Tic Toc. Tic Toc.
Roughly nine hours to go. When the clock strikes 12 midnight tonight, despite commonly-held belief, the princess won’t turn into a rag. But, if the Louisiana legislature and Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards do not resolve their differences, the bells would have tolled and the Louisiana legislative session will have collapsed again over the issue of the budget. Some call this process, fixing the fiscal cliff.
Rudy Giuliani touted his award as “FBI Man of the Year” and claimed that if the bureau had questions about any Russian collusion with Donald Trump, and/or his campaign, it should’ve spoken to him before opening an investigation. As a neutral, disinterested, third-party with appropriate clearances to receive counter-intelligence information, it’s a shame they didn’t because, Rudy says, there’d have been no need to waste taxpayers’ money on an investigation into a made-up Russia witch hunt now being conducted by Robert Mueller.
The U.S. Labor Department released another strong employment report today. It showed that nonfarm payrolls expanded by 223,000, far exceeding expectations of most economists. The unemployment rate dropped to 3.8%, the lowest since April of 2000. For African Americans, the unemployment rate was the lowest on record, at 5.9%.
Louisiana has been called the Culinary Mecca of America. Folks in this part of the country can take just about anything edible and make it not just good, but quite exceptional. And when we say anything, we mean everything. There is virtually no limit to what a Cajun will put in a gumbo. Well, because of federal restrictions, there is one thing-horsemeat.
For years, Congress has banned the sale of horsemeat for consumption in the U.S. But that could well change under the proposed budget by the Trump Administration.Now I’ll admit that most of us do not regularly run down to our local supermarket to check on whether a fresh shipment of horsemeat has arrived. But I’m not all that enamored by eating nutria, a large rat, that is regularly publicized as a tasty dish by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. So, to each his own.
This whole Trump-Roseanne Barr thing is a joke, even if the comedian isn't doing the laughing.
We now know that Ms. Barr, the former star from the ABC television program that has just been canned has proven that she can be as disgusting as Kathy Griffin when it comes time to punch lines to the gut. Griffin lost her job and popularity by displaying a body-less, bloody head of Trump. Now, Barr has followed suit with her racist and conspiratorial attempts at humor.
Only four full days, excluding today, left in the second extraordinary fiscal session of the Louisiana legislature called to fix the fiscal cliff, 2018.
Will the Louisiana legislature be able to come to an agreement prior to Monday midnight? Will a legislative agreement include more cuts to higher education, the hospitals, TOPS, the prison system and government infrastructure? If so, will the governor John Bel Edwards sign the budget into law?
“More left-wing political correctness”.
What about Michelle Wolf?
“This is the type of action that helps Donald Trump”
Those are the types of comments being heard and read in twittersphere, the media and now in the Starbucks coffee shops. Well, not yet as Starbucks is closed due to PC sensitivity training.
Today, all Starbucks locations around the nation are closing as their 175,000 employees will be given several hours of racial sensitivity training. This exercise in political correctness is in response to an incident in a Philadelphia Starbucks store that was captured on a cell phone video. Two African American customers were arrested after they were denied the use of a restroom after refusing to order anything or leave the store. After the video went viral and people across the nation expressed outrage, Starbucks settled with the men by paying them an undisclosed amount of money and giving them an offer of free education.
What’s a governor to do? What’s a Louisiana governor to do?
Which was somewhat the issue discussed yesterday. That’s when long-time State elected official and political observer Jim Brown and equally long-time political writer Tom Aswell (publisher of LouisianaVoice) and I got together online to talk about the current budget mess up in Baton Rouge. That mess might also be known as the “second special Louisiana Legislative fiscal session of 2018”. If the mess is not cleaned sufficiently over the next seven days, there is talk about a third crack at getting it right.
The Governor in question, of course is Democrat John Bel Edwards. He has started his third year in office and is trying to get his agenda and budget plans through the Republican-dominated legislature. His approach is a blend of taxes and spending cuts.
On Wednesday, "America's Lawyer" explained why he’s concerned about Trump testifying:
“Truth is relative. They may have a different version of the truth than we do.”
Apparently, it doesn’t take long for those surrounding Donald Trump to embrace and promote alternative realities.
Billy Cannon died this week. He was a Louisiana sports legend. There are some things you just don’t forget. Where you were on 9/11, or when President John Kennedy was shot. Down here in the Bayou State, add to those special dates Halloween night 59 years ago when Billy Cannon made football history with his 87 yard run to beat Ole Miss and keep the Tigers undefeated. His story is the rise and fall, then the rise again by LSU’s all-time great sports hero.
After a year of needless controversy concerning player protests of the National Anthem, the NFL finally decided to act. At the owners meeting this week, a decision was made to require players to stand at attention during the National Anthem if they are on the playing field. Otherwise, players will be given the option to remain in the locker room. If players show disrespect during the National Anthem by sitting or kneeling, their team will be fined by the NFL.
It’s a common refrain by Republicans that the Russia investigation, headed by Robert Mueller, should be wrapped-up as soon as possible. Trump surrogate, Rudy Giuliani, has appeared, lately, on television more often than Stormy Daniels’ lawyer and Trump antagonist, Michael Avenatti, to make this point. Both are highly entertaining but each has failed to reveal more substance than form.
The Louisiana legislature is back in session for the fiscal budget fix. The assumption and perhaps conventional wisdom is that the legislature will somehow compromise on the $650 to $670 million dollar shortfall compared to last year’s budget for government services. But, that is no certainty.
Earlier this year, when there was roughly a billion dollar shortage, the legislature failed to pass a budget and while the current projected budget is now smaller, it would still take compromising on the part of all the lawmakers and the Governor, John Bel Edwrds.
What can cities, such as San Diego and New Orleans, do to ensure they are being sufficiently innovative for the future, while at the same time, taking care of their citizens now? What must they do?
In many respects, that seems to be the thrust of the efforts being made by Chelsea Collier, founder of Digi.City, who was in New Orleans this week and who sponsored a program involving city officials, the private sector and young entrepreneurs.
The new Mayor of New Orleans, LaToya Cantrell, has been saddled with many problems, courtesy of Mitch Landrieu, her self-serving predecessor. There is the ongoing crime crisis, highlighted by this morning’s double murder in the Desire neighborhood. Cantrell is also facing a Sewerage and Water Board debacle which became much worse during the Landrieu years. In addition, she faces the ongoing problems of potholes, homelessness, blight, drugs, poverty and the high unemployment rate, especially among African American males.