Monthly Archives: September 2012

Jim Webb Shanks Mitt Romney On Veterans Issues

Bobby Jindal’s candidate for presidency is a cowardly plutocrat. And Jim Webb just destroys him here:

John White’s expensive fraudulence continues.



For over three months, Louisiana Superintendent of Education John White has refused to release records detailing the criteria and the process by which he and his department used to determine the eligibility of schools seeking to participate in the Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence Program, more commonly known as Louisiana’s voucher program. Put more simply and plainly, for over three months, John White has concealed any and all records related to how he decided which private schools were eligible for a massive infusion of taxpayer funding. He’s refused to give parents information on how these schools were ranked, how the Department of Education measured their qualifications, and whether there were any outstanding complaints or issues with these schools.

Superintendent White claims that he does not have to release these records, asserting a rarely-used “deliberative process” exemption. But I have my own theory: I don’t think there were any real deliberations…

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A Dead Pelican?

Politics can been an endlessly monotonous grind of soul-sucking banality on top of empty platitudes and cynical opportunism.

But once in a while, things just jump up and bite you in the ass to remind you that it’s not as easy to predict as you think. And this is just one of those times.

Louisiana’s answer to the question no one was asking (“Can we replicate the awful style and tabloid obsessions of the Drudge Report with a distinctively Louisiana-libertarian Ron Paul Revolution flavor?”), the Dead Pelican, has apparently completely turned on Governor Jindal.

In an headlined link titled “Delusional Governor,” Chad Rodgers taps the grassroots conservative rumormill of the FAX-NET UPDATE to besmirch the Governor as a desperate lame duck grasping for any straws that would restart his abandoned political ascendency:

Delusional Governor?

By Lou Gehrig Burnett of FAX-NET UPDATE (Sept. 25, 2012)

Questions: Is Louisiana Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal delusional? Is he trying to regain his political footing after being snubbed by GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney for the vice presidency?

Some of Jindal’s critics think it to be so, and the number of critics seem to be on the rise. Even some state legislators are beginning to take notice that the state basically has an absentee governor.

Here are some more questions to be answered. Do the people of Iowa really want to listen to Louisiana’s governor about who should be serving on their state supreme court?

Do the people of Billings, Montana really want to listen to the inarticulate Louisiana governor as he tells them who they should elect governor and how their state should be run?

Do the people in Fort Wayne, Indiana really want Jindal telling them who should be governor and how great a governor he is in Louisiana?

Those are just a few of the places Jindal has flown off to at taxpayers expense in the past few weeks.

Critics ask: Did Jindal tell the citizens of these states that his own state of Louisiana is a mess and in fiscal chaos? That after five years of his leadership, the state is still at the bottom of every good list and at the top of every bad list?

Did Jindal tell them that he is destroying the state’s public health system and the state’s educational system? Or that he is trying to privatize every government responsibility? Or that he fires anyone who disagrees with his philosophy, no matter how capable he or she may be.

These critics ponder what the reaction would be if it was former Democratic Gov. Kathleen Blanco who was doing what Jindal is doing as governor?

Remember when Republicans went berserk because Blanco shed a tear over the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina? But when their Speaker of the U.S. House, John Boehner, cries at the drop of a hat, they say he is just sensitive and compassionate.

Yet, state Republicans remain eerily silent about Jindal’s dictatorship in Louisiana as he strives toward becoming the worst governor in Louisiana history.

At least one state legislator has stepped up to try and wake up other legislators about what is going on in the state. No, he is not a Republican, but an Independent from Thibodaux,” Rep. Jerome “Dee” Richard.

He is pleading with fellow legislators for a special session so the Legislature can exert its constitutional role in state budgetary matters. He is reminding state legislators that Jindal has cut state services by almost a billion dollars without input from the Legislature.

I believe it is time for us, as legislators, to aggressively reinsert ourselves into the budget process by using the constitutional right given to us,Richard said in a letter to his colleagues. Don’t hold your breath waiting for a special session unless Jindal wants it.

The Louisiana Federation of Teachers (LFT) has issued its own call for a special session of the Legislature, just days after Richard called on his colleagues to reconvene in Baton Rouge.

While Richard seeks to focus on post-session fiscal issues, LFT President Steve Monaghan said legislators should return to reconsider Jindal’s education package, which was passed early in this year’s session.

Another example: Lawmakers from southwest Louisiana say they were caught off-guard by the abrupt action of the Jindal administration to close a state prison in DeQuincy, the C. Paul Phelps Correctional Center. No input was requested.

Critics contend that Jindal is more concerned about his national political ambitions than about the state of Louisiana since he is term-limited and can’t seek a third term as governor.

Their criticisms seem to have credibility as the governor continues to travel to any state that will welcome him.

Talk about jumping the shark.

Romney Jumps The Shark?

Conservatives in Louisiana will no doubt revel in this video of Mitt Romney writing off 47% of America because they “pay no taxes” and take no personal responsibility for their lives. These freeloaders, according to Romney, will OBVIOUSLY vote for Barack Obama, so he can’t talk to them.

In the spirit of our mutual obsession with this video, I hope they help us spread it far and wide:

And where are all these “free-loaders,” you know, the 47% that don’t contribute and just mooch?

Oops, looks like #Louisiana is one of those “moocher” states. But we knew that. Who are these “non-payers,” this “47%”….

The Tax Policy Center and Ezra Klein help us out here. 

Here’s what we have:

— 53.6 percent of households pay the federal income tax. Presumably Romney is okay with these folks.

— 28.3 percent of households pay no federal income tax, but they do pay the payroll tax. That means they don’t need Romney to convince them to “take personal responsibility and care for their lives.” They already have jobs.

Most of the households in this group don’t pay any income tax because they qualify for enough deductions and credits that their liability has shrunk to zero. See this Tax Policy Center report for more, which gives an example of “a couple with two children earning less than $26,400. They get an $11,600 standard deduction and four exemptions of $3,700, and that takes their liability to zero.” Indeed, it’s worth noting that many of these deductions and credits were part of the Bush tax cuts, which Romney favors.

— 10.3 percent of households pay no federal income tax because they’re elderly. A large majority of these households aren’t taxed on their Social Security benefits, thanks to various deductions in the tax law. By and large, retirees have earned this benefits by paying into the system over many years. If Mitt Romney secretly thinks that these households are moochers, he has a funny way of showing it, since he keeps insisting that he doesn’t want to cut Medicare or Social Security benefits for those over the age of 65.

— That leaves 6.9 percent of households which are non-elderly and have incomes less than $20,000 per year and aren’t paying the payroll tax. These households pay neither income taxes nor payroll taxes. Perhaps Romney thinks that these people should pay more in federal taxes. It’s hard to say. But this is a relatively small fraction of Americans.

A graph might help:

Louisiana Reality Check

There’s lots of incredulity out there in the Gret Stet about the Presidential race. You can almost hear the tea baggers crowing that Obama will undoubtedly go down in defeat on November 6th. This reaction isn’t hard to predict when you consider the echo-chamber effect of political news in our state. Whether it’s Chad over at the faux-drudge report, or I mean, the ‘Dead Pelican,” or your friendly neighborhood white nationalists over at the informative, but fiercely partisan Hayride, or even the supposed news “index” over at LaNewslinks, Louisiana political news has a hard rightward slant.Coming from an admittedly partisan website (but not without a fidelity to the truth) like the ‘Kingfish, I’m sure this might be hard to swallow. However, at some point, when you only dip your news ear into the rightwing echo chamber, you begin to unmoor yourself from reality. For many of us in the reality-based community, we know this happened definitively in or around 2008.

The election of Barack Obama has driven the increasingly isolated conservative media into full-out propaganda mode. They’ve left the facts behind and the diagnosis is Obama Derangement Syndrome.

Here at the ‘fish, we want to bring a little reality check to Louisiana, at least on the Presidential metrics level. In order to make the greatest impact, we’ll be using pictures (1000 words and all) to drive home one clear point: Barack Obama is favored to be reelected. See below:
Click for

We’ll be keeping score on the right hand column too. So stay tuned.

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