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Defender Picks


Mary Landrieu: Baggage is a Right

Sen. Mary Landrieu is getting a little birthday attention thanks to a bill she authored that will make holiday travelers a little less edgy as they head out the door.  Landrieu wants to stop airlines from charging extra fees for checked bags. The Airline Passenger BASICS – or Basic Airline Standards to Improve Customer Satisfaction - Act, seeks to force airlines to allow passengers to check one bag and carry on a second piece of luggage for free. 

Pythian Comeback

Lawless High School to Return to Lower 9th Ward

Officials took the mic this morning and used the word "lawless" when describing the Lower 9th Ward. But, this time, it was greeted by wild applause.


Debt Ceiling Druthers? Call Congress!

With Congress about to hit its head on the debt ceiling and the White House being transformed into a bunker, it's easy to forget who is supposed to drive this process. With negotiations sputtering, and everyone talking about failure, you may think, I'm powerless against this behemoth. But times of crisis are when these people need a kick in the pants the most. So, call your reps! Their contact info is after the jump.

Landrieu Wiretapper James O'Keefe Stuck in New Jersey

James O'Keefe, the conservative marauder who was convicted for wiretapping Sen. Mary Landrieu's New Orleans office, probably won't be coming back here anytime soon. As part of his probation for the failed operation, O'Keefe cannot leave the state of New Jersey unless he gets permission from a judge. During his last Southern sojourn, the man who was also responsible for the infamous ACORN setup and three henchmen donned disguises as telephone repairmen and tried to bug Landrieu's phones. According to The Smoking Gun, O'Keefe has asked to go to DC for a conference, and Baltimore and South Carolina, where he is scheduled to give speeches. As for a return to the scene of the crime, there's always prank calls.

Poor, Unfortunate Souls

Today's tiniest violin award goes to the state oil and gas industry. With Sen. Mary Landrieu breaking Congressional gridlock last week, the Mo-Town magnates thought they were getting a real concession on drilling regulations today out of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar as he visited Houma. Turns out, the only reassurance they got was that Salazar looks salt-of-the-earth in a baseball cap. David Vitter, sitting liuetenant gov Scott Angelle, and likely every other high-dollar donor to the state Republican party joined in the chorus of jeers.

Anxiety, Booms, & Claims

A Fisherman's Struggles in the Big Oozy

After almost five years away from his job fishing the marshes at the tip of the Louisiana coast, Herman Demoll thought he was going back this year.

But as oil leaking from a sunken rig on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico started to lap into wetlands in Southeast Louisiana, the fourth-generation fisherman and Venice native realized that, once again, he wouldn’t be shrimping at the end of May.

Hill of Trouble

By Stephen Babcock

As if an uncapped gusher of oil rushing towards the Louisiana coastline wasn't enough of a boondoggle, today the oozy saga shifts scenes to our nation's capital for the always enthralling sideshow that is... Congressional hearings. Top brass from BP, Halliburton and Transocean will be hauled in before not one but three committees this week.

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Hot Button Issue

Driving safety is in vogue with our elected officials these days - don't worry though, the drive through daquiri shops are still safe.

Everyone is concerned about texting while driving. Vitter cosponsored a bill in the Senate that will withhold federal funds from states (those in pyrex abodes!) that do not enact laws against cel calls and texting while driving. Not to be outdone, Senator Mary has cosponsored a similar bill focused on texting while driving alone. On the state level, lots has been going on.

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