raging hypocrite on this issue as pointed out by Bob Mann:

U.S. Senate records show that Sen. David Vitter, who served on that body’s Armed Services Committee from January 2009 to January 2015, missed two of three public committee hearing on Syria held from 2012 through 2014.


Vitter is also running online petitions about the issue on Facebook, making robo-calls to Louisiana voters about the refugees and even attempting to use the issue to raise money for his campaign.

Again, I’m not how effective this tactic will be but it could help him with the sort of low information rural voters who have supported him in the past. This is not the sort of issue that brings out the better angels of the Republican base either here or nationally.

Finally, the Democratic Governor’s Association has put up an anti-Vitter web site. It’s a take on House of Cards called Vitter’s House of Lies. Welcome to Word Press, y’all. And a hearty FU to Diaper Dave…


The final runoff debate is tonight at 6 PM Central and I’ll post some instant analysis before the stroke of midnight.

I remain cautiously optimistic that Edwards will hold on and win, but the Gret Stet’s recent political history makes me as nervous as Oscar and Della when they hear the word V-E-T.

Louisiana Politics: Dickhead Dynasty


The best evidence that David Vitter has lost his mojo came with the release of this ad featuring one of the bearded phonies from Duck Dynasty:

First of all, Vitter looks ridiculous in camo. He’s as much of a city boy as I am even if he’s from suburban Metry. Notice how clean his duds are. It doesn’t look like he’s been in the woods with his Willie hanging out. I mean, hanging out in the woods with Willie. Now, a camo or blaze orange diaper I’d believe. Actually, Bitter Vitter should probably wear a blaze orange tie as a warning that he’s a human toxic waste dump.

The whole ad reeks of desperation. The Robertsons are associated in the public mind with Gov. PBJ who is a millstone around Vitter’s neck. If he’s trying to distance himself from Jindal this is a piss poor way to do so. Repeat after me: Vitter has lost his mojo.

Gret Stet wingnuts are spinning this as part of Vitter’s “redemption” strategy. It’s supposed to result in biblebangers flocking to the polls to vote for the “redeemed sinner.” That’s a voting bloc that Vitter should already have in his hip pocket, appealing to them at this stage of the campaign means that he knows he’s losing. Holy Hail Mary pass, Batman.

The voting groups that Vitter has problems with are Republican women and voters in heavily Catholic Acadiana. Unless they’re willing to throw some indulgences his way, he’s in deep shit and sinking fast. Or as Jeremy Irons as Pope Alexander VI might put it:


I originally planned to call this post Dickless Dynasty to reflect my notion that Vitter has become a political eunuch who has lost his mojo. But Diaper Dave is now and has always been a dickhead, and I believe in calling a dickhead a dickhead.

Things are looking good for my side in the Gret Stet Goober race, but some folks are getting a bit carried away in anticipating Vitter’s political deballing. This misplaced cockiness inspired me to post a somewhat Confucian (confused?) aphorism on the Tweeter Tube:

I’ll give Little Feat the last word with this classic tune written by the late Allen Toussaint, which cautions against overconfidence:

Another Theme Song For The Vitter Campaign: Private Eyes

I never heard back from Team Vitter about my first suggested theme song: I’m The Slime. It’s perfect but I can see why they don’t like it as much as I do. Zappa is, after all, an acquired taste.

This time I have an idea that hits all the high notes. Literally. Team Vitter is in the headlines for having a Private Eye stalk people *and* they have a gender gap. For some obscure reason, women don’t like Bitter Vitter but they do like Hall & Oates. It’s a winner, I tell ya.

Here’s another campaign poster idea:

private eyes meme

Quote Of The Day: Bitter Vitter Edition

The knives are out for David Vitter inside the beltway:

One senior Republican operative who works closely on Senate races said the last thing their party wants is to have vulnerable senators answering questions about Vitter’s sex scandal.

“He’s exactly what we don’t need,” the GOP operative said. “We need to drain the swamp.”

This is what happens when you’re a political lone wolf. When trouble strikes, you’re on your own. If Vitter loses on November, 21st he’ll be under tremendous pressure to not run for re-election to the Senate. It should be great fun. Stay tuned.

Here’s some Pulp Fiction Thursday lagniappe inspired by a certain malakatude hall of famer:


Pulp Fiction Thursday: Scandal On My Mind

The Gret Stet Goober race has got me thinking about scandalous behavior. I’d like to dedicate this post to Diaper Dave:



I’d like to acknowledge that Vitter’s “serious sin” made my job much easier today. Thanks, asswipe.

Louisiana Politics: Of Gumshoes, Gobshites, and Goobers

It’s nut cutting time in the Gret Stet Goober race. We’re headed to the homestretch in one of the weirdest and most exciting elections I’ve ever experienced. This is one of those times where events are in the saddle. We’re in for a helluva ride, y’all.

There’s a whole lot of gobshitery and malakatude going on. So, I think the best way to break down recent events is by slicing them up in segments like a satsuma or an Odds & Sods post:

Gumshoes, Spyboys, and Sheriffs, Oh My: After a few quiet weeks on the shamus front, things have exploded again. This time Bitter Vitter struck the first blow at a forum on Monday in Red Stick. As usual it was below the belt and disingenuous at best:

Vitter came closest to making news on this front, when he linked his suspicions about John Cummings, the wealthy trial lawyer and Edwards donor taped by a Vitter p.i. at a Metairie coffee shop, to Danny DeNoux, a private investigator who was also at the table along with Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand. DeNoux has admitted he found a source for a blogger who’s been investigating Vitter’s past, and at the forum Monday, Vitter said Denoux also was a target of the Vitter campaign’s surveillance, which he deemed neither illegal nor improper.

“That person was researching what I believe is an illegal scheme” to “pay for false testimony for witnesses against me,” Vitter said. He said he had already contacted federal authorities over the matter.

This is vintage Vitter. He’s always been fond of the lie, deny, and deflect approach to scandal management. Vitter’s vacuous claims of victimization, however, resulted in Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand holding a presser just in time to make the news *before* the goober debate last night:

Normand said the videotaped interview in his possession — which was captured on one of the same cameras used to tape Normand and his pals in the coffee shop — ends with the woman signing the affidavit the Vitter camp wanted.

He said it was shot at an IHOP in Hammond on Oct. 20 — precisely when Wendy Cortez, who in 2007 claimed that Vitter had paid her regularly for sex, was resurfacing with even more salacious claims about the senator to a New Orleans-based blogger that the Vitter campaign wanted to quash. Normand said the Vitter operative was particularly concerned about keeping the woman’s claims out of the “mainstream media.”

Normand said the Vitter operative brought an affidavit to the woman that already included her claims.

“It was one of the most obnoxious interviews I’ve seen in my 38 years of law enforcement,” Normand told reporters. “He came in with a prepared affidavit to sign and spent probably 30 minutes suggesting what she should write in between the lines and put her initials on as it related to trying to discredit the story of Wendy Cortez.” (Cortez also goes by the last name of Ellis.)

Normand said he will meet with FBI officials on Thursday to discuss the videos and other findings. He did not say what he thinks the federal interest in the materials might be.

Normand’s account shows why Vitter claimed that nefarious Obama liberal forces were paying people to lie about him. It’s what his own operatives were up to. It’s political jiu-jitsu at its sleaziest, and I’m not IHOPPING to conclusions either…

The whole Normand-Vitter dispute is unlikely to result in charges before the November, 21st runoff, but it could down the road. Politically, it has the desired effect of keeping Vitter on the ropes. A good thing because I think it’s going to be closer than the polls currently indicate. One thing I know for sure: If you’re still discussing your gumshoe-hooker issues this late in the campaign, you’re losing.

I think we’ll be discussing the legal and political ramifications of Team Vitter’s Nixonian malefactions for quite some time after the runoff. Diaper Dave has a Senate seat to defend if he loses, after all. According to Deep Blog, some of his associates may have even more to lose. Stay tuned.

Jason Brad Berry On The Latest Developments: One thing that’s exciting to me about the Gret Stet Goober race is how many of the players I know. Mongo no need scorecard. Here’s the world’s only investigative Zombie’s instant reaction on Facebook to Normand’s press conference. (I cannot figure out how to insert a FB status update in the blog, so I cut and pasted the comments with Jason’s permission.) He’s quoting a story by David Hammer:

“Normand said the owner of the private investigation firm tried to coerce the friend to sign an affidavit saying Ellis had lied about Vitter and her relationship with Vitter in an interview with blogger Jason Berry.

“He goes on to say, ‘I’d like you to say that Jason Berry has made payment to several witnesses,'” said Normand. “‘That would be kind of true too. If I could show them that Jason Berry is paying people off, that would kill this story.'””

Bearden thinks I am paying women to lie to me, I’m pretty sure he had me mixed up with his client, David Vitter.

Here’s what I want to know, was Bearden paying this woman to lie and say I was paying women to lie? You understand that?

He’s trying to get a woman I’ve never met to say I’m paying her to get her to lie? He’s asking her to lie, himself. How is this even legal?

Here’s what Jason had to say an hour later:

Let me try to straighten this out for you.

After I published my story, Vitter’s camp freaked out and sic’d his high dollar, republican, oil-industry P.I. firm from Texas on me…Bearden and Associates. This asshole went around trying to find former acquaintances of Wendy Ellis and coerce them to say I was paying Wendy to lie and even other people to lie in support of Wendy’s story.

This is patently false….I never paid anyone for anything nor was I paid by anyone for anything.

In other words, the guy was trying to get people to provide false testimony against Wendy and me in order to discredit the story I published.

My first question is…did Bearden pay this woman or anyone else for this false testimony? Did he pay them to lie and say I had paid them to lie?

My second question is this….Bearden Associates were paid by David Vitter for “legal services” not private investigative services according to Vitter’s campaign finance reports. If that’s what they were doing when they were prodding this woman to lie (providing legal services) then was Bearden coercing false testimony which he may have turned around and delivered to the FBI in an affidavit?

That’s…well….that’s fucking huge. Criminally and civilly.

If he is going to claim he was not acting as a lawyer but instead he was acting as a P.I…..then David Vitter has filed false campaign finance records.

Which is also fucking huge.

Which one is it? Either way, someone has broken the law here….says the “shady” blogger.

Here’s the deal: I know Jason and can vouch for his honesty and integrity. There is no fucking way that he would have EVER paid a witness to lie about David Vitter’s sleazy escapades. Suborning perjury is not his style. Shrinks have a word to describe Bitter Vitter’s specious allegations: PROJECTION. Or as Philip Marlowe might have said at this point: If the gumshoe fits, wear it.

LPB Wonkery: After the wild events of the past few days, the Gret Stet Goober debate on Louisiana Public Broadcasting was an anti-climax. John Bel Edwards started and finished strong, but Vitter rather adeptly played rope-a-dope in the middle of the debate. I’d score it a narrow victory for Edwards but perception is everything in these matters. And I’m not exactly an unbiased observer. I’ll take Gomer for Goober over the Gobshite Goper any day.

Some of Vitter’s whoppers made me yell at the teevee and post on the Tweeter Tube. He kept claiming that he had a “balanced” approach to budgetary matters. WTF? He’s a down-the-line supply-side taxcutting Republican of the sort that drove the economy into the proverbial ditch. He also claimed to have NOT signed the infamous Grover Norquist no-new taxes pledge. It’s another example of Vittery slipperiness: he’s signed the Federal pledge but not the Gret Stet one. It’s a distinction without a difference. Or is that slippery Vitteriness? Another distinction without a difference.

It looks as if the OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA attack ads may not be working. Vitter did take the President’s name in vain, but not as often as expected. He trotted out some new Democratic straw men to set ablaze: the Landrieus and Dollar Bill Jefferson. That’s right, the former klepto Congressman who’s currently in the slammer. It’s a two-fer slur: race and corruption. Mentioning Dollar Bill shows how desperate Diaper Dave is; voters have short memories and most don’t remember who Dollar Bill is, or that he ran and lost for Gret Stet Goober in 1999. That’s so 20th Century.

The questions were on the wonky side, which meant that the Vitter sleaze factor was only alluded to in the first 50 or so minutes of the debate. I was impressed at what a cool customer John Bel Edwards was when under assault by Bitter Vitter. He was a paratrooper in the Army so I guess that comes with the territory. I was less impressed with his ability to pivot and counterpunch. He spent too much of the debate on the defensive, and the moderators allowed Vitter to drone on and on and on. I guess Vitter wanted to run out the clock before his diaper starting leaking…

There *were* a few memorable exchanges during the debate.  Here they are via Elizabeth’s Crisp account in the Advocate:

But the final minutes of Tuesday night’s debate were peppered with direct hits and personal digs.

“You are a liar, a cheater and a stealer, and I don’t tolerate that,” Edwards told a visibly agitated Vitter.

Vitter accused Edwards, a military veteran, of not living “by the Honor Code.”

“You are completely disingenuous,” he said.


Asked about the negative tone of the campaign, Vitter pointed to the constant stream of negative attack ads he’s faced.

“There’s nobody who has been the target of more negative campaigning than me,” he said, noting that several political action committees have been created to attack him. He only alluded to the central theme of those ads and a recent one from Edwards’ campaign: Vitter’s prostitution scandal.

“You act holier than thou,” Vitter said. “You have the most vicious negative ad up right now.”

He was referring to Edwards’ recent ad that claims Vitter put “prostitutes over patriots” because cell phone and voting records put him in contact with the D.C. madam the same day he missed a vote honoring fallen soldiers in Congress.

“If it’s a low blow, then that’s because of where you live, senator,” Edwards said, alluding to what he called Vitter’s “extracurricular activities.”

The debate was not as exciting as it sounds, but there were nuggets to be mined. Overall, I doubt that many votes were changed. It was Tuesday night on public broadcasting, after all.

The candidates will play what my friend Jeffrey calls debateball one more time next Monday. Since Vitter only appeared in two televised forums during the primary, his very participation means that he knows that he’s in trouble. Here’s hoping more shit hits the fan between now and then. Given how this campaign has gone, the odds are *much* better than Fifty Fifty:


Vitter Takes A Leaf Out Of The Bill Clinton Playbook

I’m still on one of the Vestigial- Picayune’s email lists. The main reason I haven’t unsubscribed is because sometimes the things they highlight are so ridiculous that it makes me laugh. This afternoon the Zombie-Picayune’s headline was, David Vitter acknowledges prostitution scandal in new TV ad. Not quite. Only a newspaper that endorsed Diaper Dave would consider the new ad, Hard Times, an acknowledgment of anything:

After months of attacks about the issue, Republican candidate for governor David Vitter is addressing his prostitution scandal in a new television ad — though without using the word prostitution.

The 30-second spot, released Monday, features Vitter sitting at a kitchen table as he talks to the camera, saying: “Fifteen years ago, I failed my family but found forgiveness and love.”

Vitter, a U.S. senator, apologized in 2007 for a “serious sin” after he was linked through phone records to Washington’s “D.C. Madam.”

In the ad, Vitter says, “Our falls aren’t what define us, but rather how we get up, accept responsibility and earn redemption.”

Outside groups and rivals have repeatedly hit Vitter about the scandal this election cycle. He faces Democrat John Bel Edwards in the Nov. 21 runoff.

The whole “I failed my family” thing is just a variation on the “I committed a serious sin” theme. The other lame thing about this article is that it’s a wire service story. That’s right, the Picayune is so pitiful that it’s not even their story. It’s the way the boys in the Advance Media back room in Mobile want it.

Now that I’ve teased you, here’s the ad, which isn’t much better than the lame Zombie-Picayune coverage of it:

You’re probably wondering where the Bill Clinton playbook fits in. It’s Bitter Vitter’s closer where he tells us that he’s a fighter and will get up every day and fight for us. Anyone who lived through the Clinton Presidency will remember Bill’s promise to get up every day and work for us. The fighter shtick is more Nixonian than Clintonesque, but Vitter is more like Tricky Dick than almost any current pol I can think of. The only thing missing in this ad is a dog named Checkers and a Republican cloth coat.

This soft focus ad with icky music is another example of how Vitter has lost his mojo. It’s way too late to get people to like him because he has children. Additionally, equating his hooker scandal with the struggles of ordinary people is ludicrous. It’s what John Ehrlichman called a “modified limited hang-out” during Watergate. That approach didn’t work for Nixon and it won’t work for Vitter in the wake of the BOOM ad.

Since Team Vitter called this ad Hard Times, I’ll give Ray Charles the last word:

Louisiana Politics: Monday Morning Quarterbacking


BOOM ad screen shot via CenLamar.

Football and politics are the most popular sporting events in the Gret Stet of Louisiana. It was a dismal weekend for local football fans as both the New Orleans Saints and the LSU Tigers lost. Ouch. At least the Tigers lost to a fine Crimson Tide squad on the road in Tuscaloosa. The Saints lost at home to a shitty Tennessee Titans team that had just fired its coach. Double ouch.

I started this post with sports because the now legendary John Bel Edwards BOOM ad ran during the LSU game. It only ran once in the New Orleans market, which was not a bad thing. It’s a gut punch of an ad that’s best seen in short bursts much like a certain ad from 1964 Johnson-Goldwater race:


There’s been some criticism of the Edwards ad as unsubtle overkill by the flying monkeys of the national MSM. That’s piffle, poppycock, and various other P-words. Negative campaigning is all David Vitter knows. I’ve gone into the details here before, so I’ll send you over to CenLamar for Lamar White’s take on the BOOM ad and Team Vitter’s whiny, petulant reaction to this live grenade lobbed into the candidate’s diapered lap. Btw, they haven’t denied it.

Speaking of heavy-handed, Gret Stet GOP honcho, Roger Villere, used a sports analogy to denounce Lt. Gov Jay Dardenne for endorsing the Democratic Goober candidateHe compared Dardenne to former LSU and current Alabama coach Nick Saban. Holy low blow, Batman. It’s also wrong, everyone knows that Dardenne is the Mr. Bean of Gret Stet politics:

Mr. Bean's Holiday

I’m not sure if Dardenne is that limber. Since people are already speculating as to what Dardenne *might* get in exchange for endorsing Edwards, I have a suggestion. We could create our very own Ministry of Silly Walks as the Lt. Gov’s reward for being attacked by the suburban florist who runs the Louisiana GOP. It beats the hell out of sitting next to Bitter Vitter at a debate:


There was another nutbar factor-1000 reaction to the Dardenne endorsment. This one came in an open letter to Dardenne from St. Tammany Parish Republican party Chaircreep, Peter Egan:

“Your behavior somewhat parallels what might be in the mind frame and actions of an angry and rageful husband. The behavior of endorsing Edwards is akin to that of a jilted man firing indiscriminately at his ex-wife’s car, mindless of the collateral harm and injury to many innocent people. Unlike the jilted man who cannot take back his impulsive actions, you, however, can redress the damage you may be causing.”

And Republicans wonder why there’s a gender gap.

FYI, St. Tammany is in Vitter’s old congressional district, and is one of the wealthiest and most Republican Parishes in the Gret Stet of Louisiana. The House seat is currently held by our old pal Steve Scalise aka “David Duke without the baggage.”

A few months ago David Vitter looked like a lock to move into the Governor’s mansion next January. He’d won a second term by a landslide in 2010 without having to explain what “serious sin” he committed. Vitter pulled the strings during Double Bill Cassidy’s successful 2014 Senate campaign and continues to own Dr. Empty Suit. The best thing I’ve read about Vitter’s downfall is an article by the great Bob Mann at Salon. Here’s how he closes his piece:

With less than two weeks before the runoff, Vitter must make a move and fast. That may not be easy. The problem is not merely that his aura of invincibility is gone. It’s that when his invincibility vanished, Vitter had little or no goodwill among many prominent Republican leaders from which to draw.

It could be that Vitter’s prostitution scandal, his ill-fated association with Jindal and his fractured Republican Party aren’t his worst problems. Maybe it’s not even that he has a Democratic opponent who is generally immune from associations with Obama.

More harmful than all of that might be that David Vitter no longer has fear on his side. Put another way, he’s finally been exposed as a mere mortal – and a deeply flawed one, at that.

Vitter’s problem may be simply this: The Louisiana Republican who was once the most feared is also the most disliked. Perhaps Camus was correct, after all: “Nothing is more despicable than respect based on fear.”

The best thing about the Edwards BOOM ad is that it shows that Team Edwards is willing to do, in Richard Ben Cramer’s memorable phrase, “what it takes” to win. I’ll conclude by quoting a latter-day existential philosopher, Omar Little:  “You  come at the king, you best not miss.”

Louisiana Politics: BOOM

The Edwards campaign just dropped a 15 megaton hooker bomb on David Vitter:

For more details, read Bob Mann’s piece at Salon.