Dateline: Sun 29 May 2011

Consider a view of marriage that is more practical than romantic. The European model deserves attention, since generally, divorce is less prevalent abroad, as well as tougher to get historically.

Europeans are more likely to believe that marriage is, among other things, a financial institution, especially relevant when children are involved. So why throw out the babies with the bathwater, when you just have to buy more bathwater -- and soap, towels, a home, all that? So goes one line of thinking.

However, as we all know, in the U.S.A, divorce is common, with one out of two first marriages ending in the courts. Arguably our high rate of divorce -- it increases for subsequent unions -- is due in part to idealistic or unrealistic notions about a "right" to happiness that includes an endlessly affirming partner (along with financial stability and all the components of The Good Life.) I am not talking about divorce in the case of abuse, adultry or addiction, but divorce as a whim when things are just not quite right.

Thoughts turn, again, to the marriage of Gov. Mitch Daniels and his decision not to seek the GOP Presidential nod, based, he said, on the will of the women in his life -- Cheri Daniels, (who divorced him only to consent to remarry him), and their four daughters. The Daniels clan -- at least the women folk -- simply did not want to have their private lives smeared all over the media. Yet no question, Daniels would have been a fine contender.

As Ms. Cynical suggested in an earlier post, "I suspect this story still has legs," because, as she noted, my earlier post "left out the part that Cheri's 'someone else' ... was married with children...." And supposedly that spurned wife "is damned pissed that Cheri is made out to be a heroine for having gone back with Mitch and having trashed another man's marriage in the process."

OK, so to clear the air and set the record straight:

The "new man" in Cheri Daniels life was a former beau she rediscovered during a spa trip to California. He is a medical doctor whose speciality was research.

When Cheri left Mitch and married Husband No. 2, Mitch Daniels did get custody of their four girls -- I am correcting that from a previous post. He got custody, it was not shared. One of the attorneys involved with the case said it was the first time he'd seen a judge rule "on the spot" to grant custody to the father, rather than take that decision under advisement, since it's rare for men to get custody.

Cheri Daniels and No. 2 did move to Indy so she could be closer to the daughters, but No. 2 was unable to find a job; Mitch Daniels made certain of that No. 2 would not find work in this town.  Daniels obviously has the connections to make that happen. (He was at Lilly at the time).

I persoally admire Mitch Daniels efforts to reunite his family. My impression is that he held firm in order to win back his wife by refusing to allow the daughters to go West. But he also dated during the time he was divorce, and he also apparently came close to considering a second marriage.

When Mitch Daniels eventually prevailed in his quest to get his ex back, and the Daniels were remarried, friends of Mitch Daniels had a stag birthday party for Mitch. One guest asked what everyone wanted to know: "So why did you remarry Cheri?"

The answer from Mitch: "I always said that if I were to get married again, I said it'd be for money.

"I just didn't expect it to be my money!"

What does any of this prove, except that Daniels has a sense of humor and perserverance?

Not much, except that real life is messy, and messy is not what Americans want in a presidential candidate; we prefer squeaky clean and pure (which is why Hillary Clinton consistently lied for President Bill Clinton). The Daniels family no doubt has many fine qualities, as a unit and as individuals. But there's no doubt that Indiana's first couple don't quite fit the romantic and unrealistic notions most Americans still hold about marriage. And that would have been fodder for journalists, and may well have torpedoed the campaign.






varangianguard [unverified] said:

Well, another "torpedo" (torpedoe, if you're a Quayle) might well have been that the Governor values loyalty over competency in subordinates.

All well and good to escape the fallout from the FSSA, DoC, etc. when one's subordinates fail miserably, but on the Presidential level? His fellow Republicans would eat him alive during the primaries over it, IMO.

2011-05-30 07:39:48

ruthholl [Member] said:

That's an interesting observation. How odd that a virtue -- loyalty -- could become a liability. But in this context, it makes perfect sense.

2011-05-30 08:20:33

hendy [Member] said:

Loyalties can also be dysfunctional co-dependencies, too.

We need to make a listing, tho. Let's call it: While Under Mitch's Watch. I'll at to V's list by adding mine in:

1) FSSA debacle, have a nice day, IBM.
2) DoC debacle
3) IURC debacle
4) BMV debacle
5) Toll Road Debacle
6) Calling Pat Bauer a Terrorist Debacle
7) AES debacle
8) Setting up the 2008 Economic Debacle by being WH Budget Director Under King George II
9) Murder of Indiana Public Schools Debacle
10) Defunding of Planned Parenthood Debacle

Ok guys, it's a fun exercise: Add yours to the list! This is the stuff The Star won't cover because they're too cowed, and that the IBJ dances lightly around because of Mickey Maurer's relationship with His Man Mitch.

2011-05-30 08:39:05

Ms. Cynical [unverified] said:

Hey, Ruth, your outline of the scenario vindicates neither Cheri nor Mitch (nor the unnamed doctor -- who divorced his wife and abandoned his children in California).

Loyalty? Something else was definitely in play. "Follow the money" probably has relevance here (and Mitch's comment bears that out).

2011-05-30 12:18:42

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

A difficult situation, to say the least.

I think that anyone who thinks Mitch could've gotten out of New hampshire, SC and Iowa, is smoking something. He's a true moderate--he worked for and admires Lugar, for Christ's sake. Not that that's a bad thing. But he isn't even a NEOcon...

The Iowa GOP has moved further to the right than their national counterparts. NH Republicans still think the Loebs' worldview rules (a John Birch reference here would be perfect). SC is, well, South Carolina. Hideously out of touch and insensitive.

Those are the first three juggernauts through which Repub hopefuls must pass.

The National GOP has an identity crisis. They'd better wrestle it to the ground quickly. Most Republicans I know are more sensible and compassionate. The current GOPtrend is to demand absolute issue purity, top to bottom, side to side. At least among their political elite class.

How else do you explain the prominence of three airheads--Michelle Bachman, Sarah Palin and Christine O'Donnell, plus the Nevada debacle which ultimately cost the Republicans dearly.

The net casualty could be Lugar, who should gracefully retire, and whose worldviews we badly need. But even that experienced world leader is now pandering to his party's right wing.

My Dem Party has seen this before, and we're not immune form ideological litmus test.s I guess I'm just more comfortable with those litmus tests and their heritage--mostly, they come from inclusive attitudes.

2011-05-31 06:00:31

hendy [Member] said:

Ah, the Dems.

I defended Obama's elections on political and moral grounds. Here was a guy that voted against Iraq and defied King George II.

I thought: great, no more Patriot Act. real health care legislation. No more Gitmo. Diplomatic solutions to the Middle East problems. Sanity in the economic recovery.

Not one of these things has transpired. Obama had enormous momentum, then let it travel down the sewer system of politics.

Yet TTT, calling Daniels a moderate isn't very accurate. And your sycophancy to Lugar's "world view" is the twice daily accuracy of the stopped clock. Yes, I like that he wants to contain post-Cold War era nukes. Beyond that, he's a dyed-in-the-wool neocon himself. Look at his chest-thumping "I'm a True Conservative" piece next to Mourdock's in the IBJ a couple of weeks ago, if you had any doubt.

This is the guy that started badly: by being the president of the IPS during the era when Dillin started castigating the IPS for it's segregation. Segregation. Here: I'll say it again, segregated schools. Was Lugar a hero of the IPS board? No. He then went on to carve up the township schools into the morass it is today through Unigov. Unigov was the worst idea in Marion County history-- even worse than letting the sewers fester for 80 years.

But we deserve him, and the other carpetbagging lobbyist senator. I use the term "lobbyist" as an epithet connoting the most vile of lizard.

2011-05-31 06:38:33

Doubtful [unverified] said:

I have very little admiration for Mitch Daniels, especially when it comes to his marriage history. Based on what I've observed since he's been in office, every move he makes is strictly for power. And whatever you do, don't question his motives or he'll strike like a viper. He and Cheri aren't together because of love (have they ever lived in the same house since being remarried?), but because of his Napoleonic desire to control her and their children. I wish he had run for president ... so he could have been overwhelmingly defeated on a national stage. And sense of humor? I think smartass is more appropre.

2011-05-31 07:19:37

Whitebeard [unverified] said:

"I thought: great, no more Patriot Act. real health care legislation. No more Gitmo. Diplomatic solutions to the Middle East problems. Sanity in the economic recovery.

Not one of these things has transpired. Obama had enormous momentum, then let it travel down the sewer system of politics."
I couldn't agree with you more, Hendy. I have never been more disappointed in a president I voted for. What has changed since W? Very little.

Disappointment in the false promises of Obama is one of the main reasons so many independents have veered to the right and why airhead Tea Partiers (like the ones TTT mentioned) have a prominent voice on the national level.

We need a true populist-based third party. At the moment, I have no faith in either of our political parties.
I probably never will as long as they are bankrolled by the same multi-national corporations who really run the show.

As for My Multi-Millionaire Mitch, I hope he will take his show on the road (retirement) to whatever lush tropical island he owns in the Caribbean.

2011-05-31 13:47:50

George Stuteville [unverified] said:

I think much was made of the marriage issue because it was the easiest thing to write about and the most convenient thing to blame.

Bottom line is the bottom line: I think Daniels calculated that he could never raise enough early money to get through the primaries.

It's kind of a drag he's not in the race because his presence would have raised the level of debate, which would have been great for the nation.

2011-05-31 14:40:33

Jason [unverified] said:

I know Mitch worked for Bush before his second term, the Democratic congress, and our plunge off the fiscal deep end, but really? This guy's resume included being a budget director for President Bush, how is that NOT a red flag? That's like being a PR guy in the Iranian government or the director of diversity at the local klan. I just don't see how it's a positive.

It's been a long time since I've cared so I've long since forgotten the details, but he was involved in a utility stock sale right before a buyout that stank. It was legal and aboveboard, but IMHO unethical and a lot of line employees got screwed, majorly. As in lost their pensions and retirement savings. He got out right before it tanked. Again, perfectly legal, but not right.

He's done right on a few things here and there, but I attribute a lot of his success to failures in Michigan, Illinois, and Ohio. Most of our neighbors are dryrotting and raising taxes at the same time, so we should be doing darn better compared to them. I didn't see him getting very far and perhaps he didn't either.

2011-06-01 09:52:02

John M [unverified] said:

I am disappointed Obama on issues of civil liberties and Guantanamo, but I'm not sure I understand the grounds for criticism on health care. It's not Obama's fault that the Senate's filibuster rules have evolved into a super-majority requirement of 60 votes. He got the best health care bill he could get with the votes he had. Republicans, even sane Republicans like Collins, Snowe, and Lugar, were willing to do anything to deny him a victory, and he had to fight with centrists, such as Lieberman and Nelson, in his own party.

The same is true on economics. The GM bailout has been successful. A bigger stimulus would have been better, but again, where were the votes?

As for diplomacy in the middle east, I'm pretty please that Israel, which is and should be a valued ally, has been made to understand that the US won't be a rubber stamp for whatever destructive policies it pursues.

If John McCain had been elected, we would have had no health care reform, no winding down of the war in Iraq, and the possibility of two Supreme Court appointments (although one or both may not have retired). Don't Ask Don't Tell would remain on the books. The Bush tax cuts would have been made permanent (and probably enhanced, to boot). It's quite possible that a perpetual sabre-rattler like McCain would have US ground troops in Georgia and Libya (not that I support what O is doing in Libya).

But hey, by all means, conclude that because Obama hasn't transformed the USA into a liberal utopia, then there is no difference between the parties. I know that an intransigent minority and moderates in his own caucus are of no concern in fantasyland. So, by all means, vote for Ralph Nader in 2012 and ensure the election of the Republican. That worked out so well in 2000. Bush the "compassionate conservative" against Gore the "New Democrat." Not a dime's worth of difference, right?

2011-06-01 09:58:43

Whitebeard [unverified] said:

Well, John, I almost died in December because I couldn't go to the closest hospital due to the constraints of our HMO health insurance - the only kind of insurance we can afford.

Telling my wife of 32 years my burial desires in a faint whisper is not something I want to repeat very soon.

Obama's health care program is next-to-nothing and the potentially somewhat helpful dimensions of the plan don't even take effect until 2014. Heaven keep me from getting pneumonia/congestive problems again before then. I'll be a dead man.

People are dying every day because of the health care debacle. And their loved ones left behind to pay the bills are going bankrupt.

If Obama couldn't deliver, he shouldn't have promised us the moon and then delivered a moon pebble.

Obama is good at making speeches, but weak at gaining consensus even among those who wanted so badly to support him and believe he is looking out for "the little guy and woman."

I never wrote anything about Nader, someone who I greatly admire. I don't believe he has any chance of being elected. But Ross Perot and his party were major players before his mental health "issues" came to the forefront, so surely there is a populist-based third party that could emerge and gain support.

The American middle class is shrinking before our eyes.

2011-06-01 11:45:10

John M [unverified] said:

Hey, I would love a better health care law than what we got, but it's still the biggest step since the advent of Medicare. Tell me what more Obama could have done to build consensus. The law that passed is pretty similar to a bill proposed by, among others, Republican senators Lugar, Hatch, and Bond in the early 1990s. All of them voted against the current law. If an opposition party is so determined to deny its opponent a victory that its members will vote against their own ideas, then what else could Obama do? I'm sure President Palin will do better by you.

2011-06-01 12:26:51

Wilson46201 [unverified] said:

Obama & Gitmo: he TRIED to close it but the GOP/TeaParty rose up in great furor and fear against "bringing dangerous, blood-thirsty terrorists onto American soil". Even the Indiana Republican State Senators voted against closing Guantanamo! Eventually, he gave up in the face of such determined opposition. It simply wasn't worth the political cost.

2011-06-01 18:18:38

Jason [unverified] said:

He could have allowed people to buy insurance across state lines. He also could've revised the tort rules in regards to malpractice. He said it didn't save that much, but he took it off the table before any studies had even been conducted, so I'm calling makeup.

Wilson and JohnM, where I think you're missing the boat is how much his tenor changed when he started receiving national security briefings in the runup to the election. I think he came in a little naive (sorry, he was very short on experience, not a criticism but a fact), but he quickly realized the lunacy of a lot of the things he had earlier proposed. I don't look at it as lying, I see it as him changing his opinion as his understanding of the facts changed.

FWIW, while he's offended his radical base, most of America's happy with the way he's run things in regard to homeland defense. Many of us have been pleasantly surprised with how much mettle he's shown. Sure he's got a long way to go, as in continuing our foreign policy of being worse to our allies than to our enemies, but he's also a loooong way from where he started.

2011-06-02 16:38:15

Pete [unverified] said:


Actually, I have a different take on Obama's pussyfooting about the torture era. My guess is that he was made privvy to just how extensive and organized the Bush era War Crimes were, and that under no circumstances could the world learn the true extent of them. Even now, Bush basically can't travel outside the US without the threat of arrest for these crimes.

My guess is there was stuff that went down that would get the US diplomatically isolated and probably kicked out of every major international organization as well as things like international sporting events like the Olympics.

2011-06-04 10:32:49

Jason [unverified] said:

Okay, no offense but you lost me at Bush-era war crimes. I see plenty of ex-Presidents (even our current one) travelling abroad and I have yet to see one of them arrested as a war criminal. Statements like that have no place in meaningful debate.

So George Bush is a war criminal but Obama isn't responsible for signing a kill order and "invading" another country to serve it? How about the rendering policies of every President since Clinton, so it's wrong for us to waterboard but it's okay for us to hand people over to foreign intelligence services knowing they're going to be beaten and have shims shoved under their fingernails? I understand our country's Puritanical roots trend toward a lot of self-flagellation, but let's use all 9 of the cat's tails on this one.

2011-06-04 11:33:46

Pete [unverified] said:


I suggest that you look up the UN Convention against Torture, which the US was a signatory to under Ronald Reagan (just for fun, read Reagan's eloquent statement about why torture was morally indefensible). The Bush Administration knowingly ordered it's military and intelligence personnel to violate that treaty many many months BEFORE should be disbarred White House Counsel John Yoo unilaterally decreed that the US is exempt from Geneva Convention rules with the curious "they're not prisoners of war because the War on Terror is somehow different" logic. By the way, the UN Convention against Torture is rather unambiguous about prohibiting torture against ANYONE and doesn't contain the semantic loopholes that the Geneva Conventions have. I'm actually surprised few people pointed this out.

What happened at Abu Ghirab was a war crime. The revelation that jackwagon soldiers in Afghanistan were deliberately killing civilians as part of a contest was a war crime. The various Blackwater civilian massacres in Iraq were war crimes. The fact that over a hundred prisoners of war DIED during interrogation are war crimes. Rendition is a war crime.

Hell, remember when torture of prisoners was supposed to be a Jack Bauer ticking time bomb, only in dire circumstances sort of thing? Whoops, turns out we were doing it to every single person we picked up. Christ, we put a TWELVE YEAR OLD in a prison camp.

Look at it like this. If any other country did the EXACT same things the US perpetrated between 2001-2009, what would your opinion of that country be?

Read some Hanna Arndt sometime, chief

2011-06-04 16:13:59

Jason [unverified] said:

Okay, your position appears to be that yes, every sitting president in the modern era should be tried for war crimes. Yes, even Reagan, because he ordered hits on many of the people responsible for organizing the Iranian hostage crisis. Hmmm, we'd have to include FDR and Abraham Lincoln in that bunch too. I'll give you credit for one thing, we'd have to put the terrorists on trial, too, though I'm not sure they'd qualify for that venue.

Most of the people I meet who present the arguments you're throwing out there tend to be nothing more than people who hate the military. Dunno whether or not that's you, but the whole our-Presidents-are-war-criminals thing is pretty much a decided issue with 99+% of the American people.

BTW, Israel's been there and done that, I definitely wouldn't say I despise them.

2011-06-07 04:51:12

Pete [unverified] said:

Oh, yes, when cornered about US conduct that we wouldn't tolerate out of anyone other than ourselves and our 51st state, the conservative cries "you hate the military". I don't hate the military, I want our military to abide by international law and treaties that we are signatories to.

Do you ultimately think that it's a good thing that the US has implemented a policy of torturing prisoners of war? Do you really think that the soldiers at Abu Ghirab and the platoon that was deliberately murdering Afghan citizens as part of a "kill contest" would have done so if top leadership wasn't so callous about our conduct in the theater of undeclared war?

If, say, the Soviet Union did the exact things that we've done in the last 10 years in Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Libya, and Yemen, would you be cool with that?

2011-06-07 07:01:41

Nicolas Martin [unverified] said:

Divorces are mostly initiated by wives. Since European women are palpably less disgruntled (dare I say misandrist) than American women are, the divorce rate would be lower.

2011-06-07 11:13:59

Jason [unverified] said:

A) Not a conservative
B) I don't know you, and I didn't say you hated the military. You should reread my post.
C) Terrorists aren't Prisoners of War. I enjoy people who cite the Geneva convention but don't understand it's most basic tenets.
D) No, of course I wouldn't condone that type of conduct, don't be foolish. If you were a student of history you'd know it's more common than we as humans would care to admit. But hey, keep blaming the US if it helps you sleep at night.

If those countries went around not engaging in military conflict, but in murdering men, women, and children, then YES. Why is it people want to provide help to the impoverished around the world but when it involves force suddenly we're not doing the right thing anymore? Please explain Pete.

2011-06-07 13:19:28

Pete [unverified] said:


A. Could have fooled me

B. Re-read your post, you didn't say that I personally hated the military, but you did say that my arguments were generally put forth by people who did.

C. The UN Convention Against Torture (which we are a signatory to)doesn't give countries an "out" with semantic games about who is or is not a "prisoner of war". But since they aren't "prisoners of war" can we get past referring our current entanglements as the..ahem..."War on Terror". We can't have it both ways.

D. Yes, humans are generally more barbaric than not. But as a student of history, try this exercise out. Add up the number of years since WWII that we didn't have troops on the ground in active combat. Now compare that to, say, China. Or Cuba.

The US likes to claim that it is different than rogue regimes, but too often engages in the very same activity. Care to reconcile that?

BTW, no one in their right mind would think that the phony war in Iraq was ever about "helping impoverished people", unless you count oil interests and military people who needed a staging area for a war with Iran. Afghanistan WAS a just war until we stopped focusing on the mission to invade Iraq as well as propping up the corrupt Karzai regime (soldiers murdering Afghan civilians for fun doesn't help things either)

2011-06-07 16:20:10

Jason [unverified] said:

Fortunately Pete, your interpretations are in the vast minority (i.e. your own). However, I guess we can add governors onto the chopping block since they have the ability to commute death sentences (which would have to be worse than torture since we're killing them, right?) Again, this is a decided issue with all but the extreme progressives such as yourself, and even in your camp there is still much debate. Under your logic virtually every major officeholder in history should be rotting in some Interpol Supermax prison. They either weren't, aren't, or won't be.

I'm comfortable with that.

2011-06-08 02:44:14

Pete [unverified] said:

Who the hell said anything about the death penalty (except that three plus decades of it since it was brought back has had no impact on the crime rate).

So, when it comes to torture, war crimes, etc...if America does it, it's not illegal. Got it.

2011-06-08 07:12:22

Jason [unverified] said:

I've always seen the death penalty as a more egregious violation upon somebody than torture (actually taking their life, not putting them in pain.) I'm guessing that by your verbage you don't think so. Hmm. Then again, by virtue of us having a death penalty our whole country should be in a tribunal (if we're making arguments for randomly applying international law that is.)

From what I gather you're trying to invoke a multiculturalist legal precedent that doesn't exist. Again you're not really answering any of my questions so I'll move on.

2011-06-08 15:37:35

Bear [unverified] said:

YMMD with that ansewr! TX

2011-06-11 08:29:44

Pete [unverified] said:


The point is that the death penalty is not relevant to the main point which is the US use of torture against prisoners of war is a direct violation of the UN Convention against Torture, which we are a signatory to.

Here's what St. Ronald Reagan said when he signed the treaty into law: "The United States participated actively and effectively in the negotiation of the Convention . It marks a significant step in the development during this century of international measures against torture and other inhuman treatment or punishment. Ratification of the Convention by the United States will clearly express United States opposition to torture, an abhorrent practice unfortunately still prevalent in the world today."

Now since international treaties ratified by Congress and signed into law by the President are binding under the Constitution, it's not exactly a "multiculturalist" legal precedent I'm asking about. It's law.

So, again, if the US can torture prisoners of war, should other countries be allowed to do so as well?

2011-06-11 12:08:29

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