Here are some things I wanted to link to this week but couldn't get to.. for whatever reason.
- NOLA.com: In unusual catch, Gulf of Mexico researchers find Greenland shark near Deepwater Horizon
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida State University researchers have made an unusual catch in the Gulf of Mexico: a cold-water shark typically found in Arctic waters.Guess BP was right about the possibility of Gulf Walruses after all.
Dean Grubbs of Florida State's coastal and marine research laboratory says it's the first documented catch of a Greenland shark in the Gulf.
- CenLamar: Why Elbert Guillory’s “Free At Last” PAC Raises Serious Questions About the Louisiana GOP Guillory, who temporarily became a Democrat in order to gain his seat in the state legislature recently became a Republican (again) in order to gain some measure of celebrity which has been leveraged into a bit of what we might call a con job.
Only two months after he switched back to the Republican Party, Elbert Guillory has become a spokesman (an “honorary chair”) of a political action committee called Free At Last PAC. And if you visit their website or watch their two online commercials, you’ll likely be under the impression (among other things) that Guillory himself launched this PAC in order to encourage African-Americans to run for office as Republicans. (I have some serious problems with what Guillory says in these online commercials, but I’ll get to that in a second). FoxNews, the Weekly Standard, the Christian Post, and others erroneously reported that Elbert Guillory was the principal of Free at Last PAC.Also a sham, witch doctors.
The truth is, Free At Last PAC (which was obviously named after a famous Negro spiritual) appears to have been created and is now managed by a white conservative political activist and Louisiana Family Forum Vice Chairman, a guy named Derek Babcock. If you closely follow Louisiana politics, you may remember Mr. Babcock. He ran a stupidly mean-spirited (and losing) campaign for State Senate a couple of years ago, and fortunately, his website is still online
Presumably, Mr. Guillory, as an honorary chair of this PAC and as an elected official, won’t ever be financially compensated for his voluntary involvement. But it remains unclear whether Mr. Babcock, as director, hopes to draw a salary. Either way, though, Babcock’s PAC seems like a sham.
- David Sirota: Elites’ deplorable double-standard on corruption
Read this one carefully. It tracks very closely with the kind of "dragonslaying" movement that has swept the New Boss in in New Orleans to the very loud misguided cheers of the credulous.
James was a working class ward politician whose Tammany Hall-style crimes were comparatively petty. That made him the type of public official that is regularly lampooned in the entertainment world and typically derided by elites as icons of what Time’s Joe Klein infamously called “the angry hot-house of inner-city” politics. That nasty code – “inner city” – also extends to James’ corruption. His crimes were portrayed as decidedly “inner city,” involving sums in the low thousands from mostly local cronies rather than national elite powerbrokers.
By contrast, Booker has a different public image. With a suburban upbringing and Oxford pedigree, he has carefully crafted a political image that is pro-Wall Street, “new economy”-ish, proudly worshipful of wealth – and decidedly not “inner city.” Indeed, as one tech entrepreneur told the Times in explaining why Booker’s wealthy tech donors gave the Newark mayor a company, “It feels like he’s one of us.”
The same goes for Booker’s money: it isn’t the much-denigrated Inner City Graft, it is the much-vaunted Mahogany Paneled Conference Room Graft from rich dudes in bucolic places like Silicon Valley.
Such white-collar graft comes not in four-digit wads of cash, and doesn’t go to ward bosses like James. It instead tends to come in five, six or even seven digit checks and stock certificates to professional politicians who use anodyne terms like “public-private partnership.” Importantly, the money in the latter form of corruption doesn’t come from local parochial hundred-thousand-aires easily punished when things get a bit too embarrassing. It tends to come from mega millionaires and billionaires with the same pedigree and elite credentials as Booker – and those aristocrats rarely ever get punished, lambasted or humiliated with the “corruption” label because they own much of the media and most of the political system.
The result of the double standard is the oxymoron whereby the kind of cash-in-the-envelope corruption James embodied is routinely vilified, ridiculed and prosecuted, while the kind of stock-options-in-the-portfolio corruption Booker evinces is completely ignored, trumpeted as smart politics, and/or openly touted as an “asset.”
In this new Gilded Age, this double standard between what is seen as acceptable and unacceptable corruption is hardly exclusive to New Jersey.
As Cory Booker moves onto the national stage you're going to see him presented more and more as a "party spokesperson". He shows up on lists like this one (along with Mitch Landrieu) of technocratic "problem solvers" which is what the anti-democracy people like to call themselves these days.
- Speaking of public corruption, Aaron Bennett is still pretty much unpretentious blatant old school about it. Which is one reason he's being held accountable.
- Jerry Romig's parting quote sounded familiar to me.
The Saints did, for the man who helped lend generations of fans a singular narrative voice through the deepest lows and richest highs of the team he adores, the team he once feared would forever leave the city.
“That’s it, that’s it,” he said as the clock wound to zero and he pressed down on the mike. “Final score: The Saints 28, Raiders 20.”
Romig folded up his glasses and slid them in his pocket, then leaned into the mike one last time.
“Ladies and gentlemen, it’s been fun. Good night. Love ya.”
Where have we seen that before?