louisiana

Trump rallies the stormtroopers in Louisiana

1

After driving two hours, standing in line for two hours, and catching most of Donald Trump’s hour and a half long sales pitch to a packed Baton Rouge River Center, I have a new, less charitable understanding of the phenomenon he has unleashed on the country.

I am not a Trump supporter, of course. I actually went to the event with the intention of holding up an anti-Trump sign and making my dissent known in person. But as the line nearly reached the door, I witnessed two gentlemen with similar, but more harshly worded signs than mine wrestled out of the building, to the ground, then one of the two tased by Baton Rouge PD after not going peacefully. After hauling away the protesters, the dozen remaining officers at the entrance were on high alert for any shenaningans, and I had a wife and children waiting at home for me. So I quietly tossed my sign in the trash on my way in. I decided to protest silently, then online instead.

The crowd was about what you would expect - almost exclusively white, conservative, polite but cocked and ready for action. When the scuffle ensued with the protesters, many got their phones out and scurried over to record and jeer the detainees. They stopped just short of calling for blood.

Trump was already speaking when I got inside, and the crowd was eating up every word. They weren’t transfixed in silence; there was lots of murmuring between friends and neighbors, going in and out from the bathroom and concession stand. After all, thousands of people were still getting inside as he spoke.

Business groups tell EPA to leave fracking regulation to the states

Fracking

Radical environmentalists are urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to heavily regulate or ban hydraulic fracturing (also known as “fracking”), the process employed to extract shale oil and natural gas from underground sources, which could undermine a thriving part of the post-recession economy.

The fracking boom has been one of the success stories in an otherwise tepid American economy, which is still trying to recover five years after a deep recession. Just last month Bloomberg Businessweek covered a recent study by IHS CERA that showed the significant economic benefits of fracking.

“In 2012, the energy boom supported 2.1 million jobs, added almost $75 billion in federal and state revenues, contributed $283 billion to the gross domestic product and lifted household income by more than $1,200,” noted Bloomberg Businessweek. “The competitive advantage for U.S. manufacturers from lower fuel prices will raise industrial production by 3.5 percent by the end of the decade, said the report from CERA, which provides business advice for energy companies.”

The Wall Street Journal noted last week that the United States is “overtaking Russia as the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas,” producing the “equivalent of about 22 million barrels a day of oil, natural gas and related fuels in July” compared to the 21.8 million barrels produced by our former Cold War foe.

Using cash for secondhand transactions now illegal in Louisiana

Sometimes I see things that I just can’t believe are true. This is one of those times.

Earlier this year, the Louisiana legislature almost unanimously passed a law that prohibits the use of cash in secondhand transactions.

The story on this one is that the law is intended to create a paper trail when people steal things like copper or other materials from a construction site. Forcing a check, money order, or electronic payment would make it easier for law enforcement to find a thief. I understand that argument, but there are some real problems with this law.

U.S. currency is valid for all transactions. On the front of our currency is the line “This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private.” Prohibiting the use of legal tender is a bit of an oxymoron.

Records of each transaction must be kept for 3 years. When you hear people like me fussing about unnecessary government regulations hindering businesses, this is the type of thing we’re talking about. This law requires businesses to keep very specific records for each second hand transaction so that law enforcement can find people they suspect are thieves.

The information to be collected by the dealer includes: date, location of purchase, name and address of seller, driver’s license or passport number of seller, license plate of vehicle used to deliver the goods, a full description of all materials being purchased.

Ridiculous Licensing

As a libertarian, I hear a lot about how licensing and regulation is important. “We need this for our protection,” they argue. That may be, in some cases. But in others? Hardly. Licensing and regulation have long since run beyond anything approaching reasonable.

It’s easy to say we need licensing. Doctors, someone will say, are a prime example. Licensing supposedly insures that they know what they’re doing. Contractors are another, some will argue. Heaven forbid you use an unlicensed general contractor. After all, your house could collapse.

I’m not going to get into doctors, because that discussion could take all day on its own and never quite get resolves. Contractors are another matter entirely. In Dougherty County, Georgia, getting a Contractor’s License requires an outlay of money based on what you think you’ll make and how many people you think you’ll employ. No skills test is required. No competency has to be shown. You just get the license and then start trying to get jobs.

And you know what? Houses don’t collapse in Dougherty County any more frequently than anywhere else.

The thing is, I can actually see the point of those who favor licensing on contractors. I disagree with them, but I see where they’re coming from on that. There are a myriad of other licenses that are required to perform a profession that are ridiculous.

For one, barbers and hair stylists have to be licensed in many places (are there any places that don’t require it?). Now, this may have made sense in the Middle Ages when barbers also performed surgery, but now? The absolute worst thing I can get from an unlicensed barber is a horrible hair cut. Guess what? I’ve gotten that form licensed barbers too.

Mary Landrieu’s defeat gives Republicans control from Carolinas to Texas

Mary Landrieu

“Democrats no longer hold a Senate seat, governor’s mansion or legislative chamber from the Carolinas to Texas,” writes Alex Rogers in Time in the wake of incumbent Democrat Senator Mary Landrieu’s thumping on Saturday to Republican challenger Bill Cassidy. 56 percent of voters lined up behind Cassidy, while just 44 percent supported Landrieu. But the magnitude of this thumping isn’t illustrated in the topline results from Saturday.

The number of qualified votes in Louisiana breaks down like this:

Registered Democrats: 1,375,027 (46.7%)
Registered Republicans:  816,594 (27.7%)
Registered Other: 754,110 (25.6%)

Cassidy garnered 712,330 votes, and Landrieu captured 561,099 votes. If most Republicans voted for Cassidy and most Democrats voted for Landrieu, then fewer than half of Democrats turned out on Saturday (about 40%), while roughly 87 percent of Republicans turned out for the runoff. This hypothesis doesn’t account for Independent voters, who likely broke for Cassidy.

At Time, Rogers continues:

Democrats are dead in the land of Dixie.

With the fall of three-term Sen. Mary Landrieu Saturday, Louisiana will not have a Democratic statewide elected official for the first time since 1876. And the Republican Party will control, as the Associated Press noted, every Senate seat, governor’s mansion and legislative chamber from the Carolinas to Texas.

Mary Landrieu: Another one of #HillarysLosers?

Mary Landrieu

The bad news just keeps rolling in for former Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA). Just a few days after Republicans dominated Federal and State elections, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) announced that it would pull all remaining TV advertisements for Mary Landrieu, all but giving up on the Senator and her bid to win a runoff election on December 6.

According to the Politico, the DSCC cancelled all local ad buys that it had purchased through December 6. In addition to the $1.6 million that it has already pulled, it is also working to pull another $275,000 from local markets. Contrast that with the $7.2 million in airtime that Republicans still have in lined up until December 6.

While the DSCC is backing off, Landrieu is finding support among a couple of her Democratic colleagues: Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergran Grimes, who was destroyed by Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in last Tuesday’s race, and soon to be former N.C. Senator, Kay Hagan, who was defeated by Thom Tillis. Grimes and Hagan have both sent fundraising emails in support of Landrieu, encouraging their donors to support the next victim of the Republican wave.

October Surprise! Harry Reid’s Dems scramble to hold the Senate — but Republicans are up in key states

Larry Sabato's Senate Crystal Ball

A string of polls released last night shows Republican Senate candidates up over their opponents in key states with fewer than four weeks to go before Election Day.

The Fox News polls show Republican challengers up in Alaska, Arkansas, and Colorado over their Democrat opponents. The polls also show Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell up over his well-funded Democrat opponent and Kansas Republican Pat Roberts leading his Independent challenger.

Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, predicts Republicans will gain between five and eight seats (see above map). Republicans need to pick up six seats to take the Senate.

According to Sabato, Republicans are pretty much guaranteed to win in Montana, South Dakota, and Iowa. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) announced it would drop $1 million in the South Dakota Senate race. Polls show the Republican candidate in South Dakota with a comfortable lead, and ad buys can be misleading. For instance, the DSCC could announce a million dollar ad buy and reserve the time, and then cancel it after news of the initial announcement spread.

Mary Landrieu finds herself in another scandal: Louisiana Democrat claims Washington as her home on federal filings

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) is under fire yet again. The Louisiana Democrat has been caught up in a scandal involving her use of taxpayer-funded charter flights around the state she represents that also included stops at campaign fundraisers. But she’s now facing accusations that she doesn’t actually live in Louisiana, according to the Washington Post:

In Washington, Sen. Mary Landrieu lives in a stately, $2.5 million brick manse she and her husband built on Capitol Hill.

Here in Louisiana, however, the Democrat does not have a home of her own. She is registered to vote at a large bungalow in New Orleans that her parents have lived in for many decades, according to a Washington Post review of Landrieu’s federal financial disclosures and local property and voting records.

On a statement of candidacy Landrieu filed with the Federal Election Commission in January, she listed her Capitol Hill home as her address. But when qualifying for the ballot in Louisiana last week, she listed the family’s raised-basement home here on South Prieur Street.

Hilarious: “Air Mary” taunts vulnerable Louisiana Democrat at a Baton Rouge event

The Louisiana Republican Party is trolling Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) over her use of public funds to fly to campaign fundraisers. A group of protesters, dressed in flight uniforms, followed the vulnerable Senate Democrat to an event in Baton Rouge on Wednesday where the held up “Air Mary” signs.

Here’s the video via America Rising:

Landrieu isn’t just under fire for taking at least four trips to campaign fundraisers on the taxpayer dime, but also her excessive use of charter planes. In 2013 alone, for example, Landrieu’s Senate office dropped $47,000 on charter flights for visits to her home state.

It’s a full-blown scandal: Mary Landrieu comes under fire for two more taxpayer-funded trips that included campaign fundraisers

The last several days have been a big headache for Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA). She was caught using taxpayer dollars to charter a flight from New Orleans to a campaign fundraiser in Lake Charles. Then, a couple days later, a second taxpayer-funded flight to a campaign fundraiser was discovered.

While her campaign has played down the trips as an oversight and promised to reimburse the Senate for the improper trips out of campaign funds, Politico has discovered two more fundraising trips, these from 2012, that were paid for by her official Senate office:

On Aug. 23, 2012, Butler Aviation charged $6,787 for an in-state flight for Landrieu that included multiple stops. The flight was from New Orleans to Vidalia to Shreveport to Alexandria and back to New Orleans, according to official disbursement records Landrieu filed with the secretary of the Senate.

On Oct. 18, 2012, Butler Aviation charged $3,437 for a Landrieu flight from New Orleans to Opelousas to Patterson and back to New Orleans.


The views and opinions expressed by individual authors are not necessarily those of other authors, advertisers, developers or editors at United Liberty.