How gullible does Bobby Jindal think we are?

Originally posted on Something Like the Truth:

Gov. Bobby Jindal

Gov. Bobby Jindal

 By Robert Mann

Why is it when I hear Gov. Bobby Jindal and his aides talking, I often wonder, “Just how gullible do they think we are?”

One recent example of Jindal’s belief in our collective stupidity occurred last Monday in response to Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera’s even-handed report on Common Core’s education standards. Forty-six states embraced Common Core in some form, but detractors on the right and left vigorously oppose them.

Purpera tried to provide legislators with some clarity. Too bad that wasn’t also Jindal’s goal.

Jindal long championed Common Core, but reversed himself earlier this year. The standards, which he and other governors devised, are now, in his words, “the latest effort by big government disciples to strip away state rights and put Washington, D.C., in control of everything.”

“The standards tell education authorities, teachers, parents, and the general public what skills students should acquire as they…

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Jindal Administration Deceives Louisiana’s Clerks of Court About Same-Sex Marriage Decision

Originally posted on CenLamar:

On September 25, 2014, at 9:26 in the morning, hours before State District Judge Edward Rubin’s historic decision striking down Louisiana’s ban against same-sex marriage would become official, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals sent out a deceptive and misleading memorandum to all of the state’s Clerks of Court. The DHH, under the imprimatur of Governor Bobby Jindal, told Clerks in all 64 parishes that Judge Rubin’s decision had nothing to do with legalizing same-sex marriage and everything to do with a couple in Lafayette seeking an intrafamily adoption of their own child.

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Let’s get a few things clarified and corrected right now:

1) While it is true that the case involved a lesbian couple who had gotten legally married in California and now sought an intrafamily adoption of their own 10-year-old son in Louisiana, it manifestly, clearly, obviously concerned the issuance of marriage licenses in Louisiana, at least…

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A Nightmare called Bobbycare: prelude to healthcare ruin (alternate headline: the time has come to privatize Jindal)

Originally posted on Louisiana Voice:

By DAYNE SHERMAN

On Tuesday, September 23, our school-aged son was given a commonly prescribed medication by his physician. My wife attempted to get the pharmacy to fill it. We were shocked and horrified to find that it was rejected by our health insurance: Office of Group Benefits HMO Plan through BlueCross, a health insurance plan for Louisiana public employees.

For almost 16 years I have been a member of OGB, and my wife, a teacher, has been a member for 25 years. This is the second rejection we have received this year through MedImpact. Rejecting my medicine is one thing, but rejecting our son’s is another. We have never seen anything like this in our years with OGB.

You will recall that OGB was privatized under Gov. Bobby Jindal, and nearly all of the $500,000,000 trust fund has been stolen. Soon, all money dedicated to funding state workers’ insurance…

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Bobby Jindal’s Official Portrait Versus Bobby Jindal

Originally posted on CenLamar:

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Discuss.

Of course, we are now the prison capital of the world, and entire generations of predominately African-American men are locked behind bars for decades for non-violent crimes. Last session, legislators approved a bill that would provide 99-year minimum mandatory prison sentences for repeat heroin dealers, because locking people up for the rest of their lives on drug charges is a whole lot easier than addressing the underlying problems.

We are told that Obamacare is somehow a nefarious socialist ploy, and while we deny billions of dollars to expand access to health care services for those who need them the most, we simultaneously also offer billions in incentives for wealthy multi-national corporations willing to set up shop; our rich may be getting richer, but our poor are also getting poorer. Our sick are getting sicker.

And we are being led by, no doubt, a preternaturally smart guy, a man…

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Why Isn’t The Tea Party of Louisiana Registered As A Political Committee?

Lamar Parmentel:

“Patriots” against law and order

Originally posted on CenLamar:

In 2013, the Internal Revenue Service, already the least popular governmental agency in the country, became the target of intense investigations by members of Congress, both Democrats and Republicans, and the FBI, at the direction of Attorney General Eric Holder, after it was revealed that they had specifically and improperly scrutinized applications for tax-exempt status from organizations associated with the nascent Tea Party movement.

Although we now know that the IRS actually targeted significantly more progressive and liberal organizations than Tea Party groups, conservatives in Congress and Tea Party supporters successfully convinced many in the mainstream media and the public that they were the victims of a political witch hunt and conspiracy. Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 12.00.06 AMOne of the IRS’s biggest critics was Cecil Cavanaugh of the Tea Party of Louisiana. “When you use the IRS in this fashion, you’re basically limiting free speech and that’s not good for any of us,” he told WBRZ…

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Judge Feldman Writes The First Sentence Of His Obituary

Originally posted on CenLamar:

In the summer of 1957, President Dwight Eisenhower appointed a Tulane Law professor to serve as a Judge on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and although the professor’s credentials and his political persuasion were probably more than sufficient to convince Eisenhower and the Senate of his qualifications, his name, an almost perfect aptronym, probably helped too. Today, Judge John Minor Wisdom, who died in 1999 at the age of 93, is generally considered one of the most towering and influential figures in the history of Louisiana law. When he was well into his eighties, in 1993, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian award, and a year later, the Fifth Circuit’s opulent headquarters (which, depending on who you ask, ranks as New Orleans’s first or second most beautiful office building, in a city that does not suffer from a lack of beautiful buildings) was named in his honor.

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Louisiana Family Forum Isn’t A Charity; It’s A Tax Shelter For The State’s Most Powerful Lobbyist

Lamar Parmentel:

More con-artists lobbyists.

Originally posted on CenLamar:

The Louisiana Family Forum is the most powerful and successful lobbying organization in a state brimming with lobbyists and special interests, and Gene Mills, its President, is arguably Louisiana’s single most powerful registered lobbyist.

Mills would likely not dispute this characterization. In a recent video statement to supporters, he claimed that 2014 was his organization’s most successful year ever, boasting that, during a debate about a bill pertaining to surrogacy, he presented the bill’s author with a list of “non-negotiable” demands that “were required in order for his bill to move forward.”

“The author,” Mills said, “blocked nine of those ten repairs and found out that when the LFF says, ‘It’s not negotiable, well, it’s not negotiable.'”

“LFF blocked bad bills, advanced good ones, and amended dozens of others to remove their threats,” Mills said. (emphasis added).

Even though he has never been elected to public office, Mills talks…

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The Funny Thing About Medicaid Expansion In The Deep South

Louisiana has been atwitter about the topic of Medicaid Expansion for years now. Ever since the passage of Obamacare (and the subsequent Supreme Court decision making expansion optional), states throughout the country have been slowly coming around the idea that expanding Medicaid is a good idea.

Most of the “blue” states have already expanded Medicaid, with a few notable exceptions (Florida, blue in ’08 and ’12, and Virginia)

This summer has been no exception. No fewer than 5 red states have been inquiring about how to submit to the horror that is the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid Expansion, including known liberal enclaves such as Wyoming and Tennessee.

A funny thing keeps happening though: As more states inquire, some of the places most in need of expansion continue to hold out. TPM explored this topic here:

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, a Republican powered to office in 2010 by the tea party wave, struck a deal with HHS last week to expand Medicaid. Indiana, led by Republican 2016 dark horse Gov. Mike Pence, is already negotiating with the administration on its own plan. Tennessee, a state like Wyoming where there’s no real Democratic threat to Republican dominance that would drive expansion talk, plans to submit a proposal for Medicaid expansion to HHS this fall.

Wyoming is perhaps the prototype for how Medicaid expansion might happen now that most of the easy states — either Democratic-led or with more moderate GOP leadership — have come around. It is a combination of selling conservative lawmakers on the financial benefits of expansion and crafting an alternative plan that is more palatable to conservative ideals in the 23 remaining states that have not yet accepted the expansion.

Yet, states most in need of the expansion seem to be holding pat. Where are these states? Why in the deep south, where the uninsured rate is among the highest in the nation:

A map of Medicaid expansion leaves out the five states that, at least by thestandard definition, comprise the Deep South. You can tack on two huge adjoining states — Florida and Texas — and go by the “original Confederate States” definition. Arkansas and Kentucky are the most Southern states so far to expand, and both are led by Democrats. GOP-led Tennessee is working on it.

In a June op-ed for Reuters, Lichtenstein used the South’s obstruction of Medicaid expansion as “Exhibit A” in his argument that the region was reverting to the “New South,” formerly the description of the period between the Civil War (or Reconstruction, more precisely) and civil rights.

“A ruling white caste (is) now putting in place policies likely to create a vast economic and social gap between most Southern states and those in the North, upper Midwest and Pacific region,” he wrote. “Of course, such regressive social policies… are supported by a fierce white partisanship.”

Among these deep south Governors fighting tooth-and-nail against Medicaid Expansion? Bobby Jindal, of course.

Oh, nothing to see here. Just a funny coincidence. States with historical racism are certainly not avoiding expansion just to withhold progress from lower-socioeconomic class minorities. Never.

A dupe or a liar? Jindal’s frivolous federal Common Core lawsuit

Lamar Parmentel:

WITH COMMON CORE BEFORE HE WAS AGAINST IT. WITH RACE TO THE TOP BEFORE HE WAS AGAINST IT. A PATTERN

Originally posted on Something Like the Truth:

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By Robert Mann

If there was ever a politically motivated, frivolous lawsuit, it would be the thinly veiled campaign document that Gov. Bobby Jindal filed in federal court on Wednesday, alleging that the federal government coerced states like Louisiana to participate in Common Core.

In his suit, Jindal seems to say that he and other governors were forced by President Obama to apply for federal funds and join a national consortium, all of which supported the implementation of the Common Core standards in their states.

“In short, through regulatory and rule making authority, Defendants [the federal government] have constructed a scheme that effectively forces States down a path toward a national curriculum by requiring, as a condition of funding under the President’s Race to the Top programs, that States join ‘consortia of states’ and agree to adopt a common set of content standards and to implement the assessment protocols and policies created by that consortium, all under…

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LouisianaVoice learns of Jindal plan to force state retirees out of OGB by raising members’ premiums, cutting benefits

Originally posted on Louisiana Voice:

Remember less than two weeks ago (Aug. 14, to be precise) we wrote that members of the Louisiana Office of Group Benefits (OGB) should prepare themselves for health insurance premium sticker shock? http://louisianavoice.com/2014/08/14/nichols-pens-op-ed-on-soundness-of-ogb-even-as-legislative-fiscal-office-prepares-members-for-premium-sticker-shock/

Well, LouisianaVoice has obtained new information that indicates we weren’t entirely accurate in our portrayal of what’s in store for some 230,000 state employees, retirees and their dependents.

The reality is much worse.

Much worse indeed, particularly for state retirees.

To recap briefly, we told you in that Aug. 14 posting about the report of the Legislative Fiscal Office on pending major changes in medical coverage for state employees and retirees. Some of those anticipated changes provided in the Legislative Fiscal Officer Report, authored by Legislative Fiscal Officer John Carpenter and Legislative Fiscal Office Section Director J. Travis McIlwain, include:

  • An increase in premiums state employees and retirees pay for health coverage;
  • Significantly increase the out-of-pocket maximum…

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