Tales from the Trail

Jindal’s not running for president, but…

LOUISIANA GOVERNORS ELECTIONFirst, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal says he isn’t running for president. Then out comes his prescription for righting the national economy. 

“What I’m saying is, if we actually focus on the real challenges facing our country, not get diverted into taking over car companies and healthcare (but) cut taxes, create jobs, our country can get back on the right path, right direction,” the rising Republican conservative star of the South tells NBC in an interview.

Political oracle Karl Rove has anointed Jindal as one of 10 potential GOP presidential candidates for 2012.  Seven others on the list are also current or former state governors. But the 39-year-old son of Indian immigrants is the only one who is his state’s first nonwhite governor since the Civil War era, whose popularity among voters that has scored one decisive election victory after another.  

Jindal is running. But officialy speaking, that’s only for reelection as state chief executive. “Next year, you’ll have a lot of Republicans in Iowa. I’m sure I’ll be in Louisiana,” he predicts.

But wait. Don’t forget that on his watch Louisiana’s economy has outperformed the nation’s, with unemployment rates below Southern and national averages, or so he asserts in a burst of enthusiasm.   

from Environment Forum:

Oil-soaked sand along Gulf Coast raises memories of Exxon Valdez

Oil on BeachA handful of oily sand grabbed from a Louisiana wetland brought back some strong memories for Earl Kingik. As a traditional hunter and whaler in Alaska's Arctic, it reminded him of the Exxon Valdez spill. As he and other tribal leaders toured the U.S. Gulf Coast for signs of the BP oil spill, they worried that what's happening now in Louisiana could happen if offshore drilling proceeds off the Alaskan coast.

"There's no way to clean up an oil spill in the Arctic," said Kingik, an Inupiat tribal member from Point Hope, Alaska. Compared to Louisiana, where the waters are relatively calm and cleanup equipment and experts are nearby, the Arctic Ocean is a hostile place for oil and gas exploration. The Arctic leaders made their pilgrimage to the Gulf Coast as part of a campaign to block planned exploratory drilling by Shell Oil  in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas.

4 looking out windows"What I saw was devastating out there," Martha Falk, the tribal council treasurer of the Inupiat Community of the Arctic Slope in Alaska, said after the Gulf Coast tour by seaplane, boat and on foot. If the same thing occurred off Alaska, she said, "We would have to wait days and days and days for (cleanup) equipment to reach our area."

Obama promises to work overtime to ease economic impact of oil spill

There’s not much to offer by way of comfort to coastal states threatened by the oil spill that’s spreading over the Gulf of Mexico like The Blob from horror movies past.

OIL-RIG/LEAK-BPAnd then there’s also the threat from the “Loop Current” that could carry the oil around Florida’s peninsula and north…

So there’s not much by way of  lemonade likely to come out of the lemons of this disaster, but President Barack Obama promised to work overtime to limit the economic damage to affected communities and to try and make sure that  jobs created to clean up the mess would go to local residents.

Prosecutors urge throwing the book at convicted ex-lawmaker

A U.S. judge on Friday will sentence former Congressman William “Cold Cash” Jefferson after he was convicted on multiple bribery and money laundering charges. And prosecutors want to throw the book at him.

TheCRIME-JEFFERSON/ former Louisiana lawmaker faces between 27 and 33 years in prison according to federal sentencing guidelines and prosecutors said that sounds good to them. Authorities discovered $90,000 in Jefferson’s freezer during their investigation.

“As the defendant stands convicted of some of the most serious corrupt schemes uncovered in recent history, he is without remorse and has yet to accept responsibility for his actions,” according to a memorandum filed with the court late Friday.

Bobby Jindal to the Republican Party’s Rescue

bobbyjindal

Republicans have chosen Louisiana’s young governor, Bobby Jindal, to deliver a high-profile national address that will follow on the heels of President Barack Obama’s first State of the Union Address to the U.S. Congress on Feb. 24.

The choice of Jindal,  37 years old and of Indian heritage, points to a search for new leaders for the Republican Party, which is still reeling from the loss of its majority in both the House of Representatives and Senate to Democrats and the White House to Obama.

Jindal – who proved his mettle as an able administrator and communicator after Hurricane Gustav tore across Louisiana in September – has been tapped as a rising star in the Republican Party.
A darling to conservatives like talk show host Rush Limbaugh, who has dubbed him as “the next Ronald Reagan,” Jindal will have a chance to polish his credentials before a national television audience later this month.

Bush gives Republicans a little pep talk ahead of election

WASHINGTON – President George W. Bush dropped by the Republican National Committee headquarters unannounced to give the staff a little pep talk Tuesday amid polls showing Republicans trailing in the presidential contest and scores of key congressional races one week out from the general election.

Bush, with record low popularity ratings, has largely been unseen on the campaign trail this year, relegated to participating in private fundraisers for Republican presidential hopeful John McCain and congressional candidates.

“He encouraged them to work hard for John McCain and keep turning out the vote until the final ballot is cast next week,” White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said after the 20-minute visit.  “He also took the opportunity to thank the staff for all of their efforts during this election cycle and for their support of him over the last eight years.”