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BEAM: This Isn’t The First Economic Boom For Southwest Louisiana

The $65 billion that will be invested in Southwest Louisiana over the next five years is reminiscent of similar events that occurred 75 years ago. Unprecedented industrial growth at that time made this area one of the country’s major petrochemical... (Continue reading)

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BEAM: The Next Move Is Up To McAllister

Now that some of the dust has settled, where are we on the Vance McAllister situation? The Republican establishment wants the U.S. congressman from north Louisiana to resign, but it has a credibility problem. Many of his constituents are willing... (Continue reading)

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BEAM: An Elected Education Superintendent? Lousy Idea!

A move is underway in the Legislature to once again elect the state superintendent of education. It’s a bad idea for a number of reasons. Those who support the effort by Rep. Joe Harrison, R-Houma, apparently aren’t aware of why... (Continue reading)

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BEAM: Common Core Clears First Hurdle

Common Core, the controversial education program setting up tougher reading, writing and math standards in the state’s public schools, survived its first major test last week, but what’s next? “Not sure yet,” said Rep. Brett Geymann, the Moss Bluff Republican... (Continue reading)

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BEAM: What’s It Like At The State Capitol?

Sessions of the Louisiana Legislature are pretty much the same year in and year out. However, it’s great theater for political addicts like me. Although the characters change, most of the subjects don’t. The governors have been different, no doubt... (Continue reading)

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BEAM: Next Up Is Payday Loans

Payday loans will be a hot topic for the coming week at the Louisiana Legislature. The industry has offices all over the place, sometimes three at the same location. Obviously, there is a demand for their services, but at what... (Continue reading)

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BEAM: Don’t Be Fooled By Edwards’ Glib Act

Give the old man his due. Former governor and prison inmate Edwin W. Edwards knows how to milk any occasion for as much positive publicity as one person can generate. The Baton Rouge Press Club probably can’t remember any of... (Continue reading)

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BEAM: Human Trafficking Really Is A Problem In Louisiana

Let’s be honest now. How many of you out there were aware that human trafficking is a major crime problem in Louisiana? Did you know that Baton Rouge ranks in the top 10 cities where human beings are placed in... (Continue reading)

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BEAM: Jindal’s Still Calling The Shots This Session

Many legislators are bemoaning the fact that Gov. Bobby Jindal doesn’t have an ambitious agenda for the current session. They say he brought up only a few issues in his opening address, and they weren’t the usual controversial topics. Maybe... (Continue reading)

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BEAM: Education And The Coastal Lawsuits Are Key Issues

The Common Core and coastal lawsuit session of the Louisiana Legislature begins at noon Monday. No, those aren’t the only two reasons the 144 members of the lawmaking branch will get together, but they definitely top the agenda. Common Core... (Continue reading)

BEAM: Veterans Lose Another Round

The opening of a Veterans Administration health care clinic in Lake Charles is facing another setback. Members of Congress have — once again — given us a perfect example of the devious games Democrats and Republicans play in Washington, D.C.,... (Continue reading)

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BEAM: No, Government Isn’t Perfect

Government has a role to play in our lives, but critics can justifiably complain that it often overreaches and under-performs. Questionable actions of the IRS are perfect examples of overreaching, and the failure of government to properly monitor its programs... (Continue reading)

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BEAM: Be Careful What You Wish For

“I just want the government out of my life.” That has become a recurring complaint from conservative radio and TV talk show hosts. Government does overreach, no doubt about it. And the national administration we have now does it much... (Continue reading)

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BEAM: Energy Committee Chair Helps Landrieu’s Re-Election

State Republicans don’t agree, but U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., got a boost in her re-election bid when she was named chairwoman of the powerful Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. It may not be a big advantage, but when... (Continue reading)

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BEAM: How Conservative Is Enough?

You can’t help thinking about a 1946 Irving Berlin song when you read about Republicans in Baton Rouge and Washington, D.C., who are trying to be more conservative than their fellow party members. It’s titled, “Anything You Can Do,” and... (Continue reading)

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BEAM: Campaign Contributions Fuel High Living

Do contributors to political campaigns really care about how politicians spend their money? Apparently not. Some $196 million was spent from 2009 to 2012, and one-fourth of that went for questionable expenditures. However, there has been little or no feedback... (Continue reading)

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BEAM: That $18 Driver’s License Fee Looks Like A Tax

Would you pay an extra $18 to avoid having to wait a long time to renew your Louisiana driver’s license? That $18 would be in addition to the $21.50 most of those renewals cost at state motor vehicle offices. If... (Continue reading)

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BEAM: Obama And Congress Are Missing The Message

President Obama gave a great pep talk Tuesday night, and his Democratic team cheered him with fervor. Republicans stood and applauded on rare occasions, but mostly sat silently. Did we really expect anything different from a State of the Union... (Continue reading)

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BEAM: Take Back The Political Process

You can tell voters are tuned out of politics when they are more interested in issues like Medicare and the federal law on new light bulbs, two subjects I wrote about in this space recently. Unbelievably low voter turnouts are... (Continue reading)

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BEAM: Don’t Rush To Crown Vitter Just Yet

Pardon some of us if we don’t get too excited about U.S. Sen. David Vitter’s decision to run for Louisiana governor in 2015. Candidates are supposed to be judged on what they do, not on what they say. However, Vitter... (Continue reading)

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