Low Popahirum, February 26, 2015

NATIONAL

“The GOP-controlled Senate passed a ‘right-to-work’ bill with a 17-15 vote that would allow employees in unionized private-sector workplaces to opt out of paying union dues. Republicans also control the state Assembly, making passage likely during the next week, and Gov. Scott Walker —who is considering a run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016—has said he would sign such a measure into law.” – WSJ

“Wisconsin unions suffered another painful defeat tonight as the state senate passed Right to Work legislation.” – Twitchy

“Walker — with his hardcore on-message approach — does not respond to the usual efforts to entice Republicans to make damaging remarks about sex, race, religion, and other things that aren’t part of his message. Another strategy is needed, and Milbank seems to think he’s found it. (I put ‘seems to’ in that sentence in honor of Walker’s dogged refusal to make statements about what’s inside another person’s head.) Milbank’s idea is to make Walker’s restraint into a horrible flaw that disqualifies him from serious consideration.” – Ann Althouse

“There has been much discussion about a media double standard where Republicans are covered differently than Democrats, asked to weigh in on issues the Democrats don’t face. As a result, when we refuse to take the media’s bait, we suffer. I felt it this week when I was asked to weigh in on what other people said and did and what others’ beliefs are. If you are looking for answers to those questions, ask those people.” – Scott Walker/USA Today

“Unfortunately, as it turns out, Harry Reid and President Obama had insider information that helped them know precisely how to approach this drama. And the source of that insider information was beyond contestation: it was Mitch McConnell himself.” – RedState

“By a vote of 12 to 8, the committee approved the nomination of Lynch, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, as the first African-American woman to take the reins of the Justice Department. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. announced in September that he would step down as soon as the Senate approved a new nominee. Sens. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) voted with the committee’s nine Democrats to approve Lynch’s nomination. Several Republicans on the committee, including Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and Sen. John Cornyn (Tex.), said they would oppose the nomination because of President Obama’s executive action on immigration.” – Washington Post

“The poll, which included 38 percent Democrats and 32 percent Republicans, asked, ‘If the Supreme Court rules that the Obama administration has been illegally paying out Obamacare subsidies in 36 states, what do you think Congress should do in response?’ The most popular response — picked by 26 percent of likely voters — was, ‘Propose to effectively repeal and replace Obamacare in those 36 states with a conservative alternative that aims to help people get coverage and reduce costs.’ The runner-up response — picked by 25 percent of voters — was, ‘Give the states a choice between Obamacare and switching to a conservative alternative that aims to help people get coverage and reduce costs.’” – Weekly Standard

“Politifact, which is published under the flag of the Tampa Bay Times, the chief executive of which, Paul Tash, is the chairman of the Poynter Institute, a member of the Pulitzer prize committee, and a disgrace to his trade, recently decided to ‘fact-check’ my colleague Jonah Goldberg, but it was really fact-checking me, as Jonah was citing a claim in a column of mine.” – Kevin Williamson/National Review

“Investigators believe that the ‘Jihadi John’ masked fighter who fronted Islamic State beheading videos is a British man named Mohammed Emwazi, two U.S. government sources said on Thursday. He was born in Kuwait and comes from a prosperous family in London, where he grew up and graduated with a computer programming degree, according to the Washington Post.” – Yahoo! News

“A columnist less charitable — and less constrained by the rules of publishing decorum — might be tempted to suggest some fitting symbols for Bill Clinton. But for Hillary, that’s a tougher question. Which is why the Hillary Industrial Complex is setting up a Manhattan Project to answer the question, ‘Who should Hillary be this time?’” – Jonah Goldberg/National Review

LOUISIANA

Bobby Jindal and David Vitter have every reason to be friends. Jindal would love to have Vitter praise him as he looks to make the leap from Louisiana Governor’s Mansion to the White House. Vitter, meanwhile, would benefit from Jindal’s support as he campaigns to take the outgoing governor’s job. But none of that is happening. Instead, years’ worth of bad blood between the two is spilling out, hurting both Republicans as they attempt to leap to higher office.” – National Journal

“The Jindal-Vitter feud is nothing new. It’s even been covered by the national political press before, but the two men are under more of a magnifying glass now, with one likely running for president and the other running for Louisiana governor.” – NOLA.com

We need him here in the state of Louisiana,” state Rep. Barbara Norton, D-Shreveport, said in a conference call with reporters Wednesday morning. “I’m hoping and praying he will say to himself, ‘I have a responsibility, and it’s to be held accountable to the citizens of Louisiana.’ ” – Baton Rouge Advocate

” It’s day four of the strike, and while the Shell oil refinery in Norco continued operations using managers and contract employees, the 550 picketing United Steelworkers endured the rainy cold while passing drivers honked in support.” – WWL-TV

“They invented and, in 2005, patented the OysterBreak system, which Ortego describes as giant concrete Legos that double as oyster reefs and a coastal protection system. The OysterBreak is a modular precast concrete armor unit made with a rock-like material on which oysters grow. After it is put in the water, the unit is colonized by oyster larvae. Successive generations of oysters fuse the units into a solid reef.” – NOLA.com

“With scheduled budget cuts imminent, LSU’s Daily Reveille devoted an entire paper front to the topic for Thursday. Higher education in Louisiana faces a $383 million reduction, according to LSU Budget Hub, with the possibility of the proposed budget cut reducing the roughly 13.5 percent of the University’s revenue coming from the state to 6 percent.” – Baton Rouge Advocate

“We knew last year when we passed the state budget that we were passing a budget that was going to lead us into a billion dollar shortfall,” said Rep. Brett Geymann, R-Lake Charles, a member of the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget. “That was not a responsible thing for us to do. That’s my biggest frustration with this.” – LSU Reveille

Still getting used to new surroundings on Capitol Hill, Louisiana Rep. Ralph Abraham has been named to the House Agriculture Committee. Abraham says the Republican majority is keen to move on its agenda.” – Delta Farm Press

“Carolyn Bennett, executive director of the Foundation for Historical Louisiana, announced her retirement Wednesday after 40 years with the organization. Bennett was the first full-time staffer at the Baton Rouge nonprofit, which seeks to preserve the state’s architectural and cultural heritage.” – Baton Rouge Advocate

“Yet in an unexplainable crazy way, experiencing the highest of highs and the lowest of lows has given Cameron, 54, a calm focus that keeps him moving forward. It’s why when I was interested reviewing the details with him of the Tigers’ offensive struggles and its inexperienced quarterbacks from last season’s 8-5 roller-coaster, he declined to review specifics.” – Ron Higgins/NOLA.com

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