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Restore the Wetlands. Reinforce the Levees.

Posts Tagged ‘bobby jindal’

“Something Called ‘Volcano Monitoring’ ”

Friday, April 16th, 2010

[cross-posted at Daily Kos]

“[The Democrats’ stimulus] legislation is larded with wasteful spending. It includes . . . $140 million for something called ‘volcano monitoring.’ Instead of monitoring volcanoes, what Congress should be monitoring is the eruption of spending in Washington, D.C.” —Bobby Jindal, Governor of Louisiana, Feb. 24, 2009

Remember Bobby Jindal’s celebrated response to President Obama’s address to a joint session of Congress in February 2009? It included some, uh, noteworthy moments, not the least of which was his sneer at such “wasteful spending” as “something called ‘volcano monitoring.’” Some speechwriter was probably pleased with that line, but this was a contemptuous display of ignorance on the level of Rudy Giuliani’s ridiculing “community organizer—what’s that?” (6:08) at the 2008 Republican National Convention, and just as deserving of a reality-based comeuppance.

The $140 million for the U.S. Geological Survey was partly intended to provide warnings of impending volcanic eruptions in the U.S. and around the world where American military bases are located. The Americans at Ramstein Air Base in Germany probably appreciate that monitoring equipment right about now.

With international air traffic to Europe disrupted for a second straight day following a massive volcano eruption in Iceland (some 17,000 flights were canceled Friday), we have to use the occasion to poke this over-ambitious governor in the eye and say: “Now do you get it?” Jindal the boy genius used to be respected for his intelligence (Rhodes Scholar) and precocious grasp of complex policy, but those days are over. He is not serving his state or the nation—and not his own career, either—by his know-nothing, anti-science statements and decisions. (See our earlier posts “Mr. Jindal, Tear Down This Ambition” and “From Rising Star to Black Hole.”)

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Welcoming Committee Second-Lines for Louisiana’s State Hospital & Public Education System

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

While the GOP convenes in New Orleans with nary a mention of Katrina (who? that Nation editor?), here’s an event we’re sorry we missed, but we’re “retro-promoting” it a day late, for the message remains true:

From the Southern Republican Leadership Conference Welcoming Committee

There’s going to be a big, crazy second line in the CBD on Friday: the Stooges Brass Band, the Free Agents Brass Band, and a level of ass-shaking the business district hasn’t seen since the Second Line to Reopen Charity. We’re going to party and rage down Poydras, and we’re going to show the boy prince Bobby Jindal that the people of Louisiana have had it with his policies of privatization.

“A level of ass-shaking the business district hasn’t seen since the Second Line to Reopen Charity”

The Southern Republican Leadership Conference (SRLC) takes place April 8–11 in New Orleans, and is the largest gathering of Republican leadership short of the presidential convention. As Bobby Jindal is groomed for higher office, the Second Line for Healthcare & Education is our opportunity to present a unified response to Jindal’s assault on Louisiana’s state hospital system & public education.

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Tickets to Ride: Obama, Biden on Track with High-Speed Rail Projects

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

As train-lovin’ infrastructure freaks, we applaud Friday’s announcement by President Obama and Vice President “Amtrak Joe” Biden that the administration will dedicate $8 billion of stimulus funding for high-speed rail projects in 13 major rail corridors in 31 states around the U.S. The president calls this investment a down payment on the most significant step forward in the nation’s transportation system since the interstate highway system was launched in the 1950s. The OneRail coalition cheers the news: “Investment in rail will create jobs not only in those corridors, but  around the nation as American companies develop, build, and operate systems that will reduce energy consumption, mitigate air pollution, enhance the reliability of passenger and freight rail, and create more livable communities.”

We see the investment as a most welcome advance that will help reduce the nation’s dependence on fossil fuels (a point repeated by Transportation secretary Ray LaHood) and on automobiles. The train projects are energy-efficient and reinforce U.S. national security. (The less foreign oil we use, the fewer soldiers we have to send overseas to oil-rich zones.) As we’ve noted before, “the U.S. must reduce its dependence on automobiles and on importing foreign oil (and extracting it from off the Gulf Coast). Carbon emissions aggravate global warming, which intensifies hurricanes and raises sea levels.”

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Obama Welcomed, and Challenged, in New Orleans

Saturday, October 17th, 2009

Maybe he wished he’d planned to stay longer, though there may have been a point when he began to wish he hadn’t come at all. President Obama’s visit was criticized days in advance even by supporters for being too short. The advance team added a quick trip to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Charter School in the Lower Ninth Ward—which thrilled the school but was criticized as a drive-by photo-op. The city has had enough of that kind of presidential attention.

UNO 10-15-09For the most part, the town hall crowd at UNO was raucously friendly to the president (though they embarrassed him somewhat by booing his hosts Gov. Bobby Jindal and Mayor Ray Nagin). “This is a feisty crowd here,” he observed. And the president, to his credit—and perhaps as a defensive, damage-control measure—brought along DHS secretary Janet Napolitano, HUD secretary Shaun Donovan, education secretary Arne Duncan, and, important for coastal restoration, Nancy Sutley, chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. All were welcome.

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Jindal: From Rising Star to Black Hole

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

LNW_Jindal_responseWhile “disastrous” was among the more charitable descriptions of Bobby Jindal’s performance Tuesday night, we would like to thank him for mounting so ineffectual a response to President Obama’s address to a joint session of Congress. (The joke in the White House press room is that Jindal has gone from being a rising star to a black hole.) We take no pleasure in the derision—laughter at a governor who has made a fool of himself on national television only makes our state look bad—but we’re glad that he put up no serious resistance to the persuasiveness of Obama’s progressive agenda. Jindal has done us the favor of leaving his party even more leaderless and dispirited. His faux-optimistic speech, titled “Americans Can Do Anything,” was clearly written before the G.O.P. knew what Obama would say; they were expecting a gloomy assessment of the economy without an equal measure of confidence that the nation can rebuild and come back stronger than before.

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Mr. Jindal, Tear Down This Ambition

Friday, February 20th, 2009

LNW_jindal

Who says brainy, high-I.Q. types can’t be stunningly obtuse? Or cold-hearted?

We were already highly irritated with Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, by some accounts an educated man, for supporting and signing the creationist, Orwellian-named Louisiana Academic Freedom Act, a law that officially weakens the teaching of evolution and now punishes New Orleans as a national science association sadly announces it would rather meet in Salt Lake City (!) than convene its 2,300 members in an anti-science state.

In today’s G.O.P., a governor with presidential ambitions is a curse that we would not wish on any state.

Now, Jindal says he’ll reject $98 million from the recently passed economic stimulus bill that would go to extend unemployment insurance for up to 25,000 Louisianans.

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Mark Davis: “We don’t really have a coastal restoration program . . .”

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

Courtesy of Dirty Coast

Courtesy of Dirty Coast

Despite decades of warnings and activists’ efforts, the serious work isn’t even close to happening.

Our name is Levees but we dig wetlands too because Louisiana needs a Multiple Lines of Defense Strategy. That’s why we urge everyone to read Mark Davis’s Times-Picayune op-ed, “Rebuilding Coast Requires Hard Choices” (full text below).

Davis, founding director of Tulane’s Institute on Water Resources Law and Policy and former director of the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, is responding to some bad news reported by Mark Schleifstein: A federal-state task force has “voted to close the West Bay diversion on the Mississippi River—the most effective existing sediment diversion in fighting coastal erosion—unless an alternative source of money is found to pay for dredging sediment from anchorages [essentially parking spots for boats].”

Mark Davis uses this crazy-but-true development to explain the bigger picture: “Protecting a handful of anchorages cannot be more important than restoring our coast, and by extension protecting the social, economic and ecological life of the region. . . . We don’t really have a coastal restoration program, and we won’t have one as long as the only projects we can do are the ones that don’t actually affect anyone or bump into any previously authorized projects.” Everyone knows that coastal restoration is a matter of life and death for Louisiana, and our state’s territorial integrity cannot keep being made to take second place behind oyster leasing conflicts and oil and gas projects and private development projects.

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