After eight years of legal wrangling, as six coastal parishes stand on the brink of unlocking billions to repair the environmental damages allegedly caused by illegal and largely unpermitted activities of Big Oil, the state legislature considers a bill that would strike down the lawsuits and throw out a breakthrough $100 million settlement already negotiated with one of the companies involved.
As necessity becomes the mother of adaptation people search for splendor.
In the second part of the Bayou Brief’s Godfather Trilogy, we trace Marcello’s meteoric rise to power, his covert connections to a dark web of gangsters and racketeers and a secret society known as Cosa Nostra, and the spectacle of the city that would catapult him into the national spotlight.


Rambling On My Mind

Peter Athas rambles on about protests, the pandemic, and Picvocate columnist Dan Fagan.

Starve the Budget, Feed the Business Interests

"We have to do something to keep this industry here. If we do not, the state of Louisiana will shrivel up and die!” -- Rep. Stuart Bishop, Ways and Means chairman

Callous Disregard

House Majority Leader wants to make Governor a "toothless pitbull"

Not All Bandits Wear Their Masks

"Let not thy right hand know what thy left hand is doing." Matthew 6:3 (KJV)

Despite, or Just Plain Old Spite?

Despite the Governor’s extension of the statewide stay-at home proclamation to May 15, despite a House member having died from COVID-19, and...

Demagoguery for Democracy: Still Striving Toward Voter Suppression

Decoding loaded language veiled in patriotism

No Playbook For This

Louisiana among the worst-prepared states for this fiscal shock

The Beginning of Hell

"I don't know how I got to safety after the riot," a black trainee at Camp Claiborne recalled. "I only know one thing and that is, whenever anybody says, 'Remember Pearl Harbor,' I will say, 'I will remember Lee Street.'"


Peter Athas rambles on about protests, the pandemic, and Picvocate columnist Dan Fagan.
Peter Athas on the late John Kenneth Galbraith, masking, fired sanitation workers, and Louisiana pandemic politics.
Peter Athas attends Virtual Jazz Fest and revisits the Nagin administration.


Careless Operation: Tort Reform and the Fight Brought To You By...

It is impossible to separate the well-funded campaign for "tort reform" and the proposals in the Louisiana legislature to change state law, under the pretense of lowering auto insurance premiums, with the legacy of Big Tobacco.

Careless Operation: Part One

Following the defeat of a thinly-disguised series of so-called "tort reforms" that were marketed to the public as a way to decrease the price of car insurance in Louisiana, conservative lawmakers and their patrons at the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) are once again attempting to push through legislation that would bargain away the legal rights of innocent victims.

Deployment Penalty: How Big Auto Insurers Hike Premiums on Returning Vets

In what amounts to a deployment penalty, several large Louisiana car insurers raise rates, in some cases by nearly 30%, on National Guard...

Insurance Commissioner Donelon Accepts $20K from Man Indicted for Attempting to...

Since 2015, Donelon has received more than $680,000 in campaign donations from insurance companies and agents.

Major Insurers Charge Louisiana’s Blue-Collar Workers More for Basic Coverage Than...

The research highlights a problem that impacts a significant proportion of Louisiana drivers, yet one that was apparently unknown to Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon.

The Task Farce: What a Missing Report Reveals About the Insurance...

On April 15th, when state Rep. Kirk Talbot first introduced HB 372, a now-defeated proposal that had been known as the...


In 2012, almost all of Sci Academy’s seniors were accepted at college; seven years...

Nearly all the seniors at this charter school went to college. Only 6 out of 52 finished on time.

The Other General

William Tecumseh Sherman was the school's first superintendent, but "the father of LSU" was a Virginia-born aristocrat who moved to Rapides Parish, earned a fortune through his cotton plantation, and then lost almost everything during the Civil War.

Books for Your Gift List

“A story is a letter that the author writes to himself, to tell himself things that he would be unable to discover otherwise.” – Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Shadow of the Wind

Book Review | Nothing to Write Home About: Sarah M. Broom’s The Yellow House

In her debut memoir, Broom misapprehends the geography of the city and reveals a disorientation with the lived experiences of Black New Orleans.

Book Review | “Back in the Game” by U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise

A politician’s memoir that somehow avoids all mention of the politician’s politics.