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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

The Democratic candidate in the Louisiana gubernatorial race, state House minority leader John Bel Edwards, has a brutal new TV ad up, targeting Republican U.S. Senator David Vitter’s involvement with prostitutes — and challenging his patriotism.

“The choice for governor couldn’t be more clear,” says the voice of a woman announcer. “John Bel Edwards, who answered our country’s call, and served as a Ranger in the 82nd Airborne Division — or David Vitter, who answered a prostitute’s call minutes after he skipped a vote honoring 28 soldiers who gave their lives in defense of our freedom. David Vitter chose prostitutes over patriots — now, the choice is yours.”

The election will be held Nov. 21, a Saturday.

Vitter was implicated in the 2007 “D.C. Madam” scandal, in which he admitted to a “serious sin” for which he had been forgiven by his wife — and, he said, forgiven by God.

Vitter has also faced allegations in this race from a former prostitute, Wendy Ellis, who claims that in 2000 Vitter got her pregnant — and that he urged her to get an abortion. (She did not get an abortion, but instead says she put their child up for adoption.) Vitter’s campaign has denied the charges.

This week, Edwards received the endorsement of Republican Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, who had been one of Vitter’s opponents in last month’s all-party primary.

The latest round of polls has given Edwards a significant lead over Vitter — but then again, as this past week’s Republican gubernatorial victory in Kentucky showed, a Democrat should be considered an underdog in any deep-red state right up until the votes are counted.

But this ad does help set up an interesting scenario: David Vitter might actually be losing a contest of personal morality — against an opponent named John Edwards.

Actor as Donald Trump in Russia Today video ad

Screenshot from RT's 'Trump is here to make RT Great Again'

Russia Today, the network known in this country as RT, has produced a new "deep fake" video that portrays Donald Trump in post-presidential mode as an anchor for the Kremlin outlet. Using snippets of Trump's own voice and an actor in an outlandish blond wig, the ad suggests broadly that the US president is indeed a wholly owned puppet of Vladimir Putin– as he has so often given us reason to suspect.

"They're very nice. I make a lot of money with them," says the actor in Trump's own voice. "They pay me millions and hundreds of millions."

But when American journalists described the video as "disturbing," RT retorted that their aim wasn't to mock Trump, but his critics and every American who objects to the Russian manipulations that helped bring him to power.

As an ad for RT the video is amusing, but the network's description of it is just another lie. Putin's propagandists are again trolling Trump and America, as they've done many times over the past few years –- and this should be taken as a warning of what they're doing as Election Day approaches.

The Lincoln Project aptly observed that the Russians "said the quiet part out loud" this time, (Which is a bad habit they share with Trump.)