Louisiana Voice says lawmakers who are upset over the squawking done by higher education officials might want to keep quiet. here Tom Aswell notes that one senator making the loudest noise - Sen. Conrad Appel - profited from what amounts to insider trading. Others have used campaign funds to buy LSU tickets - about $710,000 worth of seats - despite it being unethical. Great job, guys. You sure are making us proud. Tell us again how we should be quiet about being critical about the mess in which you have put us!
The Times-Picayune has a double whammy on TOPS. First, there’s a great look back at the even greater man who started the program to reach kids so many had forgotten about. From diamond jewelry to arriving in a helicopter, Patrick Taylor wanted to grab kids’ attention so they could see it was possible to be successful just like him. The piece follows the plan from its initial 183 students to what it is today: the tuition lifeblood of perhaps too many college students. Why too many? The Times-Pic also posted a fun web doohickey that allows you to look up TOPS recipient percentages by school. Looking at it for a few local schools, the numbers were in the 50-60 percent range. Perhaps this is why the program requires so much dough: it might just be too easy to get. Do 60 percent of the kids you know in high school deserve a scholarship? Better yet, do students with a C average deserve a free ride? Sorry, no.
This is great. Opponents (including a lawmaker who owns convenience stores) of the cigarette tax - which would raise the taxes on cigarettes by 22 cents a pack - says it is unfair to smokers and might make them cross state lines to buy smokes in Mississippi, where the taxes are lower. Really? You would go into Mississippi for 22 cents? That's a sign you have more problems that smoking. On second thought, I guess gas is pretty cheap these days …
Bayou Buzz pulled no punches when it asserted that Bobby Jindal raped Louisiana and John Bel Edwards - oddly identified here as Jon - is getting thanked for it via recall petitions. I'll take another metaphor: Jindal wrecked your car. Totaled it. Distracted driving and such. Edwards is the repair man. You don't like his bill but you are OK with the guy who crashed it. Sure, it isn't pleasant but this is what happens when you run for president while driving in rush hour traffic. Don't you wish we had insurance?
The Native Americans of Isle de Jean Charles - subject of Pudd Sharp's Water on The Road - recently became the first community of official climate refugees in the nation. The Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw residents have been living on what used to be a 22,000 acre island for generations. Now, at only 320 acres because of coastal erosion, it can not accommodate them. They will resettle with federal help. Wow, so the federal government is aware that Louisiana is fading away? Are you sure?
The Hayride has "Bad Blood" with Taylor Swift's actions at the Grammys, saying something or another about how she cheered for other people when they won an award. It argues that her behavior is why sexism "Never Goes Out of Style." The blog goes on and on and on, dissecting it in excruciating detail, like a look back at a bad break-up that makes you say "We are Never Getting Back Together." I tried to read it and get to what he was talking about, but frankly crazy makes my head hurt. Why does he have to be so "Mean?" He makes as much sense as someone who is "15." I'm sure Swift will be able to take this criticism in stride and "Shake it Off."