The Jim Engster Show

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Amanda Brunson, the Director of the Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana is our guest for the first segment of today's show and she joins us in light of the recent child abuse scandal surrounding NFL star Adrian Peterson and how it has captured America's attention. Amanda and Jim talk about how in Louisiana it is not illegal to "spank" your children, but they discuss just where that line between abuse and discipline can be drawn. She also promotes the free hotline number parents can call for questions concerning this issue at Kids Line 800-CHILDREN. 

Donna Dees-Thomases joins us as today's second guest to discuss her 2014 induction into the LSU Manship Hall of Fame. She and Jim discuss her time at CBS, what it was like working alongside Dan Rather, as well as the grassroots Million Mom March movement that she helped create to promote tighter gun restrictions.

Casie Yoder, a former staffer for the Making Change at Walmart Campaign of the UFCW, is our third guest today and she joins us to talk about the recent news of Walmart releasing their Vice President of Communications David Tovar after revelations that he lied on his resume about graduating from the University of Delaware.

And, Thomas Cahill closes out the show to discuss and promote his most recent book Heretics and Heroes: How Renaissance Artists and Reformation Priests Created Our World. In Volume VI of Cahill's highly-praised Hinges of History series, Heretics and Heroes guides readers through the Renaissance and Reformation, periods full of innovation and cultural change that would affect the world in immeasurable ways. 

Actor John Schneider, famous for the Dukes of Hazards and now a Louisiana resident, is our guest for today's first segment. He discusses what's is like to have a new Louisiana driver's license, his studio here in the state, and how it is he stays healthy and in shape at the age of 54.

Also, Dr. Hypolite Landry is our second guest and he joins us in studio just a day after turning 88 years old. He reminisces with Jim about setting the then world record for flying solo around the world in 1969, which he did in 13 days, 9 hours, 20 minutes. He as well remarks upon the time he had the opportunity to grace "The King's" presence and make an unexpected visit to Elvis Presley's hotel room at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Baton Rouge after The King canceled a concert. Hypolite and Jim discuss this and much more.

And last but not least, author Steve Almond talks with Jim about his latest book Against Football: One Fan's Reluctant Manifesto. In his book Steve tells of why, after forty years of being a fan, he can no longer watch the game he loves for a multitude of reasons ranging from it's treatment & depiction of women as ornaments, to the frightening probability of brain damage the players can face, and much more.

Two-time Pulitzer Prize winning Editorial Cartoonist Walt Handelsman is our guest for the first segment today and he joins us to discuss the recent passing of fellow cartoonist Tony Auth who passed away on September 15th. Walt, who's with the New Orleans Advocate, also talks about what goes into the creation of the 300+ cartoons he draws each year and the inspiration he gets from his childhood idols.

Also, political consultant, radio commentator, former Louisiana Insurance Commissioner, Secretary of State and State Senator Jim Brown joins us in studio to talk world and local politics. He and Jim start off discussing President Obama's position on military action against ISIS and how partisan issues in Washington could affect the outcome of America's involvement. The conversation then veers into Washington "Chickenhawks", the rights of American corporations, Governor Bobby Jindal's recent remarks that Sen. Mary Landrieu is out of touch with Louisiana citizens, Sen. David Vitter running for Governor, and much, much more.

Also, Renea Duffin, Vice President of Cancer Support and Outreach at Mary Bird Perkins for Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center closes out today's show to discuss the National Bone Marrow Registration Drive. To learn more about how to give, visit or go to

Science writer and Science Editor for Time Magazine Jeffrey Kluger joins us to discuss and promote his most recent book The Narcissist Next Door. He gives us some surprising statistics about narcissism and some pretty fascinating info on narcissists, e.g.: the most narcissistic U.S. President in history was Chester A. Arthur, and journalists, by nature, are narcissistic.

Dr. Matthew Teutsch, the Interim Director of the Ernest J. Gaines Center at the University of Louisiana Lafayette is our second guest today and he joins the show to discuss some recent upcoming events. Visit to view a listing of these events coming soon to the Ernest J. Gaines Center.

Also, Craig McCulloch, one of nine Republicans running for Louisiana's 6th Congressional District seat joins us to discuss why he's running and to discuss the key points of his platform. As a physical therapist who owns a small business, the Affordable Care Act is #1 on his list of issues that need to be dealt with, and he and Jim discuss this and more.

And finally, award-winning author Rod Davis closes out today's show to promote his recent novel South, America: A Jack Prine Novel. Jim Sherman with the Texas Observer calls it "the start of what promises to be a fresh new series of thrillers," and Rod and Jim discuss it and the work that went into writing it. Rod will be at the Louisiana Book Festival this year on November 1st in downtown Baton Rouge.

Former Assistant U.S. Education Secretary under President George H. W. Bush, Diane Ravitch joins us as our first guest of the week to talk with Jim about public schools in Louisiana. Being a long time opponent of charter schools and openly stating that she believes they are destroying America's public schools, Diane expresses her distaste with Common Core, Governor Bobby Jindal, and the Charter School system in New Orleans. She and Jim also take a little time to promote her most recent book Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools

GOP Political Consultant and frequent guest on the show Scott Wilfong follows up Diane for the second part of today's show to discuss the November elections which are now less than seven weeks away. He and Jim discuss the Louisiana 2nd District creeping in closer to Baton Rouge, Mary Landrieu and the recent hoopla over her travel expenditures and residency; and much, much more.

Also, Lisa Guernsey closes out Monday's show to promote and discuss her latest book Screen Time: How Electronic Media - From Baby Videos to Educational Software - Affects Your Young Child. As a mother of two young daughters Lisa wondered what television, videos, and digital media in general was doing to her children, and her book is the end result of her resolve to find out. Her 2012 edition and re-release of Screen Time features an updated epilogue on what scientists know so far about children's ebooks, interactive preschool media, and more. Lisa will be in Baton Rouge this Thursday September 18th to speak at the Distinguished Speakers Series hosted by the Academic Distinction Fund at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

Entertainment writer for The Advocate John Wirt, and Geri Teasley join Jim in studio for today's first segment to remember The Beatles 50 years ago in concert at City Park in New Orleans on September 16, 1964. They discuss ticket prices to the concert, debate what time the show actually started, discuss how they performed, and remember the bedlam that ensued during and after The Beatles performance. John Wirt has written an article in today's issue of The Advocate about the concert and Geri remembers being there as a child watching The Beatles perform.

Deputy Commissioner of Administration Thomas Groves joins the show to discuss the latest issues surrounding the Office of Group Benefits, and to respond to a searing editorial written by State Rep. Ted James in yesterday's issue of The Advocate in which James wrote about impending health care costs to state employees and retirees insured through the Office of Group Benefits.

Also, Author Jacqueline Woodson joins us to close out today's show and promote her latest book Brown Girl Dreaming. In her book, Jacqueline tells the story of her childhood through vivid poetry describing growing up in New York and South Carolina in the 1960's-70's as an African American child, and details in her own voice how she always felt halfway home in each state. She even reads an excerpt of her poem "First Grade" from Brown Girl Dreaming.

Elvis Presley's last fiancee Ginger Alden joins us today to promote her new memoir Elvis & Ginger: Elvis Presley's Fiancee and Last Love Finally Tells Her Story. Ginger talks with Jim about meeting Elvis as a kid, and then later again as an adult when she finally got to see the inside of Graceland and almost instantly fell in love with the King of Rock n' Roll. She was 20 years old when Elvis, then 41, brought her to Las Vegas and where they began their courtship. In Ginger's memoir she tells of their whirlwind romance, Elvis's bouts of rage, her rare ventures beyond his Graceland bedroom, as well as the day that she found him dead on the bathroom floor.

Also, the loquacious and frequent guest on the show, LSU Faculty Senate President Kevin Cope joins Jim in studio to give listeners an update on the happenings around campus. He and Jim touch on the recent controversy concerning the DKE fraternity and a sign they displayed this past week. They also discuss LSU Faculty salaries, LSU Football (or concussion-ball as Kevin calls it), the ratio of whites to blacks in and around campus, and much, much more concerning LSU and the Professors who work it's campus.

Jim Nickel, former Louisiana Democratic Party Chair and part-time fill-in host on The Jim Engster Show, is our lead off guest for today's show. He and Jim talk about the state of the Democratic Party in Louisiana as we approach November's election and how the candidates are fairing thus far. They also discuss the recent remarks from U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy that Senate Majority leader Harry Reid runs the Senate like it's a "plantation."

Attorney and Libertarian candidate for the 1st Congressional District of Louisiana Jeffry Sanford is our second guest today and he discusses why he's running for Congress: "To make as many points as I can." He talks with Jim about how he feels our first, second, fourth and fifth amendments are being threatened by votes cast by both Democrats and Republicans, and he touches on what it's like to run in the district being represented by newly appointed Majority Whip Steve Scalise.

Also, author Daniel James Brown closes out today's show with Jim to promote and discuss his most recent book The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Brown's book tells the true story of nine working class boys from the American West who transformed and redefined the sport of rowing during the Great Depression. Through a series victories over America's elite Ivy League teams and Great Britain's Oxford and Cambridge Universities, Brown's book culminates in the boy's arrival to Berlin for the 1936 Olympics where they stun the world and Nazi Germany by winning gold in true Cinderella fashion.

Columnist for The Advocate Quin Hillyer and Executive Director of Louisiana Progress Bruce Parker join us to discuss the recent marriage ruling in Louisiana concerning same sex couples. On Wednesday September 3rd, Louisiana Federal Judge Martin Feldman made a ruling that upheld Louisiana's ban on the marriage of same sex couples as constitutional, and also upheld the state's refusal to recognize such unions preformed legally in other states. Quin Hillyer and Bruce Parker share different views on the matter and they discuss their opinions with Jim for the better part of today's show.

Also, former Speaker of the House and State Representative Joe Delpit closes out the remainder of today's show to talk with Jim about gerrymandering in Louisiana. Joe's big issue on the subject is how he, a Baton Rouge resident, can have New Orleans native Cedric Richmond representing him in Washington while his neighbors across the street are represented by Bill Cassidy. He and Jim discuss this, and much more.

On the show today we visit with Tony Clayton, the prosecutor in Iberville Parish. He updates us on the latest in the Scott Rogers saga. It took a new turn Friday as the shooter in the case, Matthew Hodgkinson, died at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center. Hodgkinson shot Scott Rogers then shot himself on August 27th. 

The Nation and the world have been riveted with this case. People Magazine, in its latest issue, features Scott Rogers in a long piece about his sordid past. 

We ask Clayton where the investigation goes from here. Is it closed? 

The Rabbi Barry Weinstein who was a frequent guest on Scott's Around Town Radio Show. And The Reverend Steve Crump from the Unitarian Church.