By Gov. Bobby Jindal
My blood is still boiling over the recent murder by beheading of an American citizen at the hands of the terrorist group ISIL, or ISIS, or whatever these murderous fools call themselves. Their real name is EVIL.
I listened to the president last week as he appropriately conveyed Americans’ revulsion at this savage act and our grief at the Foley family’s loss. As usual, the president’s words were very eloquent. To his credit, the president was unequivocal regarding the evil of this terrorist group, and he took the time to list some of their crimes against humanity.
But there is a major problem with the president’s remarks. While he does a nice job of explaining our horror, his remarks on what America will do about it are insufficient, naïve, and just plain weak.
The president said that when people harm Americans, "we do what's necessary to see that justice is done and we act against ISIL, standing alongside others." What? Here's an idea -- How about we offer these people death instead of justice?
I understand that the President of the United States should not be prone to wild rhetoric. But this is ridiculous. "Justice" generally conjures up images of a courtroom with a government provided defense attorney. Here's another way the president could phrase it, "we will hunt them down and kill them." And as for the president's phrase "standing alongside others," what does that mean? We should hunt and kill the people who did this completely, regardless of who stands with us.
The president also said the people of Iraq, "must continue coming together to expel these terrorists from their community." Um, no. They do not need to be expelled. They need to be eliminated.
You may argue that I'm merely quibbling with words here. No, the issue is far bigger than that.
In fact, the most important thing the president said about these terrorists was this: "People like this ultimately fail. They fail because the future is won by those who build and not destroy."
Those are some reassuring and sweet sounding words. A focus group would no doubt respond positively to this comforting sentiment from the President of the United States. There's only one problem – it's a lie, a lie that could only be believed by a person who never took a history class.
This is the crux of the matter – we have a president who is disturbingly naïve and holds a dangerous utopian view of the world and the dangers therein. Earlier this year, President Obama downplayed the danger of the ISIS, comparing these terrorists to a "junior varsity" team that does not pose the same threat as Al-Qaeda. For him now to assert, "people like this ultimately fail because the future is won by those who build and not destroy," is flat out absurd.
The truth is, these people will only fail if we cause them to fail. It is not inevitable. Causing them to fail requires that they be defeated, destroyed, and yes, killed. I bet the focus group would get a little uncomfortable with those words.
In World War II we did not win the future by building, we won it by destroying. Uncomfortable or not, that is the truth. The murderous fools who cut the heads off of Americans must be destroyed, and sent to their reward, such as it is, in the next life.
Published by Fox News.
By Jennifer Wishon
BATON ROUGE, La. - Bobby Jindal's historic election as the first governor of Indian decent catapulted him into the limelight. Now the light's even brighter as he considers a run for the White House.
Jindal grew up not far from the governor's mansion.
"Growing up in Baton Rouge, did you ever think you'd be living here?" CBN News' Jennifer Wishon asked him during a recent chat in the elegant old mansion.
"No," he replied. "Growing up my dad was very firm; he wanted us to be doctors."
He could have pursued his dad's dream, but despite getting into medical and law schools at both Harvard and Yale Jindal chose a life of public service.
'Call Me Bobby'
His parents named him Piyush, but as a young boy, Jindal picked a nickname that stuck.
He laughed as he remembers the story.
"You know, I was 4 years old. I used to come home from school and at that time I was allowed to watch a little TV," he recalled. "One of the shows that was in syndication was the 'Brady Bunch.' It was one of my favorite shows."
"I would watch it every afternoon," he continued. "And if you remember, Bobby Brady was the youngest boy on that show and I guess I just identified with him because we were the same age, had the same interests, you know. We didn't like girls; we liked to play football."
"So one day my mom was picking me up from school and the teacher said, 'Well, your son has got a new name.' And she said, 'What are you talking about?'" he said. "And apparently I just showed up one day without asking her for permission and told all my friends to call me Bobby. From that day on and they did."
Jindal's parents immigrated to Louisiana from India while his mother was pregnant with him. They traveled half-way across the world in search of a better life.
Jindal says he ran for public office to ensure their grandchildren don't have to leave Louisiana to achieve their American dream.
"My parents, but my dad especially, has lived the American dream," Jindal told CBN News. "One of nine kids, he's the only one who got passed the fifth grade. He literally grew up in a house without electricity, without running water."
"He worked extremely hard and got his first job by calling companies out of the Yellow pages until somebody would hire him here in Baton Rouge," he said.
Son of Immigrants
CBN News asked Jindal if the debate over immigration reform is personal to him given that he is the son of immigrants.
"This to me is such a simple issue where we are today. We don't need a thousand-page bill, a comprehensive bill out of the Senate," he replied. "We need to secure the border."
"I think it's pretty simple, you know," he continued. "The president keeps talking about it. We need to just do it. And the reality is, if he was serious about it - he's been president now. He's in his second term - this could have been done by now. There's no excuse for this."
Despite his southern drawl, Jindal is an extremely fast talker who rarely misses a chance to call out the president.
"I think the biggest frustration right now is it's the rest of the country versus D.C.," he said.
He knows something about Washington having served two terms in Congress. Now as a two-term governor he's making education reform a priority.
"One of the most important things we've done is to really give parents, to trust parents in terms of educating their kids," he said.
He's changed his mind on wanting Common Core standards for Louisiana schools.
"I believe this was originally presented as a bottom-up approach and instead has become a top-down approach," Jindal said.
"To me this is the same fight you see when the left tells you we can't trust the American people to buy Big Gulps," he explained.
"We can't trust the American people to exercise their Second Amendment rights," he continued. "We can't trust the American people to have religious liberty; we can't trust the American people to buy their own health insurance to decide what health insurance they want."
It's a calculated fight with Louisiana's Board of Education and now some proponents of Common Core are suing Jindal.
Jindal and his wife Supriya have a girl and two boys of their own to think about educating.
"My kids were 6, 3, and 1 when we moved in the mansion," Jindal recalled as he stood in the foyer of the governor's mansion.
That was six years ago. After long labors with their first two children, Supriya knew their third child, Slade, wouldn't wait for the hospital.
That gave Jindal a chance to finally play the profession his dad dreamed for him as he literally delivered his son at home.
"She was in all this pain and she was literally on the floor," he recalled. "I mean there was no time to get prepared."
"When I saw my son covered in this purple goo; I was thinking 'I don't think he's done, I mean, maybe we should put him back in for a little while," he joked.
"But when I handed Supriya our child for the first time, all that pain went away," he said. "She wasn't thinking about anything but her little baby boy and I fell in love with her all over again."
Jindal said Supriya was the first girl he had a crush on in high school and the first girl to break his heart. When he finally got up the nerve to ask her out she said no because her family was preparing to move to New Orleans.
Their reunion came many years later at a Mardi Gras ball. In six short months they were engaged.
"You know, God truly has a plan for us," he said. "Sometimes we don't understand it. If she had said yes in high school, I wasn't ready. I wasn't mature enough. I hadn't even accepted Christ yet in terms of who I was going to become as a person."
An 'Evangelical Catholic'
Jindal grew up in a Hindu home but converted into what he calls an "evangelical Catholic."
"You know, I'd love to tell you I had a sudden epiphany, but it wasn't that easy," he told CBN News. "You know, for some people it really is easy - they get hit over the head and I think that's great. For me, it was a seven-year process."
After a journey of intense reading, study, and self-examination, Jindal said it all clicked one day while attending a church production with a friend.
"In the middle of it they showed a little film, nothing fancy, a black and white film where there was an actor playing Jesus being crucified," he recalled.
"Now we've probably seen a thousand better movies - it was black and white, no famous actors, the camera was probably shaking. But for some reason when I saw the actor on the cross, God chose that moment to hit me harder than I've ever been hit before," he said.
"All of a sudden it just hit me," he recalled. "That's really the son of God and He's up there on that cross, not for a billion people - that's too easy. He's up there because of Bobby Jindal."
"He's up there dying because of my sins, because of what I've done, what I've failed to do," he said. "How arrogant for me to do anything but get on my knees and to worship him."
America's Greatest Threat
For now, he does what anyone with one eye on the White House typically does: raise money and campaign for candidates competing in the midterms.
After the last presidential election he said the Republican Party was acting "stupid."
"When I said we've got to stop being the stupid party; we've got to offer solutions," he said. "We cannot just be the anti-party. We've got to be for things."
"I think this is still a center-right country and I think that if we will present specific solutions, if we go out there and fight for every vote and say, 'Not only do we oppose what the other side is doing, we've got better ideas,'" he said.
Last fall he launched America Next, a conservative policy group designed to develop some of those ideas.
Jindal suggested America may be its own greatest enemy.
"I don't think we can be beat by an external enemy. I think the greatest threat to America comes from within," he told CBN News. "We are blessed to be in the greatest country in the history of the world, but it's not inevitably so and we've got to renew that every generation."
"I think the biggest threat is the erosion of what it means to pursue the American dream," he explained. "It's that assault on religious liberties, the undermining of what makes us an exceptional country."
He's not expected to make a decision about running for president until after November, but he's not shy when it comes to talking about who he consults about the future.
"It's like Jesus, it's like God gives us the Book of Life. He doesn't let us look at every page, but He lets us look at the last page and on the last page our God wins. He beats death. He beats Satan. He gets up off that cross," he said.
"We should rejoice," he added. "And we should live our lives with grace, glory, and humility animated by that sense that we worship a risen, all powerful God who's got plans that we won't necessarily understand."
Published by CBN News.
The Washington Times
By Ralph Z. Hallow
BATON ROUGE, La. — Republican Bobby Jindal postulates that when year after year more people move to Louisiana than leave it, he’s probably doing something right as governor.
Of all the advances his state made since his election as chief executive six years ago, that is the one statistic that tickles him the most.
For 20 years, more people left than came here, but for the last six years, the opposite has been happening,” he said over dinner recently at the governor’s residence.
The reason for the influx of new residents is that the Republican governor and oft-mentioned presidential contender has turned around the economy in general, the energy industry in particular, the quality of public education, and the availability of jobs while lessening the tax burden on individuals and business. That’s the heart of his local story.
What Mr. Jindal, 43, is best known for nationally is revolutionizing the time-honored conservative concept of education vouchers, often called school choice.
Public-school vouchers were the key education reform that the Reagan administration pushed for and that Republican governors in Wisconsin and elsewhere tried to introduce over the objections of public-school teachers and principals unions in the 1980s and 1990s.
But in the early 2000s, school choice took a back seat to other education-reform efforts, such as the No Child Left Behind law championed by President George W. Bush and other experiments tested by philanthropist billionaires such as Bill Gates and Michael R. Bloomberg.
Despite continued opposition from teachers unions, Mr. Jindal revived the school-choice debate a few years back and successfully got enacted in Louisiana what may be the broadest expansion of vouchers in years, enabling students to take money normally reserved for public schools and spend it instead on an education at a charter or private school of their choice.
The Jindal system has expanded non-government-run schools in several ways. It removed the cap on the number of charter schools, which are privately run public schools that have greater autonomy and whose teachers aren’t unionized. And it expanded private-school vouchers statewide.
It also allows students access to more courses, no matter what neighborhood they happen to live in.
Formerly, students generally got state funding on a per-pupil basis to attend one school full time. If the school they attend didn’t have the courses they needed, they were out of luck. The new law created a new vehicle giving access to all students at public and private schools to courses they need or want, but only certain students get state funding. The Jindal administration says that enrollment in the “Course Choice” program will expand from 2,400 in 2013-14 to a projected 9,600 by 2014-15.
Mr. Jindal met more resistance than expected initially because, critics say, he failed to consult with the school districts before putting the final touches on his system. Whether that was a managerial mistake or a practical route to bypass resistance from the education establishment is open to interpretation.
Like private and parochial schools, charters schools generally aren’t handcuffed by union rules that make it too time-consuming and expensive to fire incompetent teachers and administrators.
Mr. Jindal is in a legal fight over his refusal to implement the Common Core national academic standards that he once backed. Critics of Common Core said from the start that it violated the 10th Amendment to the Constitution and federalized what constitutionally are the education prerogatives of state and local governments. Mr. Jindal now argues that the federal government has gotten too involved in writing the standards. That aligns him with conservative constitutionalists on the issue.
The Jindal administration also won its legal battle with President Obama’s Justice Department’s attempt to cripple the school-voucher program.
Another major plus for his record as a skilled manager is the rise in creditworthiness of his state government.
Since Mr. Jindal took office, the three major credit-rating firms in America — Fitch Ratings, Moody’s Investor Service and Standard & Poor’s Financial Services Co. — have given Louisiana a total of eight upgrades. This came at a time when one of the rating services, Standard & Poor’s, lowered its U.S. creditworthiness assessment for the first time in history.
That means the U.S. government has to dig deeper into its already staggering national debt to pay the extra interest lenders demand in light of the lowered ratings.
In May 2011, S&P elated the Jindal administration and the GOP-dominated legislature by raising the likelihood of Louisiana’s being able to repay its general obligation debt to AA status from its AA-grade.
So Louisiana finds itself happily in the exact opposite situation as the U.S. Treasury. The state’s government has to dig less deeply into its pool of taxes collected from businesses and workers’ earnings to pay a lower interest rate to lenders. Why? Because they see a better likelihood of getting their money back, based on the S&P rating for Louisiana.
“That was the first AA rating from Standard & Poor’s for Louisiana from since 1984,” Mr. Jindal said. He essentially repeated the interpretation he made in 2011. “The higher credit rating shows that the business world sees what we’re doing to expand and diversify our economy — while we continue making government more fiscally responsible.”
S&P noted another major achievement under Mr. Jindal — an unemployment rate lower than the national average.
“We expect the state to continue to address its structural challenges, such as its underfunded pension systems, and we anticipate that it will likely continue to make expenditure cuts as needed to ensure balanced operations,” S&P analysts said at the time.
“This state has the lowest unemployment in the South,” he said. He’s right, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which in June reported Louisiana at 5 percent unemployment, followed by Texas at 5.1 percent. Most of the other Southern states fell in the 6 percent to 7 percent range.
In January, Mr. Jindal’s state set the lowest unemployment rate since September 2008, when Mr. Jindal had been in office only a few months. He also takes credit for getting the legislature to enact what he says is the largest-ever income-tax rate reduction in the state.
He slashed $9 billion (26 percent of spending) from the state budget and cut the state’s payroll by more than 28,000 jobs.
One of his boldest and most controversial achievements is turning a government-run health care system into a partnership with private-sector providers. He was later able to claim that the state’s former charity (now privatized) hospital cost $52 million less than originally budgeted.
He noted the state achieved a record of a little more than 2 million people employed, out of a total population of 4.6 million.
He argued that a leaner, more efficient, less-costly state government is another inducement for people living and working in other states to come stay in Louisiana.
Published by The Washington Times.
By Gov. Bobby Jindal
How would you feel if someone promised to give you a car, and then reneged on that pledge? That’s how all Americans should feel when it comes to ObamaCare -- because Barack Obama’s failed and discredited campaign promise to lower health insurance premiums has cost the average American family an amount equal to the price of many new cars.
During his 2008 campaign, one of then-Senator Obama’s most audacious promises was that his health plan would reduce premiums by $2,500 for the average family. His repeatedly made his pledge on videotape; you can view those promises here. But health insurance premiums have continued to rise -- not just despite ObamaCare, but in many cases because of the law’s new regulations and mandates.
A new analysis by the think-tank America Next, where I serve as honorary chairman, quantifies the massive scope of the broken promise. Compared to 2008 -- the year President Obama was elected -- Americans have faced a cumulative $6,388 per individual, and $18,610 per family, in higher costs because President Obama’s health plan has failed to achieve its promised premium reductions. Overall, that amounts to $1.2 trillion in higher premium costs due to ObamaCare’s failure to deliver.
The administration has put forth all sorts of excuses about why its law hasn’t met the expectations the president himself set. One of them is that the law’s major provisions only took effect in January, so ObamaCare needs more time to achieve savings.
But, in July 2008, Jason Furman—then the Obama campaign’s economic policy director, and now the Chairman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors—told the New York Times that “we think we could get to $2,500 in savings by the end of the first term, or be very close to it.”
The fact that Democrats delayed full ObamaCare implementation until 2014 to hide the legislation’s true cost shouldn’t absolve President Obama for failing to deliver on his promise one whit.
The administration also now claims that ObamaCare is working, because premiums are “only” rising by 6 or 8 percent per year. But that’s not what then-candidate Obama himself promised in 2008; he spoke frequently of “cutting,” “reducing,” and “lowering” premium costs. Whether premiums go up by 1 percent or 101 percent, any increase represents a promise broken.
In August 2012, Politifact nicely summed up ObamaCare’s discredited premium pledge: “An author of the $2,500 figure has disavowed its use as it relates to premiums alone. An independent health care analyst projects that premiums will go up for the typical family. The federal agency implementing [ObamaCare] did not provide evidence that premiums will go down for the typical family. We rate this a Promise Broken.”
Even as ObamaCare has failed to deliver, there is a better way. The America Next health plan can provide the relief from rising costs that Americans need and deserve. Rather than focusing on a massive expansion and restructuring of the health care system, the America Next plan focuses like a laser beam on reducing health costs. The plan creates incentives for states to reform their insurance markets, thereby reducing plan premiums. It also includes other reforms with a proven track record of lowering costs, including tax equity between employer-based and individually-purchased insurance plans, lawsuit reforms, and new incentives for Health Savings Accounts.
Analysis by independent, non-partisan experts confirm the plan’s effectiveness. When considering proposals similar to those in the America Next plan, the Congressional Budget Office concluded in 2009 that they would lower small business health insurance premiums by 7 to 10 percent, and reduce individual health insurance premiums by 5 to 8 percent. Compared to the premium increases projected under ObamaCare, the reforms in the America Next plan could provide thousands of dollars in real relief for families struggling from high insurance premiums.
The America Next report confirms that the average American family has paid a price equal to the sum of many new cars because ObamaCare has failed to meet the president's commitments. And, as with any balky automobile, it’s time for the American people to trade in this ObamaCare lemon, and replace it with something that works. Coupled with ObamaCare’s full repeal, the America Next health plan can provide what the American people need—real relief from skyrocketing health costs.
Published by FoxNews.com.
By Zeke J Miller
Says GOP must put forward ideas to "earn the right to be the majority party."
Just days after Mitt Romney’s rout in 2012, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal declared that it was time for the GOP to “stop being the stupid party.” Twenty months later, Jindal is hard at work trying to make that the case.
The boyish-looking 43-year-old Republican is closing in on a decision whether to run for the White House in 2016, but first he is criss-crossing the country fundraising for GOP candidates and for his policy organization, America Next. The group has already outlined his proposals to repeal and replace Obamacare, with future plans on education reform and energy policy coming in the coming months.
In a Republican Party divided over tactics and policy, Jindal is trying to carve out a niche as the wonkiest candidate. On the stump at a fundraiser for Tennessee State Sen. Jack Johnson Sunday, Jindal reiterated his calls for the GOP to offer up policy alternatives, not just objections, delivering a thinly-veiled critique of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Dressed casually in jeans and a button down shirt, with an oversized New Orleans Saints belt buckle, Jindal appears unassuming sitting on a sofa backstage before the event. But then he starts talking. And fast. 180-words-per-minute fast, his much-maligned 2009 response to Obama’s first speech to a joint session of Congress notwithstanding. He touches on policy areas like education and immigration, healthcare and the Middle East.
He jokes that his father, an immigrant from India had an accent. “This is not an accent by the way,” he says in his thick Cajun drawl, drawing a laugh from the 500 or so attendees at the ‘Boots & Jeans, BBQ & Beans’ event. “This is how regular people talk.”
“You know we can get rid of debt, we can get rid of those taxes, those regulations, and the incompetence with a new majority and a new administration in DC,” he continues. “But the thing that worries me the most is this president’s relentless attempts to redefine the American dream.”
TIME caught up with Jindal in Franklin, Tenn. Sunday afternoon, where he was attending the fundraiser and meeting with donors for America Next to discuss his tenure and future aspirations.
The following exchange has been edited and condensed.
Vice President Joe Biden told the nation’s governors on Friday that the nation is looking to them to lead the country out of the current era of hyper-partisanship. What was your reaction to that?
I think there’s deep, deep frustration with D.C., and not just in the Republican party but across the country in the Democratic party as well. I think there’s a sense that the real divide is not Democrats versus Republicans, but it’s between D.C. and the rest of the country. I think ironically president Obama tapped into that in 2008. When he was running, when he talked about changing the culture in D.C. He talked about bridging the partisan divides. And I think there were a lot of voters who voted for him thinking he was being less ideological, he was being more competent, he wasn’t going to be hyperpartisan, and they are deeply disappointed.
Do you think that Republicans who say the party needs to stop trying to repeal Obamacare are leading the GOP astray?
Look, I personally think we have got to repeal it. I think we’ve got to replace it. I think we have to rip it out at the roots. And I think it is awful in terms of the effects you’re seeing. It was passed because of a bunch of lies. . . . I think as Republicans, yes we need to be consistent on repeal, but have to be very specific about what we are replacing it with. And I do think we do ourselves a disservice is all we say is we’re repealing it and not saying this is what comes next. The more people experience it, the less they like it. But they want to know what’s the alternative, they want to know, all right I know this isn’t working but what are you going to do. And that’s why we put our plans, our ideas forward. And I think it’s incumbent upon Republicans to do the same.
Eighteen months ago you warned the GOP against remaining the “stupid party.” Where does that stand now?
Three things: One I think we’ve made progress, but there is more work to be done. Second, I think it’s important we continue to be specific about our policy proposals. My third point is this: My big concern for our party is that in 2014 the temptation’s going to be—listen, I think Republicans are going to have a big year this year. All the trends seem to suggest that. And I think that we can take away the wrong lesson. My worry is that there are a lot of consultants in DC who are running around saying just run against Obamacare. It’s very unpopular, be against a president whose poll numbers are falling, and don’t give them anything to shoot at. That may or may not work in the short term, but there are two problems with that. One, that’s no way to govern. We have to earn the right to be the majority party for the long term. And second, if as conservatives we really think these are dangerous times for our country, if we really believe that, we need to be in the business of persuading people, trying to change the direction of government, getting the country back on track. And you can’t do that unless you are willing to put out specific ideas.
You’ve made education reform a signature issue in Louisiana, as have other Republicans on the national level. Do you think the issue is a political opportunity for the GOP?
I think it’s a huge issue for conservatives. And I say this seriously. I don’t think this should be a partisan issue. I think it’s an American issue. . . . The left has abandoned a lot of these kids and their families and they really don’t have much to say to them. You can’t tell them to just wait, because their kids only grow up once. Incremental progress isn’t enough. And what you’re seeing is you’re seeing amazing progress in a really short period of time. So for example in charter schools in New Orleans, in five years they have doubled the percentage of kids who are reading at grade level. This isn’t just theory—you can show dramatic progress quickly for folks. So I think it is the right issue substantively, so that’s the reason I think pursuing it shouldn’t just be a partisan issue. But secondly, certainly there are political benefits to Republicans, sure, and I think it’s a great example of how we can be consistent with our principles and speak to every voter.
What do you make of the surge of unaccompanied minors crossing the southern border?
I think the president has played a role in helping to create the crisis we see on the southern border. It’s time for him to secure the border. I know he keeps looking for people to blame. He has to look in the mirror. The reality of it is this, we don’t need 1,000-page bills, right now we need to secure the border. As conservatives we talk a lot about this being the most ideological, the most liberal president. But I think the public’s also seeing an incompetent administration as well. We’ve seen that with the VA, we’ve seen that, I believe, with the release of the five prisoners from Gitmo. I think you see that with the border situation. I think you’ve seen that with the IRS. You’ve seen that example in case after case.
It’s time for him to secure the border, but I think this is also telling in that it goes to the competence of the administration. And I think that’s something that we’ve seen in Louisiana for a while. We saw it especially during the oil spill, the explosion in 2010. We saw the incompetence there. I think the rest of the country is seeing what we saw back then.
What’s the latest on your 2016 thinking?
We’ve said it’s something we’re thinking about, praying about. It’s something we’re considering. But we won’t make a decision until certainly after November.
Published by TIME.