Mary Landrieu

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Krewe du Vieux went "Where the Vile Things Are"

Posted By on Sun, Feb 16, 2014 at 4:52 PM

"Where the Vile Things Are" — at the 2014 Krewe du Vieux parade. - REX DUKE
  • "Where the Vile Things Are" — at the 2014 Krewe du Vieux parade.

Last night's Krewe du Vieux parade in the Faubourg Marigny and French Quarter was everything KdV is supposed to be — homemade, raucous, joyously obscene, relentlessly satirical and not for kids.

Its 17 subkrewes (Krewe of C.R.U.D.E., Krewe of Space Age Love, Krewe of Underwear, Seeds of Decline, Krewe of Mama Roux, Krewe of L.E.W.D., Krewe of Drips and Discharges, Krewe of K.A.O.S., Knights of Mondu, T.O.K.I.N., Krewe Rue Bourbon, Krewe de C.R.A.P.S., Mystic Krewe of Spermes, Mystik Krewe of Comatose, Mystic Krewe of Inane, Krewe du Mishigas, and Krewe of SPANK) outdid themselves with 17 outrageous themes. All the floats actually seemed to be completed and in good working order, too — never a given at Krewe du Vieux.

"Mitchey Mayor" welcomed the crowd to "Dizneylandrieu," and his "Mitchkateers" distributed maps "to every mayor-approved adventure in the Gentrified Kingdom." - REX DUKE
  • "Mitchey Mayor" welcomed the crowd to "Dizneylandrieu," and his "Mitchkateers" distributed maps "to every mayor-approved adventure in the Gentrified Kingdom."

The evening's gold medal, however (and perhaps Carnival's gold medal) had to go to SPANK's "Dizneylandrieu," a float featuring "Mitchey Mayor" wearing mouse ears and a "New Orleans Will" T-shirt in front of a St. Louis Cathedral that had been transformed into Disney's Cinderella's Castle.

A few dozen "Mitchkateers" accompanied the float, handing out brochures that detailed the many lands in "Dizneylandrieu" (Mitchey's Toon Town, Jacked-Up Square, Crotch Country and HIpsterland among them), with rides like "Big Freedia's Bounce That Ass House," the "NOPD Brass Band Beat Down," "Rich Hippies in WholePaycheckLand," "Marlin's Playhouse," "The Enchanted Mimi Room Angry Neighbor Jamboree" and "It's a White World, Sponsored by Mitchey Mayor."

Below the cut: other images from Rex's camera.

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Louisiana enrollment in the Affordable Care Act: fewer than 400 in first month

Posted By on Wed, Nov 13, 2013 at 4:09 PM

President Barack Obama greets supporters at an appearance at the Port of New Orleans Nov. 8. During his speech, he expressed dismay at the glitches involved with the online enrollment in the Affordable Care Act. Figures released today show that only 387 Louisianans completed the process and selected a health care plan within the first month of open enrollment. - JEANIE RIESS
  • President Barack Obama greets supporters at an appearance at the Port of New Orleans Nov. 8. During his speech, he expressed dismay at the glitches involved with the online enrollment in the Affordable Care Act. Figures released today show that only 387 Louisianans completed the process and selected a health care plan within the first month of open enrollment.

In the first month of open enrollment in the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), only 387 Louisianans completed the process and selected a health care plan, according to figures released this afternoon by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. A little over 7,700 people completed the online application at but have not selected a health plan.

Louisiana is one of 36 states which used the federal website rather than set up a program of state health exchanges. In those 36 states, 26,794 people have now set up plans. The number of total plan selections among people in all 50 states is 106,185.

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Monday, August 26, 2013

Video of James O'Keefe/Jim Letten encounter at Tulane University released on O'Keefe's website

Posted By on Mon, Aug 26, 2013 at 12:19 PM

Last month, James O'Keefe of the website Project Veritas was removed from the campus of Tulane University after he and a camera crew attempted to interview former U.S. Attorney Jim Letten. In 2010, Letten recused himself from a federal case that followed an incident in which O'Keefe and his crew posed as telephone repairmen and gained access to Sen. Mary Landrieu's New Orleans office. (The recusal, presumably, was due to the fact that one of O'Keefe's crew was the son of William Flanagan, acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana — Letten's then-counterpart in the western half of the state.)

Later that year, O'Keefe and his partners pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in that case and received probation, community service and minor fines.

Video from that encounter on Tulane's campus has now been posted on the Project Veritas website, in which O'Keefe attempts to give Letten a copy of his new book, Breakthrough, and Letten instead gives O'Keefe a piece of his mind, calling O'Keefe a "hobbit," "spud," "scum" and "asshole." 

"Spud, by the way," Project Veritas notes, "is a derogatory term towards an Irishman."

The video:

Project Veritas is using the video as a fundraising tool. From its website:

“You are a nasty, little, cowardly spud. You are scum. Do you understand?”

That’s what former U.S. Attorney Jim Letten screamed at my colleagues and I while attacking us. Check out our most recent investigation into what constitutes journalism – a question that is now more important than ever.

And if you can, please consider donating $25, $50, $100 or more to help Project Veritas continue to speak truth to power!

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Y@ Speak: new beginnings

Posted By on Mon, Jun 24, 2013 at 12:25 PM

Alter egos, doomed films, firings, deaths, zombies, new friends and friendly strangers, new publications, and moments of discovery — and disappointments (Mannie Fresh, hang in there. Vine gets better). This week's Y@ Speak is about our new leases on life, whether admitting you have a gutter punk problem or realizing you have paid too much for a pretty regular burger experience.

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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

State Sen. Norby Chabert: From Mary Landrieu advisor to possible opponent

Posted By on Wed, Jun 5, 2013 at 4:41 PM

After arriving in the Louisiana Senate following a 2009 special election and currently in his first full term, state Sen. Norby Chabert, R-Houma, has confirmed he is being courted to oppose U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu's re-election next year. But Chabert — until two years ago a registered Democrat — added he is focused on his work in the state Senate for now and any kind of significant thought on the proposition would have to be given later. Moreover, Chabert said the U.S. Senate race isn’t the only one in his sights. “I’m being asked about a couple of different races,” he said.

Chabert's experience of working on coastal issues and with the oil and gas industry are among the reasons that sources say energy interests are encouraging him to run, in an effort to undercut Landrieu's similar strengths, although the senior U.S. senator unarguably has a longer record of service in that regard than does Chabert.

But there’s another connection between the two: Chabert served as a trusted consultant to Landrieu during her 2002 re-election campaign. In 2009, he told the Houma Courier, “Doing everything I could to see Sen. Landrieu get elected was a major accomplishment for me... And I’ve learned a lot from Sen. Landrieu as well.’”

When asked about his former gig, Chabert said, “It's only fair to say that I worked for her over 10 years ago and I've served for years in elected office and that is a lot of time to change your views on something — or somebody.”

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Former La. Rep. Jeff Landry forms SuperPAC

Posted By on Tue, Apr 9, 2013 at 12:18 PM

Former Rep. Jeff Landry has formed a SuperPAC.
  • Former Rep. Jeff Landry has formed a SuperPAC.
Former Rep. Jeff Landry, the one-term congressman who was defeated by Rep. Charles Boustany in the race for the redrawn 3rd Congressional District, has now formed a SuperPAC, according to a story in Politico.

Restore Our Republic, which Politico calls a "hard-core PAC for hard-right Republicans," aims to raise money to support fiscal and social conservatives in races for the U.S. House of Representatives, though it hasn't announced formal support of any candidates yet.

Landry, who expressed his disgust with Washington on his way out the door (some of his fellow legislators say the feeling was entirely mutual), told the media his first priority upon returning to Acadiana was getting back to duck hunting. That didn't stop speculation that Landry might stand against Sen. Mary Landrieu in the 2014 election, a notion that Landry himself has never quite discouraged. But Politico speculates the establishment of the SuperPAC makes a Landry candidacy less likely:

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Friday, April 5, 2013

And then there were four: Sen. Landrieu among Senate Democrats opposing same-sex marriage

Posted By on Fri, Apr 5, 2013 at 4:55 PM

U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu
  • U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu

Last month, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu addressed her position on same sex marriage as the U.S Supreme Court began hearing oral arguments on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act. U.S. Senate Democrats had only a handful of marriage equality opponents — Landrieu among them. Today, Indiana's Joe Donnelly and North Dakota's Heidi Heitkamp came forward in support.

Donnelly wrote the following on Facebook: "With the recent Supreme Court arguments and accompanying public discussion of same-sex marriage, I have been thinking about my past positions and votes. In doing so, I have concluded that the right thing to do is to support marriage equality for all."

"After speaking with North Dakotans from every corner of our great state, and much personal reflection, I have concluded the federal government should no longer discriminate against people who want to make lifelong, loving commitments to each other or interfere in personal, private, and intimate relationships," Heitkamp wrote. "The makeup of families is changing, but the importance of family is enduring."

Landrieu has not outright opposed the concept — she even has acknowledged the "progression" of public opinion and its influence. Last month, Landrieu told Buzzfeed that she feels "very strongly that people should be allowed to love who they love," but added, "unfortunately my state has a very strong ban against gay marriage constitutionally."

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Poll: Congress less popular than cockroaches, traffic jams, Nickelback

Posted By on Tue, Jan 8, 2013 at 11:49 AM

Hey, girl: Were Nickelback. And were more popular than Congress.
  • Hey, girl: We're Nickelback. And we're more popular than Congress.
While we're used to goofball "polls" from men's magazines and PR firms on topics like "America's Drunkest City" or "City With America's Biggest Penises" (New Orleans is No. 1, by the way), it's not often that a legit firm like Public Policy Polling compares Congress' popularity to things like colonoscopies and Nickelback. But a survey of 830 American voters held a few days ago found that the Senate and the House of Representatives are less popular than either of those things:

When asked if they have a higher opinion of either Congress or a series of unpleasant or disliked things, voters said they had a higher opinion of root canals (32 for Congress and 56 for the dental procedure), NFL replacement refs (29-56), head lice (19-67), the rock band Nickelback (32-39), colonoscopies (31-58), Washington DC political pundits (34-37), carnies (31-39), traffic jams (34-56), cockroaches (43-45), Donald Trump (42-44), France (37-46), Genghis Khan (37-41), used-car salesmen (32-57), and Brussels sprouts (23-69) than Congress.

The good news for Congress: America's august legislative body is more popular than telemarketers, North Korea or gonorrhea. So there's that. But overall:

Congress’s overall favorability rating stands at just 9% favorable and 85% unfavorable. Women (13-81) view Congress slightly more favorably than men (6-89), as do Democrats (13-82) than Republicans (9-87), perhaps reflecting Democrats’ higher level of satisfaction with the recent fiscal cliff deal.

Get the full details here.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Daily Beast congratulates Mitch Landrieu on school reform

Posted By on Tue, Dec 18, 2012 at 8:48 AM

There’s no question that Mayor Mitch Landrieu has crafted an image as a creative, modern-thinking chief executive. And this week, The Daily Beast/Newsweek recognized him as such when it featured Landrieu as one of the “Most Innovative Mayors in the U.S.”

There’s just one catch: The innovation that earned him the prized spot on the roster, the dramatic transformation of the city’s public schools, wasn’t exactly his.

“Under Mayor Mitch Landrieu, the Crescent City has aggressively embraced education reform,” the piece says. “The result is a sea change in public education. Consider this: nationwide, just 4 percent of students attend charter schools. In New Orleans, nearly 80 percent of parents choose charters. Seven years after Katrina, the dropout rate has been cut in half, while test scores have soared by double digits.”

The specific actions that Landrieu is described as taking are actually correct, and there’s no evidence that his team oversold his role. The piece rightly points out that City Hall doesn’t control the school system, and that Landrieu has championed charters, campaigned for “reform” candidates, fought for a ground-breaking $1.8 billion lump sum from FEMA to rebuild facilities, and pursued philanthropic support.

But to make him the face of the movement — or suggest that the epic changes originated in the city and not in Baton Rouge — is as misleading as handing that honor to Gov. Bobby Jindal, another ambitious supporter who also gets plenty of national attention for his role.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Y@ Speak: A 'more robust' edition

Posted By on Tue, May 29, 2012 at 12:14 PM

This holiday-delayed Y@ Speak starts off with delightful tweets about sperm cake, a sex clown and a cat named "Money Chicken," but takes a dark turn with reactions to that news from last week.

Excuse me while I get personal for a second. As someone who grew up here (in Metairie, specifically), the Times-Picayune has been one of those inextricable aspects of my life that I, admittedly, have taken for granted at times. Having the paper around the house was how I learned to read. It's how I learned I wanted to be a writer. It's also how I learned there was no such thing as Santa Claus — from a Living section article titled, I'm pretty sure, "How to tell your child there's no such thing as Santa Claus' — because I was a bit too precocious a child. This weekend, my dad — an avid consumer of local news — made a joke that when he dies, "he's not going to find out about it until Wednesday."

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