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Desperation heaves won't cut judicial mustard

So, how many failed desperation heaves will it take for some those who see racism everywhere to get the message that it isn’t?

Not as many as have happened to date in Louisiana concerning its judicial system. The latest court case involves a challenge filed this week to the way the state drew Supreme Court districts. A national interest group hooked up with the state’s National Association for the Advancement of Colored People chapter in alleging that the seven districts containing just one majority-minority district exists in a state with a third of its voters non-white is unconstitutional.

The state very likely wins this case on the basis of the very latest jurisprudence concerning drawing district boundaries. A state may use partisanship as a criteria for drawing these, as long as the districts produced remain reasonably compact and contiguous, so that party may not become a proxy for race. Partisan questions like that remain beyond the reach of the judiciary, and Louisiana’s districts appear reasonably compact and are contiguous. As judicial oversight of the state’s districts – in this case congressional – in the past has shown, just because much of Louisiana’s black population doesn’t congregate geographically doesn’t mean you must constitutionally draw districts using districts of low compactness and barely contiguous to account for that.


Trump preparing to fix Edwards' mistakes

Looks as if Republican Pres. Donald Trump will perform a double rescue of Louisianans trying to overcome the folly of Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards.

This week, the Trump Administration proposed rules that would bring greater integrity to enforcement of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. It would disallow automatic enrollment into SNAP, known colloquially as food stamps, if the applicant already receives assistance through the myriad of programs attached to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Instead, applicants would have to meet minimal, verifiable standards: ongoing and substantial benefits and inlcuding only non-cash TANF benefits to use in conferring automatic eligibility that focus on subsidized employment, work supports and childcare.

Automatic acceptance has become a problem. In some states, qualifying TANF benefits may be as minimal as simply providing a household with an informational brochure describing social services or access to hotline numbers. As a result, eligibility checks might occur as infrequently as every two years. These nominal benefits are often given without conducting a robust eligibility determination. Instead, automatic conferral now will come if a household receives TANF-funded cash or non-cash benefits valued at a minimum of $50 per month for at least 6 months.


Edwards' policies make U.S. vulnerable

As America’s allies, both eastern and western, find themselves dealing with Iranian intransigence that threatens their stability, Americans can thank the policies of Republican Pres. Donald Trump that they avoid this – while Louisianans can feel grateful that their Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards and his fellow travelers have had limited impact in propagating policies that would have made America more vulnerable.

Last week, Iran began detaining tankers travelling the Straits of Hormuz. Over a fifth of the world’s oil output makes its way along this narrow path adjacent to Iran, which currently endures crippling sanctions imposed by the U.S. over its nuclearization policies. Trump spearheaded this when he revoked an agreement that put the U.S. at a disadvantage in halting this nuclearization pledged by Democrat former Pres. Barack Obama (whom Edwards supported as a delegate at the party’s national convention).

In protest, Iran has seized these ships of other western and local countries, which depend upon oil importation and exportation to make their economies run. Not long ago, that oil could have been bound for the U.S., which at one time imported large quantities of oil.


Jindal's economy beats Edwards', redux

Welcome to the party popping the overinflated balloon that is the campaign narrative of Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards.

Last week, appearing here was a comparative analysis of Louisiana’s economic performance from July of 2008 to May of this year, neatly segmented into three periods. The first essentially occurred during the first term of Republican former Gov. Bobby Jindal, which featured early tax relief and throughout a significant reduction of government spending of dollars from state revenue sources. The second, roughly analogous to Jindal’s second term, saw tax increases late in it and incrementally higher spending during it. The third comports basically to Edwards’ time in office, marked by substantial tax increases and significantly higher spending.

Using data showing the state’s absolute performance and ranking among the states in each period, the first Jindal term produced much better economic performance than his second, which in turn did little better than Edwards’ reign. In short, Jindal’s initial policies, the exact opposite of Edwards’, demonstrably made Louisianans better off than they have been under Edwards’ watch.


NW LA govts must avoid developer handouts

It’s a good sales pitch. But it’s doomed to failure unless it undergoes a necessary alteration.

Last week, Shreveport Democrat Mayor Adrian Perkins issued a public plea for the City Council first, then voters to approve a $220 million package of bond proceeds pledged to go to a couple of dozen projects. Funding for this would come from renewal of a pair of expiring property taxes from 1996 and 1999 totaling 6.2 mills (rolled back).

The list, compiled by a citizens committee cobbled together by Perkins, as he pointed out has a number of worthy projects. Some address essential needs, such as aging public safety and water and sewerage infrastructure. Others don’t seem that necessary but merit serious consideration by voters, such as constructing conduits for broadband transmission that could invite future provider competition that encourage innovation and better pricing for customers.