My dad used to opine that education and wisdom were two different things. You could take a fool and educate him but then you had a serious problem: a really smart fool.
I thought about that thinking about Bobby Jindal, the Repugnican nogoodnik governor of Louisiana. Jindal is highly educated, and supposedly very smart. He is also a fool.
Greg Palast notes just how big a fool in his commentary on Jindal's speech responding to President Obama's address to Congress.
Jindal said the the stimulus bill was "larded with wasteful spending." Palast asks, "Where's the lard? All week, Jindal has been screeching that Obama wants to require states such as Louisiana to extend unemployment insurance to -- get this -- the unemployed! (Technically, the federal government would pay 100% of the cost of reforming Louisiana's .... Scrooge-sized benefit requirements."
Palast does not truck with such crap. "Jindal, and some other Republican governors, notably Haley Barbour of Mississippi, are actually turning down millions in federal funds for their own state's unemployed out of fear that, four years from now, they may have to maintain full unemployment insurance like the rest of America."
He remarks that Jindal's loving concern for the people of Louisiana is displayed by the fact that Louisiana "solved its unemployment problem by sending its unemployed to Texas in FEMA trailers."
After rightfully excoriating Jindal for his continuation of Louisiana's "history of local Republican plantation-mentality cruelty, Palast notes that the "Republican Party, by making Jindal the party's official spokesman, is adopting the Barbourous refusal to reach out a saving hand to Americans drowning in this economy."
Jindal, as we noted, spoke of the stimulus bill as "larded with wasteful spending." Pork, in other words. Meg, writing at BuzzFlash, says this is not surprising. "Many have written about the lies that Jindal repeated about supposed stimulus pork, which ran the gamut from miserly mice to voracious volcanoes. But it turns out he was being disingenuous and hypocritical at the same time."
Jindal is a big-time pork supporter; a hog for pork, you might say. "In fiscal 2008, his last hurrah as a U.S. congressman representing Louisiana before taking over the governor's mansion, Jindal scored big in the pork contest. He, sometimes in concert with other lawmakers, ended up bringing home $97,913,200 in bacon. That put him at the number 14 spot in Taxpayers for Common Sense's annual tally of the most successful appropriators in the House."
Jindal's also a liar. He complained about stimulus money going to monitor volcanoes. Not true. "...the $140 billion Jindal was whining about will be spent on 'U.S. Geological Survey facilities and equipment, including stream gages, seismic and volcanic monitoring systems and national map activities.'" He also repeated the worn-out lie about the salt marsh harvest mouse, which first surfaced from the lips of another liar, Minority Leader John Boehner, "which he dubbed as Nancy Pelosi's pet mouse."
But the biggie was Jindal's story about the sheriff that he went to visit; Sheriff Harry Lee, who was so upset because he couldn't send boats to rescue people on rooftops during Hurricane Katrina because government bureaucrats demanded registration documents first.
It appears Jindal made the story up!
And this is a Republican front-runner for president in 2012? I guess Bush set a precedent. Now the Repugs figure any fool can be president!
Read Palast's entire article here. And the whole story about Jindal's tall tale is here.