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Stephanie Grace: David Duke once again shows he’s ‘a petulant, resentful, racist, anti-Semitic, self-regarding and seriously thin-skinned low-life’

U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, left, and David Duke

So now David Duke is threatening to run against Steve Scalise. Talk about ungrateful. If anything, the former state representative, Ku Klux Klan leader, and way-too-close-for-comfort gubernatorial candidate should be thanking the Metairie congressman for inadvertently shining the spotlight back in his direction. Duke’s been old news for more than a decade now, and a… Continue reading →

James Gill: Tom Benson’s ‘dignity has been shredded’ in sad soap opera

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Rita Benson LeBlanc and Tom Benson showed off the new Pelicans practice facility next door to the Saints' headquarters off Airline Drive in Metairie Tuesday, September 17, 2013.

It always has seemed impossible that we would have reason to feel sorry for Tom Benson, the richest man in Louisiana by a wide margin. But the public humiliation of an old man is a spectacle calculated to distress regardless of how much moolah he has accumulated. That, in his case, would be close to $2… Continue reading →

Quin Hillyer: Southern bragging about Rev. Jeremiah Wright speaking on campus ‘even more obnoxious’ than Bobby Jindal’s prayer rally

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- A woman holds her arms up in prayer as Gov. Bobby Jindal speaks during his prayer rally,

Those who hate hatred coming from the right should hate hatred coming from the Wright as well. If they don’t, then the rest of us are right to hate their hypocrisy. Background: For more than a month, the grievance-mongers on the left and the media tut-tutters have fulminated against Gov. Bobby Jindal for hosting a… Continue reading →

Political Horizons: Talk of Bobby Jindal trimming health care budget a little quiet, but cuts possibly devastating

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal speaks to a crowd, Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015, in Baton Rouge, La. Gov. Jindal continued to court Christian conservatives for a possible presidential campaign with a headlining appearance at an all-day prayer rally hosted by the American Family Association. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)

Maybe it’s the difference in the images: fresh faces brimming with promise versus weary looks of the stress of an all-too-realistic present. Most of the conversation has focused on the Jindal administration’s plans to cut higher education. Talks about hacking a similar amount from health care budgets have received little attention, even though the cuts will… Continue reading →

Washington Watch: For Bobby Jindal, what does the hyphen in Indian-American mean?

FILE - In this Oct. 26, 2012, file photo, Rep. Ami Bera is seen at his campaign office in Elk Grove, Calif., before winning his election that unseated incumbent Republican Dan Lungren. Bera, a first-term Democrat in a Sacramento-area seat, is a physician who favors expanding access to health care. Yet he has been voting with the Republican majority in the House to amend or overturn parts of the federal Affordable Care Act. Bera is one of a handful of Democrats in California who represent congressional districts that are closely divided between Democrats and Republicans, after voters approved an independent redistricting process. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

Ami Bera is proud to be an Indian-American. “I do not shy away from my story,” Bera, a Democratic congressman from California whose parents immigrated from India, said recently. “There is no problem being an Indian-American. Because that is the tapestry of the United States. It’s generations of people coming together to weave… Continue reading →

Our Views: Conservation fund faces Congress

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD --  Cousins Mason Mitchell, 4, left, and Cayden Juneau, 4, both of Carriere, Miss., play with the worms Saturday, June 7, 2014, during the 21st Annual Youth Fishing Event and Grand Opening of New Recreational Trail and Boardwalk at Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge.

Among the issues facing the new Congress is the future of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which will go out of business this September if Congress doesn’t reauthorize it. The fund, created 50 years ago, is financed mostly by fees paid to the federal government for oil and gas production. The… Continue reading →

Letter: Vu’s compassion made community better place

Photo provided by St. Aloysius Catholic Church --  A large portrait of Rev. Than Ngoc Vu hangs in St. Aloysius Church.

With the Rev. Than Ngoc Vu’s death, south Louisiana lost a great and compassionate leader whose many contributions to our community cannot be measured. My only personal encounter with Father Vu came during the dreadful weeks following Hurricane Katrina. A 93-year-old dear family friend and fellow immigrant from Colombia named Carmen suffered… Continue reading →

Letter: Charter schools offer more education options

I’m an advocate for school choice because it gives parents like myself the chance to explore education opportunities outside of their neighborhood. Being able to choose the school gives us more options beyond what is available in our neighborhood, which is often not a lot. I have experienced firsthand the powerful impact being able to attend school… Continue reading →

Edward Pratt: Man struggles to find his voice

Sometimes it’s difficult to talk to Ron Pennington. It takes him so long to get one word out. “Come on man, get those words out.” Occasionally, as a child, he would get “whooped up” emotionally by schoolmates’ laughter and teasing. The chiding was so bad at times that all he had to hold on to was the… Continue reading →

Walt Handelsman for Jan. 30, 2015

Here is the latest from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist and animator Walt Handelsman. Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: State's budget problems can't wait for Jindal to leave

Advocate staff file photo by BILL FEIG -- Aerial of the new State Capitol building and grounds.

In speaking to lawmakers over the last couple of years, I’ve heard a common refrain from both House and Senate members, Republicans and Democrats: Just wait until Gov. Bobby Jindal leaves office. Then — finally, they say — they’ll be able to stop factoring Jindal’s national ambitions into… Continue reading →

Our Views: A bone lady at her work

Advocate staff photo by CATHERINE THRELKELD -- Mary Manhein, known as

In a world of phony cold-case TV dramas, an LSU professor has been the real thing. Mary Manhein built at LSU the lab and team of forensic anthropologists that are consulted about real-life dramas; she is “the bone lady” who can bring back the faces of the dead. She retires at the end of April, having… Continue reading →

Our Views: Gotham dodges a bullet

Those of us who live in south Louisiana don’t have to be told that anticipating the potential danger of bad weather can be a tricky business. In 2005, then-New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin drew criticism for waiting so late to order a mandatory evacuation as Hurricane Katrina approached. Last… Continue reading →

Letter: Claim on Churchill bust discredited

Regarding the recent letter about the White House Churchill bust by Michael Sellen, I respect the right of people to express views different than mine and to attack our president on legitimate grounds. I do not believe it is appropriate to publish letters that cite obvious lies, like this one, in such attacks. Among… Continue reading →

Letter: Jindal looks abroad, ignores home woes

The Advocate’s Jan. 25 opinion pages offered a buffet of political commentary featuring our governor, who is, by many accounts, brilliant, yet by his own admission, curiously benighted, e.g., when claiming ignorance of evolution topics by stating, “I am not an evolutionary biologist.” First, Gregory Roberts, The Advocate’s Washington bureau chief, presents a deliciously deadpan, yet mordant,… Continue reading →

Letter: What do trees do with carbon dioxide?

A recent letter to the editor about wood pellets caught my attention because there was a comment that differs from what I was taught in chemistry class at LSU. I learned that trees do not store carbon dioxide but release it when there is no photosynthesis (basically no daylight, water or other required conditions in the atmosphere to… Continue reading →

James Gill: A smoking ban’s haze of amendments

The finer points of the smoking ban in New Orleans may remain to be worked out, but that’s jake with City Council President Stacy Head. There will be plenty of time to tweak it before it goes into effect, Head noted several times during a raucous public hearing at which the ordinance was amended some 100… Continue reading →

Our Views: Potentially cutting WISE college fund typical of Louisiana budget's chronic mismanagement under Bobby Jindal

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Gov. Bobby Jindal speaks during his prayer rally,

When the so-called WISE fund was launched, a look behind the news releases showed far less in new money for state colleges than the $40 million advertised. Typical of the chronic mismanagement of the state budget under Gov. Bobby Jindal, a lot of the advertised benefits for colleges were one-time money that was shuffled around in… Continue reading →

Letter: Kyle’s legacy extends beyond military service

The controversial film “American Sniper” has sparked debate across the country and the flames have been fanned by incendiary remarks on each side. I had the opportunity to meet with Chris Kyle on a handful of occasions while on the nonprofit fundraising circuit, including once in Baton Rouge only months before his murder at the hands of… Continue reading →

Letter: Ensuring La. teachers a retirement for the long term

As a member of the Board of Trustees for the Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana (TRSL) for the past 24 years, I often get asked questions about the board’s investment goals and strategies. Our primary goal is to ensure the system’s portfolio has the right mix of investments to fund retirements in the long term. A recent… Continue reading →

Letter: Prayer meeting coverage was attack on Christians

I’ve never written to The Advocate ever. The recent front page was AMAZING! I am entering retirement years and was so excited to see all these pictures of Christians coming together because I am one. As I began to read the article, I couldn’t believe how Elizabeth Crisp bent and twisted the entire thing. This went… Continue reading →

Walt Handelsman for Jan. 15, 2015

Here is the latest from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist and animator Walt Handelsman. Continue reading →

Our Views: Rich history on Teche

Photo provided by Iberia Tourism -- Tour du Teche V takes off Friday and last through Sunday along Bayou Teche from Port Barre to Patterson.

The story goes that the matron of The Shadows on the Teche, the antebellum landmark in New Iberia, was faced with a stark offer. Take the oath of allegiance to the United States and get food from the federal steamboats playing Bayou Teche. She thought this pledge a betrayal of her husband and sons away in the Confederate… Continue reading →

Letter: As DWI offenses grow, so should punishment

You do a service to our community by publishing the daily list of arrests for drunk driving, or DWI, in Baton Rouge. I am amazed at how many third- and fourth-time repeaters there are, suggesting that efforts to make drunk driving unattractive are failing. Surely one DWI is forgivable, and maybe even a second could occur to the… Continue reading →

Letter: Readers need protection from global warming ‘tripe’

This letter is being written in response to Daniel P. Poulin, a real estate executive in Metairie. He asks that The Advocate stop printing “tripe” consisting of inaccurate, badly informed and downright fraudulent letters about climate change. I agree. I think you should also not print letters or articles that explain the ugly “physics” of… Continue reading →

Letter: Obama shows no respect for Churchill’s legacy

I thoroughly enjoyed Cal Thomas’ column about Boris Johnson’s wonderful book, “The Churchill Factor, How One Man Made History.” I own the book, and it is a fine piece of work about the 20th century’s greatest statesman. Every student of history would do well to read it and learn what makes a true leader. As Thomas points… Continue reading →

Letter: U.S. stands proud with France in time of tragedy

The article in “Our Views” in the Jan. 17 edition of The Advocate, “Our Cousins in Mourning,” touched me and my family greatly. “Je suis Charlie” summed up our feelings in a way so rarely achieved by three short words. It also expressed the feelings of an entire state, Louisiana, perhaps a nation, the United States. It expressed… Continue reading →

Lanny Keller: Downtown Baton Rouge is booming; what's the next step?

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS --  A ceremony celebrating the topping off of the IBM building downtown at the corner of Lafayette and North streets was held  in December.

Maybe it’s become a cliché, but the “tipping point” for downtown Baton Rouge has probably already happened — a boom in both commerce and residential living has marked 2014 and shows signs of more progress this year. The sense of change in the years since 1998 brought town planner Andres Duany to Baton Rouge for the… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Bobby Jindal can't do a thing about same-sex marriage possibly becoming law; that's the way it should be

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal speaks to a crowd, Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015, in Baton Rouge. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)

If the U.S. Supreme Court wraps up this year’s session by declaring same-sex marriage a constitutional right — a scenario far more probable than not, most knowledgeable observers predict — tourism officials in New Orleans will be ready. According to a recent Gambit story, the New Orleans Tourism and Marketing… Continue reading →

Walt Handelsman for Jan. 27, 2015

Here is the latest from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist and animator Walt Handelsman. Continue reading →

Our Views: John Kasich, GOP leader on Medicaid

Associated Press file photo by JAMES NORD -- Ohio Gov. John Kasich

The leader among Republican governors favoring Medicaid expansion is John Kasich, of Ohio, and he’s not backing down on the need to provide insurance for the working poor. Kasich defended the policy in a meeting with Republican legislators in Montana, where the GOP-led bodies had opposed expansion under the Affordable Care Act. The mini-debate over… Continue reading →

Letter: Parents don’t want failure as an option for their kids

According to Caroline Roemer Shirley, executive director of the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools (guest commentary Jan. 21) failure is necessary. It is what drives the wheels of charter law in Louisiana. A child and her parents are not burdened when a charter experiment fails two years into elementary school and that child’s educational future is turned… Continue reading →

Letter: Atlas Foundation condemns the attack in France

We sadly came to learn about the incident that took place in Paris, France recently. Killing innocent people at their work, on the streets, on their duties cannot be explained by any teaching, any philosophy and any ideology regardless of its location. However, we witnessed it once again with a great sadness. We hope and pray that no… Continue reading →

Letter: Wood pellets shipped overseas from South destroying forests

I am concerned about our Southern forests being devastated to provide wood pellets to be burned for fuel in Europe. Our trees store carbon dioxide and release oxygen, which we need to breathe. We need our trees to keep our air as clean as possible. Why should we clear cut our hardwood forests to export this natural resource… Continue reading →

In Toon With Walt: We have a winner!

Wow, Folks! Every time we hold one of these contests I say how much I enjoy reading your entries but this time I was literally laughing out loud! All of your punch lines about the joy of falling gas prices were smart, witty and just flat out funny. This time we had 213 entries with… Continue reading →

Letter: Restoring Gulf Coast is best outcome from BP disaster

Tracking the trials and legal decisions in the aftermath of the 2010 BP disaster has been a long, sometimes frustrating and complicated process. The lawsuit to hold BP accountable for the destruction in the Gulf of Mexico resulting from the largest oil spill in U.S. history began in 2013. This lawsuit deals with violation of… Continue reading →

Letter: Too many struggle for basic needs in Louisiana

As we recently celebrated the life and legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., many working individuals and families found themselves struggling to afford health care in Louisiana. Furthermore, Louisiana’s health care system has seen the effects of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s policy-making. Most disturbing is the governor’s decision not to accept federal Affordable… Continue reading →

Letter: Muslims should denounce terrorism

Philosophical discussions about people devoted to an ideology are seldom as effective in describing reality as is behavioral observation of those people. When applied to devotees of Islam, philosophical discussions have seemingly created three categories into which Muslims can be placed — radical extremist, moderate and peaceful. Philosophically defining these categories can lead to quite a… Continue reading →

Louisiana Spotlight: No good news expected from revenue panel

The depth of Louisiana’s budget problems gets a firmer number Monday, with lawmakers bracing for even worse news than the gaping $1.4 billion hole that already has them spooked. The state’s income forecasting panel will take a look at the continued downward spiral of oil prices and adjust Louisiana’s revenue forecast to account for the drop. Little… Continue reading →

Walt Handelsman for Jan. 25, 2015

Here is the latest from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist and animator Walt Handelsman. Continue reading →