With Letten gone, ’tis the season for intrigue and wild rumors

Mob boss Carlos Marcello. Wikimedia

It’s transition time at the local U.S. attorney’s office, now that Jim Letten, the nation’s longest-serving federal prosecutor, and his top three lieutenants have retired in the wake of a scandal involving anonymous online comments.

Ounce of prevention vs. $300,000 in campaign contributions

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil drilling disaster, Louisiana’s two U.S. Senators, Mary Landrieu, a Democrat, and David Vitter, a Republican, did not call for more research.  Like most rational people, they called for safety measures to mitigate the potentially devastating impact of future disasters. You might think it was a no-brainer, then, that they’d eagerly back a proposal to step up safety measures at industrial facilities such as oil refineries and water treatment plants—in Louisiana alone there are more than 100.

Obama linked to civil rights heroes – in Alabama, not Louisiana

A detail from the Alabama tourism pamphlet links President Obama to heroes of the civil rights era. l

While stretching my legs at one of the Alabama “Welcome Centers” along Interstate 10 last summer, I browsed through a formidable collection of pamphlets touting the state’s various tourist destinations.

Johns usually stay secret, but not Vitter – and now Edwards

John Edwards is making headlines, again, for allegedly being a … john. The New York City crime news site DNAinfo reports that a prostitute claims she serviced Edwards while working for Anna Gristina, the “Millionaire Madam,” during one of Edward’s campaign fundraising trips to the city in 2007.

Yet again, GOP voters go whole hog for ‘anybody but Romney’

Back in December, I advised my vast army of readers to bet on unusual permutations in the 2012 Republican primaries. So imagine this post being typed on an imaginary aircraft carrier, with a banner behind the author declaring “Weirdness Accomplished.”

Tuesday night Rick Santorum not only swept GOP contests in Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado, the former Pennsylvania senator positively dominated the field.

Like Vitter, Nungesser opted for racist ads, not serious proposals

 In the final week of the race for lieutenant governor, candidate Billy Nungesser, the president of Plaquemines Parish, thought he would win if he carried both Orleans and Jefferson parishes. Well, he did carry both — Jefferson easily, Orleans by a nose — but still lost to incumbent Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne by about 60,000 votes.

Relax oversight? How about protecting us from oil's ravages?

By Anne Rolfes, The Lens contributing opinion writer |

Last Monday began with a bang. On my way to work I learned that Senator David Vitter and Rep. Jeff Landry were at it again — planning to meet with officials in the regional office of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, BOEMRE for short.