Sometimes Getting Things Done Takes Time

The Daily Caller is reporting the following today: “Late-Night Deal Breaks Deadlock Over Natural Gas Exports. The Trump Administration Is Ecstatic.” Natural gas is one of the cleanest energy sources in the world. America has a lot of it. Exporting it will have financial and diplomatic rewards.

The article reports:

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) broke a two-year partisan deadlock Thursday night to approve a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal in Louisiana.

Top Department of Energy (DOE) officials said this was a major breakthrough that will alleviate a growing problem for U.S. energy producers — a lack of export infrastructure.

“We have been promoting US energy around the world and today’s decision by the FERC is a very important one,” DOE Deputy Secretary Dan Brouillette told The Daily Caller News Foundation in an interview.

The Calcasieu Pass LNG export terminal is the first such project to get FERC approval in two years. Republican FERC commissioners Neil Chatterjee, the chairman, and Bernard McNamee worked with Democrat Cheryl LaFleur to hash out an agreement to get her support.

The article concludes:

FERC’s other Democratic commissioner Richard Glick opposed the terminal, arguing his colleagues were “deliberately ignoring the consequences that its actions have for climate change.”

The commission’s environmental review of Calcasieu Pass found the facility would emit roughly 3.9 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year — about 0.07 percent of total U.S. emissions.

Brouillette argued that while an individual LNG export terminal would emit greenhouse gases, it would help lower global emissions because countries want gas as an alternative to coal.

“To the extent that LNG is displacing coal around the world, we think the impact is going to be positive,” Brouillette said.

Brouillette also stressed the geopolitical implications of LNG exports and the role energy could play in President Donald Trump’s foreign policy.

“These are decisions that impact the President’s ability to make foreign policy decisions,” Brouillette told TheDCNF. “We get to assist Poland, we get to assist Lithuania, we get to assist the Baltic states.”

Energy independence for America is important, but it is also important to be able to export energy around the world when countries such as Russia threaten to shut down their energy pipelines in order the win political victories.

An Inappropriate Response Followed By An Appropriate Response

The rescue and rebuilding efforts are continuing in Louisiana. The area has been visited by President Obama and Donald Trump. The Cajun Navy is continuing its rescue efforts. However, President Obama’s initial response to the flooding left a lot to be desired.

Hot Air posted a story today that shows the proper response to President Obama’s initial response to the flooding.

In case you have forgotten, this was part of President Obama’s statement (released in between golf holes) on the flooding:

Care must be taken to ensure that actions, both intentional and unintentional, do not exclude groups of people based on race, color, national origin (including limited English proficiency), religion, sex, or disability.”

“Those planning for Katrina appeared to assume most people could rely on personal vehicles to evacuate and failed to consider the transportation needs of all segments of the population.”

“Many seeking temporary housing immediately encountered discriminatory advertisements that explicitly refused to rent to African Americans.”

Ben Husser, who has been helping his neighbors in Louisiana, penned the following response:

Dear Mr President,
I want to thank you for reminding us in South Louisiana not to discriminate against anyone based on race or religion. Had you not reminded us of this I don’t know what we would have done. See we rode around in a boat saving people and well race or religion never entered my mind. Not once. It didn’t enter my buddies mind or my wife’s. Just saving people.
I understand you may be miss informed because of all the race baiting that the media did a couple months ago here is South Louisiana. But I assure you that’s not what we stand for in South Louisiana. We love each other when the times get hard. We look out for our own. Now I know this doesn’t fit your agenda. But facts are facts.
O and by the way stay up in DC play a little golf and enjoy your last couple months in office. Make sure you clean out your desk. Clean out the house you’ve occupied for 8 years cause your time is up. Let ya buddy Ms Clinton know we don’t need her either. She needs her rest. Lord knows she needs rest more then the residents of South Louisiana do. She may could put some of that Clinton foundation blood money to good use down here helping others. But why would she do that. She already knows Louisiana doesn’t belong to her come November. If this was a state she needed she would have been on the boat with me. But that’s OK we got this we are strong here in Louisiana. Something you will never understand.

Thanks
The true citizens of Louisiana

I think that pretty much sums it up!

This Is The Way Communities Are Supposed To Work

This is the picture of the Cajun Navy getting ready to roll:

CajunNavyWhat is the Cajun navy? It is the Louisiana residents who have gathered together with their fishing and recreation boats to help the flood victims in the state.

The Times-Picayune in New Orleans posted a story about the group on Monday.

The article reports:

They call themselves the Cajun Navy, the Coonass Navy or the Brotherhood Soul Patrol. Whatever you call them, they’re an armada of volunteers who set sail in the early morning hours from the parking lot of The Home Depot store on Coursey Boulevard in Baton Rouge to rescue neighbors, friends and strangers trapped by Louisiana floodwaters.

On this steamy Monday morning (Aug. 16), there were 22-plus boats and scores of volunteers gathering in the parking lot, just off Airline Highway and near the last eastbound Interstate 12 exit before the highway was barricaded. Getting an exact count of boats was difficult, however, as trucks and trailers hauling all manner of vessels kept coming. Then there were the dozens of people arriving without boats and looking to catch a ride to do whatever they can.

Some weren’t sure what to expect. It would be their first trip into Central or the underwater neighborhoods off Old Hammond Highway, Millerville Road or O’Neal Lane. Those were no longer roads but channels.

For others, it wasn’t their first rodeo. They spent the weekend hauling their boats to makeshift launches, venturing into swamped neighborhoods on search-and-rescue missions from the outskirts of Baton Rouge to the heart of neighboring Livingston Parish.

“We’re just out here trying to help,” said Warren Holmes, a resident of neighboring Ascension Parish. With his wife, Shannon, he had spent the weekend pulling people and pets out of water more than seven feet deep. “What are we supposed to do: Let them die?”

The government can’t get there quickly enough with what is needed to do what these volunteers are doing. They are a shining example of what America is about. No one is paying for their gas or the wear and tear on their boats, trucks, or trailers. They are simply going out of their way to help their fellow Louisiana residents who are in need. As the article explains, some of them have lost their homes in these floods, but they are setting aside their problems to help others. Thank you, Cajun Navy, for what you are doing.

 

Hopefully There Is A Harmless Explanation For This

WBRZ is an ABC affiliate in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The station posted the following on its Facebook page:

SyrianRefugeeMissingToday The Gateway Pundit also posted an article about the situation.

The Gateway Pundit states:

The news may seem alarming that neither state government nor the federal government track newly-arrived refugees who have just entered the country, but it is actually not uncommon at all.

So let’s get this straight–the government is bringing these people into the country, there is no real way of thoroughly vetting them, and neither the state or the federal government is tracking the refugees after they arrive.

Have we totally departed our senses?

 

Defenseless In The Theatre

Yesterday Breitbart.com posted an article about the shooting in the movie theater in Louisiana. Unfortunately, even though it is well-intentioned, declaring a place a gun-free zone does not protect people, it simply means that potential victims of an attack will be unable to defend themselves.

The article states:

One thing we know even now, just hours after the tragic shooting took place, is that the gunman did not adhere to the Conduct Policy. He ignored the gun ban, he ignored the bans on violence, intimidation, and physically threatening behavior, and he ignored the rules against “unlawful conduct.”

Just like so many attacks before–from Nidal Hasan’s 2009 Fort Hood attack to James Holmes’ 2012 Aurora theater to the 2013 attack on the DC Navy Yard–gun free zones put law-abiding citizens at a disadvantage because law-abiding citizens are the only ones who obey them. People with criminal intent are not phased by “No Guns Allowed” signs or a Conduct Policy that says no firearms can be brought into the theater.

Even if you are someone who chooses not to own a gun (which I am), at some point you have to realize that until you can find a way to take guns from criminals and people who do not respect life and leave guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens, gun control is a really bad idea. One person who was practicing his right to concealed carry could have ended this tragedy almost as quickly as it began. Gun-free zones are an invitation to violence.

The Politics Of Destruction

Bobby Jindal is one of America‘s most successful state governors. He has been a major player in cleaning up Louisiana politics, he has worked to rebuild education in the state following the shambles left by Hurricane Katrina, and he has generally done an awesome job as governor. He is not yet running for president, but is considering it. Therefore, the Democrat-biased press must work to discredit him. Recently, Governor Jindal stated the there were ‘no-go zones’ in Europe. The press decided that was their point of attack. Never mind that much of the major media had reported on these zones in recent years.

Breitbart.com posted an article today weighing in on the subject.

The article states:

This has been reported for years. The New York Times reported in April 2002, “Arab gangs regularly vandalize synagogues here, the North African suburbs have become no-go zones at night, and the French continue to shrug their shoulders.” And Newsweek said in November 2005: “According to research conducted by the government’s domestic intelligence network, the Renseignements Generaux, French police would not venture without major reinforcements into some 150 ‘no-go zones’ around the country–and that was before the recent wave of riots began on Oct. 27.

Just two weeks ago, the New Republic wrote: “The word banlieue (‘suburb’) now connotes a no-go zone of high-rise slums, drug-fueled crime, failing schools and poor, largely Muslim immigrants and their angry offspring.”

No-go zones are not new news. There have been times in American history when certain areas were controlled by gangs or gangsters and similar things occurred. However, for the press to lie to Americans as if these zones did not exist and to minimize the threat that these zones may eventually come here is to fail to do the job the press is supposed to do. Our Constitution protects us to some extent, but even in America there have been incidents where American’s rights have not been upheld. In September, I posted an article (rightwinggranny.com) about a group of Christian evangelists who were forced to leave an Arab-American street festival in Dearborn, Michigan, in 2012. Their First Amendment rights were clearly violated.

Yes, there are no-go zones in many countries in the world, and yes, the purpose of this dust-up was to make sure Bobby Jindal would not be a credible candidate for president.

UPDATE:

Act for America posted the following map of the Paris no-go zones on Facebook:

nogozonesFrance

A Political Gambit That Failed

Politico.com is reporting tonight that the Keystone XL Pipeline has been defeated in the Senate. The bill received 59 votes–not the 60 needed to break a filibuster. The bill had been sitting on Harry Reid‘s desk for years–he would not bring it to the floor after it passed the House of Representatives.

The article reports:

The defeat deals a blow to Landrieu’s campaign ahead of her Dec. 6 runoff against GOP Rep. Bill Cassidy, whom polls show running comfortably ahead. Winning on Keystone would have helped her demonstrate her clout on the Hill as a champion of her state’s influential oil and gas industry.

The Republicans will bring the bill up again when they take control of the Senate. At that time, they will aim for a veto-proof majority vote.

The article also illustrates some divisions in the Democrat party:

The bill’s failure left a bad taste in the mouth of centrist Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), who had urged his colleagues in a closed door meeting to support it.

“This was ridiculous for us to [get] 59, one short. It really was uncalled for,” he said. “And those were some passionate conversations that we had in there. They were respectful and they were very passionate that we had in the caucus, and I would have thought it would have changed [the vote].”

Passing the bill will help American energy independence and will boost the American economy. Hopefully, it can be passed with a veto-proof majority in January.

 

From The Campaign Trail

This was posted on Hot Air yesterday:

Louisiana Democrat Sen. Mary Landrieu said Thursday that the issue of race is a major reason that President Barack Obama has struggled politically in Southern states.

“I’ll be very, very honest with you. The South has not always been the friendliest place for African-Americans,” Landrieu told NBC News in an interview. “It’s been a difficult time for the president to present himself in a very positive light as a leader.”

Noting that the South is “more of a conservative place,” she added that women have also faced challenges in “presenting ourselves.”

First of all, Senator Landrieu has not lived in the South for some time–she lives in Washington, D.C. Her parents live in Louisiana, and she claims their address as her residence, but she does not live there. It has been more than fifteen years since she has lived there. Hopefully during that time some progress has been made in Louisiana in race relations and women’s rights.

Has it ever occurred to any of President Obama’s supporters that the problem might be his policies rather than his skin color? Or that Senator Landrieu might be losing support because she has supported President Obama’s policies?

Bobby Jindal On Common Core

On Wednesday, the Daily Caller posted an article about Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal‘s battle against Common Core. Governor Jindal is fighting Common Core on the grounds that it is a violation of federal law.

The article reports:

In a brief submitted Wednesday as part of a lawsuit against Louisiana’s Board for Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE), Jindal’s attorneys claim that a consortium used to create multistate standardized tests aligned with Common Core was transformed into a cudgel to force states to obey federal edicts on education.

There is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that gives the federal government control over education–that was left to the state and local governments.

The article explains:

“Simply put, PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) is the implementation platform for a carefully orchestrated federal scheme to supervise, direct and control educational curriculum, programs of instruction and instructional materials in direct violation of federal law,” the report argues.

PARCC’s creation, as well as the creation of the Smarter Balanced consortium (which serves the same purpose but has different members), was enabled through grants by the federal government through the Race to the Top program. That federal involvement, Jindal’s team argues, irretrievably taints the organization as well as Common Core more broadly, even though the government was not directly involved with the standards’ creation. The Department of Education Organization Act (DOEA) and other federal laws, they say, explicitly bar the Department of Education from taking actions that increase federal control over education.

“Race to [the] Top…effectively coopted Common Core for the federal government, attempting to accomplish indirectly through economic coercion that which the federal government is prohibited from accomplishing directly,” the brief argues.

Common Core is unconstitutional and does not make a positive contribution to the education of our children. How long will it take state to figure that out? Many of them already have.

Political Thuggery Aimed At Louisiana

National Review Online posted an article today about the treatment of Governor Jindal and the people of Louisiana by the Obama Administration. There have been a number of incidents in recent years that form a pattern of political vindictiveness against the state and its governor.

The article reminds us of the beginning of the problem:

First, though, consider the litany of Obama’s abusive treatment of Louisiana; the Bayou State is surely the jurisdiction most victimized by the Obamite combination of wrath and pettiness. It began early, after Jindal’s (poorly received) 2009 State of the Union response, which represented the first major high-profile critique of Obama’s gauzy new administration. Clearly, Jindal got under Obama’s skin.

President Obama and his administration are known for taking measures to get even with the real or imagined enemies.

The article further reports:

Just two months later, the Obama team was notoriously slow to respond to the massive Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Among a host of mistakes documented by a national commission on the disaster were clearly politicized decisions on numerous fronts, including on the allocation of oil-containing booms. Worse (and despite some media fact-check reports to the contrary), the Obama bureaucracy kept obstacles in place that blocked specialized foreign skimmers from helping to contain the spill — in part, it seems, to placate American unions.

The article continues, citing examples of the Obama Administration’s blocking the school voucher program Governor Jindal had proposed to help Louisiana’s failing schools, blocking the Keystone Pipeline, which would help Louisiana’s economy, and refusing to provide fairly routine Stafford Act relief to Louisiana’s storm victims after Hurricane Isaac in 2012. However, the latest example of this harassment is simply unconscionable.

Governor Jindal has been working to reform Louisiana’s system of ‘charity hospitals’ for years. In 2012 the federal government cut the percentage of some federal matching funds. Governor Jindal responded to that by setting up a system that leased the hospitals to private managers.

The article reports the results of that decision:

In less than a year, the hospitals opened more beds for the mentally ill and in emergency rooms, provided more advanced technology for cancer screening and other care, and began improving services across the board. Already the Jindal reforms were providing proof of his (and other conservatives’) longstanding contention that state innovation could do far more to deliver better care, more efficiently, than a centrally regulated federal behemoth can.

The Obama Administration’s response? Try to shut that system down. Please read the article for further details.

The article concludes:

The message from Obamaville goes out: Cross us, and anybody in your orbit, even low-income medical patients, will suffer.

The good news for Louisiana is that the state has a good chance, on appeal, eventually to win approval of its hospital leases. For the rest of the country, this year and in 2016, the appeal for relief must come through the ballot box.

This should be a wake-up call to American voters. It’s not a presidential election–it’s a mid-term election, but we need to elect people who will check the power of the Executive Branch of government. If we don’t, we will have tyranny.

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The Political Right Is Also Capable Of Using The Popular Culture To Its Advantage!

Yesterday the Washington Examiner reported that Vance McAllister won a special election for Louisiana‘s 5th District seat yesterday. Representative-elect McAllister is new to politics–he has never even visited Washington, D.C. However, Representative-elect McAllister is a friend of the patriarch of TV’s “Duck Dynasty,” Phil Robertson, who endorsed his congressional bid.

The article reports:

Vance McAllister beat establishment candidate Neil Riser, a state senator, in Saturday’s runoff election created when former Rep. Rodney Alexander resigned on Sept. 26 to become secretary of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs under Republican Governor Bobby Jindal.

…A handful of Washington GOP operatives tried to get one of the members of the Duck Dynasty family to run for the seat, but failed.

But the race showed just how powerful the Duck Dynasty trademark is in the area, said an election observer.

Wow. Just wow.

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Why Leadership Matters

Français : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bobby_...

Français : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bobby_Jindal en:Image:BobbyJindal.jpg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the days of ballooning federal deficits and higher and higher debt ceilings, it is nice to see that some states are getting their spending under control. I am sure that it is simply an incredible coincidence that these states are run by Republican governors. Louisiana is one of these states. If you have read this blog from its beginning, you know that I have a soft spot in my heart for Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. Quite frankly, he would not remember me if I met him again, but I met him in New Orleans coming out of the elevator at the aquarium the year after Hurricane Katrina. He was pushing a stroller holding his youngest child. I was with my daughter who instantly recognized him and said hello. I told him at that time that I hoped the day would come when I would be able to vote for him for national office. I am still hoping for that day.

Yesterday the Louisiana Advocate reported that Louisiana is expecting a $163 million state government surplus.

The article reports:

In a prepared statement, Jindal attributed at least some of the surplus to fiscal responsibility. “Nationally, we faced one of the worst economic downturns in history, and in order to ensure that we weathered the recession better than other states, we reined in government spending and worked to improve Louisiana’s business climate. We made difficult decisions that are paying off and now our economy is growing. There’s still plenty of work to do, but we’re moving in the right direction,” the governor said.

Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols, the governor’s chief financial adviser, told legislators that Louisiana is registering an increased number of jobs. She said the labor market is performing well and more people are moving into Louisiana than leaving the state.

The article points out that the Louisiana constitution only allows the surplus to be spent on construction projects, coastal restoration, state debt reduction and deposit into the “rainy day” fund.

If spending can be brought under control at the state level, it can also be brought under control at the federal level. All we have to do is elect people to office who are willing to do what is necessary to bring spending under control.

 

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Why Federal Programs Need Eligibility Verification

One of the current problems with ObamaCare is that there is no way to verify a person’s income when they ask for a government subsidy to help pay for their health insurance. One aspect of the negotiations currently taking place in Washington is making sure that the people applying for subsidies are actually entitled to them. Generally speaking, can we trust people to take only what they are entitled to? Well, recent events indicate that we need to verify.

Yesterday MSN Money reported that there had been a computer glitch in the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) transfer card system and that stores had no way of reading the balance on the cards. The article reports what happened at one Wal-Mart.

The article reports:

Lynd explained the cards weren’t showing limits and they called corporate Wal-Mart, whose spokesman said to let the people use the cards anyway. From 7 to 9 p.m., people were loading up their carts, but when the cards began showing limits again around 9, one woman was detained because she rang up a bill of $700 and only had .49 on her card. She was held by police until corporate Wal-Mart said they wouldn’t press charges if she left the food.

 Lynd (Springhill Louisiana Police Chief Will Lynd) says at 9 p.m., when the cards came back online and it was announced over the loud speaker, people just left their carts full of food in the aisles and left.”

Unfortunately there are people among us who have no problem taking something they are not entitled to. To put a government program in place that promises benefits without checking eligibility is simply stupid. There will always be people trying to game the system, we don’t have to make it too easy!

 

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The Key To Racial Equality Is Equal Education For All Children

One of the major keys to racial equality is to make sure that children of all races have access to a good education. Because of the makeup of most of our major cities, the only way to achieve that is through vouchers and school choice. Most Republicans have been encouraging these programs for years. Unfortunately, because of their relationship to the Teachers’ Unions, the Democrats have worked very hard to oppose both vouchers and school choice.

Yesterday John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line detailing the latest battle on the school choice front. The source for the Power Line article is a Fox News story from yesterday.

One of the unexpected consequences of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans was the birth of a new school system. Many failing schools were replaced by Charter Schools and other schools that were not failing. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has worked very hard to provide children in New Orleans a good alternative to the failing city public schools. However, the Justice Department is blocking his efforts.

Fox News reports:

The Justice Department is trying to stop a school vouchers program in Louisiana that attempts to help families send their children to independent schools instead of under-performing public schools.

The agency wants to stop the program, led by Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal, in any school district that remains under a desegregation court order.

In papers filed in U.S. District Court in New Orleans, the agency said Louisiana distributed vouchers in 2012-13 to roughly 570 public school students in districts that are still under such orders and that “many of those vouchers impeded the desegregation process.”

The federal government argues that allowing students to attend independent schools under the voucher system could create a racial imbalance in public school systems protected by desegregation orders.

John Hinderaker at Power Line states:

This Louisiana case is typical: Holder wants to keep the archaic residue of the civil rights movement alive forever, as a club with which to beat the Southern states, and as a means of screwing African-Americans. After all, if blacks can’t escape from terrible schools, their employment prospects will be lousy. They likely will be welfare-dependent, and therefore reliable Democratic voters for decades to come. That is, as best one can infer it from the facts, the calculation that Obama and Holder have made.

Eric Holder’s Justice Department is a disgrace. They have become totally political. I would suggest that Eric Holder be replaced, except that I think President Obama would simply find someone equally bad.

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Some Rational Comments About Sequestration

Yesterday the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported on some comments Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal made after the governors met in Washington.

This is the video of Governor Jindal’s statement as posted on YouTube:

The article at the Times Picayune reports:

If sequestration cuts go into effect, the White House said that Louisiana schools and childrens’ programs would lose millions of dollars, 7,000 civilian department of defense employees would be furloughed, and other programs supporting crime prevention, children’s vaccines, and domestic violence victims would lose crucial funds.

Are we supposed to believe that when you cut 2.5 percent of the federal budget (not to mention that some of this is not cuts–it is a cut in the rate of growth) one of the first things to be cut is schools and children’s programs? How about asking President Obama to see if he can limit some of his trips on Air Force One? How much did the taxpayers pay to send Michelle Obama to the Oscars? How much is the government paying in tobacco subsidies? Have you noticed that legally the President’s salary is immune from the sequester? What about congressional pay? What about the golf or vacation budget?

We are being manipulated, and if the White House and those in Congress who want to raise taxes and increase spending get away with this we can expect more manipulation in the future. The runaway spending is going to drive America into bankruptcy. We have an opportunity to slow that down. The questions is, “Are there enough people in Washington honest enough to do what needs to be done?”

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Reaping The Rewards Of A Well-Run State

Reuters reported yesterday that Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has proposed a plan to simplify Louisiana’s tax code to make it more friendly to business. The Governor’s plan is to eliminate all corporate and personal income taxes in a way that would be revenue neutral.

The article reports:

But political analyst Maginnis (John Maginnis) questioned whether the Republican-majority Louisiana legislature would endorse Jindal’s ambitious plan.

“Any tax increase (such as sales tax) or elimination of exemptions would require a two-thirds vote, a form of legislative approval that would require (Republican) solidarity and significant Democratic support,” Maginnis said.

Jindal said his team will meet with lawmakers soon to discuss details of his tax reform plan.

“Eliminating personal income taxes will put more money back into the pockets of Louisiana families and will change a complex tax code into a more simple system that will make Louisiana more attractive to companies who want to invest here and create jobs,” he said.

There an important lesson in this idea. Raising taxes slows economic activity and does not necessarily result in an increase in tax revenue. Lowering taxes increases economic activity and often results in increased tax revenue.

During the 1980’s President Reagan lowered taxes. This resulted in an increase in revenue taken in by the government. Because the Democratic congress never kept their promise to cut spending, the federal deficit did not decrease, but federal revenue did increase.

Lower taxes mean more economic activity. Washington needs to learn that lesson.

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Isn’t Louisiana Part Of The United States ?

Business Report reported yesterday that Louisiana residents who travel in the future may be asked to show passports in order to travel in the rest of the United States.

The article reports:

Campbell (Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Stephen Campbell) spent all of last week in Washington, D.C., attending a conference and seeking answers pertaining to what could happen if Louisiana doesn’t get an extension to comply with the REAL ID Act, which is poised to take effect Jan. 14.

“We’re still hopeful that there will be an extension or some other compromise,” says Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport spokesman Jim Caldwell.

Louisiana will meet most standards of the REAL ID Act that the 9/11 Commission implemented, Campbell says. At issue is the addition of a gold star to Louisiana driver’s licenses to indicate the state is in compliance with federal law and that its residents have a nationally recognized identification number. Louisiana House Bill 715 makes it unlawful to fully implement the ID Act.

It is disturbing to me that the driver’s licenses issued by one state may not be recognized as valid identification in other states. To me it seems as if that goes against the whole concept of the United States.

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Changing Education In Louisiana

Baton Rouge, LA, September 3, 2008 -- Presiden...

Baton Rouge, LA, September 3, 2008 -- President George W. Bush and Governor Bobby Jindal greeting EOC employees, during disaster recovery efforts for Hurricane Gustav. Jacinta Quesada/FEMA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Governor Bobby Jindal took the oath of office as Governor of Louisiana on January 14, 2008. He has worked hard to bring ethical reform to the state and has now brought education reform to the state.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune posted an editorial on April 8 about the education reforms the governor has enacted and is enacting. Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005, and as the people of the city returned, they had to find a way to educate their children. Before Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans schools were among the worst performing in the state. The state took over most of the New Orleans schools after the Hurricane.

The editorial reports:

Since the state took over most schools post-Katrina, that is changing. Recovery School District students, including charter and traditional campuses, posted their fourth consecutive year of improvement last year. The proportion of students scoring at grade level or above grew to 48 percent in 2011 ­– more than double the percentage in 2007.

That progress has come as most city schools became public charter schools, a concept that the governor’s legislation would expand statewide.

The new education reform legislation Governor Jindal would expand the program that was successful in New Orleans throughout the state.

The article concludes:

Gov. Jindal’s reforms are the most far-reaching since the Foster administration, when BESE crafted accountability standards that included high-stakes tests for students and performance scores for schools. This reform effort goes beyond that, though, by making teachers accountable for students’ progress and giving parents far more educational options for their children.

Some teachers went to Baton Rouge to protest the changes to tenure. But others have expressed an understanding that the current system isn’t working.

“If I were not doing a good job as a teacher, I should be fired,” Kaycee Eckhardt, who teaches ninth-graders at Sci Academy, a charter high school in eastern New Orleans, told a reporter. “We’re not building machine parts here. We’re talking about the lives of children. If you have an ineffective teacher in the classroom, you’re hurting kids.”

That is the bottom line.

Gov. Jindal is right to be bold. Despite those earlier reform efforts, Louisiana students still lag behind their counterparts in most other states. Implemented wisely, these reforms could make students more competitive — and improve their lives and the state’s economic future.

One of my daughters and her Marine husband were stationed in New Orleans during the time of Hurricane Katrina. They saw the devastation and they saw the road back. They still own a house there and are hoping to retire there, but one of their concerns was the school system. It sounds as if Governor Jindal is doing a fantastic job of addressing that concern.

 

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I Haven’t Found This Story In Any Major Media Yet…Still Looking

The Lufkin News reported yesterday that Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast has been charged in an alleged billing scam. Charges were brought by Karen Reynolds, a former employee of a Lufkin clinic.

The article states:

The updated complaint, filed in October 2011, alleges that while Reynolds was employed as a health center assistant, she was instructed by the organization to maximize billing revenue when the government was fitting the bill through Medicaid and the Women’s Health Program.

She claims this was the procedure in all 12 Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast locations across Texas and Louisiana.

The suit alleges that, in addition to falsifying patient records, billing the government for unwarranted services and services not covered by Medicaid, Planned Parenthood tacked on services patient did not receive.

The case is set for trial in April 2013.

 

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The End Of An Institution

English: A picture of the inside of a remodele...

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One of the family jokes in our household has always been that when my computer-geek husband finally retires, he wants to be a Wal-Mart greeter. There might be some problems with that in that he is a native New York City person, and I am not sure greeting is the first thing you think of when speaking of native New Yorkers. He is, however, a very friendly person and would do a very good job as a Wal-Mart greeter. Alas, his hopes for a second career have been dashed.

A website called Patch.com is reporting that the Wal-Mart greeters will no longer be at the front of the store greeting you.

The article reports:

This week, news is spreading throughout business circles about Wal-Mart’s greeters being phased out. Patch spoke Tuesday to a longtime greeter at the Walmart Supercenter in Eureka, who said the good news is that greeters will not lose their jobs. Instead they will be repositioned at other locations inside the store, he said.

I have no idea how that will work, but it is an interesting concept. It is also good to know that the greeters will not be losing their jobs.

I was intrigued by the closing paragraph of the article:

An article about this topic in Huffington Post on Wednesday stated Walton first stumbled onto a greeter at a small Walmart in Louisiana in 1980. The greeter explained to Walton he had a “dual purpose: to make people feel good about coming in, and to make sure people weren’t walking back out the entrance with merchandise they hadn’t paid for.”

And all this time we thought they just wanted to be friends!

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An Example Of A Successful Reform Of Government

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After Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, one of the problems with the families who returned to the city quickly was how to educate their children. Many of the families who returned after being evacuated came home to destroyed schools and a limited number of teachers. The city had no choice but to reform the school system.

The Wall Street Journal reports today (sorry, subscribers only) that:

Post-Katrina New Orleans is already the nation’s leading charter-school zone, with 80% of city students enrolled, academic performance improving dramatically, and plans to go all-charter by 2013. To spread the model statewide, the Governor would create new regional boards for authorizing charters and offer fast-track authorization to high-performing operators such as KIPP. He’d also give charters the same access to public facilities as traditional public schools.

Needless to say, the Louisiana Association of Educators is opposed to Governor Jindal’s plans to go all-charter by 2013. Governor Jindal has also stated that he would only grant tenure to teachers who are rated “highly effective” five years in a row–the top 10% of performers. Tenure would not be a lifetime thing–any tenured teacher who rates in the bottom 10% would return to probationary status. The “last in, first out” policy would also be banned. This sort of reform improves the schools, but I suspect the unions will be working hard against the Governor in his next campaign for governor.

This is the kind of government reform we need in all states. It is unfortunate that it took a devastating hurricane to reform the system. I wish Governor Jindal total success in implementing his plans–they will make a big difference to the children of Louisiana.

 

 
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In Search Of An Honest Election

Today’s Daily Caller is reporting that Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler has charged that the Obama Justice Department is using selective enforcement of parts of the federal Motor Voter law to advance a political agenda.

The article reports:

The Obama DOJ filed suit against Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration in July 2011, claiming that the state failed to provide eligible voters with sufficient opportunities to register. Under Section 7 of the Motor Voter law that President Bill Clinton signed in 1993, state health and social service agencies are required to offer voter registration forms to all eligible adults.

Project Vote, an affiliate of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) has filed a separate Motor Voter suit against Louisiana, in partnership with the NAACP.

The lawsuits do not deal with the enforcement of Section 8 of the law, which requires that the states keep voter rolls up to date by purging the names of deceased and ineligible voters in order to reduce the opportunity for voter fraud. Unfortunately, that has not been done in most states, and dead people routinely vote in elections. (See rightwinggranny.com)

Until Section 8 is enforced, the Motor Voter law will be an obstacle to honest elections.

 

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It’s Great To See One Of The Good Guys Win

New Orleans, LA, August 31, 2008 -- Governor B...

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On Saturday, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported that Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has won re-election as governor in a landslide.

The article reports:

His margin was so overwhelming that Jindal was able to deliver his victory speech a little more than 45 minutes after polls closed at 8 p.m., arriving on stage at the Baton Rouge Renaissance hotel in the company of LSU football coach Les Miles, whose team had just defeated Auburn, 45-10.  

I love Louisiana–they have their priorities in order!

The Baton Rouge Business Report had endorsed Bobby Jindal, saying:

Four years ago there was much promise as Bobby Jindal was elected. Four years has passed quickly but much has been accomplished, despite some tough times, and our state’s image—and business rankings—have dramatically improved. Now, Jindal deserves re-election for his performance, though the next four years hold even more promise for a better Louisiana.

Our LSU football team isn’t the only one with a No. 1 ranking. Louisiana’s economic development efforts now lead the nation. And we have a governor who is admired and respected as a national leader, instead of providing material for jokes by late-night comedians. And Jindal has done things in education reform I never thought I would live to see. The number of government employees is at a 20-year low, and taxes are lower, too.

Besides being a bright leader, he is a man of character and a good father to his children—as well as a really nice guy. I respect that.

Our state has momentum and our in-migration has been growing for the last three years. There is still much work to be done, but I am optimistic about the next four years with Jindal still at the helm.

I have a personal story about Bobby Jindal to relate. My military children were stationed in New Orleans for a few years. They still own a house there because they hope to retire there. I was visiting them the Halloween after Hurricane Katrina and was at the ‘Scarium at the Aquarium’ with my daughter and her children. We were getting ready to get into the elevator (her youngest child was still in a stroller) when a nice-looking young man pushing a stroller stepped out of the elevator. My daughter recognized him as Bobby Jindal and immediately said hello. He stopped to say hello and thank her for her support when he ran for Congress (he lost) and was very gracious. I told him then that as a person who lives in Massachusetts and can’t vote for him in Louisiana, I hope to be able to vote for him on a national ticket some day. I still feel that way. Bobby Jindal has truly been a blessing to Louisiana.

 

 

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A Bad Law Made For Good Reasons

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An American dollar says on it, “This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private.” Well, not so fast. KLFY News in Louisiana is reporting:

House bill 195 basically says those who buy and sell second hand goods cannot use cash to make those transactions, and it flew so far under the radar most businesses don’t even know about it.

“We’re gonna lose a lot of business,” says Danny Guidry, who owns the Pioneer Trading Post in Lafayette. He deals in buying and selling unique second hand items.

The purpose of the law is to make tracking those who steal things and sell them easier to track. However, the law of unintended consequences is at work. The law includes Goodwill, garage sales, flea markets, and second-hand stores such as the Pioneer Trading Post. Pawn shops, which have been forced to keep records of their clients for years, are still allowed to accept cash.

The intention of the law is good, but I don’t understand why Goodwill stores or garage sales would be included. Goodwill does not pay people to donate things, so even if they receive stolen goods (which is highly unlikely) the only trace mechanism they would have would be to track those who bought the goods, which would be irrelevant. Garage sales are also an unlikely target. Again, if the goods are stolen, it would be the seller, not the buyer that would be the culprit, so why trace the buyer?

I understand the problem, I am simply not convinced that this is the way to solve it.

 

 

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