Saturday, June 30, 2007

Fred's Coming to Indy

In August, according to the Indy Star:

Fred Thompson, the "Law and Order" actor and former Tennessee senator being pushed by many Republicans to enter the presidential race, is coming to Indianapolis.

Thompson will be the dinner speaker Aug. 25 at the Midwest Republican Leadership Conference in Indianapolis, an event that is expected to draw a parade of presidential hopefuls.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a top contender for the GOP nomination, will speak Aug. 24 at the event, which will be Aug. 23-26.

A USA Today/Gallup poll taken June 11-14 had former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani leading with 28 percent, with Thompson coming in second at 19 percent.

The conference, held every two years, was last staged in Indianapolis in August 1998 and was used by several GOP candidates -- including a Texas governor named George W. Bush -- to help propel their campaigns.

Thompson attended that conference, too.

Terrorist Bombings Thwarted in London

Remember, Democrats like perennial presidential candidate John Edwards say that radical Islam is a scare tactic being used by Republicans, and that the War on Terrorism is a slogan for use on bumper stickers.

This as the British have narrowly thwarted an attempt to set off two car bombs in London near popular night clubs.

From the BBC:

Police have confirmed they are now investigating the discovery of two car bombs in the West End of London.

Police said the second device had been found in a Mercedes hours after the car was given a parking ticket in Cockspur Street and towed to Park Lane.

Another Mercedes, with a bomb made up of 60 litres of petrol, gas cylinders and nails, had been found outside a nightclub in Haymarket.

At a news conference on Friday evening, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke, head of Scotland Yard's counter-terrorism command, said the discovery of the second device was "obviously troubling" and "reinforces the need for the public to be alert".

"There was a considerable amount of fuel and gas canisters, as in the first vehicle. There was also a substantial quantity of nails," he said.

Speaking earlier about the first bomb, Clarke said: "It is obvious that if the device had detonated there could have been serious injury or loss of life."

Police sources said it would have caused "carnage" if it had exploded.

"International elements" were believed to have been involved with the bombs, Whitehall sources told the BBC.

That's a heck of a mere bumper sticker, if you ask me.

And to think, that scare tactic being used by Republicans in America sure is scary to people over in Britain.

But then, in Edwards' defense, it's a common thing for lefty elites to scoff that Americans just don't know a lot about geography.

Maybe he was just confused.

Atlas Shrugged

Bob Hope on Democrats



Still funny, after all these years.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Democrats Plan New Surge for Retreat

From Politico comes a report about the latest defeat-inducing antics planned by Field Marshal Pelosi, General of the Armies, and Senator Harry "The War is Lost" Reid:

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) are expected tomorrow to announce a new coordinated effort to force votes in July to end the Iraq war, according to Democratic insiders.

Reid has already publicly declared that Senate Democrats will offer four Iraq-related amendments to the upcoming 2008 Defense authorization bill, including a proposal by Reid and Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) to set a firm timetable to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq by next spring.

Pelosi is planning to announce that the House will also vote on a bill setting a new withdrawal timetable of April 1, 2008, although the details of the proposal were still up in the air at press time, according to Democratic sources. The House will consider this proposal as a freestanding bill, said the sources.

Pelosi is also planning to force a vote on a proposal by Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, to repeal the 2002 use-of-force resolution for Iraq. This "deauthorization" proposal may be offered as an amendment to the 2008 Defense spending bill, which the House is scheduled to take up following the week-long July 4th recess.

Gen. David Petraeus is supposed to report back to Congress in September on the state of the "surge," but Democrats have decided not to wait for his report.

I guess it was inevitable that they wouldn't want to wait for General Petraeus to submit his report.

Back in April, Pelosi refused to meet with him last time he was in Washington.

Harry Reid recently called him incompetent.

I guess that, with decades of combined military experience between them, Pelosi and Reid just know better.

Fun with News Aggregators, Part III

Recently, Sirius and XM--the two main providers of satellite radio--announced their intention to merge together.

Some of Indiana's representatives were among the 72 members of Congress that signed a letter (PDF warning) opposing this merger.

Joe Donnelly (D, IN-2), Mark Souder (R, IN-3), Dan Burton (R, IN-5), and Baron Hill (D, IN-9) all signed it.

A lot of the signers of that letter received money from the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), a radio lobbying organization (ground-based radio, not satellite radio) that is vehemently opposed to the merger of Sirius and XM, which together are their primary competitors for listeners.

Only one Congressman from Indiana received money from the NAB's PAC.

I bet you'd expect that to be Dan Burton, given all of the hullabaloo surrounding him of late, but you'd be wrong.

The Congressman from Indiana who got campaign contributions and then signed on the dotted line was none other than 9th District Democratic Congressman Baron Hill.

He received $2,000 from the National Association of Broadcasters Political Action Committee in the 2006 cycle.

Which just goes to show you that money talks and Baron listens.

Fairness Doctrine, Redux

Democrats are making noises about bringing the so-called "Fairness Doctrine" back to radio.

Talk radio, they say, is unfairly dominated by conservatives.

Something about the free market not producing a result that is not politically suitable to their anti-free-market ideology, I guess.

What I want to know, though, is whether this "Fairness Doctrine" can be made to also apply to the Internet.

Blogs, I say, are unfairly dominated by liberals.

If they want to legislate "fairness" in talk radio, why not also legislate fairness in blogs?

After all, what's good for the goose, the saying goes, should be good for the gander, right?

United States Marine Corps Commercial

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Down in Flames, Again


R.I.P. McCain-Kennedy, again.

This thing has more lives than a cat.

See the roll call here.

Last time the bill was killed, twelve Democrats voted to kill it.

This time, sixteen did so.

It could not have been brought down without them.

They are Baucus of Montana, Bayh of Indiana, Bingaman of New Mexico, Brown of Ohio, Byrd of West Virginia, Dorgan of North Dakota, Harkin of Iowa, Landrieu of Louisiana, McCaskill of Missouri, Nelson of Nebraska, Pryor of Arkansas, Rockefeller of West Virginia, Sanders of Vermont (technically an independent), Stabenow of Michigan, Tester of Montana, and Webb of Virginia.

Evan Bayh switched his vote from the last go around, voting against it this time, as did Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Tom Harkin of Iowa, and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan.

California's Barbara Boxer voted for it this time, but against it last time.

Dick Lugar, of course, voted for it the first time and this time.

I want to know why Bayh changed his vote; his website gives no hint as to his reasoning.

Photo hat tip: Redstate.

The Lugar "Turning Point"

News Busters busts the news media on their endless series of "turning points" or "tipping points" in the Iraq War.

First came anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan:

Sheehan, say some historians, may be evolving as an icon in the war's turning point, if this is one.

Then Senator John Warner of Virginia:

When [Senator John Warner] comes home from Iraq and says the U.S. has to re-think its strategy, is this a new turning point?

Then Indiana's Dick Lugar (it is amusing to hear the so-called journalists and reporters constantly mispronounce his name):

Today, another Republican Senator did the same, and so tonight many are wondering if we're witnessing the beginning of some kind of turning point.

And those exclude all of the "Murtha coming out to oppose the war" tipping points, or "Wesley Clark coming out to oppose the war" tipping points that supposedly happened, too.

Lugar got a lot of coverage, but it's sad that nobody actually read what he had to say and nobody actually reported about it either.

But then, that's just the sort of thing that he said in his speech was part of the problem.

Statesmen

Surprise, Surprise, The Young Lean Left

Normally, you would get obvious results like this from some sort of study conducted by a branch of the federal government.

"People who eat fatty foods more likely to die of heart disease, study says," or some such thing.

It is usually the American taxpayer that foots the bill for the "discovery" of something so amazingly easy to find that everyone already knows it.

But this time, the blatantly expected comes instead from a new poll conducted by the New York Times, which says that "young Americans appear to lean slightly more to the left than the general population."

I would just have never thought that.

It's not as if young people like college students have a history of being left of center as far back as the 1960s and the Vietnam War or anything.

Oh wait.

But at the same time, "The poll also found that they are more likely to say the war in Iraq is heading to a successful conclusion."

Talk about not seeing that one coming.

What is it with kids these days?

The Party of Fiscal Irresponsibility



Only Democrats can ever outspend Republicans, and they have already managed to outspend even the spendingest Republican Congress ever, which surely took some doing.

But remember, Baron Hill is a fiscal conservative who believes in PAYGO.

You know, you pay more than ever before and he goes and spends more than ever before.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

"Supporting Our Veterans"

Democrats like Baron Hill, who will vote to send our soldiers to war but who refuse to support them when they're fighting and dying in that war, like to tout their support of veterans.

It is too much to ask to expect them to support what they started, but they sure do like to support the troops once they're back home again.

This is a clever and easy way to whitewash and hide their callous disregard for the armed forces and those brave men and women that serve our country.

A recent blurb on the website of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sort of let this facade slip, however.

Some text proclaims airily, "Under Democratic leadership, the House will provide the largest increase in veterans' funding in history... and reverse years of harmful cuts by President Bush."

And it has a photo of a soldier visiting a doctor.


Problem is, if you look closely, that's a photo of a Canadian soldier, as pointed out by RedState, QandO, and Captain Ed.

From a reference site about Canadian military uniforms:

Unless written otherwise, all epaulets have "CANADA" in gold lettering on the epaulets on the part nearest the sleeve.

Alas, this is not the first time that the Democrats have gotten in trouble for touting their support of veterans or the military while using photos of Canadian soldiers.

I guess that Baron and Nancy will support the Canadian soldiers, just not the American ones.

Either that or, logic must dictate, they can't tell the difference between the two.

Fun with News Aggregators, Part II

From MySpace:

19. Mitch Daniels Ruined My Life

I feel badly reading the rest of it, but I just don't see what it has to do with Mitch Daniels.

The Immigration Monster


Great minds, they think alike.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Lugar *STILL* Critical of Bush Over Iraq

Talking but not listeningOn Monday, Dick Lugar gave a speech on the Senate floor criticizing the Bush administration's policy in Iraq and questioning the efficacy of the surging of reinforcements into combat operations there.

Newspapers and blogs and even some Democratic senators were abuzz with Lugar's statements.

From the Indy Star:

U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar called Monday for a change in U.S. strategy in Iraq -- a departure for the senior Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who had been generally sticking by the Bush administration.

From Taking Down Words:

It Had To Be Said: Lugar Comes Out Against Surge, Dubya's Iraq Strategy

From Advance Indiana:

As the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the Bush administration can ill-afford to lose Lugar's support. The fact the President can no longer count on Lugar's support suggests big changes are ahead.

From Blue Indiana:

Senator Lugar is more or less giving the Bush administration a shot over the bow, and the message is clear: "Stay the course" is no longer acceptable to Congress, and it is time to move on.

Senator Harry "The War is Lost" Reid joined in:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., called Lugar's speech "brilliant" and "courageous" and said it would later be noted in the history books as a turning point in the war.

From USA Today:

GOP Senator rips Bush on Iraq, terrorism

Republican Sen. Richard G. Lugar said the United States isn't doing enough to stave off terrorism and criticized President Bush for failing to offer solid plans for Iraq's future.

Also from USA Today:

Senators slam administration on Iraq

Among those harshly criticizing the White House were the two top Republicans on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: Chairman Richard Lugar of Indiana and Chuck Hagel of Nebraska.

Oops. I made a mistake.

Observant readers (or at least observant readers that clicked the linkage) might have noticed that those last two quotes came not from 2007, but from the summer and fall of 2004 (May and September, respectively).

That's right.

With the presidential campaign in full swing and with his party's control of the White House on the line, Dick Lugar was even then criticizing the Bush administration's handling of the Iraq War.

Only Doug Masson was close in his blogging about this, noting:

Lugar’s statement, in my estimation, is not a big deal. Sen. Lugar has often made accurate statements about Iraq and our policies there. Either shortly before or shortly after the war in Iraq started, he noted that we did not have a good plan for the occupation.

Criticism by Senator Lugar of Bush policy in Iraq is nothing new, so I fail to see why some quarters have decided to make such a big deal about it now.

It was probably a bigger deal when Lugar was saying these things in 2004, at a time (with his substantial foreign policy cred) he could well have politically damaged the President's reelection chances.

But in his criticisms, Lugar has been proven right and he has been proven wrong.

He was correct to note, as Masson points out, that the administration did not prepare properly for the aftermath of major combat operations.

He was correct to note, as one of the USA Today articles notes, that the administration had done shockingly little to reduce unemployment in Iraq.

But he was wrong when he said, in this PBS News Hour interview, that sovereignty probably could not actually be transferred to the Iraqis in June of 2004; in fact it was transferred earlier.

On balance, Lugar has been correct and he may well be correct now.

That is what is notable about his speech to the Senate; there is nothing exceptionally notable or even new about him criticizing the Bush administration's Iraq policy.

Forget John McCain and the "Straight Talk Express."

Dick Lugar has been something of a straight shooter on Iraq from the beginning (as straight as his tendency for diplo-speak will allow, at least), and he has been thoughtfully critical without going off of the deep end into "Peace, Love, & Withdrawal Now" anti-war nuttery.

The folks citing Lugar would do well to read more of what he has to say.

The strident, polarized nature of that debate increases the risk that our involvement in Iraq will end in a poorly planned withdrawal that undercuts our vital interests in the Middle East.

The current debate on Iraq in Washington has not been conducive to a thoughtful revision of our Iraq policy.

A total withdrawal from Iraq fails to meet our security interests.

The Administration and Congress must suspend what has become almost knee-jerk political combat over Iraq.

We need to move Iraq policy beyond the politics of the moment and re-establish a broad consensus on the role of the United States in the Middle East.

Heck, read it all.

I did; it goes on forever but it's worth it.

This Just In: Controversial Decision Is Still Controversial, News at 11

The Associated Press looks at the toll road lease, and finds that it is still a contentious issue.

Imagine that.

In need of money for major road improvements, the state dubbed "The Crossroads of America" decided against raising taxes or selling bonds.

Instead, on a close General Assembly vote, it leased the Indiana Toll Road to a private, Spanish-Australian company for $3.8 billion. In exchange, the company will keep the tolls for the next 75 years.

The wisdom of that decision is still being debated as Friday's one-year lease anniversary approaches.

Gov. Mitch Daniels, who lobbied hard for passage of the lease, points to the $11.9 billion in road construction expected in Indiana through 2015 made possible with money from the deal. He also says the upfront money Cintra-Macquarie paid for the road has earned $174.5 million in interest, which will help the state's finances.

Opponents counter that the lease is a quick-fix dead end. They argue the money will be gone within 10 years and future generations will be left to pay the bill.

The arguments are familiar.

"What's changed in the past year?" said House Speaker Patrick Bauer, one of the proposal's staunchest opponents.

Motorists who drive the highway that stretches 157 miles from the Illinois to Ohio borders say not much.

"It's just easy to make an easy assumption that it was negative or positive, but I don't know," said Nina Howard of Elkhart at a rest stop in her hometown.

I can answer The Hair's question about what has changed in the past year.

What's changed is that Indiana has a huge pot of money to fix its decaying roads and to build new roads, no thanks to Pat "The Hair" Bauer or to sixteen years of poor "cruise control coasting" governance by Bayh, O'Bannon, and Kernan.

The toll road is still there; it hasn't been carted off to Austria by "those foreigners"; disgraceful nativism is about the only card that the Democrats have to play on the issue.

I'll probably seldom drive on that toll road, but I sure like that roads I do drive on are being fixed and better ones are being built.

Senate Immigration Bill Moves Forward

"It's alive! IT'S ALIVE!"

Yes, the Senate immigration bill has been brought back from the brink of death, somehow managing to even survive the President himself slipping up Freudian-style and calling it "amnesty" in a speech.

The breakdown of who voted how is available here.

From the Indiana side of things, Senator Dick Lugar--knowing full well that he is Indiana's senior senator for life and may never again face a remotely competitive election, I suppose--voted in favor of the bill.

Senator Evan Bayh--perhaps not seeing his own future in terms quite as invincible, rosy, and forever invulnerable as Lugar--surprisingly voted against it.

That was a switch for Bayh; he voted in favor of it (along with Lugar) the last time it was up for consideration.

One can't help but wonder what changed his mind, and why it did not change Lugar's mind too.

Mr. Jefferson's Freezer


It wasn't being caught with $90,000 in marked bills in the freezer that did it, though.

That wasn't enough for Baron Hill, champion of ethics reform and of cleaning up Washington, to turn on William "Dollar Bill" Jefferson.

But the ninety-four page, sixteen-count indictment that finally did it.

And William Jefferson is still in Congress, still serving alongside Baron.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Trouble in Bloomington, Part 4

Gretchen Clearwater and campaign signThere's a returning image that isn't a welcome sign for Baron Hill.

The Hoosierpundit has learned from Bloomington sources that Gretchen Clearwater has informed Monroe County Democrats that she intends a second primary challenge against 9th District Democrat Congressman Baron Hill.

Clearwater, an anti-war leftist from Bloomington, is apparently unsatisfied with Hill's votes (such as they were, stuffed with pork, and retreat mandates and all) to fund military operations in Iraq.

This comes on the heels of promises made by lefty 527 and internet powerhouse MoveOn.org to bankroll primary challenges to every Democrat that voted in favor of ongoing funding for troops in Iraq.

As Baron Hill voted for authorizing the war itself back in 2002, a vote he has offered inconsistent and wishy-washy stories at various times to defend, he is probably doubly a target for anti-war advocates in Bloomington and among groups like MoveOn.org.

Back in April, the far-left Bloomington Peace Action Coalition even went so far as to present Baron with a "certificate of ownership for the Iraq War."

Baron, of course, was nowhere to be seen when they showed up.

Anyhow, if the rumors are true, and Clearwater is not dissuaded from or persuaded against challenging Mr. Hill, these are all issues that he will have to rehash with his own base and the heart of his own party before he can get around to facing a Republican challenger.

And with anti-war groups like MoveOn.org promising to finance her, that will be a well-funded and organized primary challenge to boot.

Prior posts in this series:
June 21, in which Baron buys a luxury condo in gated golf and tennis community in Bloomington to be closer to his liberal supporters.
June 1, in which MoveOn.org pledges its support to fund primary challengers to certain Democrats such as Baron.
April 27, in which one of Baron's most notable supporters (a Bloomington law professor) denounces the Supreme Court for restricting partial birth abortions.
April 21, in which the IU student paper decries Baron's use of college students for PR gimmicks.
April 21, in which the IU student paper runs a cartoon mocking Baron for his many motives and positions.

Blogger-in-Chief?

Fred Thompson likes to blog:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - If Republican Fred Thompson enters the presidential race next month as expected, the actor and former senator will be aiming to add another title to a crowded resume -- blogger-in-chief.

Thompson has been contributing frequently to conservative Web sites as he gears up for a 2008 presidential bid, posting thoughts on topics ranging from the French election to the Middle East and the immigration debate.

While the Internet and blogs are a basic cornerstone of any modern campaign communications strategy, Thompson has been notably enthusiastic about expressing his thoughts online.

"The guy actually likes blogging. Before he decided he was going to take the plunge on a presidential race, he cruised the blogs. It attracted him," said Roger Simon, co-founder of the Pajamas Media Web site, where Thompson frequently wins a weekly Republican straw poll.

Thompson has promised to keep the Web commentaries coming even after he formally kicks off his campaign. He praises the blogosphere as part of "a true information revolution."

"That's why so much of my effort has been focused on talking to Americans through this medium," he wrote on Pajamas Media. "By empowering individuals and building communities, the Internet provides a way of going around the inside-the-beltway crowd to reach people in numbers unheard of not that long ago."

Thompson has been the most active campaign blogger by far, and those who know him say he writes nearly everything himself -- not always the case in modern politics.

He also uses an instant-post blogging service called Twitter.

How's that for defying stereotypes?

An conservative southern Republican being the most internet savvy presidential candidate.

Who'da thunk it?

Where's the Fence?

More Light Ordinance Absurdity

Bad ideas never seem to die in Harrison County government.

They just get debated endlessly and contentiously until they become ordinances in one of those late-night meetings when the opponents are tired and nobody is paying attention.

First came the incomprehensibly-complex sign ordinance several years ago, which regulated the sorts of signs that private individuals could put on their property.

Now comes the so-called light ordinance (previously discussed here), which will control the sorts of electric lights that private individuals can install on their property.

The little poll thing on the Corydon Democrat's website (at the above url) is running overwhelmingly against the ordinance, as is the comment section below the article.

I somehow doubt that will stop the Planning Commission from approving it eventually, though.

Bad government flourishes in the dark.

Helicopter Attack on Insurgents

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Baron's Big Abortion Lie

Baron HillDuring the last campaign, Baron Hill spent a lot of time claiming he was a defender of Hoosier values.

He even said he was against abortion (though in a little-noticed slip-up at the IUS Forum in September, he said he opposed overturning Roe v. Wade).

Once again, however, Baron has told the voters of the 9th District one thing, and he has gone to Washington and voted differently.

Last night, Baron voted to send American tax dollars overseas to groups that promote abortions (House Roll Call #542), gutting the so-called Mexico City policy set by Ronald Reagan.

A bipartisan amendment was offered by Republican Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey and Democrat Congressman Bart Stupak of Michigan to remove that language from the appropriations bill.

Baron Hill voted against that amendment (House Roll Call #534).

Thursday night, he voted not just once but twice to use taxpayer money to promote abortions outside of the United States.

The legislation not only allows money to be given to groups that promote abortions, it requires that they be given such money (just see page 97).

House Republican Leader John Boehner blasted H.R. 2764 in a statement (emphases mine):

Had it been approved, [the Smith-Stupak amendment] would have preserved our current pro-life policies and protected taxpayers from being forced to export abortion overseas.

It is sad that the majority seems to think American taxpayers should be subsidizing abortions in foreign countries. Is this the sort of thing Democrats had in mind when they voted for the largest tax hike in history? My colleagues on the other side are walking a bizarre tight rope, claiming on one hand that they are trying to reduce the number of abortions abroad while at the same time pouring resources into organizations that perform and promote them. They can’t have it both ways.

National Right to Life joined in, saying:

Originally adopted by President Reagan and announced at a 1984 population conference in Mexico City, in order to be eligible for U.S. "population assistance” under this policy, a private organization must sign a contract promising not to perform abortions (except to save the mother's life or in cases of rape or incest), and not to lobby to change the abortion laws of host countries, or otherwise "actively promote abortion as a method of family planning." [H.R. 2764] reverses the prohibition...

A vote on HR 2764 will come up tomorrow or Friday. Pro-life Reps. Chris Smith and Bart Stupak (the co-chairs of the House Pro-Life Caucus) will offer an amendment to remove the language that would mandate U.S. subsidies to organizations that actively promote abortion in foreign nations.

Yet again, Baron's record in Washington bears no resemblance to his rhetoric back home.

And to their credit, Brad Ellsworth and Joe Donnelly voted for the amendment to remove those provisions (though the amendment failed and they voted for the end bill that still does contain those abortion funding provisions).

Baron Hill is alone in left field on this one.

Fun with News Aggregators

Once in a while, online news aggregators provide you with unexpected, sometimes entertaining, and perhaps informative tidbits of information.

Take this delightful bit of information, which came from checking on mentions of Mitch Daniels in the blogosphere.

In a discussion about the work ethic of likely Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson, it happens to mention Mitch Daniels.

Thompson was the guy who knew all these arcane, and while other members were dancing around getting headlines on the issue of the day, Thompson was grinding it out in Committee; I know, I had to attend those hearings and they were full of minutiae.

In fact, of the many Members I’ve dealt with in my primo roll as the number-one Hill hack, Thompson was one of the two or three who always impressed me as immersed in details, the guy who took on these arcane and non-headline issues, and pursued them doggedly. Another, coincidentally enough, was Senator Joe Lieberman, ranking on the Committee and a genuine friend of Thompson’s.

So we zing to the press conference outside the Senate, with just a few journalists, with Thompson going on calmly about improper payments and Medicare, the maddening system of billings done by Medicare providers that involved waste, fraud and abuse with a capital WFA. Then-OMB director Mitch Daniels was with Thompson, but Thompson knew this subject matter cold.

Interesting, in a Seven Degrees of Kevin Bacon sort of way.

By the way, the article is a first-hand debunking of various accusations of Fred Thompson being "lazy" in his time in the Senate, so it may be worth reading for those interested in the race for the Republican nomination.

Bloomingtonians for the Silky Pony

Some folks in Bloomington (seventeen as of this posting) want John Edwards, the little man atop the wedding cake, to come and visit their fair city.

This is the same guy that says that the war on terrorism, the war against Al Qaeda and groups like it that murdered three thousand Americans on September 11, is "a bumper sticker."

I am sure that the Silky Pony will fit right in.

No word on whether Baron Hill, mentioned at the above url, would be willing to attend a campaign event with Edwards.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Oh Dear

It looks like there might just be no more official trips for Foreign Minister Pelosi to shop at the markets in Damascus.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will not be permitted to use State Department funds to travel to nations that are known to have sponsored terrorism if a Republican amendment to appropriations legislation passes the House on Thursday.

The amendment to the $34 billion State and Foreign Operations bill, offered by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), prohibits funds to be used to travel to Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan or Syria.

And to think, she may just have bought that large collection of stylish and fashionable headscarves for nothing.

Mike Sodrel in D.C.

From Politico:

Hill-Sodrel IV???

Former Republican Rep. Mike Sodrel of Indiana was coy about his future plans during a brief visit to the House floor Wednesday afternoon, but all signs seemed to suggest a rematch with Democratic Rep. Baron Hill – their fourth bout since 2002.

Sodrel has been in town since Sunday meeting with his former colleagues, and he strolled casually past reporters in the Speaker's Lobby Wednesday, giving the distinct impression he wanted us to see him. The Indiana Republican said he would make an official decision within the next few weeks, setting up the possibility that Hill and Sodrel will square off again.

Sodrel lost in a narrow result last fall after eking past Hill in 2004 to unseat the veteran Democratic lawmaker.

This potential fourth bout would allow the two lawmakers to eclipse Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran, whose three memorable super fights captivated sports fans in the 1980s. One can only hope the loser of Hill-Sodrel IV will have the good sense to utter "No mas" once the ballots are counted.

Speaking of which, there appear to be some minor updates over at the draft Mike Sodrel website, WeWantMikeSodrel.com.

This Just In...

General Francisco Franco is still dead.

And reporters, by a margin of nine to one, give money to Democratic political candidates instead of Republicans.

MSNBC.com identified 144 journalists who made political contributions from 2004 through the start of the 2008 campaign, according to the public records of the Federal Election Commission. Most of the newsroom checkbooks leaned to the left: 125 journalists gave to Democrats and liberal causes. Only 17 gave to Republicans. Two gave to both parties.

But, remember, they're not biased.

No, not at all.

Uneasy Rider


Maybe easier than they think, if the Democrats keep collectively spinning their wheels and going nowhere.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Movin' On Up

Lake Monroe at Sunset
Fresh off of his taxpayer-financed junket to sunny Portugal, it seems that Baron Hill has taken an interest in getting himself some new digs.

Hoosierpundit sources report that Mr. Hill and his wife recently purchased a luxury condo at an exclusive gated golf and tennis community just outside of Bloomington on the shores of Lake Monroe.

That's right.

Baron is now a proud resident of the Eagle Pointe Golf & Tennis Resort.

Don't forget the extra "E" in its name when sending him your Christmas cards.

No word yet on whether Baron is selling his house in Seymour (they haven't been liking him there much lately) and moving to completely to Bloomington.

If any readers in Seymour or Jackson County know, drop me an email.

Baron Hill may merely be getting himself a second home close to his second-favorite constituents, the crazy professors and lefty nutters in Bloomington.

After all, he already has a crib in Washington close at hand to his all-time favorite constituents, Nancy Pelosi and the big-money lobbyists.

The Officers Are Restless

Forget the natives.

After one of their own was fired for commenting on a blog (during his personal time and with his own computer, no less) called Indy Undercover that is critical of the current administration, Indianapolis' police officers are none too happy.

Indy Undercover now vows to give as good as it has gotten.

Don't make them angry.

You wouldn't like them when they're angry.

Confidence in Congress at All-Time Low

According to a new USA Today / Gallup poll:

Just 14% of Americans have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in Congress.

This 14% Congressional confidence rating is the all-time low for this measure, which Gallup initiated in 1973. The previous low point for Congress was 18% at several points in the period of time 1991 to 1994.

That's not a place a new Congressional majority wants to be.

George W. Bush will never be on the ballot again.

There are 535 people in Congress that will be, however.

69% of Americans have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in the military, which tops the list.

Harry Reid, Chief of the General Staff, might have wanted to ponder this number some before he went out and declared that the generals are "incompetent."

The current 14% confidence rating for Congress is down from 19% last year and is the lowest in Gallup’s history.

Just remember, this was to be the most honest, open, and ethical Congress in history.

The Do-Nothing Democratic Congress

It's pretty bad when even Rahm Emanuel, the top spinmeister and campaign capo for the House Democrats, freely admits that his party hasn't gotten anything done since being elected.

And Down the Stretch They Come


The Burton campaign has a Flickr account with various photos of "Indiana Dan" at events, posing with the "In God We Trust" license plate, Ronald Reagan, various county chairmen, assorted elected officials or candidates, and so forth.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Schansberg Shoots, Scores

Baron Hill and Eric SchansbergDespite contributing pretty much all of Baron Hill's margin of victory over Mike Sodrel in 2006, Eric Schansberg doesn't care much for the Democratic Congressman.

I can't imagine why, what with his votes for bigger government, more regulation, higher taxes, and all.

Schansberg has a new letter to the editor criticizing Hill's latest PAYGO snake oil.

For those of you from Kentucky, PAYGO is the system whereby you the American taxpayer pays, then Baron goes and spends your money like never before.

Under Republicans (who can never bring themselves to raise taxes), PAYGO means less government since they have to find things to cut or eliminate to pay for the new spending.

Under Democrats (who have never found a tax they didn't want to hike, even if it means renaming the tax to call it a "duty"), PAYGO means higher taxes and more government, since Democrats can never bring themselves to cut anything in government.

Schansberg puts it well in his letter to the editor:

I appreciate Baron Hill's frequent efforts to keep his constituents informed of his activity in Congress. But his most recent letter left me confused.

First, Rep. Hill wrote about instituting pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) budgeting-- "a rule requiring that the federal government live within its means"-- in the first few weeks of the 110th Congess. But then he said that he had recently introduced legislation that would reinstitute "statutory PAYGO rules". What's the difference? And does this mean that we won't have a budget deficit next year?

Second, Rep. Hill referred to budget surpluses in the 1990s. But all except one of those were a function of record-keeping shenanigans that moved Social Security from off-budget to on-budget.

Further, he attributed the surpluses to PAYGO rules. But that's quite unlikely. Such "rules" have not been effective in curbing Washington DC's appetite to spend. Does anyone remember the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings "balanced-budget" legislation of the 1980s?

Instead, the top reason for reduced federal deficits in the 1990s (and higher deficits in the 2000s and especially the 1980s) was changes in military spending-- at the height of the Cold War, after the Cold War, and post-9/11.

Third, Rep. Hill referred to the Democratic Blue Dog Coalition as "fiscally conservative". To be accurate, he must have meant that the Dogs are fiscally conservative in comparison to most other Democrats. There have been few fiscally conservative Republicans in Congress over the past decade-- and Democrats are rarely an improvement in that category.

For example, in this year's budget cycle, the Democrats have proposed $23 billion more in spending than the big-spending President George Bush, including an extra $17 billion on the war-funding bill. That works out to an additional $300 from the average family of four in higher taxes now or in the future-- and is hardly the epitome of fiscal conservatism.

With respect to Rep. Hill in particular: he's given D's or F's by the National Taxpayers Union on his votes for government spending; the National Journal rated him at the 36th percentile; and Citizens Against Government Waste gave him a 13% (in the category of "hostile" to taxpayers). In my book, those aren't good grades.

If Rep. Hill is going to title his legislation the "Fiscal Honesty and Accountability Act", he should start with more honesty about his fiscal views. If not, voters should provide the accountability in the next election.

Schansberg 1, Baron 0.

Remembering Hep

From the Indy Star:

Coach loses battle, but spirit lives on

Terry Hoeppner brought more than a mastery of college football strategies to the Indiana University program when he arrived in Bloomington two years ago.

He also brought a winning attitude and a leadership style that seemed to invigorate the Hoosier program. After several losing seasons, IU narrowly missed going to a bowl game in 2006. Per-game fan attendance jumped 39 percent; season ticket sales were up 46 percent; and student ticket sales jumped 110 percent.

Coach Hoeppner's recruiting efforts also paid off. Seven IU freshman players made last year's Sporting News Big Ten All-Freshman Team.

Though numbers, records and championships often define coaches, the "Hoeppner years" might be best remembered for the things the coach started, but had no time to finish.

Coach Hoeppner's death from cancer will leave a big gap in IU's lineup for its Sept. 1, 2007, opening game against Indiana State at Bloomington. But the coach will be there in spirit through "the walk" to "defend the rock" and to sing the school song after every home victory.

Land for Peace

A Passion for Your Job

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

More Democratic Broken Promises

Even CNN is having to report on the shady shenanigans of the Democratic majority and their growing list of broken campaign promises:

• Only 31 of 435 members of the House provide information on earmark requests
• 68 declined to provide requests; 329 didn't return calls or provide requests
• Democrats promised scrutiny of earmarks when they regained Congress

Despite the new Democratic congressional leadership's promise of "openness and transparency" in the budget process, a CNN survey of the House found it nearly impossible to get information on lawmakers' pet projects.

When Democrats regained control of Congress last fall, they promised to create the most honest, open Congress in history.

"We will bring transparency and openness to the budget process and to the use of earmarks," Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi said in December 2006, "and we will give the American people the leadership they deserve."

Earlier this year, the House implemented rules changes that require greater disclosure of earmark requests, and the Senate passed a bill that would require lawmakers to post a list of their earmark requests on the Internet. The bill, however, has not passed the House.

"Their behavior isn't better than the last Congress and in some ways worse because they know they have those requests," said Ryan Alexander, president of Taxpayers for Common Sense. "We know they have more than 30,000 letters asking for specific earmarks and they're not letting us see them."

And just what sort of answers did CNN get from Indiana's esteemed Democratic congressmen?

Pete Visclosky: No response.
Joe Donnelly: No response.
Julia Carson: No. (As in she responded and told them no.)
Brad Ellsworth: No response.
Baron Hill: No response.

The silence of the "no responses" is deafening.

Republicans Mark Souder and Mike Pence both disclosed their requests (2 of the 31 that did).

But from the Democrats, a unified nada.

Just a wall of silence and a lone cry of "NO!" from the crazy old lady in Indianapolis.

I thought that Baron Hill and his fellow Democrats were going to go clean up Washington.

It looks like they're secretly cleaning up with our tax dollars instead.

Remember, this was to be the most honest, open, and ethical Congress in history.

Hat tip: An observant Hoosierpundit reader.

Big Fred in the Lead

From Rasmussen:

06/19/07, Likely Republican Primary Voters
Fred Thompson - 28%
Rudy Giuliani - 27%
Mitt Romney - 11%
John McCain - 10%

R.I.P. Terry Hoeppner, 1947-2007


From IU Athletics and the Indy Star.

Opinions Are Treason

Monday, June 18, 2007

A Fiscal Conservative Show of Hands

Congressman John Campbell, over at Green Eyeshade Blog, has a post about a letter he has been circulating to gain support from fiscal conservatives in the House of Representatives.

He has hoped to get enough signatures to his letter to sustain any vetoes made by President Bush because of excessive spending by Congress.

Don't get me started on them signing a letter getting Bush to spend less.

At least they're trying to get Congress to spend less; that's a start.

Anyway, if the president vetoes any spending bill sent to him by the Democratic Congress because the bills spend too much, the signers of the letter pledge to vote to uphold those vetoes.

The letter is, in effect, a show of hands by fiscal conservatives in the House.

Congressman Campbell has managed to get 147 signatories; he only needed 146 to sustain a presidential veto.

So who was in this show of hands by fiscal conservatives?

You'll find four Congressmen from Indiana on that list, Dan Burton, Steve Buyer, Mike Pence, and Mark Souder.

They're all Republicans.

You won't find signatures from Democrats like Baron Hill, Brad Ellsworth, or Joe Donnelly, even though all three of them ran in 2006 as supposed "fiscal conservatives."

What's fiscally conservative about spending $23 billion more than George W. Bush wants to spend?

Nothing, as far as I can tell.

And, during the campaign, Baron said many times that Bush was spending too much.

Yet now Baron wants to spend even more?

Yet another empty campaign promise from Baron, Brad, and Joe.

Fred Thompson vs. Mitt Romney

I exchanged emails recently from a reader who said I have been too favorable in my blogging to former Senator and likely Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson.

The same reader also said that I have been unduly harsh to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in my liveblogging of the Republican debates in South Carolina and New Hampshire.

Not so much defending Romney as attacking Thompson, the reader offered the following link from Politico, which details several criticisms of the actor / senator.

Among Thompson's fatal flaws:

1. Thompson's legal firm sometimes did lobbying work in Washington D.C. before and after he was a senator.
2. Thompson was a trial lawyer (a claim that the article does not appear to do much to substantiate).
3. Thompson supported McCain-Feingold (though now says much of it was a mistake; I suspect everyone will agree with that).
4. Thompson cast many "centrist" votes when a senator, including for increasing the minimum wage and had "only" an 86% rating from the American Conservative Union; I am not sure how this hurts him in the general election or even with primary voters.
5. Thompson is pro-choice because he filled out campaign surveys to that effect back in 1994 and 1996 (though he wrote on the survey clarifying his opinions).

The pro-Romney person that emailed me made much of Thompson "flip-flopping" on abortion.

I am not sure how that squares with Romney's much more recently and strangely timely change of heart about the issue when he was running for Governor of Massachusetts in 2002:



Take that for what you will.

Certainly, I will say that Mitt Romney is a lot more tan today than he was then.

Crash

Saturday, June 16, 2007

The Big Green Machine Gets Started


Go see the Governor kick off his reelection today.

It's a beautiful day, and they're having a cook-out / country fair deal at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indy at 11:00 a.m.

Your humble correspondent was planning to attend, but work sometimes lays to ruin the best laid plans (and--many curses--this was one of those times).

The Indianapolis Star has the advance story (twice), as does the Courier-Journal.

"I do believe there are other things more important to our future, at least other things that a governor and the people around him can try to work on. And, secondly, I'm always trying to bring this state together, and we don't have, I don't believe, the luxury of division."

"The central question will be, who is more likely to produce a brighter economic future? It's a binary choice. Either, or. Any fair reading of the last two years says that we're on a better course than we used to be... We'll simply ask Hoosiers: Who is more likely to produce the next round of jobs and growth for you and your kids?"

"You can make things happen. You can actually see what you think are good ideas enacted into law or carried out in the administration of government."

Harry Reid: Generals Are "Incompetent"


The latest from Senator Harry "The War is Lost" Reid, leader of the Democrats in the Senate and now Chief of the General Staff:

Reid labels military leader 'incompetent'

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called Marine Gen. Peter Pace, the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, "incompetent" during an interview Tuesday with a group of liberal bloggers, a comment that was never reported.

Reid made similar disparaging remarks about Army Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, said several sources familiar with the interview.

This is but the latest example of how Reid, under pressure from liberal activists to do more to stop the war, is going on the attack against President Bush and his military leaders in anticipation of a September showdown to end U.S. involvement in Iraq, according to Democratic senators and aides.

Reid, who was bashed by Republicans for suggesting earlier this year that the Iraq war was "lost," is lashing out at top commanders while putting the finishing touches on a plan to force a series of votes on Iraq designed exclusively to make Republicans up for reelection in 2008 go on record in favor of continuing an unpopular war.

Reid, the senators and aides said, does not expect any of the Iraq measures to pass.

In November, the American people voted for change.

They did not vote for failure, and they certainly did not vote to have Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid (who have all of ZERO years of military experience between them) micromanage the war from Washington instead of experts like General Peter Pace and General David Petraeus.

Image hat tip: Red State and Circle City Pundit.

Pool Party


That's an image of Fred Thompson that might just scar you for life.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Pat Bauer: "I Don't Wanna Get a Blowout"

Speaker Pat "The Hair" Bauer gave a ringing endorsement of his party's gubernatorial nominees yesterday to Shella.

"I don't wanna get a blowout, so I'm hoping one of them catches fire, or somebody else gets in."

That's not exactly what folks hoping to unseat Mitch Daniels want to hear from the most powerful Democrat in the state government.

I guess that Pat Bauer is not exactly on the bandwagon for Jim Schellinger, or thrilled with the two other alternatives.

Maybe a candidate, like Schellinger, that has already been bought and sold by off-the-deep-end liberal Bren Simon isn't exactly his cup of tea.

Bren Simon is Indiana's own female version of George Soros, to say nothing of a big fan of Hillary Clinton.

Of course, if Schellinger was truly the establishment candidate, he wouldn't be needing huge lump sumps from a liberal sugar mommy to inflate his campaign finance reports and stave off the vultures.

The "800-pound gorilla" must not be gaining traction (or one of the other candidates might be gaining it instead) if Simon's money is necessary to try to scare them away.

Such public relations gestures, meanwhile, apparently do not convince Pat Bauer; he sees through them to the emptiness, weakness, and vapidity at the core of the Schellinger candidacy.

The Hair even hinted, according to Shella, that he might run for governor himself if the field does not take off (implying it hasn't) or improve (implying it needs it).

June 14, 2007 3:41 pm

Put Rep. Bob Kuzman (D-Crown Point) on the list of lawmakers most likely to step down during the summer. Kuzman hasn't responded to a days old inquiry about his plans.

Asked by 24 Hour News 8 if he expects vacancies, House Speaker Pat Bauer said today, "There may be one or 2 but I'm not absolutely certain at this point."

Bauer also left the door open for a run for governor in 2008 making it clear that he is not happy with the Democratic field of Richard Young, Jill Long Thompson, and Jim Schellinger.

"I don't wanna get a blowout, so I'm hoping one of them catches fire, or somebody else gets in," said the Speaker.

From the Howey Wire

Delightful:

9TH CD HORSE RACE: SODREL WILL WAIT FOR FEB. 5 PREZ PRIMARIES BEFORE DECIDING...

In the past, when I have said that Sodrel could afford to wait to make up his mind, I did not think he would wait quite that long.

Some in the 9th District are already trying to draft him, after all.

An observant reader wondered where Howey got this story; it is a question that I must also ask.

Has Sodrel or someone close to him actually told Howey this?

Or is he just extrapolating based upon Sodrel's stated preference to know who is running for president (which will be largely decided by February 5)?

Democrats Advocate Massive Tax Illegality

A while back, Mitch Daniels asked Attorney General Steve Carter if it was legal for him to waive the state sales tax on gasoline.

Carter has now put forward his legal opinion, saying that Daniels cannot legally do so.

This, however, is not enough for Democrats, who will not take no for an answer.

Have been told that waiving the state sales tax is illegal, Democrats like Pat "The Hair" Bauer and others want Mitch Daniels to do it anyway.

In short, they are advocating massive tax illegality as a matter of course to achieving cheap partisan points.

Will one of them be willing to be investigated or even go to jail for urging such acts (or committing them)?

I doubt it.

The Democrats, however, have never let such blatant illegality stop them before.

All this does, really, is further illustrate the cheap (and apparently illegal) partisan ploy Frank O'Bannon undertook in the summer of 2000 to bribe the voters of Indiana to reelect him.

And I bet that if Daniels were to waive the state sales tax on gasoline at some point in the future, they would attack him for doing so on the grounds that the Attorney General said it was illegal.

For reference, the Indy Star article:

Indiana's governor does not have the power under a 1981 state law to suspend the sales tax on gasoline, according to a letter issued by the attorney general's office Thursday.

Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels sought the legal advice last month. He has rejected several requests in the past two years to suspend the 6 percent sales tax on gas because of high prices.

Mark Massa, Daniels' general counsel, said then that his legal interpretation of the 1981 law, which then-Gov. Frank O'Bannon used to temporarily suspend the tax in 2000, would not allow Daniels to do the same.

But the Daniels administration was researching whether a threshold for declaring an "energy emergency" under that 1981 law was being met, and it asked the attorney general's office for clarification on whether a governor could suspend the gas sales tax under that law.

The 1981 law allows a governor to declare an energy emergency. That's defined as an "existing or projected shortfall of at least 8 percent of motor fuel or other energy sources that threatens to seriously disrupt energy supplies or diminish energy supplies to the extent that life, health or property may be jeopardized."

The law says that if that threshold is met and an emergency declared, the governor can implement programs, controls, quotas or curtailments to affect the conservation or consumption of energy. O'Bannon relied on language that said a governor also could "suspend the provisions of any state statute regulating transportation."

The interpretation from Republican Attorney General Steve Carter's office is not binding, unlike rulings from courts.

Massa had said that in his legal judgment, the law's provision did not give a governor authority to waive a tax law.

Thursday's letter, signed by Chief Deputy Attorney General Gregory Zoeller, says, "It is clear that a suspension of a sales tax is not among those powers enumerated by this statute nor does it fall with the same category of those within the 1981 act that involve taking actions that should ultimately promote the restriction and conservation of energy."

It further states that "without further legislative action granting the governor the authority to suspend the gas tax, we agree that this authority is not within the intent of the 1981 statute."

Daniels said last month that he would "never say never" to the possibility of suspending the tax, which would save motorists about 16 cents per gallon if the price was $3.

But he said it would not be an effective or responsible thing to do, in part because he was still trying to restore the fiscal strength of state government.

His comments, similar to ones he made in the past, followed suspension requests by Democratic House Speaker Patrick Bauer of South Bend and former U.S. Rep. Jill Long Thompson, who plans to announce a run for the Democratic nomination for governor next month.

The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded in Indiana hit a record high of nearly $3.49 on May 26, according to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report. It was down to $3.001 on Thursday.

O'Bannon, a Democrat, suspended the tax in July 2000 when gasoline prices hit about $1.80 per gallon, which was considered expensive then. Republicans claimed it was an election-year ploy, but O'Bannon said it was needed to help working families and keep Indiana businesses competitive.

O'Bannon extended the initial 60-day suspension into September, then lifted it.
Bauer was swift to react to Thursday's letter.

"One governor just does it; the other governor first says no and then he feels uncomfortable about his no because he knows that's not serving the people," Bauer said. "So he runs to his attorney general, and it's not a surprise to anybody that he rubber-stamps the governor's no."

Bauer said that since the interpretation was not binding, Daniels should go ahead and suspend the tax.

But Daniels' spokeswoman, Jane Jankowski, noted that Daniels had cited other reasons for not suspending the tax and now had legal interpretations from his own counsel and the attorney general's office saying that doing so would be unlawful.

Mr. Murtha's Shredder


But it's okay, because Jack Murtha gave $2,000 to Baron Hill's campaign.

Baron's got to dance with them that brung him, right?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Federal Deficit Sharply Lower

From the Associated Press:

WASHINGTON (AP) - The federal deficit is running sharply lower through the first eight months of this budget year as growth in revenues continues to outpace the growth in spending.

The Treasury Department said that the deficit through May totaled $148.5 billion, down 34.6 percent from the same period a year ago.

For the 2007 budget year, which ends on Sept. 30, the Congressional Budget Office is projecting a federal deficit of $177 billion. That would be down 28.7 percent from last year's imbalance of $248.2 billion, which had been the lowest deficit in four years.

In an utterly unrelated story, Baron Hill has a press release out the same day touting his support for legislation restoring PAYGO rules to the budgeting process.

You might recall the essence of PAYGO rules: you American taxpayer pays, then Baron goes and spends your money like never before.

This press release is very interesting, because Hill has already taken credit on his website for restoring PAYGO rules to the budgeting process much earlier in the year.

In fact, he says it was done "during our first few weeks."

Which was it, I wonder?

Were the PAYGO rules restored then?

They seemed to have been tossed out the window when Baron voted for the pork-stuffed retreat-mandating war funding bill.

Anyway, if Baron was right to make that claim then, why would he need legislation to restore them now?

Were those new PAYGO rules done during the "first few weeks" meaningless?

Were the Democrats not obeying their own rules?

The world wonders.

But with the budget declining already this year (when the government is still operating under a Republican budget), I bet that won't stop Baron from taking credit for this decline during next year's campaign.

SE Indiana Leads Under Daniels Job Push

From the Courier-Journal:

State development deals to benefit southeast area
19-county region adding 6,656 jobs

By Lesley Stedman Weidenbener

INDIANAPOLIS -- Economic development deals completed so far by Gov. Mitch Daniels' administration will benefit southeastern Indiana more than any other area of the state, an analysis of jobs data shows.

Deals announced from January 2005 through June 5 are expected to create 6,656 jobs in the region -- a 19-county area that includes Clark, Floyd and Harrison. That's more jobs per capita than in any other economic region of the state.

Commerce Secretary Nate Feltman credited a strong work force, good transportation infrastructure and aggressive local development officials for the area's successes.

"We have people in those communities who are really aggressively going after economic development opportunities with us," Feltman said.

Such efforts were a key part of Daniels' run for governor in 2004, when he criticized the previous Democratic administration's record on jobs and pledged to do better.

Nearly 21/2 years later, the administration has announced 371 deals that are projected to create 38,743 jobs, a number that will grow in the coming weeks with negotiations nearing completion, state officials said.

Statewide, the deals Daniels has closed so far will create 6.2 jobs per 1,000 Hoosier residents.

In the southeastern region, though, the rate is much higher -- 11.9 jobs per 1,000 residents.

Northeastern Indiana ranks second with 9.2 jobs per 1,000 residents, and the northwest ranks last with 2.4. The other three regions have rates in between.

Southeastern Indiana's numbers are driven in part by Honda Motor Corp.'s decision to build a plant in Decatur County, creating more than 2,000 jobs, and by American Commercial Lines' move to expand Jeffboat in Jeffersonville, adding more than 1,100 workers to its payroll.

But economic development officials say smaller, quieter deals have been just as important. A move by MedVenture Technology Corp. from Louisville to Jeffersonville eventually could mean more than 500 jobs. Hitachi Cable Indiana's decision last year to expand could bring nearly 160 jobs to New Albany. And announcements the past two years by Cummins Inc. in Columbus will mean more than 520 jobs for the area.

*sarcastic Democratic spin*

Remember, children, Mitch Daniels hasn't done anything for the state's economic development.

*end sarcastic Democratic spin*

I predict that, sometime before the 2008 election, even Baron Hill will appear (or will try to appear) with Mitch Daniels or Becky Skillman at one of these development announcements.

Mr. Hill will probably try to take credit for part of it, too, just like he did with the Muscatatuck project that he had absolutely nothing at all to do with (and whose earlier closing he did nothing to stop).

Baron knows how to get close to the cameras, and he knows how to pick the winning horse.

Destroying Rocket Launchers

Stop, Drop, and Vote


The lack of outrage about the collapse of the voting system for the primary election in Indianapolis is surprising.

Nobody could find a single person disenfranchised by Indiana's voter ID law, yet the Democrats and the ACLU sued over it and are trying to take it all the way to the Supreme Court in a shameful partisan stunt.

But when a Democrat county clerk disenfranchises thousands upon thousands of voters due to her own incompetence and ineptitude, the Democrats and the ACLU and the NAACP say nothing. Nothing.

Their heads are all stuck in the sand, with a mayoral election looming in November and Federal elections looming a year after that.

How many more people will have to be actually disenfranchised (not this partisan fiction they created about the voter ID law, real disenfranchisement) for the Democrats and the ACLU to care?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Rothenberg Handicaps IN House Races

Baron, Brad, & JoeThe Rothenberg Political Report has handicapped various House races going into the 2008 election cycle.

Indiana's 2nd District rates as favor Democratic.

Indiana's 9th District rates as lean Democratic.

Indiana's 8th District isn't even mentioned.

Of course, handicapping races this far out is a perilous exercise.

Hill, Ellsworth, and Donnelly do not even have Republican challengers as yet, so analysis on the race is hazardous.

It's sort of like predicting today who will win the 2009-2010 Super Bowl (the season after the coming one) though I'd guess that it will be an AFC team (a statistically sound guess based upon history, and no more than what Rothenberg is going on here).

Just out of curiosity, I went back on Rothenberg's blog and looked at what he expected to be the top races in the 2006 cycle.

Back in February of 2006 (the earliest he actively handicapped races on his blog for the 2006 cycle), for example, Rothenberg had an interesting analysis.

Indiana's 8th District rated as lean or favor Democratic.

Indiana's 9th District rated as lean Republican.

Indiana's 2nd District wasn't even mentioned.

The folks on the Sodrel and Chocola campaigns might be wanting their money back on those Rothenberg subscriptions right about now, but I digress.

Hat tip: Hoosierpundit reader.

On the Road Again

Lesley Stedman's Sunday column in the Courier-Journal said that Mitch Daniels needs the "magic of an on-the-road campaign."

She's right.

The Governor does best when he is out among the people, listening, communicating, and explaining what he has done and why.

Hoosiers voted for change in 2004 and they voted for a better and more innovative government.

He has more than delivered.

Unfortunately, he has not kept pace with the scaremongering opposition, which has used the Governor's time off the road to create a partisan caricature of a governor that does not listen and does not care.

Things like his discarding of the Indy Commerce Connector and Illiana toll road proposals easily pop this spin balloon.

Even so, such partisan hackery would never gain traction in the first place if the governor had not been seen as retreating to Indianapolis after he was elected.

For example, I think that the governor's decision to avoid the Lincoln Day circuit in 2005 and (to some extent) in 2006 was a profound mistake in this regard, as was the decision to park RV-One.

This is a heavily Republican state and such events are a valuable tool for getting out the message not just to the party faithful but to swing voters as well.

Now, the campaign must make up ground lost by that inaction and restore the "magic" of 2004.

I suspect that Mitch Daniels is more than up to the challenge.

They Should Do More Stuff Like This

From the News & Tribune:

Homeward Bound Walks a Success

In my role as Lieutenant Governor, few opportunities have been as rewarding as working with Homeward Bound as the Honorary Statewide Chair. I have met many inspiring and passionate Hoosiers who are involved with the organization. Many of them are not only involved because of personal conviction; they also have experienced homelessness themselves at different times in their lives.

Homeward Bound is a series of ten 5K walks throughout Indiana that raise money for local homeless shelters and affordable housing providers. The 2007 walks concluded April 29, and with great success. This year they added two walk sites: Here in Delaware/Madison counties and Porter County. To date, the walks raised more than $487,000 statewide and $31,000 locally.

I would like to thank everyone involved in this event. And I would especially like to recognize the local spokespeople. They not only went out of their way to draw attention to this important cause, but also shared their touching and inspirational personal stories.

Homelessness does not have to be a lifelong struggle. Through fundraisers like Homeward Bound, we are able to provide the organizations that work with our homeless neighbors with the funds they need to provide outreach. Most of the time all it takes to help people break the cycle of homelessness is a trusting friend to look out for their well-being.

While we can work to curb homelessness in Indiana, it will continue to be a struggle in every community. Through Homeward Bound, we can all do our part by spending an afternoon with friends and family to raise money and bring attention to this important cause. I hope to see even more of you participate next year. Together we can get more Hoosiers off the streets and into safe and affordable housing.

— Becky Skillman, Indiana Lieutenant Governor

I think it's great that Hoosiers are willing to give out of their own pockets and out of the goodness of their hearts to help fight homelessness.

I also think it's great for the Lieutenant Governor and other elected officials to stand up and support such efforts.

The Mostly Dead Immigration Bill


Let the dead rest in peace, Mr. President.

Better to hold hearings and write a completely new bill than revive a monster that left everybody on both sides unhappy, particularly your own party's base.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Long-Thompson Leads Lefty Poll

Only ten people seem to ever vote in Blue Indiana's Democratic primary gubernatorial poll, but they consistently like Jill Long-Thompson for governor over State Senator Richard Young or architect-fundraiser Jim Schellinger.

Last Week's Results

* Jill Long Thompson - (66.67%)
* Jim Schellinger - (11.11%)
* Richard Young - (11.11%)
* Undecided - (11.11%)

The netroots are revolting!