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Wednesday, May 18, 2022
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The USS Indianapolis was commissioned in 2019 at the Port of Indiana but is headed for the mothballs.
The USS Indianapolis was commissioned in 2019 at the Port of Indiana but is headed for the mothballs.
Monday, May 16, 2022 12:13 PM
By CRAIG DUNN

CARMEL – There once was a time when the thought of thousands of Russian tanks and light armored vehicles pouring through the Fulda Gap into Germany sent shivers down the spines of NATO military planners. Before the United States could airlift or send a sufficient quantity of M1A1 Abrams tanks to meet the attacking Russians, ole Marshall Boris Bettenoff could be found sipping Chablis in a café on the Champs Elysees.  

This was a potent and existential threat to western Europe and NATO, not to mention the thousands of American boys we keep in Germany to serve as a rapid response force. What we have learned since the Russkies invaded Ukraine in late February is that a fresh-faced, newly trained volunteer holding a shoulder-fired Javelin anti-tank weapon can easily take out the toughest of the Russian tanks. With the massive increase in Javelins it is now “bye bye Boris!” I must assume that American defense contractors Raytheon and Lockheed Martin had a good inkling that they had a home run with the Javelin, but you just never know until you test them out on the bad guys.

The United States, its NATO allies, Russia, China and their allies and inquisitive minds in Iran and North Korea have all learned a great deal in the past few months by watching the day-to-day events in the proxy war between Ukraine and Russia.  

In fact, Ukraine may be the largest military test tube in history. Proxy wars have always served as the experimental grounds for strategy, tactics and the use of new and untried weapons. Use of proxy wars began as far back as the Byzantine Empire but their use in a modern context began most notably in Spain during the Spanish Civil War.  From 1936 to 1939 Spain tore itself apart in a fratricidal conflict between Communists and Leftists, the Republicans and the fascist Nationalists who were backed by Italy and Nazi Germany.
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  • By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    INDIANAPOLIS - This "trend" bubbled up in the homestretch leading into the May 3 Indiana primary in several media quarters: A slate of "Liberty Defense" candidates was poised to pull the Republican House and Senate super majorities even further to the right. Liberty Defense, based in Bluffton, was formed to confront Gov. Eric Holcomb's pandemic mandates and to preserve "your freedoms and traditional family values. Our firm conservative stance is held tight to a no-compromise view on the issues of the sanctity of life, the 2nd Amendment, and religious freedom." But there was no anti-incumbency trend in the May 3 primary. Five General Assembly incumbents lost, but three (State Reps. Curt Nisly, Jeff Ellington and State Sen. Kevin Boehnlein) fell victim to other incumbent legislators after they were drawn into the same districts with the new. With the defeat of Reps. John Jacob and Nisly, who were championed by Liberty Defense, two major headaches of Speaker Todd Huston are now gone. As for the challenges by the Liberty Defense organization in 25 House races, only four on its list won and three of them – State Rep. Bruce Borders, State Sen. Gary Byrne and Wabash County Councilman Lorissa Sweet – had already won multiple elections. Of these 21 Liberty Defense races where endorsed candidates lost, none were close to matching Howey Politics Indiana’s 7% threshold that would suggest a potential breakthrough in the 2024 cycle.

  • By JACK COLWELL
    SOUTH BEND – Most of us think cannibalism is in bad taste. So, it’s the perfect issue for culture wars. In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis stoked culture wars and boosted his Republican presidential nomination prospects with a law to crack down on teaching sexual orientation in kindergarten through grade 3. No more kindergarten teachers grooming kids with sexual orientation topics. No more first graders being taught the LGBTQs instead of the ABCs. One little problem: There were no reported cases of kindergarten or early-grade teachers doing such things. Nor was anyone advocating that the little kids be indoctrinated with sexual topics. So what? That’s not the point. The strategy in culture wars is to create an issue, even if no problem exists. You sucker opponents into expressing outrage over your tactics, creating an impression that they actually support the supposed evil. Then you stand defiantly in their way, a patriot worthy of hefty campaign contributions.
  • By MORTON J. MARCUS
    INDIANAPOLIS – Want to sign up to be an inflation fighter? Don’t think it’s just something for the Fed, Congress, and Big Business to do? It’s like being a forest fire fighter. Inflation is a blaze that’s hard to contain once it gets going. It can be started by careless people on the ground as well as by strikes of lightning from above. Our current inflation is a result of two efforts by the Fed, the Administration, and the Congress (including both parties) to avoid economic disasters in 2008 and 2020. In 2008, Wall Street imploded, and the entire credit system of the U.S. was endangered. The credit system enables us to buy a car, a house, and our daily groceries with our credit/debit cards. It enables the car dealer to have a selection of cars on the lot and the grocer to have a variety of goods on the shelves.
  • By KELLY HAWES
    ANDERSON - Late last year, Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux wrote an article for the website FiveThirtyEight titled “What Americans really think about abortion.” The answer, she discovered, is not much. “Given the longstanding, intractable division on abortion, one might think that Americans hold murky views because they’re actively, even painfully, wrestling with the matter,” she wrote. “But that’s not what I found when I dug into the issue. The truth is that many Americans just don’t like talking or thinking about abortion.” That might soon change. The U.S. Supreme Court seems poised to overturn a 49-year-old precedent in Roe vs. Wade, and at least some voters are mad about it. Listening to the noise, you might get the idea that America is split down the middle. The reality is significantly more complicated. The folks who care deeply about this issue make up less than half of the U.S. population.
  • By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    INDIANAPOLIS - On Monday, Politico broke the story of a leaked SCOTUS draft opinion that had by a 5-4 margin the termination of Roe v. Wade which has legalized abortion over the past 49 years. “We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled," wrote Justice Samuel Alito. "It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives. Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.” When the Dobbs case out of Mississippi is announced in late June or early July, Gov. Eric Holcomb will almost certainly call a special session of the General Assembly and Indiana is expected become one of 26 states to outright ban abortions. This will likely preclude the traditional carve outs that had allowed abortion in the case of rape, incest or the life of the mother is in peril. The outright outlawing of all abortion will bring more children into our state. I was curious about how the children already with us are doing, so I read the 2022 Kids Count Data Book published by the Indiana Youth Institute. Indiana is home to the 14th largest population of children nationally, with more than 1.57 million children younger than 18 residing, including 51% who were males and 49% females. According to the Indiana Department of Health, the number of abortions in Indiana grew by 119, or 1.6%, to 7,756 during 2020. That increased number remained below the some 8,000 performed in 2018, Indiana’s highest number since 2014.

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  • HPI Analysis: The evolution of the U.S. and Indiana abortion debate in post-Roe world
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    INDIANAPOLIS – When the U.S. Supreme Court voted 7-2 in the 1973 Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion, Lt. Gov. Robert Orr had been a contributor to Planned Parenthood. When a young Republican named Mike Pence first ran for Congress in 1988, the abortion issue wasn’t a campaign hallmark. As the nation grappled with the fallout of Roe, it was Northeastern Catholics who mounted the initial vanguard against legalized abortion. After the 1994 Republican Revolution, the pro-life bulwark shifted to the South and Midwest, helping to create the red center of the nation, while the coasts (along with Illinois and Colorado) became blue. In the 1990s in the Indiana General Assembly, Republican House Speaker Paul Mannweiler and Senate President Pro Tem Robert Garton were pro-choice, while Democrat House Speaker John Gregg was pro-life.
  • Horse Race: If Hollingsworth drops $15M, does he win GOP INGov?
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    INDIANAPOLIS – Word on the street is that U.S. Rep. Trey Hollingsworth is planning to pump up to $15 million into his prospective 2024 Republican gubernatorial nomination contest. It’s a race that could pit the retiring congressman against U.S. Sen. Mike Braun, who loaned his 2018 U.S. Senate campaign $5.5 million which helped him defeat U.S. Reps. Luke Messer and Todd Rokita, giving the Jasper businessman a decisive early spending edge. By the time Braun had defeated U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly in the general election, FEC reports revealed he had raised $19.6 million while loaning his campaign $11,569,962. So the 2024 race is poised to be an unprecedented self-funder event. The race is expected to draw Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, Fort Wayne businessman Eric Doden, former state senator Jim Merritt and possibly U.S. Rep. Jim Banks, Attorney General Todd Rokita and Republican Chairman Kyle Hupfer.
  • HPI Horse Race: Houchin poised for Congress; Green wins 1st CD GOP nod
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    INDIANAPOLIS – Of the two new Republican congressional nominees, both Erin Houchin in the 9th CD and Jennifer-Ruth Green in the 1st CD had embraced Donald Trump and had campaigned on that fact on their way to emphatic victories in multiple-candidate races. Houchin told Indiana Public Media the district voters benefited from former President Trump’s policies. Though, she said there weren’t plans to join him at this weekend’s Kentucky Derby. “I believe his policies were good for America,” Houchin said. “We were certainly better under President Trump than we have been under the Biden administration.” She faces Bloomington teacher Matthew Fyfe, who beat Isak Asare and Liam Dorris in the Democratic primary with 56%. “I’m a teacher, I’m going in tomorrow at 8 a.m. to teach these students and that’s the number one priority of this campaign,” said Fyfe. “We need to make sure that we have great schools.” There was no anti-incumbency trend in Tuesday’s Indiana primary, from evidence in the first of the new super majority maps that were drawn and signed into law last October.

  • Houchin, Green win CD nominations; Sen. Byrne defeats Boehnlein; Reps. Snow, Borders prevail
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    INDIANAPOLIS - Erin Houchin is poised to become the newest Hoosier in Congress after winning the Republican 9th CD nomination in a district that is rated R+30. In the 1st CD race, Jennifer-Ruth Green had a huge early lead over former LaPorte mayor Blair Milo. Green will likely face Democratic U.S. Rep. Frank Mrvan. Green declared victory, saying, "I am honored and humbled that northwest Indiana Republicans have placed their trust in me to be their nominee for Congress. Frank Mrvan pretends to be a moderate Democrat, but his record tells a different story.  Frank Mrvan has rubber-stamped the failed economic, energy, immigration and public safety policies of Biden and Pelosi that have led to soaring inflation, crushing gas prices, a border crisis and skyrocketing crime rates. In fact, Mrvan has voted for the radical liberal agenda of Nancy Pelosi 100% of the time. It’s time for him to come home.”
  • HPI Analysis: It's time to reform the 1887 Electoral Count Act
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    INDIANAPOLIS – When I was growing up, if the Peru Tigers lost to the Marion Giants or the Logansport Berries, we accepted the verdict on the court. Those who didn’t were labeled “poor sports” or “bad losers.” These days we are witnessing Republican U.S. Senate debates in Georgia, Ohio and Pennsylvania where candidates are relitigating Donald Trump’s empirically proven loss to Joe Biden in 2020.  Dr. Mehmet Oz was asked if it was time to move on from this “Stop the Steal” mode, and he responded, “I have discussed it with President Trump and we cannot move on. We have to be serious about what happened in 2020.”

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  • Sec. Buttigieg blames Abbott Nutrition for baby formula shortage
    “Fundamentally, we are here because a company was not able to guarantee that its plant was safe, and that plant has shut down. Let’s be very clear. This is a capitalist country. The government does not make baby formula, nor should it. Companies make formula, and one of those companies — a company which, by the way, seems to have 40% market share — messed up and is unable to confirm that a plant, a major plant, is safe and free of contamination. The administration’s also been working with other companies to try to surge their production. That’s led to an increase in production, which is helping to compensate. But at the end of the day, this plant needs to come back online safely.” - U.S. Transportation Sec. Pete Buttigieg, on CBS Face The Nation on the baby formula shortage hitting the U.S. after Abbott Nutrition shut down its Michigan plant over safety concerns.
     
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