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Editorial: Losing sight of the goal

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Indiana Lawyer Editorial

Feb. 25 was certainly an ugly day.

All talk about the weather aside, we had what we thought was a modest bit of hope that President Barack Obama's health-care summit might inspire the people we've sent to the United States Senate and House of Representatives to do the jobs we sent them to Washington, D.C., to do on our behalf.

But of course that didn't happen.

Politicians of every stripe seemed incapable of resisting the cameras and posturing for the benefit of their re-election campaigns. The president lectured like a stern professor astonished at the thickheadedness of his students.

Such a display made Sen. Evan Bayh's decision to not seek another term seem like the most sane decision anyone in his shoes could make.

We say this not to bring Sen. Richard Lugar's sensibilities into question. We greatly admire his work on behalf of Indiana and believe he is one of the few examples of someone capable of working in a bipartisan manner in the entire Congress.

Perhaps he could give the senators in the state immediately to our South a lesson in working well with others. One of that state's senators, a gentleman who is not seeking re-election, was at Indiana Lawyer press time single-handedly holding up the extension of unemployment benefits for about 400,000 people set to expire Feb. 28. We understand that this senator's point is that the federal government does not have a way to pay for this benefit, but we're certain that most of the people who are receiving the benefits don't have another means keeping food on the table or the roof over their heads. The fact that this gentleman is the lone holdout on the measure, and is being lectured about his stubbornness by members of his own party, is telling.

We know how strongly you feel about the current lack of civil discourse and inability of people of differing political factions to work together. Such a lack of civility isn't merely exemplified in our government; you can find it everywhere in everyday life in some of the most needless circumstances. Many of you have shared with us your exasperation over this development. Some of you are concerned with the current examples of extreme partisanship and the lessons our children are learning from it. Because it's our children who are going to suffer the most from this stagnate mess we're in politically.

Perhaps you have a friend like ours; a friend so far on the other side of the political spectrum from us that we sometimes marvel at the fact that we are such dear friends. This friend says this of our political differences: we both want the same thing, we just differ in how we think the country should go about getting to the desired end. It's not about winning, the friend says; it's about achieving the goal.

That's the troubling thing about the current state politics: it's only about winning.

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  1. He called our nation a nation of cowards because we didn't want to talk about race. That was a cheap shot coming from the top cop. The man who decides who gets the federal government indicts. Wow. Not a gentleman if that is the measure. More importantly, this insult delivered as we all understand, to white people-- without him or anybody needing to explain that is precisely what he meant-- but this is an insult to timid white persons who fear the government and don't want to say anything about race for fear of being accused a racist. With all the legal heat that can come down on somebody if they say something which can be construed by a prosecutor like Mr Holder as racist, is it any wonder white people-- that's who he meant obviously-- is there any surprise that white people don't want to talk about race? And as lawyers we have even less freedom lest our remarks be considered violations of the rules. Mr Holder also demonstrated his bias by publically visiting with the family of the young man who was killed by a police offering in the line of duty, which was a very strong indicator of bias agains the offer who is under investigation, and was a failure to lead properly by letting his investigators do their job without him predetermining the proper outcome. He also has potentially biased the jury pool. All in all this worsens race relations by feeding into the perception shared by whites as well as blacks that justice will not be impartial. I will say this much, I do not blame Obama for all of HOlder's missteps. Obama has done a lot of things to stay above the fray and try and be a leader for all Americans. Maybe he should have reigned Holder in some but Obama's got his hands full with other problelms. Oh did I mention HOlder is a bank crony who will probably get a job in a silkstocking law firm working for millions of bucks a year defending bankers whom he didn't have the integrity or courage to hold to account for their acts of fraud on the United States, other financial institutions, and the people. His tenure will be regarded by history as a failure of leadership at one of the most important jobs in our nation. Finally and most importantly besides him insulting the public and letting off the big financial cheats, he has been at the forefront of over-prosecuting the secrecy laws to punish whistleblowers and chill free speech. What has Holder done to vindicate the rights of privacy of the American public against the illegal snooping of the NSA? He could have charged NSA personnel with violations of law for their warrantless wiretapping which has been done millions of times and instead he did not persecute a single soul. That is a defalcation of historical proportions and it signals to the public that the government DOJ under him was not willing to do a damn thing to protect the public against the rapid growth of the illegal surveillance state. Who else could have done this? Nobody. And for that omission Obama deserves the blame too. Here were are sliding into a police state and Eric Holder made it go all the faster.

  2. JOE CLAYPOOL candidate for Superior Court in Harrison County - Indiana This candidate is misleading voters to think he is a Judge by putting Elect Judge Joe Claypool on his campaign literature. paragraphs 2 and 9 below clearly indicate this injustice to voting public to gain employment. What can we do? Indiana Code - Section 35-43-5-3: Deception (a) A person who: (1) being an officer, manager, or other person participating in the direction of a credit institution, knowingly or intentionally receives or permits the receipt of a deposit or other investment, knowing that the institution is insolvent; (2) knowingly or intentionally makes a false or misleading written statement with intent to obtain property, employment, or an educational opportunity; (3) misapplies entrusted property, property of a governmental entity, or property of a credit institution in a manner that the person knows is unlawful or that the person knows involves substantial risk of loss or detriment to either the owner of the property or to a person for whose benefit the property was entrusted; (4) knowingly or intentionally, in the regular course of business, either: (A) uses or possesses for use a false weight or measure or other device for falsely determining or recording the quality or quantity of any commodity; or (B) sells, offers, or displays for sale or delivers less than the represented quality or quantity of any commodity; (5) with intent to defraud another person furnishing electricity, gas, water, telecommunication, or any other utility service, avoids a lawful charge for that service by scheme or device or by tampering with facilities or equipment of the person furnishing the service; (6) with intent to defraud, misrepresents the identity of the person or another person or the identity or quality of property; (7) with intent to defraud an owner of a coin machine, deposits a slug in that machine; (8) with intent to enable the person or another person to deposit a slug in a coin machine, makes, possesses, or disposes of a slug; (9) disseminates to the public an advertisement that the person knows is false, misleading, or deceptive, with intent to promote the purchase or sale of property or the acceptance of employment;

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  4. I grew up on a farm and live in the county and it's interesting that the big industrial farmers like Jeff Shoaf don't live next to their industrial operations...

  5. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

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