Mike Pence will be more than Indiana governor
Certainly we should all hope that from his inauguration today all the way to the end of his first term, Gov. Mike Pence focuses on taking this state to the next level. Gov. Mitch Daniels took Indiana from “shaky” to “good” and left a foundation Pence can build on to make us great.
But we also have to accept the fact that he will be more than our governor. In a real sense, he will also be auditioning for the next job up the ladder: president of the United States.
A lot of people hoped he would run this time around and were disappointed when he didn’t.
The GOP has a bad habit of nominating squishy middle-of-the-road candidates whose only qualification is that they’ve been trying forever so it’s their turn to lose one for the team.
Anti-'Agenda 21' lesson on power
There probably aren’t many people out there afraid that they’ll wake up tomorrow to see armed United Nations troops marching down American streets. But that doesn’t mean the anti-Agenda 21 agitators should be completely dismissed as the paranoid lunatic fringe.
“Agenda 21” is a decades-old U.N. document calling for better management of global resources and better care for the environment. It has become a rallying cry for some on the right who fear that the U.N.’s aim is to establish a global empire and that U.S. sovereignty is at risk. Spurred on by the tea party and people like radio host Glenn Beck, they have made Indiana one of fives states with legislative proposals to ban Agenda 21.
It’s fair to say, to be kind about it, that fears of a U.N. takeover are exaggerated.
Let's not stress families
Gov. Mike Pence made good on one of his campaign pledges in his first day in office, making one of the 15 executive orders a requirement that six state agencies prepare “family impact” statements for any new proposals for regulations. There are good reasons to view the order with a little skepticism and watch its implementation closely. It’s one of those noble-sounding intentions that can get a little vague in the real world. How can we know for sure what the impact of a proposal might be, and how much weight should we give that knowledge anyway?
But one concern that’s not as worrisome is the idea, advanced by some critics among whom was Pence’s Democratic opponent, John Gregg, that this effort to “promote traditional families” is unfair to other kinds of families, including heroic and desperate single parents. No, it isn’t.
Anthony Wayne fine at Freimann
It’s no fun being bullied, especially by the arrogant, all-powerful federal government. So the natural reaction to the federal officials who are upset over Mayor Tom Henry’s plan to move Gen. Anthony Wayne’s statue from Freimann Square to the Allen County Courthouse Green is, “Shut up and go away – we’ll do whatever we want to with that sculpture.”
But we should avoid the temptation to be so reactionary and consider the move on its own merits. There are reasons other than the concern expressed by the National Park Service to be skeptical of relocating Mad Anthony.
The park service says putting the statue on the Courthouse Green would be “insensitive” because it would “damage the historical integrity” of the careful restoration done by the Allen County Courthouse Preservation Trust.
In search of heavy bettors
Hey, suckers, you’ve been falling down on the job. Wagering on horse races in Indiana has fallen steadily since 2005. It fell to $125 million in 2011, the lowest level since 1995.
But not to worry. Centaur Holdings, which owns Hoosier Park in Anderson and is in the process of acquiring the Indiana Grand Casino and Downs in Shelbyville, has plans for the two racinos that it hopes will separate Hoosiers from a lot more of their betting money. Each facility will have its own kind of racing. Anderson will have the harness racing, and all the thoroughbred racing will go to Shelbyville. Such specialization, it is hoped, will attract more bettors.
Centaur also plans improvements at both places, including a 1,500-person music venue in Anderson and an entertainment complex and additional slot machines in Shelbyville.