Congress should fulfill its constitutional duty to police executive-branch lawlessness. Don’t hold your breath.
George Will writes: Republican congressional leaders ardently want conservative members of the House to not force a vote on impeaching the IRS commissioner. The public does not care about John Koskinen’s many misdeeds. And impeachment will distract attention from issues that interest the public. And because Democrats are not ingrates, the required two-thirds of the Senate will never vote to convict Koskinen, whose behavior continues the pattern of doing what Democrats desire with the most intrusive and potentially punitive government agency.
“Congress has become a paper tiger within our tripartite system.”
These Republican leaders’ reasons are cumulatively unpersuasive. Resuscitating the impeachment power would contribute to revitalizing Congress’s Article I powers. Impeachments are rare — no appointed official of the executive branch has been
impeached in 140 years. But what James Madison called the “indispensable” power to impeach should not be allowed to atrophy, as has Congress’s power to declare war.
Here are a few pertinent facts. At the IRS, Exempt Organizations director Lois Lerner participated in delaying for up to five years — effectively denying — tax-exempt status for, and hence suppressing political advocacy by, conservative groups. She retired after refusing to testify to congressional committees, invoking the Fifth Amendment’s protection against self-incrimination.
Koskinen, who became commissioner after Lerner left, failed to disclose the disappearance of e-mails germane to a congressional investigation of IRS misbehavior.
Franklin talked with Reason TV Editor-in-Chief Nick Gillespie at this year’s Freedom Fest in Las Vegas, Nevada, pointing out that slavery may have ended officially in the late 1800s, but a lot of policing was born out of that era and the one that followed, when police deliberately enforced laws in ways that targeted black citizens. Even today, police are tasked with enforcing laws—from driving without a license to missing a court date—that tend to target poor communities and communities of color.
“You know a $250 fine doesn’t mean much to people who have money,” says Franklin. “But when you enforce these policies in poor communities, a hundred dollar fine can devastate a family.” Read the rest of this entry »
Obama to Complete Vacation Before Visiting Louisiana Next Week
While in Martha’s Vineyard, the President has received updates on the situation in Louisiana, including from the DHS Secretary and the FEMA Administrator, who took separate trips there. The President today directed his team to coordinate with Louisiana officials to determine an appropriate time for him to visit, and together they have determined that the President will visit Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Tuesday, August 23rd. Additional details will be announced in the coming days. The President is mindful of the impact that his travel has on first responders and wants to ensure that his presence does not interfere with ongoing recovery efforts. Read the rest of this entry »
BATON ROUGE – Baton Rouge residents gathered Saturday afternoon to form the newest chapter of the New Black Panther Party.
“It is time for new leadership and a new organization to step forward in Baton Rouge. I feel like the New Black Panther Party is the organization that can bring new leadership to Baton Rouge.”
The New Black Panthers arrived in Baton Rouge last Saturday to protest the officer-involved shooting death of 37-year-old Alton Sterling. Two videos of the shooting sparked national outcry and protests across Baton Rouge.
Jerald Justice said the group was approached by local residents like Edwin Smith to help establish a Baton Rouge chapter.
“It is time for new leadership and a new organization to step forward in Baton Rouge,” Smith said. “I feel like the New Black Panther Party is the organization that can bring new leadership to Baton Rouge.”
Founders met Saturday to formally establish the chapter as well as gather names for new members. WBRZ News 2’s Earl Phelps was able to briefly attend the event on the condition that he does not reveal the meeting’s location. Read the rest of this entry »
Baton Rouge police officers shot, three reported dead
In May, Governor Edwards signed a ‘Blue Lives Matter’ bill into law, making Louisiana the first state in the country where police officers, firefighters and other first responders are a protected class under hate-crime law.
Multiple officers in Baton Rouge were shot Sunday, July 17. The city’s Mayor told NBC three of them have died. Police warned local residents to stay away from the scene as they searched the area for the shooter. (Reuters)
Three police officers were killed and at least three others injured in a shooting Sunday morning in Baton Rouge, according to the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office.
“This is an unspeakable and unjustified attack on all of us at a time when we need unity and healing. Rest assured, every resource available to the state of Louisiana will be used to ensure the perpetrators are swiftly brought to justice.”
— Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards
Authorities said that one suspect has been killed, and the sheriff’s office said that they believe two other potential suspects may be at large. While the injured officers were taken to nearby hospitals, people who lived in the vicinity were ordered to hunker down and stay indoors.
Details about the shooting remained unclear by Sunday afternoon, and police did not immediately say whether they believe the officers were targeted or if they were injured during a law enforcement action. The shooting happened in a region still on edge after police fatally shot a man there, sparking heated protests that prompted a heavy law enforcement response that some have questioned as unnecessarily forceful.
Officers from the Baton Rouge police force as well as deputies from the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office were involved in the shooting, authorities said, though they did not specify the agencies of the officers who were killed. Multiple officers from both agencies were injured in the shooting and brought to hospitals, police said.
“This is an unspeakable and unjustified attack on all of us at a time when we need unity and healing,” Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) said in a statement. “Rest assured, every resource available to the state of Louisiana will be used to ensure the perpetrators are swiftly brought to justice.”
Edwards planned to speak more about the shooting at a news conference later Sunday, his office said.
Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden said he had spoken to officials from the White House, who offered to assist in any way possible.
“It’s touched, basically, people all across the country,” he told WAFB in a telephone interview just after noon. “The phones have not stopped ringing.”
Holden could not confirm reports from various media outlets that as many as seven officers had been wounded.
“When a police officer is shot or assaulted, it makes every single citizen in the country a little less safe. When police officers have to worry about citizens committing unprovoked acts of violence against them it makes it more difficult for them to interact with citizens and that is a key factor in law enforcement.”
— Jim Pasco, executive director of the National Fraternal Order of Police
“In the word community is the word unity,” Holden said. “If this is not a defining moment for us, to bridge the divide and come out with a unified voice, than I don’t know what is.”
In a statement, Baton Rouge said that its police force and other local, state and federal authorities were “actively investigating the circumstances surrounding this morning’s shooting.” Officials also said that the roads around the shooting area remained closed as of 2 p.m. local time.
Agents for the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were on the scene in Baton Rouge responding to the shooting, according to Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch.
“No other state includes police officers as a protected class under hate-crime laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. But at least 37 states — including Louisiana — have enhanced penalties for assaulting police officers.”
A spokesman for the FBI in New Orleans said he was “unsure” whether the officers were targeted specifically, or whether something else might have sparked the incident. He declined to comment further.
But the shooting deaths came during a particularly deadly year for law enforcement, and not long after a gunman who said he was enraged by police killings targeted police in Dallas. Read the rest of this entry »
Your State Department funds are being well invested in one-way tickets for Syrian refugees to New Orleans, Louisiana.
“As with former immigration crises and federal relocation policy, Louisiana has been kept in the dark about those seeking refuge in the state and it is irresponsible and severely disconcerting to place individuals, who may have ties to ISIS, in a state without the state’s knowledge or involvement.”
“I’m aware of those matters generally from the media, and from some inquiries that have been made to the Department of Justice, and again at this point we’re going to review all the information and determine what steps, if any, to take at the appropriate time.”
— Attorney General Loretta Lynch
Peter Sullivan reports: Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Wednesday her department is going to review all information surrounding the controversial videos of Planned Parenthood officials taken by an anti-abortion group.
“I’m aware of those matters generally from the media, and from some inquiries that have been made to the Department of Justice, and again at this point we’re going to review all the information and determine what steps, if any, to take at the appropriate time,” Lynch said when asked about the videos at a press conference.
Republican members of Congress have been calling on the DOJ to investigate whether Planned Parenthood is in violation of the law after the first video, showing members of the group discussing fetal tissue, surfaced.
Ross Kelly reports: Every summer there are numerous collegiate baseball leagues that sprout up to showcase the talent of the amateur players. These kids are willing to travel all across the country to get some extra work in not only for their upcoming season, but also for local scouts. The Alaska Baseball League is one of these leagues but it wasn’t any of the players who made names for themselves, but rather opposing managers after they got into a fistfight.
The larger man in the black is the Anchorage Bucs manager, Mike Grahovac, while the shorter man is the Peninsula Oilers manager, Kevin Griffin. Grahovac had been ejected and apparently had some parting shots (no pun intended) for Griffin who was coaching third base. As you can see, some naughty words and a chest bump led to an all-out brawl, between adults, that had to be separated by college kids.
ORANGE, Texas – A man has died after an alligator attacked him during a late-night swim at a Southeast Texas marina.
Police in Orange, near the state line with Louisiana, say 28-year-old Tommie Woodward was swimming in a bayou early Friday morning when the attack occurred.
Orange County sheriff’s deputies and a Texas game warden found his body nearby about two hours later.
Police said the man was swimming with a woman, but Justice of the Peace Rodney Price told KFDM-TV in Beaumont that she only jumped from a dock after the man screamed for help. Read the rest of this entry »
Who needs an atlas when you have an algorithm? Data tinkerer Randy Olson, who is now known across the internet for developing the optimum search path for Where’s Waldo books, has used this same algorithm to compute the optimal American road trip.
Amber Leigh Anderson, 27, a math teacher, engaged in the relationship with the student mostly during summer 2013 when the boy was a 15-year-old freshman at the school, according to an East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office report.
“She also said she picked up the victim and took him to her home, where they had sex…”
In April 2013, another student gave the victim Anderson’s cellphone number.
“Anderson characterized the relationship to deputies as ‘a mistake,’ the report says, and she apologized for ‘taking the victim’s innocence.’”
As time progressed, Anderson and the victim “became extremely close to one another,” the Sheriff’s Office report says.
“The relationship lasted a few more months until the boy’s mother found some of the text messages on her son’s cellphone that had been sent by Anderson. At that point, the mother confronted the teacher, told her to quit texting her son…”
Text messages between the two soon became sexually charged, and in July, Anderson began having sex with the student, the report says.
The relationship lasted a few more months until the boy’s mother found some of the text messages on her son’s cellphone that had been sent by Anderson. At that point, the mother confronted the teacher, told her to quit texting her son and “reported the matter to the school’s administration,” the report says, effectively bringing an end to the relationship between Anderson and the student.
A woman who answered the phone Tuesday at Christian Life Academy said the school would not comment on the incident. It’s unclear what the mother told the administration. Read the rest of this entry »
(CNN) — The man who attacked a security area at the New Orleans airport with a machete and wasp spray also had a bag of Molotov cocktails and a car containing smoke bombs and gas cylinders, authorities said.
The suspect, Richard White, 63, died Saturday after treatment for three bullet wounds he suffered when a sheriff’s lieutenant fired at him to halt the Friday night attack, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office said.
Sheriff Newell Normand said earlier that investigators hadn’t been able to talk to White, who officials said suffered from some type of mental illness. He said White’s wife and children had been very cooperative.
The incident began when White, carrying a bag, entered one of the lanes at the security checkpoint for Concourse B and began spraying Transportation Security Administration agents and bystanders with a can of wasp spray, the sheriff’s office said.
He then pulled a machete from his waistband and began swinging it at agents and others in the area.
“What I saw originally was one of the officers getting sprayed with the wasp spray,” said TSA agent Caroll Richel, whose arm was hit by one of the bullets fired at White.
The officer being sprayed with wasp spray picked up a bag and threw it at White to slow him down, but the suspect still barged through, Richel told reporters.
Richel, who was not armed, yelled for everyone to run as she made her way toward the sheriff’s lieutenant, who she knew had a weapon.
“I was calling, ‘Run, run’ for them to get away from him, and I was calling for the (lieutenant) so she was there and alert,” Richel said.
“I didn’t hear him say anything,” she said. “Once I yelled for the checkpoint to be cleared, I looked over my shoulder and he was coming after me. And I ran as fast as I could and thank God the officer was as close as she was, because I wouldn’t be here today.”
Man attacks TSA agents with a machete at New Orleans airport
The machete-wielding man who attacked two Transportation Security Agency workers at a New Orleans airport was carrying a bag holding six Molotov cocktails.
Officials said they don’t know what suspect Richard White intended to do with the homemade bombs or what triggered the incident.
“As you know this was unexpected incident involving a clearly troubled and disturbed individual,” said New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu at a Saturday afternoon press conference.
White, 62, chased the two Transportation Security Agency workers at New Orleans International Airport with a machete and wasp spray late Friday. He was shot multiple times by an officer, police said.
Officials said they noticed White had been carrying a bag when they checked surveillance video after the incident.
In the bag they found six half-pint mason jars with cloth wicks. The jars were filled with gasoline. The bag also held a barbecue lighter, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand said.
Normand said as the bag was being checked other investigators from the Bomb Squad were combing through White’s car parked on the airport ramp. They found three tanks in the trunk holding acetone, Freon and oxygen.
White approached the airport security checkpoint Friday evening, pulled out a can of the insecticide and began spraying both agents and several passengers standing in line before he then drew a large machete from the waistband of his pants, Normand said.
The male officer grabbed some luggage to defend himself from the machete, and then was chased by White, Normand said. Read the rest of this entry »
The TSA said in a statement the incident took place at approximately 9 p.m., Central time Friday night.
“…A female Supervisory Transportation Security Officer (STSO) at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport was assaulted in the public area outside of Checkpoint B,” the statement said. “The officer was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.”
Sheriff Newell Normand told CBS affiliate WWL-TV in New Orleans the suspect, whom he identified as 63-year-old Richard White, was taken to the hospital and was last reported as “unresponsive.”
Eyewitnesses told authorities White approached a TSA agent and sprayed that person in the face with wasp spray from a can. According to Normand, White got past the first agent and headed for the second TSA agent, again spraying wasp spray, before pulling out a machete and striking another agent, who grabbed a piece of luggage for protection.
Normand said the third TSA agent called a non-TSA officer for help, and as White continued to chase him, the officer showed up on the scene and fired three times, striking White. Read the rest of this entry »
“The real reason Hillary commands such tribal loyalty is that she is, apart from the non-candidate Elizabeth Warren, the only political ‘celebrity’ available, and Democrats are obsessed with star quality.”
De Blasio may have an undeclared interest at stake: Maybe he’d like to be a cabinet secretary under President Hillary. But his unqualified defense of Hillary’s secretive and likely illegal off-the-books communication system is typical of even those members of his party who have little to gain from covering for her.
Photo by Leah Puttkammer/FilmMagic)
Hillary is infallible. Hillary is above reproach. She can’t ever, ever have done anything wrong, ever, and even when she has been shown to have done something ethically revolting, the reason we know it’s no big deal is that it is said to be a big deal by those slimy Republicans.
As Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin put it, “People have different ways of communicating. I have a granddaughter who does nothing but text. You’ll never find a letter written with her. So everybody’s different.”
Right, and Bernie Madoff? He just had a different way of managing a hedge fund.
“So oblivious of her own record that she is trying to make an issue of the gender pay gap despite having run a Senate office in which women were paid 72 cents on the dollar compared to men?”
The Democratic Party, with whose members Hillary has had an approval rating of 88% or higher since 2009, has the attitude of passengers on a storm-tossed ship that only one person can steer. “O Captain, my Captain!”
Except they aren’t aboard the ship. The ship is still in the dock. It doesn’t sail for more than a year. The Party isn’t stuck with Capt. Hillary. It could find another leader.
So, why the fervent loyalty to someone with such a troubled ethics record? A woman whose foundation accepted donations from foreign countries while she was Secretary of State? A woman who is such a poor communicator that her approval rating actually dropped while she was on a book tour last year?
The Democratic Party … has the attitude of passengers on a storm-tossed ship that only one person can steer.
“As recently as 1992, the Democratic nominee could be the little-known governor of a tiny state, but today only celebrities need apply.”
So oblivious of her own record that she is trying to make an issue of the gender pay gap despite having run a Senate office in which women were paid 72 cents on the dollar compared to men?
Democrats behave as if Hillary is the only conceivable presidential candidate with sufficient stature, but any Democratic elected official who became the nominee would naturally rake in donations from the usual left-wing groups, massive media exposure and the national high profile that comes with it. Read the rest of this entry »
TANGIPAHORA PARISH, La. (CBS Houston) – The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office says a family’s pet goat has been skinned and killed.
Authorities said it happened last weekend and the goat was left behind so the family could see it.
“Whenever I got close, I saw hooves and white fur and I was just horrified because why would somebody do this to our pet animal?”
“Come here baby,” Debbie Perret told WVUE-TV, as she petted another goat.
Perret says her family loves animals and that they are heartbroken over what happened to their goat.
“We bottle-fed them, Billy and Lilly, they were very bonded to each other,” Perret told WVUE.
Perret told the station that she noticed something outside when she woke up Sunday.
“I noticed my dog outside was pulling something that looked almost like a blanket, which – we didn’t have any blankets out there, just the hay,” she told WVUE.
“Somebody took her, killed her. I don’t even want to think about what they did to her – and then made a point of coming back a second time to flaunt what they had done, make a point of leaving her hide.”
Perret went on to say that she sent her 14-year-old son out to investigate.
“He started hollering, ‘it’s Lilly, it’s Lilly,’” Perret said.
“EPA claimed that John Beale’s fraud was an anomaly, but EPA has allowed a number of employees to waste millions of taxpayer dollars in the last few years through lax internal controls and substandard management.”
The EPA’s inspector general found that “eight employees totaled 20,926 hours and cost the government an estimated $1,096,868” while on paid leave. Each employee “was on extended administrative leave for four or more months,” the IG reported, adding that “four of the eight employees” were on leave for more than a year.
The EPA IG’s report comes after an October 2014 Government Accountability Office report that estimated the “salary cost for EPA employees on administrative leave for fiscal years (FYs) 2011 through 2013 was $17,550,100.” GAO found that 69 EPA employees used a month or more of administrative leave — 50 of these employees were on leave for more than three months and two were on leave for over a year. These 69 agency employees took 4,711 days of leave from 2011 to 2013. Read the rest of this entry »
Texas Health Workers Use Tabasco to Help Train for Ebola
Doctors and nurses practice dressing and undressing in their protective gear to avoid contamination, but if they feel the tingle of Tabasco on their skin, they know they’ve been contaminated.
As Texas health workers prepare two new biocontainment units to help treat any future Ebola patients the state might have, they’re are using one piece of training equipment from a neighboring state that may surprise you: Tabasco sauce.
“…it gives feedback immediately.”
— Dr. Bruce Meyer, an executive vice president at U.T. Southwestern Medical Center
At the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, where one of the units is being established, the staff has been practicing treating fake patients who have been sprayed at random with the peppery sauce as a stand-in for Ebola virus-laden fluids. Doctors and nurses practice dressing and undressing in their protective gear to avoid contamination, but if they feel the tingle of Tabasco on their skin, they know they’ve been contaminated.
Capsicum frutescens: The hot pepper chemical has also been used in other medical settings, including dermatology and neurology for pain and itch relief.
“In a way, it gives feedback immediately,” said Dr. Bruce Meyer, an executive vice president at the hospital, giving credit to the hospital’s director of infection prevention, Doramarie Arocha, for the idea.
Tabasco sauce is made by Louisiana-based McIlhenny Co. from red peppers called Capsicum frutescens, which are made spicy by the chemical capsaicin. When skin comes in contact with this chemical, the brain’s pain and temperature receptors get activated at the same time, causing that tingly, hot feeling. The hot pepper chemical has also been used in other medical settings, including dermatology and neurology for pain and itch relief. Read the rest of this entry »
“They’re supposed to analyze the race. They’re supposed to talk about demographics. They’re supposed to talk about geography. They’re supposed to talk about our opposition. But he just jumped her from the beginning.”
— Chris Comeaux, communications director for Rep. Lenar Whitney
“It’s just liberal elites hating conservative women,” charged Chris Comeaux, the communications director for Louisiana state Rep. Lenar Whitney.
Earlier Wednesday, the Washington Post published an article by David Wasserman of the Cook Political Report calling Whitney, “The most frightening candidate I’ve met in seven years interviewing congressional hopefuls.”
“We were just like, this isn’t productive. You’re just trying to get her to say something stupid.”
Wasserman, who is the House editor for The Cook Political Report, described in his story how Whitney and her aides abruptly left during an in-person interview in Washington. Wasserman said he had been questioning Whitney on the scientific source of her claims about climate change, and whether she believes President Obama was born in the United States.
“They are lumping all the conservative women together. It’s just oh, you’re conservative and you’re a woman, we must destroy you.”
— Chris Comeaux
“It was the first time in hundreds of Cook Political Report meetings that a candidate has fled the room,” wrote Wasserman, who estimates interviewing 300 congressional candidates throughout his career. Read the rest of this entry »
Former New Orleans MayorRay Naginwas sentenced to10 years in federal prison Wednesday.
Nagin, 58, the two-term mayor who was the face of the city during Hurricane Katrina, joins a list of Louisiana elected officials convicted of misdeeds committed while in office. But he is New Orleans’ first mayor to be convicted and sent to prison for public corruption.
Nagin is expected to report to prisonin coming weeks.
U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan handed down the sentence before a packed courtroom five months after a jury convicted Nagin on 20 of 21 counts of bribery, wire fraud, tax evasion and other charges. Nagin’s wife, Seletha Nagin, joined him for sentencing, as she did every day during the two-week trial.
“I do intend to downward depart from these guidelines,” Berrigan said after taking the bench.
Prosecutors in U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite’s office called him a mayor “on the take.” He sold his office, they told the jury, for personal gain, which included lavish trips, cash and granite for his sons countertop business, Stone Age LLC.
A military-style armored personnel carrier, top, that the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office in Florida bought off a contractor.Credit Jacob Langston
NEENAH, Wis. — For NYTimes, Matt Apuzzo reports: Inside the municipal garage of this small lakefront city, parked next to the hefty orange snowplow, sits an even larger truck, this one painted in desert khaki. Weighing 30 tons and built to withstand land mines, the armored combat vehicle is one of hundreds showing up across the country, in police departments big and small.
The 9-foot-tall armored truck was intended for an overseas battlefield. But as President Obama ushers in the end of what he called America’s “long season of war,” the former tools of combat — M-16 rifles, grenade launchers, silencers and more — are ending up in local police departments, often with little public notice.
Kevin Wilkinson, the police chief of Neenah, Wis., said having a vehicle built for combat would help protect his officers. Credit Darren Hauck for The New York Times
During the Obama administration, according to Pentagon data, police departments have received tens of thousands of machine guns; nearly 200,000 ammunition magazines; thousands of pieces of camouflage and night-vision equipment; and hundreds of silencers, armored cars and aircraft. Read the rest of this entry »
Saturation coverage of Republican Vance McAllister planting a Republican kiss on his Republican aide in Republican scandal
Breitbart.com‘sJohn Hayward writes: Back when Democrats were rocked by an incredible spree of arrests over the course of just a few days, much was made of the media’s adamant refusal to disclose some of their party affiliations, especially when reporting on the arrest of Charlotte mayor Patrick Cannon by the FBI in a corruption sting. Somehow numerous local and national media reports just plumb forgot to mention which party Cannon belonged to… which is especially odd, since the FBI recorded him making efforts to sell his close access to President Barack Obama.
And when it came to the absolutely astounding saga of California Democrat Leland Yee, perhaps the juiciest political story in years – a loudmouth gun-control advocate of national prominence, a key figure in the crusade to ban violent videogames, and a strong contender for California Secretary of State busted forconspiring with Chinese gangsters to sell machine guns and rocket launchers – CNN famously refused to report on the story at all.
Hammered by critics for their refusal to so much as speak Leland Yee’s name, the network insisted his was a local story of no great significance. They even tried claiming they never report on the doings of state senators, a claim immediately blasted into a million pieces by citations of them running dozens of such reports over the years.
Update: Hey, what do you know? CNN.com just ran its very first story on Leland Yee, whose unbelievable story broke a week ago. So after a week of insisting they don’t run news stories on state senators, they suddenly decided to post something on this one. His party affiliation is disclosed… drum roll, please… in the fourth paragraph of the story.
Well, now we’ve got Rep. Vance McAllister (R-LA) caught on video passionately smooching one of his aides. Good news: they’re married. Bad news: they’re married to other people. Let’s see how our scrupulously fair and balanced media handled the disclosure of McAllister’s party affiliation, shall we?
TIME: First word in the story is “Republican,” right in the boldfaced sub-heading. It’s also the second word in the story itself.
(note: you have to imagine this spoken by a law enforcement official with a Louisiana accent. Are you imagining it? Okay, here goes…)
“We are guessing he wasn’t looking for one to come and run his criminal history, but that is what he got.”
The responding deputy reportedly determined that the man was a non-compliant sex offender from New Orleans who was considered out of compliance because he failed to notify authorities of his new address — as required by state law — when he moved to the local area.
Why doesn’t the Left trust the law-abiding poor to own guns? That question leapt to mind after reading a recent piece in Nonprofit Quarterly by my friend Rick Cohen, who hails from the Left and, on other issues, has long demanded respect for the denizens of poor neighborhoods.
His article rightly scoffed at officials at a public school in North Carolina who had the brilliant idea of providing their sixth-graders with an “enrichment exercise” that consisted of sending a man in a ski mask into classrooms with a toy gun and pretending to rob the kids.
Rick repeated a crack by the website Progressive Populist that it’s a good thing no teacher pulled out a concealed weapon to shoot the fake bad guy. That could have happened “if the National Rifle Association has its way,” because those crazies at the NRA published a report this year “calling for arming and training teachers and other school personnel.”
Rick’s sneer brought another question to mind. Why does the Left, usually so skeptical about cops and the military, trust them to have all the guns?
Does Rick not realize that, historically, American gun control laws largely targeted“ blacks in the south and the foreign-born in the north,” including Rick’s own Jewish forebears? The state of North Carolina, which draws Rick’s attention today,declared in 1840 that no
free negro, mulatto, or free person of color, shall wear or carry about his or her person, or keep in his or her house, any shot gun, musket, rifle, pistol, sword, dagger or bowie-knife, unless he or she shall have obtained a license therefor from the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions of his or her county
That explains why some black men on the left, like Washington Post columnist Courtland Milloy, revere the self-help legacy of
Deacons for Defense and Justice — an organization of black men in Louisiana who used shotguns and rifles to repel attacks by white vigilantes during the 1960s.
Arrested: Naked Fountain swimmer Courtney Cox, 29, disturbing the peace, and public drunkenness
UPDATE: From Mail Online. Gotta love the British Tabloid headline: A “young mother” (apparently a “mother” stripping naked has more sizzle than just a drunk 29-year-old) “has been arrested after allegedly swimming nude in a fountain inside a casino hotel.”
Here’s a story for you. For years I devoted much of my journalism—op-eds, blogs, even a book about cultural politics—to lamenting the rootlessness of American life and prescribing solutions for it from within the conservative intellectual tradition. Yet I never quite found the wherewithal to live as I preached. It’s as if I didn’t find my own arguments convincing.
Then, from my home in faraway Philadelphia, I watched my sister Ruthie die slowly from cancer, cared for by family and community in our south Louisiana hometown. The doctrines and ideals I professed as true unexpectedly took concrete form in the heartbreaking story unfolding there.
When we arrived from Philadelphia for the funeral, my wife and I were overwhelmed by what we saw. At the little Methodist church where my family has been baptized, married, and given funeral rites for generations, over a thousand townspeople stood outside in the heat and amid mosquitoes to pass by Ruthie’s body and pay their respects. Many of them were my schoolteacher sister’s friends, colleagues, and former students. Nearly all had, in some way, helped support Ruthie and her family throughout her 19-month ordeal.
In that church, on that night, I had an epiphany. This is what community means. This is the way my sister lived: rooted in and faithful to the community that nurtured her, and that she in turn helped to nurture.
My wife and I experienced a conversion. Standing under a live oak tree in front of the church, we grasped that what the people in St. Francisville, Louisiana, had, we needed. The poetry of Ruthie’s passion and the drama of the characters that played their parts did for my wife and me what syllogisms and abstractions could not—change our hearts and, in turn, our lives. Days later, we went back to Philadelphia, told our friends goodbye, and soon thereafter moved to my Louisiana hometown.
What happened brings to mind Pope Benedict XVI’s observation that the most convincing arguments for Christianity aren’t propositional arguments at all but rather the art and the saints that the faith produces—that is, the stories Christians tell and live. Similarly, the ideals I held to be true did not speak to me with authority—at least, not authority sufficient to command me to pack up my U-Haul and drive—until I saw them lived out in my sister’s narrative.
Houston’s bustling port is now America’s most lucrative.
by Joel Kotkin
In the wilds of Louisiana’s St. James Parish, amid the alligators and sugar plantations, Lester Hart is building the $750 million steel plant of his dreams. Over the past decade, Hart has constructed plants for steel producer Nucor everywhere from Trinidad to North Carolina. Today, he says, Nucor sees its big opportunities here, along the banks of the Mississippi River, roughly an hour west of New Orleans by car.
“The political climate here is conducive to growth,” Hart explains as he steers his truck up to the edge of a steep levee. “We are here because so much is going on in this state and this region. With the growth of the petrochemical and industrial sectors, this is the place to be.” Already, some 500 people are working on the project. When completed in 2013, the plant—which is expected to process more than 3.75 million tons of iron ore a year—will create about 150 permanent jobs immediately. Another 150 are expected after a second development phase.
Nucor isn’t alone in coming to Louisiana, or to the vast, emerging region along the Gulf Coast. The American economy, long dominated by the East and West Coasts, is undergoing a dramatic geographic shift toward this area. The country’s next great megacity, Houston, is here; so is a resurgent New Orleans, as well as other growing port cities that serve as gateways to Latin America and beyond. While the other two coasts struggle with economic stagnation and dysfunctional politics, the Third Coast—the urbanized, broadly coastal region spanning the Gulf from Brownsville, Texas, to greater Tampa—is emerging as a center of industry, innovation, and economic growth…