Monthly Archives: February 2012
On our last show we talked about budget cuts and were happy to find this clip from Mayor Landrieu making the very same points we have been making. Budgets are a moral document and cutting them will have serious implications – some not so bad – some terrible. Here the Mayor makes the connection between the sweeping budget cuts on Mental Health issues by Gov. “Bobby” Jindal and crime in New Orleans and other cities throughout our state. Watch here:
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It’s not the clowns over at ALEC driving the party. As Tom Dickinson says in Rolling Stone, the whole party is completely and objectively off the deep end:
By all rights, 2012 ought to be a cakewalk for the GOP. Unemployment is pandemic. Riot police are confronting protesters in public squares and on college campuses. In an epic fail of foresight, the Democratic convention will be held in one of the world’s banking centers, Charlotte, North Carolina – setting the stage for violent clashes not seen since the streets of Chicago, 1968. “I hope they keep this up,” gloated Grover Norquist, one of the Republican Party’s most influential strategists. “Hippies elected Nixon. Occupy Wall Street will beat Obama.”
But don’t go writing the president’s political obituary just yet: He may wind up being resurrected by the GOP itself. The Republican Party – dominated by hardliners still cocky after the electoral sweep of 2010 – has backed its entire slate of candidates into far-right corners on everything from the environment and immigration to taxation and economic austerity. Whether the GOP opts for Mitt Romney or an “anti-Mitt” is almost entirely beside the point. On the major policy issues of the day, there’s barely a ray of sunshine between any of the viable Republicans, not counting those who have committed the sin of libertarianism (Ron Paul) or moderation (Jon Huntsman). No matter who winds up with the nomination, it appears, Obama will face a candidate to the right of Barry Goldwater.
I appologize for not posting as much as I should. But we have been busy kicking of our 2012 season of Blue Mondays. Below you can find the full episode that was released this past Monday. Every other week we have a new show and I will be posting them here as well but we would also appriciate a “LIKE” over on our show page here.
Let us know what you think! Our YouTube Channel will also have shorter clips from the show and you can find that here. Let us know what you think and what topics you would like to see us cover in the future!
Louisiana’s 4th congressional district has been represented since 2009 by John Fleming, a physician and Subway sandwich baron from Mississippi. He is best known for saying really stupid things and being completely out of touch with average people.
For example, does anyone remember how much he needs to feed his family each year? Anyone? Bueller?
If you said $200,000, YOU’RE RIGHT! (He said it all on live television – more at TPM.) To Fleming, class warfare means pesky sandwich artists having the gall to ask for health insurance or other benefits.
Let’s also not forget his wonderfully eloquent ramblings on the godless socialism of democrats – and of course his political partnership with conservative moral champion David Vitter -
We are either going to go down the socialist road and become like western Europe and create, I guess really a godless society, an atheist society. Or we’re going to continue down the other pathway where we believe in freedom of speech, individual liberties and that we remain a Christian nation. So we’re going to have to win that battle, we’re going to have to solve that argument before we can once again reach across and work together on things.
And to add insult to idiocy, the honorable congressman apparently doesn’t know the difference between real and satirical media outlets. He stood strong on his Facebook page against Planned Parenthood’s new $8 billion “Abortionplex” as reported by The Onion.
So, the good ‘ol resurgent Louisiana Democrats have a candidate, yes?!
First, it was rumored that Bossier City trial lawyer Kyle Robinson was considering the seat. Then he “told friends” he wouldn’t.
Next, former Shreveport fire chief Brian Crawford was said to be considering the race. Some reports said he was being courted heavily by Democratic officials in Washington, D.C., and Crawford himself even contributed to the speculation by releasing a statement:
While I would be humbled for any national party to consider me a worthy candidate, ultimately, it would be the great people of our City, District, and/or State that would be the ultimate influence on any decision I would make, now or in the future to seek elected office. It is in that light, of local interest and growing concern, that I am presently evaluating the level and quality of representation we currently and have experienced in Louisiana’s 4th Congressional District.
Some say Fleming would have a big race on his hands should the attractive and hard-working Crawford decide to jump in. Everyone loves a hero, right?
But, alas, the Daily Kingfish has learned that Crawford has decided not to challenge Fleming in this year’s congressional race, citing family concerns.
So where does this leave Democrats? Back at square one, it seems.
More importantly, where does it leave people who live in the 4th district? Stuck with an out-of-touch, ultra-conservative member of the 1% for at least 2 more years.
Thanks for joining us again on the brand new Daily Kingfish dot com. We’ve transitioned to a more contemporary design with more social features and more options for sharing. As we back-fill the site with some of our greatest posts over the years, we’ll also be continually adding new content and news on Louisiana’s favorite sport, full-contact politics.
Thanks for reading.
Yesterday marked the end to the annual bacchanalia that is “Washington Mardi Gras,” a long-weekend of bashes and booze. For the uninitiated, Louisiana business and political establishment have gathered at the D.C. Capitol Hilton to party and debate your future for years. It’s the perfect synergy of lobbying and political power. All, and we mean all, of the Louisiana political players will be there at one point or another. And it’s all underwritten by thousands and thousands of dollars of corporate and lobby money. If you want to be a player in politics, forget about organizing public support, just buy yourself into a major DC Mardi Gras event and you’re in the conversation. And no matter how teahadist your world view has become, no matter how much you rail against the corrupt Washington establishment of lobbyists and power peddling, no matter how conservative you claim to be, you never dare to say a word against the big fete:
Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson, may be a conservative’s conservative, but the good news for revelers at the 64th Washington D.C., Mardi Gras was that, as chairman of this year’s festivities, the congress,man chose a theme — “200 Years with Oysters and Beers” – that was more about letting the good times roll than tightening any belts.
All of this hedonism is excused because, hey, this is Louisiana, and moreover Louisiana during carnival. We’re all about food and excess, right? No matter how poor, or how far behind Louisiana gets, the party still goes on in DC. But make no mistake, for those that put these events on, this is serious business. It’s all about buying politicians, une tradition particulière en Louisiane:
In excess of 3,000 normally attend the D.C. event, of which 90 percent travel from Louisiana.All of the attendees receive full access to the state’s most powerful politicians, so it isn’t surprising that many local organizations and companies actually dedicate portions of their marketing budgets to attending the bash.
….Lobbyists and special interests used to underwrite Washington Mardi Gras and then hand out tickets as a form of favoritism or influence. But due to changes in federal ethics laws four years ago — as in no more gifts for lawmakers and staff — the organization that runs the event is now in charge of tickets.
Ethics laws didn’t stop the party, and this year continued the tradition of a lobbying buffet staring the biggest names in Louisiana politics. Don’t worry, Mr. Gold Standard in ethics will be there. Among the other luminaries:
Krewe Captain this year is Senator Mary Landrieu, with captains emeritus including former MOCs John Breaux and Jim McCrery. The 2012 Chairman is Congressman Steve Scalise. Party lines do not matter. Everyone is part of the same corrupt game. After new ethics laws took effect in 2008, the Times-Picayune reported on the shell game:
In the past, they have given the tickets to Capitol Hill staffers, the same ones they count on to shepherd their legislation or ensure that a certain issue gets the lawmaker’s attention. But a new law banning gifts to senators and staff has forced sponsors to alter their routine slightly.
Now, they give the extra tickets to the group that runs the party, Louisiana Alive! Inc., which makes sure they get to the right people on Capitol Hill. The rerouting of tickets appears to be one of the few concessions to the new ethics rules by the Washington Mardi Gras.
Of course, this type of revelry gives some folks a chance to finally shine. In the case of professional pretty boy empty suit Cedric Richmond, a congressman who was elected by default and whose greatest claim to fame is beating a Vietnamese Republican who voted against Healthcare Reform in the country’s most Democratic district (what an accomplishment!), is apparently quite the party-thrower:
Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-New Orleans, has already established himself as his party’s star pitcher and among the best-dressed people on Capitol Hill. Add to that a developing reputation as the guy who hosts the coolest Washington Mardi Gras parties.
This year’s event was a packed party at Ozio Restaurant & Lounge, two blocks up from K Street [the center of DC lobbying], which was transformed into a reasonable facsimile of a Tuesday night at the Maple Leaf with a raucous appearance by the Rebirth Brass Band.
Being an embarrassment is nothing new for Richmond. But considering his dearth of actual accomplishments, his strength in bolstering the most corrupt weekend in Washington, DC is probably working in his favor.Everyone likes guy in the nice suits who throws a great party.
Sure, never mind the fact that the public sent these folks to DC to work for them. Instead, they’re burning the midnight oil party-planning and creating fancy bead throws:
Washington Mardi Gras is an occasion for breaking out the latest in political beadwear, and so Rep. Jeff Landry, R-New Iberia, debuted his 2012 neckwear at this year’s event.
The new beads, designed by his wife, include red, white and blue beads, four rippling Acadian flags, and a heavyweight plastic pendant that declares, “Landry for Louisiana: Proud to be Cajun,” a wording that works regardless of whether Landry decides to go against fellow incumbent Rep. Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette, to try to stay in Congress, or forgoes that race for a 2014 run for U.S. Senate, or, for that matter, any other contest in the state.
With all of the talk of hard times, and tightening our belts, and spiraling deficits, and record-low congressional approval ratings, why are these people still partying?
This isn’t about being the fun police, it’s about showing some respect for the massive difficulties regular Louisianians are facing every day. You know the kind of people that can’t afford the weekend of boozing in DC, or the tickets to exclusive Mystick Krewe of Louisianians events, or a corporate lobbyist to build a replica of Bourbon Street in their suite at the Washington Hilton.
So, how long will the voters let the good times roll for Louisiana’s politicians. Who has the courage to stand up to this disastrous example of cronyism and corruption. To expect that the corporate powers paying for these events expect nothing in return, or don’t see this as a business opportunity, is to attempt extreme mental gymnastics.
Your government bought and sold, over Mardi Gras bacchanalia.
If a budget is a moral document, then Jindal’s soul is privatization. In unveiling his budget proposal for the coming financial year, which maintains spending levels on many sacred cows, offers no real reform. Instead, it is a blueprint and grab-bag of crony capitalism initiatives. Instead of cutting services, or honestly re-assessing priorities to align spending behavior, Jindal just proposes privatizing or selling off public assets. What else is new?
The budget also calls for privatization of a variety of state services. Under the proposal, the state will move offenders from the J. Levy Dabadie Correctional Center in Pineville to the Avoyelles Correctional Center in Cottonport and then go on to convert the combined center to a privately-run facility. The money earned from selling the facilities will go to the state’s “rainy day fund.”
Northlake Supports and Services Center in Tangipahoa and Northwest Supports and Services Center in Bossier City would also be privatized, a move the administration predicts will save the state $6.9 million.
The Gretna, Algiers and Chalmette ferries would also be privatized under the plan and the Edgard-Reserve ferry and White Castle ferry would be shut down. The plan also anticipates the end of tolls on the Crescent City Connection by handing over responsibilities for patrols to state police and local law enforcement.
I’m sure those in Avoyelles Parish will enjoy the second straight attempt at shutting down one of their largest employers, the corrections complex.
And, without fail, Jindal reaches back into the bag of budget tricks to balance his absurd ideological approach:
- Jindal also proposes the cut of 6371 state jobs, but you can bet most of those are vacant positions added to pump up the statistics.
- $709m in the Budget is tied to “fund sweeps,” meaning stealing cash from other reserves to plug the gaps Jindal intentionally creates
- $136m savings in Outsourcing (see privatizing) State-run children’s healthcare to private HMOs
- Sale of OGB (privatization – OGB would be run by private co) and slashing all 177 jobs in that office
- Raising payroll taxes on state workers by 3 percentage points (which is ~ 37.5% hike)
- $286m in savings will come from not funding anticipated cost increases, such as those that cover inflation for departments and cost-of-living increases for employees.
More to come. Jindal is solely focused on his national ambitions and his reputation with crony capitalists nationwide.
Professional Fraud Bobby Jindal campaigned about a “new day” for Louisiana. Instead, he continues the worst Louisiana traditions. Where does an old legislator go when his term is up? In Jindal’s (and Long’s) Louisiana, right back onto the public payroll:
The obvious similarity between a cockroach and a career politician is that you can never get rid of either one.Take Noble Ellington, for example.
Or Jane Smith.
Or Ricky Hardy.
Or Henry “Tank” Powell
Or M.J. “Mert” Smiley.
Or what seems like the entire Teepell family or anyone connected to Timmy Teepell.
If the supporters of Piyush Jindal don’t realize that he is every bit the political opportunist that any of his predecessors were, that his political morals are no better than any other Louisiana politician who ever got himself elected, then there is little to no hope for this state.
There’s no pasture that old politicians graze upon. Unless of course that pasture is the public dime. Why not privatize these jobs like every other public job Jindal sees? Oh, because these people are his friends. Crony capitalism, continues unabated:
Let’s take a look at some of the recent appointments by Piyush, the man who would counsel us to “do more with less.”
- Former State Rep. Jane Smith of Bossier City, ineligible for re-election because of term-limits and defeated in her own effort to flip-flop to the Senate, nevertheless landed a $107,500 per year position as deputy secretary of the Department of Revenue. Her qualifications for such a sensitive position were never enumerated.
- Former Reps. Ricky Hardy of Lafayette, who lost his re-election bid last fall, Henry “Tank” Powell of Ponchatoula, and M.J. “Mert” Smiley of St. Amant, were all appointed to part time positions as members of theState Pardon Board at $36,000 each.
Other recent Jindal appointees:
- Former St. Tammany Parish President Kevin Davis, term-limited, bless his heart, was named director of the Governor’s Office on Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP), a political patronage black hole;
- Former St. Bernard Parish President Craig Taffaro, who lost his re-election bid, had no need to worry because Jindal simply created a new position. He was appointed to lead the state’s hazard mitigation efforts in which capacity he will oversee programs that distribute money for elevating homes and making other improvements to residences and public infrastructure;
- Matt Parker, brother-in-law of Jindal’s former chief of staff and present political adviser Timmy Teepell, was hired as Jindal’s intergovernmental affairs director;
- Taylor Teepell, Timmy Teepell’s brother, was named as Jindal’s deputy legislative affairs director. Before that, he was director of the state Republican Party’s Victory Fund;
- Melissa Henderson Mann, Timmy Teepell’s former executive assistant, was named as the new legislative liaison for the Department of Transportation and Development.