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Denied validation, interests continue divisiveness

Despite hitting the canvas in Round 1, backers of the “war against blacks” narrative signaled they would not take the federal decision not to charge two Baton Rouge police officers with civil rights violations lying down, coming out swinging in Round 2 – to the detriment of the community.

The U.S. Department of Justice, in an investigation spanning the Democrat former Pres. Barack Obama and Republican Pres. Donald Trump Administrations, concluded that while the officers did not engage in perfect policing, it found insufficient evidence that the officers had malicious and abusive motives towards Alton Sterling when he was shot last summer while resisting arrest. A typical reaction from this crowd came from the Alinskyites at Together Baton Rouge, who expressed disappointment and frustration of no charges filed, called the federal government unjust, and implied as suspect the coming state investigation if it resulted in no indictments of the officers in the death of Sterling.

This closed-mindedness indicative of the group by this kind of pre-judgmental criticism and shared by its ideological allies sadly reveals a cancer in the body politic. They seize upon every incident where a black “gentle giant” loses his life in an altercation with police as evidence to back up their narrative, refusing to let facts which do not conform to their narrative inform them.


Excellent budget presses Edwards to defend choices

They did their homework, leaving the Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards Administration and the Legislature’s minority party sputtering with little effective response.

Louisiana’s House of Representatives Republican leadership successfully passed its first hurdle with the fiscal year 2018 budget. HB 1 largely adopts a standstill strategy, meaning some agencies would deal with unfunded mandates, plus shaved 2.5 percent from that previous figure to bankroll for unanticipated revenue shortfalls. It also shifted around dollars to reflect the majority party’s priorities while inviting Edwards to reaffirm or change policy choices within that framework. The reductions total $237 million from the current FY 2017 budget.

More specifically, it took from the Department of Health $235 million, but issued instructions as to where cuts could not come – waiver programs for people with disabilities and not disproportionately made to any one public-private partner charity hospital. It also took from corrections and public safety nearly $29.5 million, the Department of Child and Family Services $19.5 million, more than $18 million from the Department of Education, $20 million from the judiciary, and $11 million from itself.


Landrieu audition echoes life under dictatorship

Maybe that explains it. Maybe that’s why Democrat New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu delivered a diatribe full of obfuscation and empty of logic to justify government secrecy: he’s running for president.

A national newspaper threw Landrieu’s hat into the ring for 2020, theorizing his raised profile as a result agitating for and beginning the removal of the city’s statuary makes him someone appealing to a national party veering every further to the political left. His comments regarding stealing away the Battle of Liberty Place monument in the middle of the night certainly suggest compatibility with this goal.

Both opponents and supporters of carving the monuments out of the city’s landscape have expressed that the dissections happen with public notice, even with pomp and pageantry attached. Instead, it happened in the dead of night with no warning. Attired more like Islamic State insurgents than public servants and contract employees, balaclava-adorned participants did the deed while keeping from view any identification of the contractor.


Largesse should serve people, not special interests

The trick to the scam is staying with it. That typifies the reaction of those associated and allied with the Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority to legislation that threatens some of their taxpayer largesse.

Better known for its ownership and operation of the Convention Center and Exhibition Hall, diversion of decades worth of taxes collected by state and local governments have let this state-created entity bank (at the end of 2015) $268 million, with only $36 million committed to ongoing expansion projects. Because of these tax receipts, it took in nearly $25 million more than it spent in 2015, although its user fees, concession sales, and other minor charges without the subsidy would have left it $32 million in the red.

HB 622 and 623 by Republican state Rep. Stephanie Hilferty would stop the excessive siphoning to this special interest. The bills would move the proceeds of two citywide levies, a third of a three percent tax on hotel lodging and half of a half-percent tax on food and drinks, to a new special government set up to fund roads. In 2015, the pair, which were dedicated to an expansion project that never materialized yet the Authority continued to collect these, accounted for around $16 million in 2015.