Wednesday, 11 January 2012 00:00
by IND Monthly Staff
C'est Bon Lafayette Parish School System Superintendent Pat Cooper noticed something was missing as he reviewed the agenda and related documents for his first board meeting on Jan. 4: Included in the personnel reports was a list of administrative contracts up for renewal by the board — with no performance evaluations attached. LPSS Marketing Director Angie Simoneaux says the board typically renews school principals’ contracts “kind of in bulk” upon expiration. “I’m not sure how they’ve done it in the past, but for me there’s got to be some paper trail as to why we’re renewing contracts, based on school performance, supervisor evaluations and a lot of other data,” Cooper explains. “That’s not to say it’s not there. But I was caught by surprise.” Cooper asked the board during his first meeting to pull the administrative contract renewals from the personnel reports pending further review. “I’m not saying I’m against renewing any of the contracts,” Cooper says. “I just want to make sure we have a reason for doing so.” The simple action Cooper took may be just one small step for LPSS, but it marks what we hope will be one giant leap for the kind of accountability the community has come to demand.
Pas Bon By today — Wednesday, Jan. 11 — former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer is probably figuring out his exit strategy from the field for the Republican presidential nomination, if he hasn’t already announced his departure. Otherwise, he should properly reside in the next category. Roemer failed to get any traction in a glut of candidates most Republicans would agree has ranged from less than inspiring to no chance of beating Obama. Roemer wasn’t invited to any of the roughly dozen debates leading up to Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary and by press time was polling at less than 1 percent in the Granite State, where he took up residence months ago to campaign and where he blew his meager $250,000 campaign wad. Roemer’s inevitable exit from the field is a pity because among the various messages and platforms of the candidates in the November general election, from both parties, his rang the most compelling: money has rotted the American political process, and if we don’t address it, we’re screwed.
Couillon There are still prime fishing areas closed due to oil contamination. The most recent shrimp season was one of the worst in memory. Gulf Coast tourism continues to struggle, at least according to accounts from merchants in the areas most affected by the 2010 oil spill. But don’t tell that to BP. The British oil giant has been behind a public-relations blitz over the last month, airing commercials in Gulf Coast markets and elsewhere featuring images of pristine beaches, clean waters, nets bursting with fresh seafood and bustling shops. BP even hired seafood trucks to hand out free fish tacos and seafood jambalaya to hungry football tourists in New Orleans. With deep pockets and a keen sense of PR, the company is effectively buying its own reality of life on the Gulf Coast 18 months after the spill.
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OCT 2 This story from Rolling Stone is one of the best published so far about the Koch Brothers. That's because author Tim Dickinson doesn't get (too) distracted by the political maneuvering the billionaires seem to relish; he's focused on their business empire, its many components and its unsavoury history. It's a fascinating read.
OCT 2 Bobby Jindal - or one of his (apparently) politically inept handlers - has launched a twit war against Stephen Colbert, this post on CNN says. Points to Jindal for attempting some (unfortunately) stilted self-effacing humor, and if you watch the Colbert clip here (you should, it is hilarious), pay close attention to the skin tone of the candidates' mugshots.
OCT 2 This is another excellent coastal loss piece, but this one on New Republic has a little different flavor. It's a close look at coal terminals, refineries, coastal loss, environmental damage --- and Billy Nungesser. It's engrossing and very well written.
OCT 2 Blogger Stephen Sabludowsky records another poll indicating Bobby Jindal is very unpopular with the people here in Louisiana. This one, from a Democratic poller, shows voters would rather have Edwin Edwards back than keep Jindal. The numbers don't lie, Sabludowsky says, and surely it is only a matter of time before the national media catches on.
OCT 2 Blogger Tom Aswell gives us more coverage of the recent OGB hearing, featuring one of his favorite politicians, Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols. Nichols apparently wasn't all that forthcoming with legislators who dared to question the Jindal Administration's handling of the privatization of the state employee health plan.
OCT 2 Crazy Crawfish is taking a look at one of Louisiana's most historically smarmy processes: textbook selection. (Yes, seriously.) It's a complicated post, but worth reading. He's looking at the people and the process here.
OCT 1 Look out! Some enterprising individual, who knows how to register a domain, has pulled off a stunning bit of hilarity here. Not long ago, blogger Lamar White Jr. gave us a post on Louisiana Family Forum, and how it is not a charity but is instead a tax shelter for a lobby. If you go to the interwebs and type in "louisianafamilyforum.com" you will find Lamar's story. Heh.
OCT 1 Bobby Jindal is sure doing his best to court the far right; this post on TIME magazine says he'll be over in Oklahoma today to stand beside the billionaires who own Hobby Lobby while they announce a Bible "museum." In Washington D.C. (Wonder if there will be an exhibit on Matthew 19:24?)
OCT 1 Blogger Ian McGibboney is taking a look at the penalty call that is causing a stir. During a Monday NFL game, a player for the Chiefs executed a Muslim prayer gesture following a touchdown. The NFL has announced that the call was wrong, but Ian's not so sure.
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