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Monday, June 29, 2015

The Roving Reporter Analysis: Gov. Jindal’s retelling of his record has gaps

Melinda Deslatte
BATON ROUGE – The strategy for Gov. Bobby Jindal’s campaign for the Republican presidential nomination is partly based on a “tell them what you’ve done” approach. But touting his achievements back home could get him into muddy water quickly if anyone decides to look too deeply at the list.

Campaign aides made it clear as Jindal launched his campaign that they intend to highlight the governor’s leadership of Louisiana in his White House bid.

“This is not a guy who needs on-the-job training,” Jindal’s chief strategist Curt Anderson said in a messaging preview.

Indeed, Jindal has won a string of policy victories during his two terms as governor, making decisions that have sharply changed the face of state government, education and health care.

But in many instances, the impact of those changes remains uncertain or the story Jindal and his handlers tell about those changes skip a few critical points.

Few would disagree that Jindal’s overhaul of worker training programs and his dogged pursuit of business projects have brought new jobs to Louisiana. However, the state’s unemployment rate remains the nation’s sixth-highest, undercutting part of the narrative.

And the governor’s management of the state’s finances has produced dismal results, with repeated budget shortfalls that stretch on the horizon long after he’s gone.

One of Jindal’s regular talking points is about the size of Louisiana’s government.

“We did what they said could not be done — we shrank our government,” he said in his campaign kickoff speech Wednesday in Kenner. He added: “It was not easy. The big government crowd fought us every step of the way.”

He’s reduced the footprint of government, for certain. State government has 30,000 fewer workers, the lowest level in decades.

Stories of Jindal “cutting” the state budget by 26 percent are exaggerated, however.

Much of the multibillion-dollar drop in the state budget that the governor and his aides cite is tied to the loss of federal hurricane recovery dollars that artificially boosted state spending for a short period after hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Jindal’s been less willing to do the difficult work of matching state government spending to annual income.

As he sought to protect his record against tax increases, Jindal — aided by lawmakers who agreed to the shell games — raided trust funds and savings accounts, sold state property and gave widespread amnesty to delinquent taxpayers to drum up short-term cash for the state budget.

He patched his way through year after year, rather than find permanent sources of new revenue for the state or cut the size of government to match the state’s revenue. That created perpetual cycles of budget troubles as the one-time dollars fell away and needed replacing to continue paying for services.

The next governor, to be elected this fall, will inherit a financial mess for which Jindal shares much of the credit.

Jindal’s leadership of Louisiana may be most noticeable in education and health care.

He’s pushed for expanded school choice across the state, boosting the number of charter schools and creating a statewide voucher program that allows students from low- to moderate-income families to use state tax dollars to go to private schools.

On health care, Jindal has turned over management of the state’s charity hospital system to private operators, transforming a Huey Long-era creation unique to Louisiana.

In many areas, uninsured patients report better access to specialty health care, shorter wait times and other improvements. But Louisiana is paying more for the privatized hospital system than it paid when LSU ran the facilities, and hospital managers have told lawmakers they'll be seeking further increases year after year.

Any criticism of Jindal’s time in office — or talk of the governor’s dismal approval ratings — is discarded by campaign leaders as sour grapes by entrenched bureaucracies.

“He didn’t run to be coronated most popular politician in the history of Louisiana. He ran to make a difference in the state,” Anderson said. “When you do that, you tick people off.”

Anderson added: “The results for the people of Louisiana, we would say, are superior.”

That’s a rosy story for a campaign, with some gaps.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Melinda Deslatte covers Louisiana politics for The Associated Press

The Roving Reporter                  G.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Food for Thought : Herbs

Aromatic herbs and spices are substances or plants that have a very unique and pleasant smell. They are often used in cooking to create or complement existing food flavors.

Aromatic herbs are great in soups, rice and pasta dishes. Many refer to aromatics as a mixture of vegetables (such as onions) and herbs that are sautéed with a small amount of fat. If you are using just herbs or a mixture of vegetables and herbs, it is important to recognize that these wonderful flavor combinations are a great way to reduce the amount of fat and salt you use in your cooking.

Here are a few tips to help you cook with aromatics:
1 .   If you are using aromatic herbs and spices in soups, stocks and broths but removing them before serving, you do not have to worry too much about chopping. You can just half an onion or chop carrots into 3 or 4 pieces. You can use whole sprigs of thyme or rosemary. The leaves may come off, but you can usually easily remove them from your finished product with a skimmer or spoon.

2 .   If your aromatics will be used in the final product, you will most likely want to dice or chop them finely. The smaller you chop them, the more surface area they will have. The more surface area means that it will release more flavor.
3 .   For deeper flavor, sauté your vegetables and herbs in a little bit of olive oil first. You can also sweat your vegetables by cooking them in a tightly covered pot. The vegetables will soften without browning.

Words of Wisdom :

People spend too much time finding other people to blame, too much energy finding excuses for not being what they are capable of being, and not enough energy putting themselves on the line, growing out of the past, and getting on with their lives.

This life, which had been the tomb of his virtue and of his honour, is but a walking shadow; a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Children are smarter than any of us. Know how I know that? I don't know one child with a full time job and children.

Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it's amazing what they can accomplish.

A proud grand-poppa                        G.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy ,
My father is planning a trip to his home in Poland over the next holiday season, I am excited to see my family, and we will make multiple stops in Poland to visit most of the relatives, I will not have been to Poland in two years and it being the holiday season, will I be expected to have a gift from America for ever family member I see ?
I will visit upwards of 20 family members and I do not want to overpack the suitcases and use all my spending money . Do I have to bring everyone a gift ? Could I buy some of the gifts in Poland ? I know it's a while away, but I am already worried .
Thrifty Holiday
Dear Thrifty Holiday,
Whether it's holiday time or not, you definitely should come bearing gifts for each family member. Trust that just a small affordable memento from America will be treasured. 
Rather than fretting about the cost of these items, consider some options. First, talk to your father and ask him if you can pool your resources and purchase gifts as a family for everyone . Tell him how much you can comfortably contribute and ask him what he is able to give.
Make a list of all your family members . Think about what they may appreciate . You can select anything from American candy to miniature  likenesses of the Statue of Liberty, Mickey Mouse, or even small souvenir pins of the American flag they can wear on a tie or jacket.  Baseball caps with American team badges are always popular .  Virtually, anything made in America will be appreciated and it does not need to be expensive, just given with love.

Dear Maxy ,
I am not attending my cousin's wedding next September . I will be in school on the west coast and the wedding is in Europe . I am not too bummed about missing it, but I do not know what to say to my cousin when I see him this summer . I wish him the best but I need to learn in college and be frugal during the time that he is planning his special day.
...I Do ...Not
Dear I Do ..Not ,
Start by wholeheartedly congratulating your cousin on his upcoming wedding . Ask him about his bride and be interested . Make an effort to share his excitement about his upcoming   nuptials .
You have to be up-front about this, and tell him that you are very disappointed that you won't be able to celebrate the day with them, in person. You can't take time from your studies and your budget is very tight as a student. But you will be thinking of them and will make it up to them another time.
Make sure you call, text or email them your congratulations on the wedding day.

Dear Maxy ,
My friend "Carrie," recently joined a popular online dating site, after her husband decided he'd rather be single. Carrie met several interesting men on the site and after chatting with them a week or two every single one of them asked her for money. She refused .
Finally one asked her to cash a check for him . He spent about a month setting her up to be comfortable doing this favor and she fell for it .
He said the bank took her money . The man said he would straighten it out but of course, he failed to show up .
I want your help in exposing this supposedly reputable online dating site . It's a very bad place for single women to find true love . It is really a site for unscrupulous male thieves to prey on vulnerable woman .
Something needs to be done to put a stop to this abuse and hold these larcenous Lotharios accountable for their misdeeds .
What can we do ?
Angry Ann
Dear Angry Ann,
Your letter is very relevant. And I am going to make a statement about it because online dating scams are rife at this time. Anyone can be targeted. You just have to be looking for love, a search that causes you to be more vulnerable than usual. And love is the tool scammers use to pry open your bank account and strip you of your assets. Even the reputable online dating sites cannot guarantee the honesty of all users.
By learning how to spot a scammer, you can protect yourself:
1. Note any age difference; online dating scammers usually target people older than themselves.
2. Look for the following descriptions in their profile:
self employed, a professional (for example, an engineer) working overseas.
 *a widower with a child (or just widowed)
 *they claim to live near you, in your country, currently away, 
   but will be returning soon.
3. Do a photo check. Save a copy of their profile picture. Use Google image search. Check the results. A scammer will steal an image off the internet.
4. Look closely at emails they send you. The scammer will send you an email which is full of inconsistencies, often getting their own name or your name wrong ( since they may be scamming several women at the same time). It will be badly written and repeat itself. Their command of your language deteriorates with time.
Watch for these other signs:
 *They make mistakes, in that their "story" begins to contradict
  itself here and there.
 *They mix pronouns (he/she, him/her).
5. Phone conversations can often unravel a fake. When you hear this person on the phone, note whether they have a slight accent and use awkward phrases; if their accent does not match their supposed origin, be suspicious.
 *If phoning, beware a cell phone number that does not match the area in which they claim to live. This often means that the person is not in the same country at all. Match the cell phone number and the area code with the state or province they claim to live in.
If you spot a number discrepancy, beware excuses. They may tell you they've just moved and didn't bother to change it yet.
6. Be suspicious of rapid escalation. If the person suggests that the communication switch to phone calls and texting asap, be alarmed. Then, if the phone calls and texting rapidly escalate in expressions of love and passion, be very alarmed. Remember, you have never met this person.
7. Watch out for the catch. When they think they have you on their hook, they reel you in. They will say they are on their way to be with you and start a new life together. But then out of the blue they will say they have a financial emergency. They will ask for money to be sent to them immediately to get them out of a fix or to invest in a guaranteed business deal.

Carrie should send all the personal information she has on these men to the managers of the dating website and register a complaint, letting them know that the reputation of their site is at risk and that they need to do a better job of vetting their clientele and keeping  these scams artist out .
The bottom line is 'PROTECT YOURSELF' and under no circumstances trust anyone or give/lend anyone money.

Dear Maxy,
My 85-year-old mother seems to be a loving generous person. But I know her to be extremely self-centered. For example, I don't dare mention that I may be sick or have a problem because she will reply with a long list of her own complaints . Everything she says, every story she tells, is turned to to make her look wonderful and important .
We recently had a family gathering and I made a toast to my sister-in-law and our children because they all had made important advancements in their careers and education . Before the toast was over, my mom piped up and said , "What about me"? and she proceeded to ramble on about herself .
I am writing not to get advice, but rather to give it . I don't care how old you are; don't hog the spotlight . Listen to your children and grandchildren and be interested in their lives . Because of my mother's narcissism, I have learned to be humble .
Because of my mother's self-centered attitude, I have learned to be more sensitive to others . Because of my mother's constant complaining, I have learned not to talk about my own aches and pains . I am sure that when she is gone, I will miss her. But the best thing she ever did for me was to teach me to be a better mother and grandmother by setting such a bad example for me. 
Thanks Maxy for letting me rant and get this off my chest.
The Good Daughter
Dear Good Daughter,
I am pleased you are not following in your mother's footsteps . If it helped just a little to rant and get it off your chest, my job is done. Not only do I try to answer questions, but I'm also a good
listener .
Note to readers :
When parents get to this age they are often needy, both emotionally and physically, and they are usually very lonely, so it is difficult to know where to draw boundaries. When there is diminished mental capacity, it becomes even more stressful. They can prey upon their children emotionally, using guilt and illness.
Like most elderly people, this lady is too old to change. She will continue to complain to the end of her days. All a grown child can do is attempt to not fall victim to the guilt and the stress. And not allow an elderly, toxic relative to destroy their peace of mind or happiness.

Does Caffeine Help Thinning Hair ??

Caffeine doesn't just make Mondays more bearable. Scientists have recently uncovered another possible benefit: It might help bulk up thinning hair by promoting hair growth. The catch? Unfortunately, just sipping a latte isn't going to cut it.
Here's what you need to know: When scientists treated weakened hair follicles with a caffeine solution, the speed of hair growth increased by up to 25 percent, says Tobias U. Fischer, a dermatologist at the University of Lübeck in Germany. Caffeine activates a growth factor that helps prevent hair cells from dying or going into a dormant state, he explains.
Sadly, just drinking coffee—or even applying it to your head in an experimental DIY mask—won't do anything for your hair. It takes a special treatment with the optimal formulation (such as Plantur 39 Caffeine Treatment for women), which is currently available in Europe. Here's hoping it arrives stateside soon. We're guessing it might be as popular as Starbucks.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Roving Reporter :Louisiana Gov. Jindal declares 2016 GOP candidacy

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana said Wednesday he was entering the 2016 presidential race and he began trying to distinguish himself in a field packed with better known rivals.

It's a long shot effort for an accomplished but overshadowed governor, and his prospects will depend in large measure on his continued courtship of evangelical voters. But several other contenders also are determined to win over that group.
"My name is Bobby Jindal, and I am running for president of the United States of America," he posted on his website. Short video clips showed Jindal and his wife, Supriya, talking to their three children about the campaign to come.
"Mommy and daddy have been thinking and talking a lot about this, and we have decided we are going to be running for president," he tells them. 

The 44-year-old two-term governor planned a kickoff rally later Wednesday.
Aides discussed Jindal's plans to focus on social conservatives, as he has done for months in extensive travels, and highlight his reputation as a policy-seasoned leader.
Jindal intends to present himself as "the youngest candidate with the longest resume," citing an extensive background in public policy and government, strategist Curt Anderson said. Timmy Teepell, who was Jindal's chief of staff and ran his two races for governor, will be his campaign manager.

An Oxford-educated son of Indian immigrants, Jindal can point to a political career filled with many unexpected achievements. He talked a governor into appointing him state health secretary when Jindal was 24, with little background in either health management or government. Jindal won election to Congress at 32 and became governor four years later.
Unpopular at home, Jindal waited until the state legislative session had ended and lawmakers found a way to close a $1.6 billion budget gap before he scheduled his presidential announcement. But he has been building his campaign for months with frequent trips to key presidential voting states, particularly Iowa, where he has focused on Christian conservatives.

Raised a Hindu but a convert to Catholicism as a teenager, Jindal has talked of his religious faith in small churches across Louisiana. As he readied his presidential campaign, the governor held a prayer rally in Baton Rouge, met pastors across several states and put out an executive order to grant special "religious freedom" protections to people in Louisiana who oppose same-sex marriage.
He is competing with several contenders, including Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who also are trying to appeal to the same pool of evangelical voters.
Jindal has worked to showcase more of the policy wonk reputation that got him elected governor, rather than focusing on cultural issues.
He has drawn distinctions from other GOP contenders by noting he has published "detailed plans" on health care, defense, education and energy policy.

He has suggested governors are better equipped to become president because they have run state governments, balanced budgets and implemented policy. That's an argument, however, that other White House hopefuls are making or can: Govs. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Chris Christie of New Jersey and John Kasich of Ohio, as well as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

I will give you my thoughts  on this one , Mr. Humble  is unavailable and we all know what Witchy will tell him where to stick his  thumbs.    Here goes .

Jindal for President , REALLY! People check and see what he did to the state of Louisiana he used the office of Govenor for his purpose only. He used tax money to travel all over the United States just to work his way into the lime light in order to run for President. Its time we start electing Men or Women with military background and people that are True Americans. Having Jindal for President would be the biggest mistate this free country could bring upon itself.

Tea bags have a tiny brain with a massive virus named by scientists as foxlimbaughbeck
syndrome. It renders them unable to reason and recognize the truth.
Unfortunately there is no cure.

The Roving Reporter

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Food for Thought : Father's Day

Father's Day is right around the corner , so it is time to think about the celebrating . Forget the dreaded tie and after-shave this year , look for gifts that helps  dad stay healthy.
You do not have give vitamins or sprouts to let him know you want him  to stay well , as there are many gifts that he will love  and show him how much you care. Here are a few tips  to help you find that perfect gift for any dad.

1 .  For the dad that likes to cook , get himsome healthy grilling options. A  cookbook with marinatade and rub  recipes , a grilling pan (perfect for grilling small items like shrimp and vegetables) or maybe a herb garden kit to help grow his own herbs.

2 .  For stressed out ,workaholic dad , try some stress relieving options such as a hammock , a travel set that includes luxury skincare products or a subscription/membership to a healthful meals delivery club that delivers ingredients to prepare a meal for one or two or a local CSA(community supported agriculture) . These all offer time saving and relaxation .

3 .  For the super dad that takes his exercise seriously , there are many options that span all price ranges . Exercise watches that track activity ans sleep are quite popular and canbe purchased for about $100.
There are so many options in the GPS watch category that track distance , heart rate and calories burned . These can range from $80 - $400 for popular models .
Words of Wisdom :

Wisdom ceases to be wisdom when it becomes too proud to weep, too grave to laugh, and too selfish to seek other than itself.

The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life.

True friendship multiplies the good in life and divides its evils. Strive to have friends, for life without friends is like life on a desert island... to find one real friend in a lifetime is good fortune; to keep him is a blessing.

Work hard for what you want because it won't come to you without a fight. You have to be strong and courageous and know that you can do anything you put your mind to. If somebody puts you down or criticizes you, just keep on believing in yourself and turn it into something positive.

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart.

A proud grand-poppa                   G.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy,
I used o be best friends with a girl in middle school , and our moms became close friends as a result .Years later , we have grown apart , but we are still close friends . I am happy my mother has a confidante and partner in crime , but both mothers do not seem to understand that their daughters do not share he same bond . They think setting us on "play dates" of sorts will work to rekindle our friendship . We grew apart because of a difference in values and interests , and i am happy with the current amount of friends I have . I am always cordial to the daughter when I see her , but I find this maternal meddling frustrating . Is there anyway to politely tell my mother to get over the end of my middle school friendship ?
No Old Friends
Dear No Old Friends,
The direct approach is the best  approach . Talk to your  mother and tell her  that you are happy that she  and  the other  mom have  become  so close . Then point out that the same is not true  for you  and her  daughter and that is OK . The  two of you do not  share  the  same  values , interests or  friends , so neither of  you is  trying  to cultivate  a bond . Always soften any point you make to your mother by telling her you love her and appreciate all she does for you. But make it clear that she should live and let live. After all, you are a big girl now.

Dear Maxy ,
I have a phobia of being on boats and my family has known about it for years . I get anxiety and panic at the thought of being on a boat . My other's new boyfriend has three boats and is in love with the sea . She constantly talks about how often we will be on boats in the summer . When I told her I would not be going , she decided I act this way because I get seasickness . It's incredibly frustrating to me that she trivializes my phobia and thinks a tablet can cure it . How do I make my mother realize I have a reason to not go on the boat while politely declining her boyfriend's invitations ?
Mal Voyage
Dear Mal Voyage ,
Your  mother is excited  about her life with her new beau and she isn't being sensitive to your problems at the moment . You know yourself better than anyone. Sit down with her in a quiet moment and tell her you need to talk to her about something important to you . Explain that you do not get seasick . Instead, you absolutely dread the idea of  going on the water in a boat.
There are two phobias at work here, Hydrophobia is fear of drowning in water...and this is tied to your fear of dying, which we all have in one form or another. The other phobia is called Amaxophobia, and this is a fear of being in certain forms of moving vehicles. I think a boat would qualify as a vehicle.
So, fear of dying in water and fear of being in an accident or situation you cannot control adds up to a fairly serious phobia that your mom needs to be informed about. Show her this letter, if you think it will help.
Also, you need to address your fears to help yourself. Try to think back to when you first became aware of this fear; what was the trigger? Identifying the cause will better help you to understand why you feel this way. Perhaps you witnessed, read or heard about somebody drowning or some other water/ boat related trauma, and this has stayed in your subconscious. Write down your thoughts/feelings about drowning and boating accidents and see if any patterns emerge. If you can't seem to get a handle on your fear, it would help to talk to a councilor who is an expert in phobias. The advantage of doing that is that your fear will not grow worse, as phobias tend to do if they go unaddressed. And in fact, you may overcome it.
Ask your mom to respect your wish to stay on land this summer .

Dear Maxy ,
I have recently made the decision to become a vegan due to ethical and healt reasons . Even though completely changing your diet is a difficult thing to do , the hardest thing has been communicating with other people about my new lifestyle . It has made it hard to go out for occasions with friends , due to the difficulty finding something to eat on the menu and constantly having to explain my new eating habits . Every time I have to explain my choice to become a vegan to others , I feel as if I am offending them on their food choices . I have enjoyed being a vegan so far and loves what it stands for , but it has caused such a rift in my social life that I do not know ho much longer I can keep it up .How do I deal with others while maintaining my veganism? 

Different Eater
Dear Different Eater ,
First of all, congratulations on making a personal, lifestyle choice and trying to stick to your principles. Stay with it if you truly believe in it. Your friends and family will gradually adjust to your choices.
In order to make your dining experience a little easier, before you agree to go to a particular restaurant, call and check out the  menu to see if there are any vegan offerings . On other occasions, suggest to your dining companions, restaurants  that cater to a broad  palate, so both you and they can enjoy the meal . Do not feel obligated to explain your food choices to anyone. Do you question theirs?
To reduce the amount of discussion you have in front of others about vegan menu options, you could speak to the waiter in advance, separately, so that you already know what options are available to you . When  you are  asked  about  your  new  way of  eating,  just say that it works for you. Bon appetit !