Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Because I've been impressed with her campaign performance recently.
I thought she had an excellent debate performance a few nights ago. I know Republicans like to talk about Reagan's 11th Commandment, forgetting that Reagan ran against an incumbent Republican President in a primary and almost won, but she did something that few of the other candidates have been willing to do themselves: differentiate from the other attacks, and attack.
And she did both in the same night. Several times.
And I think that helps people take her seriously as a candidate.
I don't think it's because any of her policies have changed. But she is skipping the easy bullet points in the debates and going for the substance. She's giving interviews to media outlets that aren't necessarily considered "friendly grounds" to Republicans. and she is doing well. She's working these fairly large crowds on her Iowa bus tour from early in the morning until late at night.
Compare that to former Senator Rick Santorum who is still going for the easy applause lines in the debates. Who, from what I've heard, isn't all that much of a people person. Who, despite practically living in Iowa since 2010, is polling comparably with former Governor of Utah Jon Huntsman in the single digits.
Huntsman, by the way, isn't campaigning in Iowa at all and is exclusively focusing on New Hampshire.
I don't think this resurgence of Bachmann is going to get her the nomination. That is a steep hill to climb. But I do think she'll be able to bow out having run a good race, and I think that will at least put her on a Vice President list for the eventual nominee.
Friday, December 16, 2011
Gingrich has previously said that politicians who take money from Freddie Mac should be jailed, but he made an exception for himself because he wasn't an elected official.
But Bachmann shot back, saying you don't have to be a registered lobbyist to peddle your influence.
This wasn't the only thing Bachmann knocked Gingrich over the head with. Bachmann attacked him for his support for government sponsored enterprises and for campaigning for pro-choice Republican congressional candidates. At one point, an irritated Gingrich viciously said to Bachmann "Ms. Bachmann doesn't have her facts straight."
The Friday morning punditry are even accusing Gingrich of sexism, saying that he wouldn't talk that way to any of the male candidates. And I agree. He has gentlemanly disagreed with everyone else in the debates, but has given snark responses in past debates to Bachmann.
I think Bachmann has gotten a raw deal, both from the Republican Party establishment and from the news media as part of these phony debates.
Don't mistake this as an endorsement of Bachmann. She's FAR out there on a number of issues that I passionately disagree with her.
But at least she's a serious candidate. Gingrich, someone who has been a part of the Washington establishment for 20+ years, is on a damn book tour.
And the guild's demands are not unreasonable. Despite it being a very tough time for the traditional print media, the Star is still overall profitable, and Gannett is taking in tons of cash. But they're largely doing it by cutting newspapers to the bone, outsourcing everything that isn't the kitchen sink, fluffing papers with wire stories and...well, that's about it.
So why am I reluctant to write about this? Why am I not out in the streets chaining myself to one of those new electronic parking meters that are on Pennsylvania right outside of the Star building?
Basically, what's the big fuss? This has been going on for years.
I'm often critical of The Indianapolis Star, what they do (and don't) report on, and what they editorialize for and their logic in their editorials. But I also know there are a lot of passionate employees who work at the Star, including their reporters and photographers. I know this because, if I make a factual mistake in critiquing the Star, I hear about it. Straight from them.
And when the Star wants to commit resources to covering a story, they can do an excellent job. They've been right up there with television media and blogs with coverage of the LiTEBOX and Duke Energy scandals.
But all too often, "coverage" of a story will be reduced to being trivialized in the Behind Closed Doors gossip column, such as was done with the coverage of Councilor Ryan Vaughn's conflict of interest in the parking meter
And this isn't something that developed over the last 6 months. This has been persistent over the last 2-3 years, at least.
So if I can be convinced that, if the Guild gains these concessions then the reporters will be able to pursue more stories, more aggressively, more often, rather than the sporadic appearance they are now, I'll be out there with a megaphone leading the charge. If that means whatever barriers are stopping reporters now will be lifted, then count me in as a supporter!
Until then, I'll just watch, observe, and hope for the best.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
The latest numbers, with full metrics disclosed, have come out of Iowa in the upcoming Republican caucus contest to nominate a POTUS candidate.
And what's the headline Public Policy Polling leads with?
"Paul closes in on Gingrich".
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is the latest "Not Romney" front runner of the pack, but it appears his support is very soft. He's lost five points total, and his favorability numbers are down as well as support among those who describe themselves as members of the Tea Party movement.
Congressman Ron Paul, however, has not only gotten his 10-12% rabid and fired up, but built upon it. His favorability numbers are up, and Public Policy Polling notes he's doing well with young voters, first time voters, and non-Republicans. PPP notes this is a similar path that now President Barack Obama took when he won the Iowa caucuses in 2008.
Paul's supporters are also more committed to him, with only 54% of Gingrich supporters saying they'll stand by their man.
So what can we expect from here on out?
Expect Paul's campaign and related political action committees, as well as former Governor Mitt Romney's POTUS campaign and PACs, to keep hammering Gingrich with negative ads. For three weeks. Watch Gingrich's numbers sink like a rock. Watch Paul activate his ground game in Iowa, which really was never abandoned since his 2008 run, and the other candidate's numbers will sink because none of them besides Romney have a ground game in Iowa.
Even though Romney is trying to win Iowa, I suspect there is one candidate that he wouldn't mind winning. He'd absolutely LOVE it if Ron Paul won Iowa. That would kill the campaigns of most of the has-beens in the GOP field. Texas Governor Rick Perry and Gingrich might be able to limp along to South Carolina and Florida, but being defeated by Paul would be a miserable way to start the primary season.
Meanwhile, Romney, like Paul, is looking at the primary fight further out than just the first handful of states, and both have the money and infrastructure to work it well into March.
As I've commented before, don't count Governor Perry out just yet. But if he wants a viable shot, he needs to not be beaten by Ron Paul.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
But hey! New parking spaces! Electric car charger! Safe bike parking!
Man, how times change.
Now the Broad Ripple Village Association's Land Use Committee is refusing to support the proposed parking garage because it's changed drastically compared to the plans they first saw and used to convince BRVA members of how awesome it is. Two businesses near the proposed site, including a veterinarian clinic, are remonstrating against the garage and the several zoning variances they're hoping to avoid.
The vet's specific complaint is that the bank drive-thru exits directly into a small alley, which the vet's employees use to walk dogs. It's a very small alley that I doubt sees a lot of traffic and a bank drive-thru would greatly increase that.
And before anyone mentions the current Chase drive-thru located in the same area, it's designed so any cars exit onto College rather than the alley.
Retail space has expanded from 14,000 square feet to 25,000, so maybe Broad Ripple will get a Wal-Greens after all! At the same time, they want to make spaces much smaller, and aren't even trying to hit the promised 350 spaces.
It also looks like the structure is going to expand and overflow from the property so that some of it will be above the sidewalk. This just sounds like it's going to be a big, huge structure that will be an eyesore for what is considered the "entrance" to Broad Ripple.
Also, it looks like the electric car charger and internal bike parking have been completely removed from the re-designs way back in October.
If we're absolutely determined to blow $6 million on this, how about we start from scratch and make sure it isn't a boondoggle?
For more information:
Indy Star article
Had Enough Indy? (which has links to several other relevant posts)
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Governor of Texas and Presidential candidate Rick Perry was one of the few serious contenders in the Republican presidential field who currently holds political office, and the only one who currently serves as governor of a state. The political pundits were spouting off about he was planning to campaign on the Texas miracle of job creation (of course, I'd say if you put a bunch of oil in my backyard I'd be able to create jobs too, but I digress). He seemed to be the candidate who could bridge the Republican Establishment and the Tea Party/grassroots in Republican politics. Of the three candidates the re-election campaign of President Barack Obama was watching before the primary really kicked off, one of them was Rick Perry.
Perry, whose high point in the polls as "Not Romney" essentially was the day before he officially entered the race, has been plagued by problems on the campaign trail. His overall debate performance has been horrible, his gaffes (especially for someone who has been in elected office for most of his adult life) numerous, and his ability to do "retail politics" almost non-existent. This is in stark contrast to what has reportedly been his history in Texas, where everyone and their mother SWEARS he's actually a really good campaigner.
So what does the "jobs" candidate put out in his first big ad push as some likely caucus attendees are starting to pay attention? Well it's about dem gays and school prayer!
Are these the issues Iowa Republicans really care about? Will this ad help motivate someone to go to a school gym or a church basement and attend a caucus for a couple of hours while they may still be nursing a New Years' hangover on January 3, 2012?
Iowa is one of the few states that has legalized same-sex marriage. In Varnum v. Brien, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that essentially the state has no business restricting marriage licenses to same-sex couples but recognizing and issuing them to opposite-sex couples. That 2009 decision was unanimous. In the following 2010 retention election, all three justices who were on the ballot were dismissed by voters due to active campaigning from religious organizations such as the National Organization for Marriage. Republicans in the state legislative branch have introduced constitutional amendments to ban same-sex marriage (and essentially overturn the court decision), but it has been blocked by Democrats who have, since 2009, controlled at least one house of the state legislature.
And if the GOP voters care about that, they may also have the misconception that prayer has been "banned" from schools.
I know every liberal pundit in the world has been going "lol most disliked YouTube video ever", but in the age of the Internet, we need to remember that these political ads are being made for the early states, not for the entire nation. Also, YouTube users are idiots.
And right now, this ad (I couldn't find the other where he's wearing the same jacket) "re-introduces" Rick Perry. It's folksy. It has some good background music. It's just him. If he can run this for a week, then put something with some bite in it before Christmas that REALLY lays it into Romney/Gingrich, then air something positive (maybe about his jobs or economic plan?) between Christmas and January 3, I think he has a shot of at least keeping his campaign alive long enough to go for a win in South Carolina. Especially if Newtmentum ends of self-destructing.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
UPDATE: The only notable name that seems to appear in yesterday's sting operation is a Brian Hasler. There's a former Democratic state representative who also goes by that name who is now a lobbyist.
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Friday, December 2, 2011
City-county legislative body; division of county into districts; composition of body; election; petition for division of county
Sec. 3. (a) The city-county legislative body shall, by ordinance,
divide the whole county into twenty-five (25) districts that:
(1) are compact, subject only to natural boundary lines (such as railroads, major highways, rivers, creeks, parks, and major industrial complexes);
(2) contain, as nearly as is possible, equal population; and
(3) do not cross precinct boundary lines.
This division shall be made during the second year after a year in which a federal decennial census is conducted and may also be made at any other time, subject to IC 3-11-1.5-32.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
- We have like, six hotels, total.
- If you aren't staying at one of these downtown hotels, you're probably a loser.
- Use the Skywalk so you don't have to see or watch or hear or feel anything unseemly, like snow or cold or salt on a sidewalk.
- Don't ever go outside.
- Eat at in-house restaurants.
- We can't stress this enough, don't ever go outside.