Gov. Bobby Voucher is making Louisiana the laughing stock of the nation. Wait, we were already the laughing stock of the nation. What’s after that?
The national press, thanks to extensive reporting notably by the daily News-Star in Monroe, is catching onto the travesty of the governor’s waylaying of mainstream science in order to pander to the religious right and propel himself to national prominence within the Grand Old Party.
In an article titled “Bobby Jindal’s Science Problem,” Slate’s Kenneth R. Miller is the latest to tick off Gov. Voucher’s transgressions against reason, from his support of and signing into law the Louisiana Science Education Act — a law that is, in the words of The Times-Picayune’s James Gill, “named for what it is designed to destroy” — to his enthusiastic support for the scholarships that will force taxpayers to underwrite children being taught that evolution is a lie and that the earth was created in six days about 6,000 years ago and that humans and dinosaurs co-existed. If one is willing to accept any semblance of the fossil record.
In Louisiana newspapers today the Associated Press’ Melinda Deslatte reports on just how many millions of taxpayer dollars will go to the Louisiana Scholarship Program:
For example, a handbook for Ascension Christian High School, posted online, declares among the goals of “Household of Faith Schools” that “the learner will be expected to defend creationism through evidence presented by the Bible versus traditional scientific theory.”
Miller observes that Gov. Voucher’s fidelity to hocus-pocus could well cost him: Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, has said he accepts evolution, placing Voucher on the fringe of the party leadership — a well-populated fringe, but a fringe nonetheless:
When Jindal stepped into Republican politics in Louisiana, he had a choice to make. He could defend mainstream science, which sees evolution as the powerful, strongly supported, and widely tested theory that it is today. Or he could have joined the doubters and deniers that populate the electorate in his party. Campaigning for the governorship in 2007, Jindal touted his Christian faith, shied away from specific statements about evolution, and emphasized his commitment to local control of education. Louisianans didn’t have to wait long to find out what this meant for science.
Read the Slate story here. Deslatte’s report can be found here.
MAY 24 Blogger Robert Mann posts this entry about the Baton Rouge Chamber's recent report on Louisiana's higher education system. It's critical to economic development, and yet our system is facing a "funding crisis" with no way to resolve it, the report says. The Chamber says control of tuition and fees must be returned to the higher ed governing boards.
MAY 24 Here's a NBC33 story about Tyrann Mathieu. He has signed with the Arizona Cardinals, inking a $3 million, four-year deal. He gets a signing bonus of $265K, but gets another, larger bonus if he doesn't get cut from the team for doing drugs. The deal reportedly includes mandatory tests and meetings for the player.
MAY 24 Jarvis DeBerry posts here about the redonkulus rhetoric that would have us believe NOLA is a safe city with a murder problem. Maybe the city's crime stats don't compare with its murder stats because you can't manipulate a murder, he says: a dead body's a dead body. It just doesn't make sense, he says, and his readers agree: a poll asks if they believe the city is safe, and more than 90 percent say no.
MAY 24 Jindal administration officials announced Thursday that the privatization of public health care is going to cost a lot more than they budgeted for, the Advocate reports here. "I'm so surprised," said no one. Anywhere. The cost they're projecting now is more than $1 billion - a lot more than the $626 million budgeted for it. And, it's more than it cost the state to operate those hospitals. So why are we doing this again?
MAY 24 Blogger CB Forgotston ridicules the recent PR campaign by the state GOP in the wake of a legislative auditor's request to both major parties. The GOP (apparently unaware that the Dems got the same request) started yammering about being targeted because it had "killed" a tax increase. CB finds that laughable, but it's also pretty funny that the GOP was comparing this episode to the IRS scandal (Because the President has so much to do with our state auditor. Right?).
MAY 24 Politico details some recent fund-raising efforts by Sen. David Vitter, which have raised the question of his future political plans. This time, it is a $5,000 per head "bayou weekend" that includes "Cajun cooking" and an all-caps "alligator hunt," the story reports. Funds raised go to a super PAC that can spend money to support Vitter in federal or state races, the story points out.
MAY 24 The pink building on Royal in the quarter was sold at a sheriff's sale Thursday, this Picayune story reports. An injunction that would have halted the sale wasn't enforced because the family failed to post a $150,000 bond, the story reports. So the owner of the mortgages on the building bought it, for nearly $7 million. Now the feuding family will have to negotiate with that company to get a lease on the building that has housed their business for close to 60 years.
MAY 23 This post in Louisiana Voice tells us about a bill by a Winnsboro lege that would require all public high school students to take at least one Course Choice online class in order to graduate. (What?) Blogger Tom Aswell says it's a monument to "waste and corruption," especially in light of the problems he's exposed with the program in recent weeks. Idaho had a similar program, but voters removed it by a 2-1 margin, Aswell says.
There will soon be a whole lot of shakin’ going on at Benny’s Sportshack Supplement Depot, a new concept by Opelousas native Benny Nele. Located at 2002 Johnston St., the supplement shop, smoothie bar and café, featuring hot off the press paninis and wraps, plans to open in late May.
Philip deMahy Sr., a once respected New Iberia ad exec, was sentenced May 2 to spend the next two years (he faced up to 100 years) in a state penitentiary after state and federal investigators found dozens of images depicting children engaged in lewd sexual acts on his personal computer.