Though “Right To Work” legislation has definitely been the hot button issue of this legislative session, there ARE other pieces of legislation floating around. There were three pieces that caught my eye and, I think, are particularly important pieces of legislation (or at least important enough I felt compelled to write about them).
The first has to do with drug testing welfare recipients in order for them to collect their dollars. The fact that this hasn’t already been law is shocking, and common sense will tell you that if a person has money for drugs, then they certainly don’t need taxpayer money. The bill has solid bipartisan support (15-5) through the Ways and Means Committee (it goes to a full House vote next) and would require the state’s Family and Social Services Agency to test out a drug-screening program on a small scale before it was launched statewide. That sounds fair enough to me, too. Something like this will have sweeping effects, and should be tested on a sample group first. The effects, I think, will be obvious enough; there will be some people that will have to make a choice. Do they want to feed their children? Or do they want to do drugs? I think it’s a fair enough question when it comes out of my own pocket, and I think most people have little problem with helping those who are willing to help themselves.
Another law has to do with public intoxication laws. Senate Bill 97, which now goes to the full Senate, prohibits a public intoxication arrest unless a drunk person is endangering their life, the life of another person or breaching the peace. This combats a court ruling where a vehicle that is pulled over counted as a “public place”, and so a person who is drunk, getting a ride from a sober friend who gets pulled over for, oh, I don’t know…a seat belt violation, would end up in jail. This bill passed the Senate Committee 10-0, and is another “no brainer”.
The last bill is sponsored by our own Senator Charbonneau, R-Valparaiso. This bill passed committee by an 8-0 vote and ensures that a rapist is not allowed custody to the child that he fathered from that violent encounter. Leave it up to Illinois, again, to be our inspiration in what not to do. Sen. Charbonneau said he sponsored Senate Bill 190 after learning of a Chicago case in which the rapist sued his victim for custody of the child conceived as a result of the rape.
There are a lot of other bills that will effect us as Hoosiers, but these are just three that have caught my eye and, I think, will be very good for the state and the people living in it. Of course there are other bills, like the “no smoking in public/let’s take away the rights of private property and business owners” bill that looks to be inching closer and closer (and SHOULD NOT pass), and the “Right To Work” bill, which NEEDS to be amended so that those that opt out of the union don’t HAVE to be represented by the union that they don’t pay dues to (I’m all about choice and peoples rights to not be forced into anything, but we can’t say one person can’t be forced into something, and then force the other guy into something different), and so on, and so on. These are three bills that seem to be flying under the radar, though, and haven’t gotten talked about much. So here they are, what do YOU think?
Tuesday night was an interesting night, in many ways. First, since I was away on business in Ohio, I watched the Iowa caucuses from my jacuzzi while sipping on a Sam Adams Winter Lager…no, this was not a political trip, but rather one for my day job; it just appears that I’m that politically connected. Quite honestly, if it gets to the point where the party is putting me up in hotel room just to watch the Iowa caucuses while soaking in a jacuzzi sipping on beer, somebody slap me so that I can reground myself.
Second, the race between Romney and Santorum was jaw dropping. I don’t want to go too deep with the race in general, because I think EVERYONE is tired of hearing pundits go on and on and on about the reasons that Santorum came so close to Romney (though it should be noted that I made almost all of the same predictions that Karl Rove did). It can be summed up pretty quickly, actually. After evaluating all of the candidates (rather, conservative candidates, since the libertarian leaning one and moderate leaning one have already solidified their particular base), the conservative voters in Iowa picked the one that hadn’t already flown into the sun. One by one they have been picked off. Bachmann with her remarks about the Perry’s vaccinations started her downfall and it has continued to the point where she dropped out the day after Iowa. Perry’s poor debating eroded his base quickly (though I’m still rooting for him, and think if he can do a 180 he COULD capture South Carolina). Gingrich’s past and his inability (or rather lack of want) to attack Romney with negative adds allowed him to be led around by the nose. Sure, he’s running some now, but it’s too little too late; now the ads appear spiteful (which, really, they are) and will hurt more than they help. All that was left was Santorum, and that ball of fire probably won’t last long. I watched his interview with Bill O’Reilly the night after his win and it was rough, to be kind. I think I’d like him as a Governor or VP or cabinet member, and I think he’s got some good ideas, but I think he’s ill prepared and lacks the finances to finish it off.
All right, now that that’s out of the way, what kept rolling around in my head were the numbers. Romney and Santorum all but tied with 26 some odd percent, and Paul finished in third with 22 percent. Now, this doesn’t mean NEARLY what so many Paul supporters have been saying and posting. Yes, it is an impressive showing and he should be congratulated, and I don’t want to belittle the work that he and his supporters put in (some of his policies and ideas, sure). The fact is, with those three numbers, 26, 26 (plus the other conservative candidates numbers, making the Santorum/conservatives total come to about fifty percent, with Huntsmans one percent going, in my opinion, in with the Romney grouping), and 22, the GOP is represented the same way it always has; as a three legged stool. One post in particular by a buddy of mine who is a Paul supporter inspired me to really point this out, though it had been floating around inside that skull of mine since Tuesday night.
Hopefully what it shows is what I have always said about Paul. Though some of his ideas are far more libertarian than I am (or the GOP in general), he’s been a needed aspect to the party to help pull certain aspects, like cutting spending and being fiscally responsible, of the party back over. The 22 percent, and third place finish, show that this has happened. BUT, and this is a big but (note the decision to caps lock the word) the worry is that one of two things will happen, since, while Paul has helped the party as a whole, he has also built a cult of personality around himself where many of his followers would jump off a bridge if he asked them to. First, that he will lose and tell his followers to vote for the libertarian candidate. Many wouldn’t, but enough will to make a difference (after all, many Paul supporters voted for Bob Barr last time around). The second is even worse: that he will lose and run as a big L, rather than a little l. In this instance, most if not all would follow. This is a VERY real possibility, and may be the reason that he decided against running for his House seat again. I know I’ve outlined these concerns before, but it bears repeating, that he could, and just might, single handedly make Obama a two term President. Certainly the GOP field has had it’s troubles, to say the least, and Obama may become a two term President anyways. But that’s another piece for another day.
For now, it is important to note once again that the Republican party is a big tent that is primarily conservative, but still filled with many ideas that are all equally important to the brand. The quicker that we can coalesce, the better chance we’ll have in November.
For some time now, I’ve been kicking around the idea of making Matters of Opinion a multiple contributor style site. After all, I would love to see Matters of Opinion morph into a viable think tank of sorts, sort of along the lines of National Review, with different people with different thoughts writing them out.
Especially since my election win in November, and my new job where I will have to be doing even MORE school and studying, I simply do not have to time to fully operate this site on my own (as frequent visitors could see, with my posts gaining more and more time between them).
I wanted to build a team (like the Avengers, sort of, get the picture now, eh, eh?) of people that wouldn’t just parrot each other, but could disagree in a respectful way. The first two that popped into my head were Mike Neal, the leader of the Young Conservative Alliance and the Lake County Young Republican head (just to name a couple of his accolades) and Rich Ferber, my buddy from school who moved out to Vermont, where he helped to manage Len Britton’s campaign (the Republican with the clever ads) and has been doing some heavy research work.
Both are great people with different ideas about different things, and both are an asset to MOO. I’ll get the About Me section updated to an About Us section, and will be doing some redesigning as well some time after the holiday season. I look forward to this change up, and hope you all do!
It seems like Evan Bayh saw the writing on the wall and decided to cut and run before his party could embarrass him.
I’m not going to pretend to know all of the little tid-bits regarding the inner circles and personal problems that Democrats have with each other; it’s time consuming enough to worry about the Republicans in that respect. But this particular “bickering”, which parties are able to (usually) keep to their own rank and file with, has become a front page spectacle.
First, it was discovered that Indiana Democrats may have forged signatures in order to put Barrack Obama on the ballot in 2008. This was big news, and though it wouldn’t matter particularly in the sense that Obama would still have enough electoral votes to be President, it’s corruption by Democrats in Indiana (or rather, MORE corruption). The story was big enough to make it to the national news channels, and just added to the piling on of negative news stories about Democrats over the past couple of years in our state. It started with Dem’s walking out and hiding in Urbana, Illinois, it continued with Philpot being indicted in Lake County, and now this? To help make matters worse, and helped to make everyone pretty well KNOW that those signatures were fake, Indiana Democrat Chairman Dan Parker decided to put forth his resignation.
This looked bad enough, but the fact that Tim Jeffers was supposed to be the top pick by Gregg (former Speaker of the House and Democrat who is running for Governor) was another negative notch. While the Republican party in Indiana has been advocating forward momentum and has pushed towards progress, the Democrats are continually reaching into the past to try and make things work. Gregg is considered an unelectable relic by many Democrats in the state, and the choice of Jeffers would continue this theme of “We have no idea what to do!”
Although this looked bad, it looked even worse when, after the realization that Jeffers would not enough votes, he decided to drop out. THEN Parker PULLED his resignation! Many angry Democrats walked out, eliminating the possibility for quorum (and though there is a joke there about Democrats always walking out, in this instance I don’t blame them).
So, whats to come out of all of this? In a time where Democrats are facing a number of troubles in this state, particularly with a lot of pressure from their core base regarding their ability to combat right to work legislation, they can’t afford to have unorganized leadership. With the 2012 elections rolling around the corner, and poll numbers showing that the odds of Indiana going blue again are highly unlikely, it seems that Indiana is going to turn an even brighter shade of red. What we, as Republicans have to remember, now, is that voters don’t like to see the winner wallowing in the victory. There are still a lot of Republicans who have to (and are more than willing to) work with Democrats in different areas; I’m one of them. I’m one R on a council with D’s, and I have a good relationship with every one of them. We have to continue, at the state level, to treat the minority party fairly, because it shows good working relationships and helps those of us that are the minority in other areas.
Just let the Democrats who are running the show keep doing what they are doing, while we just smile and stay positive.
Anyways, I felt the need to write (or vent? or rant?) about how the TEA Party has sort of become the synonym for conservative and how the positives and negatives of this are already being felt.
The TEA Party thing was mostly started as a way for the “silent majority” to get together and protest fiscal issues; some dealing with taxation, some with spending, some with monetary manipulation, etc. Or, at least, that was my main understanding, and when I spoke at several of these that was primarily what I kept to. Sure, there were segments where I might have rambled into another issue here or there, but primarily, I kept it fiscal matters and didn’t deviate into other ideological spectrums because, well, not everybody who is a fiscal conservative is going to be socially conservative, or a defense hawk, or etc., etc. I was excited that there was a movement like this to veer the party into a fiscally disciplined direction, and the rhetoric that is coming from our presidential candidates are definitely reflecting those sentiments.
I remember talking to a couple of different buddies about whether or not some kind of strong leadership should be established with this, in order to make sure that it stayed on track; at the time, the consensus was that it was more exciting to see it be run as it was, just a group of like-minded people who spoke out against irresponsible fiscal behavior. Hind sight being 20/20, I think some kind of solid leadership should have been established. The main problem is that TEA Party is becoming a replacement for “conservative” (not in real life, but rather in the words or columnists, politicians, and news anchors). And that isn’t good, since there is so many different facets of the TEA Party.
The TEA Party in Pennsylvania is different from the one in Maine, which is different from the one in California, and so on and so on. Heck, the TEA party in Lake County here in Indiana had different rhetoric and direction than the one that was operating in Porter County, which had a very libertarian tone to it. That was the problem. Some TEA Parties focus only on fiscal issues, while others talk about defense, and others talk about social issues, and others talked about immigration. At the TEA Party Presidential debate, the question was asked whether or not somebody who did not have health insurance and was in an accident should die, and a couple of people in the crowd cheered…this did not look good for the TEA Party. Yes, I understand that this only makes up the couple of percent that fall into the fringe; but that couple of percent makes people who don’t know any better think that all conservative minded people fall into that category. At some TEA party’s there were people with shirts and signs with President Bush on it with “Miss me yet?” written as well, others had pictures of Bush and Obama side by side like they were the same person. There are Facebook groups that demand that the neoconservatives stop taking over the TEA Party, there are others that demand that Obama get tougher on defense.
Given the lack of congruency with this movement, it’s sort of troubling when people ask me, “So, are you part of the TEA Party?”
Because I don’t know what to say! I usually respond yes, just to make it simple, though Porter County has no active group and I had left the one that had been there before because I didn’t dig the whole “anti-vaccination” vibe that was happening. No hard feeling, just not my gig. Plus, I’m a conservative; so while fiscal issues do come first with me, and there are a whole host of other ones I’m willing and able to find middle ground on, social issues, along with defense and immigration, just to name a couple, do matter to me. BUT, with fiscal issues not being the only focus for the TEA Party, does that mean I’m, like, the perfect embodiment of the TEA Party? I don’t know, it’s sort of like arguing about whether or not one can travel through time (theoretically, a wormhole could be formed…but there is no amount of fuel that can travel faster than the speed of light…and what would happen if I killed my Grandpa? Ahhhh it’s so confusing!!!).
Over all, this isn’t necessarily a criticism of the TEA Party in general, since each organizer has (and should have) their right to run their ship as they want. But, it still is a bit of a misrepresentation when media starts throwing around the groups name, making is synonymous with conservatism. Though, in that respect, the recent “Flea Party” (the Wall Street Protesters) being compared to the TEA party makes sense. The wall street protesters have no idea what they are protesting, they have everyone from hardcore Communists to college drop outs to hippies and hipsters to Steelworkers. Many aspects of the media have compared this “movement” to the TEA party, and it sort of irked me at first, until I started to look at what was underneath: no organization, no clear cut message. Granted, I haven’t read any news stories saying that this was what they meant, and I probably won’t because it probably isn’t, but it works none the less.
Hank Jr.’s “Are You Ready For Some Football?!” intro to Monday night’s NFL game is…well…legendary. For as long as I can remember Junior has introduced the Monday Night Football game, but tonight that has stopped. ESPN decided that, because Hank Jr. made remarks of a political nature on Fox’s “Fox and Friends”, that his intro would no longer run.
Now, ESPN has a rule: No announcer will go on television to talk about politics, one way or another. And that’s a fine rule, nobody wants to watch their football game and have to deal with that person jamming his or her’s politics down their throat. But, Hank isn’t an announcer; he’s just a musician who does the intro to MNF…does that really count?
Apparently it does. I sit here watching MNF (I don’t know why, a Manning-less Colts vs. the Bucs is a pretty sorry game no matter how it goes) and the exclusion of the classic theme song was definitly sorely missed. Certainly this decision is exclusively up to ESPN, no question about that. Is it within their rights to exclude Hank? Sure. But I still think that it’s a hypocritical one.
After all, how many times have people who have been decidedly liberal sang the National Anthem? I know the Dixie Chicks have, and the Black Eyed Pea’s have played half time shows, and those are just the first two that pop into my head! Granted, Junior’s words about Obama were pretty harsh. He used a “Hitler analogy”, and that NEVER goes over well, even if one is making a really great point.
And I mean, really, who DIDN’T KNOW that Hank Junior was conservative?
That’s what I thought. It’s not a secret, it never has been. I think that this decision has more to do with WHAT he said (regarding the Hitler analogies) and less about the fact that he was talking politics. If that was their case, ok, but that isn’t the reasoning that they gave. They tried to lump Hank into the same category as the announcers, and that just doesn’t sit well with me. (Also, as a side note, Hank Junior said in that same interview that he will probably be running for Senate, as a Republican.)
I think that, though it is within the rights of that particular broadcasting group to make whatever decisions that they want regarding theme songs or whatever, in the long run it will kick them in the butt. I know I wasn’t the only person in America that was missing the theme song, and I know that Hank Junior himself is an immensely popular artist (in my own opinion not as good as his father, but that’s another article itself) and his fans are livid about this.
I hope that whoever made that decision over at ESPN changes their mind, because Monday night just won’t be the same without Bocephus.
The first has to do with the highly publicized story of the murder of Amanda Bach. At this time they have a suspect, they have determined that she was shot, and that she did not suffer; there is at least that, I suppose. Now, what I like to do is be a “facebook troll”. Yes, I surf around and see what people are saying about one issue or another. It’s not only entertaining, it’s very informative. For example, I’ll see a comment about one issues or another, and I’ll check “info” on that person and see what they have to say about themselves. It’s kind of like conducting miniature polls for my own amusement; people who say A are more likely liberal, people who say B are more likely conservative, etc., etc.
Not too surprisingly, there were a handful of those that listed “liberal” or “very liberal” in their info who decided that this was an example of why guns should be outlawed. Now, I don’t want to automatically pigeon hole ALL liberals; after all, there were many who said nothing of the sort. But the few that there were really made me think to myself, “My God I hope this person never holds any position of power.” Rather, I ask the opposite question: What would be different is SHE was packing heat?
Certainly it can’t be said with 100% certainty that either A)she wasn’t or B)it would have changed the situation any, but if does make one wonder, none the less.
The second story in the paper is one about a man who was open carrying his weapon at the zoo.From what I understand, he was asked by security to conceal his weapon and he made quite the fuss about it; to the point where he was escorted out because other patrons were becoming frightened.
I don’t open carry very often; I prefer people to not know that I have my gun on me, because if it’s out in the open I’m the first person a “bad guy” is going to shoot, because he knows I have a gun. BUT it is important to open carry every so often, as my buddy Greg at work says, “because if you don’t use your rights you lose them”. In this situation, first of all, even the security says that it wasn’t that he had the gun on him; rather, there were people (and kids) there who were uncomfortable with the gun being out in the open. What the man SHOULD have done was to calmly conceal the gun and go about his day, simply because the fact that it was a public place where children were made it a little understandable that security would be concerned. But it is still his right to carry it that way, and so what security should have done was quietly pull him over to the side, check his permit, and ask him politely if he would conceal the weapon. When the man said no, they should have told him “fair enough” and then told the patrons that were complaining that it was his right, but if they felt nervous they would keep a close eye on him (which is THEIR right, as well). All in all, there is no reason that as a gun owner and carrier that one has to be a jerk about it. There are a lot better places to open carry than the zoo.
A decade is how long it has been since America was viciously attacked by terrorists. It doesn’t seem like it has been that long, to me at least, until I think about where I was at on 9/11 (I think most people will always remember where they were that day). I was a Sophomore in High School, taking the ISTEP tests that morning. Now, I’m going to admit something here: I had no freaking idea what the Twin Towers were at that point. I remember Mrs. Waywood (who worked at the school and is now, coincidentally, Hebron’s Town Clerk) coming over the intercom and announcing the attack (I wonder, sometimes, also, what those scores would have been if the school had waited until we were done to announce it to us all. Though then a lot of people would have been pretty ticked that they had waited, I suppose).
The next class, after we were done testing, we were finally able to SEE the destruction; it was unreal. I remember all of us standing there, watching people run away from the cloud of dust and debris. People were crying and screaming in the street. It was absolutely horrid, and that day will probably easily be the worst day in America within my lifetime.
There was a lot that happened when I was a Sophomore in High School…and right now I couldn’t tell you a damn thing. That’s what happens with big, major events like 9/11; it burns into our memories. “We will never forget” is more than just an inspirational, or patriotic saying: it’s a simple fact. Nobody will forget that day. It would be like asking me to forget the day either of my children were born, or the day I got married…it’s not only that I wouldn’t want to, it’s that I would be physically unable to.
Today is about remembering. And recognizing that America was changed that day. It isn’t about R’s and D’s after ones name, we can continue to argue and fret and fight tomorrow. For one day, just one day, we are all bound together in commonality…in remembrance. There were all kinds of ceremonies in different areas today throughout NW Indiana, and throughout the country, and running for Town Council it probably wasn’t politically smart of me to not go to any. But I chose to remember today in my own way; I spent the day with my family, played with my children, and waited for the Cowboys to play. Because that is the biggest slap in the face to those that wanted to tear our country down. A decade later, and though our innocence as a country has been lost, we can still live here without fear.
So today, spend some time with your family, and say a little prayer for those that lost their lives. And remember.
It should be noted, before all else, that this isn’t a post about those people that simply don’t support Perry (like I wrote in the last piece I had written talking about my support for the guy, vote for whom you want). This isn’t about them having concerns about him as a candidate; I get that, I welcome those arguments, and ANY candidate should be well vetted, and should expect that people are going to go after them. I’m no Kool Aid drinker for anyone, though I have my set of reasons (some laid out in my last post) for supporting Perry. Different people will have their own ideological reasoning’s, or personal reasoning’s, or whatever, for supporting one person or another, and I’m not the type of person who can’t laugh at myself or about a person that I support. Life’s too short for me to take politics to that level. Different people whom support different candidates are going to fight amongst each other; and that’s healthy, to a degree.
However it is important that, at the end of the day, when the dust settles, that the fighting hasn’t fatally wounded the last candidate standing.
This is what worries me about this immediate lashing out by different factions against Perry, particularly since I think, statistically speaking, Perry has the best chance of winning the primary. There are four major camps right now: the Perry people, the Bachmann people, the Romney people, and the Paul people. It is only a matter of time before Cain, Newt, Santorum, and all the others drop out; they all poll very low and have shown that they can’t raise the money necessary. Granted, Paul doesn’t exactly poll high (9%), but he has a rock solid base and he won’t drop out at all, so he doesn’t factor into my main point: and that is that these other candidates, which will inevitably drop out, will disperse all of there supporters amongst the other major camps. Most will probably gravitate towards Perry and Bachmann, with a smaller amount going to the Paul and Romney camps, I believe. This is expected (and normal), and isn’t what worries me; I was just laying out how I think Perry will end up with the win in the end (barring, of course, some unexpected curve ball candidates announcement). What worries me is that, since I’m not the only person to see the writing on the wall, people from all sides have been trying to take chunks out of Perry’s credibility, some that are just plain malicious, some that are just plain…well…dumb. The unusually high amount of these attacks tells me that many others recognize that the scenario I’ve laid out is possible, if not what will probably happen. Here is an assortment of the attacks that have already been levied against Perry:
*Rick Perry is a Bildeberger (or rather, as I like to say, he likes to “build a burger”). This is from the conspiracy sector, of course, but I didn’t have to tell you that.
*A Texas Ron Paul supporter has taken out a full page ad asking “strippers, women, men, whomever” to step forward if they have had sex with Rick Perry. This isn’t even an attack on his character; this is trolling for an ability to attack his character, while insinuating that since such an ad is being printed, that there just HAS to be some truth behind it. It is disgusting.
*The day before Perry announced, the Obama administration ALREADY was lobbing bombs in his direction (so to speak) regarding his Texas record; a week later, they lobbed more regarding his stances on education. This one doesn’t, obviously, fall into the malicious category, but it is revealing that the administration would be this worried about a person.
*A false poll was conducted, showing that Perry lost to Paul when polled in Texas. What was interesting was that this poll was conducted by a polling group that was just started June 30th, that the poll was done before Perry ever decided to run for president, was done by the local RLC in that area, and called mostly people in the District that Paul represents for the polling data. When questioned, the head person that conducted the poll admitted that there “may have some discrepancies…” It is unknown whether or not Paul himself knows about this, or the ad that was taken out by a supporter, but I would gain A LOT of respect for him if he were to speak up against this type of Republican canabolism.
At the end of the day, Republicans have to be able to stand side by side. We’re the big tent party, we have numerous sects and factions, and we have numerous fights amongst each other. These attacks obviously don’t indicate that every single Paul supporter would stoop this low, and shouldn’t be misread as me looking for a reason to slam Paul; I have my reasons for not supporting him, have laid out those reasons time and time again, and have a number of friends that ARE Ron Paul supporters. We have our debates (usually in a friendly manner), and that’s fine. The problem with far too many of these Paul supporters, however, is that they won’t stand next to the R that wins at the end of the day, and will instead vote for the libertarian candidate; this does not bode well with a lot of people in the party, because it shows a bit of a double standard. They want support, but won’t give it. It is what it is, no big deal. But if during this process we eat our own, then no matter who wins, it will be another four years of Obama, and I know NO Republican wants that. So just think about it before making that killing shot; we can either work with each other, or against.