As far as the people of Louisiana are concerned, this year’s legislative session did little to improve life here in the Bayou State.
According to this report by The Daily Advertiser, lawmakers avoided making any real positive change, avoiding any real discussion on funding for higher-ed and Gov. Bobby Jindal’s federally-rejected hospital funding plan. After wasting a lot of time talking about Common Core, the legislature also turned up their noses when it came to an expansion of Medicaid, raising the minimum wage, reducing penalties for marijuana possession and eradicating the state's unconstitutional anti-sodomy laws. And at the end of the day, Common Core was left as is.
“This will go down as a fairly insignificant session,” UL Monroe political science professor Joshua Stockley tells the Advertiser. “I don’t think the Legislature accomplished much, nothing substantial in terms of making any long-term impacts on Louisiana. The Legislature did nothing that affects us on a day-to-day basis. I see so little of merit. It was a fairly unspectacular session.”
Other hot-button issues included an attempt to name the Bible as Louisiana's official book, which passed through committee but was ultimately shelved by the bill's author because his fellow lawmakers feared it might distract from more important debates.
But Jindal’s biggest victory of the session came with the Legislature’s defeat of the New Orleans levee board’s lawsuit against the oil and gas industry. Despite warnings from close to 80 law professors nationwide — not to mention state Attorney General Buddy Caldwell — that the bill to kill the suit could have the unintended effect of compromising billions of dollars worth of damage claims filed against BP for its massive 2010 oil spill, Jindal wasn’t phased and signed the bill into law on Friday.
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OCT 30 If you're a Louisiana native of (ahem) a certain age, you might have fond (or fuzzy, as the case may be) memories of a Zebra concert and singing "Who's Behind the Door" until your ears rang. This post on NOLA Defender profiles the leader of that band, Randy Jackson.
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 If you're not obsessed with the Texas governor's race - what's wrong with you? Here's another installment, from our own IND contributor Lamar White Jr., who explains why Wendy's "infamous" wheelchair ad was a shock to the national media - but not to anyone familiar with Greg Abbott's record.
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 Blogger Crazy Crawfish is taking aim at state Superintendent John White again, this time for comments White made recently, claiming that there is no real opposition to Common Core in Louisiana. Crawfish is documenting proof to the contrary here, and lays down the gauntlet to "mainstream news media." (Don't hold your breath on that one, buddy.)
OCT 30 Gambit covers Advocate publisher John Georges' recent visit to Loyola in this post. Georges touches on how things are going in this new gig, what he thinks about the Pic's decision to move printing to Alabama, and how he feels about his political campaigns.
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.
OCT 30 BESE member Lottie Beebe pens this letter to the editor of the Advocate about the state Department of Education. The DOE isn't exempt from the state public records law, and because of recent lawsuits she tried to require regular reports about how many requests had been made to the department and how many remained unanswered. She wasn't successful.
OCT 29 Manny Schewitz blogs on Forward Progressives about recent Facebook posts from David Vitter, including one that purports to take you to a petition to stop Ebola (say what?) but actually signs you up for his newsletter or campaign email list or some such nonsense. Dave must think we're dummies, Manny says -- and Dave's probably right.
OCT 29 Usually, the copy on Red Shtick is satire. But in this post "from the publisher," we get a pretty astute political analysis of Edwin Edwards' charisma and old-school populist swagger. Edwards isn't concealing billionaire backers, or trying to make his opponent out to be "Satan," the post says. He's just running. Huh; imagine that.
OCT 29 Salon's Elias Isquith writes this fairly hilarious commentary on a National Review post about Bobby Jindal's attempts to "beef up" in preparation for a presidential run. But it's not just funny; Isquith seems to have Bobby's number, commenting on how the Gov "and his team are hopelessly ensconced in the Tea Party bubble."
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