Saturday, January 17, 2015

For the Week Ending January 17, 2014

Celebrity Watch

Vocabulary Watch

A.Word.A.Day -- bildungsroman

The opportunities to use this cumbersome word appear limited. It is a great example of why English is the most voluminous language, because it easily assimilates words from other languages -- but wherever I could use this word, I would prefer to call it a “coming-of-age” tale or something simpler.

The News

Bobby Jindal for President

This is excerpted from an article on why Bobby Jindal will never be president

Bobby Jindal’s narrative will be — and try not to laugh as you read this — that he is the architect and builder of The Louisiana Miracle. 

For example, Louisiana still depends heavily on the federal government. Jindal runs against Washington and advocates smaller government, yet he consistently proposed state budgets consisting of more than 40 percent federal funds.

In 2007, the year before Jindal took office as governor, Louisiana ranked 30th in per capita income. In 2012, the latest year for which U.S. Department of Commerce figures are available, we ranked 29th.

Then there are the quality-of-life metrics. Louisiana ranks 50th among the states in overall health, and we have some of the nation’s worst healthcare stats: the highest infant mortality rate; the highest diabetes-related death rate; the highest rate of death from breast cancer; and third-highest rate of cancer deaths overall; the 6th-highest rate of children born to teenage mothers; the 8th-highest rate of teen pregnancies; and the 2nd-highest rate of low- and very low birth weight babies.

Jindal also touts his bona fides as an education reformer. Here’s the truth about public education under Bobby Jindal: Louisiana has the nation’s fourth-highest high school dropout rate (5.7 percent), and our high school graduation rate ranks 45th in the nation.

Jindal’s biggest vulnerability, however, is his record on fiscal management. When he took office, the state had a surplus of at least $1 billion. Before he leaves office in 2016, Louisiana will have an ANNUAL budget hole of $2 billion or more — and that’s after he cut state support for higher education by 80 percent and consistently used one-time money to pay for recurring expenses. 

All in all, Jindal’s only “miracle” is the fact that his voter disapproval ratings aren’t higher. A little over a year ago, President Obama had better numbers in Louisiana than he.

The first Republican anointed to respond to President Obama was Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal in January 2009. Jindal popped up to the camera in the vestibule of his gubernatorial mansion in Baton Rouge, managing to seem impertinent, immature and self-important all at the same time. Widely panned, he receded into a secondary role in his party's national affairs.


jbv's Competitive Edge 


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