U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette, deserves an attaboy after demonstrating an increasingly rare trait on Capitol Hill late Wednesday: sanity. The retired surgeon joined 87 Republicans in the House in approving a deal to end the partial shutdown of the federal government and increase the debt limit, averting a potential economic catastrophe. Stock markets worldwide breathed a heavy sigh of relief upon news of the deal.
Boustany released the following statement after the 285-144 House vote in favor of the deal (Democrats voted unanimously for the measure):
Americans have had enough of the short-term political squabbling coming out of Washington. I refuse to jeopardize the nation’s economy over political disagreements on Capitol Hill. Some in Washington deny their responsibility to govern. Members of both parties must come together to work out their differences while achieving goals on important policy areas like tax reform, long-term government spending, and energy security.
A soft-spoken moderate now in his fourth term in the House, Boustany has joined a growing chorus of mainstream Republicans in questioning the motives of the radical right within the GOP ranks. In a Wednesday interview Boustany told a National Journal reporter, “There are members with a different agenda, and I’m not sure they’re Republicans and I’m not sure they’re conservative.” Boustany also took aim at groups like FreedomWorks, Club for Growth and Heritage Action, which pour money into the coffers of Tea Party Republicans and demand fealty to an extremist, obstructionist agenda: “There is a very large silent majority that’s getting frustrated with what’s happening because of what these outside groups have done by setting false expectations, deliberately misleading the public on some of these issues and commanding allegiance of certain members who falsely place their allegiance to these groups rather than to their constitutional responsibility to govern.”
Bravo, congressman, and speaking of which, on the Senate side the budget deal passed 81-18 with Louisiana’s delegation split: Democrat Mary Landrieu voted with the sane while Republican David Vitter sided with the ideological outliers.
Boustany's Louisiana GOP colleagues in the House — Bill Cassidy, John Fleming and Steve Scalise — also voted against the deal, with Fleming telling Roll Call, ominously, before the vote, "[T]hat will get us into Round 2. See, we’re going to start this all over again.”
Great. Just great.
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OCT 31 The National Journal posts another story from its visit to NOLA, this one about the struggling Vietnamese shrimpers in the area. The publication has been looking at how the state is recovering from Katrina, nine years later.
OCT 31 The New York Times posts this look at Louisiana politics, and how national issues are forcing out the old-time local politicking. Of course they mention EWE, aptly described as an old-time politician known for "charming one half of the state and mortifying the other."
OCT 31 Here's an AP story on the ABC site about Louisiana's chicken little response to an international medical conference planned in NOLA this weekend. Organizers (who are actual physicians, as opposed to the hand-wringing state officials who issued the edicts) say the orders are "unfortunate" given that a main focus of the meeting was Ebola.
OCT 31 Given the things Bobby Jindal has said and done since he's been governor, it's a pretty safe bet he thinks we're a bunch of dummies. Apparently, he's sure President Obama is one, too. This story on Huff Post quotes Jindal as saying the president - a graduate of Harvard Law - should sue to get his money back. (What should a Brown biology grad who doesn't believe in evolution do?)
OCT 31 Us old folks are used to a two-party system, although most of us aren't sold on its success. But what if that system wasn't in place; what if politics reflected the true level of diversity among voters? That's what an LSU student is dreaming of in this editorial. He sees the two parties' control of our politics as limiting.
OCT 31 And you thought the Senate race was dirty. This post on the Forward Now blog tells the story of a Shreveport mayoral campaign worker who was paid to "infiltrate" and "sabotage" an opponent's campaign. Karma's a beeotch, though, because turns out the guy really liked the "enemy," and now he's supporting her. For real.
OCT 30 The National Journal offers this analysis of Bobby Jindal's willingness to stump in any Senate campaign that's not in Louisiana. Why is that? The Journal asks some GOPers and finds that the answer is one we already know: he's so unpopular here, because he's been so busy running for President, that his support might be "toxic."
OCT 30 Blogger Tom Aswell is still all over the OGB mess - and all by himself, apparently. In this post, he's revealing orders from the Jindal administration to destroy records from the state employee health insurance plan. Those orders (he's heard) have angered the Secretary of State and caused an administration lawyer to quit her job. Wow!
OCT 30 A NOLA lady has alleged she was drugged and raped at a Bywater club that had a clothing-optional policy until recently, and she's now become the victim of a smear campaign, columnist Jarvis DeBerry writes in this post. She chose to reveal her story and her name, and she's being punished for that now, he says.
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