Sunday, November 21, 2021

Carmel Gets a Shout Out in the NY Times

The New York Times heaped praise on the roundabouts in Carmel, Indiana, this weekend: "An Indiana city has the most roundabouts in the country. They’ve saved lives and reduced injuries from crashes — and lowered carbon emissions."

"Carmel, a city of 102,000 north of Indianapolis, has 140 roundabouts, with over a dozen still to come. No American city has more. The main reason is safety; compared with regular intersections, roundabouts significantly reduce injuries and deaths," writes reporter Cara Bukley.

" A recent study of Carmel’s roundabouts by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety found that injury crashes were reduced by nearly half at 64 roundabouts in Carmel, and even more at the more elaborate, dogbone-shaped interchanges," she reports.

Friday, November 19, 2021

BMV profits by selling Hoosiers' data reports: "Records show the Bureau of Motor Vehicles is selling people’s personal information and has been for years."

Yep: the repository of all the "REAL ID" information on millions of Hoosiers is sending that detail out into the world. The bureau that collected our birth certificates and passport information and utility billing details has been SELLING the data for profit. "CBS4 dug through public records and found the agency has made $43 million off of the practice since 2018."

"CBS4 spoke with several people outside of the BMV. None of them were aware their information was being accessed by third party companies."

Read the whole report here.

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Mike Braun campaign repeatedly violated election rules

The Indianapolis Business Journal has an online feature today about the mutiple violations uncovered in a Federal Election Commission audit.

"Republican U.S. Sen. Mike Braun improperly gave more than $1 million to his 2018 campaign, and received contributions in excess of legal limits, a federal audit has concluded," reports.

The ethical lapses have been reported by other media as well, including the Daily Beast.

Braun's disingenuous hedge that "he can’t fully answer the government’s questions because one of his key staffers "vanished" falls apart when The Daily Beast notes they found the "missing" staffer "within minutes".

This Indianapolis Observer waits for the next shoe to drop.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

GOPer Jim Banks steps in it again

Rude, arrogant, discourteous, stupid, coarse, ill-mannered, ungentlemanly ...pick your adjective. There's no excuse for Banks' boorish behavior toward Dr. Levine.

As noted on Huffpost: "Twitter suspended the account of Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) on Saturday for violating its hateful conduct policy after he intentionally misgendered Assistant Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine, the nation’s first openly transgender four-star officer and federal official confirmed by the Senate."

If only our elected reps would stop conforming to the Indiana hick stereotype....

Read the article here.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Yet another GOP rep from Indiana caught in lies

According to CNN, "GOP Rep. Jim Banks lamented on the House floor that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi prevented him from serving on the House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol on Thursday [21 Oct 2021]. And yet, Banks sent a letter to at least one government agency falsely claiming that he is ranking member of the committee in his signature."

Seriously? He thought he could get away with that blatant lie?

Banks has served as the U.S. Representative for Indiana's 3rd congressional district since 2017.

Read all about his chicanery here: "Liz Cheney calls out Jim Banks".

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Quayle finally did something good

Yeah, yeah: we've all made jokes about Dan Quayle's inability to spell potato (and other innocuous gaffes) but this year he did something that might actually have saved the country.

When Mike Pence called him to consult about Donald Trump's efforts to have him nullify the Electoral College vote, Quayle said "nope". The former vice president told Pence he couldn’t throw out the election results in order to keep Trump in power. What a concept!

Here's one place to read all about it: "Dan Quayle Convinced Mike Pence To Ignore Trump’s Decertification Pleas"

As MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell said, "“Wow. Dan Quayle comes to the rescue of the republic.”

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Venable's Indy Kiss-Off Gift

Lou Harry notes: "More than the resources, tech, and cost, what’s staggering and saddening about this is that an entire floor of an ART MUSEUM is being devoted to this sideshow, which is to art what an amusement park Laser Floyd show is to an actual Pink Floyd concert."

And, even worse (IMHO) it's just one of 50 such shows on view at the moment. The IMA (excuse me, "Newfields") should rue the day it let Charles Venable reset its focus.

Read the rest of his commentary here..

Friday, July 2, 2021

"The Mike Pence Saga"

Recovering Republican Sheila Kennedy has weighed in on the governor Hoosiers love to hate.

In a column July 1, 2021, she writes: Pence's " balancing act is unlikely to mollify either the crazies who form the base of today’s GOP or anyone who spent four years observing Mike Pence. (It’s especially unlikely to endear him to Indiana voters, who found his preference for pontificating over governing during the prior four years very tiring)."

"Pence never had the respect of anyone other than a few naive fundamentalists."

You can read her whole column here.

Monday, June 28, 2021

Pence is past his "sell by" date

As Bret Stephens writes in The New York Times: "Here’s a guy who makes his career on the Moral Majority wing of the Republican Party, until he hitches his wagon to the most immoral man ever to win a big-ticket presidential nomination."

Hoosiers know he did it to avoid the ignoble result of losing his second bid for governor, but still it was a shock.

"Pence spends four years as the most servile, toadying, obsequious, fawning, head-nodding, yes-sirring, anything-you-say-boss vice president in history," he continues.

"For this, Trump rewards Pence by throwing him to a mob, which tried to hunt him down and hang him."

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Goodbye and Good Riddance to Venable

"By eliminating free general admission, instituting an $18 admissions charge, erecting costly barriers to keep the public from enjoying its expansive grounds without paying, and implementing extravagant ticketed 'attractions', the museum excluded its Black and lower-income neighbors and was left with a much smaller, whiter, and more privileged audience."

Thus sayeth Maxwell Anderson in a scathing takedown of the recently resigned IMA president, Charles Venable, on

Anderson is hopeful of a reset: "by resuming a sane business model, the museum can return to its historic purpose and its obligations to the field at large."

Maxwell L. Anderson is president of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation and was the Melvin & Bren Simon Director & CEO of the Indianapolis Museum of Art from 2006 to 2011.

Read the whole item here.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Indianapolis Museum of Art tries to defend the indefensible

What were they thinking?

Or, what did Charles Venable think he could get away with this time? Wasn't it bad enough that he priced the IMA out of reach for most people by switching from free admission to $18? Or that he walled off the grounds to all but paying customers? That he rebranded the historic art-focused institution as the content-free "Newfields"? Or that he discontinued the IMA's popular societies for horticulture, Asian art, etc.? That former associate curator Kelli Morgan, a Black woman who was hired to diversity the museum’s galleries, resigned last summer citing a toxic and discriminatory work environment?

He has to go and say outloud that the museum's core membership is white, and it requires a new person in management who will work to uphold that "traditional" ideal.

The fallout from that horrendously tone-deaf job description continues locally, nationally, and internationally. Newfields employees are on record opposing him. Community leaders have signed a petition against him. The New York Times has written about the fiasco, as has The Guardian.

Even Brian Payne, president and CEO of the Central Indiana Community Foundation, president of the Indianapolis Foundation, and visionary who created the Cultural Trail, has penned a letter opposing the initiative.

(The CICF, in contrast with the IMA, has as its mission "to mobilize people, ideas and investments to make this a community where all individuals have equitable opportunity to reach their full potential—no matter place, race or identity."

Local business leaders must be in panic mode.

UPDATE Not one director or trustee of the IMA had the courage to sign this letter, issued in response today, 17 February 2021. The only good news? Venable is gone.

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Mike Braun needs an intervention

Somebody needs to shake some sense into Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) before he makes a laughstock of himself January 6.

There's no need to curry favor with the soon-to-be-irrelevant president, and Braun will just look like a fool...a seditious fool who hasn't read the U.S. Constitution.

As CNN put it, "the objection from President Donald Trump's Republican allies has virtually zero chance of changing the election outcome, only to delay for a few hours the inevitable affirmation of Biden's victory as the Electoral College winner and the next president."