Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Louisiana's Youngest Governor

Louisiana's wonder boy, the youngest person ever elected governor of our state, and the question of presidential aspirations.

State Senate Votes to Eliminate Income Tax: Bill goes to House

The Louisiana Senate, to their own surprise, voted to abolish the state income tax. Senator Nick Gautreaux added an amendment to Buddy Shaw's SB 87 which proposed to cut tax rates. Gautreaux proposed going all the way by just eliminating the income tax.
Unbelievably, the amendment passed.

My Bad
Sen. Joe McPherson, D-Woodworth, apologized to Shaw and fellow senators, saying the amendment would never have been adopted if he hadn't been "playing one of my cutesy games." He said he thought the amendment was going to fail, so he voted for it because, "I didn't want to go on record voting against repealing income taxes."
Gautreaux said his move was "sincere. I sincerely want to repeal income taxes" and he has tried twice before to do it but his bills were killed in committee. "It's taxpayers' money and Louisianans have been overtaxed too many years,."
Gautreaux said the governor's proposed budget has $400 million in new spending in it and "if it goes into the bill, it's there forever. For them to say there's not money to afford this is absolutely not true."
Sen. Robert Adley of Benton told the Senate "the governor will veto the bill with $4 billion (in budget reductions) and he ought to."

H/T The Reduct Box

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

More Jindal on Tonight Show

Liberty and Justice for All has posted a great entry on the Jindal Tonight Show appearance. Just click the link to read the entire article.

Finally, the interview came down to the big question of the day. Would Bobby Jindal say yes if asked to be Vice President. He didn’t say no. He didn’t even use his precognition and suggest that McCain would not ask him (perhaps that was out of respect to Carnac the Magnificent*). What he did do was compare saying no to McCain right now to saying no to the pretty girl who hasn’t yet asked you to the prom. Guess what? You don’t say no if the pretty girl asks you to go to the prom! So again, I have no reason to believe Bobby Jindal will refuse McCain if asked to be V.P..

Jindal on Tonight Show: Part Two

wesawthat has the video of the Tonight Show appearance. You will notice that the governor will not absolutely say 'No, I won't accept it', just more of the same old song and dance.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Jindal on Tonight Show

Governor Jindal, who is not running for Vice-President, is scheduled on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno tonight.
Apparently, someone forgot to tell the NBC publicity machine that he wasn't interested. The non-interested Jindal will be in Washington Friday to address the National Press Club. These appearances should open other venues in which he can assure the American public of his non-interest.
NBC Press Release:

BURBANK – April 22, 2008 – Amidst the growing buzz about possibly being the Vice Presidential candidate on the Republican ticket, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal makes his first appearance on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" (Monday - Friday, 11:35 p.m.-12:37 a.m. ET on NBC). Known to his constituents as simply Governor Bobby, Jindal is the Nation's youngest Governor sat the age of 36 and in his first term in office the political pundits have already labeled him the future of the GOP and the next Ronald Reagan. Jindal is the first elected Indian American Governor in U.S. history.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Candidates for Congress 4th District: Gerard Bowen, Jr

Gerard Bowen, Jr of Bossier City has announced as a Republican candidate for the 4th District House seat.
Bowen, a native of Metairie, was displaced by Katrina in 2005 and relocated to the Shreveport-Bossier area. He graduated from East Jefferson High School in 1989, served in the Navy and holds a B.S. in Kinesiology from Washington State University as well as a Masters of Health Administration from Tulane University. Bowen is married and the father of two children.
A fair tax advocate, Bowen is the populist candidate on the Republican side. "I don’t have political connections, I don’t have deep pockets, and I don’t have political 'experience'. Some people will have you believe that these things make me a poor choice as your congressman, however, to you and I, it means that I owe no one any favors and that my loyalties are to my convictions and my only obligation is to the people of Louisiana.
I feel a Representative should be accessible to the people he represents, not just to deep-pocket contributors. Not only will I run a grassroots campaign, but I will run a grassroots office. I will be approachable and available to concerned citizens. I will continue to visit neighborhoods as much as Congressman as I do as a candidate and I will return phone calls."
The Bowen for Congress website is complete and includes personal information and his views on some of the issues.
He is definitely in an underdog position and may not recieve a lot of support from the entrenched Republican establishment. It will be interesting to see if he can resonate with the people and gain some traction.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Candidates for Congress 4th District: Paul Carmouche

Paul Carmouche, Democratic District Attorney for the 1st Judicial District (Caddo Parish) since 1978, has announced for the 4th District Seat. This is sure to make the Republican establishment nervous, as Carmouche is a very popular proven voter-getter in Northwest Louisiana.
Carmouche received his undergraduate degree from Nicholls State University and his law degree from Loyola University in New Orleans, where he was elected President of the Law School.
Carmouche also served as an Assistant District Attorney and as Chief Counsel for the Caddo Indigent Defender’s Office.
He was elected District Attorney for Caddo Parish 1978 and has served as Caddo Parish’s Chief Prosecutor for five terms.
Carmouche has a website up, but it is new and the issues section isn't complete yet.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Common Sense from Senator Ben Nevers

The Rev. Gene Mills, director of the Louisiana Family Forum, said he has found the new Legislature "very family and faith friendly" with "an acute sense of the need to protect basic values." Mills said most lawmakers believe in the same things Family Forum does — traditional marriage, a two-parent family and respect for life — "and those are not issues that are going to hurt a legislator in his district."

Louisiana Family Forum, which has a very close and personal relationship with David Vitter, believed that they would be able to push through a bill that would enable teachers in public schools to teach Creationism. Most legislators denied that this was the intent of the bill.

Mills said the Family Forum liked the original bill before it "picked up a hitchhiker," an amendment he said was favored by the American Civil Liberties Union. (I'm sure that Senator Ben Nevers of Bogalusa, who added the amendment, will be on the Family Forum's hit list. In any event, the people and parents of Louisiana owe him a vote of thanks.)

"The bill is not in a better position than it was before the hearing," he said. "Our goal is not to have something weakened or that disempowers teaching something" that some people consider controversial.

Despite all the denials by various legislators, that 'something', of course, is creationism, or 'creation science' as they like to call it.

Just for kicks, I have thrown in one of Louisiana Family Forum's mock 'interviews' in which Rev. Mills states that David Vitter has 'repented of the allegations'.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Candidates for Congress 4th District: John Fleming

Dr. John Fleming, a Mississippi native, has practiced medicine in Minden for the last 25 years. He is also an entrepeneur who owns thirty Subway Restaurants in North Louisiana and is also a sub-franchisor for The UPS Store, a subsidiary of UPS.
Fleming is responsible for 130 UPS Stores across Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
A Republican, Dr. Fleming was born to loving parents, but was not born into wealth and privilege. On his website, which is very impressive, he has a personal narrative. It is worth reading as it will give you insight into who he really is and where he came from. "I haven’t forgotten eating Peanut Butter from surplus commodities cans. It’s the hard things in life that make us better. It’s remembering not having, that makes us appreciate what we have."
He also goes into great detail on the issues page.
We will be examining the issues more closely as the candidate field becomes more defined. Dr. Fleming does say that he wants to protect the constitution. I hope that means that he would stand in opposition to such intrusive laws as the USA Patriot act.

Hillary Trashes

Sean Hannity must be gleeful. An audio tape was released today of Hillary Clinton trashing
The YouTube Video is of a speech she gave to members of a year ago, and also has the audio file of the 2008 remarks.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Jindal: Shoot the Messenger

A legislative committee heard testimony but did not make a decision Wednesday on whether to recommend Senate confirmation for Adjutant Gen. Bennett Landreneau to lead the Louisiana National Guard.
The Senate and Governmental Affairs Committee met in public hearing for six hours to hear support for the general, and then met in secret for two hours to hear opposition.
Four of the five generals who were asked by the governor to provide a recommendation gave their opinions in the secret meeting.
This, apparently, is Jindal transparency.
These generals, whether you agree or disagree with their conclusions, did what they were asked by the administration. They were then ignored and insulted, and their testimony had to be given in secret, apparently in hopes that it would not offend the governor or his young Rasputin wannabe, Timmy Teepell.
For great commentary on this, read C B Forgotston's latest blog post.
Source The Advocate

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Candidates for Congress 4th District: Chris Gorman

Although early in the crazy season, I thought that it might be helpful to highlight the announced candidates for congress in the 4th District. The seat is being vacated by Jim McCrery after 10 terms.
Chris Gorman, Republican, was born in Shreveport in 1969. He graduated from Trinity Heights Christian Academy where he was an all-state football player. In 1995, he earned a B.A.A.S. in Computer Information Systems from the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas.
In 1999, Chris furthered his education and attended the Executive MBA Program at Harvard University.
Gorman is the Executive Vice President of Tango Transport. In this capacity, he is responsible for leading the Sales, Information Systems, Maintenance, Billing and Collections Departments. He serves as a member of Louisiana Association of Business and Industry’s Energy Policy Committee and its Health Care and Education Task Force.
He also has volunteered for the Shreveport-Bossier Community Renewal, Toys For Tots, the Northwest Louisiana Food Bank and his church.
Gorman and his wife Jaci have two sons, Hunter and Lee.
His website is not yet complete. I am anxious to see the issues section completed. I'm hoping that he will display some libertarian tendencies, and not just be another Republican rubber stamp. He will be an attractive candidate.
It is an interesting twist, and speaks well for both father and son, that his 14 year old is manning a YouTube site with two videos posted so far. I'm impressed to see a teenager taking an active interest in his father's race. The videos are posted below.

"I'm Hunter Gorman, son of Congressional candidate for the 4th district in Louisiana. I will be following him around with a video camera, my notepad, and a still camera to document the hard work that goes into a congressional race. I hope that you enjoy our first entry! Thanks..."

In My Father's Footsteps

In My Father's Footsteps II

This is the link to the YouTube channel.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Kiss and Tell: The day Grandmère Mimi met Edwin Edwards

Grandmère Mimi over at The Wounded Bird has bested my Earl Long story with her delightful account of the day she met Edwin Edwards - and asked for a kiss.
Here is an excerpt:
"In fact, on one occasion when he arrived at a gathering at the university where my husband worked, there seemed to be no officials there to greet him. I was standing there with a group who may have resembled a receiving line, and he came right up to me. That was one occasion when words came out of my mouth seemingly without passing through my brain, because I said to him, "Does a kiss from the governor come with the greeting?" Of course, he promptly kissed me on the cheek. Grandpère was standing next to me wide-eyed and astonished. After Edwards moved on he said to me, "What did you think you were doing?" So. There you are. I'm in the company of an enormous number of women who have kissed Edwin Edwards.
There you have it. Sometimes the demons take over, and what can you do?"

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Day I Met Earl K. Long

In 1959 Earl Long was Governor of Louisiana, but could not run for re-election. For a while he schemed to resign a few months before the end of his term and then run again, but he could not bring himself to relinquish his power to do that. He met with old Long Crony Jimmy Noe of Monroe and prevailed on him to run for governor, with Uncle Earl on the ticket as his Lieutenant Governor.
At the time, I was a 12 year old and lived in Vivian, Louisiana in north Caddo Parish. Late that summer, signs went up around the Dixie Drug that Earl Long would make an appearance one evening.
Now we all knew that Uncle Earl was crazy. This was well documented. Earlier in the summer, he had been committed to the state hospital at Mandeville. That didn’t last long, however, as he fired the head of the state hospital system, who fired the head of the hospital who had refused to release him. A new director was appointed and the governor was discharged from care.
He also went on a trip through the west with the national press following every move. His actions were controversial. He had been diagnosed as bi-polar, and to really tip the canoe, he was taking amphetamines to keep him going 24/7. And of course, there was Blaze Starr, a (to the eyes of a 12 year old) glamorous entertainer from New Orleans. We knew about his doings.
It may seem strange in today’s context that a 12 year old was familiar with these events, but remember the times. We had no video games and no computers. I always watched the news, and even read the newspapers. I loved this stuff.
On the appointed evening, I talked my mother into letting me ride my bike 7 or 8 blocks to attend the affair. This was no small feat in itself, as my mother’s family had never been keen on the Longs. She was from an old Bossier Parish family, and they didn’t believe in all this carousing and flamboyance. But I prevailed and was able to attend, and what an affair it was, a good old-fashioned stump speech right there on the sidewalk in front of the drugstore.
A crowd of about 40 or so was gathered and waiting when the big black Oldsmobile pulled up with a state trooper driving. Uncle Earl got out, wearing a trademark white suit and panama hat, took off his coat and threw it into the car and began working the crowd.
There was a little peanut stand set up on the corner. Roasted peanuts were 10 cents per bag.
My moment of glory came when Earl K Long, the Governor of Louisiana, this glorious, crazy man, called to me. When I went over to him in response to his call, he handed me a one dollar bill and instructed me to buy 10 bags of peanuts and pass them out to all the kids. As I passed out the gubernatorial goobers, Uncle Earl hitched his thumbs in his suspenders and set in to talking.
He assured the old people, who made up most of the crowd, that he would personally assure them that they would all enjoy a $65 per month state pension. They had given their lives and their labor to make the ‘fat cats’ rich and now they would get their rewards. All they had to do was vote for Noe and Long.
As the sun went down and the Oldsmobile drove off, my moment of glory began to fade. A few minutes earlier, I had been personally appointed an important task by none other than the governor. A few minutes earlier I was having a heady ride on the coattails of history. Now I was just me again.
James Noe and Earl Kemp Long lost the election that fall. In 1960, Earl Long ran for congress in the old 8th district and won the Democratic nomination, which was tantamount to winning the election.
He died from a heart attack within days.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Generals to Testify in State Senate Hearing

The Governor's hand-picked senate leaders are apparently in damage control mode. A Senate committee has scheduled a confirmation hearing for Wednesday on Gov. Bobby Jindal's reappointment of Maj. Gen. Bennett Landreneau as state adjutant general. The hearing, however, will take place in executive session.
Just what happened to transparency?
The Committee on Senate and Governmental Affairs also has asked for testimony from a Jindal-appointed panel of retired generals who recently prepared a report critical of current conditions in the Louisiana National Guard, which Landreneau oversees. The generals' panel interviewed candidates for the position and recommended someone other than Landreneau, but the governor's office did not meet with the generals to get their advice. The governor's office last week denied the existence of the report, angering the chairman of the generals' panel, former Louisiana Adjutant Gen. Ansel "Buddy" Stroud.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Jindal and Teepell Politicize the National Guard - Insult Generals

In January, 'Bobby' Jindal appointed a committee to review the operations of the Louisiana National Guard. Major General Ansel 'Buddy' Stroud headed the comittee and was assisted by Brig. Gen. Sam deGeneres, Brig. Gen. Kenneth Ross, Brig. Gen. Richard Averitt and Brig. Gen. Arthur Abercrombie.
The panel completed their work and submitted their findings to the governor. They found that the guard is suffering from low morale, leadership problems and nepotism. Retired Brig. Gen. Kenneth Ross said he and his fellow panel members put in days of work only to be rudely dismissed by the governor's office.
A major disagreement between the administration and the panel of generals erupted last week when Jindal reappointed Maj. Gen. Bennett Landreneau as the state's adjutant general without reviewing the report by the governor's Recommendation Committee for the Adjunct General of the Army National Guard, a position that oversees the Louisiana National Guard. In the generals' words, they were "flabbergasted and insulted" that the governor would totally ignore their input.
Stroud says the committee members agreed to devote their valuable time to the project because they were told that their work would keep politics out of the governor's decision. "Obviously, we were misled regarding this."
Ever arrogant, Jindal's Chief of Staff Timmy Teepell sent this letter to Stroud, questioning his consulting work with The Shaw Group. At least this is a first; association with The Shaw Group is usually a fast track into the administration.
Despite the political commercials last fall decrying his love of our military, this should not come as a surprise to anyone. Jindal has a history of not supporting the military, as shown in this blog post from last October by Lamar White Jr.
Want to read the report for yourself? Well, you're out of luck. The 'transparent' Jindal administration refuses to release it, citing executive privilege.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Vitter to take the Fifth

As we say in the country, Ole' David has his tit in the wringer again. The defense in the DC Madam case has subpoened the Senator. His lawyer went before the judge and informed him that his client will claim the protection of the fifth amendment against self-incrimination.
Here is a clip from Court TV.

Just to make matters worse, Vitter was in quite a hurry to run out the back door of the Gonzalez City Hall after being asked about the case. He was in such a hurry that his driver backed into a stop sign and then took off. Channel 2 in Baton Rouge filmed the incident. The link is below.

WBRZ Video

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Louisiana Conservative: Beyond the Pale

I started Jindal Watch to keep an eye on the new governor and to compare his promises to his delivery. In some cases he has done okay, but in others I can only see Louisiana politics as usual. I will grant him one thing - he is a good politician.
I am not against Jindal, neither am I for him. If he is successful and his endeavors improve our lot, I will gladly recognize that.
One blog, however, is engaging in some hero worship that should embarass any thinking person.
In their last few posts, the Louisiana Conservative has gone off the deep end. This first came to my attention in a post on wesawthat titled 'The worst blog in Louisiana History'.
In recent blogs, they (Louisiana Conservative) have called Jindal "the greatest Gift this state has ever received", and also noted that "It has probably been the ultimate culture shock for Washington, D.C. to be exposed to so much common sense with Bobby Jindal being elected to Congress."
When invited to a dinner with the governor along with a couple of other bloggers, and posting his gushing account of it on Louisiana Conservative, things really went into high gear. In a post on his blog, repected Central Louisiana blogger Lamar White Jr was attacked in the comments section by the blogger from Louisiana Conservative. In an attempt to tone it down, Mr White wrote:
You could be a really nice guy, but you sometimes come across as overly combative.
It’s not necessary. We can attempt to speak to each other like adults."
The Louisiana Conservative blogger replied in the next comment box, referring to "uniformed (sic) and shallow people like you, Lamar White, Jr", "lesser men like you and your ilk" and "looking like a slobbering unfed dog".
Go to the blog and read it yourself.

Today Louisiana Conservative has another post from the same blogger, this time considering the possibility that the VP talk centering around Bobby Jindal is the work of the evil, liberal, socialist media (although it originated with Rush Limbaugh). Some of the comments about those who write about Jindal becoming Vice-President:

"..tell them to leave our miracle working Governor the hell alone!!!"

"..inconsiderate bandits, is becoming not only irritating, but suspicious."

"..(Jindal) most popular, most capable, most honest and most conservative Governor in Louisiana history."

"….Governor Bobby Jindal is smarter than all of them (liberals)…… he is more honest than all of them"

"I think everyone should take note of who continues to fan these VP flames. They will not be a friend of Governor Bobby Jindal and they certainly are not a friend of Louisiana."

And worst of all, Jindal for VP will provide those "disingenuous Dems with the necessary material needed to successfully complete their planned sabotage of having another Republican in the White House."
Sabotage? If 'disingenuous' Dems attempt to elect their own candidate it is sabotage? This truly is beyond the pale.
The end result of this will probably be that the governor's people will be a bit more selective in compiling the list of invitees to the mansion. This sort of behavior by his supporters certainly doesn't advance the governor's cause.