With vouchers at stake, Fire Marshal ignores building’s deficiencies, zoning violations, OKs school construction

Lamar Parmentel:

Rules need not apply.

Originally posted on Louisiana Voice:

When State Fire Marshal Butch Browning isn’t busy defending his wearing of unauthorized military decorations and ribbons or trying to shift blame for a carnival ride that malfunctioned only seven hours after his office inspected it, injuring two children in the process, he apparently can play the political game as well as any state appointed official.

Remember the New Living Word School in Ruston? That’s the facility that had only 122 students in 2012, yet was approved for more than 300 vouchers by the Louisiana Department of Education (DOE) even though the school lacked teachers, classrooms, desks or other supporting facilities to handle the increased numbers.

In fact, construction was started on New Living Word’s school without anyone bothering to obtain the requisite building permits or to hire a licensed contractor. In fact, no zoning variance was even obtained to operate the school on property that was zoned for a…

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Graves, EWE campaigns go into the sewer in 6th district congressional race

Lamar Parmentel:

Graves goes there in Louisiana 6

Originally posted on Something Like the Truth:

By Robert Mann

Until this weekend there was only one unacceptable candidate in Louisiana’s 6th district congressional race. Now there are two.

Add to the list Republican Garret Graves, who along with the wife of former Gov. Edwin Edwards, have descended into the sewer with personal attacks on Republican candidate Paul Dietzel. In particular, both campaigns have pushed the implication that Dietzel is gay or secretly supports gay rights. Both campaigns are playing to the homophobia of some 6th district voters.

As readers of this blog know well, I am no fan of Edwards. He’s an unrepentant felon whose election would further sully Louisiana’s reputation. I had long ago decided that I would vote for one of Edwards’ Republican opponents. It’s a safe GOP district, so my plan was to vote for the least objectionable Republican, the person most likely to listen to the other side and least likely to contribute to partisan gridlock.

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Bobby Jindal’s unbalanced, balanced budget

Lamar Parmentel:

Do not look behind the curtain

Originally posted on Something Like the Truth:

By Robert Mann

It’s pretty clear that that Gov. Bobby Jindal and his staff panicked a few weeks ago when they realized they would close out the 2013-14 state fiscal year with a $141 million deficit.

Gov. Bobby Jindal

Gov. Bobby Jindal

That, of course, would blow a hole in Jindal’s already dim presidential hopes. After all, you can’t get elected president if you can’t balance your budget back home (never mind the ugly, messy way Jindal has balanced his previous budgets).

So, it appears Jindal and Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols went on a furious search throughout the state coffers, looking under every seat cushion to find the funds necessary to cobble together a “balanced” budget.

When they were done, they had magically discovered $319 million.

And then, just to divert attention from their incompetence, they tried to blame the whole thing on state Treasurer John Kennedy, attacking him for not finding the money…

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Jindal, Kristy Nichols draw ‘budget surplus’ criticism from two former commissioners who have been there, done that

Originally posted on Louisiana Voice:

State Treasurer John Kennedy isn’t the only one who disputes the veracity—or the political motives—of administration claims of a $178.5 million budget surplus for the fiscal year that ended on June 30.

There are a couple of Kristy Nichols’ predecessors, former commissioners of administration and a former state budget officer who have been there, done that and got the T-shirts, who are genuinely perplexed and skeptical of the whimsical claims.

Bobby Jindal (R-Iowa, R-New Hampshire, R-Anywhere but Louisiana), aka Booby Jindini, through Commissioner of Administration Nichols, is claiming the implausible “discovery” of some $360 million, dating back to 2002 that pulls the state from the jaws of a $141 million deficit in favor of the surplus explained thus far only as Immaculate Discovery.

LouisianaVoice, meanwhile, has learned that the true “discovered” money is more like $500 and that it actually goes back as far as 1998, near the end of…

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Jindal’s latest accounting ploy bolsters disturbing perception that his administration is quickly mutating into ‘Enron East’

Lamar Parmentel:

COOKIN’ THE BOOKS, ENRON STYLE

Originally posted on Louisiana Voice:

When Jeff Skilling took over as President and Chief Operating Officer of Enron in June of 1990, he did so only after insisting that the company convert from conventional accounting principles to a method preferred by his former employer, McKinsey & Co.

In 2001, hedge fund manager Richard Grubman said to Skilling, “You are the only financial institution that can’t produce a balance sheet or cash flow statement with their earnings.” By October of that same year, Enron had begun its death spiral in a historic collapse that would pull the giant accounting firm Arthur Andersen down with it.

The key to Enron’s failure was the mark-to-market accounting method, where anticipated revenues and profits are entered into the company’s books before they are ever received. The system allowed Enron to conceal losses and to inflate profits for nearly 11 years before its house of cards came crashing down.

On Thursday (Oct. 8)…

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Bobby Jindal with a Cajun accent? Scott Angelle’s perplexing candidacy for governor

Lamar Parmentel:

Sort of like Cheney running for President after George W. Bush. Well, at least in some ways.

Originally posted on Something Like the Truth:

Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 5.34.15 PM

By Robert Mann

As a new Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey demonstrated, Gov. Bobby Jindal’s standing among Louisiana’s citizens is pretty darn low. He’s probably still more popular than Ebola, but I’m not sure he’d want to go head to head with toe fungus.

As I noted in a post on Wednesday,

Jindal’s job approval rating is a dismal 34 percent. He’d lose to Edwin Edwards in a hypothetical governor’s race and a large majority say they wish he wouldn’t run for president. And, if he should he become the GOP vice presidential nominee , a strong plurality said Jindal’s presence on the ticket would make them less likely to support the Republican ticket.

Jindal may, in fact, be the least popular governor in the United States. He is certainly in the bottom two or three.

That’s what makes Thursday’s announcement by Louisiana Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle — he says he’s running for…

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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 :

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.

Screen Shot 2014-09-27 at 2.01.03 AM

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 :

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 4.41.53 AM

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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