Why the heat hurts more now
So we’ve had a little heat wave. The temperature flirted with 100 degrees a few days and even crossed the line to set a record of 106, and there was enough accompanying humidity to suck the air right out of our lungs. Are we going to keep whining about it? What are we, a bunch of wimps?
Why, our granddaddies had it way worse than this. During the Dust Bowl days in 1934, there was a six-day string of 100-degree days just down in Indianapolis, followed by nine consecutive 100-plus days in 1936. And that was before air conditioning and ice machines and 20-oz. Slurpees and the 24-hour minimart. Think those hardy people whined? Of course not – they were tough!
Well, not necessarily. They were just better able to handle the heat because they were more used to it.
On increasing Medicaid rolls
Gov. Mitch Daniels is doing the right thing by leaving the choice of whether to expand the state’s Medicaid rolls to the person who succeeds him in January. The decision will have profound effects financial and otherwise for years to come, and it would be unfair to saddle either Republican Mike Pence or Democrat John Gregg with a fait accompli. For one thing, the next governor needs to hear from all of us out here in Hoosierland, and we haven’t had a chance to study the implications yet.
That we even have a decision to make is a minor miracle. When the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate as a part of the federal health care overhaul, it also went against the modern trend of ever-expanding federal power by saying that Washington cannot require that states cover more low- and middle-income workers through Medicaid.
Mixed message from the voters
We are barely four months away from what many are calling the most consequential presidential election of the modern era, and so far it is impossible to even guess how it might go.
A new poll from the Hill has found that 56 percent of likely voters believe President Obama’s policies in his first term have transformed America in a negative way, while only 35 percent believe he has changed the country for the better. That is not a surprising finding given the continued shaky state of the economy. But get this: According to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, Obama and Mitt Romney remain in a deadlocked contest, tied at 47 percent among registered voters, just where they stood in May.
Can you say “mixed message”? It seems that many voters who don’t like what Obama has done still have no plans to vote for Romney.
We've lost one of our dearest
The basket that holds a community’s soul is woven with many strands, and when one of the strands breaks our fear is always that the basket will weaken. But that isn’t always so. Fort Wayne lost one of its best and dearest this week with the death at 81 of Patty Martone, but the community’s soul will stay strong because of the thousands of people – and that is not an exaggeration – she inspired to live good and giving lives.
The first were the students she taught in English class at Central High School, the ones she called “Patty’s kids” who went on to become a generation’s doctors and lawyers and journalists and postal workers. She gave them a sense of history – this was back when schools still taught from a canon of common values values – and a sense of wonder at the potentials in their own futures.
A conservative and a pragmatis
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock might want to thank his Democratic rival, U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly, for helping him get his message out.
Mourdock is running as a principled conservative who will never compromise to get along with the Washington power structure. Just in case that isn’t clear, Donnelly spells it out. Donnelly is a “bipartisan pragmatist,” a new TV ad for the Democrat says, while Mourdock is the “uncompromising conservative” who is outside the political mainstream” in this “Republican-leaning state.”
How can anyone think “bipartisan pragmatist” would be seen as the hero and “uncompromising conservative” the villain in this state that, let’s be honest, does far more than “lean” Republican? And what an inelegant phrase “bipartisan conservative” is – sort of describes in a nutshell how we got in this mess.