For the past few years I’ve been making the comment that politicians have forgotten how to actually do the job they are elected to do. The argument from some of my friends is that it has happened because of our instant society. Elected officials have to stay in “election” mode, being on their guard, always worried that if they say or do the wrong thing it could go viral and ruin their career.
Another argument has been that it’s because the civic minded people that choose public service as a career, the people that used to work behind the scenes to actually make things work no longer run for office because instead of winning elections by having the best policy positions and record, the person with the best team of dirt diggers gets the gig.
A generation of this type of political maneuvering has resulted in a revolt of sorts. The obvious fallout of this revolt at the moment is the ascension of Donald Trump, who is now poised to become the presidential nominee of the Republican Party. His campaign has defied all conventional political rules. His seemingly juggernaut like hold on this election cycle can be directly connected to the lack of action by people that were more concerned about doing anything it took to get the gig, but didn’t do the job once they got it.
The election of John Bel Edwards last fall was an offshoot of this same revolt on the state level. The last governor bungled his job over and over again, coupled with a legislature that seemed to lack the fortitude to tell him no, made an electorate that had enough. When Senator David Vitter attempted to bully his was into the Governor’s Mansion, the voters hit their limit and instead pushed him into retirement.
What is happening now in Louisiana could happen to Trump if he is not careful. Governor Edwards has run into one obstacle after another trying to fix the mess he was left with once he got into office. The legislators who could lacked a spine with our last governor, want to show that they can do their jobs now. The GOP members of the state house and senate undermine what needs to be done, then try to blame the governor because they are stopping things from getting passed. It is pure political posturing, and they are either too dense or too wrapped up in the game to see their actions are hurting more than helping.
This style of politics needs to stop. Voters that feel that politicians need to stick to their agenda, to never compromise, and think that’s what works are short sighted.
To the politicians, the message is simple. Throw your mud, play your games, and be a party politician during the election cycle. Once you have won office, it becomes time to represent all the people. Work through the issues, but get legislation through that is the best compromise for all concerned. Compromise is the only way any relationship works. When you forget that, you lose the most important part of being an elected official, you were put in office to work on our behalf to use common sense to do what will work for all of us.

Share

So this is a practice monologue I did for the project I am working on. Still developing things, but details soon. Enjoy!

Seems like my social media feeds are all full of friends, family, and even celebrities at what seems to be an enormous amount of graduations in the past two weeks. I might be a little sensitive, since I was supposed to graduate from The University of New Orleans a little over a week ago. I had some issues with my health, family issues with both my mom and the kids, and to be honest, a little bout of depression all combined for a perfect storm of crap that got me just far enough behind in one class that I just could not get caught up. I’m doing better. Kids and Mom are OK, and I’ve dealt with the depression. I’ll be starting my final classes in about another week, and if things go to plan, I will have the credits to graduate at the end of June, but will take an extra class through August because I am paranoid so I always have a plan B.

Back to graduations. This is a time where no matter if it is High School, Technical College, Community College, completing an undergraduate degree, or even an advanced degree, you are ending a chapter of your life, and for most it will be time to transition to the next chapter of your life. Time to dream big, plan smart, and begin to forge on with the next step.

I love seeing the hope in a graduate’s eyes. I grin when I see the pictures with the proud beaming parents, and the one parent that seems to have the weight of the world lifted off their shoulders as they watch their new grad walk away from the stage with that piece of paper that proves that did it.

As I was running through stories this morning I ran across a few great examples of what this should be for every graduate. Celebration, great motivational messages by the honored guest speaker, and a formal recognition of a person’s completion of a body of work. There are several examples, but the one I will point out is the great story of Harry Connick Junior coming home, getting an honorary degree from Loyola in Music, and giving an amazing speech that was fun, motivational, and most importantly just long enough that the older professors were just starting to doze off.

One of the things that seems to always happen this time of the year is that some administrator, at some institution, goes on a power trip, and someone has this special moment ruined for something that really shouldn’t be causing issues. So, if you haven’t heard, Andrew Jones is the Valedictorian this year at Amite High School. He has maintained a 4.0 GPA, and was an athlete at his school. He’s stayed out of trouble, excelled at his studies, but is not being allowed to participate in his school’s graduation ceremony. You see, Andrew has grown a beard in the short period of time that he has been out of school since his classes ended. He likes it and doesn’t want to shave it. So instead of making an exception to the student dress code so he can participate in this one event, the principal instead has told him not to show up for graduation. This is where a little common sense, and just a little bit of compromise would be much more beneficial to everyone than getting the whirlwind of media scrutiny that has followed that decision.

Another stupid moment, but this was actually more of a student caused issue is when a petition was started by Tulane University students because Hoda Kotb was scheduled to be their graduation speaker. She was not “famous” enough for their graduation. Go sit in your safe place, vape on something mellow, and let your brains catch up with the rest of you before doing stuff like that. I’m not going to read off Hoda’s resume` to you to defend her. That was a dumb thing, and it takes away from the special moment that should be a graduation. Both times, everyone involved will be more focused on the negative event instead of the great memory they should be making during these events.

Congratulations to all the graduates. I wish you all the best as you set out on the next chapter of your life.

 

The Good – Harry Connick, Jr. at Tulane Graduation

The Bad – Andrew Jones denied attendance to Amite High School Graduation because he has a beard.

THE HODA!

Share

Not ready to say anything publicly quite yet, but please keep me in your thoughts and prayers. After some encouragement and persuading by close family and friends, I have begun exploring my options, doing the planning needed to fulfill a dream I’ve kept putting on a back burner for nearly a decade.

I’ve slowly added the physical equipment needed. I’ve helped develop the processes needed at other gigs to do this my way. The hard part is physically putting myself out there, asking both managers that know me, as well as guys that I’ve never met to see my vision, to have faith in my ability to do this consistently and successfully. Nothing set in stone, but confident I can make it work.

Share

So the slobber knocker that was the 11th GOP Debate is in the books, and the sad part is the guy who shined last night is still going to be in last place tomorrow night after we vote here in Louisiana. Agree that John Kasich was the only guy that actually showed up and acted like an adult at a debate last night. Also have to mention that Bill O’Reilly had a good point that voters are too angry this election cycle for Kasich to get traction.
As for Rubio and Cruz, while they took their shots at Trump, the GOP opposition research isn’t enough to hurt the front runner. In fact, while hard to watch, this stupidity is actually going to help Trump long term. As they throw the kitchen sink at Trump trying to derail his momentum to give themselves a way to catch up, they are taking away the ammunition that would have been used by Hillary in the general election.
Let me explain. The most obvious reason is that since it is being brought up as well as investigated by multiple news outlets, it will be old news and/or debunked by the time the general election gets here. On top of that, last night also gave us a small glimpse of what I truly believe will be Trump’s overall strategy moving forward.  He allowed both Cruz and Rubio make asses of themselves using the Trump University fodder. Megyn Kelly attempted to get Trump by stating they found evidence backing up the opposition research his rivals was using only to have paperwork delivered to her (and the rest of the media) validating Trump’s comments during the debate (debunking the information being spread to the contrary).
Everyone who knows Trump says he’s a smart, honest, but brash guy. Every item that has been thrown at him during this campaign, and the opposition research that is yet to come to light that is supposed to destroy him was investigated, vetted, and has a way of being negated or Trump wouldn’t have run. The stunt last night proves Trump (or his staff) has information available that even the best journalists can overlook in their haste to “get the dirt” even if they are being unbiased and objective.
I think the timing of last night’s release was intentional to prove that exact point. Once Megyn Kelly said they had researched and found that what Cruz and Rubio were saying was FACT, Trump stated the information that was actually fact, said he could prove all 3 were wrong, and did just that. It was a subtle warning shot that I believe everyone trying to “get Trump” will ignore to their own detriment.
Sad thing is, have not been a Trump supporter. I am fascinated by the phenomenon his candidacy has created. The politics as usual rulebook has been destroyed. Everyone who has attempted to use the typical tactics to deal with him has lost, and it is instead working against them.
Hoping to attend Trump rally here tonight, just to see what he does before a live crowd. See if I can figure out what the appeal really is.

Share

Been watching events unfold on several fronts that all seem to be converging onto a single theme. They’re all political in some form but range in scope from local to national events. Please allow me to lay these out one by one, then link them all together.

First, let’s begin in New Orleans. The big political story has become Mayor Mitch Landrieu and his push to remove 4 historic monuments linked to people and events from the Civil War and the Reconstruction era. This battle has gone from heated debate and a partisan vote of the City Council to a legal battle bouncing from jurisdiction to jurisdiction attempting to block removal of these figures that have been a part of the city for over a century. 
While this has dominated the local news, the city is in the grips of a crime wave that continues to creep into more of the tourist and established areas of the city where these activities were less common. The French Quarter has seen vicious attacks on tourists that has left victims maimed, or criminal activity that have made even the most jaded local reconsider areas that were safe just a year or two ago.
New Orleans faces so many other difficult issues that need people working together to create workable solutions. Instead, the focus of time and resources are wasted on a fight that was taken on to earn political clout instead of solve the many crisis issues that need leadership and resolution.
On the state level, newly elected Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has proposed some unpopular solutions to correct the three quarters of a billion dollar deficit in the state budget that ends in June, and the near two billion dollar hole in the 2016 fiscal year budget. Instead of working together to fix the problem, to find a solution everyone can live with, the two political parties take cheap shots at each other trying to gain some perceived advantage while the state finances continue to deteriorate.

Nationally, the GOP candidates continue to expound on their conservative, Christian values but resort to name calling and dirty tricks in a vain attempt to sway voters, but instead show they are truly focused on winning an election instead of practicing the values they preach.

In our instant society, the people we elect to represent us in every form of government have become obsessed with maintaining their image instead of doing the people’s work. Instead of putting politics aside for a majority of their term in office to work with others to find common ground, solutions that can work for all, and compromise to make things happen, these public servants play partisan games, try to shift blame to “those guys”, and then look confused when the voters complain of gridlock and lack of action.

The good news is that the voters seem to have gotten to their limit of the bull that has become partisan politics today. The cry for the status quo seems to be louder now than it has been in many election cycles. The scary side effect of this movement is that it seems the many are willing to back candidates just because they aren’t a “career politician” instead of finding the best qualified candidate. There are people that are both a political novice and a candidate with a professional background of proven true leadership. We need those candidates in office, and we need to avoid turning elections into popularity contests.

Running for office, run a clean campaign. Talk about how you are the best candidate to fix the problems and explain why that is the case. Don’t cut down your opponents, and don’t play the talking head’s game of turning things into a bad version of a Yo mama slam contest.

If you hold office and want to keep it, first, stop listening to your party’s talking points. Grab others that you know will work with you and develop a plan to fix what’s wrong. Talk things out, adjust the plan until everyone can live with it (no party wins, the people do.), then implement that plan.

I know this all seems simple. That’s because it is. It is also what should be happening at every level. The reason certain politicians are legends are because they got things done, not because they dug in and refused to compromise.

Share

It just hit me, we are one week away from Mardi Gras 2016. Enjoyed watching Adonis on the Westbank last weekend. May try to go watch NOMTOC or Toth this weekend. Will be working during Endymion Saturday night. Hoping the cooler weather this weekend will make it feel more like Mardi Gras.

Share

I’m a little under the weather at the moment so I am stuck in bed. That doesn’t mean I am in a vacuum, so I have been keeping up with the news. There are a couple of items that got my attention.

WDSU

First, there is a local story that I noticed got attention nationally. The initial contractor that had been hired to remove the 4 “nuisance” confederate statues, but later refused the job due to alleged death threats, found his $200 thousand custom car burned to a crisp in front of his business.

I’ve seen a ton of speculation floating around social media, but not one of those blamed it on his former contract with the City of New Orleans. My favorite out of all the guesswork is said contractor was tired of said play toy, and had it torched for the insurance money (of course, to get a nicer new toy.) Some might say this view is quite calous, but I say any attempt to blame this on the people trying to preserve the statues without proof gives into the same hysteria that has people attempting to rewrite 200 years of history. Not saying the guy burned his own car either, but the fact others would go there means law enforcement has their work cut out for them to get to the truth.

KATC

Now, let’s move to the statewide level. Yesterday, new Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards released a plan in an attempt to fix a catastrophic hole left by the former administration. I will admit, it isn’t pretty. The official plan is here. It involves raising taxes, tightening incentive programs, changing tax policies, and he has asked all departments statewide to give him viable options to cut ten percent across the board among other options.

Do I think this is a great plan? No. It’s a starting point. He at least put something forward. Now is not the time to play party politics.

The “JBE LIED!” posts from the usual suspects” and sitting on your side of the aisle bitching without any attempt to offer a better choice to fix the problem is how we got here. Stop thinking about your next election, instead start thinking about the future of our state for our kids and grand-kids. Don’t like the proposed plan, get off your butt, find a few fellow state reps and/or state senators and work out a plan that can do the job without the things you feel aren’t needed. If you can make a viable plan, you help everyone.

Now, I just saw a story about how Senate Democrats stopped a bill freezing the import of Syrian refugees into the United States. Have these people been sequestered somewhere without the ability to read the news? Have they not seen what is happening in the European countries that have welcomed these people with open arms? The rioting? The gang rapes? The Democrats want that here?

First off, I understand that the Democratic Senators wanted to have a vote on weither Senators agreed with Donald Trump that there should be a temporary ban on new Muslims entering the country from those war torn countries until our INS can get a better vetting process in place. If this description is new to you, I suggest you find more unbiased news sources, because that is what Trump has always asked for. I can understand how Democrats think this is a “trump” card because it has been twisted so badly by the MSM.

I am saddened that the Republicans in Congress are so lacking intestinal fortitude that they back down on stupidity like this. If the Democrats inserted a “Trump wants to ban all Muslims” amendment rip it out because it’s a lie. Stop tap dancing with these morons. Grow a pair, drag them along kicking and screaming, and force Obama to veto something. The partisan crap that happened today, the stupidity that both parties exhibited today is what is fueling the voters to seek out a guy that refuses to play your games, namely Trump.

No one wants to see the lawlessness and problems that these refugees have brought to Europe. No one wants to chance another terrorist attack on our shores because we blindly let people we could not vet into our country. But instead of working to protect our country Congress continues to play games and one up man’s ship trying to win elections instead of doing the people’s work.

Share

Just in case you didn’t see it, I got to spend a few minutes in this discussion. Hope to do many more now that I know I won’t break the cam.

You can read more about our discussion at bayoubuzz.com to find out more.

Share

Well, I just got off an interactive video discussion talking about the transition of power here in Louisiana as Governor-Elect John Bel Edwards prepares to begin his first term in Baton Rouge next Monday. I arrived to the conversation late. To be honest, I was planning on just observing the conversation via a YouTube stream, but the streaming software failed, and I was invited to join the actual video discussion. I had to scramble to find my headset, and then to find a location in the house I felt was suitable to use as a backdrop behind me.

This would be a great backdrop for me.

I really enjoy being a part of these types of discussions, but still feel I have a face more suited for radio instead of video or TV. I know I have the knowledge and background to bring a valid perspective to the discussion, but I still have to push myself to participate instead of observe.

WWE Superstar Bo Dallas is a huge BO-LIEVER!

While I try not to let it live rent free in my head, a personal attack a former co-worker spewed during an argument seems to always creep into the back of my mind. He had been sent a link to an older version of this blog (website) where I had shared some the memories we had made during our recent visit to New Orleans during Mardi Gras with our family and friends. I had also mentioned the plans we had to enjoy the upcoming Easter weekend with family at a retreat at Toledo Bend.

His comment was “Do you really think anyone gives a sh*^ about what you think? You think that little blog is anything more than a dumb-ass waste of your MFing time?” (edited to spare any delicate personas) While I know it was vengeful spiteful bile spewed by someone that was doing everything in his power to hurt my feelings, I’ve never been able to shake it completely. While it was only his opinion, I already doubt myself, I am absolutely my biggest critic, and I question my own abilities enough that it rears its ugly head whenever I try to be creative, or try to “get back on the horse” as I like to call my process of getting to my new normal.

I’ve been blessed thus far that every time this idiot‘s words creep into my thoughts, my dad’s advice to me on my wedding day rolls right over it. He told Brunella and I “The only two people you have to make happy in this world are each other! F everyone else and do what makes you both happy!” May be crude, but he always spoke from his heart, he didn’t take crap from anyone, and he made sure you knew where he stood.

I’ve got a few things on the back burners so to speak as we trek into 2016. I am trying to “get back onto the horse” on so many fronts, as you will read about as things become official. Without giving away too much on this particular back burner, I saw a news release a while back about someone I call a friend getting a new gig, which included a request for help at his new gig. The help they need is a job I have always wanted, so I called him and asked for “a shot” as the gig. It is absolutely a long shot, but he didn’t say no. Hasn’t said yes yet either, but you’ll never get the things you want if you are too afraid to ask for them.

Everyone has doubts. Every person fears the unknown. I’ve been told I always have a plan, and I would have to say that is pretty accurate. The reason for that is I know that things don’t always happen as we would like. The only way I have found not to constantly fail is that I try to plan for every contingency, so I can refine my plan as we hit the bumps, and make as much lemonade as possible out of whatever is thrown my way.

It doesn’t always work. My worst fear is regretting that I never tried.

Share

So many rumors, and gossip from mostly one source, but in the end it was all a bunch of hype. Don’t usually try to cover sports, but I have been tweeting all season Saints head coach Sean Payton is staying here in NOLA. Today, that was confirmed by the man himself during a 62 minute press conference.

There is much work to be done to get the team back to championship caliber, but showing stability at the top is a great first step. Looking forward to seeing how the team grows and evolves as they prepare for next season.

image

Share