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Tommy Tucker

It's a good day getting started! Tune in to "WWL First News" for fun and informative talk about the national and local issues of our day.

Weekdays 6am-10am

Twitter: @ttuckerWWL
Email: tommy@wwl.com

Tommy: I got scammed for just being kind to someone

If someone comes up to you and asks for money, do you give them any? It happened to me recently. I was using the ATM, and a man approached me as I was walking away.

He told me that he just needed $40 for gasoline. He seemed earnest and sincere; and he SWORE, over and over, on his kid's lives, that he was telling the truth. So ya know what? I gave him the $40.

However, despite how sincere he seemed, something was nagging me. So I decided to follow him. And sure enough, he goes into a nearby drug store and grabs two bottles of whiskey. Un-freaking-believable.

Now, what would you do? Tommy being Tommy, I confronted him. I told him he oughta be ashamed of himself, swearing up and down that he was telling the true while he was just lying to my face.

We've all been in somewhat similar situations. Is this person asking for money really and truly needy? Or are they just trying to take advantage of the kindness of strangers and make an easy buck?

You never can tell. I was suckered and scammed by his act. It made me angry that somebody would do that. But, in the end, I think I did the right thing.

What would you do?

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Tommy: Do you miss the "good ole days" of war?

President Obama is asking Congress to authorize the use of force against ISIS… basically, to authorize an official war against them. It would limit the authorization to three years, with no restriction as to where U.S. forces could pursue the threat. The president's proposal bans "enduring offensive combat operations," whatever that means.

But I'm confused. Are we striking them in Syria? In Iraq? Both? Elsewhere? Not even the experts are entirely sure.

Another thing I don't quite get… how can we fully defeat ISIS? You normally don't see "good ole days" and "war" in the same sentence, but that's almost how I feel. We used to be able to easily identify who we were going after. They were countries that had known boundaries and had uniforms. Now it's a lot less certain.

It's almost like a game of whack-a-mole. If we strikes ISIS in Syria, they can pop back up in Iraq. If we hammer down on ISIS, extremists in al Qaeda can pop up in Afghanistan or Yemen or other places.

How far should we go with our soldiers risking life and limb so soon after previous wars ended? Join the conversation on Facebook below.
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People : Obama


Tommy: Spygate, Bountygate and Deflategate?

The Patriots are being investigated for possibly deflating balls during their playoff game against the Colts, which would allow them to grip the ball better (helpful on catches and carrying the football).  So if true, this would be cheating, and it would directly impact on the field play.  It’s also not the first time New England and Bill Belichick are possibly in trouble with the NFL.  They were fined and penalized draft picks for Spygate back in 2007.

I’m just sayin’, this would be a 2nd offense.  For Bountygate, the Saints lost draft picks AND Sean Payton for a year.

What’s worse: Bountygate or Deflategate?  In my totally and completely unbiased opinion…I gotta go with this one.  So if it’s true, shouldn’t Belichick get suspended too?
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Topics : Sports
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Locations : New England
People : Bill BelichickSean Payton


Tommy: Why is the black murder rate so high?

Louisiana has the 5th highest black homicide rate, according to a new report.  In addition, 92% of murder victims in New Orleans are black.

Why? Why is it so high? And is there anything we can do to fix it?  

To try and answer that, we spoke with Captain Black, an anti-crime activist with the Home Defense Foundation.

“You got too many people walking around this city…who don’t need to be out on the streets. And every time there’s a suspect captured, we see a record, and often times pending charges, and some form of state supervision, and even in some cases an ankle monitor.  All clear indications that a person has matriculated through the system and rehabilitation has not happened."

So what can be done?

“I think we need stiffer penalties… if you do not empower citizens to defend themselves according to what state law dictates and not anybody’s particular political bent, then the violence rate will continue. People have to be able to defend themselves.”

Harsher punishments for criminals and more people defending themselves.  Can this fix come easily?

“Nobody has a magic wand from Washington, D.C., Baton Rouge, or Perdido Street…that is going to magically make people stop killing each other.”

We know solving this issue, and the issue of violent crime in general, ain’t easy.  It’s tough, and it’s hard, and it will take time.  

But I think if we keep at it, taking steps – including those advocated by Captain Black – something can be done.

FULL AUDIO: Tommy talks crime with Captain Black
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Topics : Law_Crime
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Locations : LouisianaNew OrleansWashington, D.c.
People : Black


Tommy: The price of beef is too damn high!

Every time I go to the store, it seems like the cost of food – meat, and beef in particular – is going up.  In fact, the last time I tried to buy a roast, they wouldn’t let me… my loan application was denied!

But seriously, why are food prices going up?  We’re saving money with lower gas prices, but that savings is being canceled out with higher food prices.  What gives?

To try and answer that question, we turned to Chris Hurt, a Professor of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University.

He said that overall, prices are fairly moderate.  BUT…“There are certain categories of those foods that are really expensive…the one that really hits us is the whole animal sector. Pork and beef have had record retail prices.”  Milk, eggs, and poultry as well.

I know I’ve seen it personally.  Every time I go back to the store, the cost has gone up again.

“What we have experienced this year, is still the implications of the very severe droughts…that were going on multiple years that really reduced our cows here. We had a terrible disease in our pork industry…that reduced about up to 8% of our baby pigs. And we didn’t get good crops until the 2013 crop.”

So it was a combination of things.  A  double whammy of drought and disease will certainly do it.  And with everything so connected, something negative in one industry will affect many others.  

So what’s on the forecast?  Where’s the beef?

“We’re actually going to see beef prices go higher this year, from records in 2014 to new records in 2015.

Great.  Hurt did say he expects prices for some foods to go down, fortunately; but we’re stuck with paying an arm and a leg… and the other leg… for beef.

FULL AUDIO: Tommy talks rising food prices with Chris Hurt
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People : Chris Hurt


Tommy: My interview with the real Captain Phillips

I have the honor and privilege of being able to talk to a lot of different people with all sorts of stories and backgrounds, and I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Captain Richard Phillips. Yep, that Cpt. Phillips, the captain of the Maersk Alabama when it was hijacked by Somali pirates.

We may have seen the movie, but it’s entirely different to actually experience it, to live it.  So…what was it like?

“Conditions were a little worse than what you see in the movie.  It wasn’t very nice in there. It was really hot in there, and I hate the heat. Time slowed down in the lifeboat.”

Crammed into a smallish lifeboat with a bunch of pirates? Yeah, I would imagine it can be difficult for a movie to portray just how bad that could be.

What were the pirates like, and how did they treat him?

“The leader was very tough. Brooked no attitude with his crew… there were times when there were hittings and beatings in the boat.  My sister Patty hit harder than them, though.”

What a tough man.  How did he handle it?

“There were a few times I laughed. I had given them cokes and cigarettes when they first came on to try and calm them down.  When we were in the lifeboat, they didn’t have lighters. So I started laughing at them since they couldn’t smoke.”

He watched them struggle to try and light a cigarette when he knew where the emergency kit with matches was, just feet from them.  That had to help keep him sane.

The situation had to be grim, though.  What’s going through your head at a time like that?

“I wasn’t going to give up hope, but I didn’t see a good ending coming.  I just knew I couldn’t give up.”

Check out the rest of my interview with Captain Phillips here:

FULL AUDIO: Tommy talks to Captain Richard Phillips

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People : PattyRichard Phillips


Tommy: A Free-For-Ball in the Superdome

During Sunday afternoon’s Saints loss to the Bengals, an incident heard ’round the world occurred.  After a Cincinnati player scored a touchdown, he ran to the stands to give the football to a woman in a Bengals jersey.  However, a Saints fan – Tony Williams –sitting nearby snatched the ball away from the Bengals fan and kept it as his own.

I am hereby dubbing this incident Free-for-Ball.  

TV cameras picked up Free-for-Ball, and it was soon spreading like a wildfire across the Internet and social media.

Most people are taking the side of the Bengals fan, Christa Barrett, criticizing Williams for refusing to give the ball up. 

We got in touch with Jeff Williams, Tony Williams’s son, to try and get their side of what happened. “It’s been a tough couple days for us,” he said. I bet.  People have strong opinions about Free-for-Ball!

“My dad is one of the most classy guys that I know.  My son is 8. He’s been going to the game since he was two years old probably.  Every single time after every single time that he’s there, he wants to go down to where Gramps sits because he sits in a prime location.  He’s gotten some things here and there, but never anything like a game ball.”

So the grandson was at the game, and I could see a grandfather wanting to be able to give his grandkid a game ball right after the game is over.  I don’t think that’s unreasonable, in and of itself. 

“In his mind, he caught a ball for his grandson.  We know he’s a gentleman.  He’s a retired Army veteran.”

So there’s Tony Williams’s side of the story.  He’s been a season-ticket holder for decades, and his grandson was at the game and had never gotten a game ball.  He had an opportunity, and he took it.

But was it right?

Check out the rest of my interview with Jeff Williams:

FULL AUDIO: Tommy talks to Jeff Williams about Free-For-Ball

After speaking with Tony Williams’s son on Tuesday, I spoke with Christa Barrett, the Bengals fan involved in Free-for-Ball (this name catch on, I swear!), on Wednesday to see if we could get some closure.

Some people have brought up the fact that she wasn’t by her seats, and she admits she that.

“If the Bengals score a touchdown, we’re totally running down the rail and maybe we’ll get a ball and get on TV.”

Get on TV? Boy, did she get her wish!

Many who saw the incident were concerned that Williams had elbowed her, and that it was pretty physical.  According to Barrett...nope.

“The pictures and the video make it look so, so much worse than what happened. It was a quick little scuffle for the ball. I didn’t even notice any contact.”

Despite the incident, she’s not holding any hard feelings.

“I felt really bad for all the backlash he’s gotten.”

As for what she wants to happen to the ball?

“I would like for him to give it to his grandson.”

FULL AUDIO: Tommy talks to Christa Barret about the great 2014 Free for Ball
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Locations : Cincinnati
People : Christa BarrettJeff WilliamsTony Williams


Tommy: Talkin' shop with Saints great Morten Andersen

So the two greatest kickers in Saints history got together today… Morten Andersen and myself of course!  I mean, I talk about the Saints; so that counts, right?  And I was a kicker at Shaw, which is basically the 33rd NFL team.  Right?

I think with the little bit of training Morten gave me, I can suit up again.  Shayne Graham may have the job locked down this season, but I bet I can give him a run for his money.

Check out my interview with the Great Dane.  We talked about some of the highlights of his career, his Hall of Fame chances (LET HIM IN VOTERS), life in general, and some of the work he’s doing for veterans.

FULL AUDIO: Tommy talks to former Saints kicker Morten Andersen

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People : Morten AndersenShayne Graham


Tommy: Raising respectful kids is about setting good examples

Parenting’s one of the toughest jobs out there.  Kelly Ripa says she doesn’t care that her daughter said “I hate you” after being punished because she’s a parent, not a friend.  How do you stay friendly enough to keep the lines of communication open but stern enough to maintain a sense of discipline?  It’s a fine line, sometimes.

To try and sort this out, I spoke with a friend of ours, Dr. Karen Ruskin, a licensed marriage and family therapist and author of The 9 Key Techniques for Raising Respectful Children Who Make Responsible Choices, about how you find that balance.  

“The key to this is about being respectful to them, validating their reality while understanding that as a parent, validating and being respectful doesn’t always mean you’re obeying them.” 

So I should validate their reality that I’m the boss and it’s my way or the highway? JUST KIDDING.

Dr. Ruskin continued: “if your children feel respected and valued, if they feel their voice is heard, they then hear your voice. They feel that there is a sense of overall respect in the family dynamic, so they themselves become a respectful human being.” 

If I want my kid to be respectful to me and others, I should set a good example myself?  Makes sense to me.

As for using the phrase “I hate you,” Dr. Karen laid it out.

“If children learn from a young age that they can say things that are about what they’re feeling and not mindful of how that affects another person, they’re more likely to say something like that. If a child learns from a young age that what you speak matters, that is less likely to come out of their mouth.”

Again, it goes to setting a good example.  Monkey see, monkey do.  Act right in front of your kids, and they’re more likely to act right themselves.

Check out the entire interview with Dr. Ruskin below.

FULL AUDIO: Tommy talks to Dr. Ruskin about good parenting
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Topics : Education
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People : Karen RuskinKelly Ripa


Tommy: How'z about an edible football for Christmas?

Now that Halloween is over, we can move straight to Christmas, because as the Madison Avenue executives like to say, “Screw Thanksgiving.”

Do you love football?  Do you love food?  Well, boy, do I have the product for you!  


Tired of eating? Well, toss this pigskin around in the backyard!  Don’t want to quit playing football to run inside and eat?  Now you don’t have to! Just take a bite out of your ball and keep on playing!
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