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LA colleges shouldn't use race, sex preferences

Why should Louisiana wait on the U.S. Supreme Court? Ban its public universities and colleges from using race, sex, or national origin in admissions decisions – and go further by extending the same to most financial aid.

SB 128 by Republican state Sen. Jay Morris would accomplish this. Insofar as admissions, it anticipates what the Court likely will do before the quarter is out in a pair of cases before it, although that decision also would apply to private and proprietary schools in the state that receive any kind of federal funding, even indirectly.

It makes sense. Even proponents of the practice of affirmative action, where admittance decisions give extra weight to individuals with certain immutable characteristics as a compensation for past discrimination of the entire broad class of such people, admit at best it has a mixed record in aiding presumably disadvantaged groups, while opponents – which include a solid majority of the American public – point out it actually poses harm to such individuals in that it sets them up for failure by admitting them to more-demanding institutions when their backgrounds on the basis of past achievement suggest they would do better at other, less selective schools.


Agenda shifts might fail ambitious candidates

It’s no accident that earlier this week a Louisiana legislator made a long-predicted party switch and a statewide official would choose to announce a deferral of reelection. Both relate to the political fortunes and future of Republican House Speaker Clay Schexnayder.

State Rep. Jeremy LaCombe proclaimed he had shed his Democrat label in favor of the Republican. By the numbers, that now gives the GOP at 71 seats a chamber supermajority plus one and sends Democrats to a dismal 32, of which only five are white like Lacombe.

LaCombe saw the writing on the wall after losing a special election for state Senate against a rookie but solidly conservative Republican, and additionally as a result of reapportionment his district saw its proportion of white voters increase five percentage points relative to its proportion of black registrants, who typically vote for Democrats. Whether that means much in terms of supporting a conservative Republican agenda at first glance seems minimal: with a Louisiana Legislative Log score averaging just over 53 for the past term, it puts him at a lower score than every Republican along with another relatively recent convert who plans to leave the chamber after this year, state Rep. Malinda White (higher scores mean more fidelity to a conservative/reform agenda, and his score is well below both the chamber mean and that of GOP representatives). Conservative votes on some social issues, primarily related to abortion, elevated his score.


Honesty, not evasion, best remedy for mistake

The toughest thing for an elected official to do is pick himself up off the ground after making a blunder. So it’s encouraging that even if they made the wrong choice on hanging a huge future liability around Bossier City’s neck, Republican City Councilors Chris Smith and Brian Hammons made the right choice to face constituents publicly on this issue, as well as take questions on other matters.

The pair will appear Apr. 12 from noon to 1 PM at the Bellaire South Complex at 4330 Panther Drive Bossier City for the monthly meeting of the South Bossier Lunch Group. Smith is an at-large councilor but who lives in south Bossier City, while Hammons represents the southern-most constituency in the city, District 1.

Last week, both voted for a proposal that would reimburse the Port of Caddo-Bossier for costs related to the Port’s construction of a water distribution and treatment facility on its property. The city would operate and maintain this but would not own it. Using figures stated by the Port Commission’s executive director Eric England and reviewing similar bond issue costs, the total liability the city signed onto is $62 million over 40 years beginning payouts as soon as it draws one drop of water at any time during those four decades.


Edwards last speech sanctimonious, deceptive

It didn’t take eight years to understand the hypocritical charlatan that is Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards, but it was his last State of the State speech that laid it out most plainly.

The annual address by the governor to the start of the regular legislative session was larded up with the typical assortment of misleading statements, either because these didn’t have the proper context or implied something false. As examples of the former, Edwards proclaimed how the state’s all-time low unemployment rate equated to more Louisianans working than ever – but not mentioning the unemployment rate is at a historic low largely because of depopulation (the state having 91,000 fewer residents than when he took office, likely largely economic refugees) and the labor force participation rate being at a 45-year low (absent the pandemic period), 1.4 points lower than in 2016 and in the nation’s bottom ten, leaving the state with almost 35,000 fewer nonfarm jobs than six years ago. And as for the latter, he placed “climate change” and “Storms are getting stronger and more frequent” in the same breath to imply a relationship, when in fact storms haven’t changed in severity or frequency in recent times.

At a few points, however, he did outright lie. One he has often repeated cropped back up on this occasion, that because of Medicaid expansion he triggered – which now costs state taxpayers directly, not even counting the extra federal taxes they pay for it, $451 million a year –  “we haven’t had a single rural hospital closure. Not. One.” In fact, even before he ran for reelection that was demonstrably false.


Easter Sunday, 2023

This column publishes five days weekly after noon U.S. Central Time (maybe even after sundown on busy days, or maybe before noon if things work out, or even sometimes on the weekend if there's big news) except whenever a significant national holiday falls on the Monday through Friday associated with the otherwise-usual publication on the previous day (unless it is Thanksgiving Day, Independence Day, Christmas, or New Year's Day when it is the day on which the holiday is observed by the U.S. government). In my opinion, in addition to these are also Easter Sunday, Memorial Day and Veterans' Day.

With Sunday, Apr. 9 being Easter, I invite you to explore this link.