Government & Politics
Bobby Jindal’s message is that D.C. is no place for the GOP: John Maginnis | NOLA.com – NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | Political analyst John Maginnis inspects Gov. Bobby Jindal’s recent speech, which advised Republicans to seek guidance from state legislatures (preferably those in red states) that balance budgets and repeal growth-stifling taxes. Maginnis notes that because Jindal governs a red state, and has proposed an income tax repeal, there’s an element of self-interest to his recommendations.
Staying on message, Jindal asks to meet with President Barack Obama to discuss Medicaid fixes that, Jindal says, would allow states more flexibility and to improve delivery of the federal program.
Sen. John Kerry is expected to be approved as the U.S. Secretary of State today. Salon.com recently speculated that Kerry may shift U.S. policy on Cuba, and perhaps push to end the decades-long embargo. This possibility would no doubt stir passionate debate among the many New Orleanians who fled the island after Fidel Castro took power in 1959, not to mention U.S. sugar producers who have benefitted from the embargo.
State Office of Conservation Commissioner James Welsh has requested that the aquifer serving Baton Rouge be declared “unsustainable,” mainly due to saltwater intrusion.
WE WANT A NORMAL <P> CLASS FOR THIS PARAGRAPH According to [Welsh’s] Jan. 14 letter, the aquifer is “not being used in a manner that can continue indefinitely without causing unacceptable environmental, economic, social or health consequences.”
Mother Jones asks why the FDA isn’t inspecting imported seafood more closely.
An advisory committee to the John McDonogh school board proposed security guards be present at board meetings.
“We can’t keep getting bogged down with stuff like this,” said [John McDonogh Advisory Committee chair Clarence] chair Robinson, referring to a Jan. 15 charter board meeting that erupted in tears and screaming matches between parents, community activists and students.
New FEMA flood zone maps present hurricane-stricken residents in the Northeast with a conundrum familiar to South Louisianians: pay now to rebuild homes to higher elevations, or pay gargantuan flood insurance premiums later. Hurricane Sandy victims– we feel your pain. If you have cash reserves to stick it out, perhaps, seven years later, if the feds build you new flood protection, and you live inside a protected area, rates will go back down.
Will an old Fat City dance club to become new live-performance theater? Talks are very preliminary, but Jefferson Parish City Council is jumping at the possibility: “officials are moving to rewrite the area’s zoning law to allow a theater, for live performances or film, between Veterans Memorial Boulevard and the 18th Street corridor. Current law doesn’t permit it.”
As Mayor Mitch Landrieu tweets up a storm of positivity during Super Bowl week, an AP story comes out that ties the high crime rate, among other chronic problems, to his tenure:
Yet, as far as the city has come, decades-old problems persist. New Orleans remains plagued by violent crime, political corruption, a troubled police department and poverty.
Crime rates briefly dipped after Katrina scattered residents all over the country but quickly soared again as people returned home. Landrieu has made crime reduction one of his top priorities, but the murder rate has remained stubbornly high since he took office in 2010.
After being built in South Korea, the enormous Olympus oil drilling platform has arrived in Texas for final assembly, before it is positioned off the coast of Louisiana. The platform will drill at a depth of 3,000 feet and could extend the life of the Mars field to 2050. It is operated by Shell and partially owned by BP.