Wednesday, October 27, 2010Written by The Independent Staff
When Sen. Ben Nevers told the Baton Rouge Press Club last week that he favored temporarily reinstating the Stelly Plan to fill persistent holes in the state budget, many across Louisiana had a singular response based on his name: Never! The Stelly Plan, enacted six years ago and repealed in 2008 when oil prices were high and the state was still flush with hurricane-recovery cash, raised state income taxes for middle- and higher-income filers in exchange for getting rid of state sales taxes on food and utilities. We know what happened after its repeal: The national economy went in the crapper and the price of oil plummeted. And because the sales tax cuts remained in place after repeal, Louisiana has been left with an annual $300 million budget gap. With another $1 billion to $2 billion shortfall expected next year and no federal stimulus money to lean on — lawmakers used $3 billion in stimulus cash to fill gaps in 2009 and 2010 — Louisiana is facing some excruciating choices. Kudos to Nevers, a Bogalusa Democrat, for at least floating the idea and keeping our statewide civic conversation directed toward our dire straits. Cutting education and health care can only go so far. Eventually, “revenue enhancement” will have to be discussed.
City-Parish President Joey Durel is in the lavatory. He’s washing his hands and applying cologne, masking the funky aroma of Louisiana’s junior senator — necessary ablutions after recording a robo-call on behalf of Sen. David Vitter, our famously lascivious, extravagantly hypocritical “family-values” rep in Washington. Durel’s automated message urging voters to support Vitter has gone out to presumably thousands of phones, both mobile and land line, in Lafayette. One constituent, LSU medical student and native son Andrew Suire, was so incensed he fired off an email to Durel complaining about it. Durel’s response — “Obama and Melancon want to undo what many generations have worked hard to accomplish, many giving their lives for it. Considering the fact that Senator Vitter represents the views of a large majority of the people in Louisiana, I will support his candidacy with everything I’ve got.” — was pure tea party pablum. We get it: Vitter is anti-Obama. Obama is bad. Socialism. Death panels. Yada yada. Even Gov. Bobby Jindal, who has been jetting around the country for other GOP candidates (and, of course, for himself), refuses to endorse Vitter, realizing Vitter’s a shoo in and the governor’s endorsement will do nothing but sully Jindal’s squeaky clean image. Our city-parish president should have done the same.
What is he smoking? Dr. James R. Stoner Jr., the Harvard-educated chair of the political science department at LSU, has been moonlighting on another decidedly less prestigious faculty — at Beck University. We’re not making this up. The tea party’s chief cheerleader and weeping, paranoid man-child, Glenn Beck has started his own on-line center of learning about “real American history.” For a fee, one can view seminars on “Charity,” “Faith,” “Hope,” “Presidents You Should Hate” (Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson) and other topics from “Professor” Beck and his three-man faculty, which comprises Stoner along with the head of a management consulting firm and the founder of a family-values group. Stoner’s curriculum vitae is spot on: an Ivy League education, publication in prestigious journals, a term on the National Council on the Humanities. By getting mixed up with the Goldline huckster and Fox News provocateur, Stoner can add “couillon” to his impressive CV.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Fort Worth company's new facility at Lafayette Regional Airport will build helicopters primarily for the export market.
Could River Ranch restaurant be the next star?
Move over Hooters — there’s a new breastaurant coming to town.
Hashtag, retweet, like, share and do whatever else it takes to get in good today with the jolly man in red.
That would be Congressman John Fleming talking about Sen. David Vitter.
The alleged mastermind behind the bribery scheme that went on for four years under DA Mike Harson’s nose isn’t just schizophrenic, bipolar and recovering from mini strokes; he now says he has cancer.
Louisiana's higher education leaders are trying to work out a financing deal to keep the state's public colleges from running low on state cash to operate their campuses.
With their latest triumph, the Saints left little doubt about how tough they are to beat in the Superdome. Unfortunately, two of their remaining three games are on the road.
The festival is scheduled for March 21-22 in New Orleans.
NOLA Bowl ready prints
For the first time in at least five years, retired teachers, state workers and school system employees could see an increase in their pension checks.
Lawmakers and Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration shared a collective sigh of relief with the news that Louisiana's tax amnesty program brought in the $200 million that they used to help balance this year's budget.
Drew Brees often makes the extraordinary look routine, particularly during night games in the Superdome.
The Cane Fire Film Series will be screening The Savoy King, a feature documentary on Swing-era drummer-bandleader Chick Webb, Ella Fitzgerald, and Harlems Savoy Ballroom.
The teams were extended invitations Sunday for the New Year's Day matchup played at Raymond James Stadium, home of the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Outfit Of The Game looks at jewelry.
Holiday party with style
Funds will expand Early College Academy from 250 to 1,000 students
Let ’em know and you could win a $250 night out.