Search This Blog


NOLA Schools stuck on stupid with closure

And now NOLA Public Schools, the name used for the Orleans Parish School District, has chosen to stay stuck on stupid – with a political goal in mind.

With its all-charter status cemented into state law, its School Board, which hires its superintendent Henderson Lewis, can’t make a whole lot of policy, but with its operational powers intact its decisions can have the same effect. And the ruling by Lewis which forces all district schools into distance learning only by week’s end shows that, despite massive changes in education delivery over the past 15 years, resistance to increased accountability remains the same.

Because there never has been any good reason to keep classrooms empty during the ongoing Wuhan coronavirus pandemic, even as Lewis justified his decision in that Orleans Parish shows a steady rise in cases per capita. The corresponding news release intones that the call “was driven by data and the advice of our public health experts.”


2020 results presage rough ride for Edwards

If Georgia U.S. Senate runoff results hold up, Democrats may have won somewhat increased policy-making power nationally, but in Louisiana Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards ends up the eventual loser.

Should the final vestiges of the 2020 election play out this way, it will produce the narrowest majority margins in the country’s history. Democrats will control the House by only eight votes, where any defection of four scuttles their plans. The Senate ends up evenly split, ultimately decided by just a few thousand votes out of four million cast, and incoming Pres. Joe Biden essentially won the office by about 43,000 votes in three states.

Don’t expect Democrats to acknowledge they won in a photo finish. They know the history that in the last two of their administrations they lost an average of 57 House seats and seven Senate seats two years after a member of their party reached the White House initially. They will go for broke in the vain thinking (of some) that suddenly a history of bad policy magically goes against type and works to allow them to keep a Congressional majority in 2022, or (with others) at least getting in as much damage as possible before being shown the door for the next several years.


Data note more failure of LA Medicaid expansion

But, Medicaid expansion!

This occurring in Louisiana supposedly would make the world all right. Objective observers knew differently, and time has demonstrated their critiques correct. Supposedly, expansion would save money; it hasn’t and now costs state taxpayers (most recently) $312 million a year extra on behalf of many people who once had their own insurance. One reason it would is that uncompensated care costs would come down; these haven’t and Louisiana’s actually have increased slightly compared to historical averages prior to expansion. Increased wasted payments and thousands more vulnerable lives lost, as a result of shifting dollars and attention away from them in order to shovel these to the expansion population, because of expansion also have cost the Louisiana polity.

Despite all these shortcomings, expansion’s apologists still could try to cling to the idea that it brought better outcomes to the target population. Yes, it makes some people worse off, redistributes wealth especially to the detriment of the lower middle class, and strips the state of resources to tackle other needs, but as wasteful and inefficient as expansion is, advocates still could argue that it makes the health of the target population better.


Cassidy, Kennedy both right in different ways

Everybody wins, including Louisianans, over the differing positions taken by the state’s Republican Sens. Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy regarding whether to ratify immediately the 2020 Electoral College results.

That presidential and vice-presidential contest gave, respectively, Democrats former Vice Pres. Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris a narrow win, which particularly hinged on the vote in three of six closely-contested states that gave him a winning margin of fewer than 44,000 – just as Republican Pres. Donald Trump in 2016 had run up about the same electoral college totals where his win came from a margin in three of those six states of around 80,000. But having confidence in the 2020 results is more difficult, because of expanded fraud opportunities afforded by individual state decisions to change election parameters in response to the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic.

With degraded election integrity, it’s axiomatic that more fraud occurred in 2020. The problem comes in being able to prove it might have affected the election’s outcome. States with laws or imposed regulations making it easier to commit fraud ran up large Biden wins, while those with less-degraded integrity featured the narrow margins that even if eliminating the improperly-validated ballots still likely would have gone Biden’s way.


Holes in LA election integrity need plugging

Once again, Louisiana tempts fate with unserious absentee ballot rules that could produce election results determined by fraud, but the good news is some minor housekeeping by the Legislature can increase the integrity of state elections.

This week, the Legislature chambers’ respective governmental affairs committees will vet emergency – which given its increasing seeming permanence brings Louisiana closer to emulating the old joke that it is the northern-most banana republic – rules regarding a series of upcoming elections, including for a state House seat in February, a Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and almost certainly two U.S. House spots along with municipal elections in March, and any runoffs for that in April. This set echoes the flawed batch under which the state conducted the last three such pollings, as imposed by an activist judge.

These standards differ from the previous version only in that they don’t extend the early voting period, but do share the same legalistic faults – most notoriously, allowing unverified new registrant names to stay on the voting rolls that makes it easy for fictitious voters to cast fictitious votes. Additionally, rather than create a new kind of problem, the rules also, by perpetuating essentially excuse-free absentee voting by mail, stretch a larger loophole through which to drive fraudulent votes.