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Friday, April 28, 2017

For those wondering about the most recent constitutional amendment all alone on the November 19th ballot, it was no accident that legislators chose to have voters consider it apart from the amendments on the October ballot.  This favor to real estate agents to pushed for the amendment prohibiting a tax that doesn't even exist in Louisiana, proves that no special interest is too special for this current legislature, according to Times Picayune columnist James Gill.  Read more about what he calls "silly amendments" that cost taxpayers millions to put on the ballot at the link below. 

In a parish that is still down about half its pre-Katrina population, politicians spent over $3 million on negative campaign ads this cycle to reach about 12,000 voters, inflicting damage to the parish's reputation across a two-state area.  From Gonzales to Biloxi, viewers saw candidates accused of gambling addictions, extra-marital affairs leading to suicide, racist antics and back room deals.  In the photo shown here, current Parish President Craig Taffaro is depicted as making money off the BP oil spill.  Now the newly elected crop wants to sit down and assess the damage they've done.  Read more at the link below. 
Monday, 21 November 2011

Jindal Gains Control of BESE Board

After a long stalemate with the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, Governor Bobby Jindal and his allies spent heavily in BESE board elections around the state, assuring that he will have nine or 10 of the votes on the 11 member board.   Jindal had previously been unable to get the 8 votes needed to hire Recovery School District Superintendent John White as the next Superintendent of Education.  Jindal supporters say charter schools are likely to expand with the new board, a defeat for those who favor fixing the traditional school model.
Congressman Jeff Landry leveled some of the harshest criticism so far at the Baton Rouge Area Foundation for its handling of a $100 million fund set aside by BP to compensate oil workers who suffered losses in last year's drilling moratorium , saying the foundation intentionally made the application process difficult for workers so they could use the funds for charitable causes instead. 

Attorneys in Florida who are representing about 100 workers who did not receive their awards, joined a growing chorus of complaintants saying some
materials sent to the foundation by workers came back to the workers unopened.  Ken Feinberg, appointed by BP and President Obama to handle the claims, said he sent 6,000 claims to the foundation, of which only 755 were paid.  Read more at the link below. 

Senator Mary Landrieu had some harsh words for Governor Bobby Jindal, who she claims fumbled the ball on failing to provide the information needed for the state to compete for $80 million in grants that would provide internet service to rural Louisiana and $60 million in grants for early childhood education.  The Jindal administration has defended its position, saying federal dollars come with strings attached.  Landrieu pointed out that another state will now benefit from the more than $140 in grant funding that she and others worked to get for Louisiana.

Thursday, 10 November 2011


 There is really not much more to say about Texas Governor Perry's debate performance in last night's Republican Presidential Debate than he is as done as Texas Toast.  Trying to make a key point of how he would govern, the man who would implode before cameras in New Hampshire with goofiness came out of the shoot with his plan to eliminate three federal agencies when elected president.  Problem is after his big buildup, he couldn't even name the three. When pressed,  he fumbled around for his cheat sheet and admitted he couldn't think of three. Ooops!  I don't htink making light of this on David Lettermen's show will help. Read and watch the man who would be President.
Oil field workers who worked for over 10 months to provide documents to be repaid lost wages after the BP Oil Spill are crying foul against the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, who charged $6.5 million in administrative fees and only distributed about $11 million of the $100 million BP intended to repay workers.  The fund was closed for good in September and the Foundation is now administering the remaining funds to charities, while oil spill czar Kenneth Feinberg has questioned the Foundation's process in front of a Congressional hearing last week.  Read more about this developing story at the link below.
I read a really disappointing USA TODAY front page story, "A Decade of War," that missed the point that we have been at war for generations, not a decade. There can be no honor in older generations sending their young into endless battles to die. As a nation, we have resorted to justifying a legacy of war and no one seems to have the guts to pull the plug on the enormous human and financial suffering brought to America by war. in a perverse view of patriotism, war has been linked to homeland security and loyalty, where questioning the budgets of either is positioned as unpatriotic. With runaway spending for so-called security, we pay taxes to limit our freedoms at home and create a cloud of anxiety. My view is that a peaceful nation is honorable. We have to be smart enough to quit apologizing decades later for the the heartaches caused by foolish warring. We are on a path to the dark side of history again, and the best way to honor our fallen countrymen is to build a living monument, a future free of war for which we can all be proud. Why can't we just push the pause button and start doing the honorable thing? It makes the frog boil.
 The Internet is given credit for helping to elect the last President and it is being touted now as a force to realign American democracy, and none too soon.  The power of the two party system is now felt deeply in the pocketbooks of most Americans and, with the unbidled information flow of the web, the party may soon be over for the parties.  The abuses of the right and the left, that have brought financial insecurity and fear to so many, will be uncovered by an angry public who will use the electronic media to hand out political pink slips to those who have put greed in front of God and Country.
Mississippi will vote tomorrow on whether a fertilized egg, like the ones shown here, should have the full legal rights of a person.  The so-called "personhood" amendment, which is being touted as an anti-abortion move, would also outlaw certain forms of contraception, stem cell research, certain forms of in vitro fertilization and would allow the criminal investigation of a woman who suffers a miscarriage to make sure she did not have an abortion.  It would allow abortion even if the life of the mother was in danger.  Outgoing Governor Haley Barbour and both the Republican and Democratic candidates for Governor have endorsed the far reaching amendment.  Read more about it at the link below.