Search This Blog


Bad news for alarmists won't change their ways

The good news is bad news and the bad news is, well, worse for Louisiana’s Governor’s Mansion, a few City Halls, and other catastrophic anthropogenic global warming cultists scattered throughout the state.

Into September and no named hurricanes have formed in the Atlantic Ocean, the first time since 1941 none have popped up as yet after Independence Day. It’s good news for a state in recent years plowed into by some storms, yet for some it’s, but man-made climate change!

Because, according to the CAGW faith, increased carbon dioxide output is supposed to translate into more and more intense storms. Never mind to them that neither the record nor the science supports such alarmism (to the relief of the state’s brown pelicans), and the only man-made threat to trigger such warming that might cause this is the enormous amount of hot air coming out of the mouths of cultists on this subject.


Questionable Perkins actions just keep coming

Shreveport Democrat Mayor Adrian Perkins might still have a chance at reelection, but recent events show how he remains in hot water, of his own making.

With a questionable judicial decision allowing him to remain on the ballot, his present problem is how to advance to the inevitable general election runoff. Over three years of shooting himself in the foot on dimensions of both policy and ethics have imperiled that, and the misses just keep coming.

Just since the start of the year – after months of relative quiet after his disastrous showing in the 2020 Senate contest – through the qualification controversy the unforced errors Perkins instigated include apparent favoritism if not discrimination in hiring a finance director in trying to bury allegations of fiscal irregularities, ousting the long-time manager of city pools over the racial composition of it leadership only to have to back down and rehire it, and trying to force through a recycling contract to an entity with no experience in or infrastructure for it and which refused to take the proper steps to complete the assignment. Now a couple of other issues have surfaced which reflect poorly on the competency of the Perkins Administration.


Tort reform opponent may spice up rematch

Having to make do with a Republican that played footsie with them in 2019, the 2023 Louisiana state insurance commissioner’s race may produce a better match for Democrats by featuring another Republican historically more compatible with them on the issues.

Actually, the job doesn’t give its occupant much leeway to influence what voters find the most consequential issues: rates and payouts. At the margins, rulings by the commissioner in specific situations affect the latter, and by the department’s oversight of rates (and thereby an insurer’s rate of return) determines the former, but he walks a thin line in that trying to have firms present lower rates might discourage them from writing policies at all. Nobody is forced to sell insurance in the state, so if he comes down too hard on them, they walk, which then generally leads to an increase in rates due to reduced competition.

These dynamics particularly play out over the level of service companies provide after disasters of various kinds (all the way from widespread major storm activity to isolated instances such as destructive hail) and with vehicle insurance rates. A major issue in 2019 was tort reform, where at the time Louisiana was a major outlier in policy favoring plaintiffs and thereby fattening the purses of trial lawyers behind such cases, with these policies causing rates that for years exceeded those in almost every other state substantially, but in some cases by double or more.


LA can't afford to delay school choice reforms

Once a leader in education reform, Louisiana has fallen behind the rest of the country thanks largely to regnant faith in a one-size-fits-all Soviet model of education, a revanchism led by Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards but insufficiently challenged by lawmakers who should know better.

As states begin a new policy-making cycle, many have launched new education initiatives or seem poised to do so. Over a decade ago, a similar wave occurred with the shellacking Democrats, who typically favor a model of government dictating to families what students can attend what schools facilitating little choice in the process, received from voters at both the national and state levels. Then the main issue was stagnating, if not declining, performance.

Another heavy defeat seems headed Democrats’ way this fall, but other issues have joined performance as concerns among voters. The Wuhan coronavirus pandemic lay bare prevailing attitudes among those enamored with the government-primacy model of education delivery, where the response put the interests of administrators, teacher unions, and leftist politicians ahead of children’s, in creating barriers towards the most effective leaning models such as in-person education. The costs to all children were stark – in schools and districts run by the most ardent followers of this, and especially in higher-poverty ones, significant measured drops in outcomes took months of learning away from students that will haunt them the rest of their lives.


Carriageway sinkhole growing, needs reckoning

Take a handful of politicians desirous of creating monuments with other peoples’ money, throw in their favored contactor shielded from competition, and you get the sinkhole that has become Bossier City’s Walter O. Bigby Carriageway, spending on which has contributed to Bossier Citians having the highest per capita debt of any significant city in Louisiana, by far.

It’s not that the expressway, which latches onto the northern end of the Arthur Ray Teague Parkway (at one time it was known as the Parkway North Project) that when completed at Benton Road/Citizens Bank Drive will provide north-south access across the city with no railway crossings and few controlled intersections, is inherently a bad idea. It’s that a number of city councilors – with Democrat Bubba Williams, no party Jeff Darby, and Republicans Jeff Free and David Montgomery still in office from the project’s start – have taken such a cavalier attitude about the taxpayer dollars involved, fueled by placing overall management of the project since 2019 in the hands of Manchac Engineering, acting as city engineer but with a no-bid contract and thereby having reduced incentive to hold costs down.

Add to this that the project’s price presented for public consumption keeps varying and has become subject to substantial extras that in some cases should have been anticipated. Funding originally for it came from a bond issue in 2015, at the time named the 2015 LCDA Bond Fund (“LCDA” stands for the state agency that originated the loan, the Louisiana Local Government Environmental Facilities and Community Development Authority). The original purpose was for funding both the downtown revitalization project now basically completed and the WOBC, for $50 million. By 2016 with little activity on both accounts the balance had grown to nearly $52 million.