All aboard the tax hike train, at least one media outlet in Louisiana appears to encourage to the detriment of the state.
It’s no secret that Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards has longed since his first day in office for tax increases, and disproportionately on its most productive entities, rather than reduce the size of Louisiana state government. He did manage to get a temporary sales tax increase through the Legislature, but it was his last, least preferred option.
Now Edwards has more impetus to seek tax increases. The descent of the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic has triggered overall revenue reductions and higher expenditures in some areas, particularly concerning the burgeoning imbalance of unemployment insurance payments going out compared to taxes coming in. Instead of pulling back on government spending for this fiscal year, Edwards successfully implored the Legislature to spend federal government largesse without cuts, making for an expensive ticking time bomb for taxpayers.
Posted by Jeff Sadow at 17:00
The mainstream media, both national and Louisianan, still stumble in the dark when comes to understanding the policy blunders that have made Louisiana the worst-hit, longest hit state by the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic.
Ten days ago, USA TODAY ran a piece on how not only did Louisiana suffer a high peak of infections in the spring, but, more than any other state, has seen one again this summer. Yesterday, the New Orleans Times-Picayune/Advocate published musings from Jeff Asher, known more for his analysis of crime but who recently has made a pivot to looking at pandemic data, about recent patterns in these data.
Louisiana continues to serve as an outlier to national pandemic trends, because of this bimodal distribution in cases. Because of that, as of yesterday it ranked second in infection rate, fifth in current hospitalization percentage per capita, and sixth in mortality per capita. Only Georgia, at first, first, and eighth, respectively, arguably is as bad off. But this is its first rodeo, only within the past month hitting these lamentable marks for the first time while Louisiana is repeating, and worse daily on cases but with far fewer deaths, from four months ago.
Posted by Jeff Sadow at 17:30
Perhaps it didn’t match the author’s intent, but a recent article in Louisiana’s largest newspaper illuminated a glaring weakness in Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards’ approach to battling the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic.
A piece in the Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate replicated one in the New York Times about “excess” deaths from the virus. It noted that nearly 5,000 more Louisianans died in the first four months of the pandemic than did last year during the same period. With over 3,500 directly attributable to the virus, that meant around 1,400 from other causes also had occurred over and above the previous year’s.
In it, as well as in a prior piece, came musing about why. Some “other” deaths actually may have come undiagnosed as attributable to the virus (it works the other way around, of course, with government reimbursements higher for treating virus patients than for other maladies perhaps prompting virus mortality reporting inflation) and also could come from people delaying medical treatments and/or reluctance to visit hospitals for fear of staying in them.
Posted by Jeff Sadow at 12:10
Louisiana Democrat Supreme Court Chief Justice Bernette Johnson can’t leave her post quickly enough, her latest opinion confirms.
The only black and Democrat on the Court, Johnson has a long history of being on the losing side in cases when divisions occurred. She will retire at the end of this year, courtesy of the recently-upheld Louisiana Constitution’s provision (which she dissented from) that disallows a judge running for office if 70 or older at the beginning of that next term.
But it looks like she’s going out with a real bang. A career criminal, Fair Wayne Davis, petitioned the Court to have his life sentence overturned. First convicted for attempted armed robbery in 1979, he received a sentence of ten years at hard labor. Out before his time, he subsequently was convicted of possession of stolen things in 1987, attempted forgery of a check worth $150 in 1989, and for simple burglary of an inhabited dwelling in 1992. As such, he fell under the state’s habitual offender statute, meriting his lifetime residence in a cell.
Posted by Jeff Sadow at 11:45
What was at first a bit of a head scratcher around Shreveport judicial circles has become much clearer as a politicization of a judicial contest.
Last week, the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office arrested Trina Chu, currently a candidate in the westernmost district of the state’s Court of Appeals, Second Circuit. Each district has three sections that open up periodically over a decade, and as a no party candidate she challenges longtime no party incumbent Jeannette Garrett for one of those.
Chu used to work for the Second Circuit, a few years back, for former Chief Justice Henry Brown. He left the Court in a hurry one step ahead of censure by the state’s Judiciary Commission for alleged attempted influence of another judge concerning a case in front of the Court about a woman with whom he was very friendly. That attempt supposedly involved material that Chu, also a friend of the woman, had obtained and transmitted illegally.
Posted by Jeff Sadow at 15:00