Showing posts with label out-of-state travels. Show all posts
Showing posts with label out-of-state travels. Show all posts

Monday, February 25, 2013


From an opinion column In the Baton Rouge Advocate titled "Mr. Jindal, road scholar":
A state that consistently ranks at or near the bottom in key quality of life indicators sorely needs a full-time chief executive to address its challenges. In Jindal, we have a governor who treats Louisiana as a refueling station for his seemingly eternal road tour.

Jindal’s national political ambitions are clear. Whether he ever runs for president — and many people believe that he will — the governor is obviously passionate about national GOP matters and enjoys the national spotlight.

But true conservatism values personal responsibility, and Jindal’s first responsibility should be to the voters he pledged to serve as Louisiana’s governor. That’s good policy, and also good politics.
Ain't that the truth?  Kudos to the writer of the opinion and the headline writer.  I've mentioned several times that Jindal was a Rhodes Scholar.  What did he learn during his time at Oxford?  He graduated with an MA in public policy with an emphasis on health care.  Mercy!  My next post on Jindal will document that he is defunding public hospitals in Louisiana, even as plans for treatment of poor and low-income persons are not yet final.  Challenge or chaos?  Either way, Jindal needs to stay home and pay attention. 

Monday, February 18, 2013


During 2012, Gov. Bobby Jindal spent almost one day of every four — at least 86 of 365 days — out of the state, mostly campaigning for Republican candidates around the nation and speaking to conservative political groups.

Various GOP supporters and campaigns paid for Jindal’s hotel rooms and airfare for the campaign trips. Louisiana taxpayers, however, paid $65,000 to feed, house and, often, fly his security team. Those taxpayer dollars also often ensured that the governor’s luggage arrived ahead of him, allowing him to quickly move through airports.
The perks of being governor are, indeed, convenient, but they cost money, our money, of which the state has run short.  For Jindal to be gone from his office at least 25% of the time seems excessive to me.  The true percentage of time spent away from Louisiana is more than 25%, because when the governor doesn't stay overnight, the trip does not have to go on record.
Not all of the trips are represented in the available records.

For instance, Jindal flew to Grand Island, Neb., on July 14 to address the Nebraska Republican Party State Convention at a $500-per-person event. He called President Barack Obama “the most liberal president” and “the most incompetent president” since former President Jimmy Carter, according to reports published in The Grand Island Independent. He returned that night, according to a statement by his press office and newspaper reports.
And this, my friends, is the man the national media calls on for interviews about the new, not-stupid Republican Party.  Does the national press check out the governor's approval rating at home, (37% in the most recent poll) where the full effects of his conservative agenda are being felt? 

Friday, November 16, 2012


We’ve got to make sure that we are not the party of big business, big banks, big Wall Street bailouts, big corporate loopholes, big anything,”Jindal told POLITICO in a 45-minute telephone interview. “We cannot be, we must not be, the party that simply protects the rich so they get to keep their toys.”
If he does consider a White House run, his analysis Monday suggests he’s aligning himself with an emerging school of thought on the right that GOP’s consecutive White House defeats can’t merely be solved by passing an immigration reform bill and appealing more directly to nonwhites. Jindal, a Brown Graduate and Rhodes Scholar, is already a favorite of conservative intellectuals and his assessment that Republican difficulties owe as much to economics as demographics will be well-received by right-leaning thinkers.
Jindal is the purest of opportunists. Romney is dead as a politician, and Jindal has ambitions, so he dismisses him. If the Republicans need the support of brown people to win, Jindal is brown, the man in waiting, so to speak. He has the charisma of a door post, and he is a dismal failure as governor. In my opinion, he will not go far as a national candidate.

The governor may talk a good talk, but before Republicans latch on to him as their savior, they should educate themselves on the wreck the governor has made of the State of Louisiana.  If he had an infinite amount of time, rather than the two terms allowed him, I believe Jindal would privatize every state institution.  The budget is in deep deficit, but his only solution is cut, cut, cut.  The governor will not entertain any suggestion at all to raise taxes of any kind to fill the gap in his own state.  He governs like a dictator, and the supine Louisiana legislature goes along in fear and dread of the force of opposition from the tea party conservatives who are seem to be the majority of voters in the state.  By many measures of quality of life, Louisiana places at or near the bottom in the good stuff and at or near the top in the bad stuff. As the saying goes, "TBTG for Mississippi".
As Louisiana  debuts one of the nation’s most extensive private-school voucher programs, deep divides persist over who should be accountable for ferreting out academic failure and financial abuse: the government or parents.

About 5,600 students and 119 private schools will participate in Louisiana’s new statewide voucher program this fall.
But wait!
Despite [Superintentendant John] White’s own assertions about the importance of accountability to the voucher program, he has chosen not to hold voucher schools to the same standards. Private schools receiving vouchers will be able to continue receiving tax money previously earmarked for public schools–more than $8,000 per pupil–while scoring in the F range.

Yes, that’s right, an F. Private schools can score an F and continue receiving public funding.
And no change in policy appears on the horizon.
Nearly 1,000 rank-and-file state employees have lost their jobs since July, bringing the total to nearly 3,200 since Gov. Bobby Jindal took office in 2008, according to a Civil Service report.

The State Civil Service on Tuesday reported 967 state employee layoffs for the first four months of the state fiscal year. The number exceeds the 957 employees losing their jobs in all of fiscal year 2010-11, according to the report.

The Civil Service totals do not include the announced reduction of 1,500 state employees planned for Jan. 21 throughout the LSU public hospital system.

The reductions have occurred as Jindal moved many traditional government functions to the private sector, particularly in the health care arena.

Budget cuts have led to additional reductions in the state workforce.
This in the midst of a recession.
Census data released Thursday indicates poverty levels in Louisiana have continued to climb while household incomes declined in the last year, making the state one of the poorest in the nation.

But while more people are finding themselves mired in poverty unemployment levels have slowly been ticking down — a trend officials say they find perplexing.

Reports from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey say the median, or midpoint, household income in Louisiana declined 4.7 percent from $43,804 in 2010 to $41,734 in 2011.

Additionally, reports say the number of people in poverty increased from 18.7 percent in 2010 to 20.4 percent in 2011, a 1.7 percent increase. According to the data, the New Orleans metro area, which includes Metairie and Kenner, is among the 10 metropolitan areas in the United States with the highest percent of people living in poverty.
Perhaps not so perplexing if one considers that the jobs created are mainly shit jobs that do not lift working people out of poverty.
Louisiana’s physicians are complaining about “the lack of detail and preparation” as LSU embarks on budget cuts that affect training programs for the state’s future physicians.

“We have created another tsunami or Hurricane Katrina-type condition in regard to graduate medical education in the state,” said Dr. Andy Blalock, the Louisiana State Medical Society president.

Blalock warned Monday that the state’s “best and brightest” current and future medical students and physicians in training would leave or not come at all amid the tumult.

LSU medical school statistics show that 70 percent of those who do their physician training in Louisiana continue to practice in the state. Each physician practice means $2 million to the state’s economy, Blalock said.
Translation: there was no plan.  The Jindal administration makes it up as they go along.
The national agency that accredits graduate medical education programs is pressing LSU officials for information on their plans to revamp physician training programs.

The inquiry from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, called ACGME, came in response to publicized comments by LSU System Executive Vice President Frank Opelka about a redesign of LSU hospitals’ clinics, which would affect “Graduate Medical Education.” GME is the name for programs that train physicians.
Whoops!  Jindal's hasty and ill-planned (no plan) move to privatize the operations of several state-owned hospitals risks loss of accreditation for the graduate medical programs at Louisiana State University, the state's flagship university.  Oh well.  Our Ivy-League and Oxford-educated governor surely must know what he's doing.
While other Republican governors are starting to back away from their opposition to implementing a key part of President Obama's health care law, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said Tuesday that he's not reconsidering.

"We are not implementing the exchange," Jindal said in a phone interview on Tuesday night.

If state governments do not agree to set up an exchange, the law says that the federal government will step in and do it.
So what's the point of Jindal's decision to opt out?  To keep his hands from being soiled by the touch of "socialism"?

Bobby never gives interviews to the local media, only condescending to speak to the national media.  I'm guessing it's because the locals know more, and their questions are likely to probe deeper than he'd care to answer, and, of course, the media here doesn't give him the national exposure he so craves.  Since Jindal was elected, he's seldom home in Louisiana, as he's been all around the country campaigning for "other candidates".   Now that the election is over, the governor will perform his duties as Chairman of the Republican Governors Association, which I expect will require him to be out of state as much as ever.  Jindal often says he's not looking for a job since he has the best job in the world, but those of us in Louisiana wonder why he's seldom here working at his job.