Low Popahirum, January 23, 2015

LOUISIANA

“The following is a text of a letter, reportedly written by Tom Benson, to his daughter Renee and grandchildren Rita and Ryan:” – WWL-TV

“The battle for control of the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans moved into court Thursday (Jan. 23) as family members associated with Rita Benson LeBlanc filed a lawsuit claiming that the teams’ owner and family patriarch Tom Benson is incompetent and is being directed by a manipulative wife and her allies at the highest level of the sports empire.” – NOLA.com

“At the Pro Bowl in Arizona on Thursday afternoon, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees expressed his affinity for Gayle Benson, Tom’s wife and the newly named future owner of the franchise.” – Baton Rouge Advocate

“Algiers and the entire West Bank of Jefferson Parish, all rolled into one new parish? That’s the plan state Rep. Jeff Arnold is set to introduce this spring at the state capitol.” – WWL-TV

“Low oil prices could lead to the loss of 30,000 jobs throughout Louisiana, according to estimates from researchers at the Dallas Federal Reserve and the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. The impact, however, likely won’t be felt as hard in St. Charles Parish as in other parts of the state.” – St. Charles Herald Guide

“It was another test for Rep. Steve Scalise’s leadership. A bill barring abortions after a pregnancy has reached 20 weeks passed easily last year in the House and was expected to do so again on Thursday. That’s the same day thousands of anti-abortion protestors gathered in Washington to protest the 39th anniversary of the Roe. V. Wade Supreme Court ruling that proclaimed the right of women to abortion procedures.” – NOLA.com

“The Advocate has overtaken The Times-Picayune as Louisiana’s largest newspaper, according to statistics made public Thursday.” – Baton Rouge Advocate

“Fellow commissioners today elected former congressman and current Louisiana Public Service Commissioner of District IV, Clyde Holloway (Republican-Forest Hill) as Chairman of the Louisiana Public Service Commission for the 2015 year.” – Dead Pelican

“The New Orleans City Council on Thursday unanimously approved the landmark decision to ban smoking in bars and casinos in a city known for equal parts indulgence and tourism. Could Baton Rouge be next? Councilman John Delgado says maybe.” – Baton Rouge Advocate

“As he was preparing to announce his fundraising lead of $4 million in the governor’s race last week, U.S. Sen. David Vitter was also dealing with the loss of a major backer due to his converted stance on Common Core. Sources say at least two other big donors have made similar decisions recently. Baton Rouge businessman and GOP influencer Lane Grigsby said he was “surprised” when Vitter went from pro to con on Common Core after working with the senator on the issue this fall.” – Baton Rouge Business Report

NATIONAL

Having a king with dementia is the last thing they need at this difficult time,” Henderson said. “Yemen is falling apart, ISIS is knocking at the door. . . this is an extraordinarily dangerous Middle East from a Saudi perspective.” – Washington Post

“And what crisis in the Middle East would be complete without a bit of dangerous religious extremism? As some suggest, the region’s Shiites may just see the death of the Saudi king as one of the signs of the end times. Writing in AL-Monitor, Rohollah Faghini noted that the brand of Islam that dominates Iran could see Abdullah’s demise as the start of a cycle of events that will culminate in the second comings of Jesus Christ and the divine Imam Mahdi.” – Hot Air

“The president gave his State of the Union address, and of course the TV ratings were bad—Nielsen put viewership at 31.7 million, the lowest since Bill Clinton’s last State of the Union, in 2000, when America had 38 million fewer people. Although the low ratings are generally attributed to President Obama ’s no longer being new and a symbol of hope, there’s more to it, such as a lack of credibility.” – Peggy Noonan/WSJ

“The White House’s outrage over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to speak before Congress in March — a move he failed to coordinate with the administration — began to seep through the diplomatic cracks on Friday, with officials telling Haaretz the Israeli leader had ‘spat’ in President Barack Obama’s face.” – Times of Israel

Yemen drifted deeper into political limbo on Friday after President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi resigned in exasperation at a Houthi rebel takeover of the country, a move that appeared to catch the Iran-backed group off balance.” – Reuters

“The collapse of the Yemeni government, coupled with the death early Friday of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, have in an instant thrown the future of America’s fight against Islamist extremists in the volatile region into question — while potentially giving Iran more sway.” – Fox News

“Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s apparent decision to speed up his entry into the growing field of 2016 Republican presidential primary challengers is coming at the perfect time, as a new poll out Friday shows him moving into second place behind repeat candidate Mitt Romney.” – Washington Examiner

“In a nasty screed against American Sniper on Wednesday, Rolling Stone contributing editor Matt Taibbi claimed the Oscar-nominated film was ‘almost too dumb to criticize’ but proceeded to do so anyway, declaring: ‘Even by the low low standards of this business, it still manages to sink to a new depth or two.'” – Newsbusters

“Barbara Boxer has decided to spare the country further embarrassment and retire from the U.S. Senate in 2016. California Democrats need a replacement. As of this writing they have only one declared candidate: state attorney general Kamala Harris. Harris is liberal, modish, and a favorite of President Obama’s. But she’s not for me. My man is Tom Steyer.” – Matthew Continetti/Washington Free Beacon

Bill Clinton took repeated trips on the ‘Lolita Express’—the private passenger jet owned by billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein—with an actress in softcore porn movies whose name appears in Epstein’s address book under an entry for ‘massages,’ according to flight logbooks obtained by Gawker and published today for the first time. The logs also show that Clinton shared more than a dozen flights with a woman who federal prosecutors believe procured underage girls to sexually service Epstein and his friends and acted as a ‘potential co-conspirator’ in his crimes.” – Gawker

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