Baton Rouge

Monday, May 23, 2016

Y@ Speak: "satire"

Posted By on Mon, May 23, 2016 at 5:25 PM

Last week delivered us a crash course in nonapologies, from state Rep. Kenneth "It Was Satire" Havard's unapologetic sexism to Bayou Boogaloo's Fence-pot Dome Scandal (can we start that instead of adding "gate" to any minor controversy). Also this week: ... what if termites adapted to eat people?

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Friday, May 20, 2016

'Showing their butts': State Rep. Kenny Havard would make a great running mate for Donald Trump

Posted By on Fri, May 20, 2016 at 4:18 PM

Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, left, and Louisiana state Rep. Kenny Havard, R-Jackson. - TRUMP: CREATIVE COMMONS/GAGE SKIDMORE
  • TRUMP: CREATIVE COMMONS/GAGE SKIDMORE
  • Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, left, and Louisiana state Rep. Kenny Havard, R-Jackson.
Forget about the potential Supreme Court nominees that Donald Trump served up last week to deflect The New York Times' exposé of his history of objectifying women. It’s time for The Donald to play the ultimate, well, trump card and name his running mate. That would surely cement his victory, the polls notwithstanding.

I’d like to suggest Louisiana state Rep. Kenny Havard, R-Jackson, for that role.

Havard clearly possesses the most important quality that Trump could want in a running mate: He doesn’t give a damn whom he offends.

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Monday, May 16, 2016

Y@ Speak: termite life

Posted By on Mon, May 16, 2016 at 2:50 PM

It's that time of year when 87 percent of New Orleans is just 100 pounds of termites shaped into people. They're among us — in line at the bank, sipping a beer at the bar, in a pile of their dead friends under your living room lamp. If you survived the recent swarms, here's your week: killer strawberries, medical marijuana, and hey, the state budget was figured out in time so our legislators could be home for Scandal.

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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Louisiana Senate passes bill that would triple waiting time for abortions

Posted By on Wed, May 4, 2016 at 1:24 PM

thinkstockphotos-119409354.jpg
The Louisiana State Senate on Tuesday voted on a bill that would triple the waiting time for women seeking abortions, bringing the policy one step closer to law.

Sponsored by Rep. Frank Hoffmann, a Republican, House Bill 386 requires that women wait 72 hours between a state-mandated counseling session ahead of an abortion and the scheduled procedure. Current law says women must wait 24 hours.

The bill also requires a doctor perform an ultrasound so the woman may see the fetus on through images on the screen and hear the heartbeat. She is then to be offered an ultrasound photograph.

According to Deanna Wallace, legislative director for the group Louisiana Right to Life, it’s imperative women have a “reflection period” after counseling to decide if they’re making the right decision.

“Abortion is a life-changing and life-ending decision, and one that the [U.S.] Supreme Court recognizes many women come to regret,” Wallace said.

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Monday, April 18, 2016

Y@ Speak: pregaming

Posted By on Mon, Apr 18, 2016 at 7:15 PM

Glen David Andrews began the week with a call to action in the wake of Will Smith's death, and New Orleans answered. Also in this quiet ruining of a frat guy's week: : Inspector Gadget, jedi and lethal caterpillars are among us, presumably to enjoy the sights and sounds of Jazz Fest from a folding chair where you can neither see nor hear while blocking my way to a sun-roasted port-o-let.

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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Gov. Edwards on LGBT nondiscrimination order: "Louisiana is a state that is respective and inclusive of everyone around us"

Posted By on Wed, Apr 13, 2016 at 12:05 PM

Gov. John Bel Edwards
  • Gov. John Bel Edwards
Gov. John Bel Edwards has issued the first statewide measure creating legal protection for transgender people in Louisiana.

Today, Edwards signed an executive order protecting state employees, as well as employees of state contractors and people receiving state services, from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Previous legislative efforts to include LGBT protections in nondiscrimination laws have failed. Edwards' order creates protections from discrimination on the "basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, political affiliation, disability, or age," and extends that protection in services provided by state agencies. 

There still are no statewide nondiscrimination laws protecting all LGBT people. Edwards' order also recognizes exemptions for churches and religious organizations. (A "Pastor Protection Act" filed by state Rep. Mike Johnson received committee support yesterday.)

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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Louisiana's "Pastor Protection Act" gets committee support

Posted By on Tue, Apr 12, 2016 at 3:15 PM

A crowd at Jackson Square in 2015 rallying in support of the U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing same-sex marriages. - ALEX WOODWARD
  • ALEX WOODWARD
  • A crowd at Jackson Square in 2015 rallying in support of the U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing same-sex marriages.

After failing to get support for his 2015 "Marriage and Conscience Act" as a last line of defense from the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark decision on gay marriage, state Rep. Mike Johnson, R-Bossier City, got committee support for his House Bill 597, aka the "Pastor Protection Act."

Johnson brought his measure to today's House Committee on Civil Law and Procedure, where it passed 7-3. Opponents argue the measure could open the door for all kinds of anti-LGBT discrimination as the measure not only protects clergy but employees of any "religious organization" from having to provide "services" to anyone they believe "violate[s] a sincerely held religious belief." Johnson says it's intended only to apply to people performing same-sex marriages.

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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Louisiana students rally in Baton Rouge for the "Raise the Age Louisiana Act"

Posted By on Wed, Apr 6, 2016 at 5:49 PM

Carlos Wilson and Jasmine Jeff were two of the students who traveled to the state capitol today in support of state Sen. J.P. Morrell's "Raise the Age Louisiana Act," which would stop the prosecution of 17-year-olds as adults. - DELLA HASSELLE
  • DELLA HASSELLE
  • Carlos Wilson and Jasmine Jeff were two of the students who traveled to the state capitol today in support of state Sen. J.P. Morrell's "Raise the Age Louisiana Act," which would stop the prosecution of 17-year-olds as adults.

In many ways, 17-year-old Carlos Wilson is trying hard to mature into a responsible adult. He has a job, he says, and a one-year old son whom he calls “his pride and joy.”

But he’s constantly reminded that he’s not yet of age to do some adult things. He pays taxes, for instance, but cannot vote to help determine how that money will be spent. And last year, he was unable to sign his own son’s birth certificate, because he was too young.

He also can’t serve on a jury, join the army or buy beer or cigarettes.

Yet if Wilson were to get arrested, he would be sent to an adult lockup, even if charged with a minor offense. That’s because Louisiana is only one of nine states in the country that prosecutes 17-year-olds as if they are adults.

“We as 17-year-olds deserve clarity,” said Wilson, a senior at the New Orleans Charter Science and Math Academy. “Are we adults, or are we still children?”

Wilson has been part of a steering committee for his school that for the past year has been researching the possibility of raising the age in Louisiana for criminal infractions from 17 to 18.

On Wednesday, Wilson traveled with about 300 youth from Lafayette and New Orleans to present his findings during a rally on the steps of the state capitol, and to ask that legislators stop prosecuting 17-year-olds as adults.

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Monday, April 4, 2016

Y@ Speak: endangered species

Posted By on Mon, Apr 4, 2016 at 6:45 PM

Dear Bird Lover Basketball Fan:

Our Pelicans need your help. One by one, these men are forced to wear suits and sit down instead of running for a few hours in their natural habitat: shiny, shiny wood in multimillion dollar state-of-the-art arenas. Please, think of the bird men.

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Monday, March 7, 2016

It's The Best, Greatest Y@ Speak, OK?

Posted By on Mon, Mar 7, 2016 at 3:15 PM

Donald Trump gets a warm New Orleans welcome and Louisiana voters head to the polls and to #ProTip election day hacker Chris Rose. Also: the earth's days are numbered as #NOLAscanner gets climax-of-Ghostbusters-level strange.

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