Governor Jindal Just Being Himself Saturday, Feb 28 2009 

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Governor Bobby Jindal is getting hit from all sides in a manic media mania for every word and action.  The volcano erupted after his GOP response to the presidential address to congress. 

This makes me shake my head and say, “did all of you just wake up and smell the coffee”?

Let me be clear.  I did not vote for Jindal.  Upon election, however, I chose to give him a break to see if I was incorrect in my evaluation of him regardless of his past behavior.  Everyone deserves a break, right?

Jindal has developed a pattern during his entire political career.  It’s called the ‘two year plan’.

This is no secret.  What annoys me are the political pundits and Jindal supporters who are suddenly surprised at his actions.  After all, this is not rocket science. 

Jindal’s ability to stay put in any given position is 2-3 years maximum:

  • Donned the ‘whiz kid’, Jindal, began his journey as a short-lived page in Washington, moving on to McKinsey & Co consulting firm as a ‘specialist’ in health care.  McKinsey consulted Enron but escaped public scrutiny.
  • Eighteen months later, claiming he was a ‘genius’, former Governor Mike Foster appointed Jindal as the secretary of Louisiana’s Department of Health and Hospitals to save an ailing system.  Jindal was criticized for closing clinics and cutting back valuable services to the uninsured.
  • Two years later Jindal left his post in Louisiana to head to Washington to solve the federal Medicare crisis as staff director of the Medicare Reform Commission. 
  • One year later, Jindal returns to our state and is appointed by former Governor Foster as head of the Louisiana University system.
  • Again, two years later, Jindal heads back to Washington to serve as assistant secretary for planning and evaluation of the federal Medicaid program.  A timely move considering the investigation that ensued over Medicaid Chief Tommy Scully and five unnamed associates.
  • Yes, two years later, Jindal made his run for governor of Louisiana.  He lost to Kathleen Blanco.  Foster’s only criticism of Jindal came during this time when he said ‘Bobby didn’t listen to me’.
  • One year later Jindal decides to run for the U. S. House of Representatives. 
  • Two years later, Jindal begins his second run at governor of Louisiana.  He wins the gubernatorial race in 2007.

Here we are, two years later, and Governor Jindal seems bored with us already and is criticized for presidential positioning.  Imagine that? 

Why are we so surprised? 

Governor Jindal is simply being himself.  He is incapable of staying in any one place too long.  This works to his advantage as it is difficult to measure the performance of any individual who is not willing to stick long enough. 

Surely Jindal would receive less criticism if he would walk the walk.  As C. B. Forgotston reminded us in his blog:  Yogi Berra said, “you can observe a lot just by watching”

Don’t be so surprised folks, it’s just the Jindal way!

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

President Obama Calling Evil Good Wednesday, Feb 25 2009 

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In the Bible there are warnings to those who call good evil and evil good.  It reminds me of a sheep in wolves clothing in that we are to not deceive others or to become deceived.

Let’s face it.  In politics, it is ‘cool’ to say the right thing — to cause others to believe that you are doing good when in actuality you are performing evil acts.  The definition of evil is causing ruin, injury or pain. 

Allow me to segue’.  In today’s world we must deal with the most controversial issues that are often labeled incorrectly.  Evil is good and good is evil.  Unfortunately, some of the topics that come to my mind are same sex marriage, taxation, abortion, welfare, human trafficking, euthanasia, torture, war, and racism. 

Desperate, hateful, self-serving acts are often veiled as  ‘good’ when in actuality they are evil and harmful.

  • When we tax for the sake of earmarks, we are doing harm. 
  • When we rush to war, we often fight the wrong enemy killing the innocent and therefore causing injury. 
  • When we kill the unborn or the elderly because it is inconvenient we commit evil against the innocent. 
  • When we dole out government handouts to those who are capable of working, we cause harm in that we reward slothful behavior.
  • When we torture, sell or discriminate against another human, we are the agents of harm.

You may not agree with ‘my’ list, but I am confident you will agree that doing evil in the name of good is deceptive at best.

As I listened to President Obama’s address last night, I was disappointed.  Not because Obama is a Democrat.  Not because I did not cast my vote for Obama.  Because the president’s acts since elected are causing undue harm to taxpayers veiled as ‘good’ acts.

President Obama said we must “take responsibility”.  Is it responsible to reward corporations for bad behavior?  Is it responsible to add more government instead of cutting government?  Is it responsible to spend more money in the future when we are not holding those in charge accountable for past and current spending?

The president said he is making decisions “not because I believe in bigger government – I don’t.”  These are deceptive words.  Obama also said, “my cabinet as well as mayors and governors across the country will be held accountable”.  Are we wiping the slate clean and not holding them accountable for their acts to date?

Speaking further, “the flow of credit is the lifeblood of our economy”.  So are we to dig ourselves deeper in debt?  Debt for many generations to come?  Isn’t this how we got into the mess we are in today?

This is nothing more than calling evil good. 

The ultimate lie President Obama spoke was “if your family earns less than $250,000 a year, you will not see your taxes increase a single dime. I repeat: not one single dime.”

If you believe that you will not see one single dime of tax increase, then I have some land to sell you.  That is the ultimate act of calling evil good.

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

P.S.  Please tell Mayor-President Kip Holden about the promise by President Obama to not raise our taxes one dime.  He will need to remember this when presenting his tax increase this fall.

Stimulus Money Grab: “I Just Want To Share The Wealth” Saturday, Feb 21 2009 

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Louisiana State Senator Francis Thompson, Democrat, may have summed up the mentality of the current Stimulus Plan in a nutshell on Friday when he spoke these insane words, I just want to share the wealth”.  This was Thompson’s response on behalf of legislators that are unhappy with dollars not appropriated as they see fit.

I have never been a fan of Thompson’s tactics, nor his fiasco of Poverty Point, well named, in North Louisiana.  Senator Thompson’s brother, Mike, has made millions off of state funded reservoirs for years including Poverty Point – at taxpayer’s expense.  Senator Thompson built homes on Poverty Point while securing state funds for what he has often referred to as “my lake” also making millions.  At what point do we determine legislator’s pocketbooks are not why they are elected?

When will this money-grabbing madness stop?

The real story here is the mentality of a 2009 money-grab.  It’s like the lottery for some elected officials.  We already know what happens to most powerball winners – they wind up bankrupt due to the visions of sugarplums that drive them to overspend as if the money is endless. 

Just like the Gold Rush of 1848, we are watching frenzied communities send their strongest and brightest to Washington to seek out money to bring back to their communities.  It truly is a ‘money grab’ of gargantuam proportions and it’s called a Stimulus Plan – funded by your tax dollars.

What will happen with President Obama’s Stimulus Money Grab remains to be seen. 

Mayor-President Kip Holden is right there with the pigs at the trough seeking his piece of the pie to fund his pet projects for EBRP.  His bond issue/tax failed last fall and now he is seeking YOUR tax dollars in a different form via the Stimulus Plan.  He is a persistant sort, isn’t he?

The warning against re-electing Mayor Kip Holden was not heeded by voters, nor was the election of President Barack Obama.  Now we pay the price – a higher National Debt eventually requiring more taxes. 

Democrats have spent a lifetime in political office spending our money.  Democrats quickly trashed President George W. Bush for spending tax dollars excessively with the war on terror, but fully approve spending OUR money to fund private enterprise and ventures while forgetting they agreed to the war on terror spending in the first place.  Can you say, “selective memory”?

The American Dream is now defined by government funding of private enterprises – if you mismanage your money, that is.  If you are a conscientious business owner, however, you are on your own. 

Sure these are random thoughts touching upon numerous topics, but pulled together into one major issue: 

Political hogs slopping around at a trough filled with YOUR tax dollars. This is the essence of the Stimulus Plan approved on Friday the 13th day of February – a day that will live in infamy.

Most lawmakers, or taxpayers for that matter, will not have the time or inclination to read the entire 407 page Stimulus Plan/bill passed by Congress. I scanned the document and found a few interesting appropriations including:

  • $22.5 million to ‘police’ the overall spending package by the Inspector General along with additional millions for virtually each distribution for further policing of expenditures
  • $1 billion for the Census Program
  • $650 million for analog converter boxes and additional millions for education of such the conversion
  • $1 billion for the Space Program
  • $25 million to renovate the Smithsonian Institute
  • $1.3 billion for Amtrak (many are unaware this is a government owned entity)

This list is endless and the price tag of President Obama’s Stimlus Plan is estimated at:

  • Approximately $2,700 for each man, woman and child in America
  • With 144 million employed Americans, that is $5,600 each
  • For 10.6 million UNEMPLOYED Americans, that is $77,200 each

It almost makes one think that writing a check to each American would be the better way to go.  That would, of course, negate special interests and pork barrel spending.  Either way, we are digging a deeper hole for the National Debt.  Obama hopes to ‘stimulate’ the economy.  In reality, he is increasing the National Debt significantly. 

This does not include the $700 billion TARP payout.  Let’s not continue with our math lesson, okay?  Well one more lesson is in order.  The U. S. National Debt is currently estimated at over $11 trillion. 

When Obama was elected as President, I thought he said he was bringing about real change?  Keep an eye on how Obama is increasing our national debt at this website, updated daily: 

www.theobamadebt.com

Obama, Holden, Thompson and other politicians are just adding insult to injury with the Stimulus Money Grab.  This is not the definition of change.

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

Alarming Murder Rate in EBRP Monday, Feb 16 2009 

Update:  Mayor-President Kip Holden has finally recognized the alarming crime rate in Baton Rouge.  Voters have spoken in local forums held by the mayor to discuss challenges plaguing the Red Stick.  In response, Holden tells The Advocate:  “I can tell you that we have to make this city cleaner, we have to do something about the crime that primarily (is) going on in the inner city.”  Unfortunately, the mayor is focusing on teaching our children more about the “evils of trash”than the evils of crime.  Although littering is a concern, we already have programs in place including the one Secretary of State Dardenne instituted.  Let’s hope Holden will develop programs for our childen that will educate them about crime.

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Crime statistics show that 99 murders took place in East Baton Rouge Parish in 2008.  No, this is not an error.  Total reading and a little math is required to determine the cause of murders in the Red Stick including:  75 by gunfire, 15 via drunken or accidental driving, 6 by knife, 1 beaten to death, 1 hit in the head, and 1 self-defense by shooting. 

According to The Advocate, the murders were committed for varying reasons including domestic violence, drugs, alcohol, revenge, road rage, robbery, drive-by shootings, and nightclub brawls.  Some indicate unknown reasons. 

The youngest victim was 3 years old and the oldest victim was 61 years of age.  The majority seem to fall in the 20-30 year range.  A couple extremely heartbreaking stories include children dying at the hands of troubled or angry parents. 

Also troubling is the fact that murders have taken place from across the North end of the parish in Zachary to Downtown Baton Rouge, and from the East to the West sides of EBRP.  No area except for the extreme southern part of the parish seems unscathed. 

Areas not so accustomed to murders including Goodwood, N. Harrells Ferry Road, Bluebonnet, Chimes Street, Brogdon, and Laurel Street proves that crime is rampant and murderers are moving freely throughout the Red Stick. 

Perhaps this is why the BR Business Report’s poll results of February 5, 2009, indicated that residents do not feel safe regardless of crime statistics. 

A quick count indicates 36 of last year’s murderers remain free to roam our streets.

Recent trouble in the leadership of the EBR Sheriff’s Office caused Lt. Colonel Ricky Adams to leave his post after only serving one year as the right hand second-in-charge position under Sheriff Sid Gautreaux due to an internal debacle. 

Meanwhile the only time the most powerful law enforcement officer in EBR Parish, Sheriff Sid Gautreaux, has mentioned crime statistics in his first year in office had been in response to murders in the Gardere area.   Troubling.

I am also troubled by expenditures by the Sheriff for new uniforms vs. ‘crime fighting’ equipment or tools to combat crime in our parish.  Where is the promise to put more deputies on the road?  Yes, I am aware the new fashionable look was funded by a grant from the Pennington Foundation. 

Wouldn’t the parish be better served with a $632,000 expenditure to increase patrols, replace equipment or buy more patrol units? 

Do you believe that Pennington would have turned down an opportunity to increase safety for our parish for more appropriate expenditures?  I think not.  Pennington has been all about making our parish better, not just cosmetically, but in a lasting way. 

Is this the priority of our chief law enforcement officer for EBR Parish?  Uniforms?  New logos?  Different colors?  Is this money wisely spent?

According to costs cited last April by former sheriff Phares, the cost of patrol units were estimated at $21,200 each.  This grant could have purchased nearly 30 additional units for our hard working deputies in uniform patrol to cover EBR parish.  Where are our priorities?

99 murders is cause for alarm.  Statistics on the EBR Sheriff’s Office website have not been updated since the 2nd quarter of 2008.  Where is the Mayor on this issue?  Why do we not hear from him on such an alarming issue?  Is it time for the Red Stick to merge forces of the BRPD and EBRSO in the creation of EBRP Metro Police? 

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

Obama’s $787 Billion Spendathon Sunday, Feb 15 2009 

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As far back as I can remember, American taxpayers have cried foul over government hand-outs.  The mentality of entitlement is a mindset that must be addressed with reform, not encouragement of a free-for-all mentality.  As a candidate, Barack Obama promised change.  Yet the essence of President Obama’s $787 Billion stimulus plan is the true definition of ‘more of the same’. 

In a world that encourages something for nothing and pleasure before pain, we are encouraging municipalities, companies and citizens to no longer appreciate the moral capacity to understand hard work and sacrifice.

A surgeon does not put a bandaid on the patient that needs surgery.  Likewise, attention to serious financial problems requires more than a 24-hr rapid fire negotiation for another bailout.  Is this Obama’s definition of change?

Let’s call the stimulus plan or bailout just what it is:  another government handout.  When will this madness stop?  Government involvement in private enterprise has a long history that rewards the rich, encourages welfare and ignores accountability.

 To understand the present, we must first look back to the past. 

  • In the late 1700’s farmers led a revolt over crushing debt and taxes leading to the Constitution Convention intended to ‘fix’ the existing one.  
  • In the 1800’s, railroad barons Fisk and Gould amassed gold that was intended to back-up government issued greenbacks causing the panic known as Black Friday.  Railroad barons were rewarded with land and grants.  To add insult to injury, international creditors demanded gold depleting America’s gold supply. 
  • The 1900’s brought the proliferation of government funding that benefits private enterprise in areas from highways and waterways to aviation and ship building.  Remind me why former Governor Edwin Edwards was sentenced to federal prison?

The year is now 2009.  The candidate who pontificated about his ability to make real change in Washington has brought us full circle with additional debt and temporary solutions to a long-term problem — our inability to cut the fat, fasten our seat belts and realize you can’t spend more money than you make.  (Unless you are in charge of the printing presses, I suppose.)

I wouldn’t be surprised if Obama is the next picture on our money.  My vote is for the penny since his ‘change’ is not worth more than a cent.

In yesterday’s radio address, President Obama told American’s to check a new website that would provide us with how stimulus dollars are being spent.  Unfortunately, the website is as empty as his promises for real change with absolutely no information as of today!

On a lighter note, I am humored by one comic’s take on the stimulus plan that is not so far from the truth:

Wanda Sykes on Obama’s Bailout

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

Domingue Dominates Senate Campaign Tuesday, Feb 10 2009 

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Senate District 16, once known as Jay Dardenne’s home plate, includes Baton Rouge’s most informed and active voting district in East Baton Rouge Parish.  Dardenne went on to prove his political savvy by winning the position of Louisiana Secretary of State.  After Dardenne moved upward, Dr. Bill Cassidy quickly beat out his opponents winning the much sought after Senate seat, only to move on to the 6th Congressional District seat vacated by Richard Baker.  This Senate seat brings good tidings!

Now, the seat is up for grabs again.  Three Republican candidates are vying for this critical seat in the Louisiana Senate including two ‘career candidates’ that formerly ran unsuccessfully for other offices:  Dan Claitor, attorney and a member of the well known Claitor family and Laurinda Calongne, business owner and lobbyist.  The third candidate is a newcomer:  Lee Domingue, business owner and not-for-profit founder.

According to The Advocate, Domingue leads the field with the most dollars raised.  Calongne and Claitor claims this does not concern them; however, anyone following politics understands that cash is the mother’s milk of winning campaigns.

  • Lobbyist, Laurinda Calongne’s website, quotes her as saying “we should have learned  long ago  that overspending during a temporary rush…is economic suicide.”  She also touts herself as a fiscal conservative, but Calongne doesn’t seem so conservative fiscally since she loaned her own campaign for congress nearly $300,000 according to the FEC.  She lost.  Calongne is also closely tied in business to the infamous Bob Livingston – though Calongne removed Livingston from her consulting firm’s website, Livingston still lists her as one of his key people in his Washington lobbyist firm.  Enough said.
  • Attorney, Dan Claitor’s website, gives reasons he is running, but it seems he is running because he failed to win the race for District Attorney.  Sorry, but I am not fond of candidates that jump from one race to another, so I will leave you to visit his website.  Running in race after race is what was the demise of Dan Kyle, a likeable man with many good attributes, but a killer scenario in the political world, according to voters.  Claitor may be also be a good guy, but anyone who can’t even put their picture on their website makes me wonder.  His campaign for District Attorney failed to make headway with his “Ready to Listen. Prepared to Fight”  slogan.  He should stay in his first love – fighting crime!
  • Business owner, Lee Domingue, caught my eye when a friend told me his background and compassion for others through a not-for-profit organization he created.  Domingue founded Cyrus International to fight human trafficking and to support orphans with AIDS.  He is also a successful businessman, honored as Businessperson of the Year by Junior Achievement and is author of the book Pearls of the King.  Domingue started his business in a garage and brought it to a billion dollar success.  He believes he is here to make a difference.  I like that kind of thinking – immensely, especially when they have proven success and are able to bring others together.  Coalition builders with fresh ideas are excellent first-timers for elections!

Out of all the potential candidates for Senate District 16, I am most impressed with Lee Domingue.  Perhaps I will let his own words in the BR Business Report speak for him best:

“Making money is easy, but making a difference is eternal.” 

“I want to be remembered as somebody who gave it all for the next generation.”

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

Obama Stimulus Mania Friday, Feb 6 2009 

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President Obama targeted Republicans who are not supportive of his stimulus plan yesterday claiming that failure to pass his bill would force the U.S. economy  to face “catastrophe”.   Unfortunately, we already in full catastrophe mode which is defined a a state of distress, calamity and destruction. 

Democrats hold a majority in both the House and Senate, but have failed to capture the votes necessary to pass the current stimulus plan.  This is the impetus that motivated President Obama to turn up the heat on Congress by taking full aim at critics of his plan. 

President Obama is proving himself to be another tax and spend liberal democrat espousing claims today that “we can’t embrace the losing formula that offers more tax cuts…”   Meanwhile Americans were mistakenly thinking tax cuts would be a good idea given the current recession.

It is predicted that President Obama plans to use unemployment statistics as a catalyst to convince Congress to pass his stimulus plan.  Nevertheless, the Associated Press reports that analysts predict up to 3 million jobs will vanish this year regardless of whether the stimulus plan passes or not.

Despite the $700 billion financial industry bailout, foreclosures are skyrocketing, home prices are sinking, consumers are having difficulty obtaining financial loans and Wall Street is flailing daily.

So, do we print (uh I mean spend) more money?  As the Church Lady would say, “how conveeenient”! 

The definition of mania is a state of euphoria, racing thoughts, talkativeness, and risk taking.  Sound familiar?  The key phrase here is:  a newly elected politician grasping at straws.

This ridiculous “Obama Stimulus Mania” makes me feel like I am in a Stephen King movie like Misery where Obama is playing Kathy Bates as I represent ailing Americans watching the sledgehamer coming down on my ankles while saying “I’m your #1 fan”.

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

Mayor Kip “Spendthrift” Holden Thursday, Feb 5 2009 

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Mayor Kip Holden never ceases to amaze me with his spendthrift plans for taxpayers of East Baton Rouge Parish.  While the entire country continues to make cutbacks, “our Mayor” seeks out new ways to hit voters in the pocketbook.  Since his tax plan failed last fall, he has continued to seek out ways to get around voters and fund his own selfish desires to spend our money extravagantly.

Attention Mayor Holden:  Every dime you spend has to find a source.  That source is the taxpayers.  Ever heard of saving money?  Has the thought struck you to find ways to cut back spending?  Evidently not!

Some of Mayor Holden’s latest spendthrift philosophies include:

  • Going to Washington, D.C. to ask for $800 million of President Obama’s stimulus package.  Instead of encouraging Washington against spending more of our tax dollars and reducing long-term debt, Holden is vying for funding of his special projects.  He was so bold as to say he should “come out of there with a pretty good chunk of change”. 
  • Asking the EBRP Metro Council to spend $1 million for land to put up a parking lot. 
  • Spending $17 million to expand the River Center that expands meeting rooms from 8 to 15 for the upcoming bowling congress. 
  • Renewed a $500,000 contract with BRAC (Baton Rouge Area Chamber) for economic development of EBR Parish.  This brings total payments to BRAC in the amount of $1.5 million since 2007.
  • Pushed through a $110 million bond issue for the Green Light Plan with the new Metro Council even though the CSRS project manager could not specify which projects would be funded.  What the ?

To add insult to injury, Mayor Holden is planning on pushing his $989 million tax proposal again this fall to voters, and excluding any benefit to the bedroom communities of Central, Baker and Zachary.  (These areas helped defeat the tax proposition.)  Interesting.

As of January 1, 2009, our spendthrift Mayor Kip Holden has already spent or has plans to spend a grand total over $928 million in tax dollars.  When you add the proposed tax plan this fall of $989 million in new tax dollars, you come up with a super grand total of $1,918,000,000 (yes that is $1 billion $918 million).

Wow!  This unrestrained spending by Holden must stop!  It was no secret I did not support Holden for Mayor.  I believe he lives with reckless abandon in so many ways and spending our tax dollars is probably #1 on his agenda.

At what point will Mayor Kip “Spendthrift” Holden stop?  Where is the old watchdog group TaxBusters when we need them?  Fred Dent, are you out there?  (Gotta give ole’ Fred credit for speaking out against the $500,000 BRAC expenditure – so I know he’s out there!)  Watchdogs are an important necessity when we have a Mayor that insists on spending vs. cutting back in these troubled times.

I cannot stand by and listen how great our community is doing from Mayor Holden and how we need two new downtown hotels when I read in the Business Report how our downtown hotel business is down 14-17% from this time last year.  Of course it is, FEMA guests stimulated our hotel industry . . . temporarily!  Wake up folks!

Mayor Holden is definitely out of control on spending.  We are one month into his new term and he already has visions of an increase of nearly $2 billion in spending.  When will the madness stop?

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican