Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Written by The Independent Staff

When Gov. Bobby Jindal signed a law allowing people to carry concealed handguns — presumably it’s handguns, rifles are hard to conceal — in churches, synagogues and mosques, we sighed, rolled our eyes and consigned it to the list of things that make Louisiana a red(neck) state. But almost as soon as the ink dried on the legislation, the Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops said, “To hell with that.” That’s not exactly how they worded it, but we get the drift. The bishops notified pastors across the state that Catholic churches will be off limits for concealed weapons. The bill allows churches to opt out, so some gun-loving parishioner can’t sue for his right to pack in the pew. A tip of the hat and a five-spot in the collection plate for Louisiana’s Catholic churches, where you can worship God and the Second Amendment, just not at the same time.
Could we just set Louisiana’s Republican primary race for U.S. Senate to music and sponsor it by a detergent company? It became a tawdry, full-on soap opera last week when news broke that retired state Supreme Court Judge Chet Traylor, whose impeccable morality and ethics were supposed to stand in sharp contrast to Sen. John, er, David Vitter, may not be as squeaky clean as he once appeared. The Monroe News-Star reported that Traylor is romantically involved with his stepson’s estranged wife in a relationship that began just weeks after Traylor’s wife died. What’s more, the late wife was divorced from Democratic state Rep. Noble Ellington, who accuses Traylor of breaking up the marriage. As one pundit put it, Traylor is apparently using the Ellington family as his personal dating pool. This should make for an interesting Aug. 28 primary — one in which Louisiana Republicans have a choice: the sleaze ball, or the other sleaze ball.


BP proved on April 20 that it doesn’t do deepwater drilling particularly well, and it’s proven since then that oil spill containment — not to mention public relations — isn’t a strong suit either. Now we can add Photoshop to the list. The oil giant fessed up last week to altering a photo taken of employees monitoring video screens in its Houston crisis room. A BP spokesman says some of the video screens were blank at the time the photo was taken, so the photographer Photoshopped in some action shots. The ham-handed effort — jagged edges and images overlapping — was quickly noticed by the blogosphere after BP posted the altered photo to its website. It’s one of a few dubious photos BP has disseminated, calling into question whether its effort to “make this right” rises to the level of its effort to make it look like it’s making it right.

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