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GOP leaders forfeit claim to fiscal prudence

With one boneheaded, tone-deaf piece of legislation, Louisiana’s Republican legislative leadership threw away any chance they had to differentiate clearly a GOP-led Legislature from spender-in-chief Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards – and on a silver platter handed Edwards a means to diffuse criticism of him.

HB 39 in the special session started off innocuously enough. Author Republican state Rep. Zee Zeringue – as head of the chamber’s Appropriations Committee, a top lieutenant of GOP Speaker Clay Schexnayderoriginally asked only to take $15 million out of apparently leftover dollars, from a federal government boost the portion of Medicaid it finances through the end of the year and let the Louisiana Public Defender Board use it to buy office space for its constituent districts. This would free up rent money that could go to supplementing a system chronically short of funds that has triggered a suit over that lacking, which allegedly causes inadequate representation.

The simplicity obscured that the bill would serve as the vehicle for other adjustments in the budget as since the fiscal year commenced the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic continued and the state received two hurricane blows, and cybersecurity matters increasingly gained in importance. Principally – and leaders had articulated this as one of the two major reasons to have the session – it would trigger a refill of the Unemployment Compensation Fund, as economic retrenchment due to restrictions imposed by Edwards had caused a spike in unemployment that increased benefits going out and reduction in business that reduced tax collections from employers going in.


Yet again, Perkins ethics called into question

Democrat Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins, also running for the U.S. Senate next month, faces more accusations that deter support for him in this contest as well as in any reelection attempt.

From the moment he entered office posing as a new broom to sweep out old politics, Perkins seemed more like a new good-old-boy. He struck a deal with a political ally on insuring city property, only to stick Shreveport with a higher bill for less insurance for the next year. He tried to fob off campaign expenses onto taxpayers. He improperly claimed reimbursement for automobile use. And, he illegally tried to replace Shreveport Airport Authority members.

Issues over the Authority have continued to spin out of his control. Preceding the contentious appointment saga and allied matter of selecting a new director, hangar owners at the Downtown Airport have complained the SAA wants to renew tenancy with leases that essentially steal their structures, into which many have poured substantial sums of money, driving down their resale values in the process.


Dominatrix, Cantrell wishing away consequences

How is the aftermath of “demonic” altar desecrations and the current dilemma of the ruling leftist elite in Louisiana the same?

Allegedly, on Sep. 30 pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church in Pearl River Travis Clark, had a rendezvous with a pair of dominatrices based out of Washington and Georgia. At the church near midnight, they chose to play sex games on the church altar – and recorded it. But so did a parishioner curious at lights on in the house of worship at that time with such matters viewable from outside, who called the police. This incident so disgusted the Very Rev. Archbishop Gregory Aymond that, in following canon law, besides suspending Clark, he subsequently had the altar burned and reconsecrated a new one, calling the act “demonic.”

Sad, but the event turned pathetic when one of the dominatrices complained about perceived public persecution. The Atlantan, Melissa Cheng, kvetched publicly that she has suffered physically and mentally for being “vilified.” “My privacy gets violated and I get in trouble. Maybe people shouldn't snoop in windows and then complain about what they see, especially at night. Ridiculous,” she complained, while denying the fact that churches are considered public spaces, that it’s diocesan property, and her activity was visible enough that a cell phone could shoot recognizable footage through a window.


Law can clarify no LA election interference

Louisiana Republican Atty. Gen. Jeff Landry made the right call in preserving unbiased election administration in the state, and the Legislature and Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards should follow up.

Last month, Facebook announced its chief would create a grant system that would shuttle $250 million of Mark Zuckerberg’s and his wife’s donated money to local elections officials ostensibly to aid in the conduct of fall elections. This could provide funds for things like paying commissioners, buying protective equipment in light of the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic, and increasing voting by mail capacity. They said they would give away another $50 million to statewide elections administrators.

These officials had complained about Facebook’s conduct about the time of announcement of the $300 million effort. It had decided to ban “political” ads a week out from the elections, but that includes alerts from officials concerning last minute administrative changes which could ameliorate confusion.


Vote, then must wait on LA curbing abortion

With an apparent change that could benefit pro-life policy coming in the direction of the U.S. Supreme Court, yet after a judicial setback this summer and possible change in presidential administrations ahead, what should Louisianans do to protect the unborn?

Possibly the high court, with the extremely likely ascension of Louisiana native appellate Judge Amy Coney Barrett to it (that process beginning this week with her Senate hearings), will in the future reverse the flawed Roe V. Wade precedent that took an exclusive power of states out of their hands: regulation of abortion. If so, Louisianans already have a ready-made instrument in their hands: Amendment #1 on this fall’s ballot that would deny that the Constitution conveys any right to abortion.

But what if that reversal doesn’t happen? Unfortunately, this summer the Court, because of too much respect for bad precedent, overruled a Louisiana law that reinforced health and safety measures present in abortion mills. Fortunately, other actions exist at the state level that serve to make abortion safer and rarer.


Edwards maintains pharaonic pandemic approach

But this time also Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards hardened his heart and would not let the Louisiana people go.

Exodus 8:32 provides an apt description of Edwards as last week he continued the madness of overbroad economic and behavioral restrictions he placed on the state’s population ostensibly to combat the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic, extending these with just a few slightly reduced for another four weeks – ending just after fall elections Nov. 3.

Despite evidence of a better approach that causes better health outcomes with less economic damage and to people’s lives, he stubbornly refuses to follow the science and scale back the restrictions. As of the weekend, Edwards’ approach has produced the most cases per capita and fifth-most deaths per capita among the states. Fortunately, current hospitalizations have fallen to the lowest level since almost at the pandemic’s beginning, now down to twentieth per capita – which undercuts the argument that stringent strictures prevent overwhelming the health care system’s capacity.