By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – It hasn’t been a good week to be Mary Landrieu; she’s getting bad press throughout the state and now nationwide over her abuse of taxpayer funds to pay for her fundraising jaunts.  There are at least two events now in question that the Landrieu campaign must reimburse.

The distance from New Orleans, LA to Lake Charles is only about 205 miles.  In early November 2013, Senator Landrieu caught a ride on Air Force One with Obama from Washington to NOLA; Obama was on his way there for a fundraiser and she rode along.

In the second instance of what is now being called “Flight-Gate”, Landrieu billed taxpayers over $5,700 to fly from Shreveport to Dallas in September – about 300 miles.  The official story on that one is that she used a charter flight to get to Dallas so she could pick up a connecting flight and a fundraiser just popped up.  You know, fundraisers do that.  They just happen.  Conveniently.

When Senator Landrieu hitched that ride back to New Orleans in November, she had no intention of going to Obama’s fundraiser; it was just a cushy mode of travel for her to get back to a fundraiser of her own.   This, in and of itself, is a problem.

In New Orleans, she and Obama parted ways; he went to his fundraiser and she chartered a plane and flew 205 miles over to Lake Charles to get to her fundraiser.  The round trip charter flight cost taxpayers over $3,200.

CNN broke the story last Tuesday and, embarrassed, Landrieu’s campaign claimed it was all a big mistake, it wasn’t her fault, and that the charter company had billed Landrieu’s Senate office rather than the campaign.  It’s a good effort – the Blame-Someone-Else method works pretty well for Obama, so I can see why Landrieu would try it.

Landrieu spent more than $3,200 in taxpayer money to fly 400 miles round trip from New Orleans to Lake Charles, Louisiana, where she attended a $40-per person fundraising lunch with hundreds of women, according to Senate records and Landrieu campaign information. It is illegal to spend government money campaigning.

Landrieu’s campaign spokesman, Fabien Levy, said in a statement that the charter company mistakenly billed Landrieu’s Senate office instead of her re-election campaign. Levy said the campaign noticed the error a few weeks ago and asked the company to refund the Senate office and bill the campaign, which the company did. Levy said Landrieu’s re-election campaign paid for the flight August 4, almost nine months after the November 8 trip.

It took them nine months to figure out this “mistake”?  Not very good bookkeeping, is it?

Using taxpayer money for campaigning is a rookie error; Mary Landrieu has been in political office since 1980 (that’s 34 years!) starting out as a Louisiana Representative and then she served eight years as Louisiana State Treasurer where one would assume she might pick up the fine details of campaign finance somewhere along the way.

And what of that flight with Obama in November?  Senator Landrieu’s reason for returning to NOLA in November was to attend a “long-standing” campaign event in Lake Charles.  So she used Air Force One to get to a campaign event?  And that’s ethical?  Why shouldn’t she have to pay back that money, too?

It’s an issue that bears investigation.

Senator Landrieu is already fighting the image of Frequent Flyer Mary and has racked up some $47,000 in charter flights for “official Senate duties” – a problem Senator David Vitter doesn’t seem to have:

For instance, Sen. Mary Landrieu, a Democrat, spent $47,000 on charter flights in 2013, including a $5,500 round trip flight between New Orleans and Lake Charles, La., 200 miles to the west. Landrieu spokesman Matthew Lehner said chartering planes allowed the senator to reach more areas of the state more quickly.

“This alleviates the need for multi-day stopovers and maximizes the senator’s interaction with her constituents,” he said.

But Republican David Vitter, the other Louisiana senator, reported no charter flights. His spokesman, Luke Bolar, said the senator always flies commercial and drives rather than flies around Louisiana.

And if all this kerfuffle wasn’t enough to give Katrina Mary a major headache, Representative Bill Cassidy announced that his campaign now boasts a larger war chest than that of the Landrieu camp.

Rep. Cassidy sent out an email Thursday which announced that his campaign has $5.6 million on hand.  The same day, the Cassidy campaign also sent out an email criticizingv Landrieu who “illegally billed taxpayers $5,700 for a flight from Shreveport to Dallas for a campaign fundraiser last September.”

Rep. Cassidy cited this Senate travel ethics rule:

Expenses for mixed purpose travel must be pro-rated on a reasonable basis to accurately reflect the purpose of the trip.

The Landrieu campaign only agreed to reimburse charges after they were caught.

Make no mistake, this scandal will cost Mary Landrieu in Louisiana.  She’s in a very close race as it is, and with $5.6 million dollars at their disposal, the Cassidy campaign is going to hammer her hard on this one.

Most people in Louisiana were sick of her after Huirricane Katrina, then the Obamacare kickback came along, and now this.  Nothing against Col. Rob Maness, but if he’d pull out of this race I think Cassidy can defeat Landrieu and that would be good for Louisiana but even better for the rest of the country.

 

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT — Steve Eggleston wrote earlier this week on this blog about the fast approaching death of newsprint and reported on several media spin-off deals.  It’s an interesting read.

The fall of the newspaper is sad to me.  With it comes the fall of the old-fashioned journalist.  The newspaper guy.  The shoe-leather-journalist is the guy with the steno pad in his hand, or a note pad in his shirt pocket along with a couple of pens.  He’s probably got a tape recorder in his other hand, or maybe an app downloaded on his phone that records.  True journalism is a dying art.

Some, like Stacy McCain, continue to plug away at it and are willing to jump in the car and go wherever the story takes them.  It’s a dying art.

With the fall of the newspaper we rely now on digital media for our news, for the most part.  The internet has replaced the thick newspaper that used to lie at your curb every morning.  Remember paper boys?  They rode bikes with canvas bags over their handlebars; the bags were loaded down with newspapers they had picked up at a drop-off point somewhere.  Eventually, as America spread out into suburbs, the paperboy on a bike was replace with a paperboy in a car.  I was nearly decapitated one morning as our delivery guy whizzed my Sunday edition over the roof of his car with lethal accuracy.

I loved settling down to a real newspaper every morning with a cup of coffee, the ink smearing my fingertips black.  I used to read three papers a day – I subscribed to our local paper, the USA Today, and The New York Times.  That’s back when they were all worth reading.  I’m dating myself.

A couple of weeks ago I bought my first local paper in probably three years.  It was smaller than I remember – much smaller.  It was thinner, too.  In fact, I did a double take through the paper to be sure it was all there.  Once I removed the grocery store circulars and the box store ads, there wasn’t much left to see.  Even worse, the whole thing cost three times more than it did three years ago.

From a practical perspective, it makes perfect sense why the physical newspaper is fast becoming a relic from the past.  In a world where news breaks on Twitter in 140-characters, where Drudge plays with our perception of the news, and where Facebook makes sharing stories instantaneous, how in the world could a lowly newspaper compete?

Be that as it may, I still miss the paper and ink.

By Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT —   Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is demanding answers.

Governor Jindal, angry at learning via a website that Louisiana is now housing over 1,000 Central American illegals, has fired off a letter to the Obama administration demanding answers.

He’d like to know, among other things, where the children are:

Jindal wants to know where the children are living, the timeline for determining their ultimate status and whether the federal government plans to kick in dollars for their education and health care. He also wants to know how the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services decided where to place them.

These are legitimate questions.  Louisiana schools are starting over the next couple of weeks and presumably these kids will be enrolling in school, some possibly even participating in the “free lunch” program.

Also of specific concern to Governor Jindal is the Louisiana hurricane season which runs from June 1 through November.  Here, in Shreveport, Hirsch Coliseum was contacted about housing some of the illegals although it was not an “official” inquiry according to Chris Giordano of the Louisiana State Fair who owns the Hirsch.

What is stunning to me is that Barksdale Air Force Base was contacted about housing these kids.  Barksdale’s Global Strike Command has been proposed as a four-star command which raises the profile of the base significantly.  It would be most unlikely, given the sensitive nature of the mission and the strategic aircraft on base, that the base would be able to house these kids.

Though Jindal found out about the illegal Louisiana migration via a website, there does seem to be some dispute or confusion about how many there actually are.  The website lists 1,071 in Louisiana, but Senator David Vitter contends that there are over 3,000 illegal immigrants in the state.

As Congress flounders then goes on recess, Obama prepares to tackle illegal immigration through executive order.  Nothing good can come of this.

Love him or hate him, Rick Perry is right to stand up and attempt to defend the border.  Perry has called up his National Guard and vows that other resources are available to him as needed to control the flood of illegals coming into the country.  Candy Crowley asked Perry about the cost of deploying the National Guard to the border but in the overall scheme of things, it’s probably a cost well justified.  Governor Perry contends that crime has skyrocketed in his state.

Possibly Governor Perry and Governor Jindal need to get together and coordinate a plan to protect both states.

Pat Austin also blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT — Sarah Palin is an eternal optimist.

In her most recent Facebook post, she challenges The Washington Post (and the mainstream media) to “get back to work.”

Looking back to the days of Watergate and true investigative journalism, Governor Palin writes:

Today, you’ve fallen like a lead balloon. Whereas you once doggedly covered the 18.5 minute gap in Nixon’s White House communications, you’ve virtually ignored the Obama Administration’s 1.2 million minutes of deleted communications by just one of the agencies under Obama’s executive branch. I’m speaking of the Lois Lerner IRS harassment-of-conservatives scandal wherein Lerner “lost” pertinent email communications. You’ve allowed Obama to skate with his proclamation that absolutely no wrongdoing occurred at the IRS, “not even a smidgen.”

The list of Obama abuses and impeachable offenses is long. I challenge you to lift a finger and help protect democracy, allow justice for all, and ensure domestic tranquility by doing your job reporting current corrupt events fairly. If not, you prove yourselves incompetent and in bed with Obama, not caring one iota about media integrity.

Well of course they don’t care about “media integrity.”  And by “they” I am referring to legacy media in general.  They proved long ago that there would be no investigation or challenging of Obama.  This president has never produced the most basic documents pertaining to his background to include his education papers and records which one would think would be pretty good considering he is supposed to be the smartest president evah.

I think this beating of the “impeachment” drum is pointless.  Of course the man is incompetent and of course he should have been impeached long ago, but I don’t see any future in such an action at this time.  It won’t get him out of office.

What we, as conservatives, need to focus on is taking the Senate and holding on to the House.  We need to concentrate on stopping the damage.  Cauterize the wound.

You can be sure the media will cover the vacation to Martha’s Vineyard and the parties with celebrities even if they could care less when it comes to finding answers about Benghazi, Fast and Furious, the VA scandal, and the IRS/Lois Lerner mess.   Michelle’s most recent magnificent dress must be covered.  Fashion icon!  Trust the legacy media to focus on what’s important….no?

Governor Palin’s optimism that the Post will rise to her challenge is admirable, but probably ill-fated.  Small bloggers have been working to expose this man for the feckless incompetent dimwit that he is since 2008; it would be truly refreshing, albeit shocking, if the legacy media did the same.  I’m not holding my breath.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT — I’ve been following the border crisis story with interest for some time now, and as I was doing some research for a post on SIGIS yesterday, a disturbing pattern began to emerge.

Not that it’s any surprise, but the feds are, almost without exception, extremely secretive about where the illegal Central American refugees are being relocated.  Not just that, but it seems that the entire “medical screening” process has “broken down.”

What to make of this?

In many cases local and state governments aren’t even being consulted or made aware of incoming aliens (and I call them illegal aliens because they aren’t, in fact, refugees as defined by federal code.)

Consider this letter written last week by Florida State Surgeon General John Armstrong; an excerpt:

The Florida Department of Health has received unconfirmed reports that the federal government is bringing unaccompanied minors from the border to Florida today. On July 17, we received unconfirmed information that dozens of children were being brought by plane into Miami on Friday. This same day, ABC news reported that “the federal government is so overwhelmed by the current tide of migrants crossing the border it cannot provide basic medical screening to all of these children before transporting them, often by air, to longer-term holding facilities across the country.” (Feds Struggling to Cope with Medical ‘Breakdown’ at the Border, ABC News, July 17, 2014.)

Many of these people are coming across the border with contagious illnesses and in some cases the agents working in these refugee centers aren’t going home to their own families at the end of the day in order to avoid spreading disease to their own children:

Multiple sources working out of Border Patrol stations throughout Texas have reported that due to fear that their families will contract one of the many diseases being seen at the facilities in a large number of the thousands of men, women and children coming across the border on a daily basis, many of the agents are no longer returning home when their shifts end. Unwilling to expose their own children to a host of highly contagious diseases, agents are reportedly renting rooms in local motels (at their own expense), rather than returning to their homes.

It’s not just the state of Florida that is concerned; in Louisiana, Representative Fleming and Representative Bill Cassidy are among members of the state’s congressional delegation that have requested health status information and have attempted to find out how many and where any of these immigrants are being placed in Louisiana.

So far, the government isn’t saying much about where these illegals are going or about their medical status.

The eruption of weekend protests across the nation indicates that most Americans want these questions answered before these people take up residence in their neighborhoods or enroll in the local schools this fall.

And despite the kumbaya-they’re-just-innocent-children attitude of people like Amelia Ruiz Fischer at the Texas Civil Rights Project

“What it really comes down to is xenophobia and racism,” said Amelia Ruiz Fischer, a lawyer at the Texas Civil Rights Project, a nonprofit law firm that works on issues including immigration. “That might sound like a pretty extreme way to characterize it, but why else would you not want children who are not public safety risks and who are fleeing their countries trying to save their lives — why else wouldn’t you want them housed?”

…I think most parents want to first ensure the safety and health of their own families.  The government now needs to take this concern to heart as well.

 

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – As reported here a few weeks ago, Michael Vick came to Shreveport last night to record a comedy show at The Strand Theater.  When news of the event first broke, local animal rights, animal rescue, and animal advocate groups were outraged that the esteemed and venerable Strand Theater would allow the convicted animal abuser through the doors.

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(Photo courtesy of Bo Spataro)

Emily Daye set up a Facebook page “Protest Michael Vick Coming to The Strand Theater” (the page was deleted after the event) which generated a great deal of interest not just locally, but around the world.  Over 700 people vowed to protest Vick either in person or in spirit. Group members from all over the world changed their avatars yesterday to an orange ribbon protesting animal abuse.

Local debate about Vick’s appearance quickly grew heated in the weeks leading up to the event; many tried to make it a racial thing.  It seemed to me that the media was fanning the flames.  One of the issues the protest organizers took close to heart was that Vick never actually served time for animal abuse:

Local activist Lindsey Fertitta wrote:

I hear all the time that Vick served his time for his crimes but that’s the thing, he never served a day in jail for his involved with the dog fighting ring.  He served his time for Federal Racketeering ONLY and was found in contempt of court for lying to the judge. He plead “Not Guilty” to Animal Cruelty despite all the evidence that proved he was guilty on the heinous acts.

Another group, one supporting Michael Vick and advocating forgiveness, also vowed to show up at the protest.  Their main contention was that Vick “served his time” and should be forgiven.  The “Michael Vick Forgiveness Rally” garnered about thirty supporters in front of the theater last night; some hinted at racial undertones in the protest against Vick:

“The truth is, it’s the venue. The Strand versus the Municipal,” said Marcus Franklin, standing with the Michael Vick Forgiveness Rally. “Most African-Americans have their shows at the Municipal Auditorium.” He said a sign held by someone across the street, who was white, saying “Why Strand Why?” sent a message that carried racial undertones.

By the time of the protest, about 30 people attended the Forgiveness rally at show time while those who showed up to protest Vick’s appearance numbered just over 100.

To me, the real story is that with all the vitriolic words and racial tension leading up to the event, in the end it came off perfectly peaceful and worked just as things like this should.  Both sides were able to express their opinions, nobody got hurt, and most amazingly, at one point the two groups came together:

 

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Coming Together. (Photo courtesy of Lindsey Fertitta)

Loraine Guerrero with the Protest Vick group said afterward:

Last night there were a very few who tried to make our peaceful protest into a racial thing. Well we want to let you know that the majority of the protesters on the other side of us were not supportive of this racial thing. They were very warm and friendly. They even came over and offered us water and hugs, telling us that everyone has the right to their opinion and they respected that, as do we. Thank you to all of those that offered us understanding ( and water on such a hot day) .

Regardless of how you feel about Michael Vick and what he did, and whether or not he has paid for it, it’s wonderful to know that free speech is still alive and well; even though some people tried to incite violence and hate while hiding behind their computers, when it came down to it, everyone exercised tolerance and understanding on both sides.

A beautiful thing.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

By:  Pat Austin

 

FORT SMITH, AR – I am on my way back to the deep South after a family vacation to the heartland of America; we went to the Midwest where in Iowa, for example,  many people don’t answer their phones because “it might be a politician.” They have answering machines still screening their calls. It’s a way of life.
Over the past ten days I have talked to people in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, and Arkansas, not to mention my home state of Louisiana, and I see a real pattern of frustration with big government and frustration with not only this Obama administration, but in general with the way this country is headed.
People in the heartland of America are hurting. While I certainly don’t pretend to speak for the Midwest in general (because there are definite pockets of liberalism – especially in college towns) what I saw and heard tends to give me hope that the tide is turning. People seem to be realizing that Obama and Hillary are not working in their favor.
In Texas, for example, I spoke to a woman who used to have health care coverage through an independent plan and now does not have any medical coverage; she signed up for Obamacare but her doctor won’t take it. She’s almost eligible for Medicare but who knows who will take that. In the meantime she has nothing.
And she is very nervous. Mind you: her previous coverage was just fine, thank you. Then Obamacare changed everything.
As I moved more to the Midwest, I saw more and more people who were hurting for different reasons. In the farming communities I saw people struggling to survive as their small towns dry up. The culprit there is not Obamacare but it’s a more entrenched problem: hyper-capitalism. Even in the smallest town in Iowa, for example, the downtown of the town is shuttered while on the outside of town, closer to the interstate, the Wal-Mart (aka: China goods) is thriving.
The mom and pop stores are gone. That means American jobs are lost.

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Cows

In the heartland, the little grocery stores, drug stores, and community center shops where one used to meet friends, socialize, shop, and visit, are dying; people go to WalMart.
To me, it’s just sad. I drove through countess towns over the past ten days where shops are shuttered and people have vacant looks on their faces as they ponder what the future holds for them.
As small businesses are swallowed up by corporations and corporations move operations overseas to strive for the almighty dollar and make a profit, the fabric of America is coming unraveled.
I wish more people would come out of the skyscrapers, cookie-cutter suburbian homes, and the cities, and visit small town America. It’s a beautiful place. When is the last time YOU stood in a pasture as rain fell about you and curious cows walked up to you to see what you were doing there?
When is the last time you went to a Farmer’s Market in a little town? One that had maybe ten tents but it was the best they could do and everyone not only knew each other but knew each other’s parents and grandparents; where you felt a sense of connectedness?
The heartland of America is alive and well; they are struggling and they are hurting, but there is a spirit there that will never, ever die. In those small towns? tThey are fighting against WalMart when they can; when they can they support the local guy. There are local franchises and companies that are making jobs.
And as far as that Obamacare business? From the signs I’ve seen, the heartland is done with that. They’re ready to get back to their roots and take care of themselves.
We still have a long row to hoe, but I think that the Mother Ship America is ready to right herself and set sail on a course of a prosperous future: one of self-reliance, small government, and independence. The only problem, of course,, is getting the left and east coast to figure out that there is more to America that Starbucks and subway transportation.
Much more.
Come to the heartland and see what real America is.

 

Pat Austin also blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – Here in my little burg of Shreveport, a robust debate is underway about Michael Vick; I bring this up because I’m interested in how this debate plays in other parts of the country.

You see, Michael Vick, as you may recall, is now probably more famous for his dogfighting conviction as for any skills he may have on the football field.

In 2007, Michael Vick was convicted in Richmond, Virginia for his involvement in a dogfighting ring.  His 23 month sentence was more than that of his co-defendants because the judge found him to be less than truthful about his involvement in the ring. The judge said:

“You were instrumental in facilitating, putting together, organizing and funding this cruel and inhuman sporting activity.  While you have acknowledged guilt and apologized, I’m convinced it was not a momentary lapse of judgment on your part.  You were a full partner.”

In fact, Vick pleaded guilty to “bankrolling a dogfighting operation…and to helping kill six to eight dogs.”

And now, in Shreveport, one of our most venerable and respecting arts institutions, the Strand Theater, has rented their space to the Michael Vick Comedy Explosion Tour, and Shreveport has drawn lines in the sand.

There are those who are aghast and horrified that any venue would rent to Michael Vick at all, much less one of the most respected and beloved cultural icons of the city.  The animal rights community is planning a protest of the event and some have even gone so far as to vow to never support any further endeavors of The Strand at all.

“One must be a true Sociopath to be able to watch animals suffering in horrendous ways at your own hands and not feel guilty. Remember that every serial killer started by torturing, mutilating and killing animals. Vick is no different than Jeffery Dahmer, Albert “The Boston Strangler” DeSalvo, The Columbine Killers, and Denis Rader (The BTK Killer).  Vick may not be a “human” serial killer but he is a serial killer none-the-less. No amount of jail time can rehabilitate an already corrupt, empty soul. He has shown no remorse, when doing interviews and when the dogs are mentioned you can blatantly see his eyes turn cold and dark, and his “involvement” with the Humane Society was the best “PR” move ever by his publicists.

So with that being said, I will speak loudly and proudly against him, stand up for what’s right, never forget the innocent lives lost, and never again support a company that has endorsed him, given him money or given him publicity. I have not supported Nike or Subway in over 5 years because of their support of him; and, unfortunately, I will never again support The Strand…”

Others have taken the position to simply boycott the event but to give The Strand a pass on the Vick association and will still support other Strand events.

And still others have taken the position that Vick has “paid his dues” and deserves a second chance.

So does he?

 

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – What in the world is going on with Common Core in Louisiana?  Has Governor Bobby Jindal pulled Louisiana out of Common Core or not?  The thing is, actually, no, he hasn’t.  He can’t.

Louisiana is different than a lot of states in that the state school board has much more power than one might assume; more power in educational matters than the governor.

Back up to 2011:  in his zeal for education reform in Louisiana, Governor Jindal stacked the BESE Board (Board of Elementary and Secondary Education) with folks favorable to his then ideas for educational reform which included Common Core and a stringent yet subjective teacher evaluation system called COMPASS:

The governor’s faction will have their way in matters of policy, including his choice for superintendent of education,[Associated Press reporter Melinda] Deslatte concedes: “Jindal’s got three appointees to the board, and most of the eight elected members espouse his support of vouchers, charter school expansion, school takeovers and teacher evaluations tied at least partly to student test scores.”

Now, back to 2014 and the friction between Education Superintendent John White and Governor Jindal is explosive.  They are now on totally opposite sides of the educational issue.  Now, Jindal has issued an Executive Order demanding that Louisiana drop the PARCC assessment, yet this responsibility actually lies with the BESE board, the board that Jindal created.  So, since Jindal can’t actually scrap the PARCC assessment on his own, his line of argument centers on the legalities of the contract for the test:

Jindal’s officials have said the school board must pursue a new contract for the assessment, compiled by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC for short. The governor’s office could force education officials to look at other vendors besides PARCC — which is associated with Common Core — if that was the case.

White and school board president Chas Roemer maintain that they could use an existing contract with a vendor to purchase PARCC questions, thereby neutering the Jindal administration’s ability to force them to look at tests other than ones associated with Common Core. In response, the Jindal administration suspended the state contract with the vendor White and Roemer intended to use to purchase PARCC questions.

“Under Louisiana law, the Department of Education and the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education are prohibited from entering into a contract for the purpose of circumventing the laws governing procurement,” said Kristy Nichols, who heads up the state’s department that oversees contracts for Jindal, in a written statement.

And there you have the standoff.

Adding to the drama is the question of Jindal’s political future; in essence, he has done a complete reversal on Common Core, and has challenged his hand-picked BESE board, and some would question his motives.  Is this a true commitment to educational reform or is it political expediency?  Is it the mother of all flip-flops?

The battle is ongoing but as of now, school districts in Louisiana are preparing to go ahead with the Common Core standards this fall.  Nothing has changed.

Except perhaps Governor Jindal’s fortunes.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT — “The Obama administration has been caught off guard…”

Fill in the blank.

The most recent version is that the Obama administration has been caught off guard by the escalation of violence in Iraq:

The Obama administration has been caught off guard by the worsening situation in Iraq, and Senator Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) is pointing to the failures of the president’s intelligence team as the reason.

I’m not real sure how they could be caught off guard by this situation unless the intelligence team is busy catapulting cows across the great divide or something.  Pretty much everyone could see this one coming.

The administration was also recently caught “off guard” by the Bowe Berghdahl backlash:

The White House has been caught off guard by the negative reaction to the deal that freed Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the last American prisoner of war in Afghanistan.

It has been particularly surprised by criticism of Bergdahl, who is accused of walking away from his unit shortly before being abducted by the Taliban.

Again, what?  How could they not see that backlash coming?  A five-for-one prisoner swap using Gitmo terrorists?  Nah.  No worries.  Go for it.

Team Obama was also caught off guard on the VA scandal:

The White House tried Tuesday to douse flames of criticism over allegations that dozens of veterans have died because of gross mismanagement at Veterans Affairs hospitals.

President Obama’s chief of staff, Denis McDonough, met frustrated Democrats on Capitol Hill who are outraged by reports of secret waiting lists used by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

And they were caught off guard by the NSA scandal, by Fast and Furious, by the failure of the Obamacare rollout, and by the Benghazi outrage.

Say what you will about this administration, but it does not instill a feeling of well being or of safety.  The legacy of this administration is one of corruption, of ineptitude, and of dishonesty.  We are considerably weaker that we were when this man was elected.

It will only get worse; I do not see this administration taking any steps whatsoever to ensure they are not caught “off guard” again; I don’t see any signs that this administration cares about being ON guard.

Like the fox guarding the hen house, I’d say.

Getting caught off guard is not an effective leadership strategy.

 

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.