This is kind of funny. While Newt Gingrich is promoting investment in transportation, the official GOP position is that kind of spending is pork, and Bobby Jindal came out swinging against it the other night. Oops:
Louisiana’s transportation department plans to request federal dollars for a New Orleans to Baton Rouge passenger rail service from the same pot of railroad money in the president’s economic stimulus package that Gov. Bobby Jindal criticized as unnecessary pork on national television Tuesday night.
The high-speed rail line, a topic of discussion for years, would require $110 million to upgrade existing freight lines and terminals to handle a passenger train operation, said Mark Lambert, spokesman for the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development.
Jindal on Tuesday delivered the official Republican Party response to President Barack Obama’s address to Congress. He criticized the stimulus package passed by the Democratic-majority in Congress and the president and noted examples of projects that he found objectionable.
“While some of the projects in the bill make sense, their legislation is larded with wasteful spending,” Jindal said. “It includes … $8 billion for high-speed rail projects, such as a ‘magnetic levitation’ line from Las Vegas to Disneyland.”
I honestly have no clue why the Republicans don’t take just, at the very least, a month, cool their heels, and figure out where they want to go and what they plan to do. This is just ridiculous.
It’s pretty easy to understand once you know the code:
"Necessary investments in infrastructure" = Federal government spending money in my fiefdom on something I like
"Unwarranted interference in local sovereignty/states rights" = Federal government spending money in my fiefdom on something I don’t like
"Wasteful pork" = Federal government spending money somewhere else
Not to mention Kenneth the Governor’s outright lies…
Because they think that if they keep the Mighty Wurlitzer cranked to 11 then people will start dancing to the music. Never mind that the record they are playing is scratchy and skipping badly, dance! ! !
Michelle Malkinoma was on Washington Journal this AM. While half listening to her drone on about how great the right is and how evil the left is, I wondered what it would look like if her and mAnn Coultergeist were to get into a mud wrestling match.
That idea soured immediately because I kept visualizing the mud turning into raw sewage as soon as they stepped in it.
It would help the Republicans to stop and think.
They won’t stop because they see themselves in an existential struggle.
They can’t think because they’re Republicans.
They can’t, otherwise the Limbaughs and Becks will set the agenda. Oh wait, nevermind.
That photo reminds me of my childhood terror. Howdy Doody.
I’m not defending him anymore, in any fashion. I’m completely embarrassed for him that he gave himself a made-up hero role in the sheriff v the government battle. Hero stories are something 12 year olds who lack social skills tell.
It’s as if Clinton had claimed that she was not only under sniper fire, but fired back.
What else would you call it?
This is a momentous point in history. The world economy is falling apart, and the administration is responding with big plans. It’s not a good time to be out of the debate; of curse they want to be part of shaping the response. And seeing as they still haven’t admitted there’s anything wrong with their ideas (this is all a result of the government forcing helpless banks to make big loans to poor people for housing) why should they?
I’m still wondering at which point all their repeat watchings of Wolwerines will surface and make them dangerous. They’ve pretty much convinced themselves that they are the only fount of goodness and stability in the world, and their scepticism faculty is shot to shit.
It depends on their aim/audience. Those who understand the reasons for their crash would probably agree to a time of reflection. Those who think they have just not been conservative enough understand that for the true believers, every day is a new beginning and message consistency does not matter; the base just swallows whatever they heard last.
My fave example: when gas was $4/gal they claimed it was because of a refinery shortage due to rabid environmentalists. 6 months later at election time they come up with ‘drill here drill now’, as if refineries sprout like mushrooms.
(n.b. 4$ gas occurred as crude oil prices skyrocketed; if there really had been a refinery shortage crude prices would drop as the supply of crude overwhelmed demand- the supposedly static refinery capacity. Also, the ‘refinery shortage’ would have resulted in, you know, shortages.)
Wouldn’t that be "keep the Mighty Wurzelbacher cranked to 11".
On the plus side, a train that ran from New Orleans to Baton Rouge would be a really good thing. The highway system between the two isn’t the greatest, and a high speed train would make a tedious trip an enjoyable one, and get a lot of drunks off the road during particular times of the year (Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest, football season, etc.) because that’s when there’s the most traffic between the cities. And since much of the drive is over swamps and marshes, it makes driving drunk even more dangerous than usual.
But yeah, Jindal is still a massive tool.
The Grand Panjandrum
I predict that by the end of this summer Republicans will be an the endangered species list, and we won’t be allowed to mock them any longer. Now THAT would be ironic–Republicans protected by a piece of legislation they despise.
I’m really quite sick of the Jindal Lied stuff, have no interest in participating in it, and am sick of reading about it, because I think it is quite clear that he embellished a little, but it was, at the very least, grounded in truth. Sheriff Lee did think quite highly of him, and I’m sure there were some impediments and frustration with the Feds at the heart of the story, and I just don’t think it is in the same realm as other whoppers (like, for example, the oft-repeated flat out lie about “Thanks, but not thanks.”) Also, as someone who sometimes has to tell stories to make a point, I recognize how these things get embellished to make the case.
Additionally, I recognized some of the same zeal that I often saw on the right the past few years to just go after someone. I just don’t like that, and it makes me feel uncomfortable. Go ahead, call me a wimp. I was part of that mindset for a while, and trust me, nothing good comes from it (see the archives from 2002-2004), and it is one of those cases that even if you are right about the facts, you look like such an asshole in the process that you do more damage than good.
Finally, it really conceals the rest of the story, which is that Jindal just had nothing to say or offer. I just want no part of that pile-on here.
@John Cole: Party Pooper!
Okay boss, we’ll behave.
I protest, most strongly!
Fred Rogers was a super awesome guy, in almost every particular, and should not have his noble name attached to Gov. Bobby "Lavamonger" Jindal. It is a mortal insult to his memory.
Apologize to Mr. Rogers!
I didn’t really know that much about Jindal until his SOTU counter speech the other night. I still don’t know much about him, but enough to know he is not an electoral threat to dems. Even less so than Palin, which is a really low bar to fall under. So I don’t much care about his Katrina claims, but it is amusing that wingnuts are arguing about the nuggets of truth on the periphery of the story to deflect from the core part of his claim about the "arrest us if you want" apparent fib. And the fact that his meeting with Lee was a week after the rescue portion of the disaster. Typical wingnut logic to argue about ancillary facts to detract from the issue at hand. I would call it an embellishment as well, harmless enough considering he is the GOP wedgie candidate.
@JL: I meant I am have no intention posting about it, and if DougJ and TimF have not posted about it already, I can conclude they probably feel the same way. I don’t mean I intend to police what you all say, but I do think the issue is pointless.
Mike Lukovich had a cute cartoon in the AJC yesterday. You must sign in to view it and then the date of the cartoon is 2/27.
I think it was a lie because he put himself at the center of the story. The embellishment benefits him. I’m not sympathetic to that.
Why embellish that story? There were probably hundreds of heroic stories out of N.O. If he played a role after the hurricane, and it seems as if he did, why not tell a story that depicts that effort accurately? Because doing so wouldn’t serve his dual purpose: self-promotion/anti-government?
@John Cole: I was just teasing!
I don’t know what you sell, but if you tell yourself into stories that you heard from someone else, that’s known to most people as "making up bullshit".
The Grand Panjandrum
@John Cole: You make a very important point. It isn’t just Jindal’s problem. Republicans have no particularly compelling message of their own. And the proof comes via the fact that they have been reduced to ridiculing the agenda of their opponents without offering any reasonable solutions to the crisis of their own.
Yah, but there’s stuff with lots more meat to it.
I mean, when you got volcano monitoring and trains to Las Vega, why focus on spinning yarns…
South of I-10
@Incertus: There were buses running between Baton Rouge and N.O. after Katrina, so people could live in Baton Rouge and work in N.O., but I think they have stopped now. A high speed train would also help with evacuations, as would completing I-49 from N.O. to Shreveport. A lot of people here (even Jindal supporters) are wondering why he is traveling the country grandstanding when we have so many unsolved problems here.
South of I-10
@John Cole: Jindal definitely embellished his involvement in the story quite a bit, but it is true that many people with boats headed out from Lafayette and other towns to help and were turned away. Mr. South had video of the group that left out of Lafayette and I can’t find it, I will check with him later and see if it is still around.
Bad Horse's Filly
Slightly OT, Senator Bunning (R-KY) is threatening to quit and allow the Democratic Gov. to appoint a democrat to replace him. I can’t decide if it’s rats deserting a sinking ship or eating your own young as an appropriate cliche.
Because he sifted through what must have been tens of actual events he witnessed or took part in and carefully constructed a version of events that handily made his point.
And it’s a big point: it’s that the federal government can’t address natural disasters, and that was the basic L/R argument post-Katrina. That was the whole deal. Local v federal. Who screwed up? The answer is "both". Jindal wants you to believe that the answer is "federal", because of excessive regulation. That isn’t true.
@JL: If you like editorial cartoons, go here. They are on the blogroll, and they round them up every week.
No, no, I understand that…but I think the point gets smooshed and blanderized into a "he’s telling lies" meme that’s so less effective than the other stuff. Too much effort to sharpen/focus the point and not let it get fuzzy when it could be spent more effectively elsewhere.
@South of I-10:
I think the reason liberals jumped on it is because it attributes the lack of response to Katrina to regulation. Is that a true depiction of the fundamental problem with the Katrina response? Is that even a little bit true? The problem was excessive federal regs? Their heads exploded, predictably, I think.
IIRC, both Condi Rice and Donald Rumsfeld said words to the effect of "We don’t plan for failure," when asked about contingency planning for Iraq.
Apparently, Republicans are still planning on the basis of their recent successes.
As for Jindal, Republican liars are a dime a dozen. Focusing on the lie takes away from the rest of his speech being nothing more than warmed-over Republican boilerplate devoid of alternative strategies to those of Obama.
@John Cole: Sorry, but I don’t agree. This was more than a little "embellishment." I agree with this
"This is no minor difference. Jindal’s presence in Lee’s office during the crisis itself was a key element of the story’s intended appeal, putting him at the center of the action during the maelstrom. Just as important, Jindal implied that his support for the sheriff helped ensure the rescue went ahead. But it turns out Jindal wasn’t there at the key moment, and played no role in making the rescue happen." (Not blockquoting so I could add the bolds.)
I think this is just as much of a flat-out lie as "thanks but no thanks." He said he was in the sheriff’s office during the phone call, backing him up. When the truth is that he overheard the sheriff talking about the phone call after the fact.
As Jindal tells the story, "And before I knew it, he was yelling into the phone: ‘Congressman Jindal is here, and he says you can come and arrest him too!’ Harry just told the boaters to ignore the bureaucrats and start rescuing people."
As I said last night.
It’s not just piling on, making a big deal about a minor discrepancy, the way the Right is apt to do. It’s portraying themselves making a heroic stand against the eeevul government when in fact they did nothing of the kind. It didn’t happen. Exactly like "thanks but no thanks." And, yes, I think it is important to point it out when they do this.
I wasn’t voting for him any way. I was, however, defending his speech because I think they over-coached him and made him sound like an idiot, and he’s not.
I think telling that story in that context "counts" as a lie. He can be smart and dishonest, though. He’s a big boy. I think he’ll survive my withering sarcasm.
He told another ginned up story to make some fundamental ideological point. Happens every day. No big deal.
South of I-10
@kay: You sent me searching for something I remembered reading after Katrina. This letter is about the group my husband went out and videoed as they were leaving Lafayette. Jason Robideaux (who I do not know personally, only by reputation) was so aggravated after his experience that he wrote this letter which I believe was published in some newspapers, but was definitely on the local blogs. According to him, it was Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries that turned them away, not a federal agency.
Gotta agree with Janet. The "embellishment" wasn’t to make a better story – it was to make it look like Jindal had moved and shaken when he’d done nothing of the kind. It’s not the biggest thing, but it is something that has to be nipped in the bud before the wingnuts spin it into folk legend.
Just to be clear, I see your point, politically, I think. I wasn’t speaking as a political strategist. I’m not one. I don’t care if he benefits or was harmed by the story. I don’t know. I suspect Republicans probably screwed him politically with that horrible speech slot, regardless of whether he was able to aptly use the dead " a Democrat" sheriff to further his "message".
@South of I-10:
I think I meant to respond to you rather than myself, above, just so you know.
As a volunteer in my city to respond in case of major disasters (a member of the Community Emergency Response Team – join if there is one in your area), I also happen to agree with the person on the other side of the phone that the Sheriff was supposedly yelling at: There’s no reason to send another 100 people out who will then also have to be rescued because they weren’t properly prepared. I happen to think that Jindal’s story is a bad one to use.
@South of I-10:
Right. We don’t need Fish and Wildlife either, because they exist to get in the way of relief efforts. That’s their core "mission".
Mike in NC
Bayou Bobby is just following the example set by Palin and Wurzelbacher: stretch out the 15 minutes for as long as you can. Has he formed a JindalPAC yet?
It might be more interesting to find out what Bobby Jindal was doing after Katrina. Did he rush to NO to help out? At the time of Katrina, then-Congressman Jindal was a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, he must have immediately proposed legislation to aid his state and he certainly would have made many impassioned speeches highlighting the plight of Louisiana. Or maybe he just kicked back in D.C. with his collection of Brady Bunch videos.
South of I-10
@kay: I just read my link to Jason Robideaux’s letter again, and I think there are some important points. First of all, according to Robideaux, it was Nick Gautreaux (a Democratic LA Senator) and Harry Lee who arranged this in the first place. It was a state agency who turned them away, not FEMA as indicated by Jindal. What has Jindal done since he took office to change any state regs pertaining to disasters?
There’s a very real possibility that they’re all taking Ambien and have no idea that they’re doing this stupid shit.
There’s pictures. Apparently he went, and helped a lot. Maybe he called FEMA and yelled at them, because he was a part of the inept federal government he’s blathering about, actually, as it turns out.
He can’t tell that story, though, now can he?
@South of I-10:
You see why it’s galling to liberals, though, right?
Hell, that was probably the real point of the story. To make liberals mad, which is a worthwhile end in itself, to conservatives.
We need to quickly build that Pontchartrain Express rail so we can ride Gnut & Booby out of town on it.
Are we allowed to talk about how Jindal cast out a demon from his friend and cured her of cancer? Cuz that is a great story. And, especially ironic given the way wingnuts love to mockingly refer to Obama as the Messiah. Heck, they are the ones putting their hopes into a guy who claims to be able to cast out demons and cure the sick with his Jesus powers.
Now that would have been worth recounting. Jindal probably didn’t tell that story because it smacked of sacrificing to help someone who’s fallen on hard times.
Hugh Hewitt and other wingnut pundits convinced the Republican base that they had been chosen by God to run the country, and that the Baby Jesus himself was a supply sider. Remember that part in the Bible where Jesus calculates the profit margin on the loaves and fishes he sold? No? OK.
Anyway, Rush, aided and abetted by a motley assortment of wingnut pundits, have goaded the Republicans into believing that they must attack Obama immediately and relentlessly, because, after all, only Republicans are real Americans.
The only problem is that fewer and fewer people are buying what the GOP is selling.
South of I-10
@kay: You and I definitely agree. I just wanted to get more background on the story, cause I knew there was more too it. Maybe I should contact Nick Gautreaux and suggest he prefile a bill waiving any licensing restrictions on rescue boats in emergency situations. If Jindal really cares about the people and the bureaucracy, he would sign it, right?
Actually, I hope they keep it up. They’re entertaining, to say the least.
Hep me! Hep Me! Teh BJ Mod Gawd is demanding another virgin from Georgia to approve my post!
They is outta them! Oh lawdy…
Since it was a ‘fix’ post, the culprit is one of three changes…lol!
EDIT: Man that was fast! Thanks! :)
Reading Rick Morans’ personal site these days tells you that at least one dude gets it. The funny thing is reading his Republican readers who don’t get it. Denial is not the proper word to describe them; "living in an alternate reality" is a more appropriate term!
Bah. Republicans will never quit KY.
Wile E. Quixote
I’m still pissed about the "volcano monitoring". I can see Mount Rainier from my house (which doesn’t say much, you can see Mount Rainier from pretty much anywhere in Western Washington) and I remember Mount Saint Helens going off in 1980. I wish the Democrats in Washington and Oregon would put together a commercial with that quote from Piyush, some footage of the aftermath of Mount Saint Helens going off and then some cost comparisons between the volcano monitoring and how much we pay every year to rebuild the Gulf Coast.
And I can see Mount St. Helens from mine, which is not unusual here in Portland. Rainier and Portland’s Mount Hood are both active volcanoes. Rainier last erupted in the 1840s, Hood in the 1790s. On a geologic time scale, this was yesterday.
Failure to watch these mountains very carefully would be idiotic.
The U.S. Geological Survey (my former employer) has the goods on many of the world’s volcanoes.
The high speed train between NOLA and BR has been rumored since the storm. Turning down the money makes him more vulnerable to a local challenger, IMO.