Louisiana

Hard Times--And How You Can Help
December 30, 2009

The economists tell us that the recession is over or, at least, nearly over.  A California woman named Claudia Bruce might not agree: Claudia Bruce was laid off from her well-paying job 13 months ago after the economy fell. Now, Bruce is among a growing number of people who, in what seemed like an instant, went from middle class incomes to relying on public assistance. Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties fed a record-breaking 272,000 people in November.

Tigergate Isn't a Black Thing -- Despite What Some Would Prefer
December 09, 2009

For all of the aching desire a certain crowd have had in 2009 to show that America post-Obama isn’t “post-racial” – and golly, I wonder if anybody really ever thought we were – the Tiger Woods business of late is a ringing indication that we’re well on our way to it. To wit, what we have seen lately is a golfer who has turned out to be a philanderer. What we are not seeing is a Black Athlete who has turned out to be a philanderer.

How Is Tiger Woods "Racial"? And Isn't That Progress?
December 09, 2009

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The Retro Man
November 30, 2009

About 20 minutes into my sit-down with House Minority Leader John Boehner, I am overcome by the desire for a drink. Scotch, maybe. Or a bone-dry martini, extra olives. It’s not that the Ohio congressman is shaping up to be confrontational or unresponsive or in any way unpleasant.

Reid Has the Votes, At Least Tonight
November 21, 2009

Tonight, at around 8 p.m., the Senate will vote on a "motion to proceed" with the debate over health care reform. To be clear, this isn't actually a vote on whether to pass health care reform--or even a vote on whether to hold such a vote. It's a vote on whether to begin talking about whether to have a vote on whether to pass health care reform. And yet the outcome is not a foregone conclusion.

BREAKING: House Passes Health Reform
November 07, 2009

At 11:14 p.m., the House of Representatives voted to pass H.R. 3962, the "Affordable Health Care for America" Act. Cheers erupted when the tally reached 218 votes, enough to pass the bill. The final count was 220 for, 215 against, with one Republican (Joseph Cao of Louisiana) joining the majority of Democrats. More soon.

Matters of Fact
October 24, 2009

In the mid-1950s, a photographer named Robert Frank, lately emigrated from Switzerland, drove around the United States to see and to join his new country. He shot pictures. The results, or his choices among them, were published in a book of eighty-three photos called The Americans, which was an immediate and lasting success. The book was not only a unique way for a newcomer to learn about his new home: in some ways it showed a social candor that was as yet unusual in photography.

Drunk with Power
October 02, 2009

In 2001, an entrepreneur named Tom Casten traveled down to southern Louisiana, near the small town of Franklin, with a clever idea. For decades, the area had sustained a pair of chemical plants that produced carbon black, a grimy powder used in printer ink and tire rubber. But the owner of one of the plants, Cabot Corporation, was struggling to compete against cheap tire imports from abroad, and desperately seeking ways to cut costs. That’s where Casten came in. He pointed out that the gas left over from the carbon-black process was just getting wasted--burned off and flared up into the sky.

State of Denial
September 26, 2009

Mitch Berger, a Washington-based lawyer, has a rare, incurable and very expensive-to-treat cancer.  He is not fond of insurance companies. As Democrats scramble to assemble a health care reform package that a majority of the party can support, Republicans have agreed on what they claim is a quick and easy way to reduce health insurance costs. In delivering the Republican reply to the President’s recent joint-session speech, Charles Boustany of Louisiana offered the GOP plan, saying "Let's also talk about letting families and businesses buy insurance across state lines.

Economic Recovery? Not So Fast!
September 10, 2009

The Federal Reserve’s latest Beige Book, released yesterday, painted a cautiously optimistic portrait of the state of the nation’s economy. The New York Times, reporting on the Beige Book, heralded a “slow and still fragile recovery” that is “taking hold across the country.” But even if the data bear out this anecdotal assessment, don’t think that a robust recovery is going to appear in your metro area anytime soon. Here’s why: In many parts of the country there are few signs of recovery. Of the 12 Federal Reserve districts, only Dallas (covering Texas and parts of Louisiana and New Mexico) re

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