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The Persecution of Johnny White

This has been a rough few months for ed reform beauty queen John White. Super White has often been the belle of the ball around these parts, winning praise over the years from widely diverse constituencies, from liberal education reformers in New Orleans, to conservative business elite the state over. He leads a cult of young, idealistic followers at the DOE, many of which are religiously devoted to data-driven education revolution. White’s ascension to Superintendent, with massive infusions of money to swing BESE races in his favor in 2011 (including hundreds of thousands of Bloomberg money to elect pro-White BESE members, as chronological at this anti-Common Core blog) has been swift. His fall might be swifter.

White’s been able to deal with criticism before, including getting an LPB reporter fired for negative reporting on education reformUnfortunately, White has run into a rough patch from which no amount of his own bs jargon or political hatchet work can extricate him. 

Since last year, Bobby Jindal has been ratcheting up his rhetoric against Communist Core, the hated red takeover of public education that threatens to teach our kids that socialism union hordes should be able to forcefully gay marry anyone they want while burning the American flag and singing the French national anthem. Here’s Jindal crossing over to the dark side last year:

Wading into a national debate, Gov. Bobby Jindal said Monday that he is concerned Louisiana public school classrooms would be saddled with a “federalized curriculum” sparked by a series of tougher standards called Common Core.

At the time, White was also buffeted by the blooming national “populism,” including the election in New York City of Bill de Blasio, who promised to backtrack on White’s work as a former NYC school deputy chief. After Jindal’s waver, White went to the right-wing American Enterprise Institute to plead for sanity:

“An aggressive form of populism has asserted itself in the rhetoric of our day,” White is expected to say at the conservative American Enterprise Institute’s headquarters in Washington. “I see it in a tone that is skeptical of reformers in the same populist way our country today is skeptical of authority generally. This is, I believe, greatly damaging for an education reform effort that has done good in America and that needs to be sustained.

That was just the beginning. Jindal announced earlier this year that he was done with Communist Core, and weighed in in support of legislative efforts to end Louisiana’s participation.

White’s fired back a number of times, most recently with a useless meeting last week. But Jindal hasn’t been pulling punches. He’s ripped White’s contracting authority and generally abused him in public, going so far as accusing White of corruption. An investigation at DOE over payroll fraud isn’t helping White’s case.

Now, White is crying uncle.

Johnny Golden Boy has only been the subject of praise and reverence throughout his career. Now, running into the buzzsaw of a Louisiana politician with an ax to grind, White can’t take it anymore:

In a sign of rising tensions over Common Core, state Superintendent of Education John White told Louisiana’s top school board Wednesday that he is being unfairly targeted personally for possible wrongdoing by Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration and its allies.

“I am no stranger to politics, and I know that political rhetoric can be heated,” White said in a four-page letter to members of the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

“However, to have multiple officials alluding to the potential of purported and unfounded malfeasance within our agency and within my office, all within days of one another, is worthy of concern,” according to the letter.

Giving up won’t stop this assault. White is going to have to quit. Everyone can see that now. This cry for uncle is only the beginning. White better start packing his bags.

Mr. 32%: Bobby Jindal “Among The Least Popular Govs In US”

“Bobby Jindal is among the least popular Governors in the country” – Public Policy Polling, July 8th, 2014.

Jindal 32

 

Not that Jindal cares. He’s such a lame duck dynasty at this point he could hardly worry about the silly poll numbers at home.

For history’s sake, you can check out some of his recent polling in this graph:

BJApprove

 

And more:

BobJinApproveMatrix

 

The Public Policy poll is over at their website.

 

Jindal’s Right About The Hostile Takeover – Wrong About The Target

According to the political press, Bobby Jindal launched another one of his embarrassing broadsides against the awful “DC establishment,” calling for a “hostile takeover” of DC by enraged teahaddists.

Jindal is, as usual, intentionally misreading the popular sentiment. Yes, people hate DC. But not because it is too liberal, or too activist. But because it is terribly broken in the era of tea party politics.

However, here in Louisiana, there is a growing resentment brewing. The signals of a “hostile takeover” are much clearer. Where? Well, let’s just let David Vitter tell it:

Louisiana’s junior senator, who is assembling his 2015 campaign for governor, repeatedly said at a Press Club of Baton Rouge meeting that he was not criticizing Jindal or “here to grade anyone.”

He did take a couple of potshots at the governor, though.

If elected governor “This will be my last political job, elected or appointed, period,” he said.

Jindal often is criticized for what some interpret as trying to make points toward a run for president and spending too much time in states that have presidential primaries and caucuses, rather than taking care of the state’s needs.

“I’m not even running to gain a cameo appearance on ‘Duck Dynasty,’ as intensely jealous as I am about that,” Vitter joked, referring to Jindal’s recent appearance on the reality television show filmed near West Monroe.

Vitter said he wouldn’t exclude the possibility, as Jindal has, of accepting federal funds to expand the state’s Medicaid program to cover more of the working poor. Currently, 240,000 Louisiana residents make too much to qualify for Medicaid but not to qualify for insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu calls it “the Jindal Gap” because Jindal refuses to accept the federal funds that would provide their health care.

Jindal has also rankled fellow education reformer Chas “Don’t Call Me Buddy” Roemer as well:

Chas Roemer, a Republican and president of the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, told Bridges, “There’s been no interaction with the governor except through the press. I find it offensive. This is not a part-time job. This is not one that can be done from New York or Washington, D.C., or wherever his latest fundraiser is.” Roemer added he hadn’t met with Jindal in a year.

John White, Ed Reformer in chief and Jindal’s boytoy also hates Jindal these days:

John White, the state’s top education official, said Tuesday that educators deserve to know that Louisiana is committed to following through with its adoption of Common Core academic standards, taking an implicit swipe at lawmakers who have tried to derail implementation and Gov. Bobby Jindal, who is still threatening to do so.

Speaking to thousands of teachers gathered in New Orleans for a conference on the transition, White said, “You deserve clarity, you deserve a long-term plan, you deserve not to have standards and curriculum and assessments tossed about in the morning headlines like they can be changed with the waving of a magic wand.”

Treasurer John Kennedy is no fan either, as Jindal just vetoed his key legislative accomplishment:

Whomever runs for Governor in 2015 will be running against Bobby Jindal.

So, there is a revolution brewing. Not against DC. But against the tyrannical rule of Bobby Jindal, part-time Governor.

A hate-love relationship: Bobby Jindal and his special-interest lobbyists

Lamar Parmentel:

Lobbyists overboard one day, standing on his back the next! #DontStopBelieving in #Louisiana

Originally posted on Something Like the Truth:

By Robert Mann

Come with me back to the good old days, when Gov. Bobby Jindal was a fearless crusader against the special interests and the obscene tax credits negotiated by their dastardly lobbyists.

Let us travel all the way to March 19, 2013.

"Beleive in Louisiana" screen shot, April 2013

“Believe in Louisiana” screen shot, April 2013

Here’s what our modern-day St. George had to say in Houma as he pitched his erstwhile tax “reform” plan:

As it stands today, we have over 460 loopholes on the books that make our system complex, volatile and unfair. That’s why I want to overhaul our tax code by eliminating income taxes and getting rid of loopholes that allow powerful special interests to game the system.

Under the current system, if you have a lobbyist and lawyer, you have a loophole. Let me put that a different way.  In 2011, we actually went in the hole on corporate income…

View original 844 more words

Don’t Stop Believing

What is it men cannot be made to believe! – Thomas Jefferson, 1786

It was only 5 short years ago when the following words were spoken:

That is how we will run our New Louisiana government. Twenty-first century schools and colleges. Curricula linked to our new economy. Quality teachers. Accountability for results… A modern health care system that provides for all.

Bobby Jindal promised a modern health care system that provides for all. As of today, Bobby Jindal made sure that the promise he asked us to believe in would never come true:

The LSU governing board has backed a plan to deepen cuts to the university-run public hospitals that care for the poor and uninsured to $152 million.

The reductions will fall across seven south Louisiana hospitals, eliminating dozens of inpatient beds, some clinic services and nearly 1,500 jobs, most of which will require layoffs.

Opelka emphasized that the system was looking for private health care providers to “partner” with to provide care to the largely uninsured population that the LSU hospitals treat. These partnerships will help fill the care gaps, he said.

But Opelka mostly did not specify what those partnerships will look like, although he noted that Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center will treat patients.

For those taking stock at home, that’s a 25% cut. According to the AP, the cuts will fall in this manner:

Job cuts at #LSU hospitals include 423 positions in New Orleans, 341 in Baton Rouge, 173 in Lafayette, 146 in Bogalusa, 95 in Independence.

It was just the other day that we saw that “Reductions for the LSU-operated charity hospital system are particularly unpopular. 89%  said they were concerned by the cuts.”

In other words, if you didn’t like what’s already happened, get ready to Believe in Louisiana even harder! After Bobby cuts health care and education beyond the bone, so much so that the physical infrastructure will disappear, the only thing we’ll have left is our belief.

But this is completely in line with the teahaddist agenda, so don’t be surprised. “Opelka didn’t answer #LSU board member’s question about whether uninsured care will be harmed with the cuts.

The facts don’t matter. Despite the smoke screens, the truth is, we won’t cover everyone. Health care, already in crisis for our very poor state, will evaporate. You’re on your own. But we know this. “It’s arithmetic.”

In this post-truth right-wing hysteria, it’s always about “modern delivery systems,” or “reforming antiquated systems,” also know as privatization. Giveaways to your big business friends, campaign contributors. And Louisianians are left out to dry. Again.

After Bobby Jindal is done dismantling our state, belief is all we’ll have left.

Jindal Goes Berserk Over Obamacare Ruling – Time For An Exorcism!

First, what was obviously constitutional was held constitutional in a strangely satisfying, but somewhat unexpected way.

There, got that out-of-the-way? The Affordable Care Act is here to stay. This is big and great news. Thanks, Barack.

But, in Louisiana, Bobby Jindal, he of “health care expert” fame, had a total meltdown. Let’s take a look at Jindal’s twitterstream, for example:

A blow to our freedoms? You mean, because Barack Obama passed a Health Care plan that is directly sourced from one that the freedom-hating Heritage Foundation (you know, the foremost conservative “thinktank” in existence) wrote?

Or because Obamacare is exactly the plan that Mitt Romney enacted in Massachusetts as Governor and then lustily touted and promoted on the talking heads circuit for years? The same Mitt Romney Jindal now begs for a Vice-Presidential spot on the GOP ticket?

Bobby, let’s be clear here. You are a monstrous hypocrite. You cannot have it both ways.

Forced this law? You mean, by passing it in Congress by majorities? That’s forcing? I mean, Bobby my friend, you “forced” the taxpayers of Louisiana to fund fly-by-night nutcase religious “schools” by passing some egregious wingnut social engineering project via your “education agenda.”

Instead, in exchange for cutting costs, increasing access to health care, and reducing our deficit, Barack Obama is instituting a tax (or “fee” in your language, Bobby) on free-loaders who refuse to purchase health care coverage and instead make all of us pay for their dumb decisions by going to Emergency rooms and sucking our public health care dollars down a terrible drain.

But we digress. Back to Bobby’s wack-job hysteria:

Of course, Jindal is wrong about everything here. But that is nothing new.

And now the kicker. With all of his sputtering and flailing, Jindal slipped up and played from the wrong playbook. He forgot he wasn’t a Rick Perry acolyte anymore (you know, he of “the first thing, the second thing, and uhhh…ooops.”)

Ooops! Poor Bobby! Your Veep-stakes ranking might take a tumble. And you’d still be a blithering moron.

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