Obamacare heads towards troubled waters
April 25, 2013 at 9:36 am
There is good news and bad news for the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. The good news is that it is nearing full implementation next January 1. The bad news is that the legislation remains unpopular with the voters, and it is highly likely that the launch of the program will be problematic at best.

Unsolicited advice on tax reform
April 19, 2013 at 9:24 am
One positive aspect of being around a long time is seeing lots of folks whack at the piñata of reform with varying degrees of success. I, too, have taken my swings at the paper mâche donkey and occasionally saw the candy hit the ground. Tax reform is arguably the toughest genre of reform to achieve. Why? Because everyone is impacted by the tax code, and everyone becomes a stakeholder in the process. In most other areas of reform, fewer people care about what is happening. That isn’t the case when government at any level starts to dictate what taxpayers can keep and what they must render to Caesar.

We can’t let crazies run our lives
April 19, 2013 at 9:24 am
Explosions occurring this week at the Boston Marathon lead us to believe that the president of North Korea is not the only crazy person in the world. Everywhere you go there can be tragedy caused by those who have some inexplicable reason to cause it.

First challenger to Landrieu steps up
April 05, 2013 at 1:47 pm
By John Maginnis

Now that the Republicans have a congressman to challenge Sen. Mary Landrieu in 2014, the question becomes: will they have two?

Local churches celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday
April 05, 2013 at 1:45 pm
In the 1930s Jesus appeared to St. Faustina, and among the messages asked that a Feast Day be established in the Church the Sunday after Easter in honor of His Divine Mercy.

Sales tax plan revealed...sorta
March 22, 2013 at 10:15 am
Thursday, Bobby Jindal made a rare appearance at the State Capitol . He materialized before the House Ways and Means and Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Committees (the tax committees) in support of Rep. Joel Robideaux’s plan for increasing the state sales taxes and repealing the personal income tax and some other taxes — maybe.

‘Climate change’ proposal could delay major job-creating activities
March 22, 2013 at 10:14 am
Folks who are working hard to expand our stagnant economy in the face of government-imposed headwinds had to be upset if they read the March 14 article in Bloomberg BusinessWeek entitled "Obama Will Use Nixon-Era Law to Fight Climate Change." President Obama enjoys expanding laws he likes beyond the edge of the envelope and ignoring laws he doesn’t like. He knows that the Republican majority in the House of Representatives do not share his views on "climate change," formerly referred to as "global warming." He once again plans to go around them.

Things that caught my eye
March 15, 2013 at 9:58 am
Add $239 more to the budget hole: If things weren’t bleak enough for the state’s fiscal outlook, more bad news came this week in the form of a $239 million federal court judgment against Louisiana. The federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) sued the state to force repayment of Medicaid funds. The over-payments were sent to our charity hospitals between 1996 and 2006. HHS filed suit to get the funds after the state didn’t respond to demands for reimbursement. If the federal government executes that judgment during the course of Fiscal Year 2013-2014, the billion-dollar budget hole will get even larger.

Jindal wants to fix what's working
March 15, 2013 at 9:56 am
By John Maginnis

As the state awaits the release of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s grand tax swap plan, his press office is in campaign mode, responding rapidly to any discouraging words, particularly those spread in the media. Deputy communications director Michael Reed, in fact, was hard at work Sunday morning ferreting out perceived skepticism and innuendo in the daily prints regarding the tax plan and the state’s economic performance.

Does dining together unite us?
March 15, 2013 at 9:55 am
Some nice things seem to be coming out of our two-party system this past week. Instead of resistance and antagonisms as appeared in the past, there is friendly chat and nice talk about government business between our divided executive and legislative branches.

Maybe Louisiana can turn it around
March 08, 2013 at 10:54 am
There’s a lot going on in Louisiana politics these days. Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne is seriously planning to run for governor, as we hear. And there is obvious reason for that. He would be a likely winner.

Jindal vies to be Obama’s top critic
March 08, 2013 at 10:53 am
By John Maginnis

If Sen. Mary Landrieu would just get out of his way, Gov. Bobby Jindal could fully focus on his quest to be the leading critic of President Barack Obama this side of the Beltway. Outside of Washington, where congressional Republicans are being blamed as much as or more than the president for the fiscal crisis of the month, there is a competition to be the leading voice of dissent from the GOP heartland--and Jindal is right in there.

Sequester would trigger $1.2 trillion in cuts
March 01, 2013 at 9:52 am
Unless the unlikely happens, on March 1 the much cussed and discussed federal sequester will automatically trigger, cutting some $1.2 trillion over 10 years across the board in both defense and discretionary (non-entitlement) spending. The sequester is the product of an earlier budget battle royal, the 2011 fight over raising the debt ceiling. The key to the compromise at that time was the sequester proposal that both Republicans and Democrats felt would force the other side to compromise on the size and shape of the spending cuts. It didn’t happen as conceived, and in a few days the sequester will be birthed.

Where will BP money go?
March 01, 2013 at 9:52 am
By John Maginnis

The stakes may be monumental in the BP trial underway, but the legal bout lacks the essential elements of a courtroom drama. Guilt has been determined in the oil giant’s criminal plea agreement with the U.S. Justice Department, which also establishes that BP was negligent. The big question for the trial to settle is how negligent, for a ruling of gross negligence and willful misconduct could quadruple the fines for each barrel of oil that flowed into the Gulf, pushing the award to five coastal states, primarily Louisiana, to over $20 billion. According to the Wall Street Journal, Justice and the states are prepared to offer to settle for $16 billion.

Huey widening nears completion
February 14, 2013 at 10:24 am
It was midnight on a fall evening in 1945 when this writer and other initiates into a social fraternity at Tulane were dropped off on the top of the Huey Long Bridge in Bridge City. Our assignment was to get back to the frat house on Broadway in New Orleans any way we could. No problem. We made it.

Governor takes the heat on health care
February 14, 2013 at 10:24 am
By John Maginnis

For the first time in his career as an elected official, Gov. Bobby Jindal’s job approval ratings have sagged into negative territory. A new poll, commissioned by the State Medical Society, shows that only 46 percent of voters like what he is doing and 48 percent do not.

Obama’s appointments violate constitution, judge says
February 07, 2013 at 10:16 am
The National Labor Relations Board (board) is the federal agency responsible for ensuring the rights of employers and unions under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). President Obama appoints the board’s five members to five-year, staggered terms. However, as with the president’s cabinet and judicial appointments, the U.S. Senate must approve his board appointments.

Super Bowl great for our area
February 07, 2013 at 10:16 am
Without question, the Super Bowl belongs in New Orleans at least every four or five years. This year’s event has proven that.

Former councilman Authement running for parish president
Former councilman Authement running for parish president
After serving 12 years on the St. Charles Parish Council, Terry Authement has announced he’s running for parish president.