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In some ways, State Sen. Karen Carter Peterson reminds one of Donald Trump.

Yeah, that’s a pretty wide canyon to bridge, but consider that while Trump has been possibly the most controversial pissypants president in US history, she has been an undisputed complete disaster as chair of the Louisiana Democratic Party.

And we know all too well how petty and vengeful Trump can be. We have, after all, witnessed how he can ruin a career over a perceived slight.

And Karen Carter Peterson (D-New Orleans) has proven herself every bit as unforgiving

And boy, did she prove that on Monday.

In March of last year, Peterson was issued a citation by State Police after being removed from L’auberge Casino in Baton Rouge.

Why was she removed?

Well, because two years prior to that, she had volunteered to participate in the Louisiana “self-exclusion from casino gambling” program after decided that she had a gambling problem. She completed a waiver which excluded her from all casino gambling establishments. That waiver said that should a participant be caught gambling all winnings would be remitted to the state and the participant was subject to arrest or other legal recourse. See that story HERE.

So, when she was caught and issued a summons by State Police, she apparently took it personally and from that point on, State Gaming Board Chairman Ronnie Jones had a target on his back.

And Walt Leger, III, chairman of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, was also a marked man because he got caught up in the fight between New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell and Stephen Perry, head of the New Orleans tourism marketing organization, New Orleans & Co.

LaToya and Peterson are big pals and apparently, the mayor passed on the word to Peterson that Leger was personal non-grata when he came up for Senate confirmation.

Of some 700 appointees considered for confirmation by the Senate, 11 were rejected. Of those 11, six were shot down by Peterson who took advantage of an obscure rule that allows an individual senator to block a nomination if the nominee is from the senator’s district.

Hello Ronnie Jones and Walt Leger. Both men came up for nomination on Monday and Sen. Trump Peterson finally got her opportunity to extract her pound of flesh by thumbing her nose at Jones, a man with 40-plus years with the Louisiana State Police and who was on the verge of overseeing the reopening of Louisiana’s casinos after the coronavirus lockdown. And Leger went down in flames because of the bond between Peterson and Cantrell. Ask any number of casualties from the Trump administration about how those back-room alliances shake out.

Peterson, like Trump, seems to think that laws were enacted for others and not for her and woe be unto those who do their jobs in enforcing those laws.

[See Tyler Bridges’ story in the Baton Rouge Advocate HERE and read Gov. John Bel Edwards’s statement on the Senate’s action HERE.]

It’s not the first time Peterson has acted out of pure spite.

One of her first acts as the new Democratic State Chairperson in 2012 was to nullify all parish executive committee appointments made during her predecessor Buddy Leach’s term in much the same fashion that Trump has attempted to undo everything his predecessor did.

Once the Democratic Executive Committee was stacked with Peterson appointees, the committee awarded her an annual stipend of $36,000, plus expenses. This was done without the approval of the Democratic State Central Committee, most of whom were unaware of the stipend. [Wonder if some her mileage expense payments correspond to travel for which she is paid by the Senate?]

Peterson’s sister, Eileen Carter of Houma, was paid $13,000 during October and November 2015 for “organizational/grassroots consultation,” according to figures provided by the Louisiana Ethics Commission. That’s a per-annum rate of $78,000.

And there’s this from a Nov. 7, 2017 LouisianaVoice STORY:

“…[T]he biggest concern to several Democratic Parish Executive Committee (DPEC) members is the lack of membership on no fewer than 29 parish executive committees, a condition critics attribute to Peterson’s lack of timely appointments.”

“There are 29 parishes which have five or fewer members on their committee,’ one DPEC member said. “There should be at least 15 members of each parish executive committee. That’s nearly half the state that has non-existent or non-functioning DPECs. Livingston Parish has only seven of 15 seats filled. One member of the Livingston DPEC has been working since February to get the seats filled but that still hasn’t been done even though names have been submitted.”

And nearly two years into Peterson’s second term as state chairperson, there are 33 DSCC vacancies. “If she fills positions at all, it’s usually with her minions,” one DSCC member said.

Parishes with one or more vacancies in DSCC representation include Caddo, Bossier, DeSoto, Sabine, Lincoln, Union, Ouachita, Iberville, Pointe Coupee, West Baton Rouge, West Feliciana, Caldwell, Catahoula, Franklin, LaSalle, Tensas, Concordia, East Carroll, Madison, Tensas, Rapides, Lafayette, Vermilion, Calcasieu, Acadia, Iberia, St. Martin, East Baton Rouge, Livingston, Tangipahoa, Washington, St. Tammany, and Jefferson.

“Karen Carter Peterson is an ambitious politician of questionable loyalties who has used her chairmanship of DSCC to build a fiefdom and to launch a national career, all at the expense of the organization she was elected to build and serve,” a DSCC member said.

But the real lesson here is don’t piss off Karen Carter Peterson, even if she does violate her own voluntary waiver. She doesn’t forget and she’s not above using her political clout to settle a pissypants personal grudge.

Just like Donald Trump.

 

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Protesters were tear-gassed so Trump could pose for this (upside-down) Bible-waving photo-op yesterday. That says about everything we need to know about this bone-spurred tyrant.

 

“…[T]his weak person’s idea of a strong person, this chest-pounding advertisement of his own gnawing insecurities, this low-rent Lear raging on his Twitter-heath has proven that the phrase malignant buffoon is not an oxymoron.

“…The person voters hired in 2016 to ‘take care that the laws be faithfully executed’ stood on July 28, 2017, in front of uniformed police and urged them ‘please don’t be too nice’ when handling suspected offenders. His hope was fulfilled for 8 minutes and 46 seconds on Minneapolis pavement.

“A political party’s primary function is to bestow its imprimatur on candidates, thereby proclaiming: This is who we are. In 2016, the Republican Party gave its principal nomination to a vulgarian and then toiled to elect him. And to stock Congress with invertebrates whose unswerving abjectness has enabled his institutional vandalism, who have voiced no serious objections to his Niagara of lies.

“Those who think our unhinged president’s recent mania about a murder two decades ago that never happened represents his moral nadir have missed the lesson of his life: There is no such thing as rock bottom. So, assume that the worst is yet to come.” 

—Former Republican George Will, June 1, 2020.

Something’s got to be done to stop the looting.

There’s simply no justification for anyone taking advantage of a bad situation to loot and steal—especially when you’re hurting your own people, your own neighborhoods.

Some examples:

  • Tax changes in the coronavirus stimulus bill allowed some of the nation’s richest to loot the U.S. treasury by avoiding nearly $82 billion in taxes for 2020.
  • The Federal Reserve on March 23 announced it would begin direct purchases of corporate debt, a move described as an unprecedented rescue of corporate America which allowed companies like Boeing and Carnival Cruises to loot the system while avoiding requirements to retain employees during the shutdown.
  • The $2.2 trillion stimulus bill allowed companies like Exxon/Mobil and other companies making record profits to loot from taxpayers via more generous latitude to deduct losses.
  • Yet another provision of the relief bill allowed the wealthiest Americans and large companies to loot the economy through the federal government’s $174 billion giveaway in the form of tax breaks.
  • Airline shareholders got in on the looting rampage via a $50 billion gift from the federal government to prop up the industry.
  • Twenty of the nation’s largest hospital chains that were sitting on $100 million in cash still managed to participate in the looting when the federal stimulus bill awarded them $5 billion in federal grants.
  • The Paycheck Protection Program was intended to help small companies during the coronavirus shutdown but dozens of large companies with financial or legal problems managed to get in on the looting when they got large payouts under the program.
  • Several recipients of grants intended for small businesses were paying their executives $2 million or more in annual salary. Talk about looting!
  • Companies that left the U.S. in order to lower their tax liabilities still hung around long enough to participate in the looting by qualifying for federal aid. (Source: JACOBIN.)

Remember those $1200 stimulus checks that went out to every adult American? Millions of those recipients were retirees or people who continued working in jobs deemed critical, meaning their stream of income was never interrupted. That should have negated any need for a relief check but the recipients nevertheless became looters when they received their unsolicited checks. (FULL DISCLOSURE: We received $2400 even though my retirement income continued uninterrupted and my wife continued working. So, I suppose by definition, we are looters, albeit involuntarily.)

Click HERE to see how Congress abetted corporate looters in crafting the stimulus bill.

Even First Son-in-Law JARED KUSHNER got in on the looting during the pandemic that was killing 100,000 Americans.

He wasn’t the only one with White House connections to get in on the looting, of course.

But sometimes the looters are so inept that they fail to take advantage of the situation.

A company called PANTHERA WORLDWIDE attempted to get in on the looting but after securing a $55 million contract to provide N95 masks as a third-party vendor but then couldn’t deliver and had its contract canceled.

Corporate looting certainly isn’t limited to the coronavirus pandemic. The looting has been going on for generations and we’ve somehow become so inured to it that we don’t even think about it anymore—and that’s exactly the way they want it.

How about THIS: General Electric, Texaco, Dow Chemical, PepsiCo, Boeing and ITT are among companies that paid nothing—zero, nada, zilch—in taxes from 1981 to 1984. Other companies took looting to a higher level when, instead of paying taxes, they got checks from the U.S. Treasury by “carrying back” their excess write-offs to previous years and by receiving rebates from taxes paid in previous years.

And remember Billy Tauzin, the former U.S. Representative from Louisiana’s 3rd District from 1980 to 2005? In 2004, just before he walked out the door, he guided a provision through congress that prohibited Medicare and Medicaid from being able to negotiate the cost of prescription drugs and, at the same time, banned the importation of identical, cheaper drugs from Canada and elsewhere. In other words, what the pharmaceutical companies said was the price—was the price. The bill was passed in a rare congressional session at 3 a.m. under considerable pressure from the pharmaceutical companies.

I’m on Medicare and my wife and I take medication to prevent acid reflux and indigestion. One day we checked our statement from our Medicare supplemental insurance provider and found that the prescription cost—get this—$500 for one month’s supply. Five hundred bucks and no negotiation. We no longer take that prescription because there’s an over-the-counter product called Omeprazole that does the same thing just as well—for less than $20. It’s not covered by Medicare but so what? At least I’m not looting in that instance.

Oh, and Billy Tauzin? What happened to him when he left Congress? Why, the very day after his term ended, he began work as the head (read: lobbyist) of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, better known by its acronym: PhRMA at an estimated salary of $2 million a year. I think that qualifies Billy Tauzin and Big Pharma as looters.

All this looting was going on even as we were being told there was just no money for student debt relief, for Medicare for All, for a Green New Deal. Sorry students and old folks, the CORPORATE LOOTERS got there first. And there wasn’t any way to stop them: they had wads of campaign cash, which is catnip to politicians. It literally makes them salivate.

So, you see, we wring our hands and worry about looters in the wake of the death of George Floyd, which we should. But much more costly looting has been going on for decades right under our noses and will continue unabated.

Trump was correct to threaten the use of vicious dogs. He just threatened to turn them loose on the wrong ones. It might be kind of funny to watch a surly, bad-ass chihuahua nipping at the ankles of a K Street lobbyist-looter.

 

“By the way, they love African-American people. They love black people. MAGA loves the black people.”

—Trump at press conference Saturday.

 

“The front line was replaced with fresh agents, like magic. Big crowd, professionally organized, but nobody came close to breaching the fence. If they had they would have been greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen. That’s when people would have been really badly hurt, at least.”

—Trump tweet about protesters at the White House, May 30, 2020.

 

“As a former woman in blue, let me begin with my brothers and sisters in blue: What in the hell are you doing?

“Law enforcement officers are granted remarkable power and authority. They are placed in complicated and dangerous situations. They respond to calls from people with their own biases and motives. In New York, we’ve recently seen past pains of the Central Park Five dredged up in a new attempt to misuse law enforcement against an African American man. When you see people differently, you treat them differently. And when power is in the mix, tragedy can result.”

—U.S. Rep. Val Demings (D-Florida), a former Orlando police officer, in a Washington Post op-ed, on Friday, May 29, 2020.

“Texas only has Capital Murder. Here is the story of the officer in Dallas who took the elevator to the wrong floor in her apartment and killed the tenant in the apartment above hers. Door was open and she thought she was being robbed. A long, sad story. [It] certainly was not in any way deliberate. She was not offered Manslaughter and was convicted of Capital Murder. I sense CYA by the DA in Minnesota. Bet that the outcome planned is a deal for a guilty plea of Manslaughter.”

—LouisianaVoice reader, a native of Louisiana now living in Texas.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/amber-guyger-might-be-guilty-of-manslaughter-but-not-first-degree-murder

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