By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – The feud between Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and Baton Rouge Representative Garrett Graves over the slow response of Louisiana in flood recovery efforts escalated last week when the Edwards camp accused Rep. Graves of spreading false information about the release of federal money given to the state.

Friday, Rep. Graves issued this statement:

Flood victims in need of assistance are waiting on the state government to act. The $1.65 billion that is available TODAY to the state of Louisiana for flood recovery will never be wired to a Louisiana-controlled account; that’s not how it works. It will stay at the HUD CFO Accounting Center in Fort Worth and the state will draw down the money as necessary.

The first step is for the State to upload its Action Plan to HUD’s software pictured in the screenshot. The reason it says $0 is because the state hasn’t uploaded its plan.

Once the state does upload the plan, the process will work like this:

Let’s say The Action Plan budgets $25 mm for drywall and the state needs to purchase $10 mm now.

The State submits a draw request for $10 mm and then the state gets paid within 72 hours. Now the state’s drywall budget is $15mm and so on…

The bottom line is that the state has known for more than 191 days (Sept. 28 is when Congress appropriated funds) that it would receive federal disaster money through the CDGB program, and should be ready to disburse those funds. They’re not ready.

Everything else you’re hearing is noise.

Louisiana is one of the most frequent users of DRGR. The state should be able to submit action plan in its sleep. Commissioner Dardenne is on the radio is saying it is being uploaded now – hurry up.

The spokesman for Governor Edwards, Richard Carbo, says  “Graves’ information is inaccurate and the federal government hasn’t yet released the money to the state to spend. The line of credit “has not yet been set up.”

Clearly, the government hasn’t released the money because the state has not submitted an action plan as required or hired a contractor to oversee rebuilding. Why haven’t they done that?

Meanwhile, as I reported last week, Louisianians are not waiting on the politicians.  The Cajun Navy worked alongside first responders when the floods happened in August 2016 to rescue people, pets, and property, and now the Cajun Relief Foundation is working through crowd funding to get people the financial help they need.

Be sure to read this scathing post from Scott McKay of The Hayride:

Nobody has made a full-on indictment of Edwards’ immediate response to the August floods, though he certainly wasn’t perfect – and it’s fair to say he got bailed out by the Cajun Navy, which filled in a lot of the gaps. But in the effort to get federal dollars into Louisiana to make flood recovery happen as quickly as possible, Edwards has been an unmitigated failure – and if Louisiana’s newspapers weren’t so nakedly partisan on his side the governor would have been thoroughly excoriated for it.

Hopefully the politicians can get their red tape untangled before the next flood hits.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

One of the few seemingly valid arguments on the left concerning Trump’s Syria strike is the claim of a double standard that a congress that asserted it’s authority on Obama and Syria wasn’t that concerned about Trump acting alone.

The hole in that argument is best explained by one of Tip O’Neill’s famous Uncle Denny stories.  Uncle Denny is in a bar drinking on the cuff and the bartender calls the owner to ask if he’s good for the price of a drink and is asked:

“Has he had it?”

“Yes”

“Then he’s good for it.”

It’s a lot harder to object to a fait accompli particularly a popular one, then it is a potential event with all the unknown consequences and Trump understands (as my father did) that it’s better to offer explanations for doing what you’ve already done that to ask permission to do what you want to do.


Has anyone noticed that the language / pronoun police haven’t gotten to shootings yet?  You still see people routinely refer to a “gunman” instead of a “shooter” even though “gunman” not only implies a particular gender and an old fashioned binary gender as well.  I suspect that’s because to our friends in the copy rooms of the left, the implication that men are violent murders by nature is an acceptable prejudice.  It’s the same way with us Sicilians, it will be forever acceptable for the Hollywood left to portray us as a bunch of gangsters and murders to be feared.

Of course we don’t mind all that much, as people generally don’t mess with us because of it, and unlike other groups we don’t give a damn what a bunch of Scranos think of us.  (and no I’m not going to translate that for you).


The weekly standard had an interesting article about the Gorsuch confirmation indicating that the three senators that the left were counting on to stop the nuclear option were Collins of Maine, Murkowski of Alaska and Corker of Tennessee.  The first two were not a surprise to me as they are only marginally republican the third was.  The whole world was convinced it would be McCain and Graham as the potential holdouts, not a lot of people outside of DC had Corker on that list, but it’s a moot point now as Democrats were stupid enough to demonstrate that it doesn’t matter how respected and qualified a nominee is, they would filibuster them as seriously was anyone stupid enough to believe that if Hillary had won and the Democrats had held the Senate the first thing to go would be the Filibuster rule?


One last thing about the Gorsuch nomination, it’s worth noting that while the opposition of him was partisan the support for him was bipartisan.  I didn’t hear the press use that word much if at all during the hearing etc.  It’s funny because as I recall during the Obama years if even a single senator or congressman from the GOP supported something he did the press trotted out the word “bipartisan” as a sign that it was good and worthwhile, but they somehow never used that word when the GOP was passing bills in the house that Harry Reid held up (nor did they note that the opposition to Obamacare in the house was bipartisan).  Apparently the word “bipartisan” is only an acceptable complement when describing support of Democrats or opposition to Republicans.


Don Rickles died this week and tributes have come in from all over.  Of course if you look while his work on the Dean Martin Roasts and on Carson are immortalized on YouTube, they could not be performed by a comic today without being censored by the SJW crowd and the comic being declared a racist, sexist bigot etc etc etc.  I suspect a lot of the comics of today envy folks like Rickles who lived in an era when people , having lived through actually suffering and hardship knew the difference a joke and actual suffering and hardship.

This is likely why there are so nostalgia networks on the tube these days, the jokes from the old shows are funny and didn’t care about the political correctness of today.


I don’t understand the difficulty of some on the right to see why Trump’s hit of Syria was a good thing to so many.  The Pax America while expensive to the US has been one of the better things the world has seen, the loss of it puts a lot of people worldwide in danger.  It’s true a lot of folks like to complain about it just like they do about the police but they come in really handy when you need them.

Boy I miss the world war 2 generation and their values.


Speaking of things the culture needs Heather MacDonald direct challenge to Black Lives Matter about their lack of outrage over black children being murdered is one of the greatest things I’ve seen in years.  That so many in the black community are afraid of confronting these thugs who don’t give a damn if they live and die is one of the great disgraces of the 21st century.  It’s the same dynamic as the confrontation on CNN between Brooke Baldwin and a survivor of a Syrian Gas Attack who asked where all those people who protested against Trump on immigration where when they were being gassed?  Why wasn’t that worth a march?

All these people are playing the roles of useful idiots for the left and if they are more useful dead to the left then they’ll let them die.


One of the hardest things this year has been watching the Red Sox offense sputter this year without David Oritz.  I know it’s still very early  but the lack of fear on the faces of opposing pitchers has been apparent.  Maybe in a few years or maybe even this year Andrew Benintendi will generate that fear, but he hasn’t yet.


I saw an article saying that in addition to shattering every other record that any other Quarterback has held Tom Brady has the chance to break the record for oldest player to start at QB in an NFL game.  He would have to last till 2022 to do so.  While that’s not impossible it’s worth noting that of all the sports out there Football is the one where the end of your career is always only one hit away.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see Brady last 2, 3 or even four more years but to be talking seven years is WAY premature.


Finally yesterday was my 29th Anniversary and a funny thing happened this week.  Leaving a funeral mass one day my wife commented on a tucked away flower shop where we got our wedding flowers.  I noted I’d never been there and said it would be unlikely that I’d so as she said she didn’t want flowers anymore as she preferred plants.  She had totally forgotten this and had wondered why I had stopped buying her flowers over the last eight years.

That just goes to show that no matter how long you are married it’s a good idea to keep communications open, because you never actually know if people are saying what they mean, particularly when you are talking wives.

Last year, I was very encouraged by much of what the GOP platform stated. Yes, I’m one of those weird people who actually read it. Apparently, most of our elected Republican officials in DC either didn’t read it or dismissed it after they won. There are key elements that are getting missed.

Before anyone says “it’s too early to judge,” let’s take a few things into consideration. “Reducing the Federal Debt” is a big one that’s highlighted on page 8 of the platform. It discusses spending restraints as “a necessary component that must be vigorously pursued.” Thus far, the only proposals coming out of Congress have been to increase the debt. They promised to reduce it and I’d even accept it if they just kept it in check but with budget talks reaching a head at the end of the month, it’s almost certain that they’re going to raise it. Why put that in the platform if you’re just going to do the opposite?

“Defending Marriage Against an Activist Judiciary” is a big part of the platform, as is defending religious liberties. So far, nothing positive in this regard has even sniffed the President’s desk and actions from the administration seem bent on keeping the new status quo in regards to both marriage and religious freedoms. Judge Gorsuch was a nice addition, but his presence on the bench will not be able to defend marriage if Congress doesn’t give him something to defend.

Then, we get to the least discussed promise in the platform. “Federalism as the Foundation of Personal Liberty” outlines states’ rights and how the 10th Amendment must be brought to prominence once again. Other than Scott Pruitt at the EPA, no other efforts have been hinted at by any Republicans in DC from Congress to the White House. In fact, there have been direct attacks on the concepts of Federalism within the administration as they discuss imposing Washington’s will on the states when it comes to crime, immigration, and trade.

One of the most popular Republican issues of the day is how to handle sanctuary cities. I’m not a supporter of these havens of illegal immigration, but there’s a proper way for the government to reward states who crack down on sanctuary cities rather than harm those who do not. Mandates from DC that do not include sufficient compensation are tyrannical and force states to comply or feel the wrath of the fed. That’s not how the founders intended it, nor is it necessary to achieve the end results. We can rid our nation of sanctuary cities through federal assistance. When DC uses mandates and punishments to push their agenda, the end result is never good even if the intentions are righteous.

Don’t get me started on their stated platform promise to balance the budget when we have a trillion dollar infrastructure project to pay for on top of everything else that’s been flying around DC for the past three months. At what point to do we stop accepting that the Republicans are slightly less liberal than the Democrats? When are we going to tell them that being better isn’t good enough?

The GOP platform is nothing more than a piece of digital paper. The Democrats are even worse. It’s no coincidence that the Federalist Party’s idea for holding politicians accountable to the platform is getting attention from both major parties. If our elected officials are unwilling to fulfill the promises they sign, why should we believe they’ll do anything they say?