Perception and Bobby Jindal

December 30, 2008

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

PERCEPTION AND REALITY IN

LOUISIANA POLITICS

In 2008, Louisiana rode the bubble.  A new Governor and a cadre of other new public officials were ready to put the Katrina mentality behind, and begin the process of bringing Louisiana fully into the 21st century.  There was a perception, stirred by continuing editorials in the state’s daily newspapers, that major changes were on the way. The word “change” was a bellwether in the Bayou state well in advance of the new president making this his mantra in his quest for the White House.  But in Louisiana, the perception of reality is often not reality itself, but our own version of it.

Few governors have come into office with the momentum of Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal.  He followed a lackluster Governor damaged by her handling of Hurricane Katrina.  Jindal effused with energy and new ideas on the state level that corresponded to the same image gushed by our new President on the national front.  He was the young, ethic alternative in the GOP that was made up of older white guys with few new ideas. Bobby Jindal’s timing was just right. But that was then. 

Louisiana was initially considered insulated form the national financial crisis due to high oil process and the billions being poured into the state for Katrina rebuilding.  But the price of oil has plummeted from one hundred fifty dollars a barrel to a current thirty four dollar low.    And the flow of hurricane recovery money has dwindled considerably.   If there is any doubt about the state’s precarious economic condition, one only has to scan the daily newspaper headlines.

“Our Oil Drunk, Our Hangover (Jindal’s Folly)” Morning Advocate-Dec. 28th.

“Greed Came Home to Roost forLa. Public Officials” The American Press- Dec, 29th

Higher Ed. Ranking predict Dismal Future in La.  Shreveport Times-Dec. 28th

Tax breaks Worsen budget Shortfalls in La.  The Associated Press-Dec. 29th

The financial problems are compounded by just released census figures showing Louisiana to be in last place nationally in population gain.  Not only is the state in last place among all states including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico in population gain,Louisiana is only one of two of the 52 states and territories to lose population.

So the bubble has burst, the rosy view of perception is in the tank, and reality has set in.  Reasonable projections show a $1.2 billon drop in revenue in the coming year, with well over $2 billion dollars needed just to keep the current ship of state a float.  This is the best case scenario and does not take into consideration further drops in oil prices (this has been predicted) and possibly more plant closings and further layoffs (some 20,000 jobs lost in the past year.)

Ethics reform has been the selling point ballyhooed by conservative columnists nationwide in pitching accolades at the Governor.  But the consensus by knowledgeable observers her at home is that, at best, any changes were cosmetic and amounted to “ethics lite.” Legislators continue to be wined and dined at top restaurants. The only ethics opinion of note to come out in the past six months is to prohibit an assistant librarian in St. Tammany Parish from receiving Christmas cookies form a student who uses the library.

The Governor and the legislature are at a crossroads.  There are a host of real, not perceived problems out there that have festered for years.  Revamping the healthcare system, making tough decisions to consolidate the huge overlap in higher education, rebuilding a crumbling highway infrastructure. And realistic job training in areas that have potential.  Spending $600, 000 to study building an auto manufacturing plant in the state, a contract that was just awarded by the Dept. of Economic Development, makes little sense when similar plants are closing down in other parts of the country.

Jindal will travel to Raleigh, North Carolina on Feb. 4th to speak to the John Locke Foundation’s 19th anniversary celebration.  It’s a prestigious event for conservatives, with former speakers that include conservative columnists George Will and Peggy Noonan, former independent counsel Ken Starr and Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol.  The announcement came in this week’s Raleigh newspaper. In an adjoining column, there was a lengthy article about the successes of recent North Carolina Governors in developing new industry and creating new jobs.  The point was made as to how hard the present and former governors were working to create these successes.  They had tangible results.  

If the Governor wants to consider a presidential bid in the future, the best thing he can do is show tangible results at home.  Not perceptions, but a concrete game plan with specific, definable and obtainable goals.  He can take all the credit, and if his national stature continues to rise then the national ambitions will come.  But he and the legislature have a big, no an overwhelming job, to do right here inLouisiana.

                                                                         ********

Some people see the cup as half empty.  Some people see the cup as half full. I see the cup as too large.”        George Carlin   

  Peace and Justice

Jim Brown

Jim Brown’s weekly column appears in a number of newspapers and websites throughout the State ofLouisiana.  You can read Jim’s Blog, and take his weekly poll, plus read his columns going back to the fall of 2002 by going to his own website at http://www.jimbrownla.com.

Jim also has a new book out on his views ofLouisiana.  You can read about it and order it by going to www.jimbrownla.com. . Jim’s radio show on WRNO (995 fm) fromNew Orleans can be heard each Sunday, from 11:00 am until 1:00 pm.  

Art film in Millville and other events happening At The Shore Today

Press of Atlantic City December 6, 2011 | Anonymous Art film in Millville What Is It: A documentary, “The Impressionists: The Other French Revolution,” was originally shown on A&E network. The second segment of the four-part series will be screened tonight at the Riverfront Renaissance Center for the Arts.

What To Expect: Titled “The Road To Impressionism,” the episode covers early Claude Monet, above, in his poor starving artist years and Edgar Degas and his problems with his sight. Berthe Morisot is discussed and the pressures of being a female artist. She was a painter and a member of the Paris circle of painters, who became known as the Impressionists.

Event Info: The 50-minute, movie will be shown 7 tonight in the North Gallery of the Riverfront Renaissance Center for the Arts, 22 N. High St., Millville. Admission is free. For more information, call 856-327-4500.

Casinos Kozak the Magician, Tropicana, Comedy Stop, 6:15 p.m., dinner seating 5:30 p.m., $25 show only, $35 dinner and show, rated PG-14. 609-348-0920. web site vera bradley coupon code

Holiday Cirque Polynesian, Resorts, Superstar Theater, 8 p.m. $25. 800-322-SHOW.

Spirit of Christmas, Tropicana, Showroom, 3:30 and 8 p.m. $25, $35.

609-340-4020.

Legends in Concert featuring tributes to Celine Dion, Neil Diamond, Aretha Franklin, Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton and the Temptations, Bally’s, Palace Theater, 8 p.m. $15, $30. 609-340-2709.

Comedy Matt Kazan, Billy Garan, Uncle Larry Reeb, Borgata Comedy Club, The Music Box, 9 p.m., $20.

Brian McFadden, Kevin Downey Jr., Butch Bradley,Tropicana Comedy Stop, The Quarter, must be 18, 9 p.m., $25.

Nature N.J. Audubon’s Cape May Bird Observatory, Research & Education Center, 600 Route 47, Middle Township, and Northwood Center on Lily Lake, Cape May Point, free Avalon Seawatch all day, Seventh Street and the beach. 609-861-0700.

Events “An Old-Fashioned Christmas: Holiday Traditions through the Years” exhibit, hours vary, Carriage House Gallery, Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St., Cape May, free admission. 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or visit www.capmaymac.org Music lecture, world of composer Jean Sibelius, 7 to 8:30 p.m., Monroe Township Library, 713 Marsha Ave., Williamstown, free.

856-629-1212.

bayatlanticsymphony.org Kids Christmas Story and Other Fishy Tales, preschool story time, 11 a.m., Mary Manatee – A Tale of Sea Cows, followed by Dive Show, Atlantic City Aquarium, Historic Gardner’s Basin, Atlantic City, aquarium open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., $8 adults, $6 seniors, $5 ages 4 to 12, coupons for discounted admission on website. 609-348-2880 or www.acaquarium.com Music Vocal master class, by bass-baritone Robert Cantrell, 6 to 8 p.m., for selected group of voice students, Richard Stockton College, College Center Theater, Vera King Farris Drive, Galloway Township, free. 856-451-1169 or bayatlanticsymphony.org Theater Plaid Tidings, Christmas musical, 2 p.m., Surflight Theatre, Engleside and Beach avenues, Beach Haven, $36 and $54. 609-492-9477 or www.surflight.org Dickens Christmas Extravaganza, 9:45 a.m., “A Morning of Holiday Music,” $10; 11 a.m., “The Impact of Industrialization on the Victorian Era,” lecture, $10; 1:45 p.m., “Victorian Spiritualism” program, $10;

6 p.m., Gala Dickensian Feast, Aleathea’s Restaurant, Inn of Cape May, 7 Ocean St., $50. 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or www.capemaymac.org Nightlife Bally’s Atlantic City, Park Place and Boardwalk: Blue Martini, 609-340-2000 – Latin Night with dancers, 9 p.m. verabradleycouponcodenow.com vera bradley coupon code

Caesars Atlantic City, 2100 Pacific Ave.: Dusk, 609-345-3875 – Dusk Tuesdays with DJ Sat-One, 10 p.m.; Toga Bar, 609-348-4411 – DJ Redline, 10 p.m.

Resorts Casino Hotel, 1133 Boardwalk, Atlantic City: 25 Hours, 800-336-6378 – Blanche, 4 p.m.

Atlantic City Bullshots Pizza Pub, 2309 Pacific Ave., 609-344-0055 – Irish Night.

Cape May Pilot House, 142 Decatur St., Cape May, 609-884-3449 – MJ Kearns, 8 p.m.

Egg Harbor Township Library III Restaurant and Cocktail Lounge, 6605 Black Horse Pike, 609-645-7655 – Patty Balbo, 7 p.m.

A Touch of Italy, Black Horse Pike, 609-646-1855 – Lisa and Judi, 6 p.m.

Margate Steve and Cookie’s By the Bay, 9700 Amherst Ave., 609-823-1163 – Lew London and Chris Sooy, 7 p.m.

Tomatoe’s, 9300 Amherst Ave., 609-822-7535 – DJ Sparkles, 8 p.m.

Millville Bojo’s Ale House, 222 High St., 856-327-8011 – Silver Strike Bowling.

Somers Point 800 Bay Restaurant and Bar, 800 Bay Ave., 609-926-3500 – Patty Blee, 6 p.m.

Gregory’s Restaurant, 900 Shore Road, 609-927-6665 – Taco Night featuring 2 tacos for $1, plus other Mexican dishes and beer specials, 4 p.m.

Upper Township Tuckahoe Inn, Route 9, Tuckahoe, 609-390-3322 – Ann Oswald, 5 p.m.

Vineland Bennigan’s Restaurant, 2196 W. Landis Ave., 856-205-0010 – Quizzo, 8 p.m.

Anonymous


1 comments
jsanderssr
jsanderssr

God help us, it's all true. I think the "ethics" fiasco is even worse than portrayed by Mr. Brown. I'm surprised that even the lynching of the librarian got accomplished. Anyone who's ever worked with adminstrative law judges knows what we're in for. Millions upon hundreds of millions in pork and slush funds and we cut the music on call waiting on D of A phones...

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