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Special interests overwhelm Graves' good sense

Seeing as the law makes little sense, why does Louisiana’s Republican Rep. Garret Graves want to die on the Jones Act hill?

Better known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, among other things the federal statute prohibits transshipment among U.S. ports by foreign-flagged vessels. It has provisions for specific and general waivers, and GOP Pres. Donald Trump enacted the latter for ten days regarding Puerto Rico in the aftermath of the recent hurricane disasters inflicted upon the islands.

This launched Graves into criticism mode, who called it a solution looking for a problem. He argued that relief efforts suffered more from internal distribution on the main island than in getting stuff there. He noted a majority of Puerto Rico’s commerce already came from foreign vessels and said it would cost Gulf Coast shippers jobs.


Clarity needed on LA child care center cameras

If Louisiana wishes to use cameras as an enforcement tool in child care centers, it needs to clarify potential use of these.

In August, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, which regulates these businesses, promulgated a rule that would allow inspectors to review video recordings. Nothing requires a licensed facility to have this equipment or that it include audio. Operators argue that their voluntary installation of such devices occurs primarily for their own employee oversight and as a selling point for client families, as parents can hook into video feeds to monitor their children. Perhaps only a quarter of all sites have cameras running.

According to the rule, inspectors have access to recordings whenever they visit during operating hours or the facility has children present, although no legal instrument defines how long centers archive these. Inspectors may show up without provocation.


Bench protesting students to teach life lesson

If high school football players take to protesting whatever through disrespectful conduct towards symbols representing ideas behind the Constitution, the most important lesson they should learn isn’t utilizing free expression, but that actions have consequences.

After two Sundays ago, when National Football League players in significant number began not acknowledging the U.S. flag or standing at attention facing it during playing of the National Anthem, school officials rightly suspected copycat action would appear on the horizon as well. If nothing else, children obey faddishness and let themselves get swept up in trends, in this instance a reaction by professional players against remarks made by Pres. Donald Trump denigrating those who acted as such.

To cut this trendiness off at the pass, on instructions from the Bossier Parish School Board Superintendent Scott Smith in no uncertain terms mandated that students choosing to participate in extracurricular activities such as football have to observe decorum regarding the flag and Anthem. The district’s high school principals, such as Parkway High School’s Principal Waylon Bates, drove the point home further by issuing a letter to athletes and parents demanding standing in a respectful manner during the Anthem. Violators refusing to do that could be punished by coaches and school officials.


Candidates hope outsider campaigns bag wins

Does the outsider approach to winning campaigns still have legs, after its greatest victory last year? Louisiana candidates in elections later this month hope so.

Since political newcomer Republican Pres. Donald Trump knocked off the most establishmentarian of establishment candidates (who still doesn’t understand why she lost), more people than ever running for office seem eager to embrace the outsider approach – running against a government’s elected class as a whole. As proof, high profile contests at both the state and local level in Louisiana illustrate this.

Republican treasurer candidate Angéle Davis from the gun has run a campaign stressing her congruence with Trump. A number of her communications demonstrate the linkage, where she expressly brings up Trump’s agenda and allies herself to that, despite the fact little of it directly addresses the role of treasurer. Within five seconds of her recorded voice calls, she informs listeners that she aligns herself with his ideas.