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Tuesday, January 19, 2021
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  • INDIANAPOLIS  As of midnight on Tuesday, the federal government failed to submit payroll, meaning no paychecks will be issued on Friday. We are beyond the “partial” shutdown as funding expires for many agencies, and more than 20,000 federal employees in Indiana go unpaid. Many Hoosiers facing an actual crisis, not the manufactured one coming from the White House. To add insult to injury, federal employees deemed “essential” such as TSA agents and air traffic controllers will continue working without pay for the duration of the stoppage. The failure of leadership on every level during this shutdown hasn’t been the surprise. The surprise has been the incredible lack of empathy from many business leaders, as if getting a paycheck from the United States Government is something employees should consider an honor. It’s as if — somehow — smart, savvy businesspeople have abandoned all common sense when it comes to a political personality they support. If a person could see past political ideology and talk-radio rhetoric to see their neighbors’ suffering, they’d witness a wholly different reality. One where households with one — or even two — government workers will be struggling to pay next month’s rent. A reality where parents are picking up part-time jobs and asking friends and family for childcare support. 
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  • Orwell on truth & consequences
    “The point is that we are all capable of believing things which we know to be untrue, and then, when we are finally proved wrong, impudently twisting the facts so as to show that we were right. Intellectually, it is possible to carry on this process for an indefinite time: the only check on it is that sooner or later a false belief bumps up against solid reality, usually on a battlefield.” George Orwell, author of "1984" writing in 1946.
     
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  • HPI Power 50: Crisis shapes 2021 list

    By BRIAN A. HOWEY
    and MARK SCHOEFF JR.

    INDIANAPOLIS – After two decades of publishing Power 50 lists in the first week of January, this one comes in a true crisis atmosphere. As we watched in horror the U.S. Capitol being overrun by supporters of President Trump on Wednesday, the COVID-19 pandemic has killed more than 8,000 Hoosiers and 350,000 Americans, shutting down our state and nation for nearly two months last spring. While vaccines are coming, there will be a distinct BC (Before COVID) and AC delineations as this epic story comes to a close. It gripped like a vise key figures, from Gov. Eric Holcomb to Vice President Pence. It delayed an election, closed schools and restaurants, reordered the way we do business and buy things, and will set in motion ramifications that we can’t truly understand (like the virus itself) at this point in time. There’s another crisis at hand. It’s our society’s civics deficit, fueled by apathy that transcends our schools and societal engagement, and allowed to fester by a news media in atrophy. That three members of the Indiana congressional delegation – U.S. Sen. Mike Braun and Reps. Jim Banks and Jackie Walorski – signed on to a protest this week, induced by losing President Donald Trump to “investigate” widespread vote fraud that doesn’t exist, is another indicator of the risks a polarized and undisciplined political spectrum brings to the fragile American democratic experience.

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