Low Popahirum, February 24, 2015

NATIONAL

“The Democrats who wrote and passed the Affordable Care Act were sure of two things: The law had to include a mandate requiring every American to purchase health insurance, and it had to have an enforcement mechanism to make the mandate work. Enforcement has always been at the heart of Obamacare. Now, though, enforcement time has come, and some Democrats are shying away from the coercive measures they themselves wrote into law.” – Washington Examiner

Had the Democrats not targeted Walker with a recall, that massive fundraiser network, the national profile, the party unity, and his highly developed get-out-the-vote team almost certainly wouldn’t exist. He may have still won re-election, but he would be just another Midwestern Republican governor who enacted reforms and faced push-back, not the conservative folk hero of a party longing for a win.” – The Federalist

“Had Walker been asked, ‘To which religion does President Obama claim he adheres?’ he might well have responded without making headlines. But he wasn’t. Instead, he was prompted to weigh in on a question that he could not possibly answer: namely, whether the president is, in any meaningful sense, what he claims to be. ‘Told that Obama has frequently spoken publicly about his Christian faith,’ Dan Balz and Robert Costa wrote excitedly, ‘Walker maintained that he was not aware of the president’s religion.’ And the critics screamed bloody murder.” – National Review

“It’s interesting that Walker was right there when Giuliani said that, yet he didn’t rise to the bait, but it’s exactly what I’m used to seeing in the doggedly on-message Walker. He’s rock-solidly used to this sort of situation. I think back to the debates he had with Tom Barrett, the Milwaukee mayor who was his opponent in the 2012 recall election.” – Ann Althouse

“Here’s the counterargument: Unlike Giuliani, Walker hasn’t actually said anything inflammatory that could work against him in a general-election campaign. After at least two presidents prone to bluster (albeit in different circumstances), perhaps independent voters will find his mild Midwestern demeanor a refreshing change. Those who take offense at his declining to vouch for Obama’s patriotism and piety are probably going to vote Democratic anyway.” – James Taranto/WSJ

“But behind that, there is a more visceral reaction. The real purpose of higher education is to learn the knowledge and skills required for success later in life. So if someone has already become a success, whether or not he went to college is irrelevant. If he has achieved the end, what does it matter that he didn’t do it by way of that specific means? But for the mainstream elites, particularly those at the top level in the media, a college education is not simply a means to an end. It is itself a key attainment that confers a special social status.” – The Federalist

“Their real grievance is Mr. Walker’s belief that higher-ed spending shouldn’t climb year after year and get passed off to taxpayers and students with ever-higher debt. The entitled academics pretend that universities are chamber orchestras that can’t improve productivity. But you can tell a college administrator is dissembling when he claims there is no fat left to trim, especially in as large an organization as UW.” – WSJ

“Rudy Giuliani has been taking a lot of flack for questioning whether President Obama loves America. The left and the mainstream media (pardon the redundancy) have been denouncing everyone who dares to not join in their auto-da-fé of the former mayor. And they are using the uproar to smear anyone who does not toe their party line, such as Governor Scott Walker, for transparently political reasons. This is just one more instance of why Republicans should not play the MSM’s game. When they are in this mode they are DOWBs (Democratic Operatives With Bylines) and should be treated as such—and called out as such—with the contempt they deserve for prostituting their profession.” – Commentary

“Radio talk-show host Hugh Hewitt will participate in the second Republican presidential debate, as part of a partnership between Salem Media Group and CNN. The debate will take place Sept. 16 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. The first GOP debate will be telecast by Fox News in August in Ohio.” – POLITICO

“The homeownership rate in the United States dropped to a 20-year low of 64.5 percent in 2014, according to new data released by the Census Bureau.” – CNS News

LOUISIANA

“Temperatures in Baton Rouge dipped to 34 degrees Tuesday morning, but down to 32 degrees in Lafayette as a cold front moves through the area.” – Baton Rouge Advocate

“Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle, R-Breaux Bridge, has come out against Common Core, meaning that three of Louisiana’s four gubernatorial candidates are now firmly opposed to the mathematics and English standards currently being taught in state schools.” – NOLA.com

“Louisiana’s education superintendent is proposing to speed a review of the state’s use of Common Core and to delay consequences for the switch to the multistate education standards.” – Lake Charles American Press

“The East Baton Rouge Parish Registrar’s Office has pushed back its anticipated completion date for validating the petition to call an election for the proposed city of St. George from the end of February to mid-March.” – Baton Rouge Advocate

“In a game of escalating tax-cut proposals, House Speaker Philip Gunn, R-Clinton, will propose the biggest so far: a $1.7 billion phaseout of Mississippi’s state personal income tax over more than a decade, a top legislator said late Monday.” – NOLA.com

“A free-speech appeal from tour guides in New Orleans who object to the city’s requirement that they be licensed was rejected Monday by the U.S. Supreme Court.” – Yahoo! News

“State Superintendent of Education John White said Monday he is concerned that Gov. Bobby Jindal’s budget proposal will exclude dollars for standardized tests, which he said could cost Louisiana $800 million in federal aid.” – Baton Rouge Advocate 

“But making a go of it on West Chimes Street has been far more challenging than Reginelli ever would have imagined. Sales slow to a trickle for nearly one-third of the year, when LSU is on break. Employee turnover is high, given that the labor pool consists mainly of students. Then there’s the issue of parking, which is in short supply for all but a fortunate few business owners who have private lots.” – Baton Rouge Business Report

“With his take from contributions on the rise since his ascension in June to a top U.S. House leadership position, U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise is tapping into a growing trend in political finance: the joint fundraising committee.” – Baton Rouge Advocate

“Conventional wisdom is that the Legislature and Gov. Bobby Jindal have already drained all of the available pools to plug previous budget gaps, but Fannin believes there could be more than $100 million — perhaps hundreds of millions — still to be harvested.” – Alexandria Town Talk

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