Low Popahirum, February 2, 2015

LOUISIANA

“Gov. Bobby Jindal on Friday urged Louisiana’s top school board to let students who plan to skip Common Core tests in March take alternate assessments.” – Baton Rouge Advocate

“The sexual history of St. Bernard Parish President Dave Peralta’s ex-wife, which the defense said includes evidence of spankings, French maid outfits and domination sex, can be presented in Peralta’s sexual battery trial, a judge ruled Friday.” – NOLA.com

“Many are waiting to see if democratic New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu will get in the governor’s race. Jeremy Alford, publisher of lapolitics.com, says Landrieu only has about $40,000 dollars in campaign money in the bank, so if he’s getting in, he’ll need to make a decision soon.” – WWL-AM

“U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., reintroduced one of his most successful bills as a House member — a measure barring taxpayer-funded oil paintings of the president, vice president, cabinet secretaries and members of Congress.” – NOLA.com

“Contractors are now clearing trees on La. 30 near the edge of the city limits where developers are preparing to build a $13 million, 100-room hotel, a new $20 million apartment complex and an adjacent, $7 million mini-shopping retail center. And two new upscale subdivisions, which are in the planning stages, are expected to attract more than 1,400 new residents into St. Gabriel within the next five years. The growth also is changing the racial makeup of the historically black city, a point brought up in a hearing on a lawsuit by white city residents who complained they aren’t being properly represented in city government.” – Baton Rouge Advocate

“FiveThirtyEight, an influential political blog known for its accurate election forecasting, believes it looks more and more like Gov. Bobby Jindal won’t run for president in 2016.” – NOLA.com

“State Treasurer John Kennedy said Monday that Moody’s Investors Service is warning that Louisiana’s deteriorating financial situation could hurt its bond rating. Moody’s advised that the recent reduction in state revenue estimates are “ a credit rating negative for the state” and could result in the downgrade of the state’s credit ‘outlook’ from stable to negative.” – Baton Rouge Advocate

“Legal battles arising from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill play out in two federal courtrooms in New Orleans this coming week.” – Lake Charles American Press

“LSU AgCenter research shows some experimental energycane varieties ­— a cross between sugarcane and its wild relatives — show promise as a biofuel feedstock. The AgCenter’s Macon Ridge Research Station in Winnsboro planted about 1,000 experimental varieties of energycane in 2012.” – Baton Rouge Advocate

“Former Congressman Vance McAllister of Swartz is out of elected office but not out of politics. He told LaPolitics recently that he would consider running for the U.S. Senate in 2016, depending on the circumstances.” – LAPolitics

NATIONAL

“President Obama on Monday sent Congress a nearly $4 trillion budget blueprint for 2016 that would raise taxes on the wealthy and businesses while boosting spending on infrastructure and education.” – The Hill

“Indeed, in the wake of the midterms, the Center for American Progress optimistically predicted that, if 2016 voting patterns resemble those from 2012, the rising number of voters of color ‘will not only make it easier for Democrats to win states that they previously won in 2012. These demographic changes are also creating an opportunity for Democrats to win back states they lost in 2012.'” – National Journal

“Leaders of feminist groups behave as if they speak for all women. Well, today, I am usurping the ‘All Women’ Speaker’s role, and I formally apologize, #LikeAGirl, to all Super Bowl fans who were subjected to these vapid excuses for female empowerment.” – Leslie Eastman/Legal Insurrection

“Jordan has threatened to fast-track the execution of a would-be suicide bomber the Islamic State is trying to free if the terror group kills its captured pilot, it was reported today.” – UK Daily Mail

“What has changed? Not the portion of the estimated population below the poverty line (15.2 percent in 1983; 15 percent in 2012). Rather, poverty programs have become untethered from the official designation of poverty: In 2012, more than half the recipients were not classified as poor but accepted being treated as needy. Expanding dependency requires erasing Americans’ traditional distinction between the deserving and the undeserving poor. This distinction was rooted in this nation’s exceptional sense that poverty is not the unalterable accident of birth and is related to traditions of generosity arising from immigrant and settler experiences.” – George Will/Washington Post

“When it comes to concern about those on the bottom rung of the income ladder, Republicans are no match for Democrats with respect to rhetoric. But when it comes to actually doing something to reform the institutions that persistently fail the poor Republicans seem to be the only ones willing to act.” – Forbes

“Since the definition of ‘racially polarizing’ seems to be widening every day, I’ll offer a quick guide to discerning when something actually fits that definition: It explicitly uses someone’s race (this would be Walker, and his apparently annoying, former-mullet ‘whiteness’) to condemn him or her in some way, shape, or form. If you were a humorless, pedantic sort, and if Walker were not so unbearably white, you could quite reasonably upgrade this otherwise silly headline to Racism Level DefCon 4.” – The Federalist

“Almost all of the coverage about the ongoing controversy about plans for Prime Minister Netanyahu to address Congress next month about sanctions on Iran has focused on allegations regarding inappropriate behavior from an ally and breaches of protocol. But an exchange of anonymous quotes from administration and Netanyahu government sources in the Israeli press this weekend should serve as a reminder of what is really at stake in the dispute.” – Commentary

“The brutal murder of Kenji Goto by his ISIS hostage-takers shifts the focus to an unnamed American woman currently held by the terrorists in the Syrian-Iraq desert, CBS News reports, but it’s hardly the only focus. NBC’s Savannah Guthrie started off her exclusive interview with Barack Obama on the topic, but the President was understandably ambiguous on the plight of the hostage and what the US was doing on her behalf. The hint that ISIS was willing to conduct prisoner swaps doesn’t seem to have panned out though, even if the US was inclined to negotiate on that basis — as they did with the Taliban:” – Hot Air

“There’s less than half a minute left in the Super Bowl, and you’re down by four points. You have the ball on the 1-yard line, and one of the best running backs in the NFL is on your squad. So you…pass?” – The Blaze

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