Bobby Jindal leads Republican pack in stupid Ebola policies


Governor Jindal announcing policies for health care workers

Louisiana has a message for many of the scientists and medical experts studying Ebola and aiding efforts to fight the deadly virus in West Africa — stay away.

The state sent a letter to members of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, which is holding its annual conference in New Orleans next week. If they’ve recently been to any of the West African countries where the virus has infected more than 13,000 people, they shouldn’t attend the meeting…

The society of researchers, medical professionals and scientists dates back more than a century, according to its website, and has members around the world.

The letter disinvites any registrants who’ve cared for people with Ebola in the last three weeks…

There are 3,588 people registered to attend the meeting, though the society doesn’t know how many have recently been in Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone, where the outbreak is located.

Current U.S. policy suggests that people who’ve cared for Ebola patients but haven’t been exposed to the virus monitor themselves for three weeks. The White House has said that mandatory quarantines of health workers from outbreak zones, such as those implemented by New York and New Jersey, aren’t based on science and may discourage relief workers from volunteering…

Tropical diseases thrive in warm, wet, rural conditions that often have poor sanitation, said Robert Garry, a virologist at Tulane University in New Orleans…“We want people to be able to come back from these regions and discuss and share what they’ve learned,” Garry said in a telephone interview. “That’s what these meetings are all about.”

I expect scare tactics, fear-mongering, ignorance and opportunism from Republican politicians. It’s been their stock in trade for more than a half-century – or longer. But, the addition of STUPID as the leading edge of anti-intellectualism, anti-science ideology really is something new.

The saddest part I fear is that their success at diminishing America’s education system – capability, capacity and modernity – has laid the groundwork for an electorate doing their level best to vote against every rational self-interest.

The Big Oil lawsuit that Bobby Jindal wants to make disappear


What me worry?

In late July, the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority–East, an independent board created by the state legislature in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to shore up the state’s levee system, filed a lawsuit against the oil companies. All of them. The committee targeted nearly 100 petroleum producers with operations on the Gulf Coast—including titans such as BP America, Exxon-Mobil, and Chevron—for what it termed a “mercilessly efficient, continuously expanding system of ecological destruction.”

…No one has been more forceful in their opposition to lawsuit—and in the defense of the oil companies—than Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal. He dismissed it almost immediately as nothing more than a “windfall for trial lawyers” and alleged that the legal action would interfere with the administration’s own unfunded long-term plans. When the nominating committee that appoints flood board candidates met for the first time on Friday, it received a warning from Baton Rouge: The lawsuit would be a litmus test for the governor, and any nominee who supported it would be rejected…

There’s a certain irony to the governor’s power play. Jindal is preparing for a possible 2016 presidential bid built on the idea that Louisiana has turned the corner after the worst natural disaster in its history…

The 11 board members, the majority of whom are registered Republicans, voted unanimously to go ahead with the suit. Although the board only serves New Orleans and its suburbs, a victory would move other parts of the Gulf Coast to follow in their path. Or so the thinking went.

But Jindal’s response has been swift. He pledged to fight the lawsuit in court by asserting that the board didn’t have the power to take such an action…When that didn’t dissuade the board from bringing the suit…his administration went one step further…the legislature would craft a new statute, when it next reconvenes, that explicitly prohibits the flood board from pursuing the matter any further…

…Estopinal says. “I just think oil money has kind of blinded some people to the really dramatic changes that are happening that aren’t being addressed.”

“The reality is the governor who has vetoed the renewal of a cigarette tax because he’s so anti-tax—and even this legislature overrode that veto—but this anti-tax governor wants taxpayers to pay to fix what the most profitable industry in the world damaged?,” says Barry. “Am I missing something?

Our politicians aren’t required to be owned – just be sleazy and corrupt. Plenty of them do it on their own. Which is how and why they end up getting the biggest donations. They can be counted on to follow the money instead of the real needs of the people who elected them. Jindal fits the mold just fine.

Corporations get cozy with charities like Jindal Foundation


“I hope you remembered the checkbook”

Louisiana’s biggest corporate players, many with long agendas before the state government, are restricted in making campaign contributions to Gov. Bobby Jindal. But they can give whatever they like to the foundation set up by his wife months after he took office…

Marathon Oil, which last year won approval from the Jindal administration to increase the amount of oil it can refine at its Louisiana plant, also committed to a $250,000 donation. And the military contractor Northrop Grumman, which got state officials to help set up an airplane maintenance facility at a former Air Force base, promised $10,000 to the charity.

The foundation has collected nearly $1 million in previously unreported pledges from major oil companies, insurers and other corporations in Louisiana with high-stakes regulatory issues, according to a review by The New York Times.

It is among the newest of charities set up by elected officials, including members of Congress, or their families that are mutually beneficial: companies seeking to influence politicians or curry favor can donate unrestricted amounts of money, while the officials benefit from the good will associated with charitable work financed by businesses…

Ethics watchdog groups say the contributions are no accident

NSS. You don’t need an ethics advisor to point out the inherent corruption in politically-connected charity work.

Alexandra Bautsch, the governor’s top political fund-raiser, is listed as the charity’s treasurer. Ms. Bautsch has continued to be paid by Mr. Jindal’s campaign — $112,500 last year. But none of the officers, including Mrs. Jindal, were paid for their work.

In recent years, foundations linked to more than a dozen members of Congress have routinely accepted donations from businesses seeking to influence them. In some instances, the lawmakers have intervened with federal agencies or taken up legislation on donors’ behalf…

“Foundations tied to politicians see their donations dry up when the politician is no longer in power,” Ms. Sloan said. “That demonstrates the real reason the charities get the donations is their political position, not because of the good works they do.”

Corrupt and deceitful practices continue to be the foundation of American politics. Mail me a penny postcard when Congress or some state legislature actually does something more than quote scripture over the problem.