Tuesday, June 30, 2009
It is an incredible book. I had briefly thought about doing a series of articles about "What It Means To Be Conservative." Levin puts anything I was thinking of writing to shame, and quickly. This is a book that I find myself underling passages, writing notes in the margins, and re-reading over and over again. Levin's analytical mind and quick wit are razor-sharp, and finely honed into a tool of mass destruction of liberal foolishness.
Consider this excerpt from one of the first pages of Levin's book:
Have you ever seen Conservatism framed so ably and aptly, not to mention succinctly? Levin does this type of pockethole categorization nimbly and deftly, with the greatest of ease.
If you consider yourself conservative, this is a book you MUST have, and soon. It not only defines a conservative's views on a virety of issues, it contrasts with Liberals views and why (which Levin defines as "Statists" -- those who worship at the altar of the all-powerful State) and defines how we can, and must respond to Liberals arguments.
You will actually cheer reading this book -- it's that good. (I had to stop taking it to work because I was disturbing patients reading it.)
Most Highly Recommended!
Previously, in "The Conservative Papers":
Part I is “Dr. Thomas Sowell Explains The Stimulus – Briefly”
Part II is “TCOT and Tea Party Coalitions Present ‘Bill Of Federalism’ to Convene Constitutional Convention”
Part III is “Why am I a friend of Israel?”
Part IV is “Dick Morris Gets It Right; It’s The Conservatism, Stupid!”
Part V is “How to Defeat Saul Alinsky’s ‘Rules For Radicals’”
Part One is HERE and This is Part Two.
Part VI is from American Thinker: “How to Deprogram a Liberal in One Year Or Less.”
Monday, June 29, 2009
When the state stumbles, its sheer size — 38.3 million people — creates fallout for businesses from Texas to Michigan."
This is from the AP, and I have some problems with the many innuendos of the article. The article suggests that California needs to be bailed out and that if California goes under, the rest of the US economy will as well. This simply isn't true.
While I'm not going to argue statistics and predictions in the amount of jobs that would be lost, I will say this: businesses and states alike HAVE to fail when they are being run inadequately or at a loss in order to ENSURE that the bad business/government practices don't spread like cancer into the rest of the economy/states. Let me put it this way. A couple of friends of my wife moved there a year ago(to California), and left a message to my wife saying they love it there because it's just so darn liberal. Hmm... it's interesting, isn't it? Liberal states are looking at raising taxes and fleecing the workers to give to the looters, to borrow Ayn Rands' phrases, while conservative states are typically in the black or at least much better off. Correlations? I think so.
The article goes on, '"California is the key catalyst for U.S. retail sales, and if California falls further you will see the U.S. economy suffer significantly," said retail consultant Burt P. Flickinger, managing director of Strategic Resource Group. He warned of more bankruptcies of national retail chains and brand suppliers.'
This statement is only partially true. The rest of the U.S. economy WOULD get some hammering, but once again, this IS A GOOD THING. Sound business practices would take over where restrictions and meddling with the markets have failed us, time and time and time again. SOMEBODY would step in and buy up these businesses (if the government would ALLOW them to). The only problem is that now-a-days if you are a successful business man who follows the rules and runs the business like a business and not a kindergarten class, you become a villainous heartless sleazebag trying to screw the poor. But in that same vilification, in that very same breathe, that person (probably a liberal, but who knows) would be talking about how the economy needs to be fixed because people are losing their jobs. You can't have it both ways. You need the "rich capitalist pigs" to give out jobs. Its not class warfare, its not pseudo-slavery, its the way things work. Too often common sense gets over looked in favor of bleeding heart welfare.
I went a little off track, but I think I got my point across. LET CALIFORNIA GO BANKRUPT! DON'T MAKE THE REST OF US SUFFER BECAUSE OF ONE STATES STUPIDITY! While the government passes cap and trade, universal health care, a possible third stimulus package, hell, even LIGHT BULB regulations, the businessmen that literally carry the worlds economy on their shoulders are looking at one another and wondering: Is it worth it? What exactly WOULD happen if the Atlas' shrugged? I shudder to think. I've said it before, I've agreed with Rush Limbaugh when he said it, I hope all of this fails. I hope that people get tired of the bail outs and over-regulation from both parties (often so called conservatives have passed more regulatory bills in the past than liberals have) I will be speaking at two Tea Parties, one on July 4th in Valpo and the other July 18th in LaPorte, and this is just a prelude. I encourage everyone on here to make it to at least one of these Tea Parties and tell our government to stop this irresponsible meddling.
Oh yeah, once again, the point of the post: LET CALIFORNIA GO BANKRUPT.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
INDIANAPOLIS -- Gov. Mitch Daniels warned Friday that all nonessential government functions -- including casinos, the lottery, Bureau of Motor Vehicles and state parks -- will close at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday if state legislators can't agree on a budget by the June 30 deadline.
Daniels' remarks came in response to comments made the day before by House Speaker B. Patrick Bauer that the special session might not end by Tuesday, and could, in fact, go beyond July 21. The Democratic-led House and Republican-led Senate have been at odds over key items in the budget, including education, Indianapolis' Capital Improvement Board, which oversees the city's sports and convention venues, and gambling.
And there's the nut of the problem right there. Speaker Bauer has a royal mad-on with Governor Daniels, in particular about Daniels' rejection of the Stimulus Funding, and isn't about to compromise with someone he thinks is making him look bad.
Plus Bauer hasn't had an original idea in years . . .
Daniels said since the legislature has not approved a budget, and the House has not voted on a contingency plan already approved by the Senate that would allow bills to be paid until a new budget is approved, he would have to go to what he called "Plan C." He said only emergency services and agencies such as state police, Department of Correction facilities and Department of Natural Resources conservation officers would continue to operate.
Also continuing to operate would be state schools, prisons, and mental hospitals. Unemployment benefits, welfare and child support payments would continue for those already eligible.
However, most other state functions would cease to operate and government employees would be furloughed. Road construction would stop, no tuition payments would be made to schools and no financial aid given to college students. BMV branches and state parks would close, as would casinos and horse tracks, which are required to have state regulators on site at all times.
And when the State parks, the casinos, and the Horse tracks close down in the heart of summer, how long until the voters start screaming?
Daniels pointed the finger at House Democrats, who he said are stonewalling the process.
"The Senate is ready, the House Republicans are ready, and I'm ready to finish and go home. We are waiting only on the House Democratic leadership, which hasn't budged an inch, and has wasted a lot of time and taxpayer money this week," he said.
Jack Ross, executive director of the independent Legislative Services Agency, said the state has not been in a similar situation since 1887, although it narrowly avoided one in 1993, when it passed a budget just five minutes before deadline.
For Boyd Gaming and Harrah's Entertainment, both based in Las Vegas, this would be the second time in three years that a legislative impasse would force the closure of one of their casinos. Boyd's Borgata and Harrah's casino both took financial hits when New Jersey shut down all nonessential government agencies in July 2006.
And here's what should be terrifying Bauer; all the casinos in Indiana by statute are Casino Boats. You piss them off, they'll sail off to Illinois or Ohio -- and they're in no mood to lose money. How many jobs will be lost if the casinos weigh anchor for more friendly climes?
The Senate passed a two-year budget that spends $28.5 billion over 2010 and 2011 and retains $1.225 billion in reserves, as requested by Gov. Daniels. It includes $1 billion in federal economic stimulus money. The House passed a one-year budget that spends $13.8 billion with no stimulus money included. It leaves a $1.25 billion surplus, according to Crawford
Sounds like somebody's in desperate need of a conference committee. Also sounds like Governor Daniels needs to get the word out -- but fast!
Go, Mitch, Go!
Two starkly different state budgets have been proposed in the current special session of the General Assembly - a two-year budget by the Indiana Senate under the leadership of President Protempore David Long that follows the guidelines of Governor Mitch Daniels, and one-year budget by the Indiana House as directed by Speaker B. Patrick Bauer. A spreadsheet analysis of each budget can be found online at http://www.finplaneducation.net/senatehouse_ssb_0911.htm.
(from Hammond Tax Payers)
The biggest problem I see is that very very few Hoosiers care. They figure this is just more political in-fighting and don't pick up the phones or email their representatives.
Friday, June 26, 2009
I thought I'd offer what few thoughts I have of the guy who grew up (almost) next door to me.
Michael and his brothers grew up in Gary Indiana, which is about ten to fifteen miles as the crow flies from where I grew up in Valparaiso. The two cities are literally night and day. Valparaiso was then a lily-white farmer's county seat in Porter County; Gary was (and still is) an urban blight-ridden decaying city in union territory, sitting at the feet of the U.S. Steel mill in Lake County.
So you can imagine our surprise when the band at our winter dance in 7th grade was the Jackson Five from Gary IN. The jacksons at that time were still working the "chitlin circuit" up and down U.S. 20 between Gary and portage, and they would frequently turn up at anything from strip shows (as the musical accompaniment) to VFW dances and . . . school dances, in our case.
"Good Lord -- those boys are negroes!"
But then they started playing, and frontman Michael started singing with that incredible voice of his; and when the band started their moves, we were awestruck. It was right around that time their first Motown hit came out, and I pointed this out to my friends at school, who adamantly refused to believe they were the same group.
I still have my yearbook from Ben Franklin Junior High with the Christmas dance poster in it. It clearly says "The Jackson Five" on it.
Michael was a poor kid from a poor town with little opportunity. His Dad Joe was a crane operator in the steel mill who was a frustrated, failed musician who was living vicariously through his kids. Joe drilled those kids over and over and over and over again in their music and their dance routines until they could do them in their sleep. And if they couldn't Joe beat those routines into them -- literally. he beat them bloody many times.
So if you wonder why Michael had all the plastic surgery and looked so weird, maybe he just didn't want to see the face in the mirror that had disappointed his father -- and earned him so many beatings -- for so many years.
You'll never hear this song again without thinking of that kid in the mirror:
And for the record; I still to this day don't believe Michael molested any kids. He may have been trying to live his childhood through others, but molesting? Sorry, I don't see any of the signs or telltale clues. I don't think it happened.
And Michael was six months younger than me; so this is kind of freaking me out.
Friday, June 19, 2009
No, I know some of our readers are anti-tax and anti-regionalism as well. So I won't spend a lot of time discussing the merits of regionalism or RDA or even NRPC. But I will comment that this is the first time we see Portage's Mayor aligning with her party since the ill-fated "Murphy Plan" last year. She was aligned with Mayor Costas in support of staying in the RDA, but now votes to shoot down bus purchases for Valparaiso.
A good political move for Olga?
The start of her re-election campaign, and trying to get the RDA off her back?
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Boone Grove, in Porter Township here in Porter County, featured a landslide against the referendum of 74 percent "against" raising property taxes to build facilities. I found it a little odd that in the face of a large referendum for his school system Superintendent Nick Brown was out of town. He either knew the referendum was dead, or is already searching for another job.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Here's the article from the Post if you need a refresher
My guess? 60-40 against and the school system will need to move into phase two options for easing the over-crowding. Although I might point out that with little or no new construction the least two years, even the projected over crowding may be overstated.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Now, lets take a step back here a moment and analyze this whole confrontation piece by piece. Letterman is a comedian and tells what he considers to be jokes. His writers obviously messed up the daughters, and he should have been more sincere in his apology (he apologized, but basically made it into a joke). I don't blame Palin, since she has come under attack repeatedly when she is now not a major player. The election is over, people. Lay off her freakin' family. If I was her, and somebody was saying those things about my daughter, I'd do a lot more than give a strong public statement. I'd cuss him out dare him to have me on his show....but that's just me, I guess.
Now, the problem that I have is this: executives at CBS are talking seriously about pulling Letterman. As a conservative pundit (however minuscule a role I may play) I will/am condemning this action, and I hope to start hearing from more famous (much, much, much more famous) talking heads doing the same. Otherwise my interest in them will die very quickly. Especially when they were all complaining (rightfully) about the Fairness Doctrine. What does that show the people listening/watching those shows? They all talk about a double standard with the media, and I agree with that: now I surely hope that they don't do the same. Otherwise they WILL lose my ratings.
It's too early to tell where federal investigators will take their probe of U.S. Rep. Peter Visclosky and his top campaign donor, The PMA Group, but the congressman has already cut off at least 20 private, for-profit companies from his political clout.
Those companies, whose employees and political action committees donated at least $684,000 to Visclosky's campaigns, landed about $45.3 million in congressional earmarks secured by the congressman in fiscal years 2008 and 2009, records show.
Visclosky pledged earlier this year not to seek further earmarks cash for for-profit ventures. He made the promise after news broke of an FBI raid at the offices of The PMA Group. The defunct Virginia lobbying firm's employees gave at least $290,500 to Visclosky's campaigns and political action committee, and Visclosky's congressional and campaign offices have been subpoenaed.
Nearly three-quarters of the for-profit companies that accepted earmarks money from Visclosky in 2008 and 2009 had ties to PMA. Still others on that list are smaller ventures based in Northwest Indiana with no connection to the firm.
Steve Ellis, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, said the Merrillville Democrat is moving in the right direction by cutting off private companies from his earmarks wish-list. "Congressman Visclosky appears to be recognizing the gravity of the situation," Ellis said.
Most of the companies that landed earmarks dollars from Visclosky in 2008 and 2009 didn't return calls from the Post-Tribune.
Seven have offices in Indiana, and five of those appear on a list of former PMA clients. The rest are spread out across the country, from Kingstown, R.I., to San Diego, Calif. Their specialties range from military vehicles to cybersecurity to vaccine development to nuclear energy.
No company took in more earmarks money from Visclosky in 2008 and 2009, records show, than NuVant Systems, which accepted $4.9 million. Advanced Concepts and Technologies International LLC, and 21st Century Systems Inc., each took in $4.4 million from defense spending bills. All three have worked with PMA, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Records show the money accepted by Texas-based Advanced Concepts, a military management firm, was meant for a "photo catalytic oxidation demonstration for water reuse."
NuVant's money was meant for a "direct methanol fuel cell - battery recharger program," according to the records. The cash for 21st Century Systems, which specializes in computer data systems, was used for "intelligent distributed command and control."
Sierra Nevada Corp., which now lists a location in Fort Wayne, once had offices at the Purdue complex. Sierra collected $2 million in defense spending in 2008 for "U.S. Army Future Force ELINT." The firm specializes in "providing high technology electronics, avionics and communications systems," according to its Web site.
Ritvo added that Visclosky's key committee assignments also mean he must sometimes decide to fund projects that are in the best interest of the entire nation.
"The ultimate deciding factor is whether it's the right thing to do," Ritvo said.
And the calls continue to accumulate that the "right thing to do" would be to resign his committee chairmanship until this matter is resolved.
Not that Viscolsky's doing THAT, either. talking and doing are so frequently two different things in Washington. however, it will be interesting to see what the voters of Lake County think in 2010.
(Cross Posted at Alamo City Pundit)
Sunday, June 14, 2009
The attached (PDF) article is a 35+ page academic analysis and critique of Jon Costas and his administration's performance during his first term as Mayor of Valparaiso, IN. This work was produced by one of my good friends at Valparaiso University, Political Science Professor, James Old (with Alan Bloom). I believe this piece gives us a strong understanding of what Valparaiso was, is, and will be tomorrow.
My reasoning for posting this blog is to boldly answer concerns of Valparaiso residents who deem Costas' change (development) bad for the long term viability of the community. My post also goes out to challenge those who believe that Valpo's urban renewal plan will cause a large migration of unwanted residents (deemed "those people") to the community.
I copied the abstract and introduction to the article below. Please read the entire piece and comment.
The South Shore Journal, Vol. 2, 2007, pp.30-68.
“Reconstructing the Vale of Paradise:
A Return to the City Beautiful Movement”
Alan Bloom and James Paul Old
Abstract: Since the election of Jon Costas as mayor of Valparaiso, Indiana in November
2003, his administration has embarked on an urban renewal program that fits—for better
and for worse—squarely in the tradition of the City Beautiful movement of the early
twentieth century. Like earlier proponents of the City Beautiful movement, the Costas
administration has implemented urban renewal policies that have emphasized commercial
development, beautification, civic culture, efficiency, and health and fitness. The
administration’s plans include some initial successes, particularly its efforts to use civic
institutions to revitalize rundown sections of the city; however, the city’s policies also
share some of the drawbacks of the City Beautiful movement, by emphasizing the
benefits of upscale commercial development while overlooking the housing needs of
lower-middle class and poor residents of the community.
Reconstructing the Vale of Paradise:
A Return to the City Beautiful Movement
Valparaiso is an affluent and growing community of around 27,000 residents
located in Northwest Indiana. While the economy of Northwest Indiana historically has
been dominated by steel mills and other manufacturing industries, Valparaiso has had a
somewhat more diverse economy. The city has more “white-collar” jobs to offer than
most other cities in the region, partly due to the presence of Valparaiso University and
numerous medical facilities, such as Porter hospital, in the city. In recent years, the city
and surrounding Porter County have experienced a strong wave of residential and
commercial development. The city government has responded to these trends, especially
since the election of Jon Costas as mayor in November 2003. The city has taken
advantage of this period of growth by annexing new residential developments and
attracting new business to the city; however, it also has embarked on an urban renewal
program to revitalize and beautify its existing commercial districts and to enhance public
space within the city.
The best way to understand the Costas administration’s notion of urban renewal is
that it fits—for better and for worse—squarely in the tradition of the City Beautiful
movement of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.1 By way of temperament
and policies, Costas is a neo-progressive Republican who believes that government can
and should improve communities by helping to re-shape their physical environments so
that they are ennobling, and thus, like his predecessors in the City Beautiful movement,
he has begun to implement urban renewal policies that have emphasized commercial
redevelopment, efficiency, beautification, the central importance of civic culture, and
health and fitness. Yet, the Costas administration’s policies are vulnerable to the same
sorts of criticisms voiced by detractors of the City Beautiful Movement: the approach to
city planning is excessively top-down, commercial interests are given more attention than
those of lower-income residents, and the policies cater narrowly to the lifestyles of higher
income, “upscale” residents to the exclusion of others who live in the city. To be sure, the
administration, which is much more concerned with practical outcomes than with theory,
has not self-consciously followed either this earlier model of city planning or any more
recent model. In particular, the administration’s policies are not consistent with the ideals
of recent urban planning models, such as New Urbanism and New Pedestrianism, which
try to blend residential and commercial space and to address environmental issues
induced by urban sprawl.2 Ultimately, both the successes and the missed opportunities of
Valparaiso’s renewal policies demonstrate that the city’s approach is securely in the City
Beautiful tradition. The greatest strength of Valparaiso’s plan for urban renewal is its
emphasis on the role of civic institutions. Indeed, each area slated for urban renewal will
be anchored by a specific major civic institution in the city, an approach which will
enhance the possibilities for both greater economic prosperity and an increased sense of
community. The primary weakness of the administration’s approach to urban renewal is
that, ultimately, it is too narrow. As with earlier City Beautiful efforts, Valparaiso’s
leadership has focused primarily on improvements in the physical environment that will
aid the more affluent members of its community. Unfortunately—again in the City
Beautiful tradition—while the administration successfully has reached out to commercial
and civic leaders to develop a plan for commercial beautification, it has failed to address
the pressing housing needs of lower-middle class and poor residents of the community.
Vale of Paradise Report
Saturday, June 13, 2009
daltonsbriefs international affairs - Iranian Revolt underway?
Monday, June 08, 2009
WASHINGTON (AP) - Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Monday delayed Chrysler's sale of most of its assets to a group led by Italy's Fiat, but didn't say how long the deal will remain on hold. Ginsburg said in an order that the sale is "stayed pending further order," indicating that the delay may only be temporary.
Chrysler LLC has said the sale must close by June 15, or Fiat Group SpA has the option to walk away, leaving the Auburn Hills, Mich., automaker with little option but to liquidate.
oh, Waaah, Waaah, Waaaah. Sound like the same line of crap they tried to sell us on the Stimulus Bill. "Don't read it -- just hurry up and sign the thing!!!
A federal appeals court in New York approved the sale Friday but gave opponents until 4 p.m. EDT Monday to try to get the Supreme Court to intervene. Ginsburg issued her order right before the deadline. Ginsburg could decide on her own whether to end the delay, or she could ask the full court to decide. It is unclear when she or the court will act.
Chrysler said it had no comment until it receives further information from the court. Chrysler claims the agreement with Fiat is the best deal it can get for its assets and is critical to the company's plan to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
But a trio of Indiana state pension and construction funds, which hold a small part of Chrysler's debt, have been fighting the sale, claiming that it unfairly favors Chrysler's unsecured stakeholders ahead of secured debtholders like themselves.
As part of Chrysler's restructuring plan, the automaker's secured debtholders will receive $2 billion, or about 29 cents on the dollar, for their combined $6.9 billion in debt. The Indiana funds bought their $42.5 million in debt in July 2008 for 43 cents on the dollar.
The funds also are challenging the constitutionality of the Treasury Department's use of money from the Troubled Asset Relief Program to supply Chrysler's bankruptcy protection financing. They say the government did so without congressional authority.
Daniels has been very vocal in his denunciations of the Courts bypassing the secured debtholders (i.e., the Indiana State Pensions Funds) in favor of the unions and others. The Pension funds stand to lose as much as half of their investment if the courts approve the original Obama Plan.
Judge Andrew Napolitano on the Glenn Beck Program just predicted that not only would the Supreme Court rule aginst the Bankruptcy courts, but that the Constitution would be upheld -- which could be the beginning of the end of the Obama administration as we know it.
It was snowing hard when the bank called Nick Popovich. They needed to grab a Gulfstream in South Carolina now. Not tomorrow. Tonight.
All commercial and private planes were grounded, but Nick Popovich wasn't one to turn down a job. So he waited for the storm to clear long enough to charter a Hawker jet from Chicago into South Carolina. There was just one detail: No one had told Popovich about the heavily armed white supremacist militia that would be guarding the aircraft when he arrived.
But then again, no one had told the militia about Popovich, a brawny and intimidating man who has been jailed and shot at and has faced down more angry men than a prison warden. When Popovich and two of his colleagues arrived that evening at a South Carolina airfield, they were met by a bunch of nasty-looking thugs with cocked shotguns. "They had someone in the parking lot with binoculars," Popovich says, recalling the incident. "When we went to grab the plane, one of them came out with his weapon drawn and tells us we better get out of there." Undeterred, Popovich continued toward the plane until he felt a gun resting on his temple.
"You move another inch and I'll blow your fucking head off," the gravel-and-nicotine voice told Popovich.
"Well, you better go ahead and shoot, 'cause I'm grabbing that plane."
A shot was discharged in the air.
The gravel-and-nicotine voice again. "I'm not kidding."
"Then do it already." Popovich's first rule of firearms is pretty simple: The man who tells you he's going to shoot you will not shoot you. So without so much as looking back, he got on the plane and flew it right to Chicago. "My job is to grab that plane," Popovich says. "And if you haven't paid for it, then it's mine. And I don't like to lose."
Nick Popovich is a repo man, but not the kind that spirits away Hyundais from suburban driveways. Popovich is a super repo man, one of a handful of specialists who get the call when a bank wants back its Gulfstream II jet from, say, a small army of neo-Nazi freaks.
For the past three decades, Popovich has been one of a secret tribe of big game hunters who specialize in stealing jets from the jungle hideouts of corrupt landowners in Colombia, Mexico and Brazil and swiping go-fast boats from Wall Street titans in Miami and East Hampton. Super repos have been known to hire swat teams, hijack supertankers and fly off with eastern bloc military helicopters. For a cut of the overall value, they'll repossess anything.
But Popovich is the most renowned of them all -- the Ernest Hemingway of super repo men. "Nick is the best of the best," says Doug Lipke, head of the bankruptcy group for the law firm Vedder Price, who has called Popovich on numerous occasions to retrieve jumbo jets from fat cats with thinning balance sheets. One time, Lipke needed a plane repo-ed from Michigan and flown to Chicago. "All the electrical went out on the plane and Nick was flying at night," he says. "He flew that plane back with zero electricity -- no lights, nothing. There aren't many guys that would be able to do that."
Cross Posted At Alamo City Pundit
Saturday, June 06, 2009
Friday, June 05, 2009
Howey points to
Doug Ross, Times of Northwest Indiana: Indiana’s property tax system reminds me of the scene in “The Wizard of Oz” where Dorothy pours water on the Wicked Witch of the West as the witch shrieks, “I’m melting!” What’s left is just a puddle. Local government is in meltdown, and the solution doesn’t seem to be forthcoming. The signs of trouble are clear: Porter County’s auditor said Tuesday he wants to stick with a software firm blamed for much of the delays in getting property tax bills out on time, further holding up the process of getting bills out. Chesterton’s bond rating has been downgraded because of late property tax collections. Munster’s Town Council has started a property tax revolt of its own, asking fellow municipalities in Lake County to complain about the high cost (through borrowing money) of slow property tax collections. Valparaiso has gone begging at Valparaiso University, hoping for another handout to help fund the purchase of firefighting equipment. Merrillville is about $350,000 behind on its NIPSCO bill. Winfield Town Council President Jim Hicks has begun writing Gov. Mitch Daniels every month to ask him to come to the small town to talk about its financial situation. LaPorte County hasn’t even sent out property tax bills that should have gone out more than a year ago. How is the government supposed to keep operating when it doesn’t collect the money it needs? This is a system in crisis. That’s shameful.
Doug, here's what you're not saying. The state offered $400 million in savings in reorganizing government that was shot down. The state capped property taxes, and local governments found ways to increase fees and waste 14 months of time they should have used getting tax bills out. LaPorte is a mess because the assessor doesn't want to follow the law on market values.
Thursday, June 04, 2009
I’ll start the conversation here, and then round robin to some of our other great conservative sites in the state. Of course you're welcome to engage the same topic on twitter as well (@daltonsbriefs)
I believe that Dan Dumezich should re-think his options and run instead against Pete Visclosky for the first district seat.
- Dan can raise money, both inside and outside the district
- Dan has a strong and well known name in the district and has recently put old turf wars with current Lake County GOP chair behind them
- Pete is as weak as he’s going to be, with PMA lobbying money scandal and having to remove himself from position of earmark power
- The voters in the first district are getting pretty sick of calls for increased taxes to bail out Gary and the northern Lake County communities.
- If Dan wins, we pick up a seat no one thought would ever go R. If he loses by 4-5 points, he is the logical successor to Senator Lugar who will I’m sure soon retire.
I’ll let you the readers tell me I’m all wet, that’s fine, since that’s the primary goal of this site and other similar ones. But, before you cry ‘impossible’ think carefully about the possibilities. Who else can knock off Pete?
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
- Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels (R) hammered the Obama administration Wednesday for failing to rein in terrifying federal deficits.
Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels (R) hammered the Obama administrationWednesday for failing to rein in “terrifying” federal deficits.
“We’re all stunned and concerned by what I’ve come to think of as the shock and awe statism that we’ve experienced just really within the last few months,” Daniels said at a Washington symposium hosted by the Bradley Center for Philanthropy and Civic Renewal. “As I see it, there’s what one might call an audacious endeavor to overwhelm the defenses of freedom and free institutions before they have a chance to regroup and organize themselves.”
Daniels’ 2008 reelection victory over former Rep. Jill Long Thompson (D) was one of few bright spots for the GOP last November. Prior to winning the first of his two terms as governor in 2004, Daniels served as director of the Office of Management and Budget
Successful GOP candidates must go beyond saying no to Democratic proposals and instead offer alternative policy solutions of their own, he said.
“In our state we are, as I always define it, the party of purpose,” Daniels said. “We try to never be without an idea on the table, we try to never be without a major change underway.”
To succeed, Daniels said, conservatives should move past partisan labels and avoid falling back on ideological justifications for policy. Rather, lawmakers should look for pragmatic solutions to everyday problems, and trust that voters’ best interests align with conservative philosophy
“I don’t use the ‘D’ and the ‘R’ word. I don’t use the ‘L’ and the ‘C’ word,” Daniels said. “I don’t talk about liberals and conservatives. An idea or would-be movement is only as good as the answers and, potentially, the results that it produces.”
The Indiana governor quashed speculation that he is mulling a run for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, saying he would follow a pledge made in his final campaign ad of 2008, where he promised he would not seek higher office.
“I’m not a seasoned office-holder,” he said. “I’ve only ever run for or held one office and it’s the last one I’m going to hold.”
Read more: "Mitch Daniels slams 'shock and awe statism' - Zachary Abrahamson - POLITICO.com" - http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0609/23307.html#ixzz0HP6XaIKg&A
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
What it generally feels like is the feeling you get when you dive into the water funny and water runs up into your nose. Me personally, I've always been a bit of a water bug, so the feeling didn't affect me like it might somebody who has had an experience where he almost drowned (such as Mancow). Also, you can't discredit the psychological panic that somebody who didn't know what was going on would feel and thus react to by seizing or shaking. But all in all, it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I did this because I wasn't sure if it was torture or not, and to some degree I can see why it is called "torture". However I still think that to put it into the same category of other horrible acts is like calling an alligator a dinosaur. Sure, they belong to the same species, but they are so far away on the overall spectrum that it really isn't that same. I think that's the best way to describe water boarding. I was water boarded twice (the first being given preparation time, the second counting down from 10 and not knowing when they were going to start) and I went 20 seconds the first time and 14 the second. Granted, that's no 45 seconds, but if a gun was put to my head I could probably have done it. Plus, the thing that I noticed with the water boarding, is the relief is INSTANTANEOUS. As soon as you sit up, your like "Darn. I could have went a little longer." You feel better that quickly. Unless I have some sort of uncontrollable nightmares where I dream of drowning and wet the bed, there is no lasting psychological or physical symptoms.
What does that mean, to me at least? Where do I fall into, categorical wise? I think that water boarding is torture, yes, however I believe it to be an acceptable, "watered down" (buda cha) form of torture, and I have no problem with it. And it sucks. Sucks big time.
Monday, June 01, 2009
Is the Cure Worse than the Disease? The Right-Wing Abortion Opponents and the Ill-Effects upon the Republican Mainstream and Success in the Long Term
I am a very educated Catholic, adamantly opposed to the practice of abortion. However, practicing abortions does not justify what has happened to George Tiller, God rest his soul. Not only was he a human being, but this man was a doctor and very capable of saving an uncounted number of other human lives.
Rhetoric should not focus upon the abortion issue, but how out of touch these folks are with any semblance of sanity and civility. Just as Timothy McVeigh was to the obscure overthrow of the United States Government, these insane advocates believe that they stand in the name of some superior moral cause. They could not be more wrong. Having personally laid opponents of liberty in their graves, I well understand that certain causes are above life itself and worth sacrifice. This is not one of these.
To market and manipulate the American public about what happened and why is condoning such murderous behavior, and anyone conspiring to do so is conspiring in the acts themselves. The author of the above Facebook article is a conspirator of murder in my opinion. This cannot be tolerated.
We, as true pro-lifers must not condone such behavior, but condemn the participants as much as we do the abortionists themselves. This is not only intolerable, but reprehensible. We must carry our torches against these, pro-lifers, before we can effectively carry the torches of our cause against abortionist doctors. If we truly value human life above every other, we must embody it with all of our hearts and minds before we can have any credibility in our individual consciences and before the general public. I call all of you out of this hypocrisy. Follow me and respect life in its entirety.
I call on each of you to speak out against condolence of this awful atrocity. I pray that not a single life be shed in this cause. God Bless.
In a speech just delivered, and I'm looking for the video embed to add here in a few minutes (FOUND):
Governor Mitch Daniels
June 1, 2009
Good evening, citizens and taxpayers.
As you know, the legislature didn’t pass a budget before they adjourned a month ago. That’s OK, because the one they were working on assumed over a billion dollars of revenue we clearly will never have. So it would have spent way beyond our current means, wiped out our state savings account, and forced a huge tax increase. I’d have had to veto it, and we’d be right where we are today.
To their credit, the legislative leadership quickly came up with a good plan for starting fresh, this time with a more believable estimate of how much money we really will have to work with.
Despite the terrible national economy, Indiana remains in vastly better shape than most states, and any of our neighbors. We have over a billion dollars in reserves, and a AAA credit rating. Everywhere else, any reserves are long gone. They are slashing education by as much as 10 to 15 percent; they’re releasing convicts from prison early; and, worst of all when families are struggling, they’re raising taxes. There’s only one reason why we are so different: because we have held government spending down to the level of our income. But if we lose our sense of discipline now, in no time we’ll look just like Michigan, or Illinois, or, heaven forbid, California.
Since my first January submission, state revenues have slipped even further, an unprecedented 8 percent below last year. When businesses don’t make profits, investors have losses not gains, and people are out of work, earning less and spending less, tax payments plummet.
It’s not pleasant, but it’s reality, so let’s deal with it. I have modified further the tight budget I proposed four months ago, and here are the major points:
Total state spending would be reduced by 2 1/2 percent. Many good ideas will have to wait. Across state government, nothing, and I mean nothing, goes up. When your income drops by 8 percent, you can’t increase your spending, on anything.
Here’s a sample of the reductions we’re prepared to make (See attached document). Please note that we have already reduced per capita state spending substantially the last four years.
There is only one exception. Public education, as well as student financial aid, would get a significant increase. Every school would receive more per student than it did this year. And if by some happy chance, state revenues turn out better than projected, I’m proposing that one of every two extra dollars go automatically to our schools, with the rest going to our savings account. Let’s hope it happens.
These last couple years, Indiana schools have been among America’s luckiest, fully funded through the downturn while schools in other states were clobbered by massive cuts. Our goal is to keep it that way, although in times this tough no sector has a right to demand business as usual.
As always, I am ready to compromise and cooperate with the legislature, up to a point. I’m willing to see us use about a quarter of our surplus, leaving a billion dollars in reserve, but not a penny less. A billion is a lot of money, but it’s only about 26 days of state operations. If legislators want to spend more on some favorite cause, that’s fine as long as they offset it elsewhere. Add a dollar, cut a dollar. And, of course, no gimmicks, and no tax increases.
Our legislature has done a good job of helping us live within our income these last few years, while other states spent themselves into catastrophe. By working together again, we can protect services, taxpayers, and our pro-jobs business climate, positioning Indiana to lead economic recovery as it begins.
You can help. If you’re a taxpayer, ask your legislators to put the general public interest first, and say no to the special interests who demand money we just don’t have right now. When some lobbyist or legislator promises more spending on some favorite cause or project, ask him “Which of my taxes are you proposing to raise, and why do you want to do that?”
Across America, people are asking how Indiana has kept its head above water while everyone else is drowning. It’s because we’re Hoosiers, of course; we have this quaint custom of not spending money we don’t have. If we keep our common sense now, we’ll get through this very tough patch and come out ahead of other states.
Thanks and good night.