20100630-pooyie-0101C’EST BON
The last thing we need in the northern Gulf of Mexico at this time is a tropical storm or hurricane. The drilling of relief wells to stem the unimaginable flow of errant oil from the Deepwater Horizon disaster is making good progress — progress that cannot be delayed. So it was with great relief this week that Tropical Storm-turned-Hurricane Alex showed its hand and moved well south of the disaster area. There’s some debate about what a storm in the northern Gulf would do to the oil — disperse it? push it inland? — but there’s no doubt it would at least interrupt containment and cleanup efforts, if not undo weeks of progress. Now for the caveat: Forecasters predicted a busy 2010 hurricane season, and it looks like they were right; with a rare June hurricane already crashing onto a Gulf of Mexico shore, we can hardly expect our luck to last. Batten down the hatches, folks, it’s going to be a long summer.

It was with a sigh of inevitability that Louisianans opened their newspapers over the weekend to learn that Gov. Bobby Jindal vetoed a bill that would have made state documents related to the BP oil disaster part of the public record. Jindal’s repeated push-back against transparency is well chronicled. The latest bill enjoyed overwhelming support in the Legislature, clearing the House 76-13 after getting unanimous approval in the Senate. It is just the latest successful move by Jindal to keep his office shaded from sunshine; the Louisiana governor’s office is widely held up as one of the least transparent in the United States. State Sen. Robert Adley, R-Benton, who has been on a mission to open the Capitol’s fourth floor to public scrutiny, called Jindal’s veto “an embarrassment on the entire state.”

U.S. Sen. David Vitter doesn’t appear to be counting on women voters for what looks like his inevitable reelection this fall. He proved in the past with his “serious sin” that burnishing his record with the fairer sex isn’t a priority, and the Republican senator proved it again last week with the resignation of longtime aide Brent Furer, who pleaded guilty in 2008 to charges stemming from a knife-wielding altercation with an ex-girlfriend and who is still wanted in Baton Rouge on an unresolved drunk-driving charge, according to the Associated Press. Furer worked on Vitter’s last campaign and spent the past five years in his Washington office handling, among other duties, women’s issues. Vitter’s office acknowledged that the senator was aware of Furer’s domestic violence arrest soon after the incident — a spokesman said the aide was disciplined by the junior senator — but was unaware of the previous drunk driving arrest (reportedly there are at least three) and other run-ins with the law dating back to the 1990s. So, the Furer furor isn’t Furer’s fury, it’s Vitter’s willingness to keep a possessive, abusive scofflaw on staff, accepting his resignation only after his transgressions went public in an ABC News story.

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