Thursday, November 16, 2017

Steve Scalise, Rosie O'Donnell mix it up on Twitter

Posted By on Thu, Nov 16, 2017 at 5:51 PM

  • Rosie O'Donnell.

Once again demonstrating that modern life is basically the fourth grade writ large, with consequences that likely will mean the death of all of us, comedian and professional Donald Trump irritant Rosie O'Donnell mixed it up with House Majority Whip Steve Scalise after he crowed about the U.S. House of Representatives passing its controversial tax cut bill
To which O'Donnell replied ...

To which Scalise replied ...

(As we all know, in the South "Bless your heart!" is just a different way to pronounce "Go fuck yourself.") Scalise's riposte was enough to make O'Donnell switch from all lower case to ALL CAPS in a hurry.

More maturity under the jump ...

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Thursday, October 19, 2017

At union rally, a glimpse of an organized New Orleans hospitality industry

Posted By on Thu, Oct 19, 2017 at 10:13 PM


At a Thursday rally that was part of nationwide demonstrations held by the UNITE HERE hospitality workers union, New Orleans and Biloxi hotel, convention center and casino employees called for local service industry workers to organize and spoke out in praise of the union.

About 75 people, a few still in chef coats and pants, gathered Oct. 19 at the corner of Convention Center Boulevard and Canal Street to chant and hear speakers who are members of Local 2262, UNITE HERE's area chapter. The speakers' overpowering message: organizing has raised their wages, given them access to affordable health insurance and more in an industry that's sometimes known for offering meager benefits and poor financial security.

"When hospitality jobs are unionized, they become middle-class jobs," Marlene Patrick-Cooper, UNITE HERE organizing director, said. "It's the best answer for fighting poverty in the United States."

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Friday, October 6, 2017

Report: GOP tax framework offers most benefit to Louisianans making $568,200 a year

Posted By on Fri, Oct 6, 2017 at 4:47 PM


In a new report that analyzed the nine-page tax reform framework released Sept. 27 by Congressional Republican leadership, the nonprofit Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) found that 63.7 percent of the framework's tax cuts would go to Louisiana households making $568,200 or more per year.

According to the report, these households comprise the top 1 percent of the state's income distribution and would receive an average tax cut of $97,200. Families making $1 million or more would get a tax cut of $256,000 if the framework's proposed changes were enacted for tax year 2018.

Louisiana households making between $38,300 and $59,500 would receive an average tax cut of $380, ITEP found. (Median household income in Louisiana was $45,047 in 2015, according to U.S. Census data.) In this state, 11.8 percent of households would see a tax increase.

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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Report: New Orleans receives 'D' grade on 'Best Metros for Millennials' list

Posted By on Thu, Sep 14, 2017 at 9:30 AM


In a new report from the website Apartment List that surveyed 75 U.S. metro areas, New Orleans ranked near the bottom of the nation's "Best Metros for Millennials."

According to the analysis, New Orleans was ranked 61st out of 75 possible areas studied based on scores related to its job market, affordability and livability. The city's worst ranking was its livability score (based on a rental satisfaction survey of factors including weather, crime, parks, nightlife and opportunities to date and make friends), where it ranked 62nd out of 75 areas. The New Orleans job market ranked 60th out of 75 areas.

Metro areas that top the list include smaller cities such as Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Provo, Utah and Madison, Wisconsin; as well as Southern cities including Charleston, South Carolina and Houston.

"The top 10 metros are inland metros with relatively low rents, primarily located in the Midwest and South," report author Sydney Bennet wrote. "These metros offer millennials more than just affordable housing options. They also provide strong job markets and vibrant social scenes."

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Monday, September 4, 2017

New Orleans joins Labor Day fight for $15 minimum wage

Posted By on Mon, Sep 4, 2017 at 12:00 AM

A "Fight for $15" march in 2016 rallied on Canal Street. - PHOTO BY ALEX WOODWARD
  • A "Fight for $15" march in 2016 rallied on Canal Street.

Sabreal Ealem has worked in fast food for three years — she got her start at McDonald's, then Popeye's, then McDonald's again. Now she works while studying criminal justice at Southern University at New Orleans. "It's always been about work and school for me," she says. "I've never had a normal teenager life."

Ealam's mother and sister also work in fast food, earning minimum wage, or far less than the $15 minimum wage Ealem is calling for as part of a national movement demanding wage increases and the right to unionize. "The minimum wage has always separated my family — we've either been in work or at school," she says. "We rarely see each other. The minimum wage is separating families — not just mine."

As the U.S. celebrates Labor Day to close out a three-day weekend for many Americans, a growing chorus of low-wage workers, workers rights groups, unions, clergy and other organizations will push local, state and federal officials to raise minimum wages. McDonald's workers and supporters in New Orleans join a strike and add support behind the national Fight For $15 campaign led by Service Employees International Union. New Orleans' Labor Day protests are among other calls to action in 300 cities.

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Thursday, August 31, 2017

What do people in New Orleans do for work? Here's the breakdown

Posted By on Thu, Aug 31, 2017 at 11:40 AM


Although New Orleans mostly celebrates Labor Day as "that weekend when Decadence happens," the holiday — established in 1894 — celebrates American workers and the labor movement. In tribute, here's a quick look at what people in and around New Orleans are doing for work these days, and how it stacks up to what people do in the greater U.S.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) studies New Orleans as part of a "metropolitan statistical area" (MSA) that includes New Orleans and Metairie. If you lived in this MSA in 2016, you were most likely to work in one of its three biggest occupational groups: office and administrative support; food preparation and service; and sales and related (which includes retail jobs, cashiers, that sort of thing). Together these occupations made up almost 40 percent of area jobs. The next most popular job group is in transportation and material moving (bus and taxi drivers, sailors, truck and ship loaders), making up 8.1 percent of area jobs.

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Thursday, August 24, 2017

Opinion: New Orleans Business Alliance responds to 'Is New Orleans Worth It?'

Posted By on Thu, Aug 24, 2017 at 5:00 PM

Editor's note: Our cover story this week, "Is New Orleans Worth It?," has been widely read and discussed both on our website and Facebook page. State Sen. Conrad Appel wrote his own response on the website The Hayride. Author Kat Stromquist will be on Informed Sources Aug. 25 and The 504 Aug. 29 to discuss it further, as well as on Oliver Thomas' WBOK radio show very soon.

In the meantime, Quentin L. Messer Jr., head of the New Orleans Business Alliance, has written his own response, which we are publishing here.

Quentin Messer, head of the New Orleans Business Alliance.
  • Quentin Messer, head of the New Orleans Business Alliance.

“Is New Orleans Worth It?” was a compelling read on multiple levels. As the article outlines, there is very real disappointment among some in our local economy’s ability to absorb talented professionals. As leader of the New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA), the economic development organization focused on growing the New Orleans economy, I felt compelled to respond.

First, despite the tremendous progress that has been made in our local economy, significant work remains for NOLABA and other partners in economic development, like Louisiana Economic Development, GNO, Inc. and the City, to create a robust economy that is capable of creating high-quality opportunities for talented corporate and not-for-profit management professionals who want to live in New Orleans.

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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Editorial: Paging Dr. Cassidy — move on from health care repeal

Posted By on Wed, Aug 2, 2017 at 1:46 PM

Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy takes questions about health care at a town hall forum in Metairie earlier this year. - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy takes questions about health care at a town hall forum in Metairie earlier this year.

Congressional Republicans began trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) literally the day after it was passed in 2010. The GOP-controlled House has voted to repeal it many times in a series of completely symbolic exercises that tossed red meat to their supporters without actually accomplishing anything. Now, with the GOP in control of both houses of Congress and the White House, it’s abundantly clear that Beltway Republicans have no idea how to follow through on their promise of “repeal and replace” — even though they’ve had seven years to figure it out.

“We Republicans have looked for a way to end it and replace it with something else without paying a terrible political price. We haven’t found it yet, and I’m not sure we will,” said Arizona Sen. John McCain on the Senate floor, shortly before three attempts at repeal failed in late July. “All we’ve managed to do is make more popular a policy that wasn’t very popular when we started trying to get rid of it.”

McCain is correct. During the last seven years, the ACA has continued to rise in public opinion polls. Even its detractors praise some of its provisions, including coverage for pre-existing conditions and letting young people stay on their parents’ policies until age 26. A Gallup poll conducted in April found 55 percent of Americans now approve of the ACA, while only 30 percent want a complete repeal.

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Monday, July 31, 2017

Here's some information about 'Black Women's Equal Pay Day,' which takes place July 31

Posted By on Mon, Jul 31, 2017 at 11:53 AM


Today is "Black Women's Equal Pay Day," or the day of the year black women must work to to earn the same wages as a white man earned during the previous year (2016).

"Equal Pay Day" recognizes pay inequity for all women and generally falls in spring, but today's date recognizes the stark differences in wages between white women and women of color. According to figures offered by the National Women's Law Center (NWLC), women in the aggregate make about 80 cents for every dollar made by a man, but black women nationwide make 63 cents — a loss of $21,001 a year, relative to men. And the gap is even larger in Louisiana, where black women make just 48 cents for every dollar made by a man.

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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Editorial: Progressive groups framing the election discussion at forums

Posted By on Thu, Jul 27, 2017 at 1:07 PM

Candidates at the "Town Hall for Better Jobs" July 25. - PHOTO BY KAT STROMQUIST
  • Candidates at the "Town Hall for Better Jobs" July 25.

If you’re interested in the citywide elections in New Orleans, now is the time to pay attention and attend a forum or town hall. By the time the televised debates begin, much of the agenda will be set — but already community groups are framing the discussion. Many of them are new progressive groups that sprang up during the 2016 presidential election.

Indivisible New Orleans, one of the groups, held the first New Orleans mayoral town hall three weeks before qualifying began. Earlier this week, a coalition of progressive organizations sponsored a “Town Hall for Better Jobs.” More than 20 candidates for mayor and City Council attended. Among the topics: raising the minimum wage, expanding job opportunities, and supporting unions and collective bargaining — ideas that are at the top of the progressive agenda. Those ideas are a far cry from forums at which candidates typically try to outdo each other with “tough on crime” rhetoric or decry the city’s pothole problems.

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