Sunday, July 29, 2012

Photo of the Day: John Gregg Steps Out in Style

Who wears wingtip dress shoes, gray pinstripe dress slacks, a pink dress shirt, and a tie to a parade? Why John Gregg, that's who.

Today, at the Harrison County Fair Parade:

Note also the bizarre giant cardboard cutouts of Shelli Yoder's head that her supporters were carrying in the parade.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Quote of the Day: Lincoln on Liberty

"The world has never had a good definition of the word liberty, and the American people, just now, are much in want of one. We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others, the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men's labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name — liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names — liberty and tyranny."
- Abraham Lincoln, April 18, 1864


Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock is a student of Abraham Lincoln but his use of a Lincoln quote during a speech in Texas last night is raising some eyebrows.

Mourdock is under fire from Democrat Joe Donnelly for his efforts to stop the Chrysler bankruptcy. His defense of those efforts led him to use part of a Lincoln quote that also includes a reference to slavery. (see full quote below)

He was speaking to a Freedomworks audience in Dallas telling the conservative political action committee that he fought the Chrysler bankruptcy to stop the bankruptcy court from taking the pensions of retired teachers and state troopers. "So that someone else can be given their assets," he said. "It is the same tyrannical principle as in 1858."

The 1858 reference is to a Lincoln quote, one that includes a reference to "one race of men enslaving another race." Today Mourdock said he wasn't comparing the actions of the Obama Administration to slavery. "No, that wasn't the issue at all," he said. "It was about governments actions and taking property."

This afternoon State Democratic Chairman Dan Parker issued a statement calling Mourdock's references to the Civil War era embarassing and inexcuseable. He said Mourdock should apologize.

Here's what Lincoln said in a debate with Stephen Douglas:

"That is the real issue. That is the issue that will continue in this country when these poor tongues of Judge Douglas and myself shall be silent. It is the eternal struggle between these two principles -- right and wrong -- throughout the world. They are the two principles that have stood face to face from the beginning of time, and will ever continue to struggle. The one is the common right of humanity and the other the divine right of kings. It is the same principle in whatever shape it develops itself. It is the same spirit that says, 'You work and toil and earn bread, and I'll eat it.' No matter in what shape it comes, whether from the mouth of a king who seeks to bestride the people of his own nation and live by the fruit of their labor, or from one race of men as an apology for enslaving another race, it is the same tyrannical principle." --October 15, 1858 Debate at Alton

Abraham Lincoln clearly felt in 1858--and still in 1864--that the key principle in question throughout history (not merely during the period of and leading to our Civil War) is not slavery, but that of tyranny: the notion of one person (or group of people) doing as they pleased with the fruits of the labors of other people.

That notion applies down through the ages in countless forms of despotism that elevate some men above others.

It's going to take more than false outrage over Richard Mourdock quoting Abraham Lincoln to get Hoosiers to elect a big government, big spending liberal like Joe Donnelly.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Imaginary World of Joe Donnelly

Matt Tully's column this weekend is a love letter to Joe Donnelly, singing the praises of the liberal Congressman from northern Indiana whose voting record has been in lockstep with Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi from the moment he took office.

This liberal voting record--a hard and objective, unchallenged fact--is something that is inconvenient to the narrative of Tully's paean to Joe Donnelly (really a sour grapes lament of the defeat of Dick Lugar), so Tully simply omits it.

In Tully's world, Donnelly is a soft cuddly moderate who loves bipartisanship, a guy who can get away with an outright lie of claiming he never voted for Nancy Pelosi for house speaker when in fact he voted for her twice.

Let's look at the column:

It's easy to be depressed about politics these days.

Super PACs shape campaigns from the shadows, and cable news entertainers influence politics from the edge of sanity. Big issues go unaddressed because of partisan gridlock; yet, somehow, politicians such as Indiana's U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock emerge with promises to bring even more gridlock and partisanship to Capitol Hill.

Mourdock bluntly said recently: "We need less bipartisanship in Congress." Among many other such statements, there was this one: "To me, the highlight of politics, frankly, is to inflict my opinion on someone else."

I could go on; Mourdock is the Energizer Bunny of juvenile political ideas. So it's been nice to see that his divisive brand of politics has caused him trouble recently and helped make Indiana's Senate race competitive.

I'm curious about what makes the Senate race any more competitive than the one in 2010, other than columnists like Matt Tully proclaiming it to be so.

Gone are the pre-primary days when the Republican state treasurer had only to appeal to a small slice of the voter pool -- a slice that loved his inflammatory rhetoric. The general election season has arrived, and Mourdock's opposition to working with anyone who doesn't share his far-right worldview is a tougher sell among the 91 percent of Hoosier adults who either didn't vote in the Republican primary or didn't vote for him in that primary.

Fair enough. Mourdock must now sell his worldview to the 60% of Hoosiers that had him lead the Republican ticket statewide in 2010 (and had him beat Joe Donnelly in Donnelly's own district). This is neither a tough sell nor a new one for Richard Mourdock.

Mourdock's fortunes are not helped by the fact that his Democratic opponent is a workmanlike Blue Dog moderate. Joe Donnelly, a former small-business owner and current third-term U.S. House member from Northern Indiana, delivers a message built around two core ideas: create more jobs and turn Washington, D.C. into less of a toxic swamp.

This is interesting, as Joe Donnelly is currently in Washington and has by his voting record contributed greatly to 1) things that destroy jobs rather than create them, and 2) continue to keep Washington a toxic swamp.

There is also nothing "workmanlike" about Joe Donnelly's background (he's an attorney and a Democratic party hack), just like there's nothing actually moderate about him when you examine his voting record.

"This is about making Hoosier lives better and our country stronger," Donnelly told me over coffee at the City Cafe Downtown last week. "(Mourdock) is going there as a partisan warrior. I'm going there as the hired help from Indiana to make our state stronger."

Again, with his votes for Wall Street bailouts, Obama's economy-strangling deficits, Obama's budget-busting failed stimulus plan, and Obama's government takeover of health care, there is no record of Joe Donnelly using his time in Congress to "make Hoosier lives better and our country stronger."

Does anyone seriously think that the life of the average Hoosier is better today than it was when Joe Donnelly went to Washington? Is our country stronger? Certainly not with Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Joe Donnelly minding the store. Indiana is not any stronger, either.

Hired help, indeed. Most people would fire hired help with a record like Joe Donnelly's.

So far, Mourdock has been Donnelly's most valuable political asset, routinely saying things that his opponents couldn't make up. For example, he has said that if the Senate is not in Republican hands next year, his main goal as a taxpayer-salaried senator would be to travel the country campaigning to get more Republicans elected. He believes compromise can be achieved only if Democrats and moderate Republicans cave on every issue and embrace his positions. He has offered a laughable proposal to eliminate several federal agencies and departments without offering a sensible plan to replace the services they provide.

If you believe that more government and more debt and more spending is the answer, clearly you're going to be voting for Joe Donnelly. If you want less government and less debt and less spending, clearly you're going to be voting for Richard Mourdock.

As Mitch Daniels is fond of saying, "You'd be surprised how much government you'll never miss."

"What will happen if you act that way is people will ignore you," Donnelly said. "How can you be a serious part of any discussion if you've said from the beginning that the only plan you'll be a part of is your plan?"

Joe Donnelly hasn't exactly gotten a lot accomplished in Washington other than be a rubber stamp for a liberal agenda written out of Chicago by Obama and San Francisco by Nancy Pelosi.

In a state that leans to the right, those pulling for Donnelly point to his opposition to abortion, his support of gun rights and his call for less spending.

Oh, well that seals the deal, right? How encouraging.

Joe Donnelly has "called" for less spending.

His voting record, however, has been in lockstep for ever more spending.

Joe Donnelly says he is opposed to abortion.

His voting record, however, has been for policies like Federal funding of abortion and coercion of private Catholic hospitals to go against their pro-life beliefs by order of government decree.

Pay no attention to what he does in DC, folks. Only pay attention to the sweet lies he tells back here in Indiana.

That record could help sell his candidacy to independents and moderate Republicans. But what about Democrats? To that question, he said he would support President Obama "when he's right" but added that the problems facing the country aren't about partisan labels.

If his voting record is any indication, by Joe Donnelly's own words we can conclude that he believes Barack Obama is right with ballooning government spending, raising taxes, and Obamacare.

Remember, Joe Donnelly says he supports Barack Obama "when he's right."

His voting record shows that Joe Donnelly thinks Barack Obama is right a lot.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

God Save Our American States

The Declaration of Independence

1337 words that changed the world.

In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.

We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed.

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is in the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient Causes; and accordingly all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security.

Such has been the patient Sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the Necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The History of the Present King of Great-Britain is a History of repeated Injuries and Usurpations, all having in direct Object the Establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let the Facts be submitted to a candid World.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public Good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing Importance, unless suspended in their Operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the Accommodation of large Districts of People; unless those People would relinquish the Right of Representation in the Legislature, a Right inestimable to them, and formidable to Tyrants only.

He has called together Legislative Bodies at Places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the Depository of their public Records, for the sole Purpose of fatiguing them into Compliance with his Measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly Firmness his Invasions on the Rights of the People.

He has refused for a long Time, after such Dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the Dangers of Invasion from without, and Convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the Population of these States; for that Purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their Migrations hither, and raising the Conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the Tenure of their Offices, and Amount and Payment of their Salaries.

He has erected a Multitude of new Offices, and sent hither Swarms of Officers to harass our People, and eat out their Substance.

He has kept among us, in Times of Peace, Standing Armies, without the consent of our Legislature.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a Jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution, and unacknowledged by our Laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislaton:

For quartering large Bodies of Armed Troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from Punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all Parts of the World:

For imposing taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us, in many Cases, of the Benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond the Seas to be tried for pretended Offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an arbitrary Government, and enlarging its Boundaries, so as to render it at once an Example and fit Instrument for introducing the same absolute Rule in these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with Powers to legislate for us in all Cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our Towns, and destroyed the Lives of our People.

He is, at this Time, transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to complete the Works of Death, Desolation, and Tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and Perfidy, scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous Ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized Nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the Executioners of their Friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic Insurrections among us, and has endeavoured to bring on the Inhabitants of our Frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known Rule of Warfare, is an undistinguished Destruction, of all Ages, Sexes and Conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions we have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble Terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated Injury. A Prince, whose Character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the Ruler of a free People.

Nor have we been wanting in Attentions to our British Brethren. We have warned them from Time to Time of Attempts by their Legislature to extend an unwarrantable Jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the Circumstances of our Emigration and Settlement here. We have appealed to their native Justice and Magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the Ties of our common Kindred to disavow these Usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our Connections and Correspondence. They too have been deaf to the Voice of Justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the Necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of Mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace, Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the Rectitude of our Intentions, do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly Publish and Declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be, Free and Independent States; that they are absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political Connection between them and the State of Great-Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of the divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

Signed by ORDER and



Happy Birthday, America!

Have a safe and happy Independence Day!