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Con man Edwards saves biggest lie for last

With Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards having produced a track record of mendacity so obvious that his schtick has become knee-slapping to the guffawing informed public in Louisiana, he saved his best for last at his end-of-year news conference/end-of-office funerary, its ridiculousness punctuated by the most recent census data release.

This obloquy represented another segment of his ongoing propaganda campaign to convince any of the gullible within earshot that his two terms weren’t an undisputed failure. At it, he topped what had been his previous most egregious of many fibs – when he told a radio audience he doubted black motorist Ronald Greene had died at the hands of Louisiana State Police without resisting arrest all the while having to know that was the case within hours of the incident over two years before – when this week he blithely and with all seriousness declared, “I can tell you that by any metric you can come up with and objectively speaking, we are much better off today than the day I first took office.”

Let’s count the many ways in which this assertion strays so far from truthfulness:


Landry interested in exciting Medicaid reform

Incoming governor Republican Atty. Gen. Jeff Landry, for now, is showing he’s seeking a home run when it comes to smaller, more efficient yet as effective government when, as part of his introduction of new (and solid) appointees to his administration, he noted willingness to establish co-payments and work requirements for Medicaid recipients in Louisiana.

Medicaid blows away any other single spending item in the state’s budget. The latest projections have it spending $3.75 billion this year in state taxpayer dollars, which in terms of those dollars only elementary and secondary education rivals, but throwing in $13.5 billion in federal dollars means about three-eighths of total state spending goes out the door for this program.

Both cost sharing by and community engagement requirements of some program recipients not only could return a little offsetting revenue but also could results in wiser utilization that reduces costs, as clients behave more responsibly in their consumption of health care on the dole. Research profusely demonstrates over a variety of welfare programs that asking for exchanges of resources with clients, whether that be cash, labor, or action or desire to participate in the paid or unpaid workforce reduces dependency on welfare without a decline in well-being of the clients.


BC extending transparency, Jury still obscurant

While Bossier City continues to make progress with its transparency, Bossier Parish’s easily-fixed struggles continue.

In its meeting this week, the City Council approved a measure that ultimately could make ordinances and other legal items readily available. This will enable digitization of decades-old material, as part of a preservation effort, that potentially could make it all available online.

At present, for these records Bossier City’s online access is hit and miss. On its Municode website that presents the charter and ordinance, the listing for ordinances by year and number is maddeningly incomplete. For example, all passed in 2016 are archived, but there are none for 2015, and even the most recent 2022 only has seven out of 127. Hopefully, this will lead to an online searchable database that lists every passed ordinance and resolution text going several decades into the past.


LA universities need better free speech policies

Louisiana State University System President William Tate IV, on the eve of a change in gubernatorial administrations to one which he doesn’t see eye-to-eye, is saying the right things. Still, he needs to put his money where his mouth is on others.

With the cocoon in which higher education exists catching out some prominent university leaders recently over their schools’ reactions to anti-Semitic activities, Tate has avoided any such problems with a very sensible attitude that should be made official policy at all Louisiana public institutions: the Kalven Principle of university neutrality regarding public issues. Recently, he spoke to his faculty members at the Louisiana State University campus about how he’ll not comment on political controversies but then try to defend faculty and student commentary.

It shows he’s come a long way from almost three decades ago when his academic publications complained about how math education, an allegedly white-created/"Eurocentric" pedagogical environment, stultified and misjudged black children’s learning, as well as missed opportunities to become an agent of social change. With a woke worldview dimly looked upon by incoming governor Republican Atty. Gen. Jeff Landry, in his over two years leading the system Tate hasn’t publicly articulated an opinion for any agenda related to his past published views or any others, including his silence over a measure that failed this year in the Legislature for a report about “diversity, equity, and inclusion” efforts in state higher education criticized by two other system heads.


Another week, another chance to derail LA case

The rollercoaster ride that is the suit against Louisiana for its congressional apportionment continues, although the real drama for this week came courtesy of parties completely unconnected to the case.

Last week, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals turned down the state’s request – backed by a dozen others who signed on to argue in its favor – to have the entire circuit hear whether the case should be reconsidered in light of its northern neighbor the Eight Circuit’s ruling on a similar case. In that other case, a panel of the Eight Circuit held that plaintiffs, backed by private special interest groups, had no right to intervene in a reapportionment case by taking literally the wording of statute to rule that only the U.S. government could bring such cases against states and local governments.

A Fifth Circuit panel had said the issue didn’t warrant throwing the case out, and after the state had asked for an en banc hearing the federal government had joined the plaintiffs, for the moment seemingly making the matter moot. In the meantime, the district court which officially has the case in its hands ruled that the Louisiana Legislature had until Jan. 30 to make another attempt to draw a map conforming to reapportionment jurisdiction as it stands at the moment, and if it didn’t act then the court would draw the map, but if it did and the plaintiffs protested, a trial over it starting Mar. 24 that could lead to the imposition of a new map if the revised one was found wanting could be done by the court shortly thereafter.