For the next couple of weeks, the day job is going to be calling and needing my entire and undivided attention. The holiday season is after that, so I'm putting the blog on semi-hiatus for the next few weeks.
I'll still be posting, and I'm not going anywhere. I just cannot commit to daily updates.
Here's a rough schedule:
December 9-December 20-Sporadic updates
December 23-December 27-Breaking news only updates
December 30-January 3-Sporadic updates.
January 6-Daily updates resume.
Thanks for your understanding and readership.
Sunday, December 8, 2013
Friday, December 6, 2013
Nelson Mandela left this world at the age of 95.
As an activist against the policy of Apartheid, Mandela was arrested and charged with inciting workers strikes and leaving the country without permission. Mandela spent 27 years in prison enduring physical and mental abuse. He played an active part in overseeing the end of Apartheid policies.
In 1994, he was elected President of the country that threw him in jail, South Africa. He was determined to heal a country damaged by years of the policies of Apartheid. He wasn't interested in retribution but in bridging the racial chasm that tore apart South Africa.
I can't do the great man justice with a few words here. I'm just certain that we will not see another Nelson Mandela. He was a man of great significance for freedom in the world. We mourn his loss with the understanding that he is no longer suffering from the health problems that have, frankly, ailed him since long before he was released from prison over 23 years ago.
Nelson Mandela is free. He is at peace. Thanks to him, so is South Africa.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
The Carmel-based Republican is filing legislation to do away with straight-ticket voting. He tells Abdul-Hakim Shabazz that it's so people have to actually look at the ballot they vote instead of simply marking a straight ticket oval or pushing the appropriate button and walking away.
As someone that has voted straight ticket in the past, I like having the option, but I understand where Delph is coming from. I just didn't know that this was such a big problem that there was this groundswell to do away with the straight ticket option. Other than a few libertarians, I have never really heard anyone rail against it.
I think before I vote. I don't simply mark a straight-ticket oval without first examining all the candidates. Of course, I'm in the odd position that I will know many of the candidates on the ballot. Others are not in my position, and this won't change that. Now folks will have to agonize over what candidates they want for township advisory board. I wonder if they will just walk away and leave that portion of the ballot blank.
Most people that take the time to show up at the polls on Election Day have made up their minds. This will simply slow down the process. I doubt if Delph's legislation will go anywhere, but I guess we'll see.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
On Monday, an international celebrity made a big splash with a video announcement.
Britsh gold medalist Tom Daley, a diver, revealed to the world in an announcement on YouTube that even though he still is into women that he is dating a man.
Daley says his relationship with the unidentified man (rumors say the guy is Hollywood screenwriter Dustin Lance Black) has made him feel like he never has before. "It did take me by surprise a little bit," said Daley in his YouTube announcement. "It was always in the back of my head that something like that could happen, but it wasn't until spring this year that something just clicked. It felt right...my whole world just changed right there and then."
Now, why am I here writing on a political blog about a 19-year-old British diver announcing that he's dating a guy? It's simple. I want to commend Daley for taking this step in his life and deciding to live it in such a public manner. "People are going to have their own opinions, and I think people are going to make a big deal of this. Is it a big deal? Well, I don't think so."
That's right. It's not a big deal, Tom. The more people that say that, the better. Life is too darn short to worry about who other people can love.
By the same token, it IS a big deal. Tom Daley, an athlete and a celebrity, is yet another high-profile person choosing to come out and live their life in the open. That speaks so much to those who live in fear each day of what people might think about them if only their true selves were known. For that, Daley also has a message, "I'm still Tom. I still want to win an Olympic gold medal in Rio2016 for Great Britain. I'm still motivated as ever to do that."
I think Tom will find plenty of support out there, and I hope his example brings strength to those still living in fear. It really does get better out here.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Sawyer suddenly and somewhat shockingly announced his resignation last week, effective December 15. Sawyer's decision to resign creates another opening in the Auditor's Office that Governor Mike Pence will have to fill.
Democratic candidate for Auditor, Mike Claytor, however, is using the opportunity to tell Indiana voters that he won't quit should he be elected Auditor.
Claytor sent an e-mail note, paid for by the Indiana Democratic Party, with the subject line, "I will not quit" to his supporters. It detailed his commitment to the office and asked for some financial help.
You might have heard that the Indiana State Auditor, Dwayne Sawyer, suddenly resigned last week. This comes four months after Auditor Tim Berry resigned last July.
Why is this time frame significant? This week is also the two-year anniversary of the state losing $320 million, which was followed by the state losing $206 million more four months later.
Let me state this plainly: in the span of just four months, the Pence administration lost two auditors. In that same amount of time, the Daniels administration lost more than half a billion dollars.
We need more stability and accountability in Indiana state government.
I do not think a political appointee should hold the office of your Chief Financial Officer, which is why I need your help spreading the word about why we need a CPA in the Auditor’s office.
I made a commitment to fight every day, week, and month from now through the end of the election (and beyond) to share information about the Auditor’s office and about how your taxpayer dollars are being spent. Now I’m asking for a commitment from you.
Will you join one of my monthly clubs? I need supporters who will be with me every day, every month, until we take back the Indiana Statehouse in November of 2014.
The Bean Counters Club – Join the Bean Counters Club for $10 per month and receive a membership card, advance notice of important issues that will be covered in the campaign, an exclusive invitation to a club member function in October 2014, and the benefit of being on a winning team on November 4, 2014.
The Add Claytor Club – Help us "Add Claytor" to the Indiana Statehouse with a monthly contribution of $25. Receive all of the benefits above, plus a custom calculator so that you can help add balance to every discussion.
The Balance the Books Club – Join the Balance the Books Club for $50 per month, receive all of the benefits above, plus an invitation to a monthly conference call update where I will personally outline what is going on in the campaign and cover other issues of the day.
The CFO Club – Join the CFO Club for $100 per month, receive all of the benefits above, plus an invitation for two to a private members reception election night prior to the traditional IDP election night reception.
Together, we can balance the books and balance the power.
Smart move by Claytor to make sure Indiana voters know his commitment to not only win the election and stay in office but use the office to guard Hoosier taxpayer dollars. For more information, visit www.claytor4auditor.com/
Monday, December 2, 2013
|The Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt on display|
at the National Mall
When I was an undergraduate at Indiana University, I attended a viewing of the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt held at the Indiana Memorial Union. The display then was just one small portion of the quilt, but I was shocked by how large it was and how personal each individual panel was. The love that went in to the tributes I saw made an indelible impression. For me, it's an experience I'll never forget, and I highly recommend that anyone that gets the opportunity to see the quilt takes it.
HIV remains a killer in this world. Despite the efforts of governments, scientists, and individuals around the world to end the pandemic of AIDS, statistics from 2009 tell us that 30 million have died. In 2011, 34 million people around the world had HIV. Areas of Sub-Saharan Africa and other parts of the developing world have been especially hit hard by the HIV virus.
Strides are being made, and progress is, too. People are learning to live with HIV and medical science is preventing it from developing into full-blown AIDS. It's amazing to think back to where we were 30 years ago and where we are now when it comes to HIV. While we've come a long way, there's still a long way to go.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
I'll be back on Monday.
Until then, be careful out there. If you're planning on frying a turkey, please be extra cautious!
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
According to Shabazz, "It is unclear exactly what compelled Sawyer to tender his resignation, but it is believed to be personal in nature." Shabazz said there's no word on any possible replacement by Governor Pence.
Sawyer was expected to run for the office next year. Mike Claytor is the Democrat in the race.
When we know more, we'll pass it along.
|Willsey and O'Bannon Celebrate|
After Getting Their Marriage License
Photo by Zach Adamson from Facebook
O'Bannon, who lost her husband to a stroke in 2003 after 48 years of marriage, remains incredibly popular across the political spectrum. Willsey lost his wife of 53 years a few years back to cancer.
I know firsthand how lonely it can be for someone that has lost a spouse. I have watched my mother struggle through the loss of my father, and I watched my grandmother struggle too for years after my grandfather passed. It's brutal. Hopefully, Willsey and O'Bannon's decision to marry will serve as a role model for other couples that think you can't do it after a certain age.
I'm happy that both of these great people have found love again. I highly recommend the Star article if you get a chance to read it.
I would like to wish O'Bannon and Willsey the best!
Monday, November 25, 2013
|Superintendent Glenda Ritz|
The voters, who overwhelmingly gave Mitt Romney Indiana's electoral votes, sent Republican incumbent Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Bennett, packing. Unfortunately, for Ritz, the voters also installed an Indiana House supermajority to go along with the supermajority already present in the Indiana Senate. The voters also, in a closer-than-expected race elected Mike Pence as Governor of Indiana.
It was an electoral coup and an indictment of the policies of Superintendent Bennett, but it did not go far enough. It did not remove enough Republican power that the GOP could not still control education policy in the state. The Indiana Constitution makes Indiana's General Assembly so strong.
For all its greatness, the Indiana Constitution says little about the job of Superintendent of Public Instruction. It just states that there must be one. The Indiana General Assembly has control of the duties of the office as well as the manner in which the occupant of that office is selected.
Glenda Ritz lives on a blue island in a sea of red at the Statehouse. She is surrounded by Republicans, and she even finds the folks who are from her own party who are on the State Board of Education appointed, not by her, but by the Governor.
It's like being the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. Your name is on the door, but someone else is running the team.
The Republicans at the Statehouse are determined pretty much to move forward with the status quo and ignore what happened in November of 2012. They write Ritz off as being the anti-Bennett. They refuse to realize that what happened to Bennett could happen to just about any one of them.
Ritz has nothing to lose, but the Republicans do. They have a supermajority to protect, and Mike Pence has higher aspirations. As many have pointed out, Governor Pence's response to the election of Ritz was to create his own shadow Department of Education. Yep, the small government conservative with an aversion for spending has created his own state agency likely because he can't control the Department of Education.
So, when Glenda Ritz gets vilified for walking out of a meeting, realize that she's not really in control. The rules of the game have changed since January. She's no longer given the same leeway that her predecessor was, and it's all political.
Voters voted for a change of course, but the Republicans are going to great lengths to keep the status quo. The upcoming 2014 session of the General Assembly bears watching. Superintendent Ritz deserves the same respect that her predecessor got. Instead, she's likely going to end up a figurehead because the Republican Party won't work with her.
If that happens, let's hope that 2014 gives Ritz some friends at the Statehouse.
If that happens, let's hope that 2014 gives Ritz some friends at the Statehouse.
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