Taking Issue

RUSTHOVEN: The House made the right decisionRestricted Content

February 1, 2014
In January, this conservative testified to the Legislature on behalf of Freedom Indiana against the then-version of the proposed Indiana constitutional amendment on gay marriage. Here’s why.
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KENNEDY: No single religious definition of marriageRestricted Content

January 25, 2014
Sheila Suess Kennedy
Here in Indiana, we’re used to religious warfare. We aren’t called the buckle of the Bible Belt for nothing.
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RUSTHOVEN: Christie's ego goes beyond healthy

January 18, 2014
Peter J. Rusthoven / Special to IBJ
Commentary on New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s current troubles, after aides snarled traffic to punish a mayor who didn’t endorse him, has focused on the impact on his presidential aspirations.
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KENNEDY: Not healthy, wealthy or wiseRestricted Content

January 11, 2014
Sheila Suess Kennedy
Many of us have just wished our friends and loved ones a healthy, happy and prosperous new year. In Indiana, those are going to be elusive goals.
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RUSTHOVEN: Jacobs was a true public servant

January 4, 2014
The death of former congressman Andrew Jacobs Jr. is a sad year-end note for all who knew him during and after his decades of service.
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KENNEDY: Goodbye and good riddanceRestricted Content

December 28, 2013
Sheila Suess Kennedy
State and local corruption flourishes as coverage evaporates; nationally, bought-and-paid-for Congressmen and Senators pass legislation benefitting their donors and patrons at the expense of other Americans.
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RUSTHOVEN: The media misunderstands tax cutsRestricted Content

December 21, 2013
Peter J. Rusthoven / Special to IBJ
Gov. Mike Pence just “outlined an aggressive agenda to bolster education and job initiatives along with a proposal to eliminate the business personal property tax.” The words are from Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute President John Ketzenberger, longtime journalist and longtime friend.
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KENNEDY: A troubling responseRestricted Content

December 14, 2013
Sheila Suess Kennedy
Semester end is hectic for college professors. Research papers and final examinations must be graded, last-minute pleas from students who realize they haven’t performed or who feel entitled to special accommodations must be moderated, committees that haven’t completed their assigned tasks during the preceding months must meet—and of course there’s the added stress of the holidays.
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KENNEDY: So many reasons to be thankful

November 30, 2013
Sheila Suess Kennedy
Thanksgiving is my family’s favorite holiday, not just because it is the one time of the year when all the far-flung relatives assemble, but also because it is an opportunity to consider how incredibly fortunate we are.
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RUSTHOVEN: An Indiana Obamacare snapshot

November 23, 2013
Peter J. Rusthoven / Special to IBJ
Obamacare’s calamitous launch, including the widening gap between promise and reality, continues to consume political discourse. Here’s a quick summary of Indiana’s status:
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KENNEDY: Coats' religion is no defenseRestricted Content

November 16, 2013
Sheila Suess Kennedy
Americans have been using religion to argue for and against laws since the country was founded. Proponents and opponents of slavery both pointed to Bible verses justifying their positions. Opponents of equal rights for women claimed suffrage violated God’s law.
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RUSTHOVEN: Donnelly needs to step upRestricted Content

November 9, 2013
Peter J. Rusthoven / Special to IBJ
Prominently featured on Sen. Joe Donnelly’s website is a column by The Indianapolis Star’s Matt Tully, titled “Donnelly Hits It Down The Middle.” Tully lavishes praise on Donnelly, contrasting him with “partisan warriors such as Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.”
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KENNEDY: Money doesn’t buy happinessRestricted Content

November 2, 2013
Sheila Suess Kennedy
When my mother told me money can’t buy happiness, she was evidently onto something. Recently, the World Happiness Report recognized Denmark—a cold country with one of those high-tax “socialist, nanny-state” governments—as the happiest nation on Earth.
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RUSTHOVEN: Coats is GOP voice of sanityRestricted Content

October 26, 2013
Peter J. Rusthoven / Special to IBJ
In 1957, then-Sen. John Kennedy published “Profiles in Courage,” chronicling stories of senators who (in Kennedy’s rendition) risked careers to do the right thing in the face of political pressure. Eleanor Roosevelt, who thought JFK more a show horse than a work horse, remarked that Kennedy himself needed “less profile and more courage.”
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EDITORIAL: Eli Lilly’s cuts are necessary evilRestricted Content

October 19, 2013
If Eli Lilly and Co. sneezes, Indianapolis catches a cold. The statement has been so oft-repeated that it’s become a cliché.
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KENNEDY: ‘Makers’ take their shareRestricted Content

October 19, 2013
Sheila Suess Kennedy
The “makers and takers” narrative—promoted most prominently by Paul Ryan and eagerly adopted by Tea Party activists—is just the most recent manifestation of a persistent American fable that encourages people who believe they “stand on their own two feet” to aim moral indignation and opprobrium at those they believe are “sucking at the public you-know-what.”
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RUSTHOVEN: This buck stops with ObamaRestricted Content

October 12, 2013
Peter J. Rusthoven / Special to IBJ
It’s possible that when this is published, President Obama and House Speaker Boehner will have worked out an end to the government shutdown and debt ceiling crises. I’m betting no. For now, the president doesn’t want to, because he thinks it’s hurting the GOP.
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KENNEDY: Thank Elbridge for our political extremesRestricted Content

October 5, 2013
Sheila Suess Kennedy
Politicians have been gerrymandering districts since the time of Elbridge Gerry, for whom the tactic was named—and he signed the Declaration of Independence.
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RUSTHOVEN: FitzGibbon was friend and hero departed too soon

September 28, 2013
Peter J. Rusthoven / Special to IBJ
Our state and city lost an extraordinary citizen last week, when my friend and partner Dan FitzGibbon passed at age 71.
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KENNEDY: We need to learn to fight fairRestricted Content

September 21, 2013
Sheila Suess Kennedy
In Florence, Italy, in one of that city’s many museums, there is a famous marble statue of Hercules and Diomedes wrestling. One of them—presumably Hercules—has his hands around the testicles of the other, and ever since we first saw it, my husband has referred to it as the “fight fair, dammit” statue.
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RUSTHOVEN: A president out of his leagueRestricted Content

September 14, 2013
Peter J. Rusthoven / Special to IBJ
The president’s handling of the Syria situation is a model of undermining U.S. credibility and influence. Three headlines from last week: 1. “Obama Got Played by Putin and Assad”; “Amateur Hour in the White House”; “Dazed and Confused.”
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KENNEDY: Revenue enhancement, anyone?Restricted Content

September 7, 2013
Sheila Suess Kennedy
Public finance these days reminds me of those fellows we used to encounter at the county fairs—the ones who twisted balloons into fantastic shapes, making horses or dogs from oblong balloons they blew up. Push the balloon here and watch a shape emerge there, and wonder if it would pop.
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RUSTHOVEN: Rappin' away the DreamRestricted Content

August 31, 2013
Peter J. Rusthoven / Special to IBJ
Last week marked the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech. Few speeches merit recall a week later. King’s will be remembered as long as America lives.
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KENNEDY: More reasons why I left the GOPRestricted Content

August 24, 2013
Sheila Suess Kennedy
I know it will come as something of a shock to younger readers of IBJ, but I spent 35-plus years as an active Republican.
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RUSTHOVEN: Taking issue with KennedyRestricted Content

August 17, 2013
Peter J. Rusthoven / Special to IBJ
I don’t comment on columns by my liberal “Taking Issue” counterpart Sheila Kennedy. This week is an exception, prompted by reader requests to respond to her Aug. 12 “Detroit reflects our moral bankruptcy” column for impugning the motives of those who don’t share her views.
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  1. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

  3. Start drilling, start fracking, and start using our own energy. Other states have enriched their citizens and nearly elminated unemployment by using these resources that are on private land. If you are against the 'low prices' of discount stores, the best way to allow shoppers more choice is to empower them with better earnings. NOT through manipulated gov mandated min wage hikes, but better jobs and higher competitive pay. This would be direct result of using our own energy resources, yet Obama knows that Americans who arent dependent of gov welfare are much less likely to vote Dem, so he looks for ways to ensure America's decline and keep its citizens dependent of gov.

  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.

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