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Wednesday, May 04, 2016
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  • With the 114th Congress just under way, the political world is focused intently on the road ahead. Taxes, trade, immigration, climate change, job creation, the Affordable Care Act there's a long list of issues and one burning question: whether a Republican Congress and a Democratic President can find common ground.

    Yet before we get worked up about what's to come, we need to take a hard look at the Congress that just ended and ask a different question: Why was it such an abject failure?
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  • Statists routinely suggest their distrust of human initiative. This is why they keep advocating government stimuli instead of free markets.

    In a free market, one which prohibits government intrusions, regulations and regimentation, it is understood that when men and women are free of such intrusions, they will most likely - though never certainly - engage in entrepreneurial initiative, the main result of which is productivity. No guarantee exists that free men and women will innovate and produce but that is most likely. Indeed, while slaves can be scared into work, free men and women will usually see the point of work and engage in it with gusto.
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  • Prohibition was repealed in 1933 after the American people realized that it simply didn't make sense. Following the repeal, states enacted their own laws governing the sale of alcohol and, over the course of the next 81 years, those laws were eventually modernized to reflect the changes that were taking place across the country. Everyone would agree, times have changed in Indiana since 1933, but when it comes to the carryout sales of alcohol, it's exactly the same.

    The logic behind allowing Sunday sales in Indiana is simple. It gives consumers a choice and makes their lives more convenient. Sunday has become the second biggest shopping day of the week, but because of our archaic laws, Hoosiers are prohibited from purchasing a consumer product that is legal to buy responsibly six days a week, but not on Sunday. It also gives retailers a choice. They can choose to sell alcohol on Sunday or they can choose not to do so. Like consumers, the choice is theirs.
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  • The League of Women Voters of Indiana has a long history of conducting nonpartisan candidate forums and has always taken very seriously its role of educating Hoosiers about the importance of voting and how to gather independent information on candidates so that voters can make an informed decision as to whom they want to represent them in elected office. That's why we are particularly concerned about candidates who refuse to show up for a debate or participate in online or printed voters' guides.

    Candidates running for public office are applying for a job and part of that process is being interviewed by their potential employer, the public - the voters. We ask all candidates if they were in a position to hire someone, would they hire an individual without interviewing them first? A good employer would wonder what the individual was trying to hide by avoiding the interview. We think we know the answer. Hoosier voters deserve answers too.
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  • Fine, I admit it, you caught us red-handed -- the Republican Party is the party of the "rich."
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  • It's no news that Congress is unpopular. In fact, at times it seems like the only real novelty on Capitol Hill would be a jump in its approval rating. In June, a Gallup poll found members' standing with the American people at a historic low for a midterm-election year. Which might have been notable except, as The Washington Post pointed out, that "Congress's approval rating has reached historic lows at least 12...times since 2010."
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  • In last week's Rokita Report I vowed to protect Hoosiers from President Obama's latest attack in the "War on Coal". In this Rokita Readings, I wanted to share two columns with you that expand further upon the energy debate. Both articles were shared with me by a good friend and I thought they tied in well with the current dialogue on coal regulations.
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  • Now that Congress has its immense, $1.1 trillion bipartisan funding bill in hand, Capitol Hill is breathing easier. They ended the specter of a government shutdown for the moment, and funded the federal budget for most of the year. The media has been commending Congress for finally doing its job.
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  • Gov. Mike Pence delivered his State of the State address on Tuesday night which outlined his agenda to strengthen Indiana in 2014 while also reflecting on his first year as governor of Indiana.
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  • One of the more amazing spectacles in the days after the government shutdown ended was the obsession in Washington with who won and who lost in the showdown. Yes, the capital is focused on next year's elections, but honestly! There was only one real loser, and that was the American people.
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  • Senator Dan Coats (R-Ind.), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the president's request for congressional authorization to strike Syria.
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  • Fairfax, Va. - Twenty-one state attorney generals have co-signed an amicus brief filed by Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange in support of the National Rifle Association's challenge against a federal law that restricts the sale of handguns to young adults aged 18 - 20.
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  • The President and Congress will make the decisions when it comes to Syria. They and military leadership have far more information than I. However, we will not go into Syria, throw our rocks and run back home unscathed. The scathing may occur immediately or weeks or months later.
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  • The Obama Administration recently announced that it would delay until 2015 the health reform law's "employer mandate," which will require all companies with at least 50 full-time employees to offer health insurance or pay a fine.

    The delay represents a big help to large firms. Now it's time for the administration to throw a similar lifeline to small businesses --
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