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Thursday, September 25, 2008 
pence wants to fix child seduction law
from the indy star:

The Democratic candidate for attorney general said today that she would lobby to change Indiana's child seduction statute so it covers anyone with responsibility over a teenager.

Without the change, Linda Pence said, people who volunteer at schools and camps or work at places that give them authority over children might not be covered by the law. She called it a loophole.

"Unfortunately for our children, there are many adult care givers who have responsibility and control over our children who are excluded by this restrictive language," Pence said during a news conference this morning on the west side of the Indiana Capitol.

so if a teacher has sex with a 16-year-old student, that's a crime under the current law, but if a volunteer coach or teaching assistant has sex with the same student, there's no penalty. sounds like a massive loophole to me.

She cited two cases. In one, the Indiana Supreme Court last year ruled that a Switzerland County school bus driver employed by a private contractor wasn't covered by the child seduction statute since he didn't work directly for the school district. In the other case, Pence said she recently represented teenage girls seduced by an Indianapolis-area coach who was a volunteer and didn't face criminal charges. The girls' families sued the coach, and the lawsuit was resolved through a settlement, Pence said. She declined to name the parties.

if that second case sounds familiar, it's because gary welsh tried to turn it into an attack on pence last month. apparently the seducer in the case was an old friend of gary's who took advantage of his role as a volunteer coach to seduce not one but two of the 16-year-old girls in his care. one of the girls' parents hired pence, who eventually filed a lawsuit against gary's buddy.

for some puzzling reason, gary thought this story made linda pence look like the bad guy and blogged about how mean she was to his old pal. at the time, i noted that the story sounded like a textbook case of child seduction and was confused as to why pence was unable to get the guy convicted of that crime, considering that he readily admitted to having sex with two underage students. now i know why: because he took advantage of this "volunteer" loophole.

one other thing: note how pence declined to name the seducer. she may not like the guy—in fact i suspect she finds him repulsive—but she's not going to publicly drag his name through the mud. in contrast, gary welsh's post not only named his buddy the child seducer, but he also named one of the victims.

update: you know gary hates to be made a fool of, so naturally he had to post again, defending himself and his good buddy:

What Pence failed to explain to the media today was that criminal charges were not brought against the person in question because the sex she alleged occurred took place after he had moved to Chicago and was no longer working as a volunteer coach for the school.

ah, so he seduced them while working at the school, but waited until after he quit to actually sex them up? hmm... i don't think that makes the situation much better. (in fact, it sounds like child grooming to me.)

furthermore, where does gary get off talking about alleged sex? in his previous post, he reported that his friend admitted to having sex with two underage former rowing students (two—not just the one gary claims is "in love" with his friend). there's nothing alleged about that sex. everyone agrees that it happened.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008 
is a spade a spade? obviously not!
shorter gary welsh: the new york times expects you to believe that being a founding partner in a lobbying firm that works for a client counts as having "lobbying ties" to that client. they must think you're stupid.

desperate politics
just last week, as the world found out about the latest round of bank failures, mccain insisted that "the fundamentals of our economy are strong." now, he claims that things are so bad that the economy "the country could slide into a Depression by Monday" if he doesn't back out of friday's debate and rush to washington to fix things.

what has changed between now and then? if you answered that "mccain has been slipping in the polls", pat yourself on the back.

Sunday, September 21, 2008 
shorter josh gillespie
shorter josh gillespie: so what if my esteemed co-blogger wrote a bunch of disgusting racist garbage that we had to delete? liberals have said mean things about sarah palin, and that's even worse! anyway, at least we're not like gary welsh... that guy is crazy.

Saturday, September 20, 2008 
shorter mike "sir hailstone" jezierski
everyone else has already written about this, but if i'm going to call out ipopa for racist stereotypes then i can hardly ignore this nonsense...

shorter mike "sir hailstone" jezierski: barack obama doesn't just want to raise your taxes, he wants to shank you, steal your money, and make it rain all over the white house lawn. (that's how black people act, right?) he probably wants to "superman" your girlfriend, too, whatever that means.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008 
shorter ipopa
i hesitate to turn the devastating power of shorter on my fellow lefties, but i must do what i must do...

shorter ipopa: i don't hate all latinos—just the ones who, you know, act like latinos.

Monday, September 15, 2008 
the definitive shorter gary welsh
shorter gary welsh: when they said that reagan had meddled with foreign affairs in order to get elected, i knew it had to be a dirty lie. but when they said that obama had meddled with foreign affairs to get elected, i knew it had to be true!

economic fundamentals
major economic news this weekend. lehman brothers is tanking. merrill lynch, once ironclad, is now up for sale. how bad is it? is it time to panic? is it time to crack each other's heads open and feast on the goo inside?

it's hard to know whose advice to trust in times like this. should i believe john mccain, when he puts out an ad saying the economy is in crisis? or should i instead believe john mccain, when he says "the fundamentals of our economy are strong", as he said this morning?

i'm so confused!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008 
mayor ballard shuts up
mayor ballard seems to have finally realized that every time he opens up his mouth when a reporter is around, something stupid comes out. so the solution is typically ballard-simple: stop talking to reporters! matt tully explains:

During the week, a few local Republicans attending the convention had told me Ballard was upset about coverage of his administration and had thus decided to back away from the media. So midway through our flight, I walked to the rear of the plane, where the mayor was sitting, and suggested a column that would essentially allow him to talk about his first months in office -- in his own words.

That was my mistake.

It seems the mayor is afraid of his own words. After all, they sometimes come back to haunt him. Like when he said parks were a "drain" on the city budget. Or when he picked a fight with the arts community, not realizing how tough arts folks can be. Or when he said it'd be easy to find millions of dollars of fluff in the city budget. Or when he mused about creating a Chinatown from scratch.

Now, it doesn't matter to me whether the mayor talks to me or not. This column is pretty manageable with or without his words. And regardless, the City-County Building is full of people who are eager to talk about what the mayor is doing.

But it's sad to see Citizen Mayor take the advice of those who want to turn him into Talking-Point Greg.

is this the end of the gaffe-o-matic mayor, to be replaced by the missing mayor? he's already been nearly invisible, letting marcus barlow and scott newman take most of the heat for his unpopular initiatives, and only occasionally appearing before a camera to say something embarrassing.

if the mayor's going to retreat completely into his shell, that's not surprising, but it is disappointing... writing about the mayor is generally such a joyless activity, and his many gaffes bring brief moments of much-needed humor. the next three years of the ballard administration will be grim enough; at least give us something to chuckle about!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008 
how dare you get upset when i take your money away?
so last night's city council meeting was filled to the brims with arts supporters, who were there to protest the mayor's plans to slash arts funding. gary and abdul are both upset at these mean artists for daring to not want their money taken away, and they're singing the same tune. gary says

[T]he City's share of funding for the arts is such a small drop in the bucket for the local arts community that it's hard for its supporters to argue that the elimination or reduction in funding will have an appreciable impact on the arts community.

abdul takes it a step further and lists how much city money is received by various organizations, before concluding:

On average the city funds about 4.6% of the operating budgets of these organizations. If they are going to go out of business over what amounts to basically an average 1.5% budget cut then maybe they should spend a little less time on art and more on math.

is this really the argument republicans want to make here? if so then they haven't properly thought it through. because not only does the argument cut both ways, but it's a stronger argument going the other way!

to wit: the city's entire arts budget is a microscopic $1.5 million. that's out of an annual budget of about $1.1 billion. so the city's arts funding is only 0.136% of the budget—that's fourteen hundredths of a percent! to paraphrase abdul, if the city is going out of business over 0.136% of its budget then the mayor needs to fire his staff and hire someone who's taken an algebra class. surely we don't truly need to cut something that is already such a puny sliver of the budget, right?

moreover, the numbers in abdul's post don't really say what he claims they do. to be sure, the indianapolis museum of art probably wouldn't suffer too much if its 85 grand of city funding were taken away. but encore vocal arts gets 11.34% of its budget from the city. storytelling arts of indiana gets 11.71% of its budget from city funding. primary colours gets 10.50%. interaction theater gets 15.81%. the indianapolis symphonic band gets 19.21%. and freetown village gets a whopping 26.22% of its budget from city funding. i'm sure abdul wouldn't mind if his bosses decided to cut his paycheck by 26.22% (or one third of that—8.74%—a year); it would probably be only a small dent in his martini budget. but for a nonprofit organization, 26% of your budget is a lot of money. that $40,500 means everything to freetown; it means nothing to the city of indianapolis.

Saturday, September 06, 2008 
how much shorter is too much shorter?
it feels like i'm doing too many shorter gary welshes, but he's putting out such a prolific stream of nonsense that it's hard to stop. someone help me out here! there's too much insanity for one blog to mock...

shorter gary welsh: i'm disgusted that the media is paying so much attention to sarah palin's family! they should be going after joe biden's family instead... especially the dead ones.

doormouse's last show?
i just got off the phone a while ago with sir.vixx. while discussing arrangements for my wedding show, he mentioned something interesting that he'd noticed on doormouse's myspace page:

(click for larger, uncropped image)
on doormouse's myspace calendar, he has my wedding show listed as his last US show. ("purdy lounge dj sets" is a weekly recurring event that may very well end before october 17.) furthermore, his myspace "headline"—which is more of a profile quote or signature than a headline—now reads "And I'm Out".

all of this suggests that doormouse is retiring from music (or at least live performance). if true, it means that the october 17 doormouse show in indianapolis could be his final live show ever!

of course, it's my wedding night—we're getting married earlier in the day—so this show was always going to be special for me. but if it's going to be doormouse's last show ever... wow.

here's the flier:

here are myspace links for the performers: Doormouse, Dr. Butcher M.D., Sir.Vixx, DJ Empirical. if you want a taste of what my set will sound like, download my mash smarter not harder EP.

update: doormouse has confirmed in an email that this is his "last show for the foreseeable future" and he is "taking a break."

Friday, September 05, 2008 
plus ça change, plus c'est la meme chose
shorter gary welsh, monday: obama got no convention bounce! ha ha! that totally proves this theory i have about how the media is in the tank for obama.

shorter gary welsh, today: the fact that obama got such a massive convention bounce totally proves this theory i have about how the local media is in the tank for obama.

dear access hollywood
journalism: ur doin it wrong:

Oprah went on to say that she would relish the opportunity to sit down with the first female vice presidential nominee in history.

sarah palin is not the first female vice presidential nominee in history. geraline ferraro shattered that glass ceiling 24 years ago.

that is all.

Thursday, September 04, 2008 
ballard keeps COIT money but won't hire more cops
if you've been clinging to the hope that mayor ballard and council republicans would repeal last year's county income tax increase—you know, the one they campaigned against—perhaps it's finally time to abandon that fantasy:

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department will not try to hire 100 sworn officers that were promised last year when the City-County Council raised the county income tax.

Instead, city officials said Wednesday, the department this year spent the amount of money it would have cost to hire those officers on immediate needs not covered in the 2008 budget: retirement benefits, overtime, fuel and contractual raises.

Next year, Public Safety Director Scott Newman said, the department plans to hire 40 civilian public assistance officers. The new, lower-paid positions would handle less-difficult duties such as vandalism and accident reports, allowing sworn officers more time for bigger challenges.

far from being the unaffordable tax hike that ballard and friends portrayed it as, the COIT increase turns out to have been too small, such that it doesn't bring in enough money to cover the expenses it was planned to... and that's not even counting the police pensions it was also supposed to cover. (ipopa thinks he knows why the public safety budget is a mess: expensive micromanagement.)

of course, some of us have known all along that the increase would never be repealed, because despite what ballard said on the campaign trail, the city desperately needed the money. but if there was ever any doubt, this story should squash it. this announcement officially kills two pillars of the ballard campaign: that the COIT increase was bad, and that he would hire more cops. (hiring rent-a-cops and calling them cops doesn't count.)

Wednesday, September 03, 2008 
mayoral pronouncements from minneapolis
shorter greg ballard: just because sarah palin has no experience doesn't mean she's unqualified to be vice president. i mean, look at me! i had no experience, and yet i'm a great mayor, right? in fact, palin's a better candidate than obama, because... oh, hold on, i dropped my talking points.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008 
it was bound to happen
if the past couple months taught us anything, it's that gary welsh has high regard for the national enquirer. for weeks, he trumpeted the enquirer story about john edwards, writing, among other things:

As I've said before, you can knock the National Enquirer and other tabloids all you want, but when it comes to political scandals, they're usually dead on.

a couple weeks later, he wrote:

When the tabloids take away time from the Hollywood celebrities to take on politicians, it's usually because the mainstream media is covering up for the politician.

another thing we've learned recently is that gary thinks sarah palin is the bestest VP candidate ever. so what happens when an unstoppable force meets and immovable object? what happens when the enquirer takes on sarah palin?

Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin attempted to quietly have her daughter Bristol get married before news of her pregnancy leaked out, the NATIONAL ENQUIRER is reporting exclusively in its new issue.

Palin planned for the wedding to take place right after the Republican National Convention and then she was going to announce the pregnancy.

But Bristol, 17, refused to go along with the plan and that sparked a mother-daughter showdown over the failed coverup.

The ultra-conservative governor's announcement about her daughter's pregnancy came hours after The ENQUIRER informed her representatives and family members of Levi Johnston, the father of Bristol's child, that we were aware of the pregnancy and were going to break the news.

personally, i don't trust the enquirer's reporting any further than i could throw it. i start out with the assumption that this junk is false. but apparently, gary really believes in this stuff. he starts out with the assumption that it's true. he thinks of the national enquirer as a respectable journalistic institution that follows the tough stories that other outlets are too timid to touch.

so how will he react? my metaphorical money is on him not mentioning it at all. this will be interesting to watch.

update: this is bigger than i thought:

John McCain's presidential campaign is threatening a lawsuit against the National Enquirer over a print edition story the tabloid ran today alleging that Gov. Sarah Palin has had an extramarital affair with her husband's business partner.

The allegation would normally be dismissed by political observers as the random musings of a supermarket tabloid -- indeed, the McCain campaign said as much in its statements on Wednesday -- except that the paper has built up a reservoir of legitimacy following its earlier reporting on the John Edwards affair.

considering that gary wrote three posts accusing the mainstream media of cowardice for not running with the john edwards affair story, it will be hard for him to avoid addressing this enquirer story now. but what can he possibly say that won't sound foolish?

Monday, September 01, 2008 
what did i miss?
i'm back, with new backgrounds inspired by (read: promoting) the upcoming wedding show.

schizophrenia 3 was excellent; the abelcain set alone was worth the price of admission.

rib america was not so great. the food was delicious but vastly overpriced, and it was crazy hot outside. plus, there was an hourlong break in between bands, and we realized we had nothing to do during that time. (i guess we could've bought more expensive food or gotten some free samples of chewing tobacco, but that was about it.) so we went home before blue oyster cult even played.

i heard about mccain's odd choice of vp before i left, but didn't hear about her various scandals until i got back. i did hear plenty about hurricane gustav, as we watched a lot of tv in the hotel room.

the hotel's wifi didn't reach our room, which meant no blogosphere (and no so i didn't have time to write shorters, but if i had, i could've taken my pick from any of gary welsh's past 6 or 8 posts, all of which were eminently mockworthy. (for the briefest of moments, i fantasized that his post titled "anatomy of an obama smear from one who would know" might be a confessional, wherein he apologizes for his role in promoting repulsive smears about barack obama and other democrats, but of course, it's just another post from indiana's filthiest pot criticizing the kettle for its blackness.)

all in all, a good weekend, but between the fast food we ate on the road and today's barbecue fare, i've eaten almost my whole ration of fat and calories for the week. it'll be lots of ground turkey and lowfat chicken from now on.

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