Random Friday Thoughts

Now more than ever, EAT LOUISIANA SEAFOOD!! It is delicious, healthy, and the best in the world. Test after test has shown conclusively that our seafood on the market is not tainted in any way by the oil spill or the dispersants used to break down the oil. The vast majority of Louisiana’s coastal waters have been reopened to recreational and commercial fishing. Take advantage of the replenished stocks of game fish by taking out a fishing charter out and catching your limit. When you go out to eat, make sure you let the restaurant know that you DEMAND Louisiana seafood! Our seafood industry is critical to our economy, and supporting it begins at home….

Go vote! Who you vote for is your personal choice, but Louisiana can definitely do better than the 10 percent of registered voters who participated in the election on August 28. The next round of balloting is on October 2, followed by the general election on November 2. We will elect members of Congress and a new lieutenant governor in those elections. They are important. Go vote!

In President Obama’s address to the nation from the Oval Office on August 31, he touched briefly on the economy after declaring the combat phase of our military operations in Iraq over. In his remarks, he stated the need for the U.S. to “end its dependence on foreign oil.” Unfortunately, that comment flies in the face of his moratorium on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. Approximately 30 percent of our domestic crude oil supplies come from the Gulf. Policies that reduce or eliminate the flow of energy to the mainland will absolutely make us MORE dependent on foreign oil. Regulations that unnecessarily inhibit exploration and production of oil and gas in the Gulf waters will kill jobs, harm the economy, and fatten the coffers of unstable and oppressive regimes that are no friends of America….

Now that we have recently moved past Katrina “plus five” (and will soon do the same with Rita), one has to wonder how much we have learned about disaster response in the U.S. in light of the ongoing experience with the BP spill. The tendency seems to be to add more bureaucracy every time a new disaster occurs. Stacking bureaucracies on top of each other makes matters worse, not better. Each agency has its own set of regulations and/or statutes that often slow down the response to a disaster. The interface between state and local governmental responsibilities needs to become more focused and less confusing. America has the best military in the world because sergeants and second lieutenants are allowed to make battlefield decisions instead of waiting for orders from central command. That is what obviously is lacking in disaster response. It needs to be fixed before the inevitable next disaster occurs….

Here is an early prediction about the budget that our state Legislature will fashion next spring: There might not be one when the legislative session ends in late June. The senate president has indicated support for higher taxes to close the substantial budget gap expected. Taxes must originate in the House where support for higher taxes is not strong. Governor Jindal has indicated that he is not for any tax increases. When these countervailing forces collide, there may not be a majority in each chamber necessary to pass a budget and send it to the governor.  If the governor has to call a special session to attempt to pass a budget, it would be right at the time legislators are qualifying for the elections. It could get very messy in the late summer of 2011….



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