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EXCERPTS FROM EVENING FORUM EDITORIALS

This Week

Saturday, November 30, 2013 - 12:01 am

Nuclear option a drastic action

Indiana Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly was in favor of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s plan last week to “go nuclear” by forbidding senators to filibuster in some cases. Republican Indiana U.S. Sen. Dan Coats was against it.

Boy, there’s some shock, huh?

How advisable was this drastic action? Consider this wise counsel:

“The nuclear option abandons America’s sense of fair play … tilting the playing field on the side of those who …own the field. I say to my friends on the Republican side, you may own the field right now, but you won’t own it forever. And I pray God when the Democrats take back control, we don’t make the kind of naked power grab you are doing.”

That was Joe Biden, then a senator and now the vice president who thinks ending the filibuster is just dandy.

Monday

Not either-or for Legisature

Here’s something Hoosiers will be glad to hear, straight from Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis: Republican legislators are capable of doing the political equivalent of walking and chewing gum at the same time. He means they are able to consider both legislation affecting the economy and the controversial amendment to put the gay marriage ban into the state constitution.

Democrats such as House Minority Leader Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City, insist that it’s an either-or situation. Bosma, he says, will “have an easier time governing” if he eliminates gay marriage from consideration.

That is mostly a misleading argument. Democrats do not want a gay marriage ban considered, period. They will list anything as more important issues that should push any social issues off the agenda.

Tuesday

Sanctions may be best option

We’ve written more than once here that economic sanctions are on shaky moral ground. They’re frequently not effective, especially when other nations don’t join in. They can have unintended consequences. Worst of all, they hurt civilians. At least military action can be targeted at the actual perpetrators of evil.

But sometimes sanctions are the least objectionable option when dealing with a dangerous regime. Negotiations are problematic – the nations we need agreements with the most are the ones that are the least trustworthy to honor agreements. War is always to be avoided if at all possible.

So the lesser-of-all-evils option for dealing with Iran might be one action contemplated by Congress: even tougher new sanctions that will kick in if the six-month deal falls apart.

Wednesday

Thank God for our country

From President Washington’s 1789 Thanksgiving proclamation:

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits and humbly to implore his protection and favor and whereas both Houses of Congress have … requested me to recommend to the People … a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

“Now therefore I do …. assign Thursday the 26th day of November to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good …

Thursday

A burden on our religious beliefs?

Two Indiana firms – Grote Industries of Madison and Tonn and Blank Construction of Michigan City – are among the companies with legal challenges that will be considered by the Supreme Court when it decides if for-profit corporations can refuse to provide their employees insurance coverage for contraception.

The 2010 Affordable Care Act requires large companies to offer insurance with a broad range of benefits, including birth control and other reproductive services. But the owners of the companies say providing birth control that prevents implantation of fertilized ova is morally equivalent to abortion and violates their religious principles. More than 40 companies have filed challenges and lower courts have made contradictory rulings, so the high court had little choice but to act.

Friday