Showing posts with label Louisiana Legislature. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Louisiana Legislature. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 6, 2018


Have ya missed me? Have ya? I probably won't be back to regular blogging any time soon, but the daily multiplying scandals in Trump Swamp, along with the crash and burn of yet another special session of the Louisiana Legislature in the effort to pass a fucking workable budget was just too much even for quickies on Facebook.

Shame on you, GOP members of the Louisiana House. What happened in the legislature Sunday was a mockery of governance. The GOP will not participate in governing. Their only plan is to stop John Bel Edwards (D) from being elected to a second term and not raise a penny in taxes to lift Louisiana out of shithole status, at or near the top in the bad stuff and at or near the bottom in the good stuff.

Rep. Alan Seabaugh (R) in the final minutes of the session: “Yes, I am trying to run out the clock.” Disgusting. On to another special session which will cost the taxpayers $60,000 per day of money we don't have and possibly result in another crash and burn.

In the midst of the Slough of Despond, two stories lifted my spirits a bit, just a bit.

The first from the Washington Post:
The Pentagon’s investigative watchdog has initiated a probe into Navy Rear Adm. Ronny L. Jackson, the White House military physician who withdrew from consideration as President Trump’s nominee to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs amid allegations of improper conduct.
Dr "Candyman", the flim flam doctor who gave us the report on Trump's "excellent" state of health and made me laugh out loud is being investigated. If Trump had not nominated this incompetent to head the Dept. of Veteran Affairs, he may have been continued to conduct his shady business as usual in the White House. No second star for you, Admiral Jackson. Everyone who works in the Trump Swamp runs the risk of her/his life turning into shit.

The next story is from MSN:
President Donald Trump can be deposed in a defamation case a New York Judge ruled Tuesday.
Summer Zervos, a former contestant on “The Apprentice” claimed Trump kissed her and groped her while she was a contestant on the show in 2007. After Trump repeatedly denied her claims, calling her a liar, Zervos filed a defamation claim in January 2017, just days before his inauguration. Zervos was one of more than a dozen women to accuse President Trump of sexual misconduct during his campaign.
Geaux, Summer Zervos!

Ah, schadenfreude. Good to see you.

Monday, January 11, 2016


Today is Monday, January 11, 2016, and inauguration day for Governor John Bel Edwards. All good wishes and blessings to our new governor and his family.   The other Edwards, Edwin, (no relation) was there on the platform, looking good, along with other previous governors, Kathleen Blanco, Buddy Roemer, and, of course, Bobby Jindal. Bye-bye, Bobby.

I noted that in the oath of office of the newly elected officials, support for the laws of the US Constitution is mentioned before the support of the laws of the Louisiana Constitution, indicating that Louisiana is indeed still part of the United States of America.

Edwards offered hope to citizens of Louisiana after eight dispiriting and depressing years of governorship by Jindal, but he did not mince words about the difficulty of lifting the state out of the morass into which the previous governor and legislature left Louisiana.  I view the members of the previous legislature, with exceptions, of course, as complicit, because Jindal could not have plundered Louisiana without their cooperation.   I hope the next legislature, which includes many Jindal supporters, will be willing to lay aside their differences and cooperate with the new governor to rebuild institutions and programs that were destroyed during Jindal's eight years in office.

As Governor Edwards said:

The breeze of hope that got us here today will also drive a current of change as mighty as the Mississippi. But this river can't flow unless the breeze continues. We must put action before idleness, unity before party, and citizenship before self in order to put Louisiana first.
The text of Edwards' inaugural address may be found here.

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.   

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


...that Louisiana Rep. Mike Johnson (R) belongs on the hot seat for introducing his bill that will allow businesses to refuse service to people who offend their sincere religious beliefs. It's not discrimination, says Johnson. Watch the video of the interview by a reporter from the Times-Picayune which you will understand only if you know the language of BS.

About the pushback, Johnson says, "In some sense, we're victims of the times", and his amendment makes it clear that businesses will be able to discriminate only against same sex couples and will not "open a Pandora's box" and allow businesses to discriminate, say, against interracial couples. Curb your discrimination!

Poor persecuted Christian victims. Give it up, Mike. The equality train left the station some time ago. We can but hope the bill will take its place in the graveyard of died-in-committee bills. Louisiana is in deep financial difficulty already without pernicious legislation that will drive away businesses, conventions, and tourists, but with the Louisiana Legislature, one can never be certain they will do the right thing for the citizens of the state.

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.

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.

Sunday, April 27, 2014


The State of Louisiana can't come up with the cash to fund the Greater New Orleans Community Health Connection program in New Orleans, which provides services to people and families with income that exceeds the limit for eligibility for Medicaid but who do not earn enough to purchase private insurance.
The population covered by GNOCHC falls within the income limits of the Medicaid expansion that is part of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. But that expansion, which would be fully paid for by the federal government in its early years, has been opposed by the Jindal administration, and an effort to get around the governor’s opposition was shot down in a state Senate committee last week.
Neither the governor nor the members of the state legislature care enough about the people who will lose access to health care to fund the program, nor will they allow Medicaid expansion. This policy of exclusion is either madness or group hardheartedness beyond what I can imagine. The so-called "good Christians" in the governor's office and in the legislature need to spend time reading the Gospels in the Holy Bible, which they recently considered making the official state book. Their neglect of the 240,000 citizens who could be helped by Medicaid expansion is shameful and downright immoral.

My nomination for official state book is A Confederacy of Dunces, by John Kennedy Toole, the title of which is also an apt description of the present governor and most, but not all, of the members of the state legislature. 

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.

Saturday, June 1, 2013


One of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s signature laws that makes it harder for teachers to earn and retain a form of job protection, called tenure, was declared unconstitutional Monday.

State District Judge R. Michael Caldwell, of the 19th Judicial District Court in Baton Rouge, who in December upheld the tenure part of a sweeping education law, reversed himself after hearing new arguments from both sides.

The ruling was a victory for the Louisiana Federation of Teachers. The LFT filed the lawsuit and said that the 2012 measure would essentially end teacher tenure in Louisiana.

The decision also could throw a wrench into sweeping new teacher evaluations, which are under way in public schools for the first time.
Of course, Jindal will file an appeal, so we'll wait to see how the Louisiana Supreme Court rules.  I'm not against educational reform, but I don't want reform in the hands of Jindal and the present legislature. Apparently, they do not do not overly concern themselves with following laws already in the Louisiana Constitution when they write new legislation, and the experiment with vouchers to private schools is not going well.  Who advises the governor and the legislators on constitutional issues and apparently tells them what they want to hear, rather than what will pass the constitutional test?  I assume Jimmy Faircloth, the lawyer for the state who will lead the appeal, is one of the advisers.  Perhaps, if the advisers stepped into the real world and left behind the Republican fantasy world, they'd give wiser advice about legislation.  Ah, but then they might be dismissed from their positions by the governor, who brooks little or no dissent within his inner circle.
State Rep. John Bel Edwards, D-Amite and an opponent of the tenure law, said Monday that, during House debate on the measure, he and other opponents warned that it was legally flawed but that Jindal and his legislative allies “ramrodded it through.”
Jindal is good at ramrodding legislation through.  His policy: Pass the legislation quickly before too many people have a chance to examine it closely and find the flaws.  

Thursday, May 2, 2013


From Cenlamar:
For the third year in a row, the Louisiana Senate Education Committee deferred a bill to repeal the Louisiana Science Education Act, which allows for the teaching of New Earth Creationism in public school science classrooms. And for the third year in a row, at least one member of the Louisiana Senate managed to steal the show.

...something tells me that State Senator Elbert Guillory is about to become an Internet star.

From The Times-Picayune (bold mine):
Sen. Elbert Guillory, D-Opelousas, said he had reservations with repealing the act after a spiritual healer correctly diagnosed a specific medical ailment he had. He said he thought repealing the act could “lock the door on being able to view ideas from many places, concepts from many cultures.”

“Yet if I closed my mind when I saw this man – in the dust, throwing some bones on the ground, semi-clothed — if I had closed him off and just said, ‘That’s not science. I’m not going to see this doctor,’ I would have shut off a very good experience for myself,” Guillory said.
I hate to break it to Senator Guillory, but the half-naked guy who danced in the dust and threw bones on the ground was lying to you: He was not a doctor. That thing he did: It wasn’t science.
Read Lamar's entire post. Please! Make it stop!

Senator Guillory, does your health insurance pick up the cost for the diagnosis by the semi-clothed man in the dust who throws bones?  Mine neither. 

That's the craziest damned excuse for voting against repeal of a crazy law that I've heard.  Does everyone present keep a straight face when they hear stuff like this?  Let's just go back to teaching real science in the schools, shall we, Senator?  If our youngsters are taught proper science, and they choose to visit a witch doctor or a traiteur after they've grown up, the door won't be locked.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013



Gov. Bobby Jindal bowed to public sentiment Monday and shelved his plan to immediately eliminate income taxes and raise sales tax.

The governor admitted defeat on the first day of the legislative session during a speech to a joint gathering of the Louisiana House and Senate.

Jindal said he heard the complaints that he moved too fast and that his approach was not the best one.

House Democrats, religious leaders, public research groups, the business community and even the governor’s own accounting consultant found fault with his proposal to eliminate the state’s personal income and corporate taxes in favor of a higher state sales tax rate and a broadening of the sales tax base.

“Let me do something politicians don’t normally do,” Jindal said. “We’re going to adjust our course. We’re going to park our tax plan.”
Jindal's withdrawal of the plan demonstrates what citizens can accomplish by working together.  Hardly anyone except Jindal and his close advisers liked the tax plan, which was poorly crafted, with numbers that did not add up.   Perhaps Jindal and his inner circle have learned a lesson about opening up their planning process to outside advice, rather than operating in secrecy and holding plans close to the chest until the eleventh hour before the legislature convenes.  Still, Jindal and cohorts are crafty, so citizens must must remain vigilant and not let down the guard, for further nefarious schemes are likely to emerge.

The people of Louisiana have won only a reprieve from the negative consequences of Jindal's tax plan and are left with many problems still to be solved.  Political leaders in the state need to accept the reality of raising revenue to prevent further depredations on programs, institutions, and infrastructure than have already happened during the first term of the Jindal administration, but I doubt the will is there in either the governor or the legislature.  The repeated rounds of mid-year budget cuts because of faulty projections of revenue must be addressed to enable state programs and institutions to operate with a measure of stability.

Friday, February 15, 2013


A new national poll focused on Louisiana shows Gov. Bobby Jindal with only a 37 percent approval rating and it also indicates that Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., leads several potential opponents in her 2014 re-election bid.

The poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling, of North Carolina, which conducts polls for Democrats and progressives, focused on Landrieu’s re-election chances, but also took note of Jindal, whom the firm polled at a 58 percent approval rating in 2010. The poll was not done for the Landrieu campaign.

The new poll that places Jindal at a 37 percent approval rating was conducted Friday to Tuesday by surveying 603 Louisiana voters through automated telephone interviews. Jindal had a 57 percent disapproval rating in the new poll.
From the Advocate today:
Gov. Bobby Jindal said Thursday everything is on the table as he tries to develop a plan that eliminates personal and corporate income taxes in a “revenue neutral” way.

“We don’t have a proposal yet,” Jindal said.

Jindal met briefly with local reporters following an event at the Governor’s Mansion honoring couples who had been married in excess of 70 years.

He fielded a half-dozen questions in his first availability to State Capitol reporters in about four months.  (My emphasis)
 Perhaps his low poll numbers got the governor's attention, and he decided to throw a bone to the local media and meet with them briefly and answer a few questions.

Note that Jindal's new tax plan is not yet ready.  The next regular session of the Louisiana Legislature will convene on April 8, 2013.  Will the tax plan be presented to the lawmakers at the eleventh hour and rushed through without giving the legislators time to examine the plan closely, as was the voucher bill for private schools, the financing of which has already been called into question by the State District Court?
Judge Timothy Kelley of State District Court ruled that the way in which the state finances its new voucher program violates the state Constitution, as it relies on money intended in “plain and unambiguous” terms solely for public schools.
As Jindal's minions in the legislature speeded the voucher bill through, Louisiana legislators, with few exceptions, meekly went along.  What could they do in the face of Jindal's awesomeness?  We'll see what happens to the tax plan.  When the lawmakers see the poll results for Jindal, they may begin to think for themselves when the time comes time to vote for a massive restructuring of the tax system in Louisiana.  Since the ideas of Jindal and his admirers in the legislature seem not to be firmly planted in reality, I don't see a good outcome if the tax restructuring plan, whatever it is, passes in the legislature and becomes law.    

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


From the Advocate in Baton Rouge:
Gov. Bobby Jindal wants state employees to contribute more toward their future pension benefits.
But legislation Jindal is proposing exempts the governor and other elected officials who are members of the Louisiana State Employee Retirement System, called LASERS, from the 3 percent increase in the contribution rate sought in the legislation.
The 3 percent translates into a near 40 percent increase for rank-and-file members of LASERS. But not for the governor and other elected officials — their contribution rates would not increase.
“... this Act shall not apply to an elected official during the term of office he is serving on July 1, 2012. The contribution rate for such a member shall remain what it was on July 1, 2012, for the duration of his term of office,” according to Senate Bill 52 and House Bill 56, two pension revamp measures backed by Jindal.
The law will not apply to the present administration and legislators, but why should not the pain be shared by all state employees?  The exemption is an outrage!  Jindal refuses all requests for interviews.

The legislature has the opportunity to tinker with Jindal's proposals, but they have so very often shown themselves to be sheep-like in following the governor's directions.

If you read the entire article, you will note that Jindal is zealous in providing for the portion of his own retirement that will be paid out of state coffers.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Gov. Bobby Jindal would sign a bill requiring presidential candidates to provide a copy of their birth certificate to qualify for the Louisiana ballot if it reaches his desk, a spokesman said Monday.

A spokesman says Gov. Bobby Jindal will sign a bill to require presidential candidates to provide a birth certificate as proof of citizenship.

"It's not part of our package, but if the Legislature passes it we'll sign it," press secretary Kyle Plotkin said.

Surprise! Our Rhodes Scholar governor will sign the silly bill as a sop to the "birthers". Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter is also a Rhodes Scholar. One wonders how the screening committee for the scholarships operates.
The bill by state Rep. Alan Seabaugh, R-Shreveport, and Sen. A.G. Crowe, R-Slidell, would require federal candidates who want to appear on Louisiana ballots to file an affidavit attesting to their citizenship, which would have to be accompanied by an "original or certified copy" of their birth certificate.

Seabaugh, an attorney, said his bill was motivated by the numerous lawsuits that have been filed over Obama's citizenship. "Not one of them has ever been decided on the merits," Seabaugh said. "As an attorney, that's offensive to me."

He said he has no reason to doubt Obama's citizenship. "I don't purport to be a 'birther,'" Seabaugh said. "This is from the standpoint of cleaning up an area of the law where there appears to be a gap."

There's a gap all right, but it's not in the law.

H/T to Adrastos at First Draft.