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Saturday, February 16, 2019
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  • Rep. Banks votes against spending bill
    “While I support President Trump’s agenda on border security I cannot support this bill as it falls woefully short on delivering on the commitments we have made. Making matters worse, the U.S. is $22 trillion in debt and this 1,169-page bill was introduced less than 20 hours ago with little time to review.  As Chairman of the Republican Study Committee Budget and Spending Task Force I am working hard with my colleagues to introduce a fiscally responsible budget but in the meantime, I can’t support more bloated spending like what is found in this deal.” - U.S. Rep. Jim Banks, announcing he would vote against the compromise spending and southern barrier bill. U.S. Sen. Mike Braun also voted against the spending bill.
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  • Hoosier presidential candidate week in The New Yorker
    This must be Hoosier presidential week in The New Yorker. First came Benjamin Wallace-Wells' portrayal of South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg's "Quiet Rebellion" in the context of the emerging 2020 presidential race. Then Jill Lepore's "Eugene V. Debs and the Endurance of Socialism." These articles feature two Indiana presidential candidates from South Bend and Terre Haute, their stories playing out a century apart.

    Wallace-Wells writes: "Against the image of the millennial left, Pete Buttigieg appears to be a relatively prosaic Presidential candidate, but, in his own understated way, he is suggesting a sharp break with the past." The writer adds, "Part of the paradox of Buttigieg’s candidacy is that he has placed himself in a performative role, without the benefit of a performative personality."

    Lepore finds Debs growing up in Terre Haute working on the railroads, his political origins in the Democratic Party. She writes: For a long time, Debs disavowed socialism. He placed his faith in democracy, the franchise, and the two-party system. “The conflict is not between capital and labor,” he insisted. “It is between the man who holds the office and the man who holds the ballot.” But in the eighteen-eighties, when railroad workers struck time and time again, and as many as two thousand railroad men a year were killed on the job, while another twenty thousand were injured, Debs began to wonder whether the power of benevolence and fraternity was adequate protection from the avarice and ruthlessness of corporations backed up by armed men. “The strike is the weapon of the oppressed,” Debs wrote in 1888. 

    Debs ran his final of five presidential campaign in 1920 from a jail cell. It's too early to determine what confines Buttigieg will be operating from he is fledgling candidacy makes it to 2020. But with President Trump's State of the Union vow that America will never be a "Socialist country," it is the notion of historic socialism and Buttigieg's recasting from a Millennial perspective that provides a fascinating subplot to the 2020 presidential campaign.
    - Brian A. Howey, publisher
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