Burton, toast, we wish; Bayh in the soup; Irsay redeemed

Dateline: Thu 04 Feb 2010

Quick thoughts before taking off for Chi-town tomorrow:

No matter what you think of Republicans, you've got to admire state Rep. Mike Murphy, a Republican, for his caustic comments on the reign of U.S. Rep. Danny Burton at the House -- one GOP commenting on another:

"Dan Burton has served, but he has not led. In nearly 30 years in Congress, Burton has done virtually nothing to make the 5th District ..of Indiana a better place to live and raise a family."


Besides which, Burton is almost certifiably looney-tunes. You have to wonder about the 5th...will the worm finally turn? I could go on, but Murphy said it well enough for now.

Thanks to this morning's Indianapolis Star for reporting that quote.

Ditto on the increasingly uphill battle faced by Sen. Evan Bayh, who is a Dem in name only. But then, that's what Hoosiers apparently want. As (Dem) friends have said, we don't have real Democrats in Indiana. Bayh has played off the state's conservatism and frugality for far too long; he should switch parties if he wants to stay in. But for now, the sentiment is: Kick all the bums out. Bye Bayh.

Finally, I liked sports reporter Mike Chappel's story Sunday on Jim Irsay, Colts owner.  I especially liked the quotes from Fred Glass, who engineered the Superbowl deal etc etc etc: "Candidly, I had a perception of him (Irsay, when they met 10 years ago) that proved to be wrong....he was coming off the time of his dad and had some of his own personal issues that were well-known..."

Irsay has proven himself to be a standup guy, albeit an eccentric: as Glass notes, "His word is his bond."

BUT I recall when sports columnist Bob Kravitz and my then-colleague fellow metro/state columnist John Strauss both wrote Irsay's obit.

This was because Irsay had a problem, back then, with, OH MY GOD, drugs. The assumption of my less-astute or less-worldly colleagues was that a druggie was a druggie and that he was toast; he was incapable of making business decisions, and he should give it up.

Bullshit, I argued, in print; drugs do not make the man. Irsay had a chance at recovery, and he took it, and he's a better person today -- and he has served Indianapolis reasonably well. Nobody's perfect, but anybody who assumes that a drug habit is the end of the road has not read the Big Book or tasted much of life.

But then, that's Indiana....small towns, small minds....small newspapers.

That said, some good reporting this week. With a tip of the hatlo to Chappell et al.






Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Ruthie, I love ya more than my lugage, but you need some political schooling. I'll try, but others will surely follow, and many will likely have different takes. 'Tis what makes the blog go 'round:

Dan Burton: There is not one shred of redeaming value in Dan or his worthless brother, Woody. Dan, in particular, is far-right on issues, and that I can handle. His district isn't THAT conservative, but it is solidly GOP.

No, Dan's not a lout because of his views. He's a lout because he's pinched female behinds--and worse--for 30 years. For God's sake he married his late wife's hospice doc. There isn't a House staffer in the last 25 years who hasn't known the few Congresscritters who lurk and pounce on young female staffers. I'll grant that a few lurked upon male staffers too, but Danny Boy is evidently 100% hetero.

He also misused his powerful chairmanship of the house Oversight Committee, during Gingrich control, to "investigate" the Vince Foster death. Which was, and is, strictly a prosecutorial function. Nonetheless, Danny Boy trekked onward, piecing together conspiracy theory on top of conspiracy theory. He even shot a watermelon or pumpkin in his backyard to demonstrate "brain splatter", and introduced it into evidence before his own committee. A complete moron. Embarrassing.

As for Woody--well, we've got "In God We Trust" on our license plagtes thanks to that goof. State-sanctioned religion, and nary a court or legislator with enough balls to tackle it. Panmdering never had a better friend than Woody.

As for Evan, I know he's not liberal enough for some of you. But for God's sake he replaced Dan Coats, who was as milquetoast as they come. Coats was a back-bencher House member who replaced Dan Quayle in the house, then Senate. Yikes.

Mike Pence scared Bayh backers. Dan Coats is no threat. Evan's campaign won't even have to point out the obvious--Coats is a carpetbagger--because Hoosiers don't cotton to that kind of "representation." New Yorkers, ala Hillary and RFK, maybe. But not Hoosiers.

The locals who despise Irsay may hold some old drug-rehab bias. I don't think so. He's successfully beaten back that demon, with the PR help of Myra Borshoff. Hoosiers are forgiving on those counts, is true remorse and progress are shown. Jimmy is obviously a solid citizen and his organization contributes to the community--as they well should because we've contributed mightily to them.

Most who are angry, are livid over the deal the Colts got for a new stadium.

I'm wearing Colts blue as I type this at my office--but that stadium deal was as lousy as they come. We needed the extra convention center space. Badly. But taxpayers got screwed. Royally.

Maybe I'm not smart enough to decipher it differently. And maybe this is what small-market NFL teams have to do to remain attractive.

Still, it stunk. And the residue from that bad deal will be sour in the mouths of Hoosiers for a long time. Super Bowl Win or not

2010-02-05 08:09:04

hendy [Member] said:

Seems like we rehash the same things over and over again on this forum.

I'll agree with TTT most everywhere above, save the gutless wonders of the Son of a Birch. He is not my friend, so I have no apologies for him *at all*. Comparing him to Coats? Both of them were nearly invisible..... and Republican.

2010-02-05 08:48:27

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Well, Hendy, the Gutless Wonder took on the Bush White House after he voted for the first war...our troops were badly equipped for their mission, and Sen. Bayh made sure they got better equipment as fast as possible.

Now, the Bush White should've known this. Families were taking up collections for armored vests. Families were sending food to front-line troops because they were starving.

Sen. Bayh did this, AND pushed through pay increases for Natl. Guard, over the opposition of the Bush White House.

So...there are bright spots. I cannot for the life of me think of one thing Dan Coats did. Except keep Quayle's House/Senate seat warm.

Just sayin'.

2010-02-05 12:32:46

hendy [Member] said:

Rather than devolve the conversation, I'll mention that I've seen Richard Lugar in more useful initiatives than Bayh. Reducing post-cold war nuclear armament for one.

I don't see Bayh as a leader, more of a caretaker. Initiative is either very behind-the-scenes or is actually absent-- because I can't find any.

I have a Dan Quayle floormat.

Where are the real leaders? Those that represent people, not corporations-- or at least a mixture? I understand the need for business development, and don't have a problem with that. I do find that consumer and populist initiatives are largely over-looked. I get the feeling that no one in the Indiana senate seats give a foo for its constituents-- just the campaign contributors. Perhaps I'm being sanguine, but this problem just gets worse after the recent dam break caused by the SCOTUS decision to let business money play politics to an even higher degree than before.

That soldiers got good equipment is good. But the entire premise for the Iraq war was contrived lies and BS. Now that troops are there, they need protection. But I don't see Bayh trying to wind down the war and use real stabilization to replace the troops that are there. It's endless, and sucking the country dry. I'll stop ranting and let someone else have a chance.

2010-02-05 14:42:21

Whitebeard [unverified] said:

"but that stadium deal was as lousy as they come. We needed the extra convention center space. Badly. But taxpayers got screwed. Royally."

I'm generally in agreement with you in what you wrote on this post, Ruth, but I line up with TTT on Irsay.

Due to my health problems and physical disability, our family is poor. But when we do scrape together enough piggy bank change to go out to dinner, we are paying a restaurant tax for a football stadium we cannot afford to enter.

This is "Robin Hood in Reverse" to me - taking from the poor and giving to the rich.

Irsay is Robin-Reverse Personified in my book.

2010-02-05 14:47:10

Ms. Cynical [unverified] said:

I'm with you, TTT: "I cannot for the life of me think of one thing Dan Coats did. Except keep Quayle's House/Senate seat warm."

Coats didn't do anything as our ambassador to Germany either.

Bah! Let him stay in Virginia where he belongs!

2010-02-05 15:38:58

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

To be fair to all Bush-era ambassadors, Mc. Cynical: I know this from a (Republican) relative who's highly-placed in the intellegence community:

George W. Bush so mangled foreign policy, and our image around the globe, that the job of our professional diplomats became impossible. They had to defend, for instance, our entry into Iraq, when no logic or evidence supported it.

My relative indicates Obama's reach-out to the world community, has already paid dividends, but the damage is "the most severe in 100 years." The professional diplomats and career State workers ahvhe to salvage the nuts-and-bolts of our presence in nations, around the world, mostly through our embassies and consulates.

Germany is a strategically important axis in the NATO alliance. I'm sure Coats did the best he could. That said, he's no brain surgeon. Maybe he was a place-holder. I don't know.

I do know there are critically-important second-tier jobs open at embassies around the globe. Career diplomats rushed out in droves from 2005-07.

An embassy is relly like a small corporation. You've got multiple departments to run on a daily basis--passport/visa, monetary and trade relations, education, agriculture, and the gooks (spies) who fashion themselves as hidden gems. The bigger the country, the bigger the headaches--and Germany is as big as it gets for our foreign service.

If I'm going to be an ambassador, give me a warm island somewhere. I was in Italy once over July 4, and our embassy in Rome was a beautiful haven for Americans and Italians who loved to party. I will never forget it.

But I digress...

2010-02-06 09:20:56

hendy [Member] said:

And I go to Germany on the 25th for my dozenth+ trip. I watch the organizational skills, the beer and brats at 10 in the morning, the trains that go everywhere, and the $9/gal fuel. And I laugh. I laugh loudly.

Yet the Germans are very much like us in so many strange ways. I learned that I'm 1/128th German. It doesn't explain much, as far as my view on life is concerned. Yet it'll be fun. It's always fun and enlightening.

2010-02-06 12:36:26

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

I've only been once, Hendy, but it is a fascinating country. So much destroyed in WW II, so much culture...and a huge American presence. For some reason...must be its strategic location.

I know a fell who worked at the embassy in Bonn while Coats was ambassador. He says they hardly knew Coats was there. Nothing good, nothing bad....nothing.

Still...if you're ever able to be in a friendly nation on July 4, try it. It is glorious to be at an American embassy abroad on July 4.

2010-02-06 15:42:55

Ms. Cynical [unverified] said:

Yes, TTT, that's what I mean: "I know a fell[ow] who worked at the embassy in Bonn while Coats was ambassador. He says they hardly knew Coats was there. Nothing good, nothing bad....nothing."

Exactly. Coats is a big...nothing! And not even a big nothing who lives in Indiana!

The Republicans should at least field a Hoosier! Aren't there any willing to tackle Bayh?

2010-02-07 18:47:29

Btown [unverified] said:

I think Bayh's biggest threat is actually Marlin Stutzman. He's been campaigning for a year now and for a little-known, rural state legislator, he seems to have really put up a fight. He's really shown his teeth now that Coats has gotten in. Have you seen his campaign's response? They were first in pointing out Coats did nothing except for lobby for his own good and live off the DC teat for 12 years while we Hoosiers struggled. If nothing else, Kudos to Stutzman for doing that.

2010-02-09 08:19:13

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Btown, you're right, of course, but Stutzman is a flaming rightwing nutcase.

Other than than, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the theatre?

2010-02-12 14:18:39

Shorty Long [unverified] said:

Don't faint Ruth; but I agree w/you about Evan Bayh. I actually voted for him a couple of times. Perhaps the most evil part of his reign is his wife's involvement w/"Well"point. Of course, Evan denies any influence on his decisions (or lack there of). He his like having a part-time R in the Senate. Sadly he will continue to win because of this. He is an Indiana R's best friend. I am really pis--d off this time. No more voting for Bayh.

2010-02-13 08:29:29

Shorty Long [unverified] said:

Ruth: get on the ball w/the current Bayh news. Look for Mayor Bart to enter the fray next week (with a promised war chest of 5M)...also a rumor about the usual suspects, Joe Hogg. and Melina (I wish I was a real Kennedy)....Get with it Ruth!!!!!!!!!

2010-02-15 10:44:09

bob kravitz [unverified] said:

Ruth: When Jim was messed up on drugs, I wrote that the city needed to put its negotiations for a publicly-financed stadium on hold until he got his shit together. As a self-avowed champion of the little guy, I would think this would resonate with you. You don't give massive amounts of cash to a guy who isn't in his right mind. Jim and I get along great and always have; we have a lot in common, including the occasional penchant for self-medication. But if revisionist history helps you make your point, knock yourself out. If you were one-tenth this interesting as a newspaper columnist, you'd probably still have a job.

2010-02-15 19:05:12

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