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2015 Baton Rouge Attorney Profiles
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Walt Handelsman for Feb. 27, 2015

Is the dizzying array of misinformation coming from Bill O’Reilly catching up with him? Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Jindal a useful foil for Vitter

Pretty much everyone who follows Louisiana politics knows that the state’s two leading officials, Gov. Bobby Jindal and U.S. Sen. David Vitter, aren’t allies. They’re not even “frenemies,” two people who don’t like each other but manage to work together toward common goals. Nope. The only apparent connections between these two are the… Continue reading →

Our Views: President Obama ignores the evidence, bows to politics with Keystone veto

Danny Ruthenberg-Marshall, left, with 350 DC, and Lindsey Halvorson, 20, a student at American University, gather up their signs after attending a celebration gathering with other opponents of Keystone XL oil pipeline, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015, in support of President Barack Obama's veto of the legislation, outside the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Ordinarily, we’d be somewhat sympathetic to President Barack Obama’s stated position on the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, as it is a matter of a president’s prerogative on foreign policy. Because the pipeline will bring Canadian oil to the Gulf Coast, the U.S. government must approve its construction. As much as we… Continue reading →

Letter: Barry’s lawsuit targeting energy industry is incredibly misguided

John Barry’s recent column is just as misguided as the unprecedented lawsuit he initiated more than two years ago. Contrary to Barry’s assertion that “the lawsuit was never the problem,” it is worth noting that three different branches of government have now weighed in on the massive litigation targeting Louisiana’s energy industry filed by the Southeast Louisiana… Continue reading →

Letter: Beacon Hill’s report on EPA plan not a credible source

Earlier this week, Quin Hillyer published an opinion article titled “Obama carbon rule would choke Louisiana.” The basis for Hillyer’s argument is a joint report with the Beacon Hill Institute and the New Orleans-based Pelican Institute for Public Policy. Recently revealed documents by The Guardian show that a lobbyist named Richard Berman funded the Beacon Hill… Continue reading →

James Gill: Bobby Jindal misses chance to court extremists

James Gill

Bobby Jindal must be kicking himself for letting Scott Walker, of Wisconsin, steal his thunder. That could have been Jindal making the Limeys howl with derision by refusing to say whether he believed in evolution. But when Jindal was in London a few weeks ago, there was no time to address the issue, because reporters kept asking… Continue reading →

Our Views: Love, where you find it

The governor of Louisiana is firm on this point: “The president loves America, he loves our country. There’s no doubt about that.” As doubting that obvious fact has become something of a cottage industry in the nascent 2016 presidential campaign, we’re glad to hear Bobby Jindal put that canard to rest. But we can go… Continue reading →

Letter to the editor: 'Immigration reform' hurts American citizens' ability to find jobs

Demonstrators from opposing sides confront each other, Friday, July 4, 2014, outside a U.S. Border Patrol station in Murrieta, Calif. Demonstrators on both sides of the immigration debate had gathered where the agency was foiled earlier in an attempt to bus in and process some of the immigrants who have flooded the Texas border with Mexico. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

A few weeks ago, the president claimed that “the shadow of the crisis has passed, and the State of the Union is strong.” His claim was based almost solely on his assertion that unemployment is lower than any point since 2009. While the unemployment rate the White House touts is almost half of what it was in… Continue reading →

Letter: College sports revenue should be redirected to support academics

We have a budget crisis in Louisiana, so cuts are being considered once again on funding college, university and education programs. Colleges and universities in Louisiana have football, basketball, baseball/softball, gymnastics, etc., that pay millions of dollars in salaries to coaches, but can’t afford to keep professors employed! Do colleges and universities exist for advanced educational programs… Continue reading →

Walt Handelsman for Feb. 25, 2015

Here’s a new allergy to be worried about... Continue reading →

Our Views: Something strange and wonderful in Louisiana? Smart, accomplished governor's candidates willing to debate the issues

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- First 2015 gubernatorial forum sponsored by the American Council of Engineering Companies of Louisiana. From left at table, John Bel Edwards, David Vitter, Jay Dardenne and Scott Angelle. Topic was transportation issues.

Something strange — and welcome — is happening in the early days of Louisiana’s gubernatorial race. Although the primary election won’t be held until this fall, the four announced candidates are already vigorously debating the issues. Four rivals for Louisiana’s top political job — Democratic state representative John Bel Edwards and Republican candidates U.S. Sen. David… Continue reading →

Letter to editor: How, why we should make Mardi Gras festivities, spirit go year-round

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ-- The Fantastic Voyages title float of  Endymion rolls down Orleans Avenue in New Orleans, La. Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015. The 3,000 member superkrewe rolled on the traditional Mid-City route. William Garcia was King. Rachel Miriam Blanchard was the Queen.The guest grand marshal was country singer Luke Bryan. Throws from the floats included Valentine's Day themed items including lighted roses, heart pendants and rings.

In the days leading up to Mardi Gras, national media outlets turned their attention to Louisiana’s many cultural eccentricities: our food, our music, our creativity, things that come from an incredibly long-term investment that is hard to comprehend amid passing floats and while staring at the bottom of an empty Bourbon shot. But, in fact, this fleeting spectacle… Continue reading →

Letter: Unemployment rate not an accurate depiction of labor utilization

The February jobs report indicated that businesses created 257,000 jobs in January, but the unemployment rate increased to 5.7 percent. It seems odd that unemployment increased when so many jobs were created. This is an indicator that the jobs reports are not accurate. The official unemployment rate increased in January mainly because people who had previously… Continue reading →

Letter: Unions not that important now to laborers

Unions have been in the news recently regarding the Steel Workers of America going on strike in our area. The one thing that all of those newspaper stories fail to tell you is the amount of money in question. You don’t hear that all of the workers are already very well paid. Also, you are not told that… Continue reading →

Lanny Keller: Government Street site a perfect canvas for urban planner with record of success in Baton Rouge and beyond

Both Baton Rouge and Lafayette have been fertile fields for the near-madness level of genius of urban planner Andrés Duany. In Lafayette, his New Urbanist philosophy guided the development of River Ranch and other developments that have spawned considerable financial successes and new thinking about urban residential living. In downtown Baton Rouge, Duany’s New Urbanist vision sketched… Continue reading →

Dennis Persica: In education-reform debate, 'choice' is just a feel-good word masking the true issues

In the debate over education “reform” — a discussion that extends from tuition vouchers and teachers’ unions to standardized tests and school governance — one of the more popular catchwords is “choice.” Gov. Bobby Jindal’s education plan, introduced in Washington last month, calls parent choice “foundational” because, “by establishing a consumer driven market ecosystem,” it… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Petal an example of why Louisiana film tax credits need better monitoring

If Malcolm Petal was a character in some big-budget caper film — perhaps even one of the numerous movies shot in Louisiana since the state instituted its generous production tax credit — he might well be the protagonist. Movies are big on anti-heroes these days, and Petal, a lawyer-turned-convicted-crook who admitted to ripping off the film… Continue reading →

Walt Handelsman for Feb. 24, 2015

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

Letter: District judge’s ruling on immigration grasps at straws

Earlier this month, a federal district judge out of Brownsville, Texas, Andrew Hanen, issued a temporary injunction against the implementation of the Obama administration’s executive actions on prosecutorial discretion in immigration, known as “DAPA” and “Expanded DACA.” The ruling is estimated to block a presidential order that would have eventually allowed more than 4 million undocumented immigrants to… Continue reading →

Letter: Letter writer wrong on conservative history

Wow. Wow. A recent letter to the editor suggests that “self-proclaimed conservatives,” who according to the writer includes only white people (hello, Thomas Sowell?), consider hyphenated Americans “subhuman.” Why then would those conservatives be against hyphenation? What a piece of unclear reasoning. Where were his good liberals when American Indians were driven off their lands? He… Continue reading →

Letter: Meat-free diet has benefits beyond Lent

This month marks the beginning of Lent, the 40-day period before Easter, when many Christians abstain from animal foods in remembrance of Jesus’ 40 days of fasting in the desert before launching his ministry. But meat-free Lent is much more than a symbol of religious devotion to Christ. It helps reduce the risk of chronic disease,… Continue reading →

Letter: La. accountability must continue

In 1999, under Gov. Mike Foster, Louisiana created the LEAP test, measuring how well schools teach college and workplace skills. As a result of this Louisiana “accountability” plan, achievement has improved. The state’s high school graduation rate is at an all-time high, for example. Louisiana still ranks among the bottom three states in reading… Continue reading →

Louisiana Spotlight: Speculation over Jindal’s budget ends this week

Gov. Bobby Jindal unveils his budget-cutting recommendations this week, ending the backroom chatter of just how bad things might look and putting the grim reality out in public. Louisiana’s colleges have gotten most of the attention so far about the deep slashing that’s up for consideration, but that’s likely to change when lawmakers and the public see… Continue reading →

Quin Hillyer: Obama carbon rule would choke Louisiana

A soon-to-be-released report from the conservative Pelican Institute tallies the damage to Louisiana from yet another initiative of President Barack Obama’s administration, which seems to be at permanent war against Louisiana interests. The report, a joint project with the Beacon Hill Institute of Suffolk University in Boston, tallies the projected costs of the Environmental Protection Agency’s new… Continue reading →

Walt Handelsman for Feb. 22, 2015

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

Our Views: Flood-protection board hamstrung by lawyers

A New Orleans area flood protection authority punted its civic obligation Thursday, deciding — with more of a shrug than a game plan — to soldier on with its lawsuit against scores of oil and gas companies for damaging Louisiana’s coastline. The panel didn’t even bother to vote after its attorney threatened to send over a legal bill… Continue reading →

Our Views: FBI Director James Comey's speech a call for openness with law enforcement

FBI Director James Comey discusses race and law enforcement, Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015, at Georgetown University in Washington. Comey said the nation is at a crossroads on matters of race relations and law enforcement, saying the country must confront hard truths following the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner and the slayings of two police officers in New York. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

On his desk in the Hoover Building, the head of the FBI keeps a wiretap order from the 1960s, signed by Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. It authorized the Hoover FBI to tap the conversations of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “It is a single page,” current Director James B. Comey said in a… Continue reading →

Edward Pratt: New Baton Rouge library cool place to hang out

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND --  Joyce Worthy works on her laptop by one of the tall glass windows in the East Baton Rouge Parish's new Main Library on Goodwood Boulevard. Worthy said she does not have internet at home, so she loves the library because it gets her out of the house.  She has created a library at home by slowly collecting books on sale at the Goodwood location over nine years.

On Monday, I could have been swept up in the excitement and the frantic decision-making that thousands people around here were dealing with. Which Mardi Gras parade to attend? What kind of king cake to get? What alcoholic beverage to get? But none of that was on my agenda. I was excited because my wife was out… Continue reading →

Letters: Privatization costs should be examined

There’s a lot of money to be made from privatization. Social Security. Medicare. Post office. Highways. Bridges. State parks. Public schools. Not only would the rich not pay taxes for maintaining them, but also they would be able to charge us — “The People” — for using them. The People… Continue reading →

Letters: Bullies thrive on fear

Most will remember someone in their childhood who was a bully. This individual pushed people around by intimidating them until fear surfaced. Bullies thrive on fear. And so long as people backed down, the bully threatened physical harm in exchange for acquiescing to their demands. But you may also remember when someone finally said, “I’m not taking this… Continue reading →

Letters: Honoré leaving out environmental issues

The article in the paper mentioning retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré and his activities related to environmental issues raised a question in my mind. Let me first say that I have a lot of respect for the general and would in no way want this to sound like I am discrediting him. It is just the opposite; I… Continue reading →

Walt Handelsman for Feb. 20, 2015

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

Stephanie Grace: Jindal seems like he’s just passing through, but it didn’t always seem that way

Governor Bobby Jindal (R-LA), a potential 2016 GOP candidate, speaks at a APPs State luncheon discussion on Common Core at the Mayflower Hotel on Feb. 5, 2015 in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)

Not long ago, prompted by a call from a national political reporter seeking to understand likely presidential candidate Gov. Bobby Jindal’s rise in Louisiana, I pulled out an old profile I wrote during his first campaign. And I have to confess that reading it again, after all these years and with so much water under the bridge, was… Continue reading →

Our Views: A bad idea for the coast

Here we go again, but this time the Legislature ought to give serious thought before going along with another of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s raids on whatever loose pots of money he can find in the budget. Why? Because this time Jindal seeks to take money from the Coastal Protection and Restoration Fund to… Continue reading →

Letter: BR General should be paid to keep critical ER open

There are two points to make on the recent article by Marsha Shuler, “Mid City closure worries public.” “The Lake, unlike other area hospitals, receives 100 percent Medicaid reimbursement for providing care to the uninsured unlike other area hospitals.” Shouldn’t Baton Rouge General be entitled to a 100 percent reimbursement for those… Continue reading →

Letter: Would ACA have saved BR General?

Given the information on the closing of the ER at Baton Rouge General downtown, what would have happened if Louisiana had accepted the ACA? Just wondering if that might have made a difference. Charles Smith retired clergy St. Francisville… Continue reading →

Letter: Letter wrong in labeling minority groups victims

In the recent letter by William Sierichs bashing Cal Thomas, we get to see classic liberalism at work. Almost every group that has come to the United States is a victim, and they are victims of white, Protestant, European, conservative “right-wingers,” according to Sierichs. The fact that throughout history human nature, values, laws and governments have… Continue reading →