Search This Blog


Right-size, hike tuition before squeezing public

University administrations change, but the misleading narratives remain the same.

New Louisiana State University System Pres. William Tate has slipped seamlessly into the mode of recent such heads by poormouthing finances provided by taxpayers. Asked about why the flagship campus continues to descend in the magazine U.S. News and World Report’s ranking of universities, he stated “LSU’s overall rank fell largely because of two categories: financial and faculty resources, both of which are tied to funding.” He also alleged that “To improve will require significant state and philanthropic investments in students and faculty members.”

I’ll take his word about the mechanics of the scoring, since the magazine hides many of the details behind a paywall. But the implication that pumping wholesale higher taxpayer dollars into the school to compensate for a dearth of funding doesn’t bear any relationship to reality.


Aggrandizement to blame for hurting LA burgs

Some different players, but same old story: desire by elites for prestige and remuneration hampering solutions to struggling Louisiana municipalities.

In 2019, the Louisiana Legislative Auditor began publicizing distressed municipalities, or those that risked having to come under outside fiscal administration. Although some have crawled out from under their problems, sometimes spectacularly so, several since have degraded into administrative receivership, with the state’s Fiscal Review Committee in its meeting last month having added Powhatan to that category.

That leaves 18 others on the distressed list compiled earlier this year. Eleven in fact repeat from two years ago, including Powhatan. Each has its own reasons for making the list, but one commonality is this desire, mostly strongly rooted among mayors, to retain control over resources that could be allocated more efficiently, manifested in two ways.


Date change to affect LA fall election results

Rescheduling of Louisiana’s 2021 general election date will help certain candidates but especially hurt the chances of a couple of constitutional amendments on the ballot.

Last week, Republican Sec. of State Kyle Ardoin initiated and Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards completed the process of kicking back Oct. 9 elections to Nov. 13, and any runoffs needed from Nov. 13 to Dec. 11, due to the impact of Hurricane Ida. That move became even more necessary with the pile-on of Hurricane Nicolas, with the storms wrecking some polling places, displacing voters temporarily, and perhaps even delaying past the original date the restoration of power at some precincts.

To some degree, Louisiana elections in year after a presidential election retain some participation fragility. Without high profile state or national contests on the fall ballot compared to all other years in the quadrennial cycle, turnout tends on the low side. As a point of reference, the typical October general election in the 21st century has drawn, working backwards from 2017, 14.27, 13.22, 10.88, 13.2, and 21 percent of the electorate.


DOJ LSP review bad idea, politically moot

All of the chief of the Louisiana State Police, the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus, and the state’s only Democrat elected to federal office all are open to, if not asking for, a U.S. Department of Justice “pattern or practice” review of the LSP. Bad idea, the data show, and politics may torpedo it in any event.

In July, the Caucus put in a formal request for DOJ to perform this, where the agency looks for a “pattern or practice” of action by a law enforcement agency that violates either constitutional protections or federal laws. It comprehensively evaluates the law enforcement agency’s written policies and actual practices, including its systems for training, equipping, and supervising officers; how it collects and uses data to identify and address problems; its systems for holding officers accountable for misconduct; and the degree of accountability to community voices and democratic government.

The request was spurred by media revelations of highly questionable LSP officer conduct in the traffic stop of Ronald Greene, a black motorist on the road in northeast Louisiana, that appears to have contributed to his death incident to an arrest. Other internal LSP documents also obtained through information requests revealed additional sketchy incidents over the past decade where allegedly excessive force was used.


LSU System proves capital of LA's covidiots

In a state government with a fair amount of covidiots on the loose from the Governor’s Mansion on down, the Louisiana State University System has proven itself their capital.

This week begins implementation of the irrational vaccine passport on its campuses. Students must present proof of vaccination or recent infection from the Wuhan coronavirus or a recent negative test for it or else face disenrollment. Employees at the Baton Rouge campus have until Oct. 15 to do the same or face adverse personnel actions including the possibility of termination (fortunately, some other campuses in the system aren’t as draconian; for example, they foist these requirements only on students and employees who make on-campus physical appearances). For now, at least campuses have arranged for free periodic testing and shots courtesy of the orgy of spending provided through endless money printing by a federal government run by Democrats.

The policy makes no sense at all if it’s done in the name of “safety;” i.e., forcing the unvaccinated to get poked or prove the don’t have the virus so as to protect others, because it is the unvaccinated at risk and they voluntarily have chosen that status (some on medical advice). One could argue that protection could still come against “breakout” infections of those vaccinated, except that there’s no difference between the viral loads of vaccinated and unvaccinated folks recently exposed. Simply, unvaccinated people are no more likely to threaten to spread the virus to others than those vaccinated.