Here's something you can take to the bank: If politicians are issuing letters to one another in public, they're not talking in private. At least, not in any particularly productive way.
Saturday, July 22, 2017
Friday, July 21, 2017
There are so, so many reasons to doubt the theory behind U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's latest bright idea to eradicate Obamacare, to simply vote to repeal the sweeping measure in two years time and come up with a plan to replace it…
Thursday, July 20, 2017
With Republican efforts to obliterate former President Barack Obama's signature health care law once again on the rails, it might be time to consider an alternative approach to fixing what ails the country's health care system. Maybe we could just…
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
New Orleans City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell announced her mayoral candidacy months ago, but unlike her best-known rivals, former Civil District Court Judge Michael Bagneris and former Municipal Court Judge Desiree Charbonnet, she never held a bi…
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
This fall, most eyes will be on New Orleans' elections, including an open contest to become the city's next mayor and several hotly contested City Council contests. The region's sleeper race, though, could be a lone special election for Parish Cou…
Monday, July 17, 2017
New Orleans voters have a big decision on their hands this fall, when they'll choose Mayor Mitch Landrieu's successor.
Monday, July 17, 2017
The upcoming New Orleans mayoral contest is sure to focus on which of outgoing Mayor Mitch Landrieu's policies and practices should be changed, and which should be preserved.
Saturday, July 15, 2017
Last fall, I asked the five leading hopefuls in a candidate forum for Louisiana's open U.S. Senate seat a question for which I already knew each of their answers: Would they vote for incremental changes aimed at fixing problems with the Affordable…
Thursday, July 13, 2017
During the complicated transition between the outgoing Obama administration and the incoming Trump team, those who tried to adhere to traditional norms often referred to an unwritten rule: There's only one president at a time.
Thursday, July 13, 2017
When Louisiana Democrats announced they'd sidestep controversy about national party founding fathers Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson and instead rebrand their annual summer fundraiser as the "True Blue Gala," a Washington Post journalist tweet…
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro, whose office was caught red-handed issuing fake subpoenas that were not signed by a judge, as real subpoenas must be, and that threatened legal sanctions against reluctant witnesses that the office…
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
The busy period before qualifying for major elections is usually dominated by one key question: Who's in? This time, though, the more central question is who's out.
Monday, July 10, 2017
At first glance, a recent Advocate story noting that Louisiana's nursing home residents wouldn't be hit as hard as their national counterparts should the U.S. Senate Republican health care bill become law sounded like good news.
After having scrapped his final state of the city address twice, once due to the shooting of U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise and then due to threatening tropical weather, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu finally delivered the speech last Thursday.
Thursday, June 29, 2017
Back in 2001, when Marc Morial was sworn in as president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, I remember offering a reality check to some of the other mayors gathered in Detroit for the occasion.
Thursday, June 29, 2017
The nation's biggest cities, even those in red states, tend to swing blue. So it should come as no surprise that the list of issues where President Donald Trump and the country's highest-profile mayors agree is a short one. It pretty much begins a…
Wednesday, June 28, 2017
It's hard to find anyone in and around state government with a harsh word about Louisiana's long-delayed but finally implemented Medicaid expansion, which has emerged as one of the clear benefits of no longer being governed by Bobby Jindal.
Tuesday, June 27, 2017
My gut tells me that using his veto power to go after projects in the districts of lawmakers who fought his agenda during this year's legislative sessions would go against Gov. John Bel Edwards' instincts.
Monday, June 26, 2017
Remember all that talk on the campaign trail about how Medicaid was the big problem with former President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, both during congressional elections over the last few years and during the 2016 presidential contest?
In assuming the presidency of the prominent U.S. Conference of Mayors Monday, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu didn't get into some of the nagging problems facing his home town, like crime and affordable housing. He barely touched on the issue tha…
Saturday, June 24, 2017
Will U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy live to regret having been so up front about his doubts over the health care bill passed by House Republicans and backed by President Donald Trump?
Friday, June 23, 2017
As I wrote in my column for this morning's Advocate, the fact that lawmakers and Gov. John Bel Edwards fully funded TOPS for the coming academic year is a welcome break, but shouldn't give students or potential students confidence that the threat …
Thursday, June 22, 2017
It says a lot about the state of affairs at the Capitol that both lawmakers and the governor are touting full funding of the popular Taylor Opportunity Program for Students scholarships as one of this year's signature accomplishments.
Anyone who followed last week's congressional baseball game, pushed into the national spotlight by the shooting of U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise while he was practicing for the big game, couldn't help but pick up on the fact that Scalise's Louisiana col…
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
One feature of the Affordable Care Act rewrite working its way through Congress is that it could push a good bit of decision-making down to the state level. While the Senate has kept its version of the House-passed bill under tight wrap, the final…
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Monday, June 19, 2017
If there's one thing that should give Louisiana lawmakers indigestion these days, it's the governor threatening to call them into yet another special session.
You can't blame LSU boosters for pouncing on the news that the popular Taylor Opportunity Program for Students scholarships are fully funded in the budget that lawmakers finally got around to passing last week.
Saturday, June 17, 2017
Friday, June 16, 2017
In the spirit of his cross-party friendship with Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, who was shot Wednesday while practicing for Congress' annual D-versus-R showdown on the diamond, Scalise's Democratic colleague Cedric Richmond talked a little pr…
Thursday, June 15, 2017
It's been clear for weeks now that the state House leadership never had a plan to exercise its hard-won independence during the recent legislative session. It didn't have a strategy to address the looming fiscal cliff, or to pay for badly needed i…
So much has been written about Steve Scalise's qualities since he was shot Wednesday morning — his ability to form friendships across party lines even as he pursues a pretty hard-line agenda, his unabashed zeal for politics, his personal kindness,…
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-Metairie, has thrived in Congress's highly partisan environment. He climbed the ladder quickly, rising from newbie in 2008 to become the chamber's third-ranking Republican just eight years later, by cheerfully …
House Republican Whip Steve Scalise has thrived in Congress's highly partisan environment, but he can trace some of his success over the years to an equal and opposite instinct honed back in his days in the far less divided Louisiana Legislature.
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Picking through the wreckage of a regular legislative session that ended without lawmakers passing a budget, there's been considerable emphasis on one last-minute vote: House Speaker Pro Tem Walt Leger III, D-New Orleans, got 53 votes on what was …
Monday, June 12, 2017
As the hours ticked down toward the Legislature's mandated 6 p.m. adjournment last Thursday, House Speaker Taylor Barras, R-New Iberia, approached Senate leaders with a potential deal.
One lesson from the largely do-nothing legislative session is that if lawmakers are going to try to do something, it helps to have reassurances that they won't be targeted for political attacks.
Saturday, June 10, 2017
As this year's regular legislative session drew to a chaotic close, three men dominated the House's last-minute fight over whether to pass a budget for the fiscal year that starts in three weeks: The two ambitious New Orleans lawmakers who had hop…
Friday, June 09, 2017
If Gov. John Bel Edwards played the disappointed dad last year amid ongoing legislative chaos, he's got even more reason to be let down by the Legislature this time around. And that's not even considering the all the big stuff that lawmakers simpl…
Thursday, June 08, 2017
Thanks to some decisive action by the Louisiana Legislature, public school students will now be able to put on their own sunscreen.
1) When James Comey opened his obsessively anticipated Thursday morning U.S. Senate testimony by saying that he would forego reading the sensational account of his interactions with President Donald Trump he'd put out the previous day, viewers mig…
Wednesday, June 07, 2017
Tensions remain high between House and Senate members who are still batting back and forth a budget — one day before the legislative session must, by law, end. But as bad as things have gotten in Baton Rouge, at least lawmakers are likely to make …
Tuesday, June 06, 2017
Monday, June 05, 2017
Facing a skeptical crowd at last week's town hall in Covington, Republican Bill Cassidy, Louisiana's senior U.S. Senator, tried to find common ground over the polarizing new president.
People in a huge swath of the country, along the Gulf Coast, around the Florida peninsula and straight up the East Coast, have June 1 mentally circled on their calendars. It's the date that the Atlantic hurricane season kicks off, and a reminder t…
Saturday, June 03, 2017
Former U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu was not an automatic, knee-jerk vote for the Democratic Party. Her independence worked to her advantage, and gave her bargaining power to secure a temporary fix for a Medicaid formula, sought by then-Republican Gov. …
Friday, June 02, 2017
Thursday, June 01, 2017
With the partial exception of criminal justice reform, the waning legislative session will go down as one in which lawmakers failed to do big things.
Rhetorically speaking, local control of government is a bedrock Republican Party value. Not that you'd be able to figure that out from watching the Louisiana Legislature in action.