Category Archives: Richard Lugar

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree.” — James Madison

EXTREMITIES

So, Richard Lugar was “too moderate.”

Say that to yourself: too moderate.

That was the Me Party charge against the ancient US Senator from Indiana.

And that’s what lost him the 2012 Republican primary.

Too moderate.

Out

It’s a contradiction, an oxymoron. It’s like saying a guy is of extremely medium height. Or the weather has been unbearably mild.

Too moderate.

In others words, Richard Lugar was thrown out of office because he wanted to work with the opposition party in the Senate.

And again, Dems, don’t get all huffy and righteous over this. Most of the criticism of Barack Obama from his own “loyalists” has been that’s he’s too willing to strike deals with the GOP. Hell, I’ve raked him over the coals for it.

But it occurs to me that moderation and compromise are the qualities that make just about every human relationship — from marriage to democracy — work.

GOP Winner Richard Mourdock Promises Not To Work Well With Others

But see, we don’t want relationships any more, I suppose. And most especially, the Me Party-ists don’t want relationships. They want their way. And if they don’t get it, why then there’ll be hell to pay.

Another thing occurs to me now — the Me Party-ists are the definitive Americans of the 21st Century. They are the New Ugly Americans.

A BEAUTIFUL MIND

I voted for Shelli Yoder in the Dem primary for strategic reasons. She’s the only one among the five candidates for the nomination for US Congress from Indiana’s 9th District who can beat Republican Todd Young in the November election.

I would have been equally happy with Jonathan George or Bob Winningham, strictly from a philosophical angle. John Tilford, too, only he never had a chance in this race and he knew it (I got that inside info from an impeccable source.) As for John Griffin Miller, well, I hope he had fun running — because his candidacy was a lark.

But Shelli can win over a lot of central and southern Indianans outside the former Soviet Socialist Republic of Bloomington (BSSR) because she’s exceedingly charming and pretty. Don’t yell at me for typing that — I’m just the messenger here. Most people vote for gut reasons, not because they’ve spent hours poring over position papers and contemplating the issues of the day.

All’s Fair

I’ll say it again, there’s a lot more to Shelli Yoder than her shayna punim (relax, it’s not a dirty term; look it up in your Yiddish dictionary). Being a former Miss Indiana and the second runner-up in the 1993 Miss America pageant will make a lot of people much more comfortable voting for a Democratic woman, though.

In this case, the Dems have to use every edge they’ve got.

THE COLOR OF MONEY

A Mark Rothko was sold for more than $86M in a Christie’s auction yesterday.

Rothko’s “Orange, Red, Yellow”

Mark Rothko has been dead since 1970, so all that dough isn’t going to benefit him terribly much.

Capitalism’s a really weird system, no?

STALAG 2012

The world’s biggest bags of wind are due to arrive in Chicago in a week and a half.

See, the leaders of the NATO member nations are gathering in my hometown to discuss how they can further carve up the planet.

The 2012 NATO Summit will run for two days, May 20th and 21st. Not only will the presidents, prime ministers, and otherwise-titled bosses of the NATO states be in attendance, but so will their Secretaries of State, Foreign Ministers, Defense Ministers, and miscellaneous social delinquents.

Naturally, this presents a golden opportunity for the more snappish among the citizenry to cause mayhem.

At the low end of the threat level, some bandanna’d anarchists might embarrass Rahm’s Town, say, by tossing a stink bomb into McCormick Place. On the other hand, there’s the very real danger that some bad guys might try to harm the people who have the generally-accepted right to harm the rest of us when it benefits them and their countries.

So, the security apparatuses of the various nations have agreed to turn my ex-fair city into a prison camp for those couple of days. Everybody’s getting into the act. The Chicago cops are preparing for Armageddon, the FBI is spying on everybody who sneezes the wrong way, the US Secret Service will be on the lookout for people carrying fingernail clippers, and even downtown businesses are prepping their employees for the festivities.

According to news reports, Loop firms are advising their people to dress down on the days of the Summit. The wearing of suits and wingtips, apparently, might induce some wild-eyed radicals to attack. The idea, I guess, is that they’ll think the guy in pinstripes walking down Wabash Avenue with a cup of coffee in one hand and the Sun-Times in the other just might be British Prime Minister David Cameron. And you know wild-eyed radicals — next thing you know the poor schlub has a pie in the face (or worse).

“That Guy In The Suit, It’s The German Defense Minister! Get ‘Im!”

Here’s my solution to the problem: next time these chuckleheads want to get together, send them to some way out of the way place where they won’t mess up the lives of innocent, ordinary citizens.

You know, the G-8 bosses were scheduled to meet this spring in Chicago as well — that is, until radical activists’ plans to descend on the city became known. Then the State Department moved the confab to Camp David, Maryland, where security is easier and the population is virtually nil.

But they did that for the comfort and ease of the big boys (and girls) involved, not for the little guys and gals on the streets of Chicago.

Ah, the privileges of power.

Electron Pencil event listings: Music, art, movies, lectures, parties, receptions, benefits, plays, meetings, fairs, conspiracies, rituals, etc.

Wednesday, May  9, 2012

IU Mathers Museum of World CulturesExhibits, “Blended Harmonies: Music and Religion in Nepal”; through July 1st — “Esse Quam Videri (To Be, Rather than To Be Seen): Muslim Self Portraits; through June 17th — “From the Big Bang to the World Wide Web: The Origins of Everything”; through July 1st

IU Kinsey Institute GalleryExhibit, “Man as Object: Reversing the Gaze”; through June 29th

◗ Ivy Tech Waldron Arts Center Exhibits at various galleries: Angela Hendrix-Petry, Benjamin Pines, Nate Johnson, and Yang Chen; all through May 29th

Trinity Episcopal ChurchArt exhibit, “Creation,” collaborative mosaic tile project; through May 31st

Monroe County Public LibraryArt exhibit, “Muse Whisperings,” water color paintings by residents of Sterling House; through May 31st

Monroe County History CenterPhoto exhibit, “Bloomington: Then and Now” by Bloomington Fading; through October 27th

Bloomington High School NorthSpring concert, Southern Indiana Wind Ensemble; 7pm

◗ Butler University, Clowes HallGarrison Keillor; 7:30pm

Cafe DjangoMedia Noche Trio + 1; 7:30-9:30pm

The Media Noche Trio

Max’s PlaceOpen mic; sign up begins at 5:30pm, music begins at 7:30pm

Harmony SchoolContra dancing; 8-10:30pm

◗ IU Kirkwood ObservatoryStar-gazing Open House, rain or shine; 9pm

Bear’s PlaceBrian Johnson & the Acquitted, Michael McFarland, Brian Fortner; 9pm

The BluebirdThe Personal; 9pm

The BishopThe Strange Boys, William Tyler & the Constants; 9:30pm

The Strange Boys

Jake’s NightclubBattle of the bands; 10pm

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“Television is democracy at its ugliest.” — Paddy Chayevsky

THIS IS THE OPERATIVE STATEMENT — THE OTHERS ARE INOPERATIVE

How can you not love politics?

“He is the worst Republican in the country to put up against Barack Obama.”

That was Rick Santorum six weeks ago describing Mitt Romney — a man whom he endorsed yesterday.

Best Friends Forever

Now, if you’re a Dem or you loathe the GOP, don’t start getting huffy and righteous and say something foolish like, Oh, those Republicans — they can’t be trusted. They’ll say anything to get elected.

Let’s go back four short years ago. Hillary Clinton spent a lot of time wagging her finger at Barack Obama during the Dem primaries. Some of her supporters threatened to — gulp! — go Republican if Obama won the nomination. That’s how deep the animus had grown between the two camps. Next thing you knew, both sides had come together to defeat the McCain/Palin ticket that, by all accounts, induced no Clintonistas to switch parties.

See, that’s why I could never be a politician. First, I have no interest in having the skeletons in my closet bared. Second, I know that at some point in time, I wouldn’t be able to stop myself from blurting out, “Jeez, can you believe how full of shit I am?”

BTW: recognize the headline at the top of this entry? That was Dick Nixon’s Squealer, Ron Ziegler, speaking to reporters on April 17th, 1973. Operative statements, in Ziegler’s bizarre argot, were simply today’s lies; inoperative statements were yesterday’s.

Animal Farm

THE BUSINESS OF AMERICA IS BUSINESS

Let’s stick with a theme here: How can you not love business?

According to the IDS, a few enterprising students tried to sell ducats online for a c-note apiece to the IU Kelley School of Business commencement ceremony Saturday

An IU spokesbeing issued a statement tut-tutting the scalping deal.

Free Market?

Making money in a free market is the aim of getting a degree from the Kelley school — except, apparently, when you’re trying to make money selling tickets to a celebration of spending four years of your life learning how to make money in a free market.

HILLARY AT THE SUMMIT

Back to Hillary Clinton. It turns out losing the race for the Democratic nomination for president in 2008 just might have been the best thing ever to happen to her.

You may recall that Hillary was perhaps the most despised human being in this holy land before Barack Obama came along to wrest the title from her.

WWN Wasn’t Half As Hard On Hil As Fox News

Remember when Bill Clinton told voters he and the missus were a “package deal”? That she was going to be, in essence, a co-president? Middle America had apoplexy — Hillary was going destroy this sacred society by upending our traditional view of what a First Lady should be.

She even had to stop using her preferred hyphenated moniker, Hillary Rodham Clinton, because too many voters figured a woman who keeps her maiden name is most likely a Nazi abortionist.

And then she came out with that famous quote about not being interested in sitting at home and baking cookies. Millions of Americans became convinced at that very moment that she was a also lesbian communist.

I never felt particularly warm about Hil. Oh sure, I voted for Bill (and her — I bought into the co-presidency idea) but she always struck me as a privileged white person, no matter how quasi-progressive she claimed her politics to be.

I always suspected she was incapable of dropping a gratuitous F-bomb or wouldn’t know how to drink a shot of tequila.

Park Ridge, Illinois, the Chicago suburb in which Hil was raised, was chock full of prim, holier-than-thou folks — even those, like HRC, who entertained near-liberal ideas.

Still, I’ve always had great respect for her. She’s tough enough in her own way to scare the bejesus out of her serial-philandering husband. Plus, she’s smart as a whip and ambitious to boot.

Barack Obama saw these same qualities and selected her as his Secretary of State. Oh sure, he wanted to keep her occupied for four years as well, just in case she wanted to challenge him again in 2012. Still, he recognized her strengths.

Anyway, she’s done a fantastic job as a globe-trotting SoS. She’s juggling a potentially nuclear Iran, an uppity China, a schizo Pakistan, a mobbed-up Russia, a broke European Union, Myanmar, India, the nagging Isreal/Palestine issue, the Arab Spring, and too many other hot spots to mention. Somehow, the world hasn’t blown itself apart just yet.

She may not be tough enough to suck down a ounce of Tarantula Plata without gagging but I doubt there’s a male national leader on this Earth who has the cagliones to cross her.

Why, just yesterday she told the Bangladesh government in no uncertain terms to lay off the Grameen Bank, the innovative microlender founded by Nobel Peace laureate Mohammed Yunus that helps women in south Asia develop small businesses and escape poverty. A while ago, Bangladesh had given the axe to Yunus as boss of the bank. Hil’s now staring that government down, saying don’t mess with Grameen.

Trust me, she’s writing her own entry in American history books.

But had she become president, she would have been savaged for her imagined sins nearly as much as Obama has for his. Who knows what form her “Birther” opposition might have taken. Most likely, there’d have been a constant flow of Hillary’s-gonna-force-our-daughters-into-dykedom “revelations” coming from right wing bloviators and Me Party-ists.

She might have had to spend her precious time denying that she leads a satanic sex cult in the White House basement.

It’s better being Secretary of State.

INDIANA DEMS HAD BETTER BE RIGHT ABOUT MOURDOCK

Finally, speaking of Me Party-ists, their latest darling in Indiana, Richard Mourdock (“End the EPA!”), looks like a lock to unseat long-time US Senator Richard Lugar in the Republican primary today.

Now we’ll see if the state’s Democratic party theory that Mourdock is a preferable foe for their nominee Joe Donnelly in November holds any water.

Donnelly’d better win. Mourdock has been endorsed by none other than Minnesota’s Michele Bachmann.

She’s Back!

I know, I know — you’d finally swept that name clear out of your consciousness and now I remind you that she’s still around. Hey, politics is a rough game.

Electron Pencil event listings: Music, art, movies, lectures, parties, receptions, benefits, plays, meetings, fairs, conspiracies, rituals, etc.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

IU Mathers Museum of World CulturesExhibits, “Blended Harmonies: Music and Religion in Nepal”; through July 1st — “Esse Quam Videri (To Be, Rather than To Be Seen): Muslim Self Portraits; through June 17th — “From the Big Bang to the World Wide Web: The Origins of Everything”; through July 1st

IU Kinsey Institute GalleryExhibit, “Man as Object: Reversing the Gaze”; through June 29th

◗ Ivy Tech Waldron Arts Center Exhibits at various galleries: Angela Hendrix-Petry, Benjamin Pines, Nate Johnson, and Yang Chen; all through May 29th

Trinity Episcopal ChurchArt exhibit, “Creation,” collaborative mosaic tile project; through May 31st

Monroe County Public LibraryArt exhibit, “Muse Whisperings,” water color paintings by residents of Sterling House; through May 31st

Monroe County History CenterPhoto exhibit, “Bloomington: Then and Now” by Bloomington Fading; through October 27th

People’s ParkLunch Concert Series, Starkraven; 11:30am

The Venue Fine Arts & GiftsGuitarist Erol Ozserver; 5:30-7:30pm

IU Woodburn Hall, Room 101 — Secular Alliance Movie Night; 6-8pm

Jake’s NightclubKaraoke; 6pm

Deer Park ManorSteppings Stones’ annual volunteer awards & recognition ceremony; 6:30-8pm

Monroe County History CenterCivil War round table, “The Truth about the Confederate Flag”; 7-8pm

The Player’s PubBlue jam, King Bee and the Stingers; 8pm

The BishopEP release party, New terrors with Prayer Breakfast & The New Heaven and the New Earth; 9pm

The BluebirdCoheed and Cambria; 9pm

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“The funny thing is, Reagan was a flaming liberal compared to today’s American Taliban…. Any Republican today talking or governing like Ronald Reagan would earn a swift kick out of the party, labeled as a tax-raising, terrorist-negotiating, gay-loving, amnesty-granting, big spender. Yet that hasn’t stopped the American Taliban from elevating Reagan to sainthood, airbrushing out his more nuanced beliefs and actions. Republicans have been thrown to the curb for far less these days.” — Markos Moulitsas

DEMOCRATIC SABOTEURS

Real Estate John posed a question to the other heavy-lidded members of the Boys of Soma early this morning.

“Tell me what you think,” he began. “I’m thinking of registering in the Republican primary.”

This was followed by the roar of silence. We were stunned. Tough Guy Mac, who’d been nursing a post-Saturday night headache, stirred in his seat.

Pistol Packin’ Pat broke the hush. “Why the hell would you do that?” he demanded.

“Well,” John said, “Mourdock has to be stopped.”

Mourdock

Mourdock being Richard Mourdock, current Indiana State Treasurer, and running in the Republican primary to unseat six-term US Senator Richard Lugar. Mourdock has been endorsed by a bunch of pro-business/anti-sex/to-hell-with-you organizations as well as the Tea Party-ists. Mourdock’s the kind of guy who’d consider a longtime GOP stalwart like Lugar dangerously liberal.

Lugar

The whole switch-parties-to-sabotage-the-other-party’s-primary thing began back in 1980 when liberal-ish Illinois Congressman John Anderson was running in the presidential primary versus Ronald Reagan. Lots of Dems were so petrified by the future Saint Ronald that they felt compelled to swallow their dignity and call themselves Republican for a moment to stop his inexorable rise to the throne.

Anderson Went On To Run As A 3rd Party Candidate in 1980

In fact, I’d heard from another woman the other day that she was planning to vote in the GOP primary, despite being a Dem. So I had well-rehearsed advice for him.

“Lemme tell you what I told that woman, ” I said. “What happens if you’re hit by a truck and killed the day after voting in the Republican primary. That would mean the last civic act of your life would be voting Republican. Do you want that stain on your eternal soul?”

Democrats Who Voted In Republican Primaries

Real Estate John thought about this for a moment and then nodded.

This didn’t prevent the rest of the Boys from wagging their fingers at him. Tough Guy Mac pressed him, “Now, why in the hell would you do something as stupid as that?”

Pistol Packin’ Pat, the political savant among us, offered a more practical consideration. “It’s not a smart strategy,” he said. “We want Mourdock to win. The Democrats poll much better against him than against Lugar.”

Tough Guy Mac still couldn’t believe what he’d heard. He hissed, “Jesus Christ!”

“Don’t do it, John,” I added. “I’m trying to save you from yourself.”

“Alright guys,” RE John said, defensively. “I won’t do it. Jeez.”

We sat and simmered for a few moments. It occurred to me that both aspirants for the Republican nomination shared the same first name. Nobody names their kid Richard anymore, for obvious reasons.

I mused aloud: “You know, there are too many guys in politics named Richard.”

Type-A Tyler, one of the boys despite possessing the wrong plumbing, said: “There’s a reason for that.”

None of the rest of us needed to ask for an explanation.

The Biggest Richard Of Them All

Electron Pencil event listings: Music, art, movies, lectures, parties, receptions, benefits, plays, meetings, fairs, conspiracies, rituals, etc.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Cafe DjangoBrunch, Maddie Arnold on guitar; 11am-1pm

Trained Eye Arts CenterWomen Exposed 7; Noon

Women Exposed 7

Mathers Museum of World Cultures — Exhibits, “Esse Quam Videre (To be rather than to seem), Muslim self-portraits; From the Big Bang to the World Wide Web: The Origins of Everything; Picturing Archeology; 1-4:30pm

◗ IU Willkie AuditoriumIU Pre-College Contemporary dance Program presents “Springtime on the Farm”; 3pm

Max’s PlaceDog and Pony, Hoosier Hotcakes; 4:30pm

Bub’s Burgers — Poker; 5:30pm

The Player’s PubIU Extravanganza with Bob Stright; 6pm

Waldron Arts Center“Future of Jazz” featuring Jamey Aebersold; 6pm

Jamey Aebersold

IU CinemaFilm, Monika Truet’s Raw and Cooked; 6:30pm

The BishopSpirit of ’68 presents: School of Seven Bells; 9pm

Madame Walker Theatre CenterBlue Moon Sunday featuring Blackberry Jam; 7pm

Max’s PlaceSpring 2012 Coffeehouse; 7pm

Bear’s PlaceRyder Film Series: “The Fairy”; 7:30pm

Today: Sunday, November 13, 2011

POETIC JUSTICE

Penn State lost. Good. May they never win another game again.

Joe Pa’s Statue Being Molested By Penn State Fanatic

PONY UP

Indiana University employees are raising a stink about having to pay a larger share of their health insurance premiums, according The Herald Times (log-in required).

Some 800 IU wage slaves have signed an online petition asking for more time to mull the huge increase. IU honchos say the increase is set in stone, so tough luck, kiddies.

The hike will hit IU workers who make about $10 an hour hardest. The university did agree to a slim wage increase for this school year ($1.5-3 percent) but additional expenses like the health insurance premium pretty much offset it.

I hate to be a nudge (well, alright, I love to be a nudge) but I just want to remind the world that Big Chief Michael A. McRobbie is enjoying his hefty pay raise this year. The school’s pres is making $533,120 in 2011-12, an increase of 12 percent over lost year’s paltry sum.

Higher Premium? No Prob.

Jes sayin’.

LOOSE NUKES SINK WORLDS

Yeah, yeah, I know I’m supposed to villify Senator Richard Lugar  but I can’t help but thinking he isn’t all bad.

You know, we progressives are mandated by blood oath to abhor all Republicans. They are, after all, the spawn of Adolf and Eva, but — silly me — I’m just a contrarian.

Commentator Mike Leonard in today’s H-T heaps kudos on the 79-year-old running for his sixth term in the Senate for a piece of legislation Lugar co-sponsored 20 years ago. Lugar and Georgia Senator Sam Nunn, a Democrat, successfully pushed through the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program Act in 1992.

The bill authorized this holy land to spend tons of dough to help the nations of the former Soviet Union find and destroy nuclear weapons that had been positioned within their borders. The Soviet Union, natch, wasn’t the most open of hegemonists when it planted the big bangers within such wild spots as Azerbaijan, Belarus, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan.

The Act led to the destruction of at least 7500 nukes as well as thousands of delivery systems and tons of fissionable materials.

Here Is Soviet Gift To You, Mr. and Mrs. America

For you younger readers, the Act was the result of something we used to refer to as “bipartisan cooperation,” a quaint concept that means Democrats and Republicans working together.

I know, weird, huh?

LOVE TRUMPS POLITICS

Sam Allison is quitting his job as Monroe County Board member.

I met Sam on election night, 2010, when his fellow Dems across the nation were dropping like flies under the onslaught of the Me Party-ists. Even Bloomington congressman Baron Hill got fired by the voters that sad night.

Not Slick, Just Decent

Allison had been the County Recorder and was running for the first time for County Council. He and his lovely bride hung around the Democratic campaign headquarters on 3rd Street. Gloom descended upon the place as results came in. The figures showed Allison winning early in the night, though. Too bad his moment of triumph came in what was essentially a funeral parlor.

Sam Allison seemed a decent and humble man. Those qualities, apparently, didn’t hinder his political career. Now his lovely bride has scored a big new gig in Missouri so Sam, faithful mate that he is, is following her.

Good luck.

I’M COMIN’, ELIZABETH!

Heaven Is For Real” is still the number one paperback bestseller in this holy land, according to the New York Times Review of Books.  Next week will mark a full year since it hit the list. That ain’t all: Somehow, the hardcover version is still among the top movers in that category, sitting at number 26 this week.

It’s The Big One!

“Heaven…” recounts young Colton Burpo’s trip to paradise after his appendix burst when he was three years old. The book was written by his father, Todd Burpo, an evangelical pastor from Nebraska. Old man Burpo’s co-writer was the controversial Lynn Vincent who co-penned another other work of bizarre fantasy, “Going Rogue,” with Sarah Palin.

The book is joined on the coffee tables of the willfully credulous by “The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven” at number 17. This one is the tale of a six year old kid who falls into a two-month coma after a car accident. The kid, of course, comes as close as can be to joining the putative creator of the universe in his palatial digs but somehow finds the strength to come back to Earth because, you know, any place with the Taliban and Donald Trump in it has to be preferable to eternal paradise.

Screw Heaven; I’d Rather Be Around This Guy!

Anyway, this whole I’m-precious-enough-to-be-brought-to-the-doorstep-of-god thing got me to searching the interwebs for other fascinating folks who’ve seen the bright light. Sure enough, Hollywood is filled with ’em!

One website that finds the whole phenomenon credible lists the following souls as having entered the tunnel and coming back:

● Liz Taylor

● Sharon Stone

● Gary Busey

● Larry Hagman

● Erik Estrada

● Burt Reynolds

● Ozzy Osbourne

● and the King himself, Elvis Presley

So, you tell me, who ya gonna believe, a bunch of dumb scientists or Erik Estrada?

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