Louisiana was recently named the worst state in the country in a Politico survey.
Damn, my native state used to at least be able to beat out Mississippi.
Guess Politico didn't consider producing football players. My native state must be at the top of that category.
In every thing else: health, education, crime, economic development, Huey Long's state finishes last.
While Lousiana brings up the rear in every social and economic indicator, New Orleans and Baton Rouge benefit from a a strong newspaper market.
When The New Orleans Times-Picayune cut back its print publication a few years ago, Baton Rouge's Advocate began a New Orleans edition. Now, the two papers, whose web sites I religiously read, offer some of the best local commentary and reporting in the country. Unfortunately, the newspapers' work doesn't appear to have any effect on the state's civic-challenged politicians.
One of my favorite New Orleans commentators is Robert Mann, an LSU journalism professor who writes a weekly liberal column for The Picayune and its NOLA web site. Mixing satirical bite with a full range of facts, Mann castigates Louisiana's politicians for their destruction of state government. Mann's a skilled polemicist, but Louisiana's legislators give him an easy target.
In his latest piece, Mann imagines an Amazon memo detailing why the company rejected Louisiana's bid to land the company's second headquarters. For Louisiana natives heartbroken at the severe cuts to LSU and other schools, devastation of social programs, economic backwardness and general stupidity, the column is an invaluable summation of the state's ills.