This has been a rough few months for ed reform beauty queen John White. Super White has often been the belle of the ball around these parts, winning praise over the years from widely diverse constituencies, from liberal education reformers in New Orleans, to conservative business elite the state over. He leads a cult of young, idealistic followers at the DOE, many of which are religiously devoted to data-driven education revolution. White’s ascension to Superintendent, with massive infusions of money to swing BESE races in his favor in 2011 (including hundreds of thousands of Bloomberg money to elect pro-White BESE members, as chronological at this anti-Common Core blog) has been swift. His fall might be swifter.
There is a reason the death penalty is rarely enforced anymore, particularly in the federal judicial system. Too many innocent victims are being convicted, based on cover-ups and the withholding of exculpatory evidence by some federal and state prosecutors. A recent study published in the National Academy of Sciences concludes that some 4.1 percent of inmates on death row are innocent. More than four percent. If that were the rate of airplanes crashing, would you fly?
Legal scholar John Whitehead, who writes about the pursuit of justice for The Rutherford Institute, and who has appeared on my nationally syndicated radio program, says the criminal justice system in the U.S. is consistently error-bound and flawed.
He writes of a recent Columbia University study on 5,760 capital cases where “the report found an overall error rate of 68%. In other words, courts found serious reversible errors in nearly 7 out of 10 capitol cases….with the most common errors involved prosecutorial suppression of evidence and other misconduct.”
by Ron Chapman
A very tragic event occurred this past week when a Malaysian commercial airliner was mistakenly shot down by a military rocket. A lot of questions about this event remain, and entirely too much propaganda is being disseminated. It appears there is an effort to craft this tragic event for political advantage.
By John Kennedy, State Treasurer
Unless you just parachuted in from Mars, you've probably seen media reports about the retirement bill recently passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor (Act 859) that boosts the retirement benefits for a small number (allegedly two) of Louisiana State Police Troopers. The benefits-boosting provision, again according to media reports, was added to an unrelated bill on the last day of the legislative session by a six-person conference committee that did not meet publicly. All six of the conferees say they did not sponsor the amendment.
If Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy wishes to confirm his conservative credentials in his contest to knock off Democrat Sen. Mary Landrieu, he should vote to end welfare to big businesses and discrimination against private banks, and not become what fellow Republican Rep. Charles Boustany has on the issue of reauthorization of the U.S. Export-Import Bank.
by Tom Aswell, Publisher of the Louisiana Voice
The following is a guest column offered by Baton Rouge teacher Fred Aldrich who, along with thousands of others, listened Monday as Superintendent of State Police Mike Edmonson appeared on the Jim Engster Show to defend the amendment tacked onto an unrelated bill on the final day of the legislative session which will give Edmonson an additional $55,000 (not $30,000 as first reported—we’ll explain at the end of Aldrich’s guest column) upon his retirement—a nice bonus unique to Edmonson and one other state trooper.
I am a long-time listener to NPR station WRKF, and I listen to the Jim Engster show whenever possible. I don’t always agree with Jim or his guests, but I usually don’t find my disagreements worthy of a response. Today was an exception.
The comments of Jim’s guests are not the opinions of Jim or WRKF, but unfortunately those comments may be spin and/or misinformation which listeners will take as truth.
State Police Superintendent Mike Edmonson was on the show this morning. I have great respect for the state police, and I have considered Edmonson one of the good guys in the Jindal administration. This morning’s interview, however, was problematical for me in several ways.
For too often over the past six years or so, many of us have been told that the Louisiana economy is growing in leaps and bounds, that we lead the rest of the country in economic growth.
Money really matters
Money really matters if you are running for a U.S. Senate seat in Louisiana.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu is seeking a fourth six-year term in the 2014 election.
Michael Hecht, President and CEO of GNO Inc, the economic development organization largely responsible for helping to bring in new companies into the New Orleans and the Southeast Louisiana region, discussed via a google hangout interview with Bayoubuzz publisher Stephen Sabludowsky, the current advances in the local economy:
Col. Mike Edmonson, Superintendent of the Louisiana State Police, defended his and other actions taken on his behalf, on Jim Engster ‘s WRKF radio program this morning.