Special Report

Special Report

Things Louisiana People Will Tell You About Katrina, Part One

By 8.26.15

At my site, which covers Louisiana politics, we’re not doing a 10-year anniversary thing about Hurricane Katrina, which blew through Southeast Louisiana and the Mississippi gulf coast at the end of August 2005. Our readers are not asking for one.

But on Monday Wlady Pleszczynski asked me to offer a perspective on Katrina as we mark that ugly historical event, and I notice this week that the major media is taking a great deal of ghoulish pleasure in revisiting all the horrors Mother Nature inflicted on New Orleans and the surrounding area in that horrible time, with the long and painful recovery that still isn’t complete.

So while this is a command performance rather than a labor of love, I offer a handful of items with a perspective you probably won’t hear elsewhere amid the media hurricane, in two parts.

In this installment, we’ll attack the question of who actually gets the blame here in Louisiana for the poor Katrina response.

Special Report

The Babies With Disabilities Act

By 8.26.15

The Left presents itself as a great champion of the disabled even as it favors wiping them out in the womb. This stark contradiction resurfaced this week as liberals complained about a proposed law in Ohio that would outlaw abortions motivated by a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome in the child.

In protesting the proposed law, the Left has reiterated its raw support for eugenic abortion, which is reaching levels even Hitler may not have anticipated. Some studies on eugenic abortion suggest as many as nine out of ten unborn babies diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted. In the face of these staggering numbers, liberals just shrug. Their attitude was once summed up by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg when she bloodlessly approved of the eugenic rationale for Roe v. Wade by saying,  “Frankly, I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don't want to have too many of.”

Special Report

The Beginner’s Guide to #Gamergate

By 8.26.15

If you had to describe the emergent media phenomenon known as #Gamergate in one sentence, it would be this:

#Gamergate is a media scandal surrounding collusion between left-wing journalists and the people they are supposed to cover, in some cases including the interaction between a sexual relationship and positive media coverage.

However, as with most one sentence descriptions, this fails to capture the essence, so here is a hypothetical situation that may help conservative readers understand #GamerGate better:

Imagine that tomorrow, news broke that Anthony Weiner had been sleeping with Melissa Harris Perry during the summer of 2013, just before Harris Perry devoted a lengthy segment to bemoaning the sexting scandal as a distraction from “real issues.”

Got it? Now, imagine that the mainstream media absolutely refused to cover news of the relationship. No, I don’t mean “buried it on page A6,” I mean didn’t cover it at all.

Now, imagine that when media consumers started protesting to ask why the relationship was never mentioned, the media smeared everyone asking about the story as anti-Semites for badmouthing Anthony Weiner.

Special Report

Be True to Your Homeschool

By 8.24.15

My brother has enough kids to field a baseball team.

One just earned her graduate degree from Notre Dame after getting her undergraduate from Boston College.

Another is graduating from Georgetown, which took one look at her grades and test scores and offered a full scholarship.

Another just entered West Point.

But it’s the younger siblings, the ones still in danger of braces, who really show promise. They devour books like Thin Mints and would destroy Donald Trump in the family Monopoly games.

These kids aren’t the products of elite schools; they don’t spend their summers in the Hamptons. My brother is a sports reporter, drives cars held together by NAPA and a prayer, and struggles to make ends meet.

But still, he started his kids off with an education that money could not buy. He sent them to a K-8 school with few resources and only a single teacher, one who possessed neither a teaching certificate nor a four-year degree.

The teacher is Nancy, Kevin’s wife.

Special Report

Lessons From Las Vegas

By 8.21.15

“Scared money don’t make no money.”

It’s a lesson I’ll never forget, not least because of the circumstances: Chris and I were playing blackjack at a Las Vegas casino last week, betting about $15 a hand. A young black guy walked over and — staying standing the whole time — put down a black chip (that’s $100 for the newbies) on the space between my bet and Chris’ bet…and promptly won. He yelled something which I didn’t quite catch, picked up his winnings, and walked back to the nearby roulette table where his friend was playing.

Special Report

Will EPA Benefit From Its Own Mistake?

By 8.18.15

When the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) literally popped the cap holding back toxics-filled water at the Gold King Mine above Silverton and Durango, Colorado, it really messed up.

Here’s what we know: The Gold King Mine had been closed and plugged since 1923. Behind the plug were several million gallons of tainted water laced with toxins and heavy metals. Among the potential toxins in the mine were lead, sulfuric acid, dissolved iron and copper, zinc, beryllium, cadmium, and arsenic. Note I said potential toxins. Any of these chemicals or metals alone, or combined as they were in the waters in the Gold King Mine, could be dangerous, but only if a person were exposed to them in particular ways and in sufficient amounts.

Even before there was mining in the area, Cement Creek—the stream first hit with three million gallons of sludge released by EPA’s snafu at Gold King—had been declared undrinkable as far back as 1876. Nature was poisoning the water even before humans got involved. Mining exacerbated the problem. Tainted water had been seeping out of abandoned or closed mines near Gold King for decades.

Special Report

Stench and the City: SF’s Summer of Urine

By 8.10.15

How bad is the urine situation in San Francisco? This is not a joke: Monday night, a light pole corroded by urine collapsed and crashed onto a car, narrowly missing the driver. The smell is worse than I have known since I started working for The Chronicle in 1992. It hits your nose on the BART escalator before you reach Market Street. That sour smell can bake for blocks where street people sleep wrapped in dirty blankets. I talked to Mayor Ed Lee and rode around with police to find out what can be done to clean up San Francisco.

Why does the city stink so? With the drought there has been less rain to wash away the city’s sins. Prosperity has produced a building boom — so there are fewer vacant spaces where the homeless can burrow.

I asked Lee Wednesday why other cities seem so much cleaner than San Francisco.I think they enjoy serious winters,” Lee answered — cold weather can drive street people to easier climates. Ess Eff doesn’t have really cold weather: “We’re a year-round attraction for various lifestyles.”

Special Report

European Union Becomes the Disunited Bailout Union

By 8.6.15

The European Project, as it is known, has been treated as an almost sacred process by the continent’s elite. Nothing—certainly neither fiscal responsibility nor popular sovereignty—should be allowed to stand in the way of creating a united Europe like the dominating American republic across the pond.

No doubt European cooperation, which began small before growing into the Common Market and then the European Union, has had beneficial effects. It bound together fractious, warring states in a cooperative enterprise, broke down trade barriers among small and large countries alike, and later drew former Soviet satellites westward.

However, the negatives have become ever more evident. Brussels has aped Washington, D.C., by hosting a growing bureaucracy dedicated to micromanagement and social engineering. Benign national cultures and traditions increasingly are suppressed by a new continental PC. An Eurocratic elite, made up of the usual gaggle of politicians, academics, journalists, businessmen, bureaucrats, and related folk, is determined to create a continental consolidated government irrespective of the desires of European peoples.

Special Report

The Bushioisie Is Wrong: Ross Perot Didn’t ‘Cost’ G.H.W. Bush the White House in 1992

By 8.5.15

Just because a political maxim has been repeated ad nauseam for more than 20 years doesn’t make it so.

Contrary to the two-decade-old insistence of the Bushioisie — GOP uberlobbyist Haley Barbour’s Sunday appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” being only the latest example — Ross Perot did not “cost” George H.W. Bush his 1992 reelection; rather, Perot’s campaign saved George H.W. Bush from an ignominious and humiliating loss, a defeat that likely would have rivaled Franklin Roosevelt’s 1932 drubbing of Herbert Hoover.


On November 3, 1992, Bill Clinton defeated George H.W. Bush and Ross Perot for the presidency by a margin of 43-37-19 percent.

Special Report

The Push Becomes a Shove

By 8.4.15

It was always going to be an uphill fight for the Left to achieve a consensus for not just the acceptance of their theory of global warming but their prescriptions to fight it, and Monday’s announcement of draconian EPA rules assaulting the electric power industry is proof that they realize the battle for public opinion is lost.

To have won on global warming, which obviously would have entailed our discussing the theory by its former name rather than its current formulation as “climate change” (does that not happen four times a year?), Barack Obama and his predecessors atop the effort to convince us to give up our modern consumerist lifestyle would have had to secure agreement on four bases crucial to the theory.

On none of the four have they managed to succeed.