Jim Brown is a Louisiana legislator, Secretary of State and Insurance Commissioner.
Achievement in U.S. elementary schools lags behind many industrialized countries. The U.S. comes in 16th in science and 23rd in math. Our major economic competitors -- China, Japan, Canada, Germany and Korea -- are far ahead. So why is it so hard for us to implement new approaches that will improve our kids’ performance?
Legislation is working its way through the Louisiana legislature that would strip levee districts of their autonomy. Board members of several large levee boards are crying foul and charge that flood protection will suffer and emergency responses will slow down. Louisiana has twenty-three levee boards that cover the state’s waterways from the Arkansas border to the Gulf of Mexico. But here’s the question. Why have any levee boards at all?
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal made a splash of headlines a few weeks ago by proposing his alternative to Obamacare. Many of his ideas are the part of the same list he’s been shopping around for years, some of it pieced together from a litany of Republican proposals. He’s being blistered by a number of state and national columnists for not putting forth anything new or original.
Down on the Bayou in my home state of Louisiana, there’s a feeding frenzy going on. Now, if you live in the state but have been on vacation, say, in the Ukraine, you may not be aware that the Fifth District Congressman Vance McAllister is in a real pickle and has created quite a mess for himself. The vultures from his own Republican Party smell blood, and they’re already pouncing.
For the fourth year in a row, Louisiana is number one. That’s right! Once again, the Bayou State has been named as the home of the worst drivers in America.
Millions of rabid college basketball fans have been glued to their TVs over the past month as March Madness reaches its crescendo. And the big bucks have been rolling in. With coaches getting bigger salaries and colleges splitting huge TV and admission revenue, there are lots of winners. But one group is being exploited and shortchanged — the players themselves.
Louisiana’s congressional members of both parties were throwing cheers and high fives. They had done it. They had put an end to the proposed outrageous flood insurance rates. “I’m very proud,” beamed Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu. Her challenger in the coming fall election, Congressman Bill Cassidy, papered the state with press releases exclaiming, “This is a great day for Louisiana.”
It shouldn’t have surprised anyone paying attention to Louisiana politics. Former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards made it official this week. He will be a candidate for the U.S. Congress in the coming fall election. The political prognosticators say the congressional district has been gerrymandered by the Louisiana legislature to favor a republican candidate. Edwards feels otherwise.
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal threw a hissy fit in front of the White House earlier this month. He joined other governors in having a non-partisan luncheon with the president, then walked out on the lawn and began blasting away at what he perceived to be the Obama ineptitude. Connecticut Governor Daniel Malloy called Jindal a “cheap shot artist,” and even Jindal’s fellow republican colleagues rolled their eyes in dismay.
It could be the most recognized American song worldwide. Go to a small Asian community were little or no English is spoken. Then start humming “You Are MySunshine.” More likely than not, the locals will join in singing along. Everyone knows the words to a down home tune written by a Louisiana country singer and movie star. And he was sworn in as Louisiana Governor seventy years ago this week.