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RAISE-ING HELL: That pay raise that state legislators voted for themselves has created a lot of blowback for Gov. Bobby Jindal, whose press secretary, Melissa Sellers, says the gov "strongly disagrees with this pay increase,” but not enough to, you know, actually veto it. Jindal's explanation? "I don’t want to give anybody any excuse for slowing down any of the important reform going through the legislature." Good luck threading that needle.

Flashback to the Associated Press, May 29, 2008:

Gov. Bobby Jindal said he will veto any bills reaching his desk that would mandate spending by dedicating state tax dollars to specific programs, because he said such dedications take away budget flexibility.

"We think it's bad fiscal policy. We think it ties the hands of the Legislature. We think it prevents the Legislature and the administration from planning for future years," Jindal said at a news conference announcing his position....

What a difference two weeks make....

IT'S NOT ALL CLOUDY IN BOBBY'S WORLD: His schools proposal goes through:

In a major legislative success for Gov. Bobby Jindal, the Louisiana Senate voted 25 to 12 on Wednesday for a bill that would let up to 1,500 low- to middle-income students in New Orleans attend private schools at taxpayer expense...

Also Wednesday, the House voted 94 to 3 for a bill that would let science teachers change how they teach evolution, cloning, global warming and other topics.

Supporters say the changes would promote critical thinking; opponents say the proposal is intended to add religion to science classes.

HE'LL SIGN FOR IT: Ray Nagin has good taste in restaurants.

BOOK DEALS OF THE RICH & FAMOUS: John McCain's daughter Meghan McCain writes a memoir of her father (it's a children's book) and Madonna's brother Christopher Ciccone pens a Madonna Dearest...

AND SPEAKING OF PAY RAISES: The Saints' Will Smith? Contract extension. Six years, $70 million. Let's hope it doesn't give the legislature any ideas.


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