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Guest column: Public defenders’ claims sound like Chicken Little

E. Pete Adams

The Louisiana Public Defender Board and its supporters have done an excellent job of using Louisiana’s budget woes to make a case for more money. They say the right of indigent criminal defendants to receive free legal counsel will disappear unless they are provided massive increases in their budget. These “Chicken Little” claims have been… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Donald Trump’s big-name critics are in the GOP

The big-name Republicans who populate the first major ad of Democrat Hillary Clinton’s presumed general election campaign have two things in common. One, they’ve shared some choice words about Clinton’s all-but-official opponent, reality TV mogul Donald Trump, on camera. Clinton’s web-only video takes more than a minute to let Trump’s former primary foes —-… Continue reading →

Letters: Changes afoot in Pediatric Day Health Care program

I want to thank The Advocate for the recent editorial about the Pediatric Day Health Care program. As noted in the editorial, the program offers specialized medical services for medically fragile children, but it is growing at an unsustainable rate. As the editorial correctly pointed out, in only a few years, the cost of the program has… Continue reading →

Letters: No harm in having direct access to physical therapists when needed

To anyone who questions that direct access to physical therapy would result in physical therapists “practicing medicine” or that patients would suffer from a dangerous internal illness going undiagnosed, I simply ask: How many people have been encouraged/referred to a physician by coaches, family members, masseuses, dentists, counselors, etc., because they recognized signs that something was in need… Continue reading →

Grace Notes: Ad showing Republicans ripping Donald Trump might sound familiar in Louisiana

Hillary Clinton’s first web video from this new, Trump-as-actual-GOP-candidate phase of the presidential race is absolutely brutal. For Louisiana television viewers, it should also be strangely familiar. For over a minute, the Clinton ad plays clips of Donald Trump’s fellow Republicans, including his vanquished opponents, telling the world just what they think of the garish… Continue reading →

James Gill: Corrections scandals a Cain family saga

The state Department of Public Safety and Corrections won’t say whether Nate Cain and his wife, Tonia, are getting paid while on enforced leave. Thus, there is no doubt in the public’s mind that the Cains continue to draw their salaries. If they weren’t, the department would shout it from the rooftops and enjoy, for once, the… Continue reading →

Guest column: Some names to remember when it comes to picking presidential running mates

Ron Faucheux

It’s that time again –– to start thinking about vice presidential selections. Already, Hillary Clinton’s campaign is floating names of prospects, and top Republicans are wondering about Donald Trump’s pick now that he’s the presumptive GOP nominee. Running mate selection is based on a range of strategies. One is ticket balance –– John Kennedy did… Continue reading →

Former Jefferson Parish coroner: Donald Trump might have Cluster B Personality Disorder

Donald Trump’s campaign mantra, “Make America Great Again,” suggests that there is something wrong with America. Trump’s arrogance, narcissism, histrionic behavior, compounded by antisocial and borderline personality features, misogyny, homophobia, grandiosity and paranoia fairly closely define “Cluster B Personality Disorder,” according to the DSM-5, all complicated by a serious problem with insomnia. Trump’s supporters, on… Continue reading →

Letters: Student speaks out on sex education bill

Regarding the proposed bill that would improve sex education in school, I strongly feel as though it should be passed. The Real Education for Healthy Youth Act would provide money for sex education training and will make sure all the information taught is accurate. It also would give grants for sex education programs to include information… Continue reading →

Letters: Give seniors the TOPS awards they were promised

In reference to how to equitably divide the funds available for 2016-2017, may I suggest a slight change? Our family currently has one student planning to graduate from LSU in May 2017 and another who will graduate from Benjamin Franklin High School next month. It seems it would be easier for the youngest to… Continue reading →

Grace Notes: He called Donald Trump shallow, weak, unstable; now Bobby Jindal favors him for president

Republican presidential candidate, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal speaks at the National Press Club in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015. Jindal said GOP front-runner Donald Trump is an egomaniacal madman who has no principles and who risks costing the party its chance to regain the White House.  (AP Photo/Molly Riley)

Donald Trump is shallow, insecure and weak. He’s an unserious and unstable narcissist. Has no understanding of policy. He’s full of bluster but has no substance. He lacks the intellectual curiosity to even learn. He clearly hasn’t read the Bible, because he’s not in it. That’s not my take on the now-presumed Republican presidential nominee, although… Continue reading →

Our Views: Some kick in the race for better public education

If Louisiana seems far back in the pack, the race for bettering public education is one where the state is showing some kick in its stride. And if this race is a marathon, not a sprint, the recent successes in Louisiana’s high school graduation rates should be applauded as building toward better results… Continue reading →

Lanny Keller: A new commuter line makes sense for Baton Rouge to Crescent City

The above headline is wrong, if you talk to people in the transportation funding world. The “commuter” part that is, not the making-sense part. That’s because cobbling together funding for the passenger train service between Baton Rouge and New Orleans is dependent on the rules of various federal programs. Intercity rail is a different category, apparently, than… Continue reading →

Guest column: Louisiana is contributing in the mission to Mars

Todd May

Getting humans to Mars and back will be one of the most difficult undertakings humanity has ever taken. But we are up to the challenge. Louisiana plays a critical part and has made human space exploration possible since the beginning of the space program. Fifty-five years ago this week, the first American to fly in space was… Continue reading →

Letters: Public defense budget woes aren’t new

Public defenders handle well over 85 percent of the cases handled by district attorneys. In 2014, district attorneys expended $140,000,000, compared to public defense which expended less than $70,000,000 for all defense services. This inequity, combined with over-criminalization, has made Louisiana the incarceration capital of the world. Capital defense is expensive. An independent study by Frank Baumgartner… Continue reading →

Letters: No humor found in Bizarro cartoon

I enjoy working the puzzles in The Advocate and usually look at the comics to the side. I was appalled at Bizarro in the paper on April 22. It shows a drawing of “God” on his throne in the clouds as an ape. He is speaking to a human dressed in a robe saying, “I created you… Continue reading →

Letters: Sanitation issues out of control at Jazz Fest

I have attended Jazz Fest for the last time. Beautiful weather, great food, fabulous entertainment. If you can get near any of it. Lines for beer, water, etc., are out of control. It takes 30 minutes to get anything. By 2 p.m. Saturday, the portolets are almost full to the top. Urinals are full… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Perhaps hard to believe, but there's one set of ex-Gov. Bobby Jindal’s ideas still in play in Louisiana

If there’s one thing that seems to unite the warring factions that make up the state’s political class, it’s the firm belief that many of former Gov. Bobby Jindal’s policies should be undone. Legislators, Republican and Democratic alike, are in the process of enthusiastically passing bills that can be read as direct rebukes to the former… Continue reading →

Our Views: On 70th anniversary of 'All the King’s Men,' a reminder of Huey Long's continued influence on Louisiana politics

All The King's Men

Even if a statue of Huey Pierce Long didn’t tower over the State Capitol, his continuing presence in Louisiana’s political culture would be vivid enough. Long centralized power in state government, meaning that local communities still come to Baton Rouge to fight for resources rather than raising them for themselves. That’s sharpened… Continue reading →

Grace Notes: Jurors found former St. Tammany District Attorney Walter Reed clearly crossed fuzzy line on use of political donations

Big-time prosecutor turned federal defendant Walter Reed spent nearly six hours on the witness stand Friday, explaining to the jury how a vast array of personal items and events he’d charged to his campaign fund, in some cases to funnel money to his co-defendant grown son through inflated bills, were all proper under a broad state ethics law… Continue reading →

Letters: Information on global warming still lacking

The April 26 edition of The Advocate included an interesting article in which the researchers had concluded an increase of two weeks in the growing season along the Mississippi Delta over the past three decades. My friends and others have concluded over the years that I did indeed fall off a turnip truck,… Continue reading →

Letters: Bill offers crucial support to caregivers in families

I have served as a caregiver for my mother, and I know the many challenges caregivers face daily. My mother, as she aged, suffered complications from a stroke, and she suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. As the family caregiver, I was responsible for seeing that she took her medicine, even giving B12 shots, along with the many other… Continue reading →

Grace Notes: No surprise that Gov. John Bel Edwards’ education bills stalled

Gov. John Bel Edwards can argue that he has a mandate to do several things. Fixing the budget mess tops the list. This, more than any other substantive issue, dominated the debate during his victorious campaign last fall. Right behind were several related priorities, from rebuilding public investment in higher education to expanding Medicaid to putting Louisiana’s… Continue reading →

Our Views: Starting Monday, let Common Core in Louisiana roll on

Not with a bang but with a whimper: The overheated agitation against Common Core, new and higher standards for public school classrooms, appears to have subsided for this year. About 300,000 public schools students Monday begin taking what used to be called the Common Core tests — without any widespread… Continue reading →

Louisiana pastor: My argument against proposed ‘Pastor Protection Act’

Shane Kastler

Recently, the state House of Representatives passed House Bill 597, also known as the “Pastor Protection Act.” As a Louisiana pastor, you might think I would be excited about this bill, but I am not. While I agree with the basic philosophy of the bill — which states that pastors who refuse to… Continue reading →

Rheta Johnson: The spirit of New Orleans can’t be dampened

Rain falls differently here, in entire puddles, not individual drops. Nobody stops. Not for a little rain. The homeless street youth shrugs and shakes the wet from his dreadlocks, the bag ladies pull their plastic ponchos over tousled heads, the tourists squeal and run for the nearest bar. The day before New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival… Continue reading →

Jeff Sadow: Democrats change tune on contract limits

My, what a difference a couple of years can make for Democrats in Louisiana’s House of Representatives, for whom the litmus test for legislation depends largely on whether their party occupies the Governor’s Mansion. Last week, when no-party state Rep. Dee Richard stumped for his House Bill 74 in front of the House Appropriations Committee,… Continue reading →

James Gill: Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser's first 100 days not exactly filled with success; more like 'idiocy'

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser testifies on SB148 concerning monuments in the Senate and Governmental Affairs Committee.

Let’s see if you can fill in the blank in this headline: “Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser’s first 100 days filled with. ...” You probably think it’s too easy, but, no, the answer is not “idiocy.” Before you guess again, let me explain that I was quoting Nungesser’s own news release,… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Decoding Mayor Mitch Landrieu's New Orleans violence speech

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu speaks about violence will displaying a photo of Ka'Nard Allen at Tulane University's Dixon Hall in New Orleans, La. Wednesday, April 27, 2016. Allen lost his cousin 5-year-old cousin Briana Allen at his birthday party to a gun violence and he was also wounded in the neck, his father was killed by gun violence, and Ka'Nard was also grazed by a gun in the face during a mass shooting at a second line.

From the outside, it’s not entirely clear what New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu was getting at when he made what was billed as a major address on violence in New Orleans last week. Was the main goal of the emotional hourlong speech at Tulane University to explain how intractable the problem is? How it’s… Continue reading →

Edward Pratt: A man buries his daughter, then his wife

For about 10 minutes last Saturday, I stared at Richard “Cooter” King, a man I have grown to admire over the years. My admiration is even stronger now. This is a column about love, loss and a man’s strength. I don’t see 84-year-old King very often, probably about twice a year at the most. But… Continue reading →

Letters: Real ID is a real good idea, but who’s going to pay for it?

The letter from Jim Harper regarding Real ID in the April 22 edition of The Advocate was a little misleading. Real ID was passed by the Republican-controlled Congress in 2005 during the Bush administration. It requires that air travelers carry a form of ID that complies with the requirements of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration (both… Continue reading →

Letters: A secession suggestion to solve the problems of New Orleans

The latest brouhaha from the Louisiana attorney general on the “sanctuary cities” issue and the meddling by the Legislature on the issue of the Civil War monuments presents New Orleans with an interesting dilemma. It’s nice to see they’re paying attention, but it’s really none of their business. Regardless of where you fall on the… Continue reading →