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 The Stelly Plan, enacted six years ago and repealed in 2008 when oil prices were high and the state was still flush with hurricane-recovery cash, raised state income taxes for middle- and higher-income filers in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 Tuesday, March 11, 2014:
The board hopes to recover all fees paid, plus one-half, along with what could amount to hundreds of thousands in additional penalties.
Oh, the irony... or something like that.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Hopefully he’ll be better prepared today than he was in that Feb. 20 deposition.
They came by the hundreds, arriving from all regions of the state to gather on the steps of our Capitol in protest of the Legislature’s long tradition of giving industry the go-ahead to abuse our air, our water and our coastline, all in the name of good economics.
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s recent rhetoric against President Barack Obama has failed to boost his standing among the conservative base.
Louisiana's annual legislative session begins.
The state has hired marksmen to shoot feral hogs from helicopters at two wildlife management areas in south Louisiana.
St. Patty's Day crafts
The former star of Saturday Night Live throws in his 2 cents on the Big Oil lawsuit.
New menu items ready for the Lenten season
The Cane Fire Film Series screens “MaidenTrip” on Monday, March 10, at the AcA.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The vibe of the tribe done modern
The Louisiana Workforce Commission said Friday that initial claims rose to 2,125 from the previous week's total of 1,964. There were 2,887 initial claims during the comparable week in 2013.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
She’s the daughter of the legendary Johnny Cash, but she’s been a gifted artist in her own right for three decades, and she’s coming to Lafayette.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.