Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Louisiana State Senator Derrick Shepherd gets in a tussle with his girlfriend over the weekend and he's hauled off to federal court. Is there any violation of the law that is not considered a federal offense? If anyone actually takes the time to read the U.S. Constitution, there are only three crimes specifically enumerated. Treason, piracy and counterfeiting. So why has Congress undertaken an overzealous expansion of criminal laws?
A report from the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Legal and Judicial Studies recently determined that there are some 4500 federal crimes listed in the US Code. It used to be that Congress would create one particular crime by passing a new law. But in recent years, multiple crimes are listed within the same statute. One new law enacted right after 9/11 contained 60 new crimes. Were they really necessary?
Our representatives in Washington now want to delve into any number of local crimes, flaunting the intention of our country's founders. Drugs, robbery, car theft, the list goes on and on. What happened to the 14th amendment and states rights?
Many of the federal crimes seem to be punitive, arbitrary and bewildering. Harvard law professor William Stuntz puts it this way: "We are coming even closer to living in a country where laws on the books makes everybody a felon, and prosecutors get to decide what the law is and who has violated it."
Did you know that it is a federal crime to deal in the interstate transport of unlicensed dentures? For this you get one year in jail.
How about the fact that you can go to jail for six months if you pretend to be a member of the 4-H club? I'm not making this up.
You can also get six months for degrading the character of Woodsy Owl, or his associated slogan: "Give a hoot -- Don't pollute.”
And you'll love this one. It is a federal crime to disrupt a rodeo. Now in Louisiana, we yield to no one in our desire for orderly rodeos. But a federal crime? Give me a break!
You can see from these examples, it's not a liberal or conservative thing. Many of the laws listed make little sense. In this day and age, the average citizen can get hauled off to jail for trivial things that no sane person would regard as a crime at all. There is a new alliance in Washington. An unholy alliance between anti-big business liberals, and tough-on-crime conservatives. They all seem to be trying to show that they are serious prognosticators cracking down on the social problem of the month, whether it be corporate scandals or steroid use.
The Louisiana legislative delegation is not immune from federalitis, and has joined in the parade of parochialism within the federal system. Senator David Vitter has proposed legislation to make it a felony for the interstate sale of paraphernalia that straps on a rooster’s leg during a cock fight. And Senator Mary Landrieu wants to ban the transportation of horses across state lines to be shipped out of the country for consumption. Can we just imagine the future disruption of our American way of life if their efforts are unsuccessful?
Our members of Congress go to Washington today and seem to be immediately aphrodisized with the power they obtain. Something similar to Tolkien's ring. Often decent and intelligent people who get the ring of power and it changes them. They can't put it down; they can't let it go. The more laws you pass, the better you look back home. And when there's crime involved, you really come across as a tough guy, right?
Many members of Congress seem not to understand the difference between violation of a regulation and a crime. But there are a number of actions that are illegal but not criminal, and if criminal, then do not necessarily have to be federally criminal. Have we reached the point where people in Louisiana and throughout the country have come to accept that any federal agency with power is somehow a police power? Both conservatives and liberals ought to be worried about the expansion of federal criminal law if we value our liberty, which our Founders specifically understood to mean leaving general police powers at the local level.
In 400 B.C., the Greek orator Isocrates stated: "Where there is a multitude of specific laws, it is a sign that the state is badly governed." Tasedus wrote in the 1st century A.D. of Rome: “Formerly we suffered from crimes. Now we suffer from laws."
A little common sense, often not attributed to Washington, would go a long way in allowing Congress to deal with problems of national concern. Leave the parochial to the states. And for goodness sake, let us get a little rowdy at our rodeos.
“Herein is the most dangerous power of the prosecutor;
that he will pick people he thinks he should get,
rather than cases that need to be prosecuted.
With the law books filled with a great assortment
of crimes, a prosecutor stands a fair chance of finding at
least a technical violation of some act on the part of
Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson
Peace and Justice.
Jim Brown’s weekly column appears in a number of newspapers and websites throughout the State of Louisiana. You can read Jim’s Blog, and take his weekly poll, plus read his columns going back to the fall of 2002 by going to his own website at http://www.jimbrownla.com/.
Jim’s radio show on WRNO (995 fm) from New Orleans can be heard each Sunday, from 11:00 am until 1:00 pm.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Since Louisiana adopted the nation's first ethics code in 1964, it has been the gold standard used as a model by other states and Congress, says Gray Sexton, who spent 40 years as the director of the Ethics Board.
But the new process pushed by Gov. Bobby Jindal and adopted by the Legislature this year "is not the gold standard," Sexton told the Press Club of Baton Rouge Monday.
Also, he said "ethics" is a misnomer because it really is a "conflict of interest code."
He said the governor and Legislature "basically eviscerated" the ethics board by transferring its powers to a team of administrative law judges appointed by the governor. That move, he said, led to resignations of 10 of 11 members and its administrator.
Read the entire News Star article at the link above
Greg Aymond also has an interview on his website with Gray Sexton.
Listen to Gray speak upon such issues as the weakening of the Ethics Board, the real reasons for the mass resignations of its Board members, the Administration's history and the over 100 exceptions to the ethics code.
Governor Jindal and Mayor Glover say they are working on getting GM to get back in full production.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
RISING INSURANCE RATES
Two years ago, Louisiana legislators were demanding rate relief for thousands of homeowners and drivers who were witnessing skyrocketing insurance rates. Cries were heard from the steps of the state Capitol urging the Governor to support subsidies in order to lower the cost of insurance. Lawmakers were calling for an insurance summit to deal with a growing crisis throughout the state. So where are we now? Louisiana continues to lead the country in high insurance rates. And in this past session of the Legislature, lawmakers passed legislation that will raise the cost of insurance across the board even more.
Not only does Louisiana have the highest insurance rates in a broad range of categories, the average citizen also faces a deeper debt than any state in the country. State Bond Commission records show that Louisiana's per capita debt has jumped dramatically. Where the debt per capita in other states average is $700 for each person, Louisiana's per capita debt is approaching $1400, with a jump of over $100 this past year alone.
Just last week, national credit reporting figures were released showing that Louisiana car owners carry more auto debt than any other state. The average Louisiana car owner has an outstanding auto debt a $14,705, up 3% over last year. Nationwide, the average driver has an outstanding auto debt of $12,833. Simply put, the average Louisiana citizen pays more but has less to spend compared to any other state in America.
Affordable homeowners insurance has continued to be a massive headache for states along the Gulf Coast. But while other states have taken aggressive action by funding reinsurance programs and creating catastrophic funds, Louisiana is simply raising rates on homeowners across the state. The state created boondoggle, Citizens Property Insurance Company, raised its rates again just a few weeks ago by an average of 18%. And while Citizens rates increase, the legislature has failed to build in the necessary checks and balances on this public company that has been called the single biggest financial disaster in Louisiana's history.
Because of mismanagement and improper oversight, Louisiana policyholders have been forced to incur debt of some one billion, four hundred million dollars. Not because of Katrina. But because of the failure of both insurance officials and the legislature to ensure that once created, the company was run properly. And despite the scandal of how Citizens has been allowed to operate, the legislature in this past session punted taking no definitive action to bring about substantive oversight.
The legislature did make one major change in the law that will affect homeowners’ rates all over Louisiana. The allowable deductible on your home is being raised from 2% to 5%. So for a property owner who has a home worth $300,000, the deductible under the old law would have been $6,000. Under the new law, homeowners are stuck by having to pay the first $15,000 out of pocket. So instead of taking any remedial action to lower the cost of what a homeowner pays, the legislature’s action will cause the average cost of insuring your property to take a significant leap.
In the area of car insurance, the news is just as bad. For years, Louisiana has always hovered in the list of the top 10 or 15 states in the country when it comes to the basic cost of auto insurance. But it hovers no more. The Bayou state is at the top of the heap. Numero Uno. Number one in the country. For the first six months of 2008, the average car owner in states throughout the country paid an average of $1893 per year to ensure their vehicle. Louisiana led the nation as being the most expensive state to drive a car, with an average premium of $2600.
So what did the Louisiana legislature do about this growing problem? They more than doubled the mandatory required amount to drive on Louisiana highways, which will raise the rates of the average car owner by anywhere from 20 to 30%. Governor Bobby Jindal would not touch this proposal with a 10 foot pole, and let the huge auto insurance increase become law without his signature.
A number of states are aggressively addressing auto insurance costs with some creative approaches. Our neighbors in Texas have joined a number of other states in allowing insurance to be sold based on the amount one drives. The car owner receives a monthly bill just like they do for the use of utilities. The more you drive the more you pay. Some states have seen the average insurance rate drop by as much a 30% when mileage is a factor in what insurance costs. Driving less means savings in both what a driver pays for insurance as well as gasoline. There are a number of other ideas being considered by states across the country. Unfortunately, all Louisiana did was to significantly raise the price the average driver has to pay to be on the highways.
Insurance rates to cover health costs will also rise in Louisiana. The legislature added additional mandates that are required to be included in any health insurance policy. And although such mandates or laudable, the bottom line is that when additional mandates are added, the cost goes up. Governor Bobby Jindal ran on a platform of revamping health care delivery Louisiana. Get a better bang for the buck. So far, this critical issue has not been addressed by the legislature.
This column has written before about the leadership role taken in Florida when it comes to reducing the cost of property insurance. Florida Governor Charlie Crist (who is in the running along with Jindal as a possible running mate on the McCain presidential ticket) was lauded recently by The Wall Street Journal for his innovative reforms in dealing with the high cost of health insurance. Florida is moving towards getting the government out of the healthcare marketplace. Insurance companies are now authorized to sell stripped - down, no - frills policies exempted from the more than 50 mandates that Florida otherwise imposes. Florida citizens can get a health insurance policy for as little as $150 a month.
The bottom line in all these proposals is that Louisiana's does not give its citizens the consumer choices that are available in a number of other states. Laws have been put into place setting specific standards that must be adhered to. The system is much too rigid.
Few suggestions are coming from the insurance department. If the Governor and the legislature do not accept the challenge of allowing its citizens more flexibility and more consumer choices, than Louisiana will continue to be the most expensive state in America to buy insurance. Economic development and creating new jobs? The state will be wasting its efforts until the insurance crisis is addressed.
"Am I the only guy in this country who's fed up with what's happening? Where the hell is our outrage? We should be screaming bloody murder. We've got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, and we can't even clean up after a hurricane. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, 'Stay the course.' Stay the course? You've got to be kidding. This is America not the damned Titanic."
Peace and Justice.
Jim Brown’s column appears weekly, and is published in a number of newspapers and on websites throughout Louisiana. You can read past columns by going to Jim’s website at www.jimbrownla.com. Jim’s regular radio show on WRNO, 995fm out of New Orleans can be heard each Sunday from 11:00 am till 1:00 pm. It is streamed live, world-wide at WRNO.com.
Monday, July 21, 2008
John McCain will huddle with vice presidential aspirant Bobby Jindal during a trip to New Orleans later this week, sources close to the campaign confirm to The Fix.
McCain's trip to Louisiana on Wednesday was the cause of much head scratching in the political world as it was not in keeping with a week of planned stops in battleground states.
At the same time, Bob Novak is reporting that McCain will make his pick for VP by the end of the week.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
excerpts from Central La Politics:
The sole remaining member of the Louisiana Ethics Board, Dr. Cedric Lowrey of Alexandria, disagrees with Gov. Jindal's claims as to why there were 10 resignations out of the 11 member board at the end of last month. . . . . .
So I ask you, does Louisiana truly have a "gold standard of ethics" when there are so many exceptions, there is currently no ethics administration, violations will now be determined by an agency controlled by the governor, and it will be more difficult to prove ethics violations?
Friday, July 18, 2008
Jindal will give an update on his ethics legislative session, discuss state surplus spending in northwest Louisiana and work force development. He also will take audience questions. He will be at the Vivian Elementary School.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
AND LESS OF A TALKER
By his own admission, Senator John McCain is not very computer and internet savvy. Some would argue that for this very reason, he needs to pick a young, hip and contemporary running mate who balances out the McCain image of being old and to some degree out of touch. A number of national pundits are arguing that Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal fits that profile. But if you look at his communication skills and his web tech profile since being elected governor, Jindal and his staff are not even close to being on the cutting edge of new ways to communicate.
McCain certainly needs some help in the computer literacy department. The Times Picayune editorial cartoon earlier this week had a member of his staff saying: "Okay Senator -- I'm here to teach you all about the computer. Let's try an Apple." McCain’s answer is: "No thanks. I just ate.” Others have joked that when the GOP nominee was handed a new iPhone, he thought it was a TV remote control. He is regularly profiled as functionally illiterate when it comes to the Web.
So how high does the Louisiana Governor rank in being tech savvy? If you take a look at both his campaign and governmental websites, his grade will be mediocre at best. The Jindal for Governor Campaign site is still up and running. But except for press releases out of the Governor's office, it has not been updated in months. Want to send the Governor a campaign contribution or be added to his mailing list? Don't try this website; you will reach a dead end. Nothing happens when you hit the applicable link.
The Governor’s office website offers little more than references to other agencies along with press releases. Quite vanilla as is the case with most Louisiana governmental sites. But with the Jindal administration, expectations were significantly higher. The new governor, only six months in office, has surrounded himself with a bevy of young staffers who are supposed to be web tech savvy. If any newly elected governor in America was going to modernize the state system of communicating, quickly adapt to a new technology and interactive syndication, it was certainly going to be Jindal and his gang. But the results have been mediocre at best.
One of the reasons Bobby Jindal is being considered as a vice presidential candidate is because he is perceived to be capable of bringing a new approach to governing and communicating with the public. Any neutral observer will admit that the Obama campaign has been quite successful by setting a new standard in the use of web technology. Jindal was supposed to have been able to match Obama’s efforts stride for stride. So far, the Jindal team is not even close.
From the beginning of his campaign, Obama overshadowed his Democratic opponents by making much better use of technology and incorporating the latest applications, services, software and widgets. The Obama organization has looked on the web as a way of politically networking, connecting supporters and sharing information in an interactive way. His supporters have been encouraged not to merely receive information from the campaign, but to actively participate in sharing this information like so many people have done on social networking sites like Face book in MySpace.
So far, Jindal has failed to take advantage of modern web related tools which would allow him to communicate with thousands of voters in a virtually unlimited array of ways that would support his gubernatorial agenda. He should have been the first governor in America to transform the whole idea of governance. How simple it would be for him to sit down at a computer with a web cam several times a week and have "online fireside chats" with the people of Louisiana. Television stations would certainly play highlights on the evening news, and the radio talk shows would have fodder to use throughout the day. What a missed opportunity.
Jindal got off to a better start with stronger public support than any governor I have observed in the past 50 years. But for months now, he has missed the chance to mobilize support for his legislative program with just a few keystrokes on the computer. We saw what happened in the pay raise crisis. The political culture in Baton Rouge was simply overwhelmed by the public rising up in arms. With the use of computer technology, Jindal could have and should have rallied his own army of online network based advocates.
The Governor just issued a large number of vetoes from the current legislative session. Here was an excellent chance to get full public input. Jindal could have posted a number of proposed new laws online for five days before he took action, so that Louisiana's citizens could comment and weigh in on their opinion of what action the Governor should take. A blog could have been set up to discuss the purpose of the legislation, and allow the public to participate in a little common sense “give-and-take" as to why the legislation was important to begin with. Then he could have allowed an interactive link so that citizens could give him advice as to how to proceed.
Here’s another practical idea. Besides the "website chats," he could and should set up a simple system where any citizen is able to ask a video question on the Web, and the Governor could respond likewise to a certain number of inquiries each week. Look, he will get in a state plane and fly to Farmerville to speak to 35 Rotarians that will consume five hours of his time. Why not regularly sit down at his desk and handle a range of questions that citizens are posting on the Web, giving him a much better political return for his effort with much less investment of his time.
The lesson in all this seems obvious enough. We have seen, through blogging websites and radio talk shows throughout the state, the results of technology that has concentrated a significant amount of political power in hubs outside of Baton Rouge. Jindal and the Baton Rouge governmental establishment have not harnessed this power from their end.
Bobby Jindal has a unique opportunity to capture the Web as a unifying force to lobby, cajole and communicate his vision for moving Louisiana forward. If he fails to seize the moment that is lying right in front of him, he will be no more effective than John McCain who, when asked about opening a Windows program, supposedly said: Close ‘em. It's too drafty in here."
“After growing wildly for years, the field of computing appears to be reaching its infancy. “ ~John Pierce
Peace and Justice
Jim Brown’s weekly column appears in a number of newspapers and websites throughout the State of Louisiana. You can read Jim’s Blog, and take his weekly poll, plus read his columns going back to the fall of 2002 by going to his own website at http://www.jimbrownla.com/.
Jim’s radio show on WRNO (995 fm) from New Orleans can be heard each Sunday, from 11:00 am until 1:00 pm.
According to Federal Election Commission filings for the first half of the year, Carmouche has contributions of $481,882, compared to $104,058 for Dr. Fleming and $301,350 for Gorman.
Fleming and Gorman have more money on hand, having contributed heavily to their own campaigns, however.
Fleming has kicked in $500,420 of his own money to his campaign, while Gorman shows that he has put in $396,838 of his own money.
Carmouche has put in no personal money.
Willie Banks, Jr (D) shows receipts of $28,907, $10,000 of which is his personal money.
John Milkovich (D) has $49,886 on hand, only $5,236 of it his own money.
Jeff Thompson (R) has yet to file.
If you go by the conventional political wisdom, this is a very good sign for Carmouche.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
GERARD BOWEN, JR. FOR CONGRESS
If we keep sending the same type of people to congress we will keep getting the same results.
Gerard Bowen, Jr.
The Bossier Independent is proud to endorse Gerard Bowen, Jr. to fill the 4th Congressional District seat that is being vacated by Jim McCrery.
Bowen is a native of Metairie and relocated his family to the Shreveport area in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina.
He has a BS in Kinesiology/Athletic Training from Washington State University and a Master of Healthcare Administration from Tulane University.
Bowen served in the U.S. Navy from 1989 through 1995. He served in the Persian Gulf War as a Hospital Corpsman assigned to the 2nd Combat Engineer Batallion of the 2nd Marine Division.
He has been married to his wife Mary since 1992. The couple are proud parents of two sons, Trey and Max.
A fair tax advocate, Bowen pledges to work to keep the federal government out of our lives as much as possible. He also promises to be accessible when he’s in office.
I urge you to consider Gerard Bowen, Jr., Independent for Congress when you vote in the general election on November 4th.
You may read his views on the issues on his Website.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
The Democrats in the race are John Milkovich, Paul Carmouche, Willie Banks, Jr. and Rev. Arti$ Ca$h.
Two independents have qualified, Chester T. Kelley (website from ’06) and Gerard Bowen, Jr.
This is a complicated race. Chris Gorman seems to have a substantial lead on the Republican side. If a runoff is necessary, my prediction is that it will be between Gorman and Fleming. I just don’t see Thompson making the cut, despite the endorsement from Jim McCrery. Of course, I could be wrong – it may be a Gorman-Thompson runoff.
Paul Carmouche has a lot of name recognition, having served 30 years as Caddo District Attorney. Milkovich also is a well-known local attorney. Ca$h is a pastor and ‘community activist’, whatever that is, and will not draw enough support for a runoff. Mr. Banks does not have the exposure in the populous Shreveport-Bossier City area to gain significant support.
The sure win for the Democrats would be a match-up between John Milkovich and any of the Republicans. The two independents will draw from the Republican base, and if Milkovich, a pro-life evangelical with a lot of support from local fundamentalists, gets the nod on the Democratic side, the Republicans are in real trouble.
Milkovich can pull support from Gorman that Carmouche could not touch. I would predict a Milkovich victory over any of the Republican candidates.
There is still time for the situation to change, and anything can happen. After all, this is Louisiana politics.
With less than two months to go until the primaries, however, I would keep my eye on Milkovich and Gorman.
Friday, July 11, 2008
After careful prayer and consideration and lengthy discussions with my wife, supporters, and potential-supporters, I’ve decided to run in this race as an Independent. There were several factors that led to this decision:
1. Many people I have talked to have said that they were unhappy with the new partyprimary system in place for this year’s congressional race and feel that people should be able to vote for anyone regardless of party affiliation. By running as an Independent, that will allow anyone to vote for me, regardless of party affiliation.
2. Many people, including myself, are disenchanted with the 2-party system in general,and more specifically with the erosion of the conservative values that the Republican Party is supposed to represent.
3. As the only true outsider and the most conservative candidate in the race, I wanted the people to know that I am in this race to be the voice of the people and I’m not willing to tow a party-line just to get elected. I will not go to DC to make friends, I will go to make waves. I will stand for freedoms, smaller government, less spending, lower taxes, and my convictions will not be compromised by any political wheelings and dealings.For more information about me and my candidacy, please see my Official Campaign Website.
From My Bossier
Thursday, July 10, 2008
It seemed glorious that a Southern state could elect this dark-skinned man, so much so that the news reverberated globally; people in the Jindal family village in India were ecstatic, even though Bobby barely knows them. Such widespread and early popularity--although it took a recent hit over anger at a proposed pay hike for state legislators--indicates that Jindal's base is broad enough to encompass Louisiana's many disparate factions, from racist David Duke backers to liberal Democrats, who seemingly look past Jindal's deeply conservative politics.
Never heard of Bobby Jindal? Then pay attention. There's a good chance he'll be John McCain's vice presidential pick. Commentators on the right, including Rush Limbaugh, began touting Jindal as vice presidential material just days after the governor's inauguration. Limbaugh sees Jindal as the "next Ronald Reagan," conservative enough to counter McCain's purported liberalism and charismatic enough to win over Democrats. In a May 5 New York Times column, neocon William Kristol described four McCain staffers' excitement about Jindal while extolling Jindal's youth, his "real accomplishments" and his "strong reformist streak."
By Jim Brown
Just two weeks ago, the legislative pay raise issue in Louisiana had all but consumed Governor Bobby Jindal. As he continued to tell voters he would not veto the increase that had rallied major statewide opposition, his poll numbers continued to drop. And when he did finally veto the proposal, his delay in doing so seemed to upend any realistic chance of a vice presidential slot on the McCain ticket. But like Lazarus being raised from the dead, low and behold, Jindal is still very much in the VP mix.
There were signs all over the media in the past few days indicating the Jindal is still in the hunt. A profile in this past Sunday’s New York Times Magazine had “America’s anchorman” Rush Limbaugh reaffirming his support of Jindal getting the number two spot. Limbaugh has had Jindal at the top of his list from day one, and apparently the pay raise flap has not caused him to waver.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich wrote a lengthy profile this week in Human Events magazine calling Jindal “the most transformational governor in America today,” and strongly re -affirmed his support for Jindal on the McCain ticket. Gingrich could not have been more effusive. “In just six months, Bobby Jindal has accomplished more than most elected officials accomplish in a lifetime.” Pretty strong stuff from one of the GOP’s most respected spokesman. Gingrich did mention the pay raise flap in passing, but dismissively concluded that “Jindal’s correction has cemented his reputation as a principled conservative reformer.”
CNS News concluded this week that Jindal could be a significant help on a McCain ticket in key swing states. A column posted on July 8 states: “Senator John McCain could win in swing state Ohio under almost every scenario if he chooses Louisiana Governor Bobby gentle as his vice presidential candidate.” In the past three presidential elections, Ohio has been the make- or - break state. According to the national CNS poll, Obama currently leads McCain 48% to 46%. But the poll shows McCain would have the upper hand with Jindal as his running mate. By adding the Louisiana governor to his ticket, McCain beats Obama 44% to 39%. Even if Ohio Governor Ted Strickland is added as the running mate to the Obama ticket, a McCain Jindal team still wins by a two-point margin.
CNN televised a panel of political operatives just a few days ago and each was asked to place their bet on McCain’s pick for vice president. Three of the four panelists selected Jindal. And again remember, all these effusive endorsements came after the pay raise flap.
Even liberal publications like The Nation are throwing accolades at Louisiana’s new governor. In the magazine’s current edition, the pay raise controversy was mentioned and dismissed all in the same sentence. The column concluded: “Never heard of Bobby Jindal? Then pay attention. There’s a good chance he’ll be John McCain’s vice presidential pick.”
So why the sustained drumbeat about Jindal, even though he took such a beating, in Louisiana at least, on the pay raise issue? Key McCain advisers are banking on the fact that the controversy is short term, and really has no legs outside of Louisiana. And they are looking for, and quite frankly needs, a number of the attributes that Jindal brings to the table.
McCain desperately needs something to breathe life into his campaign; something that can excite and energize his party. Bobby Jindal, according to key McCain advisers, brings youth and energy to a GOP campaign that, so far, lacks such vitality. For good or bad, he remains as one of the youngest and brightest stars in the republican camp.
McCain is behind in a number of key states and his campaign is looking for a jump start. He needs someone to do more than just balance the ticket. He needs an infusion fresh political air. And Bobby Jindal, despite his recent stumbling and criticism in the past few weeks, could still end up as McCain’s choice for the number two spot.
F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote in The Great Gatsby that “there are no second acts in American lives.” But in politics, too many have proven the quote wrong including Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton to name a few. Even John Kennedy was defeated at the 1956 Democratic convention in his first run for vice president.
Fitzgerald did write something else. “After all, life hasn’t much to offer except youth, and I suppose for older people, the love of youth in others.” When you have a 72 year old candidate at the top of the ticket, a 36 year old who continues to be the darling of the conservative pundits may just find himself on the team. Now what was that about some minor pay raise controversy?
Peace and Justice.
Jim Brown’s weekly column appears in a number of newspapers throughout the State of Louisiana. You can read Jim’s Blog, and take his weekly poll, plus read his columns going back to the fall of 2002 by going to his own website at http://www.jimbrownla.com.
Jim’s radio program on WRNO (995 fm) from New Orleans starts up again this week, with a Sunday show from 11:00 am till 1:00pm. Other changes will be announced in the weeks to come.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Newt gushes "In Six Months, Jindal Has Accomplished More Than Most Do In a Lifetime".
Governor Jindal is leading a revolution of conservative reform in Louisiana. He is the most transformational young governor in America today. The principles that motivate his Louisiana Revolution are the same pro-innovation, pro-competition, anti-bureaucracy and anti- big government principles that I urge each week in this newsletter - the same principles that are so desperately needed in Washington, D.C.
Read the entire article – it’s a great work of fiction.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
She says she was removed as she asked an officer whether he could deny her free-speech rights by taking away her sign, while McCain supporters wore buttons inside the venue.
Jenny Schiavone, a spokeswoman for the performing arts center, says the venue is city-owned rental property but is not legally defined as private property.
Police spokesman John White say officers acted as they would have for any complaint on private property.
McCain campaign spokesman Tom Kise says the town hall was open to supporters and opponents.
Monday, July 7, 2008
Jindal hurt himself by doing what too many politicians do making opportunistic promises he couldn’t keep. First, he told voters during his campaign that he would prohibit lawmakers from giving themselves a pay raise unless it took effect after their next election. Then he promised lawmakers during the session that he wouldn’t veto their pay raise.
He angered both sides by repeating incessantly that he considered the pay raise excessive but would not veto it because he wanted the Legislature to handle its own affairs. Besides, he said, he didn’t want to give lawmakers any reason to scuttle the reforms -- ethics, education, health care and more -- he was pushing through the Legislature.
Yes, the national heat, both in the media and from influential Republicans, likely had just as much to do with Jindal’s epiphany as the pressure from voters back home.
But nothing should diminish the splendid display of democracy put into action by ordinary Louisiana voters and taxpayers who forced their elected officials to right a wrong.
Central La Politics wonders if Jindal should repent?
I wonder if, while making his grand tour of all of the churches and giving his "testimony", Governor Jindal confesses his sins of being a perpetual liar and seeks forgiveness? Repent Bobby, and stop telling lies, and you can be forgiven.
GOV. JINDAL STILL SPEAKING WITH FORKED TONGUE BY NOT VETOING BILLS THAT WEAKEN ETHICS LAWS
Friday, July 4, 2008
This is what Independence day should celebrate. Fireworks and parades are great, political speeches on July 4th are a tradition, but not so great. A lot of people celebrate militarism, which to my way of thinking is off the mark.
Here are a few random comments by a handful of the men who established our government.
Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party, generally. This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
The Republican hero of the religious right acknowledged in July 2007 that his phone number appeared on the client list of the woman dubbed “the D.C. Madam.” Deborah Jeane Palfrey was convicted in federal court in April of money laundering, mail fraud and conspiracy.
This comes on top (pardon the expression) of the fact that Vitter joined with his buddy toe-tapping Larry Craig, whose number is probably on bathroom walls in every red state airport, to co-sponsor the marriage defense act.
Other posts on:
Central La Politics
The Wounded Bird
The Reduct Box
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
“All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.”
“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.”
Even though this endeavor was all too short, our goal has been met, and with that we wish to withdraw our recall effort, and we have decided against distributing our petition. Our stance against this form of tyranny was to display solidarity with the promise we were given first. Our government has to be reminded from time to time they have to answer to the people, not to themselves.
We wish to thank the supporters of the site, and your willingness to carry this forward. Everyone learns from mistakes, and Governor Jindal admits his position was a mistake. We should allow him the opportunity to redeem himself and we encourage you to get behind and support him.
With that being said there is still the matter of dealing with the legislators who voted for and were most instrumental in this ridiculous salary fiasco to begin with. Remember who voted for and against this bill. It is now left up to you, the people, in your own districts to hold accountable those who say they represent you. Don’t stop the pressure of the recalls in your districts, and start the recalls that haven’t yet been filed. We held those that tried to wrong us and the state to the highest standard, we deserved no less, and now we must make them understand we mean business.
Last but not least a message to you, the legislators, let it be known today and from now on we are watching you and your days of holding a public office will end with a new term limit by recall when you try to wrong the citizens of this state. We would encourage you to work with the Governor on reform! We refuse to continue to sit idly by and let you do as you wish. There is a new time in Louisiana, it is called ‘Reform’ and it is here to stay.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
So if the media naively thinks that Jindal should simply veto creationist trojan horse legislation, they're two steps behind the game. Why won't Jindal EVER veto creationist legislation?-- that's the interesting question. And the answer is: because, like vouchers, it's more important to the "powers that be" than nearly anything else.
In other words, support for his future political endeavors trumps any local consideration. $5,000,000 in raises to the legislature is peanuts for a future in national politics.
And just at this time, as if to prove the point, our friend Cindy called in to the Sean Hannity radio program with her concerns about Jindal. Hannity agreed with Cindy that the governor was making a mistake, but then went on to praise him and talk about his great future in the Republican Party.
Cindy made a YouTube video of her call and posted it, along with a link to Jindal Watch and our Recall Jindal video, on New Gingrich's website in these forum posts:
By Cynthia Brown @ Sunday, June 29, 2008 11:13 AM
Cindy on the Sean Hannity Radio ShowProtest Rally Monday, July 7th Against LA Gov. Bobby Jindal & LegislatorsBaton Rouge, Louisiana
By Cynthia Brown @ Saturday, June 28, 2008 8:16 PM
A Recall Petition has been filed against Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal
Cindy reported to us that not just these, but all of her posts had been removed from Newt.com. She emails us today "Now, all of my postings have been taken off of The American Empire, News and Views From Frederickson Washington."
I would look to see more of this as the 'powers that be' do damage control for Jindal.
I think Oyster has it right - it's all about building a national power base for Bobby Jindal, no matter the cost to the people of Louisiana; the flap over the pay raise was just a bump in the road.
CINDY CALLS SEAN HANNITY