Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Strategy, whether in sports, business or even war, is about the efficient use of resources – minimizing inputs to maximize outputs. Political campaigning is no different. In sports, a coach does not spread out his defense evenly so that a star player on the opposing team can score easily. Instead, he forces that player into situations where he will be double teamed while the weak opponent is often left open. In war, a general does not evenly distribute his forces, artillery and rations evenly across the battlefield. Instead, he analyses the geography, finding weaknesses in the enemy’s line. It is that hole he wishes to exploit by concentrating his resources in an effort to achieve victory. A business does not spread out its resources, such as engineers and R&D funding towards all projects in the pipeline. Instead, the company analyzes the various competitors and their position in the various markets. A good example is Apple, with their presence in computers (iMac), MP3 Players (iTouch), phones (iPhone) and e-readers (iPad). The company will look to position itself where it can gain the best market share and obtain the highest return on investment for its shareholders. In politics, limited resources include volunteers (paid or non-paid) and money, which is used for mailings, yard signs, phone banks and door knockers. You don’t have to win all of the battles to win the war. One needs to be efficient with their resources if they want to claim real victory. Does it make sense for a political party to host a fundraiser only to redistribute the contributions evenly among candidates regardless of whether they are running for County Council or U.S. Senate? Absolutely not! This is why we must pick our battles wisely because if we don’t, we can easily lose the war.
Does anyone remember when the districts were redrawn nearly a decade ago by the Democrats in the Indiana Statehouse? Thanks to them we have House, Senate and Congressional Districts that are so gerrymandered; a legislator can represent someone from one hundred miles away but not their neighbor next door. Every two years, political data is accumulated after the election and studied - all the way down to the precinct level. For the most part, districts have been drawn to favor Democrats, however, as populations shift, the districts may become less useful to those who drew them. When we look at Indiana’s First Congressional District there is no doubt that it was drawn to serve politicians, not people. District 1 extends so far south, it ends just a little more than ten miles from Purdue’s main campus. However, nearly half of highway 49 through Valparaiso somehow managed to find itself in Congressional District 2. How is that for keeping communities of interest together? Forget LaPorte, Michigan City or even South Bend. It’s not like any of these communities use the same rail lines or highways. (note sarcasm)
What Republicans in the first district have to realize is that the seat is virtually un-winnable. First, the district is gerrymandered in such a way that Democrats have a strong advantage given historical voter turnout. Second, Pete has nearly 26 years of name recognition – this costs significant amounts of money for a new face to create. Given the current political climate in Washington though, Visclosky is more vulnerable than ever before. Because of this, we have a large field of (Republican) primary candidates. Although these candidates are all nice, well mannered and well intentioned people, they do not have the funding needed to run a competitive race against Visclosky. Just because his town halls are filled with angry people does not mean they represent the majority of the voting population. The local, state and national party will not fund a candidate because even they know this is a worthless endeavor, unless your purpose is to create name recognition for some other political aspiration. Given the number of wealthy, well known and well respected politically active Republicans in the region, why doesn’t one of them run against Pete this fall? Easy question! Owner of this blog, Steve Dalton, thought that attorney, Dan Dumezich should have ran for the seat after backing out from the U.S. Senate race last fall. Could Dan beat Pete? This author thinks so given his ability to fund-raise along with a voting record conservatives would enjoy. So why not?
It that simple – this is a battle that could lose the war for Republicans in both Lake and Porter County. If any hardball player decided to jump into the ring with Pete, they would be spending millions right off the bat creating name recognition. Secondly, Pete has strong relationships with many Republican business owners who would not change their loyalty based on party affiliation. The kicker is here – if Pete felt the pressure of a real competitor, he could drop millions upon millions of dollars in this race to get Democrats from all walks of life out to vote. Who would this hurt? Every single Republican candidate from local county races along with State Representative & Senate seats. Think about how many good, honest and hard working Republicans got booted from office because a single name (Obama) at the top of the ticket spurred the need for more straight ticket voting. We certainly don’t need any of that again although it will be here in 2012. We’re better off picking our battles like Mayors, City Council, County Council, State Rep and Senate seats. First off, they’re a lot cheaper to win and second, all politics is local. Build a power base from the ground up and you will have a much more fluid organization, just like Obama.
At the end of the day, politics is a game. Those who study the game and patiently observe by the sidelines will eventually become astute players. There are a lot of independent motives and objectives in the game which is why it is important to never show all of your cards. A good general knows how to be efficient and effective with his resources while also forcing the enemy to waste theirs. That is how you win a war.
Monday, March 29, 2010
Marlin Stutzman, perhaps the most reasonable and most electable Republican won. Not only did Stutzman win, but he won with more votes than two Ron Paulies (Behney and Hostettler) COMBINED. That's an impressive win for both Marlin Stutzman and the intelligence of conservative TEA Party activists in Indiana's 5th Congressional District.
Why hasn't the Region had a TEA Party Debate that brought all 5 US Senate Candidate and most of our 8 Congressional Candidates out for one big event? It's not because the Senate candidates are afraid to come up here... some of them already have. I'll end the suspense: It's because nobody in their right mind wants to be associated with the Ron Paul nut jobs involved in it! All one has to do is take a gander in the forums on their meetup site to see what the problem is.
While the good men and women in Huntington want to reign in the size of government; the people involved the NWIPs also want to reign in the size of government, but they also want to ban vaccines, put guns in the hands of school children in the classroom, convince the world that 9/11 was an inside job, and so much more that it's disgusting.
Look, for people with at least two brain cells to rub together, I'm as conservative as they come. My friends even say I'm libertarian on some issues. I'm like you. I want Obamacare repealed. I want to get rid of the IRS and reform our tax system. I want to be able to smoke a cigarette without liberal smoking nazis throwing me in a concentration camp. What's more, I want to be able to buy those cigarettes without having to pay a 500% tax on them at every gas station outside of an Indian reservation.
I'm the kind of reasonable person who would be proud to have our US Senate Candidates answer questions from We The People of Northwest Indiana. And I'm also the kind of reasonable person who would be ASHAMED to have the nut cases, fruit loops, and loony toons have a single second to represent us here.
It's bad enough NW Indiana is already treated like the red headed step child of the state, the last thing I want is for us to give the rest of the state any more reason to treat us like that. The vast majority of the conservatives and Republicans who live up here are honest, hard working, and intelligent people who, unfortunately, are being drowned in a sea of idiocy spewing from the mouths and asses of the RLC and NWIPs.
I for one will NOT be attending their conspiracy theory and lunatic convention on the 14th. If you have any respect for yourself, I highly recommend you avoid it like Satan as well. Thankfully, several Republican candidates have already confirmed for me privately that they won't be attending.
It's just a shame the Republican Party isn't well enough organized in Porter County and too divided in Lake County to offer some sort of alternative event for the vast majority of mad as hell conservatives who meet the 2+ Brain Cell requirement.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Via Hoosier Advocate
It hasn’t been a good week for Brad Ellsworth. First, his party forced him into a career-ending vote for the most atrocious legislation in a generation. Then poll after poll came out suggesting Richard Nixon would stand a better chance at election to the Senate than he (for he record, Nixon is dead).
Now the Indiana Republican Party has unveiled an interesting new website today called BadForIndiana.com. It details the litany of problems with Brad’s record. The real problem with this website, though, is that Ellsworth’s campaign had just purchased BradForIndiana.com. We think there will be plenty of unsuspecting surfers who stumble upon BadForIndiana.com instead.
It must be tough being Brad.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Rich James wonders why the Lake County Republican Party is not outraged by Judge Arrendondo pulling a fast one on his fellow democrats. James wonders why we are not using this deceit by his fellow democrats to win the race. Well, Rich, you have to get through the primary first. And I know you're worried about us filling that position for the fall, but never fear. I assure you your beloved democrats will not just walk into the Circuit Court Judge position without opposition.
Let me also assure you that we are outraged by the sneaky, deceptive, corrupt actions that you democrats have been performing for a long time. We're outraged by:
Robert Pasterick, James Fife, and Franky Kollintzas, spending taxpayer money for votes
Robert Pastrick setting up Second Century to funnel casino money to his buds and probably himself. But we'll never know now will we Rich because Second Century is a private company and doesn't have to disclose their information on who the casino money goes to.
George Van Til stealing county gas for his own personal vehicle
Rob Guetzloff (a Democratic Schererville councilman) filling up George Van Til's vehicle with county gas
George Van Til letting his son drive a county truck to high school
Tom Philpot, perennial candidate office jumper, taking taxpayer money from the county that he shouldn't have...AKA stealing money…oh wait he paid most of it back after he was caught so I guess it’s ok
Robert Cantrell depriving the public of honest services, committing insurance fraud, taking cash kickbacks from a contract between his then-employer, the North Township trustee's office, and a political ally's company
Pete Visclosky giving contracts to big political donors
George Pabey "allegedly" using city money to fix his daughter's home in Gary
Katie Hall extorting campaign contributions from employees and ghost payrolling
Will Smith Jr. executing a secret, $200,000 real estate deal with the Gary Urban Enterprise Association
Dozier Allen and his deputies paying themselves $140,000 from a contract without permission of the township board
Kevin Pastrick, Carl Ihle Jr., his business partner, and Peter Manous, former chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party, bribing people to influence the carpenter’s union pension board to vote for and invest $10 million in the purchase of land for the Coffee Creek real estate development south of Chesterton
Jojuanna Meeks stealing of hundreds of thousands of dollars from the now defunct GUEA
Jewell Harris committing wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering
I could go on Rich, but for the sake of saving a tree which I know you will appreciate, I won't. What do all of those people have in common besides being convicted of felonies or being close to being convicted of felonies? They're all elected DEMOCRATS!
I should add that just because you are a democrat doesn't mean you are corrupt. There are a few good ones out there in Lake Co. But the democrats have such a huge political machine that it just breeds corruption. The only way to stop it is to have a 2 party system with checks and balances.
It's time for the good voters of Lake Co to wake up and see the pattern of political corruption that is costing us jobs and money. The democratic politicians are the ones giving jobs to their friends and family and putting money in their own pockets. Oh Rich, by the way, you know about the democrats giving jobs to their friends don't you. Your wife is employed in the sheriff's office! No conflict of interest in your columns now is there!
The democrats have a strangle hold on us because of a climate of political apathy. Voters can continue to vote for the same old corrupt politicians or just stay home because they do not care or they can choose to make a difference.
The GOP is offering qualified alternatives. The choice is yours.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Indy Conservative Hardball takes a swipe at Senator Marlin Stutzman, but acknowledges that all three major US Senate candidates are polling higher than Brad Ellsworth, meaning the choice in the Republican primary is probably the next United States Senator from Indiana. You have to remember with bloggers that primaries create some consternation because they like specific candidates, in this case Zach appears to be a Coats guy ... must feel incumbents are safe.
Along that same story line, current and retiring Senator Evan Bayh just wasted $1 million by giving it to Brad Ellsworth for his failing campaign. Frugal Hoosiers, widely read in Indiana and closely aligned with the Governor, reports that Ellsworth is polling poorly too.
Congressman Mike Pence, a potential Speaker of the United States House candidate, has strongly endorsed Jackie Walorski for United States Congress in the Indiana 2nd Congressional District. Although I have not seen polls yet, internal whispers suggest that she is already polling ahead of Joe Donnely and his vote for Obamacare is going to hurt him.
Blogger in Ft Wayne, is researching the direct connections between the Republican National Committee and the flailing campaign of former Senator Dan Coats. So far he appears to be able to show that key staff are not from Indiana, although we do know that Pete Seat from Schereville and a Times contributor is also on the Coats staff.
Northwest Indiana's own Kevin Tracy, actually in this case Travis as a guest writer, on the passage of the healthcare takeover.
We're just a few administrative steps away from being controlled by the government ... per Chicks on the Right.
Attorney General Greg Zoeller is preparing to make a decision on whether the State of Indiana will challenge the Obamacare takeover on constitutional grounds. Do it Greg!
Yeah, I realize these are all conservative sites ... if you have a bunch of liberal sites you'd prefer to showcase, by all means send me your email and I'll make you a contributing writer.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
"As far as what I would do if I was the minority leader? I’d fight this thing tooth and nail until the end (which from what I’ve read the Republicans plan on doing) and then the second we had a majority, BAM! Ten bills in five days of the most outrageous conservative bills I could possibly pass, and ALL through reconciliation. "
From Rob Pastore, candidate for Indiana United States Congress District 1 -
"Pete Visclosky didn't listen to the voices of the American people and to the voices of the the first district of Indiana. Mr. Visclosky's yes votes on the job killing Obama/Pelosi healthcare bill are the most egregious irresponsible actions ever taken by the First Congressional District's US Rep. This bill will not reduce the deficit. It will steal half a trillion dollars ...."
When I talked to Mr. Pastore yesterday he suggested that Congressman Visclosky's days may be numbered as our representative due to corruption investigations into campaign funds that may have been used to prime the pump for earmarks to out of state companies.
Monday, March 22, 2010
- There is a portion of Americans that cannot purchase private health insurance. Some have let Cobra policies elapse after long periods of unemployment. Others simply cannot afford any kind of insurance.
- For those that do have employer insurance or government policies the premiums are going up at a rate 3 times the rate of inflation. It was easy to complain that mean greedy insurance companies were piling on the profits, but the truth is claims were increasing faster than inflation as well. The cost of medical care is out of control.
- Democrats made a commitment in voting for the inexperienced Obama that they would force through a government option, their way of trying to penalize the insurance companies and in theory force competition. It's not a real competition, because when government gets involved costs will still increase as competitors are driven out of the business.
- Republicans proposed lackluster ideas like interstate competition, but couldn't really ever get the public's ear on healthcare, the Democrats did a great job painting Republicans as trying to protect the health care insurance corporations.
- Then came Tea Party August, when the Democrats couldnt' get the bill passed before the August recess and had to go home and face angry constituents who didn't want a government takeover of healthcare.
- The House and Senate passed separate bills eventually, packed with extra money for politicians who were afraid of their voters, and needed some earmark cover. Normally this would require a conference committee to hammer out a bill both sides could vote for. But Democrats couldn't handle the transparency any longer.
- They chose to vote for the Senate bill, letting President Obama sign a bill immediately. And then vote for a reconciliation bill, pretending they were just hammering out small details like typos, and send to the Senate hoping the Senate will just pass since the President already signed the base bill into law.
- Government takeover of healthcare is underway, it cannot be turned back or repealed for some time to come. It will take a Republican House, a Republican Senate ... and even then the President can veto until he's removed in 2012.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
"I am extremely humbled and energized by the endorsement of so many strong conservatives who are serving Hoosiers from every corner of the state."
The Marlin Stutzman for US Senate Campaign was proud to announce the endorsement of 27 members of the Indiana House of Representatives. Stutzman has been traveling the state for over a year, and the level of support he has built at the grassroots level is really beginning to show. Marlin was endorsed by 23 of his Indiana State Senate colleagues last month, and now another 28 legislators are signing on because they know Marlin is a committed conservative with the ability to get things done.
Senator Stutzman stated, "I am extremely humbled and energized by the endorsement of so many strong conservatives who are serving Hoosiers from every corner of the state."
The twenty eight representatives are: Bob Cherry, Greenfield; Matt Bell, Avilla; Wes Culver, Goshen; Dick Dodge, Pleasant Lake; Bob Behning, Indianapolis; Tim Brown, Crawfordsville; Bruce Borders, Jasonville; Eric Koch, Bedford; Bill Davis, Portland; Tim Neese, Elkhart; Jack Lutz, Anderson; Tom Saunders, Lewisville; Ed Soliday, Valparaiso; Doug Gutwein, Francesville; Randy Truitt, Lafayette; Jackie Walorski, Jimtown; David Wolkins, Winona Lake; David Yarde, Garrett; Phyllis Pond, New Haven; Cindy Noe, Indianapolis; Mark Messmer, Jasper; Matthew Lehman, Berne; Sean Eberhardt, Shelbyville; Tom Knollman, North Liberty; Phil Hinkle, Indianapolis; Tom Dermody, LaPorte; Greg Steuerwald, Danville; Rich McClain, Logansport.
Monday, March 15, 2010
A view on tea party activities from Southern Indiana. Typically we focus on Northwest Indiana news, but we have kept an eye on tea party activities for the last year. Our own tea party changed it's name to Northwest Indiana Patriots and Mark Leyva started his own called Lake County Tea Party.
Where our own IN-01 Congressional District is a tough sell, and even tougher to win over incumbent Pete Visckosky ... this Congressional District in southern Indiana is much more a possible pick up for Republicans. Keep an eye on southern indiana this year.
"This is one of the most important things we've done this session," said House Minority Leader Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis. "Certainly, 10,000 jobs are saved with this. That's what the delay in the premium increase will mean."
My thoughts to get the convo started:
- Was interested in the behind the scenes maneuvering by the female Democrats in the House who were frustrated that the all-male Democrat leadership totally disregarded them ... watch for paybacks in November
- A one year delay in charging the increased premiums, although good for small business, is not good for the state budget. Where will the $400 million come from? More school cuts?
- Karen Tallian (Sen-D) threw her body in the front of the bill in a reckless desire to make sure that regular workers are not classified as independent contractors but employees so the state can collect more taxes. This one has bugged more for years, what business is it of the state to determine if a worker is an employee?
- Once the deal was cut on the delay in increasing the tax, then Democrats allowed bills to come forward that had been held hostage, including one that helped out local schools. Was this a necessary maneuver by Speaker Bauer? No, just grandstanding in a year that was going all bad for House Democrats.
Chesterton Tribune Article - pitifully no online article so far, the bill passed Friday nite and this paper has yet to post anything
Will link to other Indiana blogs as I come across them today:
Frugal Hoosiers Legislators Make a Deal
Friday, March 12, 2010
In an article from politico.com written by Ben Smith, he highlights a growing problem that has been running rampant since even before the Tea Party movement formed last April 15th. The concern of the Evangelical Christian Right is that the Tea Party or the political road warriors thereof are abandoning their legacy of social values and social responsibility, namely the gay marriage issue and right to life.
The question here… Is this really a problem or rather a manufactured problem by media and big government conservatives working to spell dissension among the ranks of the ‘Big Tent’ Republican Party?
From personal experience, I’d say on social issues they would have very little to worry about as many people involved within the Tea Party are social conservatives even though their leadership may not be. On top of that, politicians know they can’t win w/o the Christian Right and therefore, their social issues will not be abandoned, at least not completely at the very least. Respect will be paid in elections, even if that's not the presiding issue.
The front and center galvanizing issue for the Tea Party movement is fiscal responsibility. Fiscal responsibility has always been a core issues for conservative candidates and a rallying point for most independents. However, the Evangelical Christian movement from the ‘90s brought about Big Government conservatism putting fiscal issues on the back burner and placing social issues front and center. We must remember, it took Nixon to bring the Evangelical Christians into the Big Tent tearing them away from the Southern Democratic machine in his run for President in 1968. The Evangelical Christian movement is rooted in Big Government having risen from the Democratic Party. Essentially, I feel their real cause for ALARM stems from the Libertarian bend that the Tea Party has taken which threatens their Big Government conservatism more than it actually threatens their social conservative issue agenda. So let’s not confuse what the heart of the issue really is.
“There’s a libertarian streak in the tea party movement that concerns me as a cultural conservative,” said Bryan Fischer, director of Issue Analysis for Government and Public Policy at the American Family Association. “The tea party movement needs to insist that candidates believe in the sanctity of life and the sanctity of marriage.” (Politico.com, 2010).
And then this…
“Former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee denounced the conference [CPAC – Conservative Political Action Conference] (with whose organizers he has feuded in the past) as a gathering that had become “increasingly more libertarian and less Republican.” (Politico.com, 2010).
What cool heads may offer as a solution would more than likely fall on deaf ears within the Christian Right Leadership. Number one, do not fear Gay Conservatives. The issue of Gay Marriage can be a touchy subject and for the most part with the exception of their homosexuality, Gay Conservatives would be considered very moral people by even Christian standards. Morality, and this is a debatable subject, is not something that through legislation a problem will be solved or diminished for that matter. Morality is derived from your friends, family and neighbors that you keep. As we know through evidence of our overcrowded prison system, legislating morality will not solve the problem, but in some cases causes crime to rise via organized crime and creates a burden on the tax payer.
A true Christian approach would be to befriend them, let them know God loves them, forgives them and welcomes them if they will have Him. Then as a Christian, we must realize at the end on judgment day, what any person has done is between them and God and has nothing to do with us. Here on Earth, we should apply our moral objection and bear wittness but not stand in judgment of another, as God commands, for an act that in the end harms themselves and no one else. Simplified, Conservatives who take a moral objection will never win them over by making their morally culpable (not legally) acts illegal. We as Christians win people over through acts of love and kindness not by a stick using government on our behalf.
Therefore, let God stand in judgment, not yourself. I have no problem in working with homosexual people, politically and professionally, so long as they do not wrap their agenda with socialist mantra. There is more common ground with that culture if we can get past judging them and placing our moral standards upon them through legislation. Then within that that culture you may find that the right to life issue may be an area they may very well side with conservatives and thus improving the Big Tent.
The only real issue they have against us is that they are the, 'small dose socialists' of which fund the root problems of our economical system in that they employ their big government agenda through small dose socialism, something I've been warning everyone about. But, if they choose to make those social issues their own galvanizing issues of whether they side with conservatives or not, they do the party a disservice to the Big Tent idea and the ability to form influenetial caucus within. The silly part about this is, they really have nothing to fear for most Libertarian leaning Republican Candidates will side with their social agenda, it just wouldn't be a center stone of their campaign or top on their agenda. But it will be incorporated in. So which side is really hurting the party more as we have bore wittness to the attacks against the Tea Partiers on this blog before? But like I've said, silly right winged nut, solvency is for Morons.
Join the Indiana Republican Liberty Caucus
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
The Big Debt Bang, ‘Bend-Over’
9.7 Trillion To be added within the Decade
If you were to meet me back in 2004, I was as staunch of a Neo-Con as any other Bush supporter any one of you could think of. Simplified, I drank the kool-aide and was as misguided as most centrists Republicans are today. What I was promised back in 2000, was a President that would enact or act on the promises of the ‘Contract With America’ from 1994. What I got was a Centrist or Neo-Progressive who not only saw fit to enact an aggressive foreign policy, but with that distraction, was able to double the size of the Federal Government out spending every President of the 20th century, minus military spending and adjust for inflation. I did indeed cheer him until my awakening which led me to the revelation that I needed to examine my core beliefs, my blind faith in the party and its anointed candidates. Bush’s spending is only rivaled today, by what Obama wants to spend tomorrow.
The Washington Post has reported that Obama’s proposed budget will incur more than 9.7 Trillion of debt over the next decade and 5.6 Trillion of that will be in interest alone. The 1.5 Trillion of debt this year is a post WWII record at 10.3% of the economy and that’s not even the scary part:
The Post continues “… But the CBO [Congressional Budget Office] is considerably less optimistic about future years, predicting that deficits would never fall below 4 percent of the economy under Obama's policies and would begin to grow rapidly after 2015. Deficits of that magnitude would force the Treasury to continue borrowing at prodigious rates, sending the national debt soaring to 90 percent [My Emphasis] of the economy by 2020, the CBO said.” Makes me long for the Clinton years in some respects.
Currently, the National Debt in total is roughly 53% of GDP, yet centrists only want to mildly cut back our spending and in only politically motivated areas. How nice of them being mild pigs at the troth. What centrists fail to understand is that it is their small dose socialism that allows for these larger and more aggressive forms of socialism to crop-up. Meaning, they are responsible for the ability of an Obama to rise to power here in America seeking to enact his progressive agenda. Their small dose makes Obama’s large dose possible for it places in the public’s mind, that socialism is an okay concept . . . something that used to be unthinkable.
The only surviving grace to this is that even centrists are going to be bothered by this debt figure and hopefully with a little luck we will be able to win some of them over to our ‘crazy or nuts’ right winged agenda. Call me crazy for wanting my Nation to have solvency. However at this point, solvency looks like a fairy tale.
Even worse, when we point out States like California, the correlation between California’s progressivism and the Federal government, us crazy far right winged people get blank expressions from centrists as if there is no correlation to be had when examining Cali’s progressive agenda. In fact, there is no difference between the Gubanator and his predecessor, Grey Davis who was a Democrat. They are both Neo-Progressives like McCain and Lieberman in the Senate. They all lack the understanding of why their ‘small government’ (quotes for a reason as Centrists always are unable to see the irony) or small dose socialism/neo-progressivism is so damaging.
There is no difference between the problems of the present and the problems of the past other than time has passed. We are repeating the same mistakes, unfortunately, with what could be more drastic results. When we examine what occurred in the lead up to the Great Depression we can find many correlations there as well, yet centrists ignore them too. Take for instance what Warren G. Harding said in his 1921 inaugural address which was said so well then and should be said again today:
“I speak for administrative efficiency, for lightened tax burdens, for sound commercial practices, for adequate credit facilities, for sympathetic concern for all agricultural problems, for the omission of unnecessary interference of Government with business, for an end to Government's experiment in business, and for more efficient business in Government administration.” He continues in paragraph 27, “It has been proved again and again that we cannot, while throwing our markets open to the world, maintain American standards of living and opportunity, and hold our industrial eminence in such unequal competition. There is a luring fallacy in the theory of banished barriers of trade, but preserved American standards require our higher production costs to be reflected in our tariffs on imports. Today, as never before, when peoples are seeking trade restoration and expansion, we must adjust our tariffs to the new order. We seek participation in the world's exchanges, because therein lies our way to widened influence and the triumphs of peace. We know full well we cannot sell where we do not buy, and we cannot sell successfully where we do not carry. Opportunity is calling not alone for the restoration, but for a new era in production, transportation and trade. We shall answer it best by meeting the demand of a surpassing home market, by promoting self-reliance in production, and by bidding enterprise, genius, and efficiency to carry our cargoes in American bottoms to the marts of the world” [Special thanks to Peter Thayer of Lake County who turned me on to the wise former President Harding]
What Warren did then to combat a looming recession would not work today, according to most economists. But it did work which was to cut spending and then cut taxes as adversely, Bush only cut taxes and then spent like a drunken sailor which according to Keynesians works. What we see today is an uncontrollable and unsustainable debt that will derail most American’s quality of life, render the American monetary unit increasing undesirable, and undermine America’s prestige and power the world over. I used to believe that the Left and the Right had similar goals for America, that they just differed in the means they wanted to use to get there which is the reason why I was a centrist, Neo-Con or Neo-Progressive. . .
I was mistaken. . .
The Left or socialists have a very calculated vision of America, using centrists as their pawns, than those who hold true to the founding values, most especially individualism and small government. Their vision, [nothing new to history] one in which centrists have created for them, is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to establish a giant welfare state dominated by the Left and to these socialist is worth any price — even America’s steep economical decline.
The Free Market knows how to create jobs, add wealth and increase the middle class. The only thing government knows how to do is to create more government. Harry S. Hopkins, FDR’s advisor and architect of the New Deal once said, “Tax and Tax, Spend and Spend, Elect and Elect for the American public is too stupid to know the difference.”
Are you too Stupid or am I just too crazy for reason?
Silly right winged nut, solvency is for Morons.
Monday, March 08, 2010
reprinted with permission -
For the record, I didn't like the idea of former Senator Dan Coats coming back from Virginia last month to save us from ourselves and retake the Senate seat he left many years ago. Since I've been open about my distaste for Washington insiders attempting to make this call for Hoosiers, I was approached with some insights casting light on a campaign that is having a hard time moving forward.
The details are sketchy and heresay, and as I've been told before "you'll print whatever fits your pre-conceived narrative." So I've said it upfront, the Coats campaign doesn't feel right to me. Here's what I'm hearing, if I'm wrong say so. If Dan Coats does win in May, I'd like to think the campaign will get a whole lot more organized now or risk losing to Ellsworth.
- Today's most recent email alert, yes the one implying the endorsement of Governor Mitch Daniels which is misleading, comes to us from Pete Seat the new press secretary for the Coats Campaign. Pete is formerly from the Bush administration and lives in Schererville. He has terrific connections and abilities, I cannot say anything negative about Pete or any of my friends who have gone to work for the Coats campaign. I would highly suggest the use of an official email address not a gmail address though... and for whatever it's worth don't imply the endorsement of Mitch Daniels when he expressly said he was not endorsing any of the candidates. (I'd even go further and suggest using Exact Target which is based in Indianapolis for email marketing, not Constant Contact)
- It would appear the campaign is being run by Washington insider Kevin Kellums, who also hails from Kentucky, although my source tells me that there is mass confusion inside the campaign about who is running it and who is making decisions. Perhaps Anne Hathaway, or staff members in Washington? Here's an open question for the Coats for Senate Campaign, who's running things right now? You have some of the best consultants in the state, the best that money can buy, but where is the campaign?
- The last place finish at the Warsaw Tea Party event on Saturday may have caused some internal problems, for some reason there is surprise in the Coats campaign that tea party members can't seem to see the logic in a lobbyist coming back to rescue the party. What's the next step for the now named "Washington for Coats" campaign? Emails and blog posts today suggest a line-up of "conservative leaders" will tell tea party activists and conservative grass roots groups what's best for them. Take it from me, Mayor Costas tried that last year and I think Attorney General Greg Zoeller won convincingly.
- The website is now functional (see Coats for Indiana) and I won't badger the online team since I'm sure trying to build a site in the short amount of time offered was a rush. I would highly suggest turning on the RSS feature, and checking links in the feed box since many return a blank page. Glad to see the fundraising only site is gone though.
- I did hear just Friday that some member churches of the Indiana Family Institute, where Kurt Smith is now President and was reportedly a central part of the recruiting effort, may be looking at how firm their commitments are to the organization.
From the Next Right sorry for the longer than normal excerpt, but just in case you don't jump to the article, basically the entire idea is here. 50+ comments on Next Right though worth reviewing.
This is a bold idea from Utah Republicans.
We propose a modest experiment. As Utah state leaders, we are greatly concerned about the unprecedented expansion of the federal government over many years, and the enormous debt levels being left to our children and grandchildren. We believe the federal government is attempting to do far more than it has the capacity to execute well. [...]
We'd like to relieve some of their burden. We don't believe that 535 members of Congress and the president can educate our children, provide health care, pave our roads and protect our environment as well as the nation's 8,000 state legislators and tens of thousands of local officials.
So please, let us help. Let's select a few programs -- say, education, transportation and Medicaid -- that are managed mostly by Utah's government, but with significant federal dollars and a plethora of onerous federal interventions and regulations.
Let Utah take over these programs entirely. But let us keep in our state the portion of federal taxes Utah residents pay for these programs. The amount would not be difficult to determine. Rather than send this money through the federal bureaucracy, we would retain it and would take full responsibility for education, transportation and Medicaid -- minus all federal oversight and regulation. [...] [T]oday the federal government operates like an old-fashioned mainframe computer, pushing one-size-fits-all mandates out to the states. We believe there is value in intelligent decentralization.
This would be a great agenda for the Tea Party activists. It combines limited federal government with increased State, local and personal responsibility. For that matter, it should be a great experiment for the empiricists and policy wonks - both left and right - who want better data on which systems work and which do not.
Let's hope some Republicans will have the courage of their convictions to put political capital behind this idea. This would be a good agenda item for Tea Party activists to demand of Republicans.
Sunday, March 07, 2010
Wabash Union: Victory in the debate, however, belonged to citizen legislator and family farmer Marlin Stutzman. In the interest of full disclosure, I voted for Stutzman in the straw poll afterwards, and I have for some time intended to vote for him in the May primary (and hopefully in November as well). I have a sneaking suspicion that the Tea Party leadership that hosted the debate supported him as well—Stutzman got the center podium, surrounded by Behney and Hostettler, with Bates and Coats relegated to the fringes. Part of Stutzman’s State Senate district runs through Kosciusko County, and this was clearly his territory.
But attempting to step aside from those biases, Stutzman still has clear strengths that would lead me to declare him the victor. His time as a farmer gives him a great connection with his Hoosier constituency, and he was able to masterfully weave his experience on the farm into his arguments about budgetary and tax issues. He was the happy warrior of the group—conservative, but not angry about it. He stayed on message, and wasn’t drawn into any particularly nasty squabbles—though the ever aggressive Hostettler did target his tax record in the State Senate. Stutzman delivered an adequate rebuttal, and the issue was left there. He also got the biggest applause line of the debate when he delivered a call for Washington to behave more like Indiana government—where there are citizen legislators who have to return home and “live under the laws” they enact.
These are exciting times to be a political junkie in Indiana. It’s a great time to be a conservative in Indiana. This is going to be a vigorous Senate primary and a vigorous general election campaign. Regardless of the outcome, I look forward to the fight.
Update via the South Bend Tribune:
Straw Poll Results
Marlin Stutzman 80
Richard Behney 76
Don Bates, Jr. 47
John Hostettler 18
Dan Coats 16
From Random Firings: At one point a very dangerous question was asked: "Who should be the next president of the United States." The reactions of the candidates indicated that they were all kinda blindsided by it and they recognized just how dangerous it was. It may have been the most revealing point of the debate:
Coming away from the debate, if I had to vote today I'd probably vote Stutzman, who seemed to strike the right balance of being experienced enough to know what he's doing, but without being tainted with the stench of being a career politician. Coats did well enough to overcome fears of being the "Republican Washington establishment's" hand-picked candidate. I came away liking him and I'd be comfortable with him as my Senator. Bates was impressive enough to keep tabs on. Both he and Coats still have a very realistic chance to win me over between now and May 4. Hostettler was impressive in his knowledge, but his demeanor was a big turnoff. Behney seems like a good guy, but just not ready for prime time.
- Behney answered first, and this was actually the high point of the morning with him. He quite eloquently answered that we don't know who that is, and that we probably "haven't heard the name yet".
- Stutzman praised Behney for his answer and expressed regret that he had to follow it. He broke the ice with naming specific people and named Indiana governor Mitch Daniels, which proved to be a popular choice with the audience.
- Hostettler said he voted for Ron Paul in 2008 and would gladly vote for him again.
- Coats mentioned a "Jim Harmon". I have no idea who that is, but Coats seemed to know him from his time in Washington and said we needed someone who could bring two sides together and not be combative. I give him credit for an outside the box answer.
- Bates expressed unabashed support for his Representative, Mike Pence. Another popular answer with the crowd.
Friday, March 05, 2010
What seemed like a non-issue now takes center stage during Valparaiso School Board meetings as Board members consider changing the transfer policy to allow nonresident students from Immanuel Lutheran and St. Paul Catholic Schools to attend VCS. The question remains, what change will this bring to the educational and fiscal stability of the Valparaiso School system. Will these changes improve the system or at least maintain status quo for the School district?
Let's start with the money. Valpo Schools currently is in a unique position compared to other schools across the state because we are fiscally sound for at least the next 3 years. But that stability didn't come easy. The current school administration is a model for excellence in fiscal matters, building up an almost 6 million dollar rainy day fund over the past few years. VCS again was one of Indiana's "Best Buy" schools which means our Valpo students get the most out of the taxpayer's educational buck.
But the State now forbids schools from accepting tuition on the portion of the education budget coming from local property taxes. This year, Valpo received about $5,400/student from the State for the General Fund but each nonresident student will cost over $8,100/student when one includes the Center Township property taxes collected to fund education. If the School changes their policy and allows transfer students into VCS, we the taxpayers will cover that bill with no recourse to collect tuition for our costs.
What about the students and teachers? In today's public education world, effective allocation of resources translates to educational success. There is actually a term called "mission based resource alignment" which my World War II vet and rural farmer grandfather would have called "putting your money where your mouth is". When one combines the "put your money where your mouth is" philosophy with the "every child matters" philosophy, the proposed School Board policy creates a serious problem.
Ask any teacher, and they will tell you that each additional student in their classroom creates a greater educational challenge for the teacher and reduces the individual attention a student gets from their teacher. That teacher is spreading their individual teaching abilities across a larger student base and the difference between 30 and 31 students is noticeable in any classroom. Most peer-reviewed research on the subject shows that ideal educational environments are between 18-22 students per teacher. Once a classroom gets above 25 students the task of educating those students exponentially increases with each new student added. This doesn't factor in the need for more chairs, tables, desks, books, and basic educational amenities that keep Valpo's excellent education reputation in tact. When we add these extra students without receiving compensation for them, then we are academically doing a disservice to the resident students from Center Township.
Finally, the State identifies the need for transfer student policy to be non-discriminatory in nature. Also, the 14th Amendment of the US constitution upholds equal protection of all people within a State's jurisdiction. This is the real kicker with the proposed policy change, at least to me. The proposed policy permits only nonresident students that attended St. Paul Catholic School and Immanuel Lutheran School to transfer. I am sure the School Board's intention is not to prohibit nonresident children who attend other religion-based private schools from becoming VCS students, but essentially that is what the Board is doing. Let us not forget this: not all people are religious, and even they may want their children to attend VCS even though they don't live in the district.
In a court of law, the best of intentions go unnoticed especially when it comes to upholding American values of freedom and accessibility to all. Being a Democratic voter, I fiercely fight for the protection of the rights of all American people, particularly rights granted through the Constitution. On the most basic level, this proposed policy challenges both the 1st and the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, and as an American and civil rights advocate it doesn't set well with me.
I don't know what each of you think about this proposed change, but to me it doesn't meet the basic test that School Board members must administer in all their decisions. Their decisions must either maintain or exceed responsibility in 2 areas: educational stability and fiscal stability. The School Board's responsibility is to the constituents that live and vote in their district. This policy does not meet either of those responsibility areas.
The only solution is to petition the State and ask for changes to their policy so that Schools can collect tuition on all funding sources for education. We were able to do that before 2008, and legislators must answer this question, "why can't we do that now"?
Concerned Valparaiso parent
Wednesday, March 03, 2010
On My Soap Box, Once More !
In recent weeks the cry from the Left and Centrists especially, is simply this:
Government Is Broken
This is a ludicrous concept at best. George Will was right when he said:
“Government is only broken when the Left can’t enact their agenda.”
In actuality, it is working just fine and working currently the exact way it was intended. America was designed to be a small government society for our fore fathers took their que from history, meaning, they saw the flaws inherent in all other forms of Government. Knowing these flaws and the dangers they present, they created a government that espoused the fears of big government and put in place measures that would at the most, derail big government efforts and at the very least, keep it at a slow moving crawl.
I think it is widely accepted in most circles that the far Left agenda is a dangerous concept, even for the misguided Centrists. However, there seems to be this media created perception that Government serves best when it is served from the center. That somehow when we blend small government concepts with big government agenda, we Americans think we are getting the best of both worlds. This perception is a media creation and has been repeated over and over again, especially for the last 50 years, till we have a nation full of centrists calling out that Washington is BROKEN, and of course, joined by the Left as they always are.
What America needs is more Mike Pences and Jim Demints and less John McCains and Joe Liebermans.
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
I loved the line and had to use it, from an op-ed entitled the The Narcissus Society in the New York Times, where the author attempts to suggest that his recent experience as a juror with 11 other citizens showcases our need to socialize the healthcare system. What I love more than anything is that in an attempt to pat himself on the back for having debated, learned the nervous ticks of his co-jurors, and come to some collaborative conclusions as a group ... that the lesson is Americans should let Democrats shove Obamacare down our throats.
What of the debate? What of the fact that most Americans are happy with their healthcare and would prefer less government interference which tends to drive up costs? What of the need to find working solutions to lawsuit reform and interstate competition? Lets act like those 12 jurors and debate, cajole, badger, speak freely ... and only then collaborate on a solution. Remember 12 Angry Men, they didn't agree at first.
No the author makes fun of narcissists in society, while perfectly framing the definition. Thank you Mr. Cohen you are hereby nominated for chairman of your society.
Monday, March 01, 2010
The FEC is like a glacier; it moves slow but grinds down things in its path. It probably wouldn’t undertake any enforcement action on these issues before the primary (should it deem enforcement action necessary).
After the primary, when (or if) Todd Young loses, the committee will be defunct and out of money, at which point the FEC would go after the campaign treasurer and not the candidate (remember, Tom DeLay ended up on Dancing with the Stars, but Tom DeLay’s treasurer ended up in prison).
This post is also available at Hoosierpundit.