1980 Pacific hurricane season
more on current wind gusts
current weather - 7:30 CST Monday
current weather - 4:45 CST Monday
once in 2 lifetimes
hyatt moving people closer to ground
changing of the guard
sticking around for the hurricane
New blog address
This blog has moved to my new website. Please check it out. Thanks! Emily
Press for ethics legislation
In a move likely to leave the rest of the nation shaking its head (people are indeed watching), the Louisiana legislature has killed a bill that would have banned the gruesome practice of cockfighting. But the legislature still has a chance to do something positive on another matter by allowing an up-or-down vote on HB 1236. HB 1236 is an ethics bill that would prohibit an "elected or
Cold, hard truth
This week's column considers the reality of Louisiana today and compares it to the business-as-usual approach of state leadership. As Winston Churchill once said, "The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is."
Health care reform?
This week's column laments a missed opportunity to tackle health care reform in Louisiana.
This week's column analyzes the 2006 Louisiana Survey Link to column in Shreveport Times here. Link to survey info here. Column text copied here: "LSU released the 2006 Louisiana Survey last week. It offers the first comprehensive snapshot of public opinion in the state since last year’s devastating hurricane season. According to the survey, the mood of Louisiana has changed in the last 12
More prison horrors
This week's column comments on continued reports of inhumane conditions at Orleans Parish Prison as Hurricane Katrina came ashore. An earlier column commented on reports from adult prisoners about the horrors of OPP. Now it appears youth were also locked in cells as the flood waters rose. The Times Picayune reports today on these new details as does the New York Times. The new report was
Change is possible in NWLA
My column this week considers the draft report released last week by Project SB and written about the The Shreveport Times. The column concludes: "The positive changes foreseen and the potential recognized by Project SB are welcome reminders to Shreveport-Bossier City that it can, and indeed, deserves to do better. But simply acknowledging that fact won’t bring about the improvements Project
LA media in the spotlight
My column this week considers the performance of Louisiana's media with respect to investigative journalism. In particular, the column focuses on the need for journalism to operate as an independent check on power in a democracy.
SHV's Volunteers for Youth Justice
This week's column focuses on Shreveport-based Volunteers for Youth Justice, an organization dedicated to serving youth in the juvenile court system in Northwest Louisiana. VYJ's annual awards dinner and fundraising event is scheduled for Friday, April 28 at Shreveport's new convention center. For more information about this event or to volunteer for VYJ call 318-425-4413.
Poverty of ideas in Katrina's wake
My column this week considers the continuing problem of poverty in Louisiana. The column begins, "Donning his persona of supremely confident über-anchor, comedian Stephen Colbert questioned a guest on the set of his Comedy Central fake news commentary show last week. When his guest referred to poverty in New Orleans, Colbert feigned astonishment, explaining that he thought Hurricane Katrina had
Living with estimates
My column this week urges caution in the usage of estimates when planning. Why? Because by definition, estimates can change.
Earning the title of "reformer"
My column this week suggests that the label "reformer" should only be granted when truly deserved. The point is this: "It’s easy for legislators of both parties to wrap themselves in partisan rhetoric and associated talking points, but it should be much more difficult for officials to earn the label “reformer.” Given Louisiana’s legacy of failed populism and the obvious socio-economic problems
The next legislative session
My column this week anticipates the legislative session beginning on March 27. No matter what happens, the nation will be watching.
Louisiana's place in the basement
My column this week considers the recent Most Livable State rankings released by Morgan Quitno Press. Louisiana was ranked last. The column's last few lines make the point crystal clear: "Consider Louisiana’s ranking in this Most Livable State survey since 1991: 50th, 49th, 50th, 50th, 50th, 50th, 50th, 50th, 48th, 48th, 49th, 49th, 49th, 49th, 49th, and now, 50th. Business-as-usual obviously
My column this week considers Governor Blanco's new $20.3 billion budget proposal.
Revisiting indigent defense
My column this week considers the implications of the state legislature's recent request for federal assistance/money for the state public defender system.
On taking a stand
My column for this week isn't yet online at the Shreveport Times. I'll add the link when it's available. Full text of today's column is copied below. “Where you stand depends on where you sit.” The truth of this old adage -- that your position on something is connected directly to what you’ve got invested in the situation as a whole – is once again on display in Louisiana as assessments of
Louisiana's leadership problem
My column this week discusses Louisiana leadership problems. It begins, "For too long, Louisiana’s political playground has been a fantasyland operating in a vacuum completely unaffected by what, in other contexts, would be a political force known as accountability. Leaders in this political fantasyland have consistently ignored the reality checks offered courtesy of national rankings where the
This week's column compares Louisiana voters' tolerance for low levels of government accountability with that of Pennsylvania. Conclusion: Pennsylvania voters are far less tolerant of their government's antics.
Needed but unlikely news
My column this week dreams about news Louisiana really needs to hear.
Perverse incentives, predictable results
My column this week considers a fundamental tenet of public policy studies: perverse incentives yield dysfunctional results. This week's column considers how that seems to play out in Louisiana.
Recovery not a given
My column this week considers Louisiana's ongoing need for a plan to recover from the 2005 hurricane season.
Myths of Katrina
My column in yesterday's Shreveport Times (no link available) addressed many myths persisting in the months since Katrina & Rita. Full text copied below: Debunking the Myths of Katrina Several myths have surfaced in the months since Katrina and her aftermath devastated New Orleans and much of southeast Louisiana. It’s time to start debunking them before they become so deeply ingrained they
Special session now
My column today addresses the need for a special session -- and soon.
Resolutions for 2006
My column this week in the Shreveport Times proposes resolutions for 2006. Link forthcoming. 2005 was a disastrous year for Louisiana. But 2006 will be a year of uncommon opportunity. Here are a few resolutions that might help convert Louisiana’s opportunity to reality: 1. Resolve to demand decisive leadership. Policy-by-commission isn’t it. 2. Resolve to question the state’s traditional media