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Pelican Republic

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

SIGN UP FOR ALL NEW POLITICSLA FORUM

Written by The Purple Veil
Politicsla.com has launched an all-new forum for discussing national and Louisiana politics, with added filters to help prevent the invasion of spam messages.  Because of the age of the old forum, it was impossible to import the registered usernames without risking picking up spam accounts, so you will need to take a minute to sign up.  For your convenience, you can register your same username and bookmark the new forum if you prefer to go directly to the discussions. Politicsla.com is committed to maintaining a forum for the lively debate of Louisiana politics and our view of what's going on around the country.  Click on the link on the Politicsla.com home page to register today and let your friends know the forums are back. 
Come on Man! The New Orleans Times Picayune called it tough talk from the Mayor but is sounds like suspended reality for everyone who finds the crime wave in New Orleans totally unacceptable.  The Mayor's statement is more of the same from a guy who finds his comfort zone sitting in the crowd complaining about crime from the outside instead of getting the right people in position to bring the professionalism he so often says is his hallmark.  The failure of this New Orleans city administration to wrap up crime and send it packing says volumes about how the mayor views crime and his role in general. The City has had more than its share of crime and an education system that left little resources on the table for under served populations.  But as crime often does, its creeping shadow into neighborhoods of privilege have prompted the mayor to ridicule his city as having a "culture of crime." Come on man! Statements like this may be psychologically comforting and it may be politically smart to play like one of the people by criticizing "the City" for its culture but that is far from leading.  Killings on Canal St, the French Quarter, the Lower Garden District, Bywater, Marigny, New Orleans East, are THE agenda not fodder for political rhetoric. These shameful acts of violence didn't measure priority status when they were in the realm of run down tenement slums and where the killing was confined to seedy zones. But it did bother professionals and big business decades ago, who left in droves to built their corporate skyscrapers in Houston and Atlanta, places where they could encourage a strong education to lift all of society, while undergirding strong, diverse andy prospering economies.  Not everyone grew up like the few who remain in the city and send their kids to schools behind walls. Smart cities build mass transit, and better neighborhoods and erect ladders to success for all, yes, even for minority populations who, when all else fails, kill us and kill each other.  Smart cities are not about tall talking but on the ground action. That is what leadership is all about, not whining with repeated rhetoric about what a culture of crime we face by the city's fast talking mayor.  Quite frankly, saying that we are all in this together and rolling out school yard examples to fight crime misses the "feel good" boat and makes the frog boil.
I read a really disappointing USA TODAY front page story, "A Decade of War," that missed the point that we have been at war for generations, not a decade. There can be no honor in older generations sending their young into endless battles to die. As a nation, we have resorted to justifying a legacy of war and no one seems to have the guts to pull the plug on the enormous human and financial suffering brought to America by war. in a perverse view of patriotism, war has been linked to homeland security and loyalty, where questioning the budgets of either is positioned as unpatriotic. With runaway spending for so-called security, we pay taxes to limit our freedoms at home and create a cloud of anxiety. My view is that a peaceful nation is honorable. We have to be smart enough to quit apologizing decades later for the the heartaches caused by foolish warring. We are on a path to the dark side of history again, and the best way to honor our fallen countrymen is to build a living monument, a future free of war for which we can all be proud. Why can't we just push the pause button and start doing the honorable thing? It makes the frog boil.
Wednesday, 03 August 2011

BANDITS OF A BAD ECONOMY

Written by The Boiling Frog


As we share compassion for our fellow man being mugged in a bad economy, save your tears for one profession cashing in at the bank of the ruined economy.  The misery being spread by our elected “leaders” is funneling millions into the lobbying shops of Washington and state houses. 

 

To be a lobbyist when nothing is getting done and there is heightened tension and partisanship is like being a pig in slop.  Fear brings out the checkbooks of the big forces in our down economy, health and pharmaceuticals, banking and financial institutions, manufacturing and public works, labor unions and big business… and it never stops. 

 

If you are a really top-flight lobbyist, you’ve scared the hell out of your fat cat clients and convinced those without representation that they need to be on the inside through your contacts and influence in high circles.  So, you rake in the loot while copying and pasting daily reports from Capitol Hill are receiving pay back from those staffers that you’ve fattened up over lunch or if not allowed by spending limits (even better for lobbyists bottom line), at the bar.

 

One thing we must credit Obama for is knowing that the world of the lobbyist is a hidden, dark and scary place, where moles of the system have junior clerks or former agency staff crank out the sheets of legislative language that serve those who pay them most.  The paper walks it way into the capitol and suddenly bills and amendments appear.  Oh, they didn’t teach you that part in civics?

 

How can that be?  I’ve heard lobbyists boast in some cigar clubs that they have one airline, five manufacturers, one railroad, several cities and a country.  It’s like monopoly on a grand scale.  There are few rules and, if you want to hear a snicker, ask for their rate sheet.  That is usually determined by the fear index, right?

 

So what do you think the rate sheet is for our current financial crisis, where nothing good will come to any of us?  What do you think the rate sheet was for creating the language for laws that lead to hedge funds and the financial meltdown?  What do you thing the rates were for keeping the Iraqi war in gear and adding two more wars to boot? 

 

We are in trouble, folks, while a cynical gang of Republicans and Democrats find glee, often together in the same firms who really want it all, and toast their good fortunes of our bad fortunes.

 

So, get smart and put the puzzle pieces together in an age of billion dollar campaigns, manipulation of election finance laws to allow multiple ways of bringing big bucks into incumbent campaigns, and the toxic waste of partisanship that undermines the American dream. 

 

Meanwhile, the Frog is boiling.

In observing the fight over the national debt limit (which I am not convinced is such a big deal), my feelings about the political process are only reinforced.  It is similar to a television program where the conflict gets resolved in the final ten minutes.  I would think both sides would be able to find common ground, but it seems the ‘purity’ of Republicans will keep a long term, responsible solution from happening.  After all, if a deal is reached, credit will go to the President and yet another issue for the Republicans won’t be playable.

I do not recall the right objecting to having such a big deficit when Reagan or W was President.  It seems   this is a manufactured issue because they have little else with which to scare the public.  After all, we now know that our President was indeed born in Hawaii.  They campaigned on job creation, yet not one jobs bill has been introduced to address the issue. 

Apparently in the Republican mind, all ills of the country can be solved with lower taxes.  I have heard this argument during my lifetime.  And right now under a Democratic President, we have the lowest tax rate since 1950.  Yet, we have more people in America than ever before.  Folks are living longer and there is a strain on resources.  This fact seems to fall on deaf ears.  I can’t comprehend the logic of making sure the richest folks in America pay lower taxes.  I do not see the sense of giving someone with a private jet or billions of dollars a tax break. 

The slime machine is quick to discredit those that discuss this issue as encouraging class warfare, which is one step away from Socialism.  I don’t see it that way.  I do think that the ideology of the Republican Party wants to maintain the status quo of majority white wealthy control in our country.  I believe most of what they do it tinged with racial overtones.  They somehow believe that the money of the rich will trickle down (seems so condescending) to the masses.

They see this on the local level as well.  I do not think Baton Rouge will ever have a white mayor again unless he or she is a Democrat.  I also don’t think America will ever have another Nixon or Reagan.  A majority of babies born in this country now are non-white.  Republicans have done little over the years to address issues of the non-white.  Eventually it will harm them- and they are scared to death.  I’m just sayin’.

 THE KILLER BILL....MAKING IT LEGAL 

 

In which Louisiana parish were the lives of two innocent, bright siblings with brilliant futures  destroyed in an accident with another young driver who was barreling down a country highway while he watched a small screen tv in his vehicle?  The brother was killed; his sister crippled for life.   Answer:  Vermilion Parish

 

Legislators in which state are wasting time discussing a bill to make dashboard tvs legal?  Answer:  Louisiana

 

Which state has the highest car insurance rates in the nation?  Answer:  Louisiana

 

Which state has a high incidence of drunk drivers?  Answer:   Louisiana

 

House Bill 243, already approved by the House and the Senate Transportation Committee, has to be one of the most senseless pieces of legislation to ever come out of the Louisiana Legislature....and we all know that’s saying alot.

 

And how did the three legislators representing portions of Vermilion Parish vote on this killer bill:  Hensgens, Yes.....Champagne, Yes......Landry, Yes

 

Yep, these are the people we elected to protect us and safeguard our children.

 

A recent Advocate article reported State Senator Adley not only praising this killer bill but joking about it.  And we thought he was one of the few voices of reason demanding Jindal’s administration not only be oh so publicly, but also privately, transparent and he ruins it with one not funny quip about his marriage.    

 

Who in their right minds can possibly believe a splitview screen on the dashboard of any vehicle is a good idea...besides Mercedes Benz of course?  Like the passenger isn’t going to say, “Man, ya gotta see this!”  And the driver isn’t going to lean all the way over?  In what universe will this never happen?  And maybe the driver is sober....or not.  

 

Who in their right minds can possibly believe we need an additional distraction for immature drivers....and many who are supposed to be mature.....already so involved in their cell phone conversations they are disregarding traffic laws from one end of this state to the other?  And the rest of us are paying for it.

 

Why do we keep electing these people with no common sense?  You know, the ones who ate popcorn during the legislative session while watching a propaganda film being shown by a car company’s lobbyist.  

 

Thursday, 09 June 2011

Family Forum: Bad for Louisiana

Written by Man on the Street

I believe the biggest danger of organized religion is that it can be used as a tool of hatred.  Radical Muslim ideology uses the Koran to support terror and Jihad against anyone who is not a part of their ideal.  Most of us look upon that with much disgust and disdain.  And our country seems to be in a state of endless war because of it.  What will our world become:  Muslim or Christian?

Yet in America some use organized religion to promote bigotry, xenophobia, and hatred.  In our state it comes in the form of the Louisiana Family Forum.  Their Jihad is to dictate social policy while advocating small government expect when it comes to marriage, education, sexuality, race, and abortion.  They are very organized and have lots of financial support from Washington.  After listening to their positions on life in America I can only come to one conclusion.  They want a white male dominated society.  They resist difference.   Women have a place in their world- subservient to the male dominance.  Homosexuals and foreigners have no place in their society except as a tool for hatred. 

The Family Forum would like to adhere to the original verbiage of the Constitution; one without amendments banning slavery or giving women equal rights.  They are the new ‘White Citizens Councils’ of our era; an attempt to restore the glory of an unequal America.  By 2050, minorities will be the majority of the voting population in America.  At that time the old ways of thinking will be silenced.  A new day is dawning in our country.

How does this affect our state?  It keeps up in the dark ages.  It makes us a national punch line.  We remain poor and uneducated.  We top many negative lists.  For example, we are the only state that has an anti-evolution law.  The world moves faster now and the reality is that life is more expensive.  Faith is supposed to provide personal comfort in times of need; not provide excuses or justifications for bigotry.

The Family Forum is bad for Louisiana.  I’m just sayin’……..

The Louisiana Democratic Party is dead. Let’s don’t waste time arguing that point. Let’s just admit it and talk about the mystery of how it happened. After all, everyone loves a good whodunit story. With Democratic officials across the state defecting to the Republican Party on an almost weekly basis, the talk on the street among rank and file Democrats is who is responsible for the mass exodus, and there seems to be plenty of blame to go around. Here are the suspects I'm most often hearing. 
Let’s start with President Barack Obama and this southern state’s difficulty with race relations. While publicly state politicians focus on differences with his health care and offshore drilling policies, the more racist criticism is left to those who quietly email jokes around about his everything from his religion to his place of birth to his wife. But the end result is that many Louisiana elected officials are just not comfortable being associated with Obama and relate more to the white male conservatives on the national Republican scene.
Next up would be Democratic State Party Chairman Buddy Leach, a likeable man but still a product of a bygone era of good old boy politics. Leach is serving his party for the right reason – he is a populist with a sincere care for helping working people and believes in the Democratic principles. But he also enjoyed the advantage of starting his own elections off with personal funding, so he is not as well versed in how to build support for the state party and a professional, energetic staff to run it, and this is one of the key areas where the state Republicans excel.   He also has the unfortunate timing of taking over the chairmanship when much of the damage had been done and there were few Democrats willing to step up with him.
Did former Governor Kathleen Blanco start the slow death of the state party? Possibly. She and husband Raymond “Coach” Blanco never played party politics, building a coalition that included Republican support in her native Acadiana, and she never took any steps to lead the party during her four years as Governor.
What about current Governor Bobby Jindal? He is by far the most partisan Governor we have had in recent history, and he and his staff play politics with appointments, funding and just about everything else. Legislators who want to move up don’t necessarily need his endorsement, which has proved ineffective, but they do need the access and support from the Fourth Floor of the Capital, and it's easier with that "R" behind their names. 
Senator Mary Landrieu and her brother, former Lieutenant Governor and current New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, are two of the last standing Democrats to be elected statewide, but neither has ever been able to turn a personal ability to get elected into general support for the state party. Both are traditional Democrats and white voters who like them overlook that, while those who do not use them to further polarize the electorate. The Landrieus support the party to keep themselves close to Democratic African American voters who are much needed for them to be elected, but have never been able to help build a coalition of white Democrats within the party or to effectively lead the party from their positions as the top elected Democrats in the state.  
Ironically, that is primarily because of a feud which did as much to derail the party as any of the above, and that was former Democratic State Party Chairman Chris Whittington’s ongoing fight to hold onto the chairmanship against the efforts of both Landrieus, who tried to bring new leadership in who they felt they could work with when they recognized that Whittington was quite possibly driving the bus off a cliff.  For Whittington, moving the party forward ran second to him holding onto the chairmanship, so his focus was on appointing committee members loyal to him to fill vacancies, assuring he had the votes to hold on. It took Leach to negotiate a very public coup d'état which resulted in Whittington finally stepping down to hand the chairmanship over to him, but unfortunately by then, the Landrieus had moved on to focus on their own viability and left Leach holding a bag that contained a fractured state party, the result of that aforementioned bus wreck.    
If you have some thoughts on who you think is guilty in this caper, we’re interested in hearing from you. And as always, just whisper in my ear and we’ll keep this between you and me….behind the purple veil.
Sunday, 13 February 2011

A Real Race

Written by Politique Deux Centimes
                                                                                                
Well isn’t this just becoming a rare event:    A  Louisiana State Senate race  between only one well-educated Democrat and only one well-educated Republican with similar platforms.  Geaux Vermilion Parish!  A respectable voter turnout would also be nice.

 

Unfortunately one candidate, who currently holds an elected office, is accusing the other elected official of being a “politician”.  Come on, man!   Once you run for office, YOU.... ARE.... A.... “POLITICIAN”.   This snarky line in his tv spots harms his credibility.  A candidate can’t have it both ways....especially in a small parish like Vermilion where everybody knows who you are, what you do, and your mama and daddy too.

 

Both candidates are throwing numbers around about how many jobs they personally have created.  I wonder if this includes the number of election commissioners needed for a February election to fill an unexpired term and then again for the full term in October. 

 

Oh well, at least, the voters in Vermilion do not have to consider a candidate who is a cross-dressing tv pitchman.  A clown in the legislature....go figure. 

 

Two sore points:  1. Unless someone dies, finish your own term.  You knew what the job entailed and what the salary was when you ran for the office.  2. When a candidate runs as a member of one party, is elected as a member of that party, shouldn’t they be obligated to finish their term as a member of that same party?  Obviously the obligation would have to be by law since they won’t do it honorably.  But then we know who enacts laws so that won’t happen.

 

How many adults sincerely change their core beliefs and political values after reaching middle-age?  This changing parties in mid-stream is not only blatantly opportunistic, it’s a display of dishonesty to the voters who voted for them.

 

Candidates everywhere...and their handlers....could put an end to the implication of dishonesty by the mere mention of the word “politician”.   If they wanted to change their behavior.  But they don’t.


Monday, 29 November 2010

DEMOCRACY’S DEMOLITION DERBY

Written by The Boiling Frog

From film's celluloid closet, the often spoofed scene where windows are thrown open and common folk scream, "I'm mad as he'll and I'm not gonna take it anymore," fits an America awash in greed, cynicism and selfishness.  A nation founded on puritanical ideals has managed to fuel hate by hijacking Christian values in order to ensure a house divided. It is with relished glee that partisans vie to say hateful things about our democracy, all the while clamoring for TV and radio jock time to spew venom disguised as patriotism.  Even Obama appointees like former Republican Senator Alan Simpson, can't help but use his "respected" voice to undermine confidence in our nation. 

 

Paul Krugman writes in his New York Times column, "So here’s what the very serious Mr. Simpson said on Friday: ‘I can’t wait for the blood bath in April. ... When debt limit time comes, they’re going to look around and say, ‘What in the hell do we do now? We’ve got guys who will not approve the debt limit extension unless we give ’em a piece of meat, real meat,’ meaning spending cuts. ‘And boy, the blood bath will be extraordinary,’ he continued. Think of Mr. Simpson’s blood lust as one more piece of evidence that our nation is in much worse shape, much closer to a political breakdown, than most people realize."

 

The recent shellacking of Democrats said more about political arrogance than anything in our history. Minnesota Congressional fixture for decades, James Oberstar, who had his House keys taken away, said,  "I guess we just weren't listening enough." Well, fiddle de dee fiddle de dumb; Rome burns while you play that same old tired love song. And as a going away token, those left standing in your party decide to gift the nation by reelecting former Speaker Pelosi to another term to all but prove that cronies in the party of asses need a box of Q-tips.

 

Republicans are clueless and snug, lining up with their plastic talking points like some army preparing to attack their fellow citizens. If the Democrats are a party of unabated cronyism, then the Republicans are the standard-bearers of a hateful ideology and dialogue.  Look throughout history, people, and you will find that fundamentalism is a strangling force whether used for personal power or to divide and conquer.  Both political parties denounce it as radical, subversive, destructive on the international scene, but revel in its adherence for their own sordid purposes and use against their fellow Americans. 

 

America's flirtation with being independent is an unwavering patriot instinct, not a move to hysteria by a gang of Fourth of July masqueraders. People are registering independent for two reasons - Republicans and Democrats. They are failing, strangling our country for their personal and political gain while tearing our country asunder. They are using fear as a tactic.  Sound familiar? They are creating mass anxiety? Who fits that bill? And both parties are spending us into oblivion whether justified on a war(s) or saving the scalp of big, powerful interests.   

 

Politics should not be a blood sport.  It is not the NFL.  It is about our nation, born of a view that all are created equal and have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Quit killing the American dream. Stop taking our freedoms away from us, because we, not you, are paying the price for your infidelity and we're boiling mad.          

 

LAProgress

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