Mid-Life Ramblings; Sanity Optional

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

To add insult to injury

Louisiana Senator John Alario had proposed SB 26 to raise the state supplemental pay of police officers and firefighters. However, today he pulled the bill because it would have been vetoed by the governor. http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/20009129.html

The legislators just got a 200% pay raise yesterday that Jindal won't veto but he would veto a $75 per month raise for cops and firefighters??? Oh hell to the no.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Once again proud to be a Louisianian

For those who don't live here in Louisiana and who may not have heard, today our state legislature finalized a vote to give themselves a 200% pay raise. This was a compromise because a 300% raise didn't pass. Not only that, our governor has already stated he won't veto it because he's being strong armed by legislative bullies who threaten to kill any of Jindal's initiatives if he does so.

While the pride referred to in the title of this post is truly tongue-in-cheek, I am quite proud of my sister, who sent the letter below not only to each of the 77 legislators that voted for the pay raise but to the governor, the newspapers, and local radio talk shows instead.

Dear ...,

As a hardworking taxpayer of this great state, I want to congratulate you on the raise you have given yourself and your friends in the legislature!! If my life could only be so simple to be able to give myself an undeserved 200% pay raise compromise, after failing to get a 300% pay raise.

I am expecting great things from this legislature now that you are the 14th highest paid state legislature in the US ~

#1 as healthiest state instead of #48

#1 in teacher pay instead of #45

#1 in road system overall performance instead of #30

#50 in infant mortality instead of #3

#1 for people with a bachelor's degrees instead of #47

#50 in violent crimes instead of #9

#1 in annual average pay instead of #38

#1 in median household income instead of #47

#50 in traffic fatalities instead of #9

#50 in unemployment instead of #2

#50 in persons below the poverty level instead of #2

#1 as the smartest state instead of #44


In the business world, CEO's who perform well are rewarded with high salaries and bonuses. Those who fail to meet their goals are fired. There is no reason why the same standards should not apply for you. If these goals are not met to justify your raise, prepare yourself for a difficult re-election.



They'd better not screw this up.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Farewell, Tim Russert

The shocking news came just before 3 pm here this afternoon that Tim Russert, well known political pundit and host of NBC’s Meet The Press had died in his Washington office of an apparent heart attack. He was only 58 years old.

I was a Today Show fan for many, many years before switching over to Good Morning America in the mornings. So I got to watch Tim Russert a lot. I will never forget the fiasco that was the 2000 election. Russert had a white board that he would bring on the show with him. He had Al Gore in one column and George W. Bu$h in the other and he would run the electoral college numbers in every way he could imagine. I was watching the day he made the now famous remark, “It will all come down to Florida, Florida, Florida.” How right he was.

It was Tim Russert that I watched that fateful night in November of 2000 with the rest of a stunned nation as the returns showed a virtual tie. It was also Russert I watched four years later when it was “Ohio, Ohio, Ohio” that was pivotal state. By 2004 he was no longer carrying around his white board. Instead he had fancy schmancy computer tools that allowed him to play his numbers in every way imaginable. In an election that should have belonged to my candidate Howard Dean, I watched Tim all evening with what felt like a stone in my gut as Kerry was defeated.

My passion for politics started late in life. As a Sheriff’s deputy for so many years, I had enough drama with local politics to keep me quite uninterested in national stuff. All of that changed for me in 2000 and Tim Russert was there, feeding me information and fanning that flame that would turn into a passion. I always felt Tim was giving me pretty straight up information. Though he had Democratic roots, he'd become much more centered because he had to play both sides as a moderator. Although he was never my only source, I watched him more than anyone else.

Unlike so many people, my Sunday mornings are not usually filled with politics. Sunday is often a day of unwinding for E and me so I rarely watched the Sunday talking heads. But when I was in the mood for a good Sunday political debate, I spent my time flipping between Tim Russert and George Stephanopoulos. They could always be counted on to provide the best discussions. Tim was like a bulldog when he was interviewing someone of questionable ethics and I loved that.

So it is with a heavy heart that I join the rest of the nation in saying goodbye to Tim Russert. Thanks for helping fan that fire in me, Tim, and for great content. My thoughts are with your family.