Showing posts with label Bobby Jindal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bobby Jindal. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


Louisiana's own Bob Mann writes masterfully in Salon of the race for governor in Louisiana.
Then, a strange thing happened on Vitter’s stroll to the Louisiana governor’s mansion. In the state’s Oct. 24 primary (candidates of all parties run in a so-called “open primary”), Vitter nearly missed the Nov. 21 runoff election. He earned only 23 percent of the vote, trailing his lone Democratic opponent, state Rep. John Bel Edwards, by 17 points.

Last Friday, Edwards released an explosive new spot alleging that Vitter missed a Feb. 27, 2001, U.S. House vote honoring slain American soldiers while he waited on a phone call from a prostitute. It was the first time anyone had credibly suggested that Vitter’s prostitution habit in the late 1990s and early 2000s had influenced the performance of his public duties.
Gratingly self-righteous and mean is how I think of Vitter.  As governor of Louisiana, Vitter would be disaster following upon disaster after Jindal's plunder and destruction of state institutions and programs and failure to produce a "balanced" budget that was not based on smoke and mirrors.
Famously thin-skinned and possessed of a nasty temper, Vitter often threatens and bludgeons recalcitrant politicians and reluctant supporters into submission. In the U.S. Senate, he is widely disliked by members of both parties for his quick temper and grating self-righteousness.

Vitter seems to operate by the following, unstated principle: “I’d rather have your fear and respect than your affection.” Vitter would undoubtedly dispute Albert Camus, who famously observed, “Nothing is more despicable than respect based on fear.”
The photo above shows a screen shot from the video of the press conference with Vitter and his wife, Wendy, when he made his confession of a "serious sin" after his phone number was found on the call records of the DC madam, Deborah Jean Palfrey.  The expression on Wendy Vitter's face says volumes more than Vitter himself in his "confession".  Whether or not I decided to stay with my spouse after learning he had been unfaithful, I damned well would not be standing beside him when he makes his confession.

The problem for Vitter is that his approval rating is not much better than Obama’s. Then there is Bobby Jindal, whose tenure as governor has been a disaster. (He’s presided over a fiscal train wreck in recent years and is even less popular in his home state than the much-despised Obama.) Jindal’s travails have undermined the reputation of Republicans as sound stewards of the public till. Although Jindal and Vitter personally despise one another, many voters see them as the state GOP’s most prominent leaders. And because Vitter and Jindal have many of the same policy positions, Jindal is dragging Vitter down.  
While John Bel Edwards' policies are not necessarily the same as mine, he's as honorable man as an elected politician can be, and he's most surely the only kind of Democrat who can possibly be elected in Louisiana.  Not only did I vote for him twice, I sent Edwards two campaign contributions.  I put my money where my mouth is.
He’s never met Obama and has never served in Washington. A West Point graduate and former Army Ranger, he is not soft on crime. Instead, he is the son, grandson and brother of Louisiana sheriffs. The influential Louisiana Sheriffs Association not only endorsed Edwards, a bipartisan group of Republican and Democratic sheriffs cut a TV spot defending him against Vitter’s attacks. 

Edwards is generally conservative. His record with the NRA is impeccable. A devout Catholic, he is pro-life. He opposes Common Core. Vitter calls him a tax-and-spend liberal, but Vitter has indicated that he, too, will raise taxes on Louisiana business to fix the fiscal mess Jindal is leaving behind.
Ouch!  Still, I'll take what I can get, and I didn't even hold my nose when I voted, because the dreadful alternative is David Vitter as governor of Louisiana. 

Here's the Edwards campaign video.

Wham! Pow! Bam!

Deborah Jean Palfrey died of apparent suicide in 2008, after she was convicted of  "racketeering, using the mail for illegal purposes, and money laundering" and faced a sentence of five or six years in prison.

Sunday, November 8, 2015


If you'd like to begin the long process to lift the state out of the abyss in which the Jindal maladministration plunged us, John Bel Edwards is your candidate.

Early voting continues tomorrow, Monday, November 8, 2015 through Saturday, November 14, 2015. If you are registered to vote in Louisiana, please go to your polling place and vote for John Bel Edwards.

If you approve of the last 8 years of governance by plunder and destruction of Louisiana institutions and programs by Bobby Jindal, then vote for David Vitter for more of the same.

Thursday, September 24, 2015


I am shocked, just shocked.
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration is quietly notifying legislative leaders that Louisiana closed the books on the last budget year with a deficit, but the administration isn’t saying publicly how deep the problem is.

The announcement of the deficit’s size is expected in mid-October, when details are due to the Legislature’s joint budget committee.

State Treasurer John Kennedy estimates the gap exceeds $100 million.

Although Kennedy is the state treasurer, the Republican said he can’t get a firm number from the administration. He said his office has done its own calculations to determine the shortfall is “well over” $100 million.
Jindal claims to have balanced the budget every year he's been in office, but I can't remember a year when the Jindal maladministration has not announced mid-year cuts, except his first year in office when former governor Kathleen Blanco left a surplus of at least $800 million.  This year's so-called balanced budget is a patched together, smoke-and-mirrors farce enabled by complicit members of the Louisiana Legislature that fooled no one.  The governor, along with a majority of the legislators, pledge allegiance to Grover Norquist, rather than adhere to their oaths of office to perform their duties to "support the constitution and laws of the United States and the constitution and laws of this state" and produce a balanced budget.

What is going on when the state treasurer has difficulty getting the numbers from the Jindal maladministration?  And where is the governor?  Out of state campaigning in his futile attempt to seize the nomination as candidate for president of the GOP.   

Thursday, September 10, 2015


Feisty Bobby Jindal decided to take on Donald Trump in a frontal assault in a speech at the National Press Club. In a desperate attempt to get attention, Jindal attacked the No. 1 candidate in the GOP line-up. Jindal and his strategist, Timmy Teepel, observing that no one is paying attention and that Jindal remains in low single digits in the polls, may have thought by attacking Trump, a bit of Trump magic may fall his way. Bobby says:
The Donald Trump Act is great, and the idea of Donald Trump is great -- BUT the reality of Donald Trump is absurd, he's a non-serious carnival act.
Of course, some might say the same about Jindal's reach for the presidency.

Also, Jindal and crew hope the attack on Trump may serve as a distraction from the reality that holes are already appearing in the flim-flam budget passed by the Louisiana Legislature and signed by Jindal. The plan was that the budget, which both the legislature and Jindal knew was flim-flammery, would implode as Jindal's term as governor ended, leaving the mess for the next governor and legislature to clean up, but the governor and his advisers miscalculated, and the holes in the budget showed up too soon.  As Melinda Deslatte says:
As lawmakers patched their way through this year's budget, many of them talked as if they had drawn up a six-month plan, fully expecting Louisiana's next governor to come in with a broader blueprint for fixing the state's financial mess.

They may have been too generous. This budget may not even hold for six months.

One modest cut's already been required, other gaps have emerged and nose-diving oil prices could upend everything.

Read more here:
Oops!  We are to believe President Jindal will make America a great country again, when we have the example of his ruination of the State of Louisiana during his two terms as governor.

Monday, March 23, 2015


Are doctors and hospital administrators just now noticing lots of "ifs" in Jindal's health care budgets, or is it just now that they are willing to speak out?  I've been waiting.
The Jindal administration’s proposed health care budget relies on more than $500 million in funding that is contingent on several things happening first — and that’s making people in the health care community nervous.

“We have great concerns that it’s really not achievable,” said Paul Salles, who heads the Louisiana Hospital Association, the professional group representing most of the state’s hospitals.

“It’s something on paper,” Salles said, but “it leaves us really exposed to dire straits.”

“To say there are a lot of contingencies would be an understatement,” said Jennifer Marusak, governmental affairs director for the Louisiana State Medical Society, a professional association that represents physicians.
And they're just now getting nervous?  For years Jindal's budgets have relied on bait and switch, use of one-time funds, and contingencies that may not happen to fill the annual budget gap.
“It’s a mess,” said Berkeley Durbin, who heads MedicineLouisiana, a statewide physicians group.

“I don’t think anybody thinks that’s real. I don’t know where we find the money,” Durbin said, adding that he doesn’t consider legislative passage of the tax credit changes to be a sure thing.
I haven't believed Jindal's budgets were real in years.  Where have they been?

Jindal cares not a whit about the people of Louisiana, but only about his overweening ambition to become president of the United States, which we now know is highly unlikely, as Jindal hardly registers in the polls of likely GOP candidates.  He hopes to leave office before a complete and obvious collapse of the state health care system and other institutions and programs, leaving the state in dire straits and the next governor to clean up the mess.

Also, as I have said many times before, Jindal could not have destroyed or damaged institutions and programs in Louisiana single-handedly.  A compliant legislature was necessary to complete the plunder.  Jindal is not the only Louisiana official to sign Grover Norquist's pledge not to raise taxes.
Thirty-two elected officials currently serving in the state and federal government have signed "no new tax" pledges with the group, according to the Americans for Tax Reform website.

Every Republican member of Louisiana's congressional delegation -- except Garret Graves -- has committed to it. Twenty-six members of the Louisiana Legislature have also taken the oath.
How anyone can still be surprised that Jindal's budgets are little more than flimflammery is beyond me, but welcome aboard, doctors and hospital administrators.  Better late than never.

Sunday, February 1, 2015


Most of the worst stuff Jindal’s done lately has flown under the radar, so here’s a primer for those of you who haven’t paid much attention to the Louisiana pol since 2009, when he blew his State of the Union response by reminding everyone of “30 Rock’s” Kenneth. While Jindal still hasn’t formally announced his intention to run for president — and hasn’t even launched the pro forma exploratory committee, either — his desire to live at 1600 remains one of Louisiana’s “worst-kept” secrets.
Jindal flies under the radar only if you don't live in Louisiana. We are a backwater, and the national press doesn't pay much attention. With the assistance of a compliant legislature, the governor has plundered the state, destroying institutions and programs and leaving destruction in his path that will take years to rebuild, if the will is ever here to do so.

Worst governor ever and a man with so little awareness of the world outside his circle of sychophantic followers that he doesn't appear to know that his pathetic lust for the presidency, at the cost of the people in Louisiana, has zero chance of becoming reality.

Saturday, November 1, 2014


State officials sent a letter to members of the society [American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene] “disinviting” those who have been to the West African countries impacted by the deadly virus in the last three weeks or who have treated any patients on American soil.

“In Louisiana, we love to welcome visitors, but we must balance that hospitality with the protection of Louisiana residents and other visitors,” the administration officials wrote. “We do hope that you will consider a future visit to New Orleans, when we can welcome you appropriately.”
Jindal and crew know better than the experts.  Bill Gates is not afraid.  New Orleans depends on income from conferences and tourism for its very life.  Since the city tends to vote blue, the governor doesn't like New Orleans, and he doesn't care about the damage to tourism that will result from his ignorant decrees.

Jindal's hubris has no bounds. That was yesterday's reported stupidity, but there's more.
A major U.S. public health organization has become the second group impacted by Gov. Bobby Jindal’s Ebola response policy as it prepares to bring 14,000 people to New Orleans.

State health officials advised the American Public Health Association that registrants recently returned from Ebola-stricken countries and those who have treated patients stateside should stay home.
Ai-yai-yai!  A convention of 14,000 public health experts will be welcomed only conditionally, because Bobby Jindal, once again, knows best how to safeguard the health of the citizens of Louisiana.  How unfortunate that the governor does not concern himself with the 257,000 people who would be eligible for health insurance if he implemented Medicaid expansion.  He won't, because he's running for president and advocates repeal the Affordable Care Act.  In the meantime, because of Bobby's ambition, people in Louisiana suffer.  Who knows but that among the hundreds of thousands of people with no health insurance, there are those who walk among us with communicable diseases?  If Jindal cared about public health safety in Louisiana, he'd allow people to buy health insurance that they can afford.

I'm not finished.  Not even ashes.
The incinerated remains and belongings of from Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan, who died in Dallas will not be allowed into a landfill in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
Fear, fear, fear - governance by pumping up fear in the citizenry.  Yes, I know other states are doing it, too, but the authorities act out of ignorance.   It's the American way. 

Friday, October 31, 2014


I’m a congenital pessimist, so don’t give me too much credit for drawing attention to this pending debacle-cum-comic-relief. Instead, all praise should go to National Review’s Eliana Johnson, who reported Monday evening that a source “close to” Jindal was willing to confirm that the “slight” governor “has gained 13 pounds over the past few months” because he’s “looking to beef up” now that the 2016 campaign is “on the horizon.”

To understand why the Jindal camp’s decision to share this little scooplet is so phenomenally bizarre and foreboding, rather than simply silly and weird, you need to keep in mind just how much of a disaster his tenure as Louisiana governor has been.
Finally a national publication focuses on the maladministration of Jindal, who governed, untrammeled by the Louisiana Legislature, according to Tea Party philosophy.  The legislature is complicit in every way, because they allowed Jindal to have his way in all his policies except the sales tax proposal.  Jindal's legacy in Louisiana will be the destruction of worthy institutions and programs due to budget cuts and privatizing and a budget nightmare that will be left to the next governor to untangle.

It is beyond laughable that Jindal thinks he will revive his campaign for president by gaining weight.  I have not once heard a Louisiana citizen criticize Jindal because he's not "beefed up" enough.  Keep in mind that though the people of Louisiana don't like him now, he was reelected to a second term by a landslide.

Friday, October 17, 2014


From an excellent letter to the Advocate newspaper by David Hood, former secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, Baton Rouge.
Several Louisiana health insurance companies have announced that they want to raise premium rates for some policies next year. Opponents of the Affordable Care Act are using this to again attack the law and its impacts on health insurance. But consumers — and voters — should keep a clear head and ask some basic questions.

The ACA requires companies to publicly justify rate increases of over 10 percent, and requires 80 percent of premium dollars be spent on health care, not administrative “overhead.” Consumers are better off because of those provisions, though some states like Louisiana have not allowed the law’s full benefits to be implemented.

Given that Louisiana has the third-highest rate of uninsured people in the nation, and that we rate 49th in poor health outcomes, we should support “Obamacare,” not fight it.
David Hood replaced Bobby Jindal as head of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals during the administration of Gov. Mike Foster, when Jindal was drafted by the Clinton administration as a bipartisan showpiece to serve as Assistant Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services.  Hood serves as Senior Healthcare Analyst for the Public Affairs Research Council and knows whereof he speaks.

Here's the link to a video of David Hood speaking great good sense about Jindal's refusal to accept federal funds for Medicaid expansion, which would provide health insurance for up to 400,000 uninsured citizens of Louisiana.  "What are we waiting for?" The funds that Jindal refuses go to other states.

Photo from Louisiana Public Square.

Sunday, October 12, 2014


When Jeff Skilling took over as President and Chief Operating Officer of Enron in June of 1990, he did so only after insisting that the company convert from conventional accounting principles to a method preferred by his former employer, McKinsey &Co.

On Thursday (Oct. 8), nearly seven years into his administration, Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-Iowa, R-New Hampshire, R-Anywhere but Louisiana) rolled out a new accounting formula with an alarmingly familiar ring to it.

Jindal, like Skilling, is a McKinsey alumnus.

Commissioner of Administration/Surrogate Gov. Kristy Kreme Nichols announced that the state, instead of having a deficit of $141 million as claimed by State Treasurer John Kennedy, will suddenly have a surplus of $178.5 million, a gaping difference of $319.5 million.

Enron is the perfect analogy. Who would ever have expected…? At least some of us fully expected some sort of cooking of the books by the Jindal maladministration to mask the budget disaster. Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols’ public and arrogant mouthing off to State Treasurer John Kennedy when he noted the accounting irregularities is stunning.
Nichols: “I’m surprised the treasurer is not reporting this. The treasurer’s obligated to see that revenue available is reported to the public.  The money is available, and it’s cash on hand.  He should probably do a review of the accounts to ensure there are no more outstanding revenues he is not reporting.”

Kennedy: “The commissioner says the calculation has been inaccurate for years and it needs to be changed. They have to explain why we have been doing it wrong all these years and why the Revenue Estimating Conference is doing it wrong...I’m willing to listen”
Operating on the premise that she never has to explain, Nichols attacks anyone who disputes her policies or numbers.  Jindal & Co. have skirted the edge between legal and illegal for so long that I hope they have crossed the line and someone or someones go to prison, and I don’t often say such a thing or say it lightly.  If it's only one, I expect the one may not be Jindal.  If the citizens of the state and their leaders ever have the will, it will take decades to repair the destruction wreaked by the Jindal maladministration on institutions and programs in Louisiana.

Louisiana Voice has done brilliant reporting on politics in Louisiana, putting the local newspapers to shame.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


A few months ago, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal traveled to Washington to introduce a new national health care proposal. While there, he arranged to meet privately with a small group of conservative journalists and policy experts at the offices of the Ethics and Public Policy Center think tank. 

Some of the experts engaged Jindal in debate about one of the plan's more arcane provisions. The back-and-forth between Jindal and his questioners went deep into the proposal's details, and it was soon clear that Jindal could dive as far into the health care policy weeds as any of the wonkiest wonks. He knew his stuff.
Never mind Jindal's eloquence in discussing arcane provisions and dives into the policy weeds of health care, did York explore how Bobby's arcane provisions and dives into the policy weeds in Louisiana are working out in real life with the Office of Group Benefits, the health insurance plan for state employees and retirees? Jindal and his appointees to high places are destroying the health insurance plan for 230,000 employees and retirees, so by all means Bobby should go national with his plan. His best bud, Tommy Teepel, says so, "He's an undervalued stock...” Indeed, Jindal is not popular in his home state, with his approval rating at 32%.

For further information on the health plan debacle, read Tom Aswell at Louisiana Voice, who has written article after article on the flimflammery of our absentee governor and the members of his inner circle, especially his Commissioner of Administration, Kristy Nichols, and Secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals, Kathy Kliebert.  Where does the buck stop?   

Note: Byron York is a conservative columnist for the Washington Examiner and a contributor to Fox News.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


Tom Aswell, who writes at Louisiana Voice, has done excellent investigative reporting on the Jindal administration time and again, all the while putting big media in Louisiana to shame.
Former Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) Secretary Bruce Greenstein has been indicted by the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office on nine counts of perjury stemming from a lengthy investigation of his involvement in the awarding of a $183 million contract to a company for which he once worked.

Greenstein is accused in four counts of lying under oath to the Senate and Governmental Affairs Committee during his confirmation hearings of June 8 and June 17, 2011 and five counts of lying to an East Baton Rouge Parish Grand Jury on June 3 of this year.
With all the shenanigans of the Jindal administration, it’s hard for me to believe that nothing illegal took place, and the governor was completely out of the loop. He’s certainly run roughshod over Louisiana law and had to pull back several times when his policies were declared unconstitutional.

Of course, there must be proof of illegal activity (innocent until proven guilty), and justice must take its sometimes slow course, but, if I were Kristy Nichols, Commissioner of Administration, or anyone in Jindal’s inner circle, I’d be a bit worried. If I were Kathy Kliebert, Secretary of The Department of Health and Hospitals, I’d be worried. Since Jindal doesn’t brook disagreement, would he even pay attention to legal advice that was not to his liking?
As legal setbacks begin to mount for Gov. Bobby Jindal with the indictment of a former Jindal cabinet member coupled with an attorney general’s opinion that recently announced changes to state employee group health plans are most probably illegal, one political observer intimated to LouisianaVoice that Jindal’s political career “may be coming unraveled” even as he remains fixated on the White House.

The attorney general’s office on Tuesday (Sept. 23) released a legal opinion that could signal a devastating blow to the administration’s plans to overhaul health benefit plans offered through the Office of Group Benefits (OGB) to some 230,000 state employees, retirees and dependents.
Two stories in the same day, one of alleged criminality by a former member of Jindal's administration and another of possible gross mismanagement of changes to the Office of Group Benefits health plan, which will affect 230,000 state workers and retirees. It's about time the Jindal maladministration was brought up short!  Jindal and his inner circle must be reeling.  Then again, perhaps Jindal is too busy chasing his dream to become president to notice and will leave the troubles to be addressed by his staff.

Voters who prefer Republican governance, might want to have a look at the destruction wreaked by the Jindal maladministration and his enablers in the Louisiana State Legislature to see untrammeled, extremist conservative  governance in practice.  Would you want Jindal to be your president?

Monday, September 8, 2014


Yesterday morning, my first laugh from the Sunday paper came not from the comics but rather from news of Gov. Jindal, who has not decided whether he's running for president, but is up there in Iowa and New Hampshire acting a lot like a candidate.
Stratham, N.H. — On a Saturday afternoon edging toward Louisiana hot, Gov. Bobby Jindal climbed onto a farm trailer in front of a weathered barn and spoke about party unity and the American dream to a couple hundred Republicans scattered across the grass by a cornfield.
Bobby Jindal in a farm trailer. Ha ha.

Oh wait!
This was no crowd of yokels...
All right, then. Jindal will have to work hard to stay on message - I should rather say "on messages" - different messages for different groups in the various states, because, so far as I can tell, he has no core principles but is a reed in the wind that goes with the wind wherever it blows.
In each of the last two national elections, a Christian-right candidate has scored a surprising success in Iowa only to crash and burn in New Hampshire, where independents as well as registered Republicans can vote in the primary.
Watch your step, Govna. It's is a minefield up there.

Thursday, August 28, 2014


In a move certain to bolster his national standing with conservatives, Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal sued the Obama administration Wednesday, hoping to strike a blow against the controversial Common Core education standards and raising his profile as he builds a likely presidential campaign.

"The federal government has hijacked and destroyed the Common Core initiative," Jindal said in a statement. "Common Core is the latest effort by big government disciples to strip away state rights and put Washington, D.C., in control of everything."
Jindal, the governor who is always in campaign mode, filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration that will be paid for with the tax money of Louisiana citizens.  The governor lost two earlier suits in state courts to stop Common Core, so now it's on to federal court in another grandstanding, frivolous lawsuit at the expense of the people of the state.
When the Louisiana education board embraced the standards in 2010, Jindal supported them, saying they would help students prepare for college and careers. He reversed course earlier this year, calling the standards an effort by the Obama administration to meddle in state education policy.
The governor was for the standards before he was against them.  Neither the Louisiana Legislature, nor the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, nor State Superintendent of Education John White want to discontinue the use of Common Core standards, for which the teachers and students have been preparing for four years, with the first tests due in the spring of 2015.   Does Jindal ever give a thought to the teachers and students who operate under conditions of uncertainty because of his own personal ambition?  As blogger LouisianaVoice said, Jindal is a 100% absentee governor.  All his activities have to do with his fantasy of winning the Republican nomination for president, or at the very least vice-president, and then moving on to win election to higher office.
Neal McCluskey, of the libertarian-leaning Cato Institute's Center for Educational Freedom, said he doesn't expect the lawsuit to be successful, even though he agrees with its premise.

"They've definitely got a steep hill to climb on this lawsuit," McCluskey said.
Exactly, but why would Jindal care?  It's our money.

Thursday, July 24, 2014


In a sign of rising tensions over Common Core, state Superintendent of Education John White told Louisiana’s top school board Wednesday that he is being unfairly targeted personally for possible wrongdoing by Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration and its allies.

“I am no stranger to politics, and I know that political rhetoric can be heated,” White said in a four-page letter to members of the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

White sent his letter on the same week that Smith said controversy over Common Core test contracts could spark charges of ethics violations by White and others in the state Department of Education.

Smith cast her concerns in general terms — a posting on Facebook and a telephone interview — and did not offer any documentation.

However, she said unnamed parties are investigating whether employees of the state Department of Education acted improperly.
How low will Governor Jindal sink in his vindictiveness toward his own appointee, Superintendent of Education John White, because of their disagreement over Common Core?

Are there any limits at all to what Kristy Nichols (Commissioner of Administration) will do and say to support her boss and his unbridled ambition? I guess not, or she'd quickly be out of a job, for Jindal brooks no dissent.

Jane Smith, a staunch supporter of the governor, lost her bid for election to a seat in the Louisiana Senate, so Jindal gave her the consolation prize of a seat on BESE (Board of Elementary and Secondary Education) to continue the march to destroy public education in Louisiana. Now, Jane Smith resorts to smearing John White by innuendo on Facebook.

Thanks Governor. You and your honchos are a real class act. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014


Igniting new controversy, Gov. Bobby Jindal said Wednesday he is ordering Louisiana out of the Common Core tests as part of a series of moves to drop the new academic standards after the Legislature refused to do so.

“We need to start this process over,” Jindal told reporters.

But state Superintendent of Education John White, who Jindal pushed for the job, took the unusual step of publicly charging that the governor is wrong on the law and that Common Core plans will continue for the 2014-15 school year.
Though I'm not a great fan of Common Core, what Jindal is about is disallowing intrusion by the feds in schools in Louisiana and allowing instructions in creationism, a 10,000 year young earth, and humans walking with dinosaurs in science classes because of pressure Christian fundamentalists including the likes of Tony Perkins and his Focus on the Family tribe. Also, students in some of the junk charter schools that the state supports with tuition vouchers will never pass the tests, but Jindal does not want anyone to know.

I hope his latest maneuver to throw out the tests without the approval of the State Superintendent of Education, John White, whom he appointed to great fanfare, and Chas Roemer, president of BESE (Board of Elementary and Secondary Education), is illegal. I hope he does something illegal that has consequences, because Jindal is a virtual dictator, since even the usually supine state legislature would not vote to throw out Common Core, and he's determined to act on his own.

He's living a fantasy if he thinks he will be the candidate of the Republican Party, but, in the meantime, he is destroying the state. Since John White is defying Jindal at the moment, I would not be surprised if Jindal fired him.

Jindal is under great pressure from fundamentalist Christians like Tony Perkins and his gang. He graduated with a degree in biology from Brown University and was a Rhodes Scholar. Presumably, he knows the science, but he operates from pure personal lust to be president or, at the very least, vice-president of the US.

Saturday, June 7, 2014


After waiting four days, Gov. Bobby Jindal on Friday finally signed controversial legislation that provides an avenue for killing a coastal erosion lawsuit filed by a New Orleans-area levee board against 97 oil and gas companies.

In so doing, he dismissed warnings from some legal experts, Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and some parish officials that the measure will imperil claims against BP arising from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Sneakily done on a Friday slow news day. And if that wasn't enough...
Jindal signed Senate Bill 469 just hours before dealing a second blow to the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East, which sued the oil and gas companies for their destruction of wetlands, by replacing Tim Doody, the board’s longtime president and a supporter of the suit, with someone who has previously worked in the energy industry.
Just what we need on the board - a watchdog FOR the energy industry, rather than a watchdog for the welfare of the people of the state.


The Louisiana Legislature is very much complicit in passing the legislation in the first place, but I give credit to some members for trying to introduce sanity into the process. The state will be decades in recovering from the depredations of Bobby Jindal, if we ever do.

Thursday, May 29, 2014


Sen. Jack Donahue R
The Louisiana Legislature is poised to take $4 million of your tax dollars away from supporting disabled Louisianians in order to give it to a corporate indycar event at a private racetrack owned by a multi-millionaire. That is not spin:
“We’re taking money away from the disabled community and giving it to motor sports?” Claitor asked during the committee meeting.

“The answer to your question, Sen. Claitor, is yes,” said Sen. Jack Donahue, R-Mandeville, the committee’s chairman, in response.
Sen. Dan Claitor - R
NOLA Motorsports is owned by Laney Chouest, a multi-millionaire co-owner of Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO). He seems like a fine enough chap, one devoted to building a world class racetrack. Now, of course, he’s done it with his own fortune. Good for him. He even opened it to the public, so normal folks could go racing or go-karting around his prize.
At least Jack Donahue is honest to admit that he takes from the disabled to give to the rich. I'll give him that, though he appears to have no heart.  He hopes to find the money to replace what's been taken away from the disabled.  We shall see.

Of course, the governor can't break a promise to a wealthy supporter.  Jindal is forever paying out money to draw business to Louisiana. I posted earlier today about bringing the bananas back to the Port of New Orleans and paying a fertilizer plant (Oh joy!) to build in Louisiana. Jindal preaches loud and long about the free market, but why then does he pay companies to establish businesses in the state?  The payments are euphemistically labeled "incentives", but how is that the free market in operation?  And how do the governor and the legislature justify such a policy to disabled citizens and the parents of disabled children, not to speak of their own consciences.


If the free market is free, why do we have to pay companies to move to Louisiana?
The Port of New Orleans is set to regain its position as one of the main entryways for the billions of bananas imported to the United States each year, a windfall officials hope will create a few hundred new jobs and boost shipping container traffic in New Orleans by as much as 15 percent.

Jindal cited three types of incentives that eventually helped persuade the company to relocate. He said Louisiana will give Chiquita $11.3 million to help offset the company’s costs over the next 10 years. That grant will be performance-based, tied to the number of units the company actually ends up shipping through the port, with clawback provisions in case of shortfalls.
(My emphasis)
Chiquita Brands is the old United Fruit Company, which once owned the governments of several Central American countries.   My father was born in Honduras when his parents were visiting relatives there who worked for United Fruit.

Here's another.
AM Agrigen LLC, a Delaware company formed in 2013, has an option on 650 acres in St. Charles Parish as the site of a proposed $1.2 billion fertilizer plant.

LED said it began working with AM Agrigen on the project in October 2012. To secure the project, Louisiana offered the company a performance-based $5.6 million grant to offset infrastructure costs of the project. AM Agrigen would receive help from the state’s LED FastStart workforce training program and is expected to use the state’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.  (My emphasis)
Great care must be taken by fertilizer plants to prevent air pollution and soil pollution.  The plant will be located near the Mississippi River, the source of drinking water for a large population.  Should any of the chemical containers used in the manufacturing process spring a leak,  river water contamination would result.  Further there is the danger of explosion and fire unless fertilizer plants are duly inspected and held accountable for maintenance of equipment and safe working conditions.

Louisiana's history of weak regulation and oversight of manufacturers is less than encouraging for citizens who live near the the construction site of the plant, but I hope for the best.  I understand the need for well-paying jobs, but the jobs should not come at the cost of quality of life for those who live near the plant.

Photo from Wikipedia.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Promoting it as a health care and economic issue, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu pushed Tuesday for Louisiana voters to decide the fate of Medicaid expansion.

“The governor has clearly put his political future ahead of the future of the state of Louisiana,” said Landrieu, D-La. “Let the people decide what is fair, whether they want to expand and use over $16 billion” in federal funds.

“It’s kind of our last hope to let the people make the decision. It’s not too much to ask,” Landrieu said.
Bobby Jindal won't allow Medicaid expansion in the State of Louisiana, despite gaping holes in the state budget for health care, so will the Louisiana Legislature have the courage to let the people decide? The lawmakers who worry about any association with Obamacare can then wash their hands of responsibility and blame the expansion on the people of the state.
Landrieu said the proposition makes good economic sense. “In order to have a strong workforce, you need a healthy workforce,” she said. She said the state is rejecting $16 billion available “to strengthen the workforce.”

The Medicaid expansion also would bring 15,600 new health care-related jobs in 2016 and help sustain financially struggling rural hospitals, Landrieu said.
Governor Jindal chooses to put his personal ambitions for national office ahead of the nearly 250,000 citizens of Louisiana who need health insurance, so it's way past time for the legislators to do the job the people of the state elected them to do, for which they're paid salaries with our tax money, and let the people decide.

Louisiana has far too many laws embedded in the state constitution, but, in this instance, there is no way around Bobby Jindal's refusal to help the citizens of the state other than one more constitutional amendment.

UPDATE: The Louisiana Legislature will not let the people decide.
An attempt to go around Gov. Bobby Jindal and put the issue of Medicaid expansion to Louisiana voters failed to clear its first legislative hurdle Wednesday.

After more than four hours of testimony, most of it from supporters, including leading Democratic Party elected officials, the Senate Health and Welfare Committee voted 6-2 to defer action on the proposed constitutional amendment, effectively killing it.