For years, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has been proclaiming the Louisiana economy is out-performing the rest of the nation. In fact, the economy has improved as the oil prices escalated. Now that prices have dropped significantly, the government is in serious debt and many lawmakers are looking to reduce some of the incentives used to attract businesses.
But, there's also bad-good news on the job front.
Louisiana is not doing a good job with some good news. The population has increased but so has the joblessness rate.
The Washington Post published an article citing, "Jobless-rate moves in 2014: Colorado best, Louisiana worst".
According to the report, "Colorado’s unemployment rate fell by a third. Louisiana’s jumped nearly a quarter."
"Even Louisiana’s gain masked some good news: The state added a healthy number of jobs — just not enough to keep up with population growth."
"Rates rose in only two states last year. The largest was in Louisiana, whose rate jumped to 6.7 percent from 5.4 percent. But that jump occurred because more people moved into the state and didn’t find work, not because companies weren’t hiring. Louisiana added 29,000 jobs, a 1.5 percent increase. But the number of unemployed people rose to 146,000 from 112,500."
Kyle Hillman, an economist at Moody’s, said Louisiana’s higher unemployment rate was actually a positive sign. He noted that it showed “people are going there to get jobs,” even if many of them aren’t being hired right away.
DEMOS LAUD LILLY LEDBETTER FAIR PAY
Louisiana Democratic Party Chair Karen Carter Peterson on Thursday released the following statement on the 6th anniversary of President Barack Obama signing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law:
“It’s hard to believe that it’s already been six years since President Obama signed the first law of his administration, but I’m so proud it was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. That action was a strong statement about our core Democratic values of fairness and opportunity for all.
“Unfortunately, since that time Republicans have stonewalled any attempt to continue progress on the issue of paycheck fairness. Meanwhile, Louisiana women have fallen further behind. Our state has the pitiful distinction of having the worst gender pay gap in the nation -- but our Republican members of Congress, including David Vitter and Bill Cassidy, have consistently opposed any attempt to address this critical issue.
“Louisiana women deserve better. Louisiana families deserve better. They deserve leaders that understand the wage gap hurts middle-class families and holds back our state’s economic potential. Because congressional Republicans have refused to act, Democrats in the Louisiana legislature will continue to stand up and fight for equal pay.”
Every single member of Louisiana’s delegation that was in Congress in 2009 voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act:
• Vitter - NO
(S. 181, Vote #14, 1/22/09)
• Cassidy - NO
• Scalise - NO
• Boustany - NO
• Fleming - NO
(S. 181, Vote #37, 1/27/09)
In addition, Gov. Bobby Jindal voted against Lilly Ledbetter legislation when he was serving in the U.S. House (H.R. 2831, Vote #768, 7/31/07).
In 2014 the American Association of University Women (AAUW) ranked Louisiana as the worst state in the nation for pay inequity. The national gender wage gap is 78 cents on the dollar; however, Louisiana women earn just 66 cents for every dollar paid to Louisiana men. It’s even worse in Boustany’s 3rd Congressional District, where women only earn 61 cents on the dollar.
HAVE LOUISIANA GUNS WILL KILL
Newly available data for 2013 reveals that states with weak gun violence prevention laws and higher rates of gun ownership have the highest overall gun death rates in the nation, according to a Violence Policy Center (VPC) analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.
Meanwhile, states with the lowest overall gun death rates have lower rates of gun ownership and some of the strongest gun violence prevention laws in the nation. However, even in these states the human toll of gun violence is far above the gun death rate in other industrialized nations.
The VPC analysis refers to overall gun death rates in 2013, the most recent year for which data is available. A table of the states with the five highest gun death rates and the five lowest gun death rates is below. For a list of gun death rates in all 50 states, see http://www.vpc.org/fadeathchart15.htm.
States with the Five Highest Gun Death Rates
Rank State Household Gun Ownership Gun Death Rate Per 100,000
1 Alaska 60.6 percent 19.59
2 Louisiana 45.6 percent 19.15
3 Alabama 57.2 percent 17.79
4 Mississippi 54.3 percent 17.55
5 Wyoming 62.8 percent 17.51
States with the Five Lowest Gun Death Rates
Rank State Household Gun Ownership Gun Death Rate Per 100,000
50 Hawaii 9.7 percent 2.71
49 Massachusetts 12.8 percent 3.18
48 New York 18.1 percent 4.39
47 Connecticut 16.2 percent 4.48
46 Rhode Island 13.3 percent 5.33
The five states with the highest per capita gun death rates in 2013 were Alaska, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and Wyoming. Each of these states has extremely lax gun violence prevention laws as well as a higher rate of gun ownership. The state with the lowest gun death rate in the nation was Hawaii, followed by Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Each of these states has strong gun violence prevention laws and a lower rate of gun ownership.
“Reducing exposure to firearms and having stronger gun laws saves lives,” says VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand. “Each year, the data consistently show that states with strong gun violence prevention laws and low rates of gun ownership have the lowest gun death rates in the nation. The highest gun death rates are in states with weak gun violence prevention laws and easy access to guns.”
“This report should be a wake-up call to state legislators,” says Cathie Whittenburg, communications director of States United to Prevent Gun Violence. “There is no higher priority for elected officials than enacting laws that keep families safe from death and injury.”
The nationwide gun death rate was 10.64 per 100,000. The total number of Americans killed by gunfire rose to 33,636 in 2013 from 33,563 in 2012.
America’s gun death rates — both nationwide and in the states — dwarf those of other industrialized nations. In 2011, the gun death rate in the United Kingdom was 0.23 per 100,000 and in Australia the gun death rate was 0.86 per 100,000. (Data for these countries is available at GunPolicy.org, hosted by the Sydney School of Public Health at the University of Sydney in Australia.)
State gun death rates are calculated by dividing the number of gun deaths by the total state population and multiplying the result by 100,000 to obtain the rate per 100,000, which is the standard and accepted method for comparing fatal levels of gun violence.
The VPC defined states with “weak” gun violence prevention laws as those that add little or nothing to federal law and have permissive laws governing the open or concealed carrying of firearms in public. States with “strong” gun violence prevention laws were defined as those that add significant state regulation that is absent from federal law, such as restricting access to particularly hazardous and deadly types of firearms (for example, assault weapons), setting minimum safety standards for firearms and/or requiring a permit to purchase a firearm, and restricting the open and concealed carrying of firearms in public.
State gun ownership rates were obtained from the September 2005 Pediatrics article “Prevalence of Household Firearms and Firearm-Storage Practices in the 50 States and the District of Columbia: Findings From the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2002,” which is the most recent comprehensive published data available on state gun ownership.
DID JINDAL WIN WITH PRAYERS?
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has not received the best media as a result of his prayer day, especially from the leftish media.
Here is one example:
Bobby Jindal Wants to Fistfight Your God
The American Family Association is a hate group. Yet, the governor of Louisiana just spoke to the group. Shouldn’t this matter?
“Our God wins!” Who do you think made this statement on Saturday in the hopes of rallying a group of religious fundamentalists? A. The leader of ISIS; B. A Yemeni militant commander; C. A radical Islamic cleric; or D. Louisiana Republican Governor Bobby Jindal
MARC MORIAL DISCUSSES HOLLYWOOD DIVERSITY
"Diversity is basically a description of independence. Diversity is what moves the ball for me, and I thought 'give people a chance that have different points of view. Let the audience decide whether they like it or not. But give those voices a chance to be seen and heard." - Robert Redford, actor, director, and co-founder of Sundance Film Festival
Hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the 87th annual Academy Awards ceremony - better known as the Oscars - will either best be remembered for the uproar incited by this year's homogenous nominations, or as a seminal moment for change in the Academy's long, non-inclusive history.
For the first time since 1998, the stage has been set for our nation to celebrate its least diverse Oscars. In a year that saw Oscar-worthy turns from several actors of color, none were nominated in the acting categories, with all 20 acting nominations going to white actors. But the story doesn't end there. Not a single woman stood among the five directors and 14 screenwriters nominated in those categories.
In a nation where nearly 51 percent of the population is female, how can formidable directors like Ava DuVernay for Selma and Angelina Jolie for Unbroken find themselves on the cutting room floor of the nomination selection? In a nation where, according to a 2014 Pew Research Center survey, "Some 43% of Millennial adults are non-white, the highest share of any generation," how does the Academy's nominees not reflect Hollywood's audience base or the nation in which we live?
In response to the outcry surrounding this year's Oscar nominations, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the first African American and third female president of the Academy, spoke to the Associated Press and pointed to progress in the Academy's efforts to reflect our nation's diverse, movie-going audience. She noted, "In the last two years, we've made greater strides than we ever have in the past toward becoming a more diverse and inclusive organization through admitting new members and more inclusive classes of members," adding, "I would love to see and look forward to see a greater cultural diversity among all our nominees in all of our categories." I share her vision, but the question remains of when those words will be put into a plan of action - and championed by the broader industry.
A much-cited 2012 survey of the Academy by the Los Angeles Times demonstrates the crux of the problem. According to the survey, the estimated 7,000 Academy members are 94 percent White, 77 percent male and have a median age of 62 - hardly a representative reflection of the nation.
While my role is not to question the film credentials of the Academy's members, I do question the ability of such a homogenous body to reflect the perspectives, lives, and stories of a diverse pool of moviemakers - and moviegoers. I would also question the ability of the Academy to monitor itself and become a more inclusive body without the pressure of public scrutiny and advocacy.
Here are a few things to note about Academy membership: membership is "limited to film artists working in the production of theatrically-released motion pictures...The Academy's membership process is by sponsorship, not application. Candidates must be sponsored by two Academy members from the branch to which the candidate seeks admission. Additionally, Academy Award nominees are automatically considered for membership and do not require sponsors...The Board decides which individuals will receive invitations."
The Academy's membership requirements are both an indictment and call to action. When women and minorities are snubbed at the Oscars, it means much more than wounded gender or ethnic pride. It means that we, as a nation, have lost an opportunity to reflect our unique diversity via a medium that touches so many of our lives. It means we have lost another seat at the proverbial Oscar table.
This is about more than awards deferred; it is about dreams deferred. It is about the lack of racial and gender diversity we find both behind the screen and in front of it. It is about the inevitable way the Academy's membership roll directly influences who gets nominated and who wins.
What it is not about is an unfair advantage, but instead, a fair chance to have the work of a wider swath of our filmmakers, casts and crews considered. That must begin with a significant change in the composition of the Academy.
I would be remiss not to acknowledge the strides the Academy has begun to make to address its diversity issues. Hiring Boone Isaacs as its president was an important step on the road to diversifying, and her decision to remove a cap on the number of Academy members and push for Academy members to invite a more diverse pool of people to apply are the first of many important steps that must be taken on the journey towards inclusion. But more must be done.
Progress rarely comes as a result of being passive. I urge you to join me in efforts to ensure more inclusion in Hollywood so that we can look back on the 2015 Oscars as the catalyst that spurred action for much-needed industry reform.