Given that were in a recession, The Daily Show questions why Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., would be willing to give up a lucrative Senate position willingly.
After all, senators get free postage, free travel, even Senate haircuts, according to show correspondent John Oliver.
Youd have to be crazy to give this up, yet somebody actually is, Oliver said in reference to Bayh.
In the six-plus minute segment, Oliver questions Bayh about his decision by playing the role of the Senate. Oliver sobbed as Bayh explained why he was breaking up with it.
I hate to say it, but our relationship has become too partisan, Bayh told Oliver.
Oliver even asks whether Bayh is leaving because of some uncovered scandal, such as sex with multiple staffers, to which Bayh denies. The show did not touch on the fact Bayh would likely have faced a tough re-election campaign.
The segment also includes interviews with disgraced former Republican Idaho Sen. Larry Craig – although no direct questions about his airport bathroom escapades. The full segment can be found online at www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-june-2-2010/evan-bayh-s-senate-retirement.
The piece ends with a test of whether Bayh could survive without his perks. Oliver asks him to mail a letter. This prompts Bayh to lick a stamp – Oliver informs him they are now self-adhesive – and then Bayh seals the envelope. When asked whether he put the letter in the envelope first, Bayh said, I neglected to do that.
It ends with Oliver noting it is too soon for Bayh to return to the real world.
Poor bastard, he laments.
How much you got?
State officials dealing with a budget crisis have come up with one new tactic – just ignore what the bill is and pay what you can.
Thats what legislative leaders have done for two years when it comes to membership dues for the National Conference of State Legislators and the Council of State Governments – entities that often provide useful information and data on specific issues facing states.
The Legislative Council last week approved payment of dues to the two entities of $190,337 and $143,944 respectively.
But as Jack Ross, head of the Indiana Legislative Services Agency, reported those amounts are a decrease of about 8 percent over two years from what the organization has billed the state.
He said the agencies havent kicked Indiana out, so he will just pay what has been appropriated in the budget, regardless of what the dues actually are.
How do you think the state would like it if citizens used this new strategy when it came to taxes?
The GOP candidate forum last week featured plenty of conservative rhetoric from the 14 candidates looking to replace Mark Souder in Congress. Interestingly, it took the groups youngest member to show what is typical courtesy at such events.
Republican Joe Schomburg, a graduate nursing student at Duke University, was the only one of the candidates to open his remarks by thanking the event sponsors and audience.
The other candidates instead went right into answering their question, many leaving time left that could have been used for such platitudes.
Some candidates did thank the event sponsors during their closing remarks.
They said what?
The Fort Wayne City Council last week took a big step toward becoming more accessible to residents with hearing impairments. Last weeks meeting was the first one to be broadcast with closed captioning.
The city hired Aberdeen Captioning Inc. to provide 98 percent accurate captions for what is said at each meeting.
While the captions were on for all viewers last week, they will eventually appear only for residents who turn captions on at home on City TV public access, Comcast Channel 58 and Verizon Channel 28.
The contract costs $115 an hour, which might shorten some meetings if council members know that prolonged pontificating is costing taxpayers money.
Tired of the tea party and looking for something new? Try the coffee party.
Mark Duwe is trying to organize new chapters of the coffee party movement in Indiana. He began as the organizer for a chapter in Columbus.
Duwe recently sent out a news release about his efforts, noting that those in the tea party movement seem to be a pretty angry bunch and some of their rhetoric crosses the line from civility to hate speech.
He called the coffee party a bipartisan, issue-oriented organization.
Here is its mission statement: The Coffee Party movement gives voice to Americans who want to see cooperation in government. We recognize that the federal government is not the enemy of the people, but the expression of our collective will, and that we must participate in the democratic process in order to address the challenges that we face as Americans. As voters and grassroots volunteers, we will support leaders who work toward positive solutions, and hold accountable those who obstruct them.
To learn more, go to www.coffeepartyusa.com.