In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 17, 2007 / 5 Mar-Cheshvan 5768

Tough love in the Big Easy

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker
Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | NEW ORLEANS — People here haul out multi-syllable adjectives to describe the back-to-back storms that devastated Louisiana two years ago.

Catastrophic, cataclysmic and apocalyptic are three of the favorites. Biblical is another.

Touring New Orleans today, seeing barren lots where homes once stood and giant X's still marking houses to indicate if bodies were found, it is easy to think in those terms.

But hurricanes Katrina and Rita did more than just destroy homes and histories. They seem to have changed Louisiana's personality.

Where once cronyism and corruption were tolerated almost as local eccentricities, today they are viewed as the detritus of a benighted past. As voters prepare to elect a new governor and a large slate of legislators on Saturday, ethics is the new byword and brains may trump political brawn.

The political emphasis post-Katrina isn't so much ideological — Democrat vs. Republican — as it is reform vs. status quo. Leading the reform surge, as well as in the polls, is a young politician Huey Long could never have imagined. Bobby Jindal, the wiry and wired Republican son of Indian immigrants, doesn't look like a Louisiana good ol' boy and he doesn't talk like one either.

At 36, he has a resume that should place him closer to retirement than to yet another career. A Rhodes Scholar, Jindal was accepted to the medical and law schools of both Harvard and Yale (though he attended neither). While still in his 20s, he served as president of the University of Louisiana System and as assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He successfully reformed Louisiana's Medicaid program and was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2004.

Meeting at a Baton Rouge coffee shop late in the afternoon, I was relieved when Jindal did not have coffee. The man has so much energy already, he could charge batteries. I ordered a double cappuccino.

If elected, Jindal wants to turn that energy on ethics reform, which might make him popular among voters. With legislators, maybe not so much.

He wants to make lawmakers fully disclose their finances — income, assets and debts. He also wants to forbid legislators from serving as lobbyists or consultants while in office and to prevent people from serving in government and doing business with government at the same time.

Jindal's tough-love approach to the business of government stems from his belief that Louisiana is at a now-or-never point in its history. If the state doesn't get its programs straightened out, the Big Easy, for one, may go down hard and Louisiana may never recover.

What happens here also affects the rest of the country, as Louisiana is home to a third of the nation's petrochemical industry. As a port and entry point to the Mississippi River, the state is also crucial to distribution of 40 percent of the nation's natural gas and 20 percent of its imported crude oil. A third of the seafood consumed in the U.S. is harvested off the Louisiana coast.

Jindal has found support in unexpected quarters, including the 65-member Louisiana Sheriffs' Association, all but seven of them Democrats. The group supported a Jindal opponent when he first ran for governor in 2003, the race Kathleen Blanco won. She is not seeking re-election.

The sheriffs' conversion to Jindal's camp is another of Katrina's legacies. St. Bernard Parish Sheriff Jack Stephens told me that many voters have "buyer's remorse," and, "we've come to place a high value on intellect."

Also, in the days after Katrina when state and local leaders were tangled up in red tape, Jindal materialized with his sleeves rolled up — without cameras or fanfare — and said, "What do you need?"

Shortly thereafter, trucks, food and medicine began arriving in St. Bernard, where most of the parish's 27,000 residential units were damaged or destroyed.

Jindal's double-digit lead in the polls has prompted his opponents to play a deck of cards — from religion to ethnicity. One ad asserted that Jindal, a Catholic, is anti-Protestant. The state Democratic Party has used Jindal's given name, Piyush, clearly aiming to rally ethnophobes.

In an act of desperation, one opponent ran a television ad noting that, yeah, sure, Jindal's got brains, but does he have a heart?

Being too smart hasn't been plaguing Louisiana leadership lately. It couldn't hurt to give brains a chance.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Kathleen Parker can be reached by clicking here.

Kathleen Parker Archives

© 2006, WPWG