Somebody at the governor’s office has figured out how to work the email machine.
On July 18, the first of a series of press releases came out of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s office. The big as all outdoors headline of the first email was “LOUISIANA REACHES ALL-TIME HIGH IN NATIONAL BUSINESS CLIMATE RANKING.”
That sounds fantastic! I want to know all the details.
Well, it seems that something called the Pollina Corporate Real Estate something-or-other ranked Louisiana’s “business climate” No. 14 in the country. The press release said this was Louisiana’s “highest ranking ever in a national business climate study” — meaning, in a national business climate study conducted by the Pollina Corporate whatchamacallit.
Golly gee. Why do think the Pollina thingamabob ranked Louisiana so high? I don’t know. But I think this guy named Ron Pollina might be able to give us some clues.
Ron Pollina. Pollina. Why does that name seem so familiar to me? It’s like I’ve seen it before somewhere.
Hey, wait a second! Pollina has the same name as the Corporate Real Estate group that ranked Louisiana No. 14. And Ron Pollina is the president of the Pollina Corporate etc. Well, what do you know about that?
So here’s what Pollina had to say about Jindal: “The people of Louisiana should be very proud of Gov. Jindal and his administration’s phenomenal accomplishment.”
“Phenomenal” huh? Wow! I guess president Pollina must really like Gov. Jindal. I mean, it’s not every day that an economist — that’s what Pollina is — calls a politician “phenomenal.”
It may surprise you to learn that president Pollina had even more hyperbolic things to say about Jindal. “In the 10 years that we have conducted our Pollina Corporate Top 10 Pro-Business States study, no other state leader has shown the consistent improvement that Gov. Jindal has achieved in such a short time.” Now, notice Pollina didn’t just say “no other governor.” No, he said “no other state leader.” So of the hundreds of state leaders in the country, Jindal is the only one — the only one — who’s done it. That’s the economist Pollina’s opinion.
You know, after reading Pollina’s comments, I think that maybe instead of calling Louisiana “The Economic Miracle,” we should call Gov. Jindal “The Economic Miracle,” or at least “The Economist’s Miracle.” Let’s consider it, huh?
No. 1 In Everything
On July 23, I got another email from Jindal’s office about how magnificently the state’s economy was doing. This one bore the headline “Louisiana’s Business Climate Ranked No. 4 in the Nation.” Three days later, I got another; the headline: “SOUTHERN BUSINESS & DEVELOPMENT: LOUISIANA EARNS FOURTH STATE OF THE YEAR AWARD IN FIVE YEARS.”
Gee, fellas, you shouldn’t send ‘em faster than I can read ‘em. Even though I can’t keep up with the emails, it’s pretty clear to me that Louisiana has become, as Andy Griffith would have said, “the best dang business state in the whole dang United States of America.”
It’s occurred to me that since we now know (as a result of this recent onslaught of gubernatorial emails) that Louisiana is No. 1 in everything, we can dispense with all the confusing awards from every obscure group under the sun — including Site Selection Magazine. All we need at this point is someone to form some sort of business rating service to declare Louisiana No. 1 in everything forever. And I’m just the man to do it.
I’ve got to call the service something, so I’m just going to use the first thing that pops into my head. I’ll call it The Pawpaw Dideau Business Ranking Service.
I’ll also write the press release, which goes as follows:
“The Pawpaw Dideau Business Ranking Service has announced that Louisiana now ranks No. 1 in all business categories as ranked by all ranking services in the world and will continue to hold these No. 1 rankings for the near future and for the long-term future and for all eternity, both in this world and in all other worlds that may or may not exist.”
“Louisiana has more business and business opportunity than any state ever has had or ever will have,” says Pawpaw Dideau, a famed economist and mudbogger. “We anticipate that business investment in the state will double each year for as long as my grandchildren live and as long as their grandchildren live.”
For information about advertising with The Pawpaw Dideau Business Ranking Service, visit our site at www.illswallowyoursoul.com, where you can use our convenient PayPal option to pay for your $10 login fee.
Guest Mass Emailing
The press release above is designed for all media venues. But it’s especially suitable for The American Press, which, on July 24, printed an email on its Opinion page. The Press headlined this email as a “GUEST COMMENTARY.”
Well, I guess you can call chicken bouillon gold bullion if you want to. What the Press called a “GUEST COMMENTARY” was nothing more than an email the Jindal office sent to the hundreds of media outlets throughout Louisiana, and probably to media outlets in other states. I deleted it as soon as I saw it in the inbox. And that was a grave mistake, because by deleting it, I missed whatever news was important enough to make the Press staff feel that the thing merited a GUEST COMMENTARY status.
One thing I must concede: the title of the GUEST COMMENTARY — “New era dawns for La. health care” — is spot on. It couldn’t be more accurate. Jindal has fashioned the remnants of the former health care system into what Dr. Frankenstein might call an entirely new health care creation: one that’s unlike anything this state or any other state has ever seen. May God help us all to stay healthy.
They’re Not Laughing With You
Just so you know the governor’s office isn’t the only branch of state government that’s been doing big things, I can tell you that the office of the Lt. Governor has published a 166-page-long Official Louisiana Tour Guide. The pages are 7 inches by 10. All the paper is glossy, and all the pages are full-color. This baby must have cost something.
Now, if you’re spending this much on a tourism guide, the one thing you want to make sure to do is make your message clear. Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne begins his message right under his big photo on page 1; it starts like this:
“Pack your boogie shoes and come to Louisiana!”
“Pack your boogie shoes.” When was the last time somebody said that to me? Let me see. When was that? … Oh, now I remember. Never.
It’s been only 38 years since the band K.C. and the Sunshine Band recorded the song “Boogie Shoes.” As you may recall, the song skyrocketed to number 35 on the Billboard Charts. The phrase “put on your boogie shoes” immediately became part of the American vernacular, and remained standard usage in some parts of the country until as late as 1981. Some years ago, the phrase enjoyed a resurgence of popularity when baby boomers discovered Facebook.
On to less important matters. On the front cover of the tourism guide in a bright red circle are these words: “HEY! Duck Dynasty fans: A chat with Willie Robertson.” So if there were any doubt in your mind that the state isn’t hick enough already, don’t fear: the state government is doing its level best to convince the world at large that Louisiana is pure cornpone.
Advertisers are playing on the same string. A full page ad for the city of Houma features a big picture of two guys from Swamp People standing next to a big, dead alligator. Right under the gator’s head is a sign that reads HOUMA LOUISIANA. “At home you can watch it on TV. Down here you can experience it live” reads the tagline.
Houma people: heads up. People watch the show because they think it’s funny. They watch the show to laugh at the people in it. They don’t want to come here and “experience” the freak show. They want to observe it from afar: from a place where they can laugh at it in comfort and safety.
I realize, though, that marketing can be a tough thing to do. For instance, it was, apparently, pretty hard for the lt. gov.’s people to find good restaurants around here. As far as I can tell, the “Cajun Country” and “Lake Charles Area” sections of the guide mention only three Lake Charles restaurants by name: Steamboat Bill’s, Pujo St. Café and La Truffe Sauvage. Not one restaurant from Sulphur is listed. Not happy about that? You know which guy to call: Jay Dardenne.
Who’s Got The Casino?
I guess you’ve read by now that Golden Nugget is the latest in the string of owners of the new casino that we’ve been hearing about for so long.
I’m going to give you a little free advice. If, for any reason, you want to keep track of who has bought and sold this casino, you’d better start keeping a written record.
Speaking for myself, I know I’ve lost track. I’m pretty sure the casino has now been sold at least two or three hundred times. As to who the buyers and sellers have been, I’m in a fog.
It’s occurred to me that the list of sales could get so long and complicated that even the owners lose track of the fact that they are, officially anyway, the owners of the casino and that they have promised to open the casino at some date in the future.
For this reason, I’ve prepared a list of hypothetical casino names and opening dates that any future owners are free to use if their proposed opening dates happen to coincide with the ones in the list:
— Any Day Now Casino, opening in June, 2015
— Three Shakes of A Lamb’s Tail Casino, opening in September, 2017
— We’ll Be Opening As Soon As You Can Say “Jack Robinson” Just As Long As You Don’t Say It Too Fast Casino, opening in March, 2021
— It Won’t Be Long Now Casino, opening in April, 2028
— Ask Me No Questions Casino, opening in November, 2054
— The Total Recall Casino, opening in December, 2084
— The Futurama Casino, opening January 1, 3000
I just hope I don’t wake up one morning and read in the paper that I’ve bought this casino. I don’t need that kind of responsibility at my age.
Where do you go if you want really solid news? If you’ve ever posed that question, you’ve posed a real puzzler.
There was a time when I would have said, “Well, how about the Associated Press?”
But that time was probably before July 19, when I saw the AP post the following on twitter:
“The Associated Press ?@AP 5m
How’s your zombie knowledge? Test it on this quiz, part of @AP’s Comic-Con Live”
“Comic-Con Live” — this from the news service that managed to get by without a “JFK Assassination Live,” “Moon Landing Live” or “Collapse Of The Soviet Union Live.”
A few minutes later, AP was on Twitter again. Read it and weep:
“Posted by AP on Friday July 19
Meet Peanuts, the panda cow
(2.58 July 19)”
Panda cow. It took a while, but P.T. Barnum finally took over the Associated Press. Any word on when Buffalo Bill is taking over Reuters?