Posted: September 10, 2016 Filed under: Censorship, Crime & Corruption, Law & Justice, Politics, Think Tank | Tags: Commissioner of Internal Revenue, Floor (legislative), Freedom Caucus, Impeachment, Internal Revenue Service, John Fleming (American politician), John Koskinen, Louisiana, Republican Party (United States), United States House Committee on the Judiciary
Congress should fulfill its constitutional duty to police executive-branch lawlessness. Don’t hold your breath.
“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.
[Read the full text here, at National Review ]
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.
[George Will wrote about this in October of 2015, too: The Case For Impeachment]
Under his leadership, the IRS failed to comply with a preservation order pertaining to an investigation. He did not testify accurately or keep promises made to Congress. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: August 20, 2016 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Law & Justice, Mediasphere, Think Tank | Tags: African American, Apple Valley, Associated Press, Baltimore Police Department, Baton Rouge, California, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Louisiana, Minnesota, Myrtle Beach, Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, Saint Paul, South Carolina, University of Chicago
The horrific deaths of Philando Castillo in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, give us an updated and up-close glimpse of police encounters gone bad—but they are rooted in decades of problematic policing in America. “Historically in this country, the police have never really been the friends of the black community,” says Neill Franklin, a former officer with the Baltimore Police Department and current executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (L.E.A.P).
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 »
Posted: August 19, 2016 Filed under: Entertainment, Mediasphere, Politics, White House | Tags: Baton Rouge, CNN, Floods, Hillary Clinton, Louisiana, media, news, Television, The Pantsuit Report, video
Posted: July 17, 2016 Filed under: Breaking News, Crime & Corruption, Law & Justice, Terrorism, The Butcher's Notebook | Tags: Baton Rouge, Baton Rouge Shooting, Black Lives Matter, Cop Killer, Louisiana, Montrell Jackson, New Black Panthers, Police
Posted: July 17, 2016 Filed under: Breaking News, Crime & Corruption, Terrorism, U.S. News | Tags: Baton Rouge, Black Lives Matter, Black Panthers, Cop Killers, East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, Jim Pasco, John Bel Edwards, Louisiana, Louisiana State Police, Mass Shooting, Massacre, Police
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.
[Read the full story here, at The Washington Post]
“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.
[In May, Louisiana became the first state to make it a hate crime to target police]
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 »
Posted: November 15, 2015 Filed under: Breaking News, France, Global, Politics, Terrorism, War Room | Tags: Barack Obama, Ben Carson, Bobby Jindal, Chuck Todd, CNN, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Jihadism, Louisiana, Migrants, Muslim, New Orleans, State Department, Syria, Syrian Refugees
Justin Holcomb reports: Heads up America, Syrian refugees have arrived and they are here to stay.
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.”
— Governor Bobby Jindal, in a letter to the president
Former FBI Special Agent-In-Charge Jim Bernazzani gave his opinion on the matter.
“If I was in charge of ISIL, logistically I’d take advantage of this situation and put my people in, into the United States.”
Governor Bobby Jindal expressed his concerns to the president by writing a letter to the executive office….(read more)
[Also see – Jindal Protests Sending of Syrian Refugees to New Orleans – NRO]
[More – “Not welcome”: Unsentimental after Paris]
Posted: July 15, 2015 Filed under: Art & Culture, Entertainment | Tags: Buddy Guy, Carlos Santana, Electric guitar, Grammy Award, guitar, John Bonham, John McLaughlin, Latin Jazz, Lettsworth, Louisiana, Montreux Jazz Festival
Montreux 2011: Invitation To Illumination
Backing Vocals — Andy Vargas, Carlos Santana, John McLaughlin, Tony Lindsay
Posted: July 10, 2015 Filed under: Mediasphere | Tags: Alaska Baseball League, Amateur sports, Anchorage Bucs, Baseball, Boxing, CBS, Head coach, Kevin Griffin, KTUU-TV, Louisiana, Peninsula Oilers
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.
Some notes from the fight:
Hats off to Griffin for not backing down. According to Grahovac’s baseball reference page, he is 6’5″ and his playing weight is listed at 230 lbs. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: July 3, 2015 Filed under: U.S. News | Tags: Alligator, Louisiana, orange, Orange Texas, Southeast Texas, Swimming, Texas
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 »
Posted: May 20, 2015 Filed under: Entertainment, Mediasphere, Think Tank | Tags: Baton Rouge, California, Camarillo, Contiguous United States, Gasoline, Los Angeles, Louisiana, Road Trip, Texas, travel
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.
At the urging of Tracy Staedter from Discovery News, Olson set out to find the quickest driving route that would stop at a national natural landmark, national historic site, national park or national monument in all of the lower 48 states. He also included Washington, D.C. and added another stop in California to get to a total of 50 stops. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: April 23, 2015 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, U.S. News | Tags: Amber Leigh Anderson, Baton Rouge, Christian Life Academy, East Baton Rouge Parish, East Baton Rouge Parish Prison, East Baton Rouge Parish Public Schools, felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile, Louisiana, Math Teacher, sex offender, Teacher
Christian Life Academy Teacher Amber Leigh Anderson was booked Tuesday into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on a count of felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile
Ben Wallace reports: Following an investigation sparked by a recent complaint from a Baton Rouge high school student’s mother, sheriff’s deputies on Tuesday arrested a Christian Life Academy teacher accused of having a sexual relationship with the student about two years ago.
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 »
Posted: March 22, 2015 Filed under: Breaking News, Crime & Corruption | Tags: Associated Press, Jefferson Parish, Kenner, Louisiana, Mason jar, Molotov cocktail, New Orleans, Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, Richard White, Sheriff, Transportation Security Administration
(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.
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport was back open and fully operational, Mayor Mitch Landrieu said. He praised security officials for acting quickly and heroically and doing everything they could to stop the attack.
Agent told everyone to ‘run, run’
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.”
She said the man came “within inches” of whacking her with the machete. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: March 21, 2015 Filed under: Breaking News, Crime & Corruption, U.S. News | Tags: CNN, Jefferson Parish, Lance Moore, Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, Louisiana, Mitch Landrieu, New Orleans, New Orleans Airport, Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, Richard White, Transportation Security Administration
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 »
Posted: March 20, 2015 Filed under: Breaking News, Crime & Corruption, U.S. News | Tags: ABC News, All rights reserved, American Broadcasting Company, CBS, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Jefferson Parish, Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, Louisiana, New Orleans, New Orleans Airport, Transportation Security Administration
KENNER, La. — A terminal at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport was evacuated Friday night after a man with a machete attacked TSA agents and was shot by a police officer, according to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.
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 »
Posted: March 8, 2015 Filed under: Politics, White House | Tags: Barack Obama, Bobby Jindal, Elizabeth Warren, Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Louisiana, Louisiana State University, Mike Pence, RealClearPolitics, Republican Party (United States)
Democrats stumble unquestioningly into 2016
Kyle Smith writes: Hillary Clinton is “one of the finest public servants this country has produced” and “a person of extraordinary integrity,” says Mayor de Blasio.
He is completely confident that “measures were taken to comply with the letter and the spirit of the law,” so no biggie that Clinton hid her official e-mail correspondence on her own private servers where they could be protected from scrutiny and/or deleted.
“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.
Associated Press? The New York Times? Obvious GOP front groups.
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.
AFP PHOTO / BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / FILESBRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images
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 »
Posted: March 5, 2015 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, U.S. News | Tags: CBS, Goat, Houston, Louisiana, Pet, Slaughter, Tangipahoa Parish
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.
The goat was found by the swing set that the family has in their backyard. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: December 6, 2014 Filed under: Mediasphere, Politics, U.S. News | Tags: 2014 Election, Democratic Party, Election, GOP, Louisiana, Mary Landrieu, Midterms
Democrats are dead in the land of Dixie.
With the fall of three-term Sen. Mary Landrieu Saturday, Louisiana will not have a Democratic statewide elected official for the first time since 1876. And the Republican Party will control, as the Associated Press noted, every Senate seat, governor’s mansion and legislative chamber from the Carolinas to Texas.
Congress’ last white Democrat in the Deep South didn’t lose because of a superior opponent, but because of her association with a deeply unpopular President and a health-care law that destroyed the chances to extend other Democratic dynasties this cycle, including Georgia’s Jason Carter and Michelle Nunn.
Landrieu—the daughter of a former New Orleans mayor and the sister to the current one—lost more so than Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy won. Even Cassidy, who cruised to a win Saturday, acknowledges that to some extent. When asked to define the campaign’s turning point, he pointed to…
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Posted: November 20, 2014 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Politics | Tags: Central Intelligence Agency, David Vitter, Institute for Energy Research, Lamar S. Smith, Louisiana, Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Texas Public Policy Foundation, United States Environmental Protection Agency
Michael Bastasch reports: Want to earn money while on vacation? Go work for the Environmental Protection Agency, which paid eight employees more than $1 million while they were on administrative leave, in some cases for years, according to a government watchdog report.
“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.
[Also see – EPA Employees Not Fired For Watching Pornography, Stealing Money]
Not only that, the employees who took huge amounts of leave time also got automatic raises — despite their being paid to do no work.
“The EPA’s major time and attendance issues and management failures are no longer surprising, just pathetic. Reforming their policy will be top of our agenda with the new conservative majority.”
— Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter
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 »
Posted: September 29, 2014 Filed under: Food & Drink, Guns and Gadgets, Mediasphere, Self Defense, U.S. News | Tags: Bergeron’s Restaurant, Cajun food, Civil Rights, Gun rights, Louisiana, Port Allen, Self-defense
A local restaurant owner in Louisiana will give a 10 percent discount to any customers that show him their guns—and not the arm muscle kind.
Kevin Cox, owner of Bergeron’s Restaurant in Port Allen, is bucking a corporate trend by encouraging, rather than banning, firearms in his Cajun food establishment. Cox said he’s frustrated with chains like Target, which requested in July that customers not bring their weapons into stores, NBC33 reports.
“I keep hearing so much about people banning guns,” Cox told NBC33. “Target’s banning guns and these people are banning guns. Don’t they realize that that’s where people with guns are going to go? I want to take the opposite approach. How can I make my place safer?”
Cox said some 15 to 20 people take him up on the discount offer every day.
“I just need to see a weapon. I need you to be carrying…
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Posted: July 30, 2014 Filed under: Mediasphere, Politics, U.S. News | Tags: Barack Obama, Cook Political Report, Daily Caller, Lenar Whitney, Louisiana, United States, Washington, Whitney
“The most frightening candidate I’ve met in seven years interviewing congressional hopefuls.”
— David Wasserman of the Cook Political Report
For The Daily Caller, Alex Pappas reports: The campaign of a conservative woman running for Congress in Louisiana is firing back after an analyst of the non-partisan Cook Political Report called her “frightening.”
“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 »
Posted: July 10, 2014 Filed under: Economics, Mediasphere, Politics, White House | Tags: BarackObama, BobbyJindal, Executive order, Louisiana, National Review, National Review Online, Obama, United States
Bobby Jindal writes exclusively for National Review Online about Obama’s failure to develop strong energy policy. http://natl.re/1qo2mo0
NATIONAL REVIEW on tumblr.
Posted: July 9, 2014 Filed under: Breaking News, Crime & Corruption, Law & Justice, Politics | Tags: Hurricane Katrina, Louisiana, Nagin, New Orleans, Ray Nagin, United States Attorney
Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was sentenced to 10 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.
[LIVE coverage from inside the federal courthouse]
Nagin is expected to report to prison in 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.
Under federal sentencing guidelines, Nagin was facing 20 or more years in prison, court records indicated.
“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.
Follow live coverage from inside the federal courthouse.
Reporting by Mark Waller and Andy Grimm of NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune.
Posted: June 9, 2014 Filed under: Law & Justice, U.S. News | Tags: Kevin Wilkinson, Louisiana, Neenah, Neenah Wisconsin, Police, Police state, Seminole County Sheriff's Office (Florida), SWAT
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 »
Posted: April 9, 2014 Filed under: Censorship, Mediasphere, Politics | Tags: Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, California Secretary of State, CNN, Leland Yee, Louisiana, National Journal, Vance McAllister
Saturation coverage of Republican Vance McAllister planting a Republican kiss on his Republican aide in Republican scandal
Breitbart.com‘s John 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.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: January 15, 2014 Filed under: Breaking News, Crime & Corruption, Mediasphere | Tags: Battery (crime), Crime, Criminal record, Louisiana, New Orleans, Police, sex offender, Sex offender registration
My reaction to stories like this is “Oh come on, who hasn’t done that…”
A Louisiana man who allegedly called 911 dispatchers to say that he needed a woman turned out to be an convicted sex offender according to police who took him into custody.
Of his “emergency” request for a date on Saturday night, the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office said that,
(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.
[VIDEO after the jump]
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: November 19, 2013 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Guns and Gadgets, U.S. News | Tags: Baton Rouge Louisiana, Glock, Guns, Humor, Law Enforcement, Louisiana, Self-defense
Law enforcement officers in East Baton Rouge, Louisiana intercepted a suspect with a firearm last night, and discovered this when they dropped the magazine.
“I’d encourage all criminals to load their magazines in this manner.”
Posted: October 23, 2013 Filed under: History, Law & Justice, Self Defense | Tags: Deacons for Defense and Justice, Gun control, Louisiana, National Rifle Association, North Carolina, NRA, Philadelphia School District, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, United States, United States Secret Service, Washington Post
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.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: September 13, 2013 Filed under: Entertainment | Tags: Bossier City Louisiana, Casino, Courtney Cox, Disturbing the peace, Louisiana, MailOnline, Public intoxication
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.”
Courtney Cox (not the TV show one) was charged with disturbing the peace and public drunkenness following the incident in the Horseshoe Casino Hotel in Bossier City, Louisiana.
Cox, 29, was reportedly skinny dipping in the hotel’s fountain at 10.30pm on Sunday night and she argued with officers when they tried to bring her to the police station.
They asked her once to have a sober friend pick her up and drive her home but Ms Cox then started swearing at the officers…
If you’re drunk, rowdy, naked, and disturbing Casino Hotel guests, you might get arrested, made to get dressed, and taken here: Bossier City Police Station
Arrested: Courtney Cox, with Olympic Gold Medal: charged with disturbing the peace and public drunkenness
…’At one point she started using profanities and refused to stay still,’ police department spokesman Mark Matale told Mail Online.
She was arrested after officers gave her ‘numerous chances’ to stop yelling and being belligerent ‘in front of casino patrons who were in the area at the time’ but she did not take them.
The “mother-of-two” (oh my god how could she? She’s the mother of two children!) was then taken to the Bossier City Jail and is now out on bond.
She is still awaiting her first court appearance.
Posted: August 14, 2013 Filed under: Mediasphere, Reading Room | Tags: Baylor University, Diane Sawyer, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Louisiana, Philadelphia, Rod Dreher, Russell Kirk, Ruthie
By Rod Dreher
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.
Such is the power of story.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: October 29, 2012 Filed under: Economics, Mediasphere, Reading Room | Tags: Brownsville Texas, City Journal, Louisiana, Mississippi River, New Orleans, North Carolina, Nucor, St. James Parish Louisiana
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…
via City Journal