Jim Brown is a Louisiana legislator, Secretary of State and Insurance Commissioner.
It’s springtime, my favorite time of year. The weather warms up without a lot of humidity. Flowers bloom at their very best. It’s the season of my birthday. If you live in Louisiana, we witness music festivals galore, including Mardi Gras, JazzFest and a host of local harmonic gatherings of local bands all over the state. And one more springtime reminder. It’s the beginning of baseball season.
With an increasing number of mass shootings in recent months, we are urged by law enforcement officials to keep an eye out. Report anything suspicious. “If you see something, say something” we are regularly told. The problem is, that in too many instances, the alarms raised by concerned citizens are falling on deaf ears.
In the current competition to land a new Amazon second North American headquarters, Louisiana pulled out all stops. It would have been quite a coup for a Louisiana location to land this big prize with some 50,000 new jobs to the winner. But from the beginning, the Bayou State never had a chance.
The president last week suggested that the nation establish a yearly military parade to honor the service and the sacrifice of the current military and our veterans. He spoke of it as “a unifying moment for the country.” Almost immediately, the Trump naysayers jumped all over the idea as nothing more than “pandering patriotism.” “Tanks, but no tanks,” was the opinion of the Washington Post.
It’s been a bad last few weeks for the nation’s top law enforcement agency. First, an innocent hostage was shot and killed in a botched raid in Houston by an FBI shooter. Then the television movie series “Waco,” debuted and revisited the FBI killings of innocent victims in both Ruby Ridge and Waco. And currently, the Bureau faces charges by members of congress of malfeasance and even interfering in the most recent president election.
ouisiana has one of the worst insurance regulatory environments in the nation. That is according to Washington-based conservative think tank R Street Institute in its 2017 Insurance Regulation Report Card just issued. And no, it’s not because of the trial lawyers or the big insurance companies. The blame is laid directly on the Louisiana legislature. In ranking states across the country, Louisiana was given an F.
The sky is falling, the sky is falling. At least the Louisiana fiscal sky is in a tailspin, or so says Governor John Bel Edwards and a number of legislative leaders. The hue and cry is for one billion dollars in new taxes along with significant fee increases. Even the local papers are chiming in with headlines like “The fiscal threat is real to colleges” and about to “get real.” What a poor taxpayer to think?
I don’t normally write a sports column, but a few words would seem appropriate after Alabama’s startling victory this past Monday night in the College Football Championship game. Simply put, love him or hate him, Alabama head coach Nick Saban is the best college coach in football today, and maybe the best college coach ever.
There has been a lot of bad news out of LSU, Louisiana’s flagship university in recent weeks. Not just on the football field where the Tigers have completed a mediocre season, even though they have the highest salaried group of coaches in the nation. Campus shortcomings have raised a number of troubling questions about poor administrative decisions being made.
In Louisiana, a number of Jefferson and St. Tammany Parish officials were aghast a few years ago over a proposal to sell the Causeway Bridge that goes to the North Shore across Lake Pontchartrain. When the state’s largest paper, the Times Picayune, mixed the idea editorially, one elected official after the other fell all over themselves running away from even any talk of such an atrocity.