Wise Words

Two different Facebook friends attended Donald Trump’s rally in Southport, Indiana, an Indianapolis bedroom community, in the week prior to the midterm election. Both were there simply to observe–one was with a group of protesters, but the other was on a sort of “reconnaissance mission.” Who, she wondered, were these Hoosiers who continued to support a man she considered morally repulsive?

Both of these observers were shaken by the experience. Trump’s “adoring crowds” evidently really do adore him. (Those “over the top” comparisons to Hitler may not be so over the top.) His crudeness and vulgarity, his contempt for expertise and elemental humanity, evidently validate them in some fashion that I can’t comprehend.

It may be because he gives them someone to blame for life’s disappointments and failures–someone black or brown or Jewish or Muslim.

We keep hearing that 90% of Republicans still strongly support Trump, and that’s terrifying. But what we don’t hear nearly as often is the corollary: that the number of people who continue to call themselves Republican has dramatically diminished. As the party has metamorphosed into a cult, a large number of good, sane Americans who were previously Republican  have run for the exits.

One of those was “Sully” Sullenberger–a lifelong Republican best known for safely landing a plane in an episode usually referred to as the “miracle on the Hudson.” Right before the election, he wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post, and it’s worth quoting.

He began by referencing that storied landing:

Nearly 10 years ago, I led 154 people to safety as the captain of US Airways Flight 1549, which suffered bird strikes, lost thrust in the engines and was forced to make an emergency landing on the Hudson River. Some called it “the Miracle on the Hudson.” But it was not a miracle. It was, in microcosm, an example of what is needed in emergencies — including the current national crisis — and what is possible when we serve a cause greater than ourselves.

Sullenberger recounted the important contributions of passengers and airline personnel to the effort to avert disaster, and emphasized the importance of good  judgment, experience, skill — and combined efforts of people working together. He then made a crucial point.

To navigate complex challenges, all leaders must take responsibility and have a moral compass grounded in competence, integrity and concern for the greater good.

Concern for the greater good is a concept entirely foreign to Donald Trump (who, incidentally, displays neither competence nor integrity). Sullenberger didn’t identify Trump by name, but it was impossible not to know who he was talking about when he wrote the following:

In every situation, but especially challenging ones, a leader sets the tone and must create an environment in which all can do their best. You get what you project. Whether it is calm and confidence — or fear, anger and hatred — people will respond in kind. Courage can be contagious.

Today, tragically, too many people in power are projecting the worst. Many are cowardly, complicit enablers, acting against the interests of the United States, our allies and democracy; encouraging extremists at home and emboldening our adversaries abroad; and threatening the livability of our planet. Many do not respect the offices they hold; they lack — or disregard — a basic knowledge of history, science and leadership; and they act impulsively, worsening a toxic political environment.

As a result, we are in a struggle for who and what we are as a people. We have lost what in the military we call unit cohesion. The fabric of our nation is under attack, while shame — a timeless beacon of right and wrong — seems dead.

Toward the end of his essay, Sullenberger (unlike the people at Trump rallies or the spineless enablers in Congress) firmly elevates the national interest over partisan loyalties.

For the first 85 percent of my adult life, I was a registered Republican. But I have always voted as an American. And this critical Election Day, I will do so by voting for leaders committed to rebuilding our common values and not pandering to our basest impulses.

We sometimes forget that there are thousands of former Republicans who–like Sullenberger–chose to leave the GOP when it became the party of Trump and the unhappy White Nationalists who drink his Kool-Aid.


  1. Sheila, your words are so on target. For me, this is the single most frightening thing about this administration. By their actions, deeds and words they create an environment that enables Americans to feel that white nationalism is A-OK. Today is Veterans Day. We are a melting pot of ethnic and religious diversity. Men and women from all ethnic backgrounds and religious beliefs have served and continue to serve and protect our nation. We united and defeated Hitler. We will unite and defeat Trump at the ballot box. Each day I am more grateful for the protections we have due to the wisdom of our Founding Fathers who created three branches of government. Thankfully, the mid-terms have enabled the Democrats to take over the House!

  2. Sheila’s words:
    “We keep hearing that 90% of Republicans still strongly support Trump, and that’s terrifying. But what we don’t hear nearly as often is the corollary: that the number of people who continue to call themselves Republican has dramatically diminished.”

    Sully’s words:
    “For the first 85 percent of my adult life, I was a registered Republican. But I have always voted as an American. And this critical Election Day, I will do so by voting for leaders committed to rebuilding our common values and not pandering to our basest impulses.”

    My words: what have those who have diminished the number calling themselves Republicans done to remove themselves from upholding our current administration? Were they among the voters who helped increase the number of Democrats in the House and at state level elections? Or were they among the numbers did not vote at all rather that display “disloyalty” to the Republican party or their currently skewed view of Christianity?

    A letter to the editor of the Star on Thursday (1 of the only 2 days now allowed for readers to contribute) from a teacher at Southport High School who encouraged her government (NOT civics) students to attend Trump’s rally if possible. She helped them get tickets and “cautioned” them that it was a political rally and sometimes Trump’s rally attendees could become “overzealous”. She also cautioned the students who did not support Trump to “keep quiet so they did not attact attention”. Her Pakistani-American student was the only one who was asked by Secret Service to show his identification before being allowed entry. Her Hispanic students “were legitimately afraid for their safety. Several were asked if they were legal or if they could speak English by adults in the line. Several were told to “Go back to Mexico.” I would like to hear from that teacher again; the after effects of attending a Trump rally have had time to set in, what are those student’s views regarding, not only Trump, but their views of his supporters and general conditions in this country today?

    Trump not only did not attend the ceremony at the American cemetery in Paris to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the end of WWI due to the rain but this morning, he refused to ride the bus to the formal ceremonies with other world leaders but opted to arrive by limo…another photo op? His actions yesterday and today further distances our entire country from our allies of many years and further embarrasses all Americans. What are the views of Sheila’s friends on that “reconnaissance mission.” regarding his actions in Paris? What are the views of those Southport High School students who have now seen Trump and his supporters “in action”?

  3. Have you read Horst Winkler’s full page announcement on page 18A of yesterday’s Star? After telling his history of World Wide Motors in Indpls, he closed: “Most significantly important and paramount to any other considerations, I humbly say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, AMERICA. You have welcomed me in and allowed me to assume your citizenship. Nowhere on earth would it have been possible to creste a similar accomplishment. You bound no shackles upon my energy, nor did you hinder my path. You gave me free rein to pursue the American dream, but you also gave me no safety net. And so it shall be for all those intrepid souls willing to roll up their sleeves and callous their hands. ONLY IN AMERICA. THANK YOU. THANK YOU A THOUSAND TIMES, AMERICA.”

    Can he possibly be thinking of Hondurans and others?

  4. JoAnn, Trump’s behavior in Paris has been a disgrace, as has his behavior immediately following the election that put him, at last, in the cross hairs of a Democrat Congress. The word “deplorable” was made for him.

  5. No offense, but Sullenberger’s words- Nearly 10 years ago, I led 154 people to safety as the captain of US Airways Flight 1549, sound like something Drumpf would say.

  6. Marie,

    “We united and defeated Hitler. We will unite and defeat Trump at the ballot box. ”

    Just a short reminder, Hitler was finally defeated, but it wasn’t through the ballot box. It took a war. Monsters are not defeated at the ballot box, especially not one with the power of a Donald Trump. We must find a way other than the ballot box or civil war. That will be our only salvation.

    There’s a very good chance that it is impossible. Nevertheless, we must continue our quest to find an answer.

    If there is an answer, I believe it will come through the exceptional knowledge of the author, Thomas Mann, who witnessed the German catastrophe from beginning to end.

    See the “Nobility of Spirit: A Forgotten Ideal” by Rob Riemen founder and Director of the Nexus Institute (Yale University Press, New Haven & London, 2008):

    “If you want to understand, really understand the way thing are in the world, you’ve got to die at least once. And as that’s the law, it’s better to die while you’re young, when you’ve still got time to pull yourself up and start again.”
    ~Giorgio Bassani, from “The Garden of the Finzi-Continis”

  7. I thought Sully’s piece was nice, but not strong enough. We have a problem in that generalizations about “cowardly, complicit enablers” don’t work when 45’s followers see him and themselves as righteous defenders of society. To be effective, we must start calling them out by name. Those former Republicans who wrote that everyone should vote for Democrats for every office did the only effective thing they could.

  8. mike from iowa; did you watch LIVE that actual miraculous flight and the safe landing on the Hudson River without damaging nearby buildings? Then watch all 154 SURVIVORS standing on the wings of that aircraft of what should have been a horrible plane crash, possibly into buildings in NYC, causing countless deaths? I watched, spellbound, praying for their lives. He stated repeatedly that, due to his years of experience, knowing his aircraft, he knew he could NOT safely reach Laguardia Airport and acted accordinly. Contrary to regulations and some earlier computer simulated assumptions of such an outcome. The investigation into that miraculous landing was only to learn details as to why an expensive aircraft was sacrificed rather than 154 passenger’s lives plus the crew.

    I find your words to be extremely offensive!

  9. I’m eagerly awaiting a similar action by any well-known Republican from Indiana. So far, the wait goes on — fruitlessly. But, to be honest I regretfully have to say the honorable Republicans of my youth including my parents, and other people I respected highly at that time, supported Senators William Jenner and Homer Capehart, Gov. Harold Handley, listened rabidly to one non-Hoosier, Sen. Joseph McCarthy, and read the things Robert W. Welch, Jr. and the John Birch Society published.
    I’m afraid it will be a long wait again, and like then — fruitless.

  10. Perfectly framed in very wisely written words. My personal view of the real problem and its source is not focused upon mr. trump alone – it is against the deep dark ignorance of some of us he is merely a symptom of. If we allow that ignorance to guide us – it is we who will suffer. Wisdom has its own way, and it stands at the heart of every human being – awaiting a chance to be noticed and accepted. With some people that chance is not even apparent to them: they don’t understand that there is a difference between intelligence and wisdom. You chose good words to opine upon Ms. Kennedy. Thank you, I needed that!

  11. I noticed Capt. Sullenberger’s commentary, “Vote Against Republican Control” on my Yahoo news feed. I read his article, but what stayed with me were the comments from readers. “Who does he think he is telling me how to vote,” etc. but with such vitriol and hatred.

  12. Marv; rather than your quote by “Giorgio Bassani, from “The Garden of the Finzi-Continis” regarding the need for death to understand the way things are in the world, I prefer Kahlil Gibran’s quote from “The Prophet”. “The timeless in you is aware of life’s timelessness. And knows that yesterday is but today’s memory and tomorrow is today’s dream.”

    There is another Gibran quote that fits Donald Trump – imagine that! “You talk when you cease to be at peace with your thoughts.” How can his thoughts possibly be at peace within him or with the disconnected lies talks and Tweets to the world? I cannot remember the movie with the line, “You have never had an unexpressed thought.” which also fits Trump. Is he seeking peace within himself by constantly spewing verbiage hour by hour and day by day?

    Even Charles Manson preached to his family to “Come to the Now!” To come to the current realities of the world. He also was known to often say, “Man is raping the earth!” A truism we can no longer escape and Trump has become the leading rapist as he ends EPA protection of the earth by deregulating the EPA bit by bit.

  13. We finally determined that we did in fact have a Blue Wave, but there was a Red Wave of sorts, too, suggesting that those “thousands of Republicans” who have abandoned their party have been replaced by new recruits to Trump’s cult. This cancer on the body politic cannot be defined and described by numbers; a cancer is a cancer and whether big or small is dangerous and destructive to the organism in which it is sited.

    If my analysis is correct, then even though it appears hopeless at this stage, we must somehow and someday soon bring our fellow citizens who are cult members back into compliance with ideas expressed in democratic values and institutions, especially the proven value of legislating for the common good. How to do that is far beyond my pay grade but we can start by voting out Trump and his minions and thus remove his bully pulpit in spewing out hatred and ignorance to gullible Americans who need someone else to blame for their own disappointments in life.

    Can it be done? It must be done and the sooner the better since Bannon’s admittedly Leninist view of “deconstruction of the administrative state” (aka the end of democracy) is proceeding apace with Trump at the helm, and anti-democratic forces are not only spewing out their venom here but around the world (note Bannon’s recent trips to Hungary and Brazil, both now right wing anti-democratic regimes). It appears that our old role as “the beacon for democracy” has been replaced by “the beacon for dictatorship” with all the little Hitlers sprouting up here and there empowered by the Trump template, so the problem goes beyond our borders and tells me that we have to remove Trump from his bully pulpit – or else.

  14. Gerald,

    Yes, Trump is a cancer on all mankind, not just the United States. His enablers are the carcinogens that created the tumor. Physicians try to excise or irradiate tumors before they become metastatic, meaning that the cancer spreads to other organs and tissues. This disgusting wretch running the criminal enterprise out of the White House must be excised…somehow….soon, before the metastasis kills us all.

  15. We need to remember that Adolph Hitler was voted into office just like Donald Trump. It only took a short amount of time for him to inform everyone, to forget voting me out of office. Do you really think Donald Trump gives a damn about voting at this point of time.? The only way we will ever get rid of him at this point in time, short of a civil war, will be if his neo-Nazi Republican base starts to crumple. Right now they’re rock solid. He’s given them much more than they every thought was possible in America.

    We’re left pursuing what appears to be the impossible. It isn’t. Let’s don’t give up the quest.

    Forget about Captain Sullenberger being an answer, he isn’t or never has been part of Trump’s base. Day dreaming isn’t an answer.

  16. Sully may have lifted enlightened people but Trump would have no idea what they meant. He’s so far into the Land of Narcissism that he can’t even glimpse at real leadership. For one, he is completely devoid of self-awareness. His verbal altercations with telejournalists are middle- school exchanges.

    His comments during the CA wildfires recently shows his utter lack of empathy. He’s a cult leader and the psychopathy of those who follow him are mindless lemmings. There’s not much more needed to assess the worst of America. We’ve been here before. Hate trumps love.

    I fully understand Mike’s view above because philosophical rants will not impact these jarheads. Their minds are closed. Morals, philosophy, or spiritual concepts are wasted on cult followers. In fact, as we’ve learned, the harder you try convincing the worst it is because Trump has already told them that anything outside of Fox News is “fake news” and they believe him.

    The only thing I see different this time is the fusion of religion within the cult. Instead of using their own words or poetry, these madmen use the bible and seem to have recruited the salvation peddlers who co-endorse each other’s bullshit.

    They believe they’ve been chosen by god and therefore are righteous in their efforts. Quite frankly, there’s no difference between these fundamentalist christians and their counterparts in other radicalized religions. They are always the ultimate patriots…in this case nationalists.

    Unlike other religions, we allow the recruitment and radicalization to be televised.

  17. Sheila: There is no question that the Republican Party is shrinking. I am a good example of someone who was a party loyalist in my younger years when good folks like you were running for office. I have not voted in a recent primary, and I am solidly independent. The party of Trump bears no resemblance to the party of Hudnut and Lugar that I grew up in.

  18. Vernon,

    It’s more like a VIRUS than a cancer. It’s a VIRUS OF THE MIND.

    We need an M.R.I. like P.S.S.I. [political sub-suface imaging] of the “body politic.” The disease has spread sub-surface. What we see on the surface is only the symptoms not the cause. Trump’s base needs to see the “writing on the wall.” It’s a “death certificate” for us all, Republican and Democrat, if there isn’t a successful intervention before we lose everything.

    Warning Intelligence is the answer. It had to be accumulated from the beginning or more specifically, “ground zero” of the new strain of what has been called previously “The Hitler Virus.” Unlike the German experience, the virus has been spread undetected, publicly, for more than 50 years.

    German military intelligence, as distinguished from the S.S., tried to stop Hitler as early as 1938 to no avail. We need to learn from their failure. We don’t have an excuse, all of this has happened before. The only thing preventing the exposure, I’m sorry to report is CIVIC COWARDICE.

  19. If you’re were tracking the CAUSE, not the EFFECT, it was easy to see the first day Donald Trump entered the race for the presidency, that he had a good chance of being elected President.

  20. Yes, Reverend Hernandez, you are right, and yes, Sheila, this particular writing was very informative. I sent it to a FB friend living in San Diego, Calif. I wish there could be more bloggers coordinating and sharing online so we could become familiar with other cities’ input. Searching online could take years because of the sheer number. And JoAnn, I agree with you about Sully….His accomplishment was amazing and anyone limiting it simply does not get it. Stephen Smith, I understand exactly what you mean…
    Now, I see Trump as an amalgamtion (as we all are) of his life experiences and after being thrust into a situation he either truly wanted or just needed to feed his ego, he is stuck with lifelong habits and behaviors ill suited for his tasks. In other words, mob mentality and selflessness live on different shoulders.
    Sheila, the reports of the students’ reactions to Trump”s rally gave me goosebumps. No wonder this so called president holds these get togethers so often. His ego needs stroking especially when reality suits him so little.

  21. If you don’t track from the beginning, then you lose your capability of intervening. You have to be able to detect the vulnerable spots, that ability only comes from continuous tracking.

    Donald Trump is VULNERABLE and he doesn’t even know it.

  22. Well said, Marv, and a civic aspirin for either a cancer or a virus doesn’t work. It is going to take strong medicine, and the strongest I can think of presently is, in addition to the polls and sans violence, hammering away with the truth in such forums as that provided here by Sheila.

    However difficult it may seem, and whether cult members will label our efforts propaganda, propaganda does work (see Goebbels, Trump et al), so whatever the label and however intense their efforts to belittle and intimidate, it’s damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead. We are talking about a prize far more valuable than some gold-filled galleon on the Spanish Main, we are talking about the most valuable prize of all for the taking – our democracy – and that’s worth defending since in its absence we are back to the castle and serf routine.

  23. No disagreements with much that is written here. However, how much different is Trump than the Newt Gringich’s, the Steve King’s, the Mitch McConnell’s, the Scott Walker’s (my state) and others that have been blowing their party’s racist, xenophobic, and hateful dog whistle for the past 30 years? Trump is not something that fell out of the sky; he is the culmination of the Republican party’s low-brow appeal for votes ever since Ronald Reagan was in office. Trump simply replaced that dog whistle with a bull horn.

  24. JoAnn, I also read that letter to the Editor by the Southport teacher. What President Agent Orange and Pastor Pence have accomplished in a short time, is encouraged and validated overt racism. No longer are there dog whistles or coded racist comments, it all out in the open and the Trumpter’s now feel free to display their hate and intolerance in the open. The GOP has at it’s core now: Bibles, God and Guns.

    I have been reading articles and columns in the wake of our latest election. One such comment is below:
    “Rural votes carry outsize weight because of the structure of America’s political system. With each state electing two senators no matter the size of their population, Iowa and Kansas with just 3m people get to have the same representation as California, which has 40m. It’s that system that allows Republicans to take more Senate seats when the Democrats won nearly 13m more votes across the country.

    It is also these states which prove critical in totting up the votes of the electoral college in the presidential race.”
    Some of these deluded analysts think the Democratic Party needs to move to the Right, to capture some of the core GOP voters. This is the same mistake the pathetic Donnelly made. Compromise for the GOP is, what is mine is mine, and what is yours is negotiable.

    The Democrats have to win with issues that effect people’s everyday living. The Democrats are not and should not try to “win” the Neo-Confederates over.

  25. I will say, I have been delighted to see, how puked out President Agent Orange is looking these days. I suppose with the thoughts of Mueller and a Democratic Majority in House he must be having some serious anxiety.

    Given the fact President Agent Orange is a legend in his own mind, he must be boiling and spoiling for a fight with his inner circle. What we see and hear is probably just a tiny bit of his rage.

    We can only guess what his next diversion will be, the Central American Scareavan seems to have disappeared.

  26. Gerald,

    You are right on point. Like you said, we must continue “hammering away with the truth.” It will eventually start affecting Trump’s base. Trump/Bannon, otherwise known as TB, have mis-perceived the political environment causing them to make major miscalculations, which will eventually catch-up with them. The DISAFFECTION will, necessarily, come. As we all know, the sooner the better.

  27. I believe it was Sheila who wrote the other day that “Trump is a symptom, not the cause.” She (or whoever wrote that was on the money, and Richard Cieslak frames this nicely:

    ” Trump is not something that fell out of the sky; he is the culmination of the Republican party’s low-brow appeal for votes ever since Ronald Reagan was in office. Trump simply replaced that dog whistle with a bull horn.”

    What we see today is the Koch inspired product of more than thirty years of plotting, planning and planting this “philosophy” in the minds of the weak. Hatred of the other, capitalism running amok, xenophobia, misogynism, homophobia et. al. etc, have been tools in the hands of the rich to control the easily fooled.

    There are any number of good books where one can read of this. The most impactful for me was Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine, but there is another, How Fascism Works by Jason Stanley (2018) that is well worth your time.

    We are not likely, as Marv says, to win wars at the ballot box unless and until we win minds in the court of public opinion. Republicans cannot be defeated in shouting matches. The can be defeated by simply putting forward issue after issue that even the slowest voters need and then, should they receive no Republican support, beat them to death with them day after day without ceasing.

    In sum, I think Monotonous hits the nail on the head:

    “Some of these deluded analysts think the Democratic Party needs to move to the Right, to capture some of the core GOP voters. This is the same mistake the pathetic Donnelly made. Compromise for the GOP is, what is mine is mine, and what is yours is negotiable.

    The Democrats have to win with issues that effect people’s everyday living. The Democrats are not and should not try to “win” the Neo-Confederates over.”

  28. Thank you Marv,

    Trump is indeed more vulnerable to growing even more vulnerable every day and on multiple fronts, more of them then his legal advisers can likely deal with. His flip flopping lies regarding the very temporary AG Whittaker were made on video and through audio recordings so he can’t escape that. The big question is whether or not the new Democratic majority in the Congress will actually do what they said they’re going to do and push investigation after investigation into every facet of his presidency and his personal life and finances.

    Trump’s behavior during his all over the top news conference the other day shows just how unhinged this man is and the grave danger he represents to this country and the rest of the world. As these Ccongressional investigations start he’s very likely going to cook off even more with his unhinged behavior and rhetoric. When Mueller indicts Don, Jr. the fireworks will begin and they will consume him ultimately. The big question is just how much damage will he inflict on our government and our society as he goes completely off the rails and lashes out in all sorts of directions as his Presidency collapses around him. When it done is it will be a roller-coaster ride that no one in this country has ever been on.

    We all have to be on guard regarding what might happen.

  29. I see our nation under Trumps Bullyship on the verge of dividing and even descending into civil strife short of but not immune to civil war.
    The republicans have become tools of the military complex that Ike warned us of and the POTUS has become a pawn of foreign influence and egotistical blustering .
    Never before has so few military veterans served in our political system, never before has so many government department heads been raised to power on their incompetence, never before has science been replaced by religious dogma and never before has the lies and dishonesty prevailed over truth and maybey even justice TBD!
    If America’s poliiical system does not take back the constructional power each branch has been empowered with the system can and will fail.
    And I like Sully and many many others see no courage, honesty or integrity left in the Republican Party any longer. Then that’s not the America any of us were raised to believe in.
    Thank you veterans and thank you Sully, for making America the home of the brave and not the scourge of the boastful.

  30. Great article and comments as usual. I was a Republican for 50 years until I left the party after “W”. I was born and raised in Indiana until my husband was transferred to New Jersey in 1983. We had Gov. Christine Whitman who wrote a book called, “It”s MY Party Too” and that caused a big change in my thinking; I could no longer go along with what the party was preaching. By the way, Gov. Whitman came out against Trump this year.
    We need more people like Whitman, Sully to speak out. I believe Trumps own actions helped the Democrats to win the House. Thank God good people who love our country and our democracy showed up and voted! We still must be alert and informed as to the issues that face us.

  31. Trump has tapped into the alienation and anger of the 40+ year decline of the middle class. Unfortunately he has scapegoated racial, ethnic, and religious minorities as the cause. He campaigned as if he would take on the companies who had shipped jobs off shore but instead gave them massive, permanent tax breaks without conditioning those tax breaks on either U.S. job creation or increased wages and benefits.

    He said he would provide better health care coverage for more people at lower cost and negotiate prescription discounts too. But he celebrated repeal of Obamacare instead without even a comparable replacement, let alone a better one.

    He said he would do the “unRepublican” thing and protect Medicare and Social Security, but he has been very quiet about the comments of Speaker Ryan and Senate Majority Leader McConnell, both of who think those ‘entitlements’ are appropriate targets for budget cutting to solve the huge deficit their tax cut created.

    Donald Trump HAS to create a diversion from what he’s really doing to the middle class. So he appeals to bigotry of the most ugly sorts to place blame. Thank goodness more and more Republicans are seeing his bigotry for what it is – a crass diversion from the real culprits like Trump himself who continues to manufacture all his products OUTSIDE the USA.

  32. Rebecca Rajhansa – I just remember that Gov. Whitman became famous for balancing the budget while cutting taxes. She had a very easy solution – unfund the state pension fund. The consequences only came long after she was gone (as did general budget problems). Denying state workers their earned/promised pensions was part of the Republican Party in the days of Reagan. So was racial profiling.

    However, to here credit, after a mixed job at the EPA, she did come out against the divisive trends in Republican politics in here book.

  33. Len; the Indiana ballot on November 6th gave us the option to vote “yes or no” on an amendment requiring the state provide an annual balanced budget. The Indiana State Constitution already has a clause that the state cannot incur debts it cannot pay; included in that Facebook post was the information that the State of Indiana has been using public retirement funds to pay their shortfall for years. This explains why we public retirees have not received a cost of living increase for SIX YEARS. One year ago the state switched from one private business to another private business for the disbursement of our monthly retirement checks. We had not been notified of the original privatization – or out sourcing if you prefer – but it was necessary a year ago because we were required to file a new enrollment form to remain qualified to receive our checks. I wonder if the legislators who repeatedly legislate no COLA for public retirees realize they are using their own retirement funds to pay the shortfall with public retirement funds?

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