First of all, I would like to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving to all of you and your family.
This past week was an extremely busy one and included the preview of the Celebration in the Oaks at City Park, the Beaujolais Noveau Celebration at the JW Marriott, the annual Alexis de Tocqueville Gala that this year honored philanthropist Bill Goldring; the annual March of Dimes Celebrity Chefs Gala that honored Sheriff Marlin Gusman at the Marriott; and the lovely Magic Flute opera at Mahalia Jackson Theatre for the Performing Arts. Of course, the victorious Saints made this week to be a very special one.
With two days to go before Thanksgiving, Louisiana and the rest of the nation are still responding to the November elections, the interface of the Republicans, Democrats and the Tea Party in both local and national news. Below is the first of the republishing of part of the stories culled by the conservative LaNewsLinks.com's newsletter, dated November 23, 2010:
Mayor Mitch Landrieu has cancelled the precautionary Boil Water advisory roughly two days after the The the Sewerage & Water Board lost 25-cycle power at its main water plant, causing low water pressure (as low as 10 pounds per square inch) throughout the East Bank of the City.
Friday afternoon news: Nov. 19
Jindal on Meet the Press, Carville, Obama and Clinton, Saints Without Pierre Thomas, Darren Sharper, Shockey; Louisiana creationism, no Morning Joe and More
Today, Greater New Orleans, Inc. announced that accomplished visual effects artist and animation supervisor Huck Wirtz is launching his new company, Bayou FX, as the first major new tenant in the I.P. North Building owned by Feil Organization and located in downtown Covington, La. Wirtz's experience includes work on Star Wars, Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Wild Wild West, Pearl Harbor, Men in Black 2, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, and the upcoming Mars Needs Moms. A Louisiana native originally from Abita Springs, Wirtz will officially open his business in January 2011, further expanding and strengthening the regional digital media industry.
I drank my first cup of coffee this morning while reading the letters to the editor section of my local newspaper. At the top was one written by an economist who got his degrees from our system of higher education in Louisiana. He made some excellent points:
“Admittedly, there is a symbiotic relationship between education and economic development, but the true line of causation is far from clear-cut. If a state cannot provide good employment opportunities for its graduates, the best educational institutions in the nation will not prevent the outmigration of human capital. In these circumstances, doubling or tripling (an institution’s) budget would not arrest the trend, so the problem must be more fundamental than mere lack of funds.”
Last year, before the President’s State of the Union address, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal was the fair haired boy of the national Republican Party. He had even been considered as a vice presidential candidate on the McCain ticket in 2008, and every pundit had him high up on the list of contenders for 2012. But like the old saying goes, “the south shall rise again.” Potential candidates for a Republican national ticket are emerging from all over the South. And while Jindal has to tend to the home state brush fires with a huge budget crisis and a reelection ahead, a number of southern candidates are free to raise money and head for Iowa.
The Louisiana budget issue is now getting more political and focused as Louisiana voters will soon be forced to decide upon measures that involve budget cuts, revenue increases or even a combination of both.
In a press release, a new coalition of organizations will ask Governor Bobby Jindal and the Louisiana legislature to “stop relying on drastic budget cuts to resolve the state’s budget crisis, and take a more balanced approach to meeting the state’s needs.”
The new coalition, is called the “Better Choices for a Better Louisiana,” and it comprises a growing number of business, faith, labor, health, education, community, and consumer groups throughout the state that “favor a balanced approach that includes revenue to maintain crucial services and invest in Louisiana’s future.”
The organization announced the coalition will hold a press conference on Thursday, November 18, at 11:30 A.M. on the steps of the State Capitol in Baton Rouge.
At the press conference, Better Choices for a Better Louisiana will make its first recommendations on bringing the budget crisis under control.
Organizations already committed to the goals of the Better Choices for a Better Louisiana Coalition include: Agenda for Children, Bayou Interfaith Shared Community Organizing, Children’s Defense Fund, EBR Federation of Teachers, Franklin Industries, La. AFL?CIO, La. Assoc. of Nonprofit Organizations, La. Budget Project, La. Consumer Healthcare Coalition, La. Federation of Teachers, La. NAACP, La. Primary Care Association, National Assoc. of Social Workers La. Chapter, National Assoc. for the Mentally Ill, LA, Professional Firefighters Association of La., Puentes New Orleans, Southern Research and Development Corporation
Another day, another announcement for all intents and purposes that a Louisiana Democrat lawmaker is going to switch to the Republican Party. But this one smacks even more of seeking electoral advantage.
Abraham Lincoln was elected President 150 years ago this week. Civil War buffs are looking back to these war years for lessons learned in the current debate over the stagnation of the American political process today. Historians have written over 26, 000 books on this time in history with the premise that there were two Americas-a house divided-back then. Do we find the same two Americas today?
The Tea Party movement has engulfed a Republican Party that now has an agenda of low expectations centered on whatever it takes to beat Obama in 2012. The Democrats, from the President on down, have lost control of the narrative with little vision of passion being offered to the American public. Forty percent of American voters think it’s time for a third party alternative.
Historian Philip Kennicott tells us that “The Civil War taught us, as a nation, our patterns of argument, our impatience with hypocrisy, our sense that every election is an apocalypse. It taught us how to be stupid, how to provoke our enemies, how to resist modernity, how to fight on after logic an argument have failed.”