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Thursday, March 23, 2017
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  • INDIANAPOLIS – We really are living in two different countries, if you watch the cable television shows every night. The good thing is most people have better things to do.  When I got home Wednesday night, Fox News showed the headline, “FBI on Hunt for CIA Mole after Secrets Are Leaked.”  At the same time, CNN’s headline read, “Pence Dodges Questions on Trump’s Wiretapping Claims.”  The contrast in stories tells the story right there.  A few minutes later, Fox ran a report of an illegal immigrant who had been deported five times with over 20 arrests since 1990, who was intoxicated and smashed the car in which he was fleeing another accident. He also crashed into the car driven by Sandra Duran, a California woman who was a mother, daughter and sister, killing her instantly.  This five-minute story could never paint the true tragedy so many family and friends must now live with forever.  Flip the channel and you would have found CNN covering the “A Day Without a Woman” event, like there is now a national holiday to bash the president. I couldn’t even bring myself to switch over to MSNBC.
  • INDIANAPOLIS – Obviously, I was very proud of our president while watching him deliver a great speech Tuesday night. I won’t overstate it because I wasn’t surprised, and by now almost everyone either watched it themselves and were impressed or have heard or read all of the positive reviews.  Of course there were the haters. That’s not surprising as the liberals and most of the media had their opposition planned out before the speech began. They were led by the former Democrat governor of Kentucky and the 10 remaining Kentuckians who don’t support President Trump. What was the Democrat party thinking?  I wasn’t surprised by the president’s performance and message because at every turn during the last two years, he has risen to the occasion and he has shared the same type of positive message. That’s why he was the last one standing after the primaries. It is why he came back with two strong winning debate performances against Clinton after most thought he lost the first debate (I didn’t). And it is why he fought so hard during the last stretch of the campaign to be in states you wouldn’t expect. He has always risen to the occasion, and he did again Tuesday night. 
  • INDIANAPOLIS – Taking up from where I left off three weeks ago, the numbers have increased as far as protests, protestors and now rowdy town hall meetings. Also increasing are vandalism, violence, insults, and threats. I watched a news story the other night of a crowd of adults in Chicago encouraging kids to beat the crap out of a piñata in the image of our president and rip its limbs off, after knocking it to the ground.  Bizarre, disgusting and unbelievable!  To the far left, this hatred looks like a “movement” that is getting stronger. I believe that we are actually witnessing the beginning of the end of the Democrat Party on the national level as we have known it.

  • INDIANAPOLIS – With my day job, I just had coffee with an up-and-coming Republican star who was not initially a Trump supporter. While not thrilled with everything our president has done over the first two weeks, he was happy with 85% of what has been accomplished. He was extremely pleased with the selection of Judge Neil Gorsuch as the Supreme Court nominee, as are so many others.  As the 85% statement sank in after our meeting, it struck me that this is going to be a numbers game. If someone who was probably one of the last Republicans to come around to accept Trump is at 85% now and says that he could be a great president if he changes a few things here and there, then I think the numbers will continue to look good for our president.  Other numbers to look at are the thousands of protestors and numbers of protests in parts of the country and what they represent. Will these numbers grow or will they burn out soon enough because of the lack of solutions offered and the unwillingness to engage in a grown- up dialogue? 
  • INDIANAPOLIS – For me, it finally sank in at the inauguration last Friday. It was finally real to me that Donald Trump was our president. It didn’t seem real on election night because it was almost 3 a.m. when he finally gave an acceptance speech, and we had been kicked out of the JW Marriott’s ballroom an hour earlier. Some of us lingered by the televisions in the lobby but I finally made it up to our room and watched his speech with Anita as the kids slept – pretty anti-climactic. The next morning was surreal and the weeks that followed were a flurry of some campaign-related activities while trying to get back to normal work. The holidays hit and we even took a family vacation to try to get away from it all before the start of our Indiana legislative session. So I never really had a chance for it to sink in, but it finally did as I listened to our new president give a powerful speech, where he essentially took the first major step in fulfilling the goals he set forth during the campaign.
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  • Sen. Lanane warns of HIP 2.0 trigger and the Obamacare repeal
    “HIP 2.0 is a critical piece of public health policy for the state, and it is being put at risk under the Republican healthcare plan due to a ‘trigger’ in our state law. We are here today to urge our Republican colleagues in the Statehouse to remove this trigger, and work to safeguard Hoosiers’ health care coverage should the AHCA become law. HIP 2.0 health coverage is put at risk due to Indiana law automatically triggering a repeal of HIP 2.0 should federal funding be reduced. Without the enhanced federal matching funds for HIP 2.0, Indiana would have to allocate an extra $500 million per year in state funding to maintain the current program.” - Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane, on the Obamacare repeal and a potential reduction of Medicaid funding that is part of the Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0. Some 430,000 Hoosiers get health coverage through HIP 2.0.
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  • Trump and truth
    The Obamacare repeal is teetering in the House. Why? Remember the old story of the boy who cried wolf? President Trump’s penchant for lies is beginning to take such a toll that NBC reporter Kasie Hunt said this morning that some members wonder if he’ll even be around in a year. So when Trump threatened retribution against recalcitrant House members on Tuesday, its impact was dubious. The Wall Street Journal editorialized today: “If President Trump announces that North Korea launched a missile that landed within 100 miles of Hawaii, would most Americans believe him? Would the rest of the world? We’re not sure, which speaks to the damage that Mr. Trump is doing to his Presidency with his seemingly endless stream of exaggerations, evidence-free accusations, implausible denials and other falsehoods. The latest example is Mr. Trump’s refusal to back off his Saturday morning tweet of three weeks ago.” The other emerging dynamic is that the Pence/Marc Short legislative team hasn’t done the legwork on the RyanCare bill. It could all come down to Vice President Pence, HHS Secretary Tom Price and OMB Director Mick Mulvaney to round up about eight votes and keep Republicans like Rep. Hollingsworth in the fold. - Brian A. Howey, publisher
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