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LA drug message both protects, risks lives

In its warning about the drug ivermectin, Louisiana’s Department of Health both potentially helped protect people and put lives at risk.

Echoing a recent reminder distributed by the national Food and Drug Administration, LDH “strongly” advised not to use this drug, authorized by the FDA for use in humans and animals to battle parasites, for prevention and treatment of the Wuhan coronavirus. Several states have done the same, and reports of increased volumes of calls to a few states’ poison control centers have emerged logging incidents from taking the drug for this purpose and a few precautionary hospitalizations have occurred from this, although no reports of medical intervention have surfaced as a result.

The LDH news release notes that dosage for animals and human differs, that “[u]sing any treatment for COVID-19 that is not approved or authorized by the FDA, unless part of a clinical trial, can cause serious harm,” and urges “do not take ivermectin unless you have a prescription for an FDA-approved use, get it from a legitimate source and take it exactly as prescribed for the condition it was prescribed for.” These kinds of uses ensure a correct dosage and unadulterated product, such as through a compounding pharmacy.


Conservatives rightly flex bond panel muscles

Elections have consequences, and it’s good to see Louisiana’s elected conservative majority break from its typical pattern by stamping its authority onto opponents to try to stop them from doing the wrong thing – even if that majority avers that’s not the intent.

This rare display of power occurred during last week’s State Bond Commission meeting. Usually a sleepy affair, over the past few years it has become perhaps the most visible instrument by which Republicans, who control the Legislature and all statewide elected offices, have used to rein in the leftism of state Democrats led by their only official with power, Gov. John Bel Edwards – despite having huge majorities in both legislative chambers, which until this year largely have hesitated in throwing their weight around.

Most prominently, a couple of years ago it reined in anti-Second Amendment actions by changing its rules to penalize bidders for bond business that discriminated against firearms makers and sellers. Now, it has acted to prod Edwards’ sister-in-arms Democrat New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell into abandoning its useless and counterproductive Wuhan coronavirus pandemic policies.


BESE shirking duty creates campaign issue

The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education’s sudden adjournment last week looks to be on the way to becoming a campaign issue in 2023.

At its regular meeting, BESE rapidly plowed through a number of items witnessed by a much larger than usual audience. A large portion of the attendees didn’t wear masks, in apparent violation of a proclamation by Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards ordering face coverings be worn in state office buildings, which included where BESE meets.

After a nearly hour-and-half foray into executive session to discuss the performance of Superintendent Cade Brumley, the body reconvened in public. At that time, Republican Ronnie Morris reminded the audience that matters had to remain orderly or the meeting would be adjourned.


LA print media political relevance fading

So, the Shreveport Times has a new editor; what’s the big deal? Because it clues us in on the direction of Louisiana’s print media and how its ongoing decline will impact state politics.

Understanding the significance requires knowing the bleak context of print media. The rise of the Internet and technology companies that control the bulk of advertising revenue on it have crushed the newspaper industry. Since the mid-aughts, print advertising revenues have plunged by nearly three-quarters, and this is reflected by newsroom staff being cut in half and a quarter of all newspapers have disappeared. Worse, many survivors have become “zombies,” where they hardly generate any hard news, instead relying upon content from elsewhere with local stories largely produced from the outside and many from non-media sources.

The Times is getting there. A quarter century ago, about a decade after the Gannett chain bought it from local owners, in the course of any given year I might have been interviewed by three different Times reporters covering various beats. Now, outside of entertainment and sports, it has just two reporters and an intern to cover the entire metropolitan area. Its daily edition has trouble reaching 30 pages, with almost all of those mainly taken up by advertising and the majority of content in the form of sports or entertainment.


BC councilors putting political careers first

The Bossier City Council shows it remains committed to working for its own members’ interests rather than the people’s, a recent rejection of changing its meeting times confirmed, reinforcing the necessity of term limits for the body.

Republican new at-large member Chris Smith offered up a resolution to change meeting times on the first and third (and fifth if existing) Tuesdays of each month from 3 PM to 6 PM. He argued that it would bring grater citizen participation, both in meeting access and in candidacies to serve on the Council.

Opponents – the rest of the Council – responded with a weak counterargument. They asserted that in the unspecified past the panel had met at that time but with little visible improvement in attendance, backed by almost of citizen communications advocating for the change. And, they claimed, it would cost more with overtime for city employees meeting after the normal work day ended.