Howey Political Report
Grasping the American ‘big stick’ PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 20:38

by Brian Howey

INDIANAPOLIS – Here’s a viewing assignment:  A July edition of the PBS Frontline series entitled “Losing Iraq.” You can watch it at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/losing-iraq/.

I ask you to view this because for the third time in the early years of a century, an American president has had to thrust military force - or the “big stick” - into remnants of the Ottoman Empire to take on rogue armies and navies. President Jefferson found himself dealing with the Barbary pirates terrorizing American shipping in 1801. In 1904, it was President Theodore Roosevelt who reacted to Sherif Mulai Ahmed ibn-Muhammed er Raisuli, Lord of the Rif, who kidnapped American citizens.

This brought Roosevelt’s “speak softly and carry a big stick” response. Those two forays were the proverbial picnic compared to what we face today. When I watched “Losing Iraq,” I was filled with anger at the Bush and Obama presidencies. We can’t seem to get anything right in a fight we picked and then walked away.

 
Foley, Sotloff and the “Pottery Barn rule” PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 18:02

by Brian Howey

INDIANAPOLIS - The words came from the lips of Sgt. Matthew Tiblow of Hobart, stationed with the Indiana National Guard 76th Infantry in Kuwait in 2008.

“I wanted to serve my country,” Tiblow said. They were his words, but they came via the reporter pen, pad and laptop computer of James Wright Foley. And they sum up the intent of this free-lance journalist who has since become the face of the gruesome turn of events cascading over the Middle East.

Foley was beheaded by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria last month, soon to be followed by a second freelance journalist Steven Sotloff this past week, both kidnapped by ISIS and executed in front of cameras as part of a chilling new chapter in that part of the world.

 
Awaiting Evan Bayh’s profound decision PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 20:45

by Brian Howey

NASHVILLE, Ind. – Sometime between Labor Day and Sept. 10 when he appears at a Northwest Indiana One Region event, Evan Bayh is expected to make a decision that will have emphatic political ramifications for Indiana over the next decade.

The decision is whether he will seek a third term as governor. It will be as important as the 2002 decision Mitch Daniels made to enter the 2004 gubernatorial race, or Bayh’s 1987 decision to run for the first time. Both those decisions ushered in more than a decade of political dominance, with Bayh igniting a 16-year Democratic gubernatorial and Daniels’ decision that cued up a 12-year run for the GOP that extends to this very day.

 
Cities and Indiana’s future PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 21:12

by Brian Howey

NASHVILLE, Ind. – In the 2008 Indiana gubernatorial campaign, Democratic nominee Jill Long Thompson said she intended to save every Indiana community through what she called a “three-tiered” economic plan that would infuse distressed areas with new jobs.

I made this observation at that time: Indiana is home to dozens of forgotten communities. A town like Attica thrived 150 years ago because it was on the Wabash River. Then the railroads came and cities like my hometown of Peru thrived. Then came the National Road and U.S. highways and places like Greencastle did well. When the natural gas in East Central Indiana ran out, Gas City suffered. Then came the Interstates, and a city like Brownsburg (and now Gas City) do well. While it sounds good, I don’t think every community can be saved.

 
Our children and their children PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 20 August 2014 21:36

by Brian Howey

INDIANAPOLIS – Let’s ponder “our children” and “their children.”

First, Gov. Mike Pence made a wise call this past week when he ordered the Department of Child Services to begin reimbursing families who had adopted special needs children.

A class action lawsuit filed earlier this summer alleged the State of Indiana was essentially a “deadbeat parent” in the words of one LaPorte mom, for reneging on a promised subsidy. It prompted me to write a column a few weeks back suggesting to Pence that supporting these families with the designated $10 million in funding was a more appropriate priority than touting a $2 billion budget surplus, part of which was created when those subsidy monies had been reverted to the general fund.

 
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