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“I tell people my dad fought 76 years ago in Europe to free Europe of socialism.”

—US Sen. And erstwhile football coach Tommy Tuberville (Uh…that would be the Nazis, Tommy)

“Literally, if we took away the minimum wage – if conceivably it was gone – we could potentially virtually wipe out unemployment completely because we would be able to offer jobs at whatever level.”

—Former presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann (definitely positively probably possibly)

“One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.”

—Plato

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Earl Long regaled in telling the story of a political opponent who slipped and fell into a pig pen. “Somebody passing by saw him and said, ‘You can tell a lot about a person by the company he keeps,’” Earl said. “The pigs got up and left.”

That said, perhaps the members of the East Baton Rouge Republican Women might wish to take their cue from Earl’s parable and avoid the organization’s June luncheon at noon on Tuesday so as not to be seen in the company of one Joe Oltmann lest they be judged by the company they keep (and no, I am not calling the group’s members pigs, so don’t even go there).

As a sidebar to today’s story, I’m told this group is so convinced of voter fraud that they are actively calling upon Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin to push for scrapping electronic voting in Louisiana in favor of paper ballots.  I guess they want Louisiana to be the next “hanging chad” state.

Oltmann will be at Drusilla Seafood to peddle his conspiracy theory that the director of product strategy and security for Dominion Voting Systems somehow, singlehandedly, torpedoed the reelection of one Donald J. Trump by implementing some kind of massive voter fraud.

And while he’s at it, he may wish to expound on any ideas he may have that the Sandy Hook shooting was staged, that the 1969 moon landing was fake or that 9/11 didn’t actually happen or if it did, was an inside job.

Oltmann’s hairbrained election fantasy was quickly picked up by the lunatic-fringe blogosphere and then retweeted by Trump himself on Nov. 18. The following day, Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, in their best portrayal of Dumb and Dumber disguised as real-life lawyers, further spread Oltmann’s conspiracy B.S.

Oltmann, on Nov. 9, aired on his podcast from Colorado a so-called account of an “Antifa conference call” which Oltmann claimed took place in September during which someone referred to as “Eric… the Dominion guy” boasted of having rigged the election in favor of Joe Biden. Oltmann identified “Eric” as Eric Coomer, calling him a “traitor,” and saying, “We are coming for you and your s***bag company.”

Coomer retaliated with a defamation lawsuit in December, naming Oltmann, the Trump campaign, Giuliani, Powell, One America News Network (OAN), OAN chief White House correspondent Chanel Rion, Newsmax Media, Newsmax contributor Michelle Malkin, The Gateway Pundit website and radio and podcast host Eric Metaxas.

Oltmann most probably will not come under the protection of the landmark New York Times v. Sullivan Supreme Court ruling that partially shields the media from libel when public figures are the subject because, Coomer’s attorney says, his client is not a public figure, but a private individual.

Oltmann, who runs a data business in Denver, is founder of a so-called political “movement” called FEC United. FEC has ties to a paramilitary group called the United American Defense Force. Coomer, subsequent to his initial lawsuit, has since filed a 66-page AMENDED PETITION on the basis of comments and allegations made by Oltmann subsequent to his Nov. 9 posting, most of which involve occasions where Oltmann was a broadcast guess, spreading his claims about the alleged “Antifa conference call.”

Since the election last Nov. 3, nearly 70 lawsuits brought by Trump surrogates have been thrown out of court, yet the kooks persist with their baseless claims of widespread voter fraud that handed the election to Biden.

It should be noted that Christopher Krebs, hired by Trump to oversee election security, went on record to confirm that “the 2020 US election was the safest election in history.”

With Coomer’s attorneys closely monitoring every appearance and utterance of Oltmann, the moderator(s) for Tuesday’s luncheon might be wish to be extra careful of what they say lest they find themselves named as defendants in future amended petitions.

Just sayin’.

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“I struggled with it myself for a long time, and I realized that life is a gift from God, and I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something God intended to happen.” 

—Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock, in 2012 on his unconditional opposition to abortion (he lost; maybe God intended that, too)

“The difference between a politician and a statesman is that a politician thinks about the next election while the statesman thinks about the next generation.”

—James Freeman Clarke (U.S. Rep., 1871-1975)

“There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.”

—Will Rogers

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Gov. John Bel Edwards should never play poker or negotiate. He has demonstrated beyond all doubt that he is unable to bluff or mediate.

In fact, he has just shown a weakness in representing the interests of workers in Louisiana by opting out on the $300 per week unemployment benefits (about $1200 per month) in favor of accepting an whopping increase of $28 per month on their behalf.

I’m certain the Repugnantcans will love him for that. Below is a little illustration of how Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg have fared over the last 12 years compared to minimum wage workers in America:

Repugnantcans have bitching for some time now that restaurants and other low-wage businesses have been experiencing trouble hiring workers who prefer to stay home and collect unemployment rather than earn a living.

It’s a valid argument on the surface of it but if you choose to dive just a bit deeper, you can see some rationale to the reluctance of workers to subject themselves to the abuses of rude customers and impatient managers. At a whopping $7.25 an hour, a worker would make $290 per week for a 40-hour week. That’s before paying for child care and gasoline to and from work.

And how many $7.25-an-hour employees work a full 40-hour week? Not many. They’re virtually all part-time workers with no health care insurance, no vacation pay, no sick pay.

By opting out, Gov. Edwards will force unemployed Louisianans back to their status as recipients of the lowest unemployment benefits in the nation.

Let’s hear it for the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI), to whom it now appears that Edwards has sold out.

This isn’t some pitiful advocacy for socialism; it’s just a plea to do the right thing by Louisiana’s minimum wage workers. If Edwards had been any kind of bargainer at all, he would’ve insisted on a significant increase in the minimum wage as a trade-out for dropping the $300 per week federal unemployment benefits.

Opponents howl that increasing the minimum wage is inflationary. Well, so is the cost of lumber, used trucks, and just about anything else for which the costs have skyrocketed in recent months. Lumber has increased by an average of 200 percent but the minimum wage is still locked in at $7.25 per hour in Louisiana – right where it’s been since 2008 – that’s 13 years for Repugnantcan legislators who don’t seem to be able to understand that you can’t support a family on $7.25 an hour.

Give John Bel Edwards credit where it’s due. He handled the Covid pandemic magnificently and kept Louisiana’s infection rate at a manageable level. And while the state’s vaccination rate remains far too low, he can’t be blamed for citizens’ ignorance and stupidity.

But he dropped the ball in protecting the interests of minimum wage workers in Louisiana and he owns that blunder.

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“There are always too many Democratic congressmen, too many Republican congressmen and never enough US congressmen.”

—Anonymous

“Some men change their party for the sake of their principles; others their principles for the sake of their party.”

—Winston Churchill

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