Archive for the ‘Jobs’ Category

Bobby Jindal loves to throw around the “L-word.”

So much so that we at LouisianaVoice are beginning to let it creep into our vocabulary when writing about Bobby.

Of course, his “L-word” and our “L-word” have completely different meanings.

For him, it’s invoked when reacting to the “Liberal” media’s calling him out on his claims of being the savior for Louisiana’s health care, education, economy, ethics and general well-being.

For us, the “L-word” denotes Liar, as pathological Liar.

A pathological liar is defined as an abnormally habitual liar, or a person who lies to the point that it is considered a disease or condition. That would be Bobby Jindal, the man who took ideas from medical experts when he headed up the Department of Health and Hospitals, implemented those ideas and called them his own.

Before you get the wrong idea, we don’t reside in a dream world where the sun is always shining and the grass is always green. We know politicians lie. Former Gov. Edwin Edwards once said it went with his job.

We understand that just as we can predict that in the upcoming gubernatorial election, one of the candidates is certain to stretch the truth a bit by claiming that then-State Rep. David Vitter’s vote against tabling House Bill 1013 way back in 1993 was because he supported gay rights. http://louisianavoice.com/

Anyone who knows Vitter knows better than that (maybe hooker rights, but that’s another story for another day). His voting not to table the bill that would have made it illegal for employers or insurers to discriminate based on sexual orientation was merely an effort to keep the bill alive for full floor debate where it was certain to have been defeated.

But Bobby Jindal elevates lying to an art form At least he tries to, but his prevarications are so disingenuous as to appear laughable—except the joke is on us.

Take that letter that Jindal recently wrote to the New York Times http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/03/bobby_jindal_defends_his_recor.html#incart_river  in response to the paper’s editorial about governors being unable to hide from their records http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/01/opinion/sunday/governors-can-run-but-they-cant-hide.html?_r=0 and the column about the Jindal implosion http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/23/opinion/charles-blow-gov-jindals-implosion.html by  Times writer Charles Blow who just happens to be from the north Louisiana town of Gibsland and who was a Grambling State University honor graduate.

In that letter, Jindal repeated the claim that he had cut the state payroll by “30,000 workers.”


The Louisiana Office of Civil Services issues monthly layoff reports and contained in that monthly report is a year-by-year accounting of the number of civil service positions eliminated and the number of employees laid off. February 2015 Layoff Report

Since Fiscal Year 2008, which began six months prior to Jindal’s taking office in January of 2008, through the end February 2015, there have been a grand total of 13,577 positions eliminated and 8,396 employees laid off. The difference is apparently 5,181 eliminated positions were already vacant and simply not filled. Taking either number, you have far fewer than half the 30,000 claimed by Jindal.

“This fiscal responsibility resulted in eight straight upgrades by the major credit agencies,” he said in his letter, while neglecting to mention that two major rating agencies, Moody’s and Stand & Poor’s recently moved the state’s credit outlook from stable to negative while threatening the more severe action of a downgrade. http://louisianavoice.com/2015/02/14/two-major-investment-rating-firms-downgrade-louisiana-to-negative-state-is-now-officially-at-the-financial-end-game/

“And what did lower taxes do for our economy? They spurred growth,” he said. “Louisiana now has higher incomes…”


The state’s per capita income while increasing 1.1 percent from 2012 to 2013, has actually decreased overall since 2008 and continues to lag nearly $3,500 behind the national average while the median family income decreased by more than $2,500 and trailed the national median family income by more than $8,000. http://www.deptofnumbers.com/income/louisiana/


Were it not for Mississippi and the District of Columbia, Louisiana’s poverty rate (by household income) of 18.3 percent would be the highest in the nation. (Mississippi’s poverty rate is 20.1 percent and D.C. has a poverty rate of 20.7 percent.) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_poverty_rate

Moreover, our already stratospheric poverty rate is continuing to rise. http://www.labudget.org/lbp/2013/09/poverty-on-the-rise-in-louisiana/

“…more jobs…”


The February unemployment rate for Louisiana (the latest figures available) was 6.7 percent, compared to 5.5 percent for the rest of the country. The rate was 4 percent when Jindal took office but three years into his first term, the rate had risen to 8 percent before dropping below 6 percent in 2014 and spiking again this year. http://www.deptofnumbers.com/unemployment/louisiana/

“…and more people than we’ve ever had in the history of our state.”

Perhaps, but when those who were evacuated to other states in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita return, that does not signify population growth. That’s just folks coming home after a hiatus of a few years.

But no matter. Jindal long ago staked out his position on immigration reform. http://www.ontheissues.org/Governor/Bobby_Jindal_Immigration.htm

But while he is claiming “more people than we’ve ever had in the history of our state, he may wish to take a closer look at what the numbers mean.

Yes, it’s true that the state’s population grew by 64,396, an increase of 1.44 percent from 2000 to 2010. But the state actually lost 20,426 (-.47 percent) in the number of residents “not Hispanic or Latino origin” while registering a gain 84,822 (78.7 percent increase) in the number of people of “Hispanic or Latino origin.” http://censusviewer.com/state/LA

How’re you gonna square those numbers with your stand on immigration reform, Bobby? You can’t very boast of population growth and decry the influx of Hispanics in the face of those facts.

“A larger gross domestic product…”

Shoot, on this we don’t even beat Mississippi. Of the 12 states in the Southeast Region, our GDP barely nudges out Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama and South Carolina. http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/regional/gdp_state/2014/gspSE_glance.htm

Back in February, Jindal told a reporter for the Christian Science Monitor that Louisiana’s higher education budget “is actually a little bit, just slightly, higher than when I took office.” http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/wp/2015/02/11/jindals-claim-that-louisianas-higher-education-budget-is-slightly-higher/

“Wait. Wha…?


No, Bobby, that’s a DAMN LIE!

Anyone who can make that claim with a straight face has some serious mental issues of either being unable to separate face from fantasy or of just being unable to tell the truth—even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Even the Washington Post, for whom he often pens his op-ed pieces when not stumping for the Republican presidential nomination, called him out on that one. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/wp/2015/02/11/jindals-claim-that-louisianas-higher-education-budget-is-slightly-higher/

Remember when Jindal promised that premiums for the Office of Group Benefits would not increase and benefits would not decrease under his privatization plan?


And remember how he told us that health care for the state’s poor population would actually improve and the state would save millions by jettisoning those burdensome state hospitals?


Team Jindal moves toward developing a medical corridor along Bluebonnet Boulevard and Essen Lane in South Baton Rouge while creating a medical wasteland north of Government Street (thereby protecting medical care for the affluent population but not so much for the poorer, largely black population of North Baton Rouge). Baton Rouge General Mid City (north of Government by a couple of blocks), as part of that plan, is being forced into closing its emergency room facilities next week and there’s good reason to expect similar crises at private hospitals in Lake Charles, Shreveport and Monroe. In fact, the problems are already starting in Shreveport. http://m.apnews.com/ap/db_268748/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=6CI2I0hA

And, of course, there was Jindal’s claim of the infamous “no-go” zones in England in the face of all those apologies by Fox News for initiating the story.


It appears Bobby made that claim purely for the sake of political expediency, the worst reason of all. http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/19/politics/jindal-no-go-zones-london/

Jindal, of course, did that major flip-flop on Common Core and is somehow managing to link the Common Core to the radical teaching of American history at the cost of something called “American exceptionalism.”


So you’ve changed your position on Common Core. But you overlooked (deliberately, we strongly suspect) one minor detail: Common Core deals only in math and English, not history. http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/02/06/bobby-jindal-what-happens-when-we-stop-teaching-american-exceptionalism-to-our-students/

Finally, there is the biggest Lie of all:

“I have the job I want.”


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Troy Hebert is nothing if not:

  1. inconsistent
  2. obfuscating
  3. controversial
  4. all the above

Hebert, Bobby Jindal’s brilliant (sarcasm, folks, sarcasm!) choice to succeed former Director of the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC) Murphy Painter after Team Jindal set Painter up on bogus criminal charges, has stumbled into one administrative fiasco after another.

In fact, the manner in which Hebert has run his office might even be considered a microcosm of the Jindal administration, so frighteningly reminiscent is it to the way he seems to emulate his boss.

Just as Jindal attempted (unsuccessfully) to flex his muscles (figuratively, of course; it be absurd to suggest otherwise) after Painter refused to knuckle under to demands from former Chief of Staff Steve Waguespack that a permit be issued to Budweiser to erect a tent at major Jindal campaign donor Tom Benson’s Champion’s even though Budweiser had not met the legal permit requirements, so has Hebert attempted to destroy the careers of agents serving under him for reasons that consistently failed to rise above the level of political pettiness.

Jindal, who accused Painter of abusing his office, apparently overlooked the fact that Hebert, while serving in the Louisiana Legislature, nevertheless saw nothing wrong with working under a state contract for debris cleanup after Hurricane Katrina.

Not only was Painter acquitted in his federal criminal trial, but he then sued his accuser in civil court—and won.

Likewise, Hebert has been sued by former agents for racial discrimination and has been forced to settle at least one such claim. Other complaints are pending as this is being written. Part of the basis for those complaints was Hebert’s confiding in Tingle that he was “going to f**k with” two black agents and that he intended to break up the “black trio” in north Louisiana—in reference to agents Charles Gilmore, Daimian McDowell and Bennie Walters.

And in the case of Brette Tingle, Hebert went to the extreme of attempting to get three different agencies to say there was a criminal payroll fraud case against Tingle—and in each case he failed to get his needed approval. Tingle’s sin? He was listed as a witness for the three black agents who have lodged EEOC complaints against Hebert. That left Hebert with only one logical course of action (logical in Hebert’s mind, that is). He fired Tingle while Tingle was recuperating from a heart attack.

ATC employees Terri Cook and Sean Magee tracked GPS locations of agents and emailed agents and their supervisors on a daily basis so that any issues, discrepancies or inconsistencies raised by the GPS reports could be addressed in a timely manner.

Yet, despite Hebert’s claims that Tingle was not working when he said he was or that he made an unauthorized trip into Mississippi, the issues were never raised by Cook or Magee, according to Tingle’s attorney J. Arthur Smith.

In fact, Smith pointed out that Tingle traveled to Kiln, MS. On May 2, 2012—at Hebert’s express approval—“to obtain surplus gun cleaning kits from his (Tingle’s) Coast Guard unit which were then issued to agents in your (Hebert’s) presence at a meeting at the Baton Rouge ATC headquarters with all enforcement agents as well as business division employees present.”

Smith also said that Tingle “was assigned FDA compliance checks (for tobacco sales to minors) while out on sick leave.” Upon his return to work, Mr. Tingle informed (Hebert) that he could not complete the assigned compliance checks because of other collateral duties which Hebert had assigned him. “These collateral duties included meeting with Trendsic Corp. and newly hired IT employee Keith McCoy to discuss several ideas that Mr. Tingle brought to you and that you wanted implemented before Mr. Tingle left on military leave.

“In this conversation,” Smith continued in his March 10 letter to Hebert, “you instructed Mr. Tingle to ‘get someone else to do those checks.’ Mr. Tingle also served a hearing officer and Internal Affairs Investigator for the ATC. These collateral duties, as well as your special assignments to him, were not part of Mr. Tingle’s regular job duties. You never at any time excused Mr. Tingle from performing these additional responsibilities,” he said.

Moreover, Smith noted, Tingle, Hebert initiated reprisals against Tingle because of statements provided by Tingle in a federal EEOC racial discrimination action filed against the ATC and Hebert even though Tingle “received the highest marks on his annual performance evaluation of all ATC enforcement agents. You signed this evaluation in July 2012,” Smith said.

That same month Hebert contacted Tingle, who was on vacation, by telephone in July of 2012, Smith said, to inquire into specifics concerning programs and initiatives that were part of an ATC pilot program for the New Orleans area initiated by Tingle. Upon learning of Tingle’s participation as a witness in the discrimination matter, however, Hebert claimed on Oct. 4, 2012, that Tingle had committed payroll fraud and further told OIG investigators that no such pilot program existed, according to Smith’s letter to Hebert.

The pilot program, Tingle said, involved programs not being done in other parts of the state. For example, a plan promoted by the AARP to improve blighted areas. ATC, he said, worked with AARP to provide alternative business plans to bar owners who have had their licenses suspended or revoked.

Hebert and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu held a joint press conference in July of 2012 to announce the program that Tingle initiated. http://www.nola.gov/mayor/press-releases/2012/20120717-mayor-landrieu-and-atc-commissioner-troy/

It was during this press conference that Hebert called a vacationing Tingle for information on the pilot program.

Tingle said Hebert has never followed through on any of the facets of the program.

In mid-January of 2013, Hebert launched an investigation into Tingle’s wife, Traci Tingle, who had recently retired from ATC, claiming that she had falsified state documents and that she had released personnel records to someone outside ATC.

The nature of the personnel records Hebert accused Traci Tingle of releasing was not made clear because Hebert never explained what they were. The state documents referred to, however, were inventory reports in which Traci Tingle had affirmed that the ATC had office equipment in an office in Vidalia, across the Mississippi River from Natchez. Hebert claimed “there was no Vidalia office,” Smith said, but when an ATC employee contacted the Vidalia Police Department about the matter, the Vidalia Police Department confirmed there was an ATC office in that town and that the office still contained ATC equipment.

It was unclear why Hebert would assert that ATC had no office in Vidalia unless the claim was made as a means of attempting to incriminate Traci Tingle.

What is clear, however, that Hebert is molding the agency into his personal fiefdom. He claims he has never fired a black agent but the evidence says otherwise. He also doesn’t say much about intimidating blacks—or transferring one from Shreveport to New Orleans without so much as day’s notice—to the point that they leave of their own accord.

The thing to keep uppermost in mind is that he is Jindal’s hand-picket director, specifically plucked from the legislature to succeed the man whom Jindal railroaded out of office with bogus criminal charges that were subsequently laughed out of court—all because that man, Murphy Painter, insisted that applicants (even those connected to big campaign donors like Tom Benson) conform to the rules when submitting applications for permits.

LouisianaVoice saw a railroad job then and we called it just that—when no other members of the media would come to the defense of Painter. We’re again seeing a railroad job and again, we’re calling it just that.

Jindal, of course, does not preside over the ATC Office but his policies, like a certain substance, flow downhill.

And right now, they’re stinking up the ATC Office.

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As we wrote in Monday’s post, Gov. Bobby appears to be quite adept at embellishing the facts when it comes to his claims of resuscitating a moribund Louisiana economy. But a seasoned politician should know better than to put claims out there that are so easily debunked.

Of course, we have to give him credit: he was apparently way ahead of the curve on using private emails to conduct public business. While the national media is obsessing over Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email account as a means of keeping the public in the dark, the Louisiana media, namely AP’s Melinda Deslatte, called Jindal and his staff out more than two years ago on that very issue. http://bigstory.ap.org/article/top-jindal-aides-use-personal-email-strategize

But back to the matter of Gov. Bobby’s pumping up his résumé. Back in September of 2011, LouisianaVoice cited his inaccurate claims in TV ads during his 2011 reelection campaign. http://louisianavoice.com/2011/09/29/jindal-plays-fast-and-loose-with-jobs-claim-tv-campaign-ad/

In those ads, he made all sorts of claims about the number of jobs created during his first term. He named 17 companies across the state, leaving the unspoken impression that each was a new company when in fact many were companies already domiciled in Louisiana that announced expansions which were, in all likelihood, already in the planning before he ever took office.

The ad flashed purported job gains for which he took full credit. But a closer look at the actual number of jobs as posted on the companies’ own web sites should have raised eyebrows then and certainly should result in anything he says now to being taken with a huge grain of salt.

For example, he claimed responsibility for the following figures (actual jobs created are in parenthesis):

  • 3,970 new jobs at the Foster Farms chicken processing plant in Union Parish (1,060);
  • 6,050 new jobs at the Nucor Steel plant in St. James Parish (650);
  • 1,570 jobs at Blade Dynamics in New Orleans (600);
  • 1,300 jobs at Globemaster in Covington (500);
  • 2,282 jobs at LaShip in Terrebonne Parish (1,000);
  • 1,253 jobs at DG Foods in Bastrop (317);
  • 1,970 new jobs resulting from CenturyLink expansion in Monroe (1,150);
  • 1,920 new jobs at the ConAgra sweet potato processing plant in Delhi (500);
  • 650 new jobs from expansion of Schlumberger oilfield equipment company in Shreveport (120);
  • 500 new jobs from Ronpak fast food packaging company in Shreveport (175);
  • 446 new jobs at Northwest Pipe (120);
  • 805 jobs at Zagis USA in Jefferson Davis Parish (161);
  • 880 new jobs from expansion of Aeroframe facility in Lake Charles (300);
  • 727 new jobs at Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass terminal in Cameron Parish (77);
  • 339 new jobs at the Northrop Grumman facility in Lake Charles (80)

In all, Gov. Bobby’s 2011 TV ad claimed that he created 25,425 new jobs through the Department of Economic Development when in fact only 6,729 new jobs were actually created, or about 26.5 percent of the total claimed.

And now, with Gov. Bobby flailing away like a drowning man in his desperate attempt to gain traction in his quest for the Republican presidential nomination, makes a whole new laundry list of distorted claims in Monday’s USA Today op-ed piece that reads more like a campaign ad than a legitimate opinion piece.

We listed several of those in Monday’s post but overlooked one major claim, the inaccuracy of which came to light on Tuesday when LouisianaVoice received its monthly report from the Louisiana Department of Civil Service.

That report, which is a public record not controlled by the Division of Administration and Commissioner Kristy Nichols and thus, immediately available to any member of the public, is the monthly state employee layoff report and when comparing its contents with Gov. Bobby’s USA Today claim, the differences were quite striking.

You will need to scroll down to the third page to get to the meat of the report but the gist of it is that since Fiscal year 2008-2009, which started six months prior to Gov. Bobby’s first taking office, the number of state jobs abolished is 13,577 and the number of actual employees laid off is 8,396 (the difference is that were 5,181 of those that were vacant positions). ELIMINATED STATE POSITIONS BY YEAR

And, it should be noted, the bulk of those layoffs were the result of his giving away the state’s charity hospital system and, in the process, separating thousands of medical staffers from the state payroll.

That’s a far cry from Gov. Bobby’s spouting that there are “over 30,000 fewer state workers then when we took office in 2008.”

In fact, the actual reduction in the number of employees is 72 percent lower than the number he claims.

That’s 194 percent higher than his current approval rating of 27 percent.

It’s enough to make one wonder if the man is even capable of telling the truth—and that’s no embellishment.


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As the days of his administration dwindle and the certainty of the numbers sets in, Gov. Bobby finally must come to the undeniable realization that his quest for the Republican nomination is a vanishing dream (actually, it was over long ago), he and his disciples of delusion must now turn their attention to their respective futures.

Many political observers believe Gov. Bobby may be already jockeying for a cabinet post in lieu of his non-existent chances of becoming POTUS. Others think he might hook up with some conservative think tank to continue spewing his archaic talking points.

We coaxed our mystery cartoonist to come up with an appropriate strip for this post—and we even included a couple from the cartoon archives for good measure.

Then we asked a few of our readers to offer suggestions as to what Gov. Bobby and some of his top appointees might look forward to now that their meal ticket is about all used up.

We asked them to consider the following questions:

  • What will post-term Bobby be doing? Think tank writer, Faux News commentator/host, cabinet slot, join the Duck Dynasty family, replace Rush Limbaugh, etc.
  • When he will finally admit he’s no longer considering a run for POTUS?
  • Will he resign early a la Sarah Palin?
  • What will his top appointees—Kyle Plotkin, Kristy Nichols, Stephen Moret, Timmy Teepell, Jimmy Faircloth—be doing post-Bobby?

Some of the answers we got were funny and some serious. Some were anonymous for obvious reasons. All were interesting.

Stephen Winham, former State Budget Officer, said Gov. Bobby will abandon his quest for the White House only “when his handlers finally let him come out of the delusional fantasy world in which he obviously exists—or when he is offered and accepts whatever it is he really has his eye on.”

Winham, who earlier half-jokingly said Gov. Bobby “could have aspirations to replace Pat Robertson on the 700 Club. There’s a lot of money to be made on religion and the faithful will buy into what’s being told them rather than attempt to find the truth on their own.” He said many powerful figures, including Adolph Hitler, “have used the human proclivity for escaping from personal freedom and responsibility to their advantages. Some use it to promote evil, like Hitler. Others use it to promote good, like Billy Graham uses religion.” Gov. Bobby, he said, “will use it to promote Bobby.”

Earthmother said Gov. Bobby would not concede until 2045, “when he is 75,” but she added that even then he would “still think he can be a contendah, limping around the country with a cane and dragging a huge belt buckle (and) still spouting hatred and irrelevance.”

As to the prospects that Gov. Bobby would step down before his term expires, she pointed out that “he’s already resigned as governor, performing no duties or even remaining in the state but is too greedy and craven to do the honest thing and forego his salary and perks, like living free in the governor’s mansion. So much for the fool’s gold standard of ethics.”

Earthmother suggested an appropriate vocation for post-Gov. Bobby would be slopping pigs. But she was quick to apologize for insulting pigs and went on to say he has no job skills. “I cannot think of any way he could actually earn a living,” she said. “Perhaps some conservative gazillionaire will feel sorry for his family and give him a handout as a flight attendant on one of those private jets he is so fond of.”

C.B. Forgotston believes Gov. Bobby will start a think tank in the Washington, D.C. area “funded by the out-of-state contractors he hired for hundreds of millions of dollars to accomplish zero.”

He said Gov. Bobby will probably move his family to a state in the D.C. area and after his children finish high school he will get Louisiana legislators to give them scholarships to Tulane “because the tuition costs will be too high at all the public universities in Louisiana.”

John Sachs was less charitable. “He will remain governor because he knows his crazy ideas and policies have alienated so many that he must keep his state police entourage around him. And it’s free.”

Sachs said he does not believe Gov. Bobby will land a cabinet or even a department head position “because he can’t keep his mouth shut and no president is going to stand being upstaged by a subordinate. He will probably become a pitch man for a speed reading and speaking enterprise so that his followers can read the Bible and misinterpret it in a rapid-fire manner.”

He said Gov. Bobby “has no sense of loyalty. His relationships are all, without exception, based on what someone can do for him. All human life is expendable to Bobby.”

Jeanie Rhea said she believes Gov. Bobby could keep the flame of hope alive as he plots his next move from within a command center in his D.C. fortress home—because he’s too good to live down here on the plantation—“with Mike Edmonson providing private security and black Tahoes.” She said his best bet is as the leader of a mega-church/cult of some sort while continuing to remain “on-message” and keep his coffers filled with sermons and white papers about Christian bigotry, hatred, and disdain for the poor. “And yes, even as his popularity sinks, there are still enough nuts out there to keep him in business by dropping something into the plate (Rolfe still loves him).”

Gov. Bobby’s experience with exorcising demons while a student at Brown University “would also work well with his divine leadership role,” she said. “Folks love a good spit-spraying, demon rassler.”

One writer who wishes to remain anonymous said Gov. Bobby’s “very high level of narcissism,” will keep him in the race until mathematically eliminated and then perhaps he will jockey for the vice president consolation prize. But he doesn’t see that happening because he has too much baggage to help the party. He thinks if a Republican wins the presidency, Gov. Bobby may be offered a cabinet position to appease the tea partiers. “I would not be surprised to see him refuse a cabinet position because his bully pulpit would be limited by his boss,” he said.

Our unnamed reader said he does not expect Gov. Bobby to resign because quitting would “adversely impact his image.” He did, however suggest that he might concentrate his efforts toward becoming chairman of the National Republican Party, which he would perceive “as giving him a national base of power.

“To paraphrase the character Dr. Thackery in the current Cinemax series The Knick, ‘You can’t run away and join the circus unless the circus wants you.’”

Shifting to Gov. Bobby’s supporting cast, our anonymous contributor predicted there would be a “stream of departures starting shortly after the 2015 legislature adjourns up through (Gov. Bobby’s) final days. Some will join lobbying firms,” he said. “I could easily see Kristy Nichols and LABI in bed with each other. Her political career is essentially done in Louisiana.”

He said Timmy Teepell might follow Gov. Bobby wherever he goes. “It just depends upon the direction (Gov. Bobby) takes.”

Forgotston said Teepell will teach a course at Gov. Bobby’s think tank “on the Machiavellian approach to political campaigns. It will include lessons in how to launder campaign funds and how to avoid being found in campaign disclosure statements.”

Jimmy Faircloth, Forgotston said, will “return to law school to re-take the courses about winning lawsuits.” Moret, who is pulling down $350,000 per year while pursuing his Ph.D. from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, “will become a pitch man for a new baldness cure,” and Kyle Plotkin “will remain Bobby’s manservant. He will be Bobby’s driver and carry his bags when Bobby attends important meetings to explain the ‘Louisiana Miracle.’”

Another reader, who also asked that we not use his name, said he believes Plotkin “should be a Wal-Mart greeter because he’s such a charming a**hole,” and that he sees Commissioner of Administration as “Cleopatra, Queen of Denial.”

Forgotston, however, said he believes Nichols “will start a beauty shop in the Capitol basement.”

Rhea, Winham and Earthmother chose to lump all of Gov. Bobby’s top appointees into one group with Rhea calling them “Jindalspawn,” and saying they “are well suited to be pseudo-ministers of propaganda, finance, legal affairs, education, etc., as they have consistently proven that they can suck the chrome off a trailer hitch.”

“Kristy Nichols will get a job promoting another politician via distortion of reality,” Winham said. “A lot of politicians look for people with that talent and, largely unchallenged, she has used it well in this administration.”

“I don’t know enough about Plotkin to speculate other than his possession of the same talent as Ms. Nichols. Stephen Moret, the smartest person working for (the administration), will be a success no matter what he does.

“Timmy Teepell will hang on to (Gov. Bobby) as long as he is able to use his home-schooled education to make a lot of money off him. When that dries up, he will find another right-wing religious figure to support him and his family.

“Jimmy Faircloth will continue to be among the ranks of high-profile, but incompetent attorneys who somehow make it in the world because of their perceived connections, real or imagined.”

Earthmother simply said they all should get jail time “for malfeasance, fiduciary irresponsibility and general crimes against humanity and especially the citizens of Louisiana.”

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In the seven-plus years of his administration, Gov. Bobby has pretty much had his way with the legislature in passing his so-called reform programs. The lone exception is his aborted effort to abolish the state income tax a couple of years ago.

Everything else—education reform, state employee retirement reform, privatization of the Office of Risk Management, the Office of Group Benefits, the state’s charity hospital system, rejection of Medicaid expansion, cutting funding for higher education, the sell-off of state property, and of course, all those generous corporate tax exemptions, credits and incentives for—sailed through the legislature, to borrow a phrase from my formative years, like crap through a goose.

Only the courts were able to restore some degree of sanity to the education and retirement changes.

So how has all that change worked out for the state?

Well, according to Marsha Shuler, writing in today’s Baton Rouge Advocate, the OGB reserve fund, which was already largely depleted since the privatization of that agency, has now fallen below that financial advisers believe to be a “safe” level. Those reserve funds, which were more than $500 million before Gov. Bobby’s meddling, are now at a dismal $102.8 million and at a burn rate (paying out more than it’s taking in) of $14.9 million a month (spending $1.14 for every dollar in revenue), the fund is on a trajectory of hitting less than $30 million by June 30. http://theadvocate.com/news/11705445-123/group-benefits-reserves-continue-to

The privatization of the state’s charity hospital system has resulted in a $190 million state liability to Medicaid even after the privatization deal was approved in part by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. http://www.thenewsstar.com/story/news/local/2015/01/11/hospital-decision-good-jindal-less-others/21538739/

The ripple effect of the hospital privatization has also resulted in the decision by Baton Rouge General Mid-City to close its emergency room facilities next month because of operating losses generated by the closure of Earl K. Long Medical Center which served the poor community of Baton Rouge.

But never one to pass up an opportunity to put a positive spin on bad decisions, Gov. Bobby, while taking pot shots at the Obama administration for everything from Obamacare to his Mideast policies to the threat of an imminent Islamic coup in Europe, keeps telling us (on those rare occasions when he is in the state) how wonderful things are and how Louisiana continues to outpace the rest of the nation in economic growth and business climate. http://gov.louisiana.gov/index.cfm?md=newsroom&tmp=detail&articleID=4156

His head cheerleader, Rolfe McCollister is right behind him, lending the influence of his publication, the Baton Rouge Business Report, to augment Gov. Bobby’s rosy proclamations.


But one should keep uppermost in mind that McCollister was treasurer of Gov. Bobby’s re-election campaign and as Bobby’s appointee to the LSU Board of Stuporvisors, was instrumental in securing the Pete Maravich Assembly Center for that prayer rally attended by about 3,500 people in the spacious 18,000-seat arena.

But let’s look at the latest survey, one which Gov. Bobby undoubtedly will ignore as he traipses about Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina in search of enough commitments to get him to even register in polls of likely Republican presidential contenders.

24/7 Wall St. is a corporation which runs a financial news and opinion company. The company publishes up to 30 articles per day which are published throughout the world.

Its latest survey, issued today (Feb. 27) puts Louisiana at the very bottom of its list of the Best and Worst States for Business. http://247wallst.com/special-report/2015/02/26/the-best-and-worst-states-for-business/?utm_source=247WallStDailyNewsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=FEB272015A&utm_campaign=DailyNewsletter

That’s right, Mississippi no longer owns the anchor spot in 24/7 Wall St.’s multitudinous surveys of things good and bad. This one belongs to Louisiana.

Here’s what the survey says about Louisiana:

  • No state fared worse on 24/7 Wall St.’s business climate Index than Louisiana. The state is not the worst place to run all businesses, however. The manufacturing sector accounted for more than 20% of Louisiana’s economic output in 2013, the fourth highest such contribution in the country. Despite the strong sector, Louisiana generally provides poor conditions for business.
  • Nearly one in five residents lived in poverty in 2013 — nearly the worst rate in the nation — contributing to both the low quality of the labor force as well as a low quality of life in the state. The working-age population was projected to decline by 3.2% from 2010 through 2020, one of the worst declines in the nation. While nearly 30% of Americans had at least a bachelor’s degree as of 2013, only 22.5% of Louisiana adults had at least such a degree, also nearly the lowest rate. Poor education contributed to poor scores in innovation. The state was one of only a handful of states where the average venture capital investment was less than $1 million.

There were several factors that went into the evaluation of the state’s lowly status as a place to do business:

  • The state’s gross domestic product growth of 1.3 percent was 17th lowest in the nation;
  • Average wages and salaries of $44,828 were 23rd lowest;
  • The percentage of adults with bachelor’s degrees was 5th lowest at 22.5 percent;
  • The 395 patents issued to residents were 13th lowest;
  • The negative 3.2 percent projected working-age population growth was 13th lowest.

The survey also noted that Louisiana ranked:

  • 47th in infrastructure;
  • 48th in the quality of life (the lack of adequate health care for many could be a factor in that statistic);
  • 49th in labor and human capital

Mississippi? As far as Louisiana and Gov. Bobby are concerned, that state is up there in the stratosphere at only the 4th worst in the nation.

Rounding out the bottom five were West Virginia (49th), Kentucky (48th), and Alabama (46th).

The five best, in order, were Utah, Massachusetts, Wyoming, South Dakota and Delaware, according to the survey.

Iowa and New Hampshire ranked 12th and 14th, respectively, which may help explain why Gov. Bobby spends so much time in those places instead of the state that he was elected to govern.


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