Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Written by The Independent Staff
We’ll never know just how critical a role he played, but U.S. Sen. David Vitter certainly sufficiently pressured the SEC to make a determination on whether victims of Allen Stanford’s alleged Ponzi scheme are entitled to insurance coverage. The long-awaited recommendation came after a two-year battle that started with a Securities Investor Protection Corp. opinion that Stanford victims were not eligible to file claims. It also came a day after Vitter put a hold on two SEC member nominations. In its decision, the SEC said people who bought so-called CDs through the Stanford Group Co., Stanford’s U.S. brokerage arm, are entitled to the insurance; the SIPC says it’s studying the decision. Those who lost money can only recover up to $500,000 of their investment (unrecoverable is the interest most paid taxes on for years), which won’t make all local investors whole, but it’s a start to rebuilding their financial futures. Though its recommendation is a major victory for Stanford victims, the SEC’s Stanford problems are far from over, as local investors have sued the regulatory agency, alleging negligence and misconduct.
When Louisiana Family Forum backs a bill, be afraid — be very afraid. Joining a long list of bait-and-switch legislation, led by the granddaddy of them all — the Louisiana Science Education Act — is House Bill 580 by West Monroe Republican and avowed proponent of “academic freedom” for creationists Frank Hoffman. HB 580 neuters the state Board of Elementary & Secondary Education in its oversight role for vetting textbooks in public-school science classes, giving over authority for such purchases to local school boards and, consequently, opening the door for pseudo-scientific claptrap like Intelligent Design filtering into the curriculum. The Louisiana Coalition for Science and other groups have come out strongly against the bill, which sailed through the House with all of Lafayette Parish’s reps voting in favor. As The Ind headed to press Monday the bill was scheduled to be heard by the full Senate. By this reading it has likely passed and is headed to Gov. Bobby Jindal, who has a biology degree yet, as we unfortunately know, holds his political base in higher esteem than he does the basics of mainstream science.
Maybe the best argument for evolution and its quirks is U.S. Rep. Michelle Bachmann, who believes Intelligent Design — that’s creationism in a lab coat, kids — should be taught alongside evolution because, well, just because and Obama’s bad, America first, bomb Iran, hotdogs and apple pie. Bachman made an off-hand reference to Nobel laureates having doubts about evolution in 2006, a claim challenged by recent Louisiana high school graduate Zack Kopplin, leader of the doomed charge to repeal the LSEA in the legislative session and a top-notch student who, not coincidentally, will attend college outside Louisiana this fall. More than 40 Nobel laureates — all of them in the sciences — signed on to Kopplin’s mission to repeal the LSEA. The outspoken Tea Party fave was in New Orleans last week for the 2011 Republican Leadership Conference, and Gambit Editor Kevin Allman asked Bachman to enumerate her Nobel ringers on the anti-evolution side. Bachmann cited “reasonable doubt” in the evolution debate before rolling into a rambling answer involving “government bureaucracy,” states’ rights and block grants. What she didn’t do was answer Allman’s question.
Law firm unveils newly renovated 200-year-old building.
UL grad named web developer at BBR Creative
Lafayette-based emergency department staffing and management company raises $120 million in senior credit facilities through GE Capital, Healthcare Financial Services.
High-rise apartment building, parking garage, hotel and retail part of new development.
A common thread runs through many of those we oppose: Enshrining in the Constitution protections on programs and their funding sources has had a disastrous effect on Louisiana’s most important economic development engine.
"I am extremely disheartened by the political machines that are attempting to hijack my efforts along with others that advocate for children."
Landrieu, who is fighting to keep her seat for a fourth term, said that Ebola is serious and precautions should be taken, but she accused Republicans of using the virus outbreak in West Africa to "create fear" here at home.
The number of Louisianans with jobs continued to set records in September, but the state's unemployment rate kept rising as new job seekers keep entering the market.
Three bedroom cottage or three bedroom ranch
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Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Louisiana is drowning, quickly.
Law enforcement agencies are participating in a "Louisiana Heroin Summit," designed to address the recent rise in heroin use and drug-related deaths around the state.
State education officials are preparing to release performance scores for public schools and public school districts.
Saints coach Sean Payton is starting a new week by emphasizing, repeatedly, the many good things he noticed during New Orleans' latest loss.
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We will be offering our recommendations on the constitutional amendments tomorrow.
Three bedroom in Lawtell or two bedroom in Rayne
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The justices did not comment in leaving in place lower court rulings that dismissed the lawsuits against BP and other companies involved in the worst U.S. offshore oil spill.
White registration is down by 7,700 voters while black registration has shot up by 7,100 voters.
Even though it had been rumored for months, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu finally pulled the trigger recently on a major campaign shakeup that moved control over to a few Big Easy insiders.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Louisiana's health department says it will seek law changes to stop billing sexual assault victims for exams and tests.
An investment group led by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets will buy the Louisiana power company Cleco for $3.4 billion.
It wasn’t the historic slashes to higher ed funding or the ensuing tuition spikes that recently had LSU’s student body and faculty riled up in collective outrage.
"I feel it is appropriate to speak up when there are topics that are being bandied about with little or no factual data to back them."
Will $400 be enough for the re-election campaign of LPSB's Hunter Beasley to overcome two years of holding our school system hostage and hurting the education of our children all because of a personal dislike of the superintendent?
Saints tight end Jimmy Graham said Friday he expects his playing status in Detroit to be decided by coach Sean Payton on Sunday, shortly before the game.