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17.11.19

Results reconfirm LA as banana republic

Yesterday, Louisiana proved it’s not yet ready for primetime because, as the state’s junior senator suggested, too many Louisianans are happy with crappy.

Runoffs for 2019 state elections could have resulted in a different story. At their conclusion, had several things happened the erosion of living standards and opportunity for the majority that begun under Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards could have commenced. Tax relief, putting government on a small diet, more efficient use of funds, increased personal responsibility from those receiving government largesse, fiscal reform that rewards initiative rather than encouraging dependency and rent-seeking, and tort reform would have followed had conservative Republicans hit the perfecta.

They almost got it. The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education will continue to implement education reform based upon accountability and choice as intended under reforms instituted by GOP former Gov. Bobby Jindal, with the election of Republican Ronnie Morris to District 6 that will give that bloc a healthy majority. The Louisiana Supreme Court will retain a majority open to curtailing tort overreach and jackpot justice with the election of Republican Will Crain to District 1.

14.11.19

Day of reckoning here for LA political culture

Saturday's gubernatorial election marks an inflection point for Louisiana’s political culture in two ways, in both products and processes, with a profound impact on the state’s future.

A victory by challenger Republican businessman and novice politician Eddie Rispone would demonstrate a critical mass for evolution of that political culture has occurred. A win for incumbent Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards temporarily extends the life of a dying superstructure.

The Edwards vision emanates squarely from Louisiana’s past, a century-old ideology that divides society into exploiters and the exploited, the favored few and the multitudinous unfortunate, and the rescuers and their charges. It proffers a Manichean view of society with enemies of the state, who have used good luck and dastardly behavior to put them in a position to earn too much and have too much, against everybody else, with only government able to tame the oppressing class through redistribution of power and resources that benefits all (although this process inevitably provides opportunities for the elites overseeing it to acquire power and privilege as their price for aiding the unwashed).

13.11.19

Kennedy impeachment intent doctrine fails

News show favorite Louisiana’s usually perspicacious Republican Sen. John Kennedy as always remained glib but missed the mark when he commented about the partisan impeachment circus currently in Washington, DC.

Appearing on a Sunday morning show, Kennedy argued that Republican Pres. Donald Trump’s conversation with Ukrainian Pres. Volodymyr Zelensky where Trump discussed that the Ukraine uphold treaty obligations in assisting on a corruption probe that included the son of Democrat former Vice Pres. Joe Biden – a potential challenger in 2020 – possibly could be an impeachable offense. During the call, Trump never mentioned military aid, which had been negotiated but not yet delivered. Zelensky didn’t even know the aid, which showed up three months later, as of the call had not arrived, nor did he feel like Trump was bargaining with him. In fact, the Ukraine has yet to pursue Trump’s request to provide any investigatory assistance.

Nonetheless, Democrats have declared the episode worthy of impeachment and conviction to remove Trump from office. Kennedy largely disagrees, with one exception:

12.11.19

Early voting small advantage to Edwards

So, early voting statistics for this Saturday’s contest predict a Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards reelection? Not so fast, my readers.

At the conclusion of early voting this weekend, about 115,000 more people voted early than in the general election of Oct. 12. This set an all-time record for early turnout proportion – although history suggests that won’t last long, as early voting for the 2020 elections that features the presidential race should surge past it.

But, significantly, the proportion of blacks in early voting rose from around 25 to 31 percent from the general election to runoff, undoubtedly spurred by efforts of special interest groups to round up and deliver them to early voting locations in larger parishes (typically two locations). As roughly of 90 percent of blacks will vote for Democrats, this gives a boost to Edwards and others of his party running in down-ballot contests (although only a handful of state-level contests went to a runoff featuring major party matchups, and in every case leaving Republicans heavily favored).

11.11.19

Veterans Day, 2019

This column publishes every Monday through Friday around noon U.S. Central Time (maybe even after sundown on busy days, or maybe before noon if things work out, or even sometimes on the weekend if there's big news) except whenever a significant national holiday falls on the Monday through Friday associated with the otherwise-usual publication on the previous day (unless it is Thanksgiving Day, Independence Day, Christmas, or New Year's Day when it is the day on which the holiday is observed by the U.S. government). In my opinion, in addition to these are also Memorial Day and Veterans' Day.

With Monday, Nov. 11 being Veterans' Day, I invite you to explore the links connected to this page.

8.11.19

7.11.19

Worse schools, less likely to support change

Not only do the just-released school and district accountability scores in Louisiana speak to the educational quality and pace of improvement within the state’s elementary and secondary education, these also illuminate how many Louisianans vote against their own self-interests.

The state’s Department of Education announced yesterday the scores, which federal law requires that it computes. Overall, these showed improvement from 2018, particularly among worse-performing schools. Tempering that good news, about 17 percent of schools ended up classified as “struggling,” while 44 percent had at least one student sub-population of interest classified as that.

However, out of all of this comes a fascinating nugget of electoral and political importance. A relationship exists between the quality of a school district and vote in the 2019 gubernatorial general election. Specifically, the worse the schools perform, the more votes for Democrats in that election.

6.11.19

Leftists increasing LA early voting efforts

If reelection of Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards goes down in flames, it won’t be for lack of trying by one far left Louisiana special interest group.

Edwards finds himself locked in a tight reelection battle against Republican Eddie Rispone. Further, in the general election his candidacy didn’t seem to generate as much enthusiasm among Democrats, especially blacks, as seems necessary to win.

However, one group aims to change that, and it’s off to a good start. The Power Coalition for Equity and Justice launched efforts at the commencement of early voting last Saturday to get as many people, very disproportionately black and Democrat, to the polls.

5.11.19

Edwards lies again about Medicaid expansion

Election season lies just keep coming from Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards about Medicaid expansion.

Edwards has held up expansion as a major accomplishment of his tenure, despite flimsy arguments in its favor. Throughout his reelection campaign he has touted how it brought insurance to many who didn’t have it and attributed care received under it as care that otherwise never would have occurred. In fact, as many as nearly half of all expansion enrollees already had privately-paid insurance and the remainder had access to care at the state’s charity hospitals. (And in any event, the health benefits allegedly conveyed by expansion are wildly overblown.) Further, about a tenth of enrollees at the peak were ineligible – largely because upon entering office Edwards’ Department of Health deliberately weakened verification standards – wasting $500 million a year in inappropriate payments.

That fact alone falsifies the idea that expansion “saved” money – an argument that almost made sense in 2016 when the federal government paid for all but several million dollars in administrative costs. But the tens of millions of state dollars wasted through inappropriate payments cancels any economic benefits from rerouting tax dollars from other states to pump through Louisiana (while Louisianans also see their federal tax dollars going elsewhere to pay for other states’ expansions) – even as an Edwards Administration-financed report erroneously inflated claims of economic benefits and left out other important data that left it almost useless to understanding expansion’s economic impact.