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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APR 16 Lamar Parmentel writes about the latest forecast for Louisiana's future - and it ain't rosy. The fiscal experts in the budget office are predicting a shortfall of nearly $1 billion for the 2015-16 fiscal year, he writes. This is what the "dead beat" governor is going to leave us as his legacy, Lamar says.
APR 16 The extended controversy surrounding Louisiana College may begin to wind down now; the Town Talk reports here that embattled president Joe Aguillard has been reduced to a professor position. It's likely that soon we will begin to see the post-mortems begin -- this story isn't over.
APR 16 Clancy DuBos writes about the McAllister affair in this post, commenting on the moral confusion of a state that votes to "free the sodomites" on Monday and then to make the Bible the state book on Tuesday, as well as the hypocrisy of the Reps, the Dems and our fearless leader. Clancy says he's "not even sure if Jindal's hypocrisy has a limit."
APR 16 The fence blocking the public from Newcomb Boulevard in NOLA came down Tuesday morning, The Lens reports in this post. The fence was put up by neighbors who didn't want just anybody walking on a public street, but there's a big ole picture of a city worker cutting it down in this post. The general public should be able to drive on the street (which they own) in about a week, the story says.
APR 16 Here's a movement to get behind. NOLA Defender reports that there's a push to have A Confederacy of Dunces named Louisiana's state book in lieu of the Bible, which is the current contender. Although there is plenty of sin and politics in the Good Book, it's probably a lot easier to read the more contemporary (and more Louisiana-specific) prose in John Kennedy Toole's book.
APR 16 When you report on something as important as a historic local building, you need to get it right. According to blogger Lamar White Jr., that's just what an Alexandria TV station did not do. In this post, he tells us about a historic ball field that the station reported as targeted for demolition. Apparently, that's not even close to true.
APR 16 Here's a link to ALEC's annual competitiveness report, which ranks states according to that shadowy organization's opinions of good and bad. (Louisiana's on page 23) You can read a very brief lead-in, with a sentence or two about what ALEC is, in this Advocate story.
APR 16 DIG Magazine's Cody Worsham blogs about the Baton Rouge bus system in this post. Although the system has been the focus of extreme controversy, he's focusing instead on his own recent (and pleasant) experience taking the bus. In the end, he didn't turn in his SUV keys for a permanent bus pass, but it sounds like he'll be taking the bus more often.
APR 15 Blogger CB Forgotston is writing in this post about the newest hire by Gov. Bobby Jindal, a press secretary whose only means of contact is (apparently) Twitter. (Yeah, because that worked so good for Kyle.) CB has done a little digging on the lady, but wants more info -- and he's not getting it from the source, because she won't return his twits. Twerps. Uh, tweets.
APR 15 Blogger Elliott Stonecipher has his say on the McAllister mess in this post on Forward Now. Looks like the architects of the plan to oust McAllister are getting a little blow-back, Stonecipher opines, and it reminds him of an old cliche about revenge.
APR 15 Not one to walk past a golden opportunity, Democrat John Bel Edwards says his piece in this Picayune post on the GOP's issue du jour. The hypocrisy of the GOP calling on McAllister to resign and staying silent on Vitter is so massive there's not even a word for it, Edwards says, and so he came up with his own: hypo-hypocrisy.
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