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18.2.19

Milkovich tome to distract from record

You might think running a law practice and serving as a state senator would leave little time to write a book – unless it helps you navigate a difficult reelection task.

Last year, Democrat state Sen. John Milkovich self-published Robert Mueller-- Errand Boy for the New World Order. At the time, in Louisiana only the Talk Louisiana radio program took notice (disclosure: I’m sometimes a guest on this program), which led to a subsequent dyspeptic review by a far left website in state.

Since then, Milkovich has been busy with it. I haven’t read it, but from what I can glean from various interviews that he has given with a number of conspiratorial-minded outlets, it’s just that – a contrived look at the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director’s and now special prosecutor whose investigation is going nowhere, looking set to burn through tens of millions of dollars without coming close to delivering metaphorically to the far left a Z-list celebrity aspiration.

15.2.19

Edwards plays budget politics, blames Barras

The Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards Administration continues to play politics with Louisiana’s budgeting.

This concerns the ongoing refusal by Republican House of Representatives Speaker Taylor Barras to approve of a new revenue forecast. One of the four members of the Revenue Estimating Conference, which needs all members’ assent to make an official prediction for budgeting purposes, four times now in the past three months Barras or his stand-in have refused to boost that.

Barras has based his refusal on the disappointing performance of oil prices and the inherent inaccuracies that past forecasts have demonstrated. The federal government has lowered its estimate of West Texas Intermediate crude oil for 2019 to around $54 a barrel for most of the year, which would translate into a somewhat lower price over the state’s fiscal year than the REC most recently has figured.

14.2.19

Others cancel while LA wastes on bullet trains

Same old story: as the world moves forward, Louisiana stays stuck in the past.

This week, two high-profile high-speed rail projects became largely sidetracked. California pulled back on most of its overly-ambitious, severely-underfunded plan to have bullet trains running from San Francisco to San Diego. Scrapping the $77 billion price tag that some argued still underestimated costs, it now foresees completion only of segment between the booming metropolises of Bakersfield and Merced, and hopes money will rain from the federal government and private sector to finish the rest in the indeterminate future.

But the state shouldn’t hold its breath on investment dollars, a similar event in Florida shows. There, a firm with a short haul line between Miami and West Palm Beach with hopes to expand to Orlando and Tampa yet again postponed receiving another round of financing, eschewing an initial public offering over skepticism the project would turn a profit any time soon. It already is light years ahead of the California project in that it already owns much of the infrastructure involved, but still at this point can’t see enough of a draw to entice investors.

12.2.19

LA bishops must deliver maximal transparency


Louisiana’s dioceses shouldn’t cop out when it comes to examining sins of the past, given the credibility crisis faced by Roman Catholic Church leaders all the way to the top.

Last year, each of the state’s prince of the Church pledged to remit, at a bare minimum, lists of names of clergy with credible accusations against them of sexual abuse. Since then, most have produced such a document.

Unfortunately, some have done a worse job than others. All should have emulated the model set by the Most Rev. Michael Duca, Bishop of Baton Rouge. He made public dates of birth, dates of ordination, pastoral assignments, dates of allegations, dates of disposition, and – in most cases – the number of victims that each clergy member is alleged to have molested and where the abuse occurred. He also pledges to keep adding to the list as greater verifiable evidence emerges.

11.2.19

Recent events make Bossier tax tough sell

Now may not be the greatest time for the Bossier Parish School District to ask voters to increase taxes on themselves.

Last month, the School Board voted to put on the May 4 ballot a measure that would jack up property taxes by over 26 mils, in two separate votes. One would add $7,200 to every teacher’s yearly pay, and the other would jack up salaries for ancillary employees by $3,000 annually.

Then-superintendent Scott Smith argued area districts could offer more in salary, despite other remunerative avenues where Bossier could compete. In fact, while Bossier base teacher pay ranks 45th statewide according to the latest data (academic year 2016), problematically all districts surrounding Bossier pay much better (largely courtesy of oil and gas royalties): Caddo ranks 17th, DeSoto 1st, Red River 2nd, Bienville 6th, and Webster 7th.

8.2.19

Does Edwards support his party members' bills?

In the spirit of aiding voters for this upcoming Louisiana governor’s contest, this post will solicit answers from Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards. These questions derive from high-profile legislation his fellow partisans in office have proposed as legislation (although not all yet submitted formally as bills) both in Congress. Simply, I’m asking the governor, yes or no, in the case of state legislation if it came up in Louisiana in identical form whether he would veto the bill, or in the case of national legislation whether he supports that legislation:

7.2.19

Intolerant green agenda alive in New Orleans

Want to understand the totalitarian mindset behind the extreme left’s “Green New Deal?” Just look at its reaction to New Orleans’ backing away from repudiating its own energy deal.

Today, Congressional Democrats on the party’s fringe ideologically unveiled this platform, which seeks to rid the U.S. or fossil fuel power in a decade. Deemed necessary because of alleged catastrophic anthropogenic global warming, it would achieve the hard left’s aim of massive centralized government power over the economy and people’s lives, a brief outline of the program demonstrates.  It would cost at least $7 trillion just to get there, not even minding the extravagant extra expense borne annually to supply entirely renewable energy.

But a microcosm of the movement’s ideology that government must rein in free enterprise to achieve this agenda surfaced last week un the New Orleans City Council chambers. There, councilors debated reconsideration of last year’s vote to authorize Entergy New Orleans to build a 128 megawatt gas generator. At the present time, the city must import practically all its power, leaving it vulnerable to shortages and bereft of power in weather emergencies.

5.2.19

Special elections bellwether for partisan change

A slew of upcoming state House of Representatives special elections could confirm the tightening grip conservatives have on the Louisiana Legislature.

In a matter of days voters can head to polls in seven districts: the 12th vacated by Republican Rob Shadoin, the 17th left by Democrat Marcus Hunter, the 18th cut loose by Democrat Major Thibaut, the 26th set aside by Democrat Jeff Hall, the 27th departed from by Republican Chris Hazel, the 47th traded in by GOP state Sen. Bob Hensgens, and the 62nd jettisoned by Republican Kenny Havard.

With two exceptions, one party has a significant advantage in each. Democrats handily outnumber Republicans in the majority-black 17th and 26th Districts, while Republicans have significant edges over Democrats in the 12th and 27th. Additionally, the 46th District gave GOP Pres. Donald Trump about 80 percent of their votes in 2016. Of these, only the 27th will feature a major party tussle.