Monday, May 31, 2010

Voters in Iceland DON'T PANIC!

Douglas Adams would be proud; everybody needs a towel.

From the BBC:

The Best Party, founded by comedian Jon Gnarr, secured 34.7% of the vote, ahead of the Independence Party's 33.6%.

Its campaign video featured candidates singing to the tune of Tina Turner's "Simply The Best".

Key pledges included "sustainable transparency", free towels at all swimming pools and a new polar bear for the city zoo.

The party also called for a Disneyland at the airport and a "drug-free parliament" by 2020.

As well as specific pledges, its video promised change, a "bright future" and suggested that it was time for a "clean out".

The Best Party was only established six months ago. Its victory means it will hold six seats on the 15-member city council.

Quote of the Day: McCain on Sestak

Imagine if this was the Bush administration. The media wolf pack would be in full cry. But this is something we've grown used to. We have a compliant media. The good thing is that the American people have figured it out. They're not being guided by the views of the mainstream media. If they were, the president's polls wouldn't be where they are.

- John McCain on the Obama administration's attempt to bribe Joe Sestak to not run for the Pennsylvania Senate seat that he later won

National Right to Life Endorses Dan Coats

Sorry, Brad the Beautiful, there's no such thing as compromise when it comes to spending Federal tax dollars to fund abortions.

Dan's the man.

The National Right to Life political action committee, today,announced its endorsement of Dan Coats in his campaign for U.S. Senate from Indiana. Coats has the Republican nomination to face Democratic Rep. Brad Ellsworth, who says he is pro-life but voted for the pro-abortion health care bill.

National Right to Life political director Karen Cross told Coats has a longstanding pro-life record from his days in Congress.

"As a member of both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, Dan Coats was a leading champion for pro-life policies," she said.

"Dan Coats was the author of key pro-life amendments, including a law that prevents the government from penalizing medical training programs for refusing to provide training in abortion. In addition, he was part of successful efforts to curb federal funding of abortion and an early supporter of the successful pro-life campaign to ban partial-birth abortion," Cross said.

The National Right to Life official added, "Coats can be trusted to protect our most vulnerable citizens – our unborn children."

On the other hand, Cross says Ellsworth betrayed his pro-life claims by supporting the government-run health care bill that has massive abortion funding.

"Ellsworth voted to enact President Obama’s pro-abortion health care legislation – legislation which will provide government funding for health plans that pay for abortion on demand, and also contains multiple provisions that will promote the rationing of lifesaving medical treatments," she said.

3rd District Special Date, Same as General


Governor Mitch Daniels made it official. The election to replace Mark Souder will take place on the same day as the general election in November.

He cited cost, convenience, and the involvement of the largest number of voters in sticking with the decision he previewed last week.

Poor Tom Hayhurst. The Democrats have already abandoned him.

Politics Is Different in Alabama

NJ Gov Chris Christie vs the Angry Teacher

That angry teacher?

Turns out that she makes more than $83,000 a year.

Red State hopes that she's not a math teacher:

There’s just one problem. There is one Rita Wilson working for the Rutherford School District. Assuming the teacher confronting Governor Christie is the same lady, she has no freaking clue what she makes.

Public records from the school district show her making $86,000+.

So yes Governor, you should support this lady being paid $3.00 per child and save some money.

And, yes, Mitch fans, Christie wants to pass a constitutional amendment this November to cap property taxes just like Mitch wants to pass one.

Share of Income vs Share of Taxes

Share of Income vs Share of Taxes
Hat tip: Greg Mankiw.

What We Have Here Is Failure to Communicate?

Jake Tapper, with ABC News:

GRAND ISLE, La. -- Billy Nungesser, the president of Plaquemines Parish whose frustrations about the federal government response have been featured prominently on TV in the past few weeks, told ABC News that in the private meeting the president had with local leaders here today, President Obama "chewed me out."

Nungesser, a Republican, told ABC News that President Obama "told me that we need to communicate."

Democrats in Congress Fail, Again

Red State:

Back in February it was Armageddon. Republican Senator Jim Bunning was blocking an extension of unemployment insurance on a matter of principle. He simply wanted Congress to cut spending somewhere to pay for the extension. And by block, I mean he refused to agree to an extension by unanimous consent which would have put a lot of senators, of both parties, in the uncomfortable and unaccustomed position of taking a stand on an issue.

Yesterday, Congress quietly left town for Memorial Day with a bill to extend unemployment benefits still not passed. Tens of thousands will lose benefits on Tuesday. No one blocked the bill. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi simply couldn’t get their act together, the House getting around to acting on the bill only after the Senate had adjourned.

Troubled Relationship

Troubled Relationship

American Woman by Sam Eagle the Muppet

Memorial Day

Memorial Day

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Quote of the Day: Obama Needs a Valium

From the AP:

White House spokesman Bill Burton, who attended the session in the Capitol, said the exchange "was actually pretty civil."

The senators applauded Obama, who had requested the luncheon, when he entered and left the room. Obama told reporters as he departed, "It was a good, frank discussion about a whole range of issues."

Some Republicans were less kind.

"He needs to take a Valium before he comes in and talks to Republicans," Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., told reporters. "He's pretty thin-skinned."

Poor Tom Hayhurst Has Already Been Thrown Under the Bus by Indiana Democrats

Monday came this post from state Democratic Party mouthpiece blog Blue Indiana (quoted because it will probably go down the memory hole very soon):

Should IN-3 special election be pushed to November?

That's the question on the mind of Governor Mitch Daniels, who seems to be publicly leaning toward combining the need for a special election to replace Mark Souder with the November election cycle. The big reason: big cost, little reward...

Indiana Democratic Party Chair Dan Parker has expressed support for the two-for-one deal, so I wouldn't expect much push-back on this.

Tom Hayhurst must not have gotten the memo from Dan Parker, because he has been griping to the contrary according to the Associated Press:

The Democratic candidate for the U.S. House seat given up by Republican Mark Souder said Tuesday he believes a special election should be held soon, although he doesn't want taxpayers to be stuck with the bill.

Democrat Tom Hayhurst said he didn't think it was good government to leave 3rd District residents without a congressional representative for nearly six months. That would happen if Gov. Mitch Daniels opts to have Souder's successor chosen in the Nov. 2 election.

"Those who wrote our constitution would believe that we should have a representative for this area and every other area of the country serving in the House every day," Hayhurst said.

Souder resigned last week from Congress and ended his bid for a ninth term after admitting having an extramarital affair with a female staffer, just two weeks after winning the Republican primary.

It is up to Daniels, a Republican, to schedule the special election to complete Souder's current term. Daniels said Friday that he might wait until the general election in order to save the cost of a special election.

This must be some sort of record. The Democrats don't even know the date that the election will be held and they are already throwing their candidate under the bus.

Mexico Tells Obama What to Do with National Guard Troops Headed to Border

No, seriously.

From their embassy (emphasis added):

Regarding the Administration’s decision to send 1,200 National Guard servicemen to the US Southern border, the Government of Mexico trusts that this decision will help to channel additional US resources to enhance efforts to prevent the illegal flows of weapons and bulk cash into Mexico, which provide organized crime with its firepower and its ability to corrupt.

Additionally, the Government of Mexico expects that National Guard personnel will strengthen US operations in the fight against transnational organized crime that operates on both sides of our common border and that it will not, in accordance to its legal obligations, conduct activities directly linked to the enforcement of immigration laws.

Hat tip: Legal Insurrection.

Tweets of the Day from Sheriff Joe

Hilarity from JoeyBiden, a Twitter account parodying Joe Biden:

After we "PLUG THE DAMN HOLE" we are going to "CURE THE DAMN CANCER" It amazes me nobody has thought of this before

And this:

Memo to oil spill. Barack is the president: The planet is supposed to be healing and the ocean receding. #racistoilspill

Blame Crisis

Blame Crisis
Obama is about to go on his second vacation since the oil spill started. The first was in late April. The second will come this weekend, when Obama returns to Chicago and shuns the usual Presidential appearance at Arlington National Cemetery.

Recently, Obama declared that he would no longer tolerate finger pointing when it came to the oil spill:

[Obama] accused the companies of "falling over each other to point the finger of blame to somebody else," and said, "I will not tolerate any more finger pointing."

Which caused John Hinderaker at Power Line to retort:

Put aside, for a moment, the merits of the issues surrounding the oil spill. The idea of Barack Obama, of all people, lecturing anyone on the need to take responsibility, rather than "finger pointing," is hilarious. Barack Obama, to my knowledge, has never taken responsibility for anything in his life, and his administration so far has been marked by "finger pointing" to a degree that we have never before witnessed.

Economic Canary

Economic Canary

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Retaking Indiana House in 2010 Key to Mitch's Intentions to Take White House in 2012?


Indiana governor Mitch Daniels is reportedly thinking about running for president in 2012. But he says that he’s focused on helping Republicans win back the Indiana state legislature in 2010. Daniels has told those interested in supporting him for higher office that there are several areas — education being one — he wants to address, but that he needs a like-minded legislature to do so. “He’s not looking past 2010, but those of us who support him think there is a silver lining in that, especially if by helping him get that majority we make his decision on 2012 easier. We think the country is going to need him, and an even stronger record in Indiana only helps that cause,” says a would-be political supporter.

From a big picture perspective, Mitch Daniels can't exactly afford to be out running for president in 2011 and 2012 if the proverbial "legislative car bomber" himself, Pat "The Hair" Bauer, is still sitting in the speaker's chair back in Indianapolis, throwing bombs and obstructing everything.

An agreeable legislature isn't just key for the advancement of the Governor's agenda for the next two years. It's key to deprive Hoosier Democrats (and by extension national Democrats) of a platform and a mechanism with which to obstruct and potentially damage any presidential aspirations that Mitch may (or may not) harbor after November.

The stakes are high.

Ground Zero to Host Two Mosques (Not One)

Sometimes, when you think they're trying to give you the proverbial finger, they really are trying to give you the proverbial finger.

They just don't want to say so openly, but they've done so historically often in the past.

From Human Events:

Now that it has been revealed that not one, but two mosques are planned for the area around Ground Zero, the supremacist and triumphalist character of this effort is clearer than ever. Is the Muslim population of lower Manhattan so huge that one projected mosque—even one so large as to be housed within a 15 story Islamic Center—would immediately be bursting at the seams, and thus yet another is required even before the first is built?

Of course not. Muslims are already praying at the projected site of the massive Islamic Center, an old Burlington Coat Factory outlet that was damaged by a piece of one of the hijacked airplanes fell through the roof on 9/11. (A Muslim real estate company paid $4.85 million in cash for the building. Where that cash came from has not been explained).

That building doesn’t appear to be overflowing, although Muslims are reportedly holding prayers on the sidewalk outside another lower Manhattan mosque, apparently in order to give the impression that they’re in dire need of more space. This is, however, more for show than for necessity.

The placement of mosques throughout Islamic history has been an expression of conquest and superiority over non-Muslims. Muslims built the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock on the site of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem in order to proclaim Islam’s superiority to Judaism. The Umayyad Mosque in Damascus was built over the Church of St. John the Baptist, and the Hagia Sophia Cathedral in Constantinople was converted into a mosque, to express the superiority of Islam over Christianity. Historian Sita Ram Goel has estimated that over 2,000 mosques in India were built on the sites of Hindu temples for the same reason.

But the Ground Zero mosque, or mosques, won’t be another example of that Islamic supremacism, will they? After all, the mosque initiative’s organizer, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, has said that the building of the mosque by the World Trade Center site was intended to make “the opposite statement to what happened on 9/11.”

The group behind the 15 story Islamic Center sent a statement to Mike Huckabee’s show on Fox News (declining an opportunity to meet my colleague, Pamela Geller, to discuss the mosque issue), claiming that the planned mosque was “a project to honor those who were harmed on September 11. It is a project to proclaim our patriotism to this country and to stand side-by-side all men and women of peace.”

And Ground Zero is not a holy site, so the symbolism of Islam conquering and replacing other religions isn’t there—or is it?

The Twin Towers, after all, were the symbol of America’s economic power. Placing a mosque by the site of their destruction (at the hands of Islamic jihadists) symbolizes the taming of that power. Abdul Rauf has placed the blame for 9/11 not on jihadists at all, but on the U.S. and the West, saying that they “must acknowledge the harm they have done to Muslims before terrorism can end.” Statements like that call into question just who the mosque organizers have in mind when they say the mosque is intended to honor “those who were harmed on September 11.”

The possibility of deception cannot here be ruled out, given that Abdul Rauf has a history of making smooth statements that appear to endorse American principles and values, when on closer examination he is upholding Sharia law, denigrating freedom of speech, and advocating against anti-terror measures.

The Democrats Have the Fever and the Only Cure Is... More Obama!

From the Washington Post:

The biggest primary day this year brought some resolution to one of the trickiest questions confronting Democrats as they march toward the fall elections: What role will President Obama play?

Strategists at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue say it is now clear that, although Obama's name will not be on the ballot, it will fall to him to build the case for the activist approach that he has pressed his party to take over the past 16 months. And just as important, they say, he must take the lead in making the argument against the Republicans.

His ambitious agenda is "why the president was elected," said David Axelrod, Obama's top political strategist. "We need to make the case as to what we are doing, and why that's consistent, and why we don't want to go backward."

Yes, please, we'd like some more.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Harrison Sheriff Case Update

From the Courier-Journal:

Harrison County Sheriff Mike Deatrick's first day in court following his arrest nearly two months ago was postponed Monday because a special judge first must be found to oversee the criminal case.

While it's unclear when the Indiana Supreme Court will act on a request to reassign to the proceedings, Special Prosecutor Nancy Jacobs said Monday that she expects the July 20 trial to be postponed weeks or months because the judge appointed to the case likely will already have a full calendar.

"In my experience, it would be unusual to see that would be a trial date that would be kept" after a special judge is appointed, Jacobs said in telephone interview.

The 64-year-old Deatrick was arrested in April and charged with 10 felony counts and two misdemeanors after a Harrison Superior grand jury indicted him.

The case began after two women employees accused the sheriff of sexual misconduct and of attempting to intimidate them when their claims were made public in an employment discrimination complaint.

Deatrick hasn't commented publicly about the Indiana State Police investigation which culminated in his indictment and subsequent arrest.

But he's told friends that he's innocent and will fight the charges. In the meantime, he has continued to work daily at the sheriff's office and jail complex in Corydon, where he's paid $85,000 annually.

By law, only a felony conviction can force an elected official from the position.

It's not clear to me (and, more importantly, others of more legal mind that I have spoken to) that this is entirely true; there may be other ways to force an elected official from office in this situation.

Deatrick's lawyer Bart Betteau was out of the office and did not return phone messages Monday. He has asked that a judge dismiss the indictments against Deatrick, arguing in a pending motion that the charges vague.

A second motion is to move the trial from Harrison County because of pre-trial publicity.

Harrison Superior Court Judge Roger Davis had asked the court to step in earlier this month after Davis recused himself, citing conflicts in handling the case, and after Crawford Circuit Judge Lynn Lopp declined to take the case.

Although "the court is considering the request," said court spokeswoman Kathryn Dolan, there's no set timeline for when the judges will decide on how to respond to Davis' request.

A Bad Yardstick

Professor William Jacobson asks if the Gulf oil spill is Obama's Katrina yet.

I'm not thinking that it's a winning comparison to say, "Hey, is this collosal example of incompetence as big yet as the last guy's collosal example of incompetence?"

Just a thought.

Ellsworth on the Defense

A recent bit of polling in two southwestern Indiana counties shows Dan Coats ahead of Brad Ellsworth.


A poll conducted for the “Dave Crooks Show” at WAMW in Washington shows that, if you consider the sample significant, the Senate race could be a barn burner.

The poll was conducted in just two counties, Knox which is Democratic and Daviess which is Republican. It shows Coats with a lead 35% to 29% but 36% chose neither candidate or declared themselves to be undecided. The pollster says the 36% finding is the most significant.

What's notable about this is not the close margin or the large numbers of undecided voters. What's notable about this is that Knox and Daviess counties were both carried overwhelmingly by Ellsworth just two years ago, and he is now trailing his opponent there.

What's more significant? That 36% of people in southwestern Indiana are undecided in the Senate race, or that they can't make up their mind to vote for the guy they elected overwelmingly in the past two elections?

And if Dan Coats is ahead in southwestern Indiana and folks that know Brad Ellsworth can't make up their minds about him, then how ill does that bode for Ellsworth in the rest of Indiana, including (say) the much more Republican areas elsewhere in the state where Coats is better known and Ellsworth is not?

Arizona Gov to Obama & Co: Learn to Read

Quote of the Day: Blame Bush

I don't know how you blame 10% unemployment, $12 trillion in new national debt, an increase in attempted terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, snickering about our failed foreign policies from our allies in Europe, and being a wholly owned subsidiary of China in less than a year in office, on President Bush.

But if there's a guy who can pull it off, it's our guy. But don't tell him I told you so.

- Barack Obama's Teleprompter's Blog

He ALWAYS Blames America First

He ALWAYS Blames America First

Obama's Coattails

Obama's Coattails

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Tale of Two Scandals

Souder Resignation
Presented for your consideration, dear reader, are two recent political scandals. So recent, in fact, that they broke on almost the same day.

First is the case of Indiana Republican Congressman Mark Souder, who just beat back a serious primary challenge only to announce his resignation after it came to light that he was having an affair with a staffer.

When fellow Republican Congressman Mike Pence found out that Souder was having an affair with a staffer, he turned him in to the ethics committee. Even if Souder wouldn't hold himself to a higher standard, his peers (at least Mike Pence) certainly did.

Dan, who blogs over at Angry White Boy, has taken a lot of heat for "sitting" on the Souder story. I don't disagree with what he did. There are some nasty rumors of this sort that just can't be blogged unless they're seriously verified.

It would have been very easy for Dan to have blogged about rumors of Souder's affair without obtaining verification. As it turned out, the rumors were true. If the were not, the damage caused by airing them (both to Souder's political fortunes and, more importantly, to his family) would have been considerable. Dan waited. I can't fault him for doing so. He did the right thing.

Nasty rumors are part and parcel of politics (particularly Indiana politics, especially southern Indiana politics). I've heard plenty of nasty rumors about politicians, including politicians that I like and politicians (of both parties) that I don't particularly like. I'd heard the Souder rumor. He's not the only incumbent member of Congress or Congressional candidate from Indiana I've heard nasty personal rumors about (there are, off of the top of my head, three or four others; maybe more).

For example, there were lots of nasty rumors about Dennie Oxley II even before he wrecked a car while driving drunk in Crawford County and long before he ended up on surveillance tape after leaving a drunk girl on the pavement at an Indianapolis gas station (and then tried to escape with her shoes while claiming he had legislative immunity, which he didn't). Those rumors never got blogged, though they turned out to be true and were proven so in a rather spectacular (and very public and quite verifiable) fashion.

Mark Souder isn't the first politician to chase skirts. He won't be the last. He wasn't the first Republican politician (or even the first Republican politician in Indiana) to chase skirts. He won't be the last.

Maybe he'll be the last politician to fall so far so quickly from his personal failings, but I doubt it.

It's been said that you can learn a lot about people by what they do when they don't think they're being watched (or when they don't think they'll be caught). That's definitely true in Souder's case; he should have known better and done better by his family.

But it's also true that you learn a lot about people in how they behave when they're found out.

Mark Souder acknowledged what he had done and resigned.

The focus of the second political scandal? Not so much.

Republicans, you see, are different from Democrats. Republicans have the capacity to know shame. For Democrats, or at least this particular Democrat and a lot of Democrats like him (see: Clinton, Bill or Oxley, Dennie II), shame is not something that bothers them.

Our second example would be Connecticut Democratic Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who is currently running for Chris Dodd's Senate seat (another scandal-plagued Democrat that knows no shame).

Blumenthal, for those of you that have not been following, was exposed this week by no less than the New York Times for repeatedly claiming that he had served in Vietnam when he had not done so.

The Democrat was quick to claim that the quote was taken out of context and that he "misstated" his military service "accidentally."

Apparently, according to National Review's Jim Geraghty, Blumenthal "accidentally" "misstated" it on five different occasions and in eight different articles, and they're still counting.

Geraghty, sarcastically, says that he believes Richard Blumenthal:

I believe Richard Blumenthal. I believe him when he says it was accidental slip of the tongue to say “I served in Vietnam” before a group of veterans in Norwalk in 2008. I believe that he also accidentally said the wrong words when he said “when we returned” from Vietnam at an event with troops in 2003.

I believe that when he said “I remember the taunts, the insults, sometimes even physical abuse,” he didn’t mean to infer that he himself had experienced that.

I believe that he never saw at least eight newspaper articles published in Connecticut from 2003 to 2009, that described him as having served in Vietnam. I believe that he never saw the profile of him on Slate in 2000 that implied he served in Vietnam. I believe that it is through no fault of his own that his own campaign staff came to believe he had served in Vietnam.

I believe that he never saw articles that mentioned him as captain of the swim team at Harvard. I believe Blumenthal when he says he has no idea how these false achievements keep ending up in articles about him.

I believe that a vast right wing conspiracy of enemies have been feeding false facts to newspapers, laying the trap that has only been sprung today.

I believe Blumenthal when he says that even though the article had no facts wrong, that the New York Times report is an “outrageous distortion” of his record. I believe that the fact that he has sometimes said in public that he didn’t serve in Vietnam completely exonerates him of any wrongdoing.

I believe that the New York Times is part of a vast-right wing conspiracy.

Like I said, there's no shame from the Democrats at all. That stands in stark contrast to Mark Souder (and, I suppose, Mike Pence by curious and sad but noble extension). Souder's story is so remarkable not because of what he did or how he responded (there's no such thing as a perfect human being, let alone a perfect politician), but because the other party doesn't behave similarly and has a shocking disregard for such things.

Everybody Draw Mohammed Day Parody

Iowahawk tweaks both the day itself and its opponents.

Tweet of the Day: Spot the #yardsigns

The Courier-Journal has created a Twitter hash tag in the wake of the Kentucky primary to help locate political yard signs and notify the candidate (or campaign) so that they can be removed.

It's a useful idea that might have future applicability across the river.

Charlie White Files for Secretary of State Run, Speaks Common Sense on Voter ID

Via Jim Shella:

Hamilton County GOP Chairman Charlie White paid the filing fee this morning to be a candidate for Secretary of State in the June 19th Republican State Convention.

Vop Osili and Tom McKenna are running as Democrats but White expects to be the only Republican seeking to inherit Todd Rokita’s legacy. The Democrats are both opposed to Indiana’s Voter ID law but White endorses it.

“In order to drive legally you want to have an ID,” said White. “If you want to obtain necessary government services, they want to see an ID. I think it’s not too much to ask for to have people prove they are who they say they are when they vote.”

That sound you heard was the simultaneous explosions of the heads of countless Democrats who, for largely irrational and never-proven reasons, have knee-jerk opposition to the state's voter ID law.

Hopefully the Spelling Was Right on the Mailings

Faulkner Strategies congratulated its winners in the recent primary:

Faulkner Strategies Congratulates Winning Clients From the Indiana Primary

Faulkner Strategies would like to congratulate our clients on a successful primary campaign:

Congressman Mark Souder, IN 3
Jackie Walorski for Congress, IN 2
Todd Rokita for Congress, IN 4
Larry Bucshon for Congress, IN 8
Todd Young for Congress, IN 9
Indiana Chamber of Commerce
State Representative Tom Dermody
State Representative Dan Leonard
Dick Pfeil for State Representative
Jim Banks for State Senate
Rebecca Kubacki for State Representative
Heath VanNatter for State Representative
Francis Ellert for State Representative
Rhonda Rhodes for State Representative
Cindy Kirchoffer for State Representative

“All of our clients worked really hard and I am extremely proud of their success. I want to thank all of them for choosing Faulkner Strategies to be a part of their winning team,” stated Angela Faulkner, President of Faulkner Strategies.

Faulkner Strategies is a Republican mail firm that specializes in delivering targeted and personalized communications for campaigns throughout the country. They work one-on-one with each candidate to develop a strategic plan that fits the individual candidate’s needs and positions them for victory.

Let's repeat that second-to-last one (it will probably get edited and fixed shortly):

Rhonda Rhodes for State Representative

That's Rhonda Rhoads; at least the name was spelled correctly on the mailings that they did.

American, British, French Troops March in Red Square to Celebrate Victory in Europe Day

Never thought I'd live to see the day.

Why Harvard Matters

Paul Mirengoff, over at Power Line, hits the nail on the head when it comes to Harvard and the Kagan nomination:

To me, the interesting thing about Kagan's Harvard connection is not that it's shared by other Justices. What interests me is the fact that her Harvard connection is her claim to fame and, indeed, her main credential. In this respect, Kagan differs from the eight Justices with whom she would serve. For each of them, the law school connection was immaterial or incidental. No reporter in identifying these individuals for their readers at the time of the nomination would have mentioned Harvard or Yale except perhaps as an afterthought.

Kagan, by contrast, is routinely identified as the former dean of Harvard law school, and for good reason. She has no judging experience and little experience practicing law; nor did she make much of a mark as a legal scholar. Arguably, then, it is Harvard, if anything, that gives her the gravitas (or perhaps I should say cachet) one would expect of a Supreme Court nominee.

Kagan, then, can be viewed as an elitist nominee in the bad sense. The eight Justices with whom she would serve could claim, when nominated, to be elite by virtue of what they had accomplished without any reference to an elite institution of higher learning. Such a claim by Kagan would be tenuous.

Harvard law school, and how one views it, is therefore an issue in Kagan's nomination, not because she went there but because she remained there and ended up running it, and because her other credentials seem thin for a Supreme Court Justice.

Limbaugh Rips Mexican Prez Calderon

Varvel also makes a funny:

Calderon on the Arizona Immigration Bill
Of course what's exceptional about Calderon lecturing us is not merely Mexico's human rights issues, on which there has been considerable progress and which owe a lot to its horrendous problem with drug cartels (which Calderon has done much to fight).

What's exceptionable about Calderon lecturing us is that Mexico has similar, if not more stringent, immigration policies of its own, as Rush so accurately highlighted in the above clip.

Obama's Deficit Dimes

Obama's Deficit Dimes

The 800-Pound Gorilla in the Room

The 800-Pound Gorilla in the Room

Back from Vacation

Boy, I sure picked a great time to go on vacation. There was certainly no post-primary lull in political happenings this year.

Regular blogging will resume this evening.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Marlin Stutzman's Not Going Anywhere

Via email:

Dear Friends and Supporters,

There is no way to express our gratitude for all of your help and support during this long campaign. We will be forever grateful for the sacrifice of time, money and effort that hundreds of you have made over the past year and half leading up to this Primary election.

Although the outcome was not what we had hoped for, we encourage you to continue to keep fighting for conservative values. We must continue the fight to take our beloved nation back to its Constitutional principles. Our Federal government is bloated and out of control. Our freedoms are under attack every day. It is still up to "we the people" to stay engaged, aware and involved in the political process.

We learned a great deal throughout this long campaign working with conservatives, Tea Party groups, Patriot and 9-12 groups, Young Republicans and the Republican Party. After meeting and working with so many dedicated, hard-working Hoosiers, our hope has been renewed in the future of our state and nation. It will be you, the grassroots activists who will make the difference in the future of America. It is your dedication that will turn the tide and change Washington one day, one election at a time. We are humbled to realize that every success this campaign enjoyed was due completely to dedicated volunteers on the ground, giving of themselves and taking action as every day citizens to make this campaign work.

We congratulate Dan Coats on his win and thank John, Don and Richard for running a spirited campaign. As with every other candidate on the ballot, we must continue to encourage candidates and office holders to stay committed to Hoosier values.

For the Stutzman campaign, this is not the end of our conservative, grassroots effort, but it is just the beginning. Our team is determined now more than ever to be a part of the conservative movement in its effort to turn our country around.

Eternal vigilance is still the price of freedom.

With a grateful heart,

The Stutzman Team

Ultimately, divided conservatives couldn't defeat the (somewhat less conservative) Dan Coats. But what the 2010 Republican primary has done for conservatives is provide a potential standard-bearer for a future Senatorial race in 2012, be that a primary challenge to Dick Lugar or a candidacy to fill the seat upon his potential retirement.

If Hostettler or Stutzman had beaten Coats, the other would have been a likely Senate candidate for 2012. Having not beaten him, the candidate that came in second to Coats (Stutzman) becomes that likely candidate just the same.

For conservatives, the 2010 primary didn't end up being a primary for the Republican Senatorial nomination for 2010. It was a pre-primary for the battle for the Republican Senatorial nomination for 2012.

Media-Created President Whines about People Having Too Many Sources for Information

Um, yeah.

What he means to say is that they have too many sources of information outside of those that continue to mindlessly adore him.

Imagine if George W. Bush had mused openly about some need for people to be less informed.

Quote of the Day: Obama Policy in a Nutshell

From Niall Ferguson:

These measures recall the old British sitcom “Yes Minister,” in which all crises elicited the following response from the clueless politician Jim Hacker: “Something must be done. This is something. Therefore we must do it.” As Richard A. Posner argues in “The Crisis of Capitalist Democracy,” Congress is rushing to devise remedies for a crisis we have not yet properly understood. Indeed, the House bill explicitly commissions studies of the causes of the crisis while at the same time legislating to prevent its recurrence.

The quote is about financial reform, but it occurs to me that it could be made to apply to quite literally every policy and piece of legislation undertaken by Obama since he took office.

"Don't just stand there, do something."

Greg Zoeller Gets It (Again)

Indiana has a constitutionally-weak attorney general. The position has no prosecutorial power, for example.

Greg Zoeller, however, continues to show that there's a lot that can be done despite the limits of his office.

Take illegal immigration.

There's not a lot Greg Zoeller can do about illegal immigration in Indiana (unless the legislature changes the law or something).

But what he can do is help Mexico with its judicial system by showing them how we do things here in Indiana, something that might (even if only in a small way) help Mexico improve the situation for its citizens and thus make its people less likely to cross the border as illegal immigrants.

From the Indy Star:

Mexican officials to visit state

The Indiana attorney general's office will play host later this year to a law-enforcement delegation from Mexico.

Its members will be visiting in preparation for drastic changes to Mexico's Old World-style "inquisitorial" criminal justice system, which is set for reforms that will bring it closer to working like the United States' open trial system.

Attorney General Greg Zoeller sees the visit -- by 40 prosecutors and judges and 40 criminal investigators -- as a chance to lend expertise to the neighboring country as it grapples with jaw-dropping crime related to the drug trade, including thousands of homicides.

"Our Mexican neighbors are waging a heroic fight with organized crime that threatens their country," Zoeller said in a news release. "Mexico's system of laws and legal procedure and its methods of criminal law enforcement cannot combat the long-standing internal problems involving drug trafficking that cause significant cross-border ramifications.

"Our Mexican counterparts are committed to reform of their system, and I'm pleased to be able to support them in any way we are able. Their problems are our problems."

The group, from the Mexican state of Baja California, will visit Indiana from Sept. 27 to Oct. 1. They will learn how things are done in Indiana's courts and receive training in rule-of-law issues.

The partnership was born in March when Zoeller signed an agreement with Baja California's attorney general, Rommel Moreno Manjarrez. It is part of a program funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development and run by the U.S. Conference of Western Attorneys General.

Location & Judge Still Undecided in Harrison Sheriff Case

From the Courier-Journal:

Judge and location of Deatrick trial still undecided

Harrison County Sheriff Mike Deatrick’s criminal trial is scheduled for July 20 but several basic procedural issues have yet to be decided — including which judge will preside over the trial and where the trial will be held.

Deatrick’s attorney, Bart Betteau, has asked for the case to be dismissed, saying the information used to charge him is vague and will prevent him from mounting an adequate defense.

A decision on that will have to wait, however, because two judges have excused themselves from the case, and a special judge has yet to be appointed in their place.

A motion from Deatrick’s lawyer to move the trial out of Harrison County to another county because of pretrial publicity is also pending.

A grand jury indicted Deatrick, 64, on April 1.

He faces 10 felony charges and two misdemeanors following a Indiana State Police investigation into sexual misconduct, obstruction of justice and allegations of insurance fraud.

Deatrick is free on bond and is expected to continue serving as sheriff until December, when his term ends.

The next scheduled hearing in the case is May 24, when a pretrial conference is scheduled in Harrison Superior Court.

Neither Betteau nor Nancy Jacobs, the special prosecutor in the case, could be reached Friday for comment.

Betteau filed motions late last month that ask for the indictments to be dismissed, for a special judge to be appointed and for the trial to be moved to another county because of pretrial publicity.

Court records show that Harrison Superior Judge Roger Davis removed himself from the case April 22 and appointed neighboring Crawford Circuit Judge K. Lynn Lopp in his place.

Lopp, however, also excused himself from the case a week later, prompting Davis to file a request Thursday with the Indiana Supreme Court. His motion said that under the circumstances the selection of a special judge by the Supreme Court was warranted.

The judges did not explain whey they removed themselves from Deatrick’s trial, but judges typically do that in cases where they have a potential conflict of interest, such as if they know the defendant.

Whoever is eventually chosen as judge will rule on Betteau’s pending motions.

Betteau’s request for a dismissal asserts that the charging information — which were based on the indictments — was vague and will prevent his client from mounting an adequate defense.

Betteau also wrote that unspecified “irregularities in the grand jury proceedings may require dismissal.”

In requesting for the trial to be moved, Betteau said that the case had received “significant publicity” and because of that, the sheriff could be deprived a fair trial if it was held in Harrison County.

Such requests are not unusual. Statistics from the Indiana Supreme Court for 2008, the most recent year available, show that more than 1,000 cases were moved to other communities.

Instead of moving the trial, the judge could also decide import a jury from another county.

For example, in 2002, for the first of two murder trials of former state trooper David Camm, Floyd Superior Court imported a jury from Johnson County in an attempt to provide an impartial jury. The second trial in early 2007 was moved to Warrick County.

The wheels of justice turn slowly here.

Waitresses with Bigger Boobs Get Bigger Tips

I'm shocked. Shocked.

Prof. Michael Lynn, marketing and tourism, surveyed 374 waitresses about their perceived “sexiness,” breast size and other physical characteristics and correlated these results with the amount of tips the waitresses received.

His results indicate that evolutionary instinct trumps the ideals many patrons profess. Though most customers say they reward service, Lynn reports that quality of service has less than a 2-percent effect on the actual tip.

Instead, he found that waitresses with larger bra sizes received higher tips — as did women with blonde hair and slender bodies.

While this may seem self-evident to some, Lynn said that “it’s always important to test what seems like obvious cultural wisdom.”

Lynn believes his research, conducted from a wide range of women, is important because it “fills in some holes” in the area of tipping behavior.

“This study uses a broader array of stimuli as they appear three-dimensionally ... to themselves and their customers,” he said.

Lynn explained that his study could be useful to a potential waitress as it can help gauge her “prospects in the industry.”

“It also informs management decisions about who to hire,” Lynn added, explaining that servers who earn higher tips are more desirable employees because they are likely to stay at their job longer. Higher tips also indicate higher customer approval of the server, and by association, the establishment in general.

“[Restaurants] might very well want to hire waitresses who will earn larger tips,” Lynn said. “[These employees] can largely be identified through their physical characteristics.”

He acknowledged that such an open policy could offend some people. In actuality, Lynn noted that many employers already take into account their applicants’ appearances. He referred to the popularity of Hooters and other similar “breastaurants” that openly capitalize on men’s affinity for “attractive” — and in particular, busty — servers.

“Ugly people are not a protected class, legally,” Lynn said. “It is not in fact illegal to hire only attractive waitresses.”

This phenomenon may also potentially apply to blogs.

Hat tip: Legal Insurrection.

Obama Reacts to Threats to America

Obama Reacts to Threats to America

The Wisdom of the Wizard of Id

When Less Intelligent People Vote, Democrats Win

Friday, May 7, 2010

The General Election Begins

And Baron Hill has already set out to define his opponent:

Hill declined through a spokeswoman to talk about the race Wednesday, other than to issue a statement.

But that statement – and one issued by Young later – likely foreshadow the tone and the rhetoric of the race.

Hill essentially called Young a carpetbagger by criticizing him for moving to the district just a few years ago. The statement pointed out that Young was raised in Carmel, an affluent Indianapolis suburb.

“My wife Betty and I are lifelong residents of Southern Indiana, raised our three daughters here and know the people of this district quite well,” Hill said. “Like us, they are practical people who want to better our country by finding practical solutions and ending the partisanship that plagues Washington and is used all too often by my opponent.”

Later, the Indiana Democratic Party sent out its own statement, also calling attention to Young’s connections to Carmel and calling him the “hand-picked candidate of the Indiana Republican establishment.”

“One thing this tells us is that two-thirds of Republicans in the 9th Congressional District did not want the hand-picked candidate from Central Indiana,” Indiana Democratic Party Chairman Dan Parker said of the primary results.

And I doubt that this coming out through Politico on election night was a coincidence (the reporter, Alex Isenstadt, did some reporting on Dan Coats earlier this year that have since become lines of Democratic attack in that race):

Don Blankenship, the controversial CEO of coal giant Massey Energy, contributed $2,400 to the campaign of attorney Todd Young, one of the Republicans seeking the seat currently held by Democratic Rep. Baron Hill, in the days leading up to Tuesday’s Indiana primary.

The donation came as Blankenship, long known as a fierce skeptic of global warming, is under scrutiny for his role at Massey in the wake of an April 5th explosion at Massey’s Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia that killed 29 miners.

Young, facing off against former GOP Rep. Mike Sodrel and conservative activist Travis Hankins in the primary, has turned his opposition to caps on carbon dioxide emissions a key policy plank in his primary campaign.

More about this Blankenship fellow from The Economist's Democracy in America blog.

In the primary, the only candidate willing to go negative was Todd Young. Neither Sodrel nor Hankins would hammer back (Reagan's 11th Commandment and all that).

Baron Hill has already shown himself to be less restrained, and he's just getting started.

Harrison County Primary Results

First the District 70 race from the Courier-Journal:

In House District 70, meantime, Rhonda Rhoads of Corydon defeated Brett Loyd in the GOP primary, thanks in part to a big infusion of cash from state Republicans.

Rhoads, a retired elementary school teacher who served two years on the Harrison County Council, will take on incumbent Rep. Paul Robertson, D-Depauw, in November. Robertson was unopposed in the House District 70 Democratic primary.

Rhoads’ connections to the community and service on the county council helped her to primary victory, said Harrison County Republican Chairman Scott Fluhr.

“Harrison County is the largest part of the district and she’s well known there,” Fluhr said. “She’s been active in politics and that means something.”

Loyd is a UPS pilot who was making his first bid for public office.

Both Republicans said during their campaign that Robertson has been at the Statehouse too long. But state Republicans believed Rhoads gave the party its best shot for unseating the veteran Democrat.

Last month, the Indiana House Republican Committee donated $81,000 to Rhoads’ campaign, giving her the cash she needed for a last-minute ad push.

Party leaders said they expect to spend tens of thousands of dollars more if needed to oust Robertson in November.

And the county races:

Harrison County voters overwhelmingly chose two veteran police officers on Tuesday to square off in November to replace embattled Sheriff Mike Deatrick.

Democrats nominated Gary Gilley, a former Harrison County police chief and current patrolman, while Republicans chose Rodney Seelye, a Meade County, Ky., police detective and retired Louisville Metro Police officer who lives in the Corydon area.

Both men have promised to restore confidence in a police force demoralized by the cloud over Deatrick, who was indicted this spring on 10 felony counts following a lengthy Indiana State Police investigation of allegations of sexual harassment and obstruction of justice.

Because of term limits, Deatrick must leave office in December, but has kept his $85,000-a-year job pending a July trial.

Gilley, 60, won about 60 percent of the vote, according to unofficial returns. He congratulated his six Democratic opponents on a clean race as the final returns were rolling in Tuesday night.

“No mud; they talked about the positive things in our county,” Gilley said, adding that “our county has enough negative. We don't need any more.”

Seelye, 44, garnered 66 percent of the vote in the three-way GOP primary, defeating County Surveyor Tom Bube, 70, and Michael Gregory, a 57, an Ivy Tech associate professor.

A fellow Harrison police officer, Marty McClanahan, finished second to Gilley, followed by other fellow officers Brad Shepherd, Roy Wiseman and Eric Fischer.

Also in the Democratic field were Bradford body shop owner Jim Slucher and Rick Minton, a Harrison reserve officer and factory worker.

Gilley said Tuesday night after his primary victory that he's ready for a busy campaign this fall, noting that Seelye posted a strong showing.

“It's going to be a tough race, absolutely. I plan to knock on as many doors as I can this fall,” he said.

Seelye said he was grateful for his party's backing.

County Council

The most competitive races of the night centered on voters' choices to compete this fall for the County Council District 2 seat.

Incumbent Democrat William “Bill” Nichols, of Lanesville, won his primary with 55 percent of the vote, setting up a rematch with Republican Gary Davis, who he ousted from the seat four years ago.

Nichols, a retired excavation contractor and school bus driver, fended off Robert Morris, a union meat cutter, just as he did in the primary four years ago.

The tougher fight probably awaits Nichols this fall, when he'll have to beat Davis, 70, a former County Council president who won a three-way GOP primary with 41 percent of the vote over the county's veterans-service officer, Marion Wallace, and Tom Wallace, a Corydon insurance agent and first-time candidate.

County commissioner

Meanwhile, the Democratic primary for county commissioner went to incumbent Terry Miller, 59, Elizabeth Water Co.'s superintendent, who coasted to victory over Joyce Deatrick, Sheriff Mike Deatrick's wife and the current county police chief.

Deatrick, a first-time challenger, had said during the campaign she wanted to stay active in public life after she and her husband leave the sheriff's department this year.

Miller won 84 percent of the vote. He now advances to face Republican Jim Klinstiver, a retired Indiana Department of Transportation supervisor from Laconia who was unopposed for his party's nomination.

“I expect a close race,” Miller said. “I'll work hard.”

He wasn't deterred by predictions that Republicans will make a strong showing this fall.

“We're going to get out and I think we'll do well,” Miller said.

And the Corydon Democrat's interesting "nothing to see here, move along" coverage, which I won't quote at length. After all, everybody expected the primary outcomes that happened (they didn't), and they certainly didn't expect an almost 70% increase in Republican primary voters (largely from angry fed up conservative Democrats).

But there's apparently nothing to see there. Absolutely nothing. Move along. Pay it no mind.

When Democrats Attack


MUNCIE -- If Disneyland is the happiest place on earth, the saddest place -- or at least the grumpiest place -- just might have been Delaware County Democratic Party Headquarters on Tuesday night.

Three of the party organization's favored candidates lost in the primary election to opponents who had either been passed over for or had turned down party support.

The party outsiders converged on headquarters to claim victory after the last ballots were counted, although many Democrats on the losing end of the election had fled from the building before the winners arrived.

A handful of party leaders remained, however, and while they greeted the winning candidates -- J.A. Cummins, who defeated incumbent County Prosecutor Mark McKinney, incumbent commissioner Larry Bledsoe, who beat party favorite Bill Smith, and sheriff's candidate Michael Scroggins, who defeated party favorite Ray Dudley -- they ousted Star Press reporters and photographers.

"We asked you to leave now," former Democratic Party chairman Phil Nichols told Star Press reporters and photographers. "Out. Out!"

The confrontation came after staff members accompanied Cummins and his campaign workers from their celebratory election party to Democratic Headquarters. By the time two dozen or so Cummins supporters, followed by Star Press staffers, walked across the Justice Center plaza and into headquarters, McKinney and his supporters had left.

After the group made its way upstairs, Mike Quirk, a local attorney and vice chairman of the Democratic Party, said Cummins and his group could stay but the media could not.

"Get downstairs," Quirk angrily told newspaper staffers. "Emotions are high and people ought to be able to say what they want without it being in the newspaper."

As newspaper staff members argued to be able to stay, Quirk grabbed a photographer's camera and arm with both hands and began trying to herd the group toward the stairway and downstairs. Several Cummins' supporters and attorney Mick Alexander came to the defense of The Star Press staffers, but to no avail.

Another Star Press photographer was later ejected after she accompanied another non-party candidate, Mike Scroggins, who won the party primary for sheriff.

Three police officers stood by outside Democratic Party Headquarters Tuesday evening after being called in case fighting broke out between members of the fractured party. The officers left when the winning candidates were greeted and allowed to speak.

Cummins, Bledsoe and Scroggins all spoke to the remaining Democrats in the building after newspaper staffers were ejected.

"It was a nice speech," a Cummins supporter told reporters, waiting outside on the sidewalk.

The wins by non-party favorites in Tuesday's primary followed Democratic primary victories by non-insiders Tom Cannon Jr. and Linda Ralu Wolf in 2008 judicial races.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Tea Party 2.0?

Thoughts from Fuzzy Conservative:

The Tea Parties here in Indiana need to begin to work toward phase 2, what I call:

Tea Party 2.0

There are three areas we need to concentrate on:

1. Activism to keep our elected officials honest and on track. Some groups do this very well. They need to go into education mode and teach the other groups the best parts

2. Work on helping the GOP (yes, I said help the GOP) take on the Dems in getting the Indiana House and Indiana Senate back. We're stuck with the candidates we have out of the GOP. Look carefully at some of the uncontested races and see if there is a third party candidate that take on an unchallenged Dem.

3. Go deep into the GOP. We have to take the GOP over from the inside. We have to learn how to win elections. Go to training classes, work for the GOP candidates who have won races before. Learn how to fund raise. Learn how to win. Gain contacts.

While we get our acts together, we need to keep in mind that only our 10th amendment rights will guard our liberties for the next two years. The Senate and the House in DC will only be able to slow the progressive process down until we can get more patriots into seats in DC. The GOP will behave for a while. They want to win in 2012, and they'll need our help.

We need to continue to educate the public about the dangers, educate ourselves about the process - and remove or reallocate Tea Party leaders that still have their heads up their butts about their own self-aggrandizement. Yes, there are a few of those. You can usually find them trying to bully other groups. Ignore them, and relegate them into obscurity.

Tea Party 2.0

Get ready. When it rains, we get tough. And we just rained on by a huge storm. Sound familiar?

A Look at Chris Christie in New Jersey

He's taking no prisoners.

Harrison County Prosecutor Discovers Email

From the Courier-Journal:

Harrison County Prosecutor Dennis Byrd has announced that the public can contact him and members of his staff by e-mail.

All addresses for deputies, investigators, child support and other office staff members are listed under the “contact information” tab on the office’s website.

The website also provides information about the office’s bad-check and infraction-deferral programs and its meth tip line.

Byrd said e-mail contact will allow the public to contact someone on busy days, often when meeting in person isn’t possible.

Dennis Byrd is making all sorts of progress here of late.

He got his office a new website a few weeks ago, because (apparently) the one he already had through wasn't good enough. Another, second website (paid for by additional taxpayer dollars) was necessary.

The cynic in me wonders if perhaps the existing website didn't look as rather interestingly similar to a campaign website as Byrd wanted.

It's amazing what an election year will get a vulnerable incumbent to do, namely all of the things that should have already happened much earlier in the prior seven plus years he was in office.

Now Entering Greece

Now Entering Greece

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Quotes of the Day

“A really great man is known by three signs - generosity in the design, humanity in the execution, moderation in success.”
- Otto von Bismarck

“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in that grey twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.”
- Theodore Roosevelt

Part of being involved in politics is the possibility of losing. There aren’t many people involved in politics for very long that can say they haven’t lost, and those that haven’t can merely qualify the end of that with a "yet."

One of my favorite observations about Indiana politics is that it wouldn't be politics in the Hoosier state (or southern Indiana in particular) if there wasn't blood on the floor. That comes from an article in Time Magazine in 1955 about internal fighting in the Republican Party here in Indiana between moderate Republicans and conservative Republicans:

At the "crossroads of America," as Indianans call their state, political collisions are frequent and violent. Says one veteran U.S. Representative from the Hoosier state, describing conditions back home: "Hell, we play it rough in Indiana. There's always blood on the floor, and the guy whose blood it isn't just happens to be on top—temporarily."

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Muddle

60% of Hoosier Republicans decided that they didn't want Dan Coats.

65% of 9th District Republicans decided that they didn't want Todd Young.

There's no such thing as a run off in Indiana, so they're the GOP nominees.

They've got some fences to mend and some outreach to do.

Similarly, folks that supported someone else (as I did in both cases, particularly vocally in the 9th District case) have to acknowledge that Brad Ellsworth is worse than Dan Coats and Baron Hill is worse than Todd Young.

Primaries are about competition, and competition is on balance healthy, but it has the potential to be destructive and permanently damaging.

Whether these two competitive and spirited primaries are the former or the latter will now depend on the conduct of everyone involved on all sides in the coming days and weeks. The Democrats will not be standing still while this process takes place.

“A Smooth Sea & Stiff Breeze Do Not the Sailor Make”

Closing arguments, via email, from Mike Sodrel:

Why vote for me?

In light of Pastor Miller's sermon last Sunday, that is a great question to answer. He began with Luke 14:11 (NKJV). "For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

Those who seek political office today are expected to tell the voter why they are better than the other candidates. In the early days of our Republic, it was considered bad for a candidate to campaign. The candidate's friends and supporters did the campaigning.

I would like that system. The last person I would like to talk about is me. Take the following as information. The decision is yours. I have been married forty-two years to the former Marquita Dean. We have two children who are married and also seven grandchildren.

I started my own business in 1976 after spending the better part of a decade in the family business. From two employees and three 1949 GMC buses, it now employs over 600 of my fellow citizens.

We survived the first Arab Oil Embargo in the Fall of 1973 while working in the family trucking firm. We managed to get through the spike in retail fuel prices that followed and the insurance crisis in the middle of that decade, too.

We went through a second oil shortage in the late 1970's, immediately into 21.5% prime interest rates, ten percent unemployment, and twelve percent inflation fueled mostly by rises in crude oil prices.

In the mid-1980's we had another liability insurance crisis. We have survived and managed to grow our business by adapting and making the hard choices one must make. It had been said, "A smooth sea and stiff breeze do not the sailor make."

From the Arab Oil Embargo during the 1973 Yom Kippur War to the economic downturn following September 11th, we have had to navigate some rough economic conditions.

I am the only candidate that has started a business and grown it to over 600 employees despite those rough economic times. I am running a campaign based on accomplishment not intentions, based on deeds not promises.

I was the first Republican to win this Congressional seat in forty years and the second in 100 years. We took Baron Hill out once, and we can do it again.

Captain Sully had to make a decision about where to put his crippled airplane down and then do it correctly. He drew on years of experience to accomplish that task. A pilot that was on his first flight as captain might not have fared as well.

America is in the midst of a Constitutional, governmental, and economic storm. We need to restore respect for our Constitution and the rule of law. We need to restore our individual liberty and personal initiative. And, we need to restore our market-based economy.

In order to restore our nation, we need to retake our Congress. I am the only candidate that has won election to this seat. In fact, I am the only living Republican that has held this seat.

With God's help and your support, we will retake this seat and the U.S. House on May 4th. I ask for your vote not for me but for your children and mine.

God Bless,

Today, folks in the 9th District have a choice. They can go with a proven and experienced winner (not just in politics but in business and in life), they can go with a lawyer that started running for Congress as soon as he moved here and has never has no meaningful business or private sector experience, or they can go with a young man who has spent his entire adult life campaigning for something (whether himself, his brother, or someone else; normally you'd call someone like that a career politician or a career political operative).

When the Founding Fathers envisioned those who would represent this country, they didn't envision would-be career politicians or inexperienced political preachers or upstart lawyers or carpetbaggers.

They envisioned citizen legislators, ordinary folks of solid integrity that rose in their community, won the respect of their neighbors, and served in office for the benefit of their fellow citizens and their country.

They envisioned a land where people of modest upbringing or poor circumstances could, with hard work and the advantages of human liberty, rise to become whatever their dreams and their efforts could combine to make them.

They envisioned people like Mike Sodrel.

Washington doesn't need more lawyers. It doesn't need more career politicians. It needs more self-made men, more businessmen, more entrepreneurs, and more folks with good, honest, conservative values and Hoosier common sense.

It needs more people like Mike Sodrel.

Mike's won this district before. And, in November, with our help he'll win it again.

“John Hostettler Will Not Let You Down”

Closing arguments, via email, from the Hostettler campaign:

Tomorrow, you will vote, a right that was given to us by our Founding Fathers and has been preserved for us by the sacrifice of patriots.

This year, that vote matters in a unique way.

It matters because the America that our Founders established is slipping away; and the Constitution is being ignored and trampled upon.

But America is not done yet.

Patriotic citizens are rising up in a way that has not been seen since the days of Ronald Reagan's moral majority, and time-tested, American first principles are back in the public discourse.

We have an opportunity here - in Indiana - to do something monumental.

We have the opportunity to elect a man whose passion for the Constitution is a lifelong one.

We have the opportunity to elect a man of principle who has proven he can go into the lion's den in Washington, DC and come out with his character intact.

We, the people of this great state, actually have the chance to send a Senator to Washington, DC who will do something about the wrong direction our nation has taken, who will be an instant leader in the United State Senate, and will make a difference for our beloved nation.

John Hostettler is a unique phenomenon.

He is the most principled man I have ever known and, much to the chagrin of the DC crowd, he is the most independent political leader I have ever seen.

John cares about one thing - honoring his sacred oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

John's opponents in this election talk the talk, but they can't even begin to walk his walk.

As we watched in utter disbelief the goings-on in Washington these last months - one thing has become clear: a single U.S .Senator can make a difference.

I am Chairman of this campaign for that reason, because I know that John Hostettler will not let me down, he will not let you down, and he will not let the Founders down.

Everyone is talking about restoring our nation to its roots. Well friends, now is your chance.
Tomorrow, you can make a single vote that will change America.

America needs leaders who are willing to buck the crowd and to fight for what is right, not, necessarily, what is popular.

I know John will do that because he has already done it...often.

John deserves our respect, our support and our vote.

Tomorrow, make a vote you can count on.

Vote John Hostettler.

God Bless You, and May God Bless America


Carl Little

John Hostettler for U.S. Senate

I like Marlin Stutzman a lot, but I'll be voting for John Hostettler when I cast my ballot. Don Bates and Richard Behney, while nice guys (the latter also being sometimes quirky), don't have a chance of stopping Dan Coats. And neither, unfortunately in the final analysis, does Marlin Stutzman. Marlin has a great future ahead of him. He'll be a great Member of Congress or a great United States Senator someday. That day just isn't today.

The question at hand is to pick the most conservative candidate that can win in the fall. Dan Coats, while he can win, is not the most conservative candidate that can win in the fall. That distinction goes to John Hostettler and is shared with Marlin Stutzman.

But polling has consistently shown Stutzman behind Hostettler. I waited to the last moment to see if things would break one way or the other, and there is no indication (despite prominent endorsements for Stutzman) that they have done so.

If Dan Coats is to be stopped, if the Republican candidate is to be someone who stayed true to Indiana after going to Washington and not someone that became one of the Beltway class after leaving office, then the only person to vote for is John Hostettler.

And I might not always agree with John Hostettler, but I will always know where he stands and he will stand in the same place tomorrow that he stood today, and the same place he is standing today will be where he stood yesterday. I'm just not convinced that you can say that about Dan Coats.

And so I'll be voting for John Hostettler when I go into the voting booth.

Election-Eve Phone Calls by Coats & Young

Interesting post on another blog:

I just don’t understand politicians and political campaigns.

Today – on the even of the primary election – I received three calls from Dan Coats for senator in Indiana. I answered each one, and listened to the first two just so I knew what they said.

Nothing much, but he sounds like the second coming of all senators!

On the third one I couldn’t resist. I told the man on the other end of the phone – I actually asked if he was there because it sounded like a recording – that he was the third person from the campaign to call today, and if Coats’ campaign is no better organized than this, then I would not vote for him.

The next political call came for Todd Young, a candidate for Congress. Not familiar with the name, so I asked the women who called what district he’s running for. She said they didn’t provide that information. I asked her how can she call and ask for a vote if she doesn’t even know which district he’s running in. She hung up.

Not sure who I’m going to vote for, but it probably won’t be one of these.

When you hire people to make GOTV phone calls for you, they should at least be polite and be able to answer simple questions about the race that voters might ask.

Dobson's Bad Senate Endorsement

From RedState:

Last week, Trey Grayson made much to do over James Dobson endorsing him and not Rand Paul due to Paul’s pro-choice views.

Except Paul is pro-life. Very pro-life.

And today James Dobson is saying he “made a mistake” and “was mislead.” Dobson says he has gotten more information and is now convinced Paul is pro-life and Dobson was in error in endorsing Trey Grayson.

Dobson holds himself up as a man of integrity willing to admit when he made a mistake. He’s doing it today over his endorsement of Trey Grayson and that’s only going to hurt Grayson.

Yep, Dobson is retracting his endorsement of Grayson and is now on the Rand Paul team.

KEY TAKE AWAY: James Dobson says he was “misled” and “Senior Republican leaders” told him Rand Paul is pro-choice. Exactly which members of the Republican leadership lied to James Dobson?

A better question might be where else have they lied to James Dobson?

Dobson endorsed Dan Coats recently, and that was despite Coats' record of voting for liberal pro-abortion judges. It was also despite the fact that the primary contains multiple candidates with more substantive pro-life records than Dan Coats.

So if James Dobson was misled by "senior Republican leaders" on his endorsement in the Kentucky Senate race, might he have been similarly misled on his endorsement in the Senate race here in Indiana?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Hoosierpundit Straw Poll Results

Archived, so that I can take the poll down.

Don Bates
13 (2%)

Richard Behney
82 (13%)

Dan Coats
60 (10%)

John Hostettler
232 (39%)

Marlin Stutzman
181 (30%)

None of the Above, I'm a Democrat
11 (1%)

None of the Above, I Don't Like Any of Them
10 (1%)

Votes cast: 589

Democrats Try to Clean Up Wall Street

Democrats Try to Clean Up Wall Street

Sea of Economic Ignorance

Sea of Economic Ignorance

Interesting Questions about Travis Hankins

Without the wonders of Google Alerts, I would have never come across this interesting post and the questions it raises (which, I think, deserve answers):

Something's Fishy in Indiana's CD 9!

Let’s begin with some quotes from Travis Hankins’ web site. As people say, his story is compelling.

“I was raised by the government from an early age, starting in day care and working my way through the government school system.”

“Many of my close friends and peers came from the same poor, broken family background that I did. Our government schooling, with help from the movies we watched and the music we listened to, shaped our values of moral relativism and situational ethics. There were no moral absolutes. There was no such thing as right and wrong, only what we thought was right in our own eyes.”

“Government continued its strong presence in my life as I became the first in my family to attend college. The only way I was able to attend Indiana University was through a federal government program that financially assists first-generation, low-income students. This government program solidified my view that help from the government was the only way I could succeed in life and that I was entitled to help due to my circumstances. I was also an influential student leader on campus. My influence and my advice, which I thought was right at the time, led many students down the wrong path. I led students to believe in the same ideas that I strongly held. I felt that America was an oppressive empire, that our nation's military was imperialist, that capitalism was nothing but greed and that Ronald Reagan was the worst President ever. I saw marriage and family as something to escape rather than embrace, abortion as an acceptable choice of convenience, and that government was the answer to every problem.“

“Looking back, I lacked motivation to accomplish anything I had to work for and I was making zero preparations to become independent and self reliant. My only plan was to be "happy" and take what the government gave me.”

Fast forward six short years. Travis has become a Christian. He has gone to Bible School, Washington D.C., and to several states campaigning for Mike Pence for President. I am truly happy for him, but where do we get the information about getting the “motivation to accomplish anything I had to work for and I was making zero preparations to become independent and self reliant”? His first job, appears to be “real estate investor” in 2005. That apparently has provided the necessary independence to become self-reliant. At least it has provided time to go all over the country in order to compare himself with Ronald Reagan and Mike Pence. His is a great story of finding God and escaping his life-long enchantment with socialism. To then ask to be our United States Representative, excuse me, I want to know more, and this young guy has some audacity to think that no experience of any kind in the last 5 or 6 years is enough to be elected to such an important office.

Travis Hankin's biography page on his campaign website states: “In 2005, he established Hankins Properties and owns properties in locations including beautiful Branson, Missouri and sunny South Carolina.There is no record of a business registered in Indiana under Hankins properties. There are businesses in Missouri and South Carolina that have “Hankins” in the name, but none are owned or have a resident agent of Travis or Aaron Hankins.

Source. Also, see MO and SC SOS websites.

Travis states he “owns property in Branson, MO”; however, the only property in Branson, MO is a single two bedroom condo owned solely by Aaron Hankins, his twin brother.

Here’s a picture of it.

One easily finds rental ads for this condo with Chris Denney listed as sole contact for renting out Aaron’s property in Branson, MO.

Oddly, Chris Denney is also involved in the Travis campaign, notably as owner of Travis’s political websites.

Also notable is the address given for the campaign headquarters as 1824 Central Ave, Columbus, Indiana 47201. This is the address of Aaron Hankins. Aaron Hankins also began a campaign for congress in the same district as Travis in 2007.

Sources: [link and link]

Aaron Hankins and Travis live at the same address in Columbus, IN. Apparently, Travis is still not self-sufficient, and while living off of other people's funds he's asking the good people of Indiana to send him to WASHINGTON to live off tax-payer money?!

It is illegal to use campaign contributions for living expenses. I do not see how Travis Hankins is generating personal income through "Real Estate". If this is legitimate, Hankin's campaign needs to explain the complete lack of documentation proving his actual income.

There are regular “Free Will Offerings” taken up at his various appearances. He does not seem to track this money and he may be causing churches and other Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3) organizations to put their exempt status at risk, since political contributions, or even hosting and supporting candidates for public office are not appropriate activities for public charities.

People have shared how Travis has visited their church, explaining how difficult his life has been, telling of his conversion and his being the only Christian conservative running for this office (9th District- which is utterly untrue). Claims he is disrespected by the media, and can’t get invited to the debates, and he won’t take tainted contributions from the corporations and lobbyists. People (especially the middle-aged women) feel sorry for this nice young Christian boy and they give him money.

There is much more, and some research needs to be done on his campaign spending. I would assume that he should have disclosed his personal financial statements (or something similar), which would provide insight into what he owns, what he makes and whether he is self-sufficient. If not, how is he paying to live? Does he have any other job? Has he ever had more than temporary employment? How did he (or Aaron) buy a condo in Missouri, if neither had ever worked through the age of 22 or 23 (roughly the year that Travis established Hankins Properties (apparently a non-existent entity with property his brother owns, which does not make enough money to make a decent living for one person (whichever of the identical twins it belongs to)?

A word of caution fellow Hoosiers...there's something fishy going on in District 9!

All of that's interesting in and of itself (and there are a lot of questionable expenditures for day-to-day style living expenses in Hankins' prior campaign finance reports that could certainly add to such questions).

But it was one of the comments to the post by a defender of Hankins that really caught my eye:

HD said...
Nice try.

Well Travis' Foxpointe Branson condo easily can generate a profit of $30,000-$40,000 a year.That does not even include his South Carolina units.

People make lots of money renting their Foxpointe units. Branson is a vacation hot spot. Travis is a real smart real estate investor.

Now where have I seen a web address like that before?

That's right.

It happens to be the exact same address that Hankins used in his recent weird campaign blog post in which he talked about condos and hotel prices in Branson, Missouri.

And, mystery of mysteries, that post has since been scrubbed from Hankin's campaign blog.

No wonder it was scrubbed; it apparently includes a link to a website where people can go to rent his brother's condo in Branson.

So Hankins was not only campaigning for condos in Branson, Missouri. He was linking to a website where people could go to rent his brother's condo in particular.

There's something questionable and certainly off-putting about all of that, and there are lots of unusual coincidences here.

Curiouser and curiouser.