Tag: Louisiana

This year, Christmas finds Ricochet’s own Dave Carter enjoying life in Florida while savoring the memories of holidays on the bayou in his home state of Louisiana. Whether it’s childhood memories with his grandparents and great grandparents at Christmas, or stories of life in uniform, life on the road, or life in retail, Dave brings you center stage where you will experience events with him.

Roman Genn, whose extraordinary art regularly graces the covers of National Review, along with the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, the Library of Congress and the White House (to name only a few), joins Dave for a conversation that spans the globe. Born in Moscow, Roman’s political cartoons achieved a level of notoriety in the Soviet Union that resulted in his needing to leave the Workers’ Paradise and move to the United States in 1991. Informed by the perspectives of one who witnessed the machinations of a totalitarian state up close and personal, Roman has some thoughts to share on the Russian invasion of Ukraine that you may find arresting to say the least.  Oh yes, and you won’t want to miss Roman’s description of Christmas in Soviet Russia.

Louisiana Enhances Student Due Process, Free Speech Protections, While Dept of Ed Threatens Both


Last month, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards signed two bills into law that will significantly strengthen key civil liberties in higher education. HB 185, introduced by Rep. Charles Owen, codifies important free speech protections for students at Louisiana’s public colleges, while HB 364, introduced by Rep. Scott McKnight, provides critical due process protections. My employer, the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE), advised Louisiana legislators as they drafted and revised each bill.

HB 185 makes important revisions to Louisiana’s existing campus free speech law. Among its provisions, the law adopts the speech-protective definition of student-on-student harassment established by the Supreme Court in Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education, which defines student-on-student harassment as conduct “so severe, pervasive and objectively offensive that it effectively bars the victim’s access to an educational opportunity or benefit.” HB 185 also prevents colleges from charging security fees to students and student organizations based on the content of their expression or the anticipated reaction to an invited guest’s speech.

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Some time ago, someone (@mattbalzer, perhaps?) suggested that we should have a large Ricochet Meetup in New Orleans one day.  At the time I was already working on the big meetup for 2020, which was in South Dakota’s Black Hills.  And I had already decided that 2021’s extravaganza was going to be on Kentucky’s Bourbon […]

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Louisiana MAGA-nificant Election


Louisiana is one of the states that has a top-two or “jungle” primary system, in which all candidates of all parties compete head-to-head. If one candidate gets 50% plus 1, they are the outright winner, otherwise the top two vote-getters, regardless of party affiliation, go on to a mid-November run-off election. President Trump both stopped the Democratic Party from an outright win in the governor’s race but also used the Lake Charles MAGA rally Thursday to preach solidarity to both strong Republican candidates and their supporters. It was Ronald Reagan’s 11th commandment restated as he brought Ralph Abraham and “Eddie” Rispone up together to speak to the crowd: “You are not allowed to hit your Republican opponent. You are only allowed to hit John Bel Edwards, because he deserves it.”

President Trump reminded everyone of the rules of the election and the vital importance of turnout “vote before you go to the game.” “Get out and cast your ballot for Eddie or Ralph. Eddie or Ralph, it’s important.” “Let’s get a runoff. Just vote tomorrow for the entire Republican ticket.” He got the desired results, with 43 percent turnout on this off-cycle primary. The Democratic incumbent governor was forced into a run-off against Eddie Rispone, who narrowly edged out Ralph Abraham. Ralph Abraham immediately endorsed Rispone, and President Trump tweeted his congratulations to “the Great State of Louisiana.”

Alexandra DeSanctis of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America cheer Democratic Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards for making good on his promise to sign pro-life “heartbeat” legislation that was also sponsored by a Democrat.  They also shudder as a pro-life lawmaker in Illinois explains just how expansive pro-choice lawmakers there want to make their abortion laws.  And they groan as President Trump threatens to address the very real and very serious problem at the border by imposing tariffs on Mexican imports.

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The sad events this morning of the shooting at a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, VA, will be played across the media world over and over. It will bring out the best and worst on social media among us, but @crabbyappleton posted a beautiful poem on the member feed that made me pause. It happens to be […]

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Watching the Education Policy Watchmen


shutterstock_47640616Earlier this week, respected researchers from two universities released a four-part study on the effects of Louisiana’s school voucher program. Yet even though the researchers provided a layman’s summary of their findings, media coverage of their study varied significantly.

What makes for better or worse coverage of new research? Well, first the reporter needs to tell us what the study found and why it’s important. She should also provide context for those findings. Are they consistent with or divergent from the findings of previous research? Particularly in the latter case, good reporting will also explore the underlying causes of the findings, especially as the study’s authors understand them. And since reporters rarely have a background in policy research, they should consult with multiple experts who have different views about how to interpret the study’s findings or what their implications are. This being the 21st century, online reporting should contain a direct link to the study so that readers can easily access it to learn more. Finally, because the “tl;dr” crowd often sees only the headline, the headline should be accurate. (Note: editors usually choose the headline, not the reporters.)

Based on those criteria, I came up with the following, quick-and-dirty rating system to determine the quality of reporting on new research. As with other rating systems, results will vary depending on the weight given each criterion. But like speed limits, although the precise levels of points assigned are ultimately arbitrary (why not 67.5 miles per hour?), I nevertheless believe they reasonably reflect the relative importance of each criterion.

What Happened to Jindal?


In this kind of campaign, it’s little surprise that Gov. Bobby Jindal is not playing well nationally. I further understand that his in-state approval ratings has dropped; that can happen in politics when you try to jump from one job to another. But I’ve seen nothing in the national media to put any context to this poll that puts Jindal in 8th place (with a scant 3 percent of the vote), behind Carson (23 percent), Trump (19 perfect), Bush (10 percent), Rubio (9 percent), Fiorina (7 percent), Cruz (6 percent), and Huckabee (4 percent) in Louisiana.

2015 Gubernatorial Races and the Republican “Red Wall”


BryantBefore we get to 2016, there’s some housekeeping to attend to. Specifically, three gubernatorial contests on tap for later this year. The states in play: Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Will they offer any windows into the health of the two parties? Let’s take a quick look at each one.

1) Kentucky. The state synonymous with horse racing has the inside track on the  nastiest race so far. A college girlfriend says one-time GOP frontrunner and state Agriculture Commissioner James Comer abused her. That, in turn, raised questions as to fellow Republican Hal Heiner’s campaign tactics. How ugly has the GOP fight become? At one point, Comer called Heiner “the Christian Laettner of Kentucky politics.” Why that hurts so badly in Wildcat Nation:


The Sad End of Mary Landrieu


Sen. Mary Landrieu has been the Democratic Senator representing Louisiana for the past 18 years. Prior to that, she held state government offices for another 18. She’s the daughter of a former New Orleans mayor, sister to that city’s current mayor, and perhaps the most public face of the Landrieu family political machine.

After a rough and desperate campaign, she’s expected to lose her runoff to a confident Republican. National Democrats have pulled their ad money and support, considering the Pelican State Princess doomed to a cushy political exile in her D.C. mansion. Everyone seems to have accepted the inevitable — except Landrieu herself.

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With the economy so bad and jobs so hard to find, many kids are moving back in with their parents. The latest victim: US Senator Mary Landrieu. The Louisiana Democrat filed her statement of candidacy with the FEC last week for her re-election bid, and listed her parents’ home as her address. It appears that […]

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