Commentary: A busy political season

It's entirely possible the next mayor's name hasn't even been mentioned yet
It's entirely possible that the next mayor's name hasn't even been mentioned yet. Election season is never far away in New Orleans.

Commentary: On things that "suck"

Republican health care plan could increase the number of uninsured Americans by 14 million
"I don't mean any disrespect, but Obamacare sucks," said U.S. Sen. John Neely Kennedy last fall, back when he was making folksy commercials to promote his Senate candidacy. Of course, not having health insurance sucks, too.

Commentary: Moving forward, mostly

Forward New Orleans finds room for improvement
Last week, a coalition of local groups known as Forward New Orleans (FNO) released its latest progress report on 11 public policy initiatives, with the aim of gauging how well city officials have kept their campaign promises since their elections in 2014. The results were mostly positive, reflecting both how far the city has come since the 2010 municipal elections and how far we still have to go.

Commentary: Carnival's choose your own adventure

Mardi Gras, as always, is what you make of it
Mardi Gras 2017 likely will be remembered for two things: the unseasonably warm weather, which made watching parades and costuming a comfortable (if humid) affair; and a traffic-related tragedy on the Endymion parade route, which occurred even as city officials beefed up French Quarter security — in part to prevent such an incident on pedestrian-packed Bourbon Street.   First, the weather.

Commentary: What 'diversity' means

Diversity is good for business, particularly when it comes to welcoming all
If you were downtown in the days before or during the recent NBA All-Star Game, you probably saw the giant mural on the side of Benson Tower. It was a portrait of Pelicans star Anthony Davis with one word: EQUALITY.

Commentary: Troy Brown got off easy

If domestic abuse isn't a bipartisan issue, what is? Despite two domestic abuse arrests in the last 15 months — and two convictions on misdemeanor charges related to those arrests — state Sen. Troy Brown refused to step down until Thursday, Feb. 16.

Commentary: It's Carnival time!

Best advice? Don't break any laws at Mardi Gras
Every year, GAMBIT reviews Mardi Gras rules, laws and customs — for veteran Carnival-goers and newbies alike. This year, there's a big change that affects just about everyone celebrating on the East Bank of New Orleans: The first weekend of Carnival festivities (this year, Feb. 17-19), traditionally a warm-up to the big weekend and Fat Tuesday (Feb. 28), also will see the NBA All-Star Game in the Smoothie King Center on Feb. 19, with attendant events taking place all weekend long.

Commentary: A bludgeon of a policy

Trump made clear the hasty implementation of the immigration ban was a feature rather than a flaw
President Donald Trump's executive order imposing an immediate rewrite of U.S. immigration law produced expected results: chaos, protests and loud cheers from his base. Trump made clear the hasty implementation was a feature rather than a flaw: "If the ban were announced with a one-week notice," he tweeted, "the 'bad' would rush into our country during that week.

Commentary: Just the facts

They may believe “alternative facts,” but it doesn’t make them true
"You're saying it's a falsehood. And they're giving — Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts."

Commentary: Deficits and the common good

The latest news out of Baton Rouge reminds all Louisianans that our state remains mired in a cycle of structural deficits — a term used by Moody's Investors Service to describe former Gov. Bobby Jindal's irresponsible fiscal practices. In addition to a deficit from fiscal year 2016 (the first half of which occurred on Jindal's watch and all of which reflects a budget adopted by the GOP-controlled Legislature), Louisiana is running a deficit of $304 million in the current fiscal year.

Commentary: Attorney General Barney Fife

AG Jeff Landry's law enforcement campaign is clearly designed to get him more headlines than arrests
In a classic episode of The Andy Griffith Show, Sheriff Andy Taylor leaves town for the day, turning law enforcement over to his hapless, preening deputy Barney Fife. When Andy returns, he finds Barney has arrested half the town on charges such as "unlawful assembly" (Aunt Bee gossiping with friends outside the courthouse) and expects praise for cracking down on crime in Mayberry.

Commentary: A violent start

Fourteen hours and 22 minutes. That's how long New Orleans was into 2017 before it had its first murder, when someone shot a Mid-City man to death in his front yard on New Year's Day.

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