By Brian Howey
The Hendricks County Flyer
Tue Apr 09, 2013, 03:14 PM EDT
Chris Chocola is not a clown.
He doesn't wear a bulbous red nose or a bright orange Bozo wig. His shoes aren't two feet long. He doesn't drive a little yellow taxi filled with other clowns, who tumble out at the first sounding of a Chinese fire drill.
Chocola is a former Indiana Republican congressman who collected earmarks for his district, and voted for the Medicare prescription drug plan. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan along with Medicare - the biggest entitlement expansion since LBJ's Great Society - helped produce America's first trillion-dollar budget deficit before Barack Obama ever became president. He is also president of Club For Growth and it is in this latter capacity that Chocola is acting ... well, like a clown.
Since Chocola became Club For Growth's chief, he has become a born-again deficit hawk. He is now against earmarks and wasteful spending and is seeking Republicans to punish for things he did himself.
Club For Growth - an organization of rich, Republican white guys - decided to target U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar for defeat sometime in 2010. They consigned Lugar, who had a Republican voting record approaching the 90th percentile and who had received 7.5 million votes, a Hoosier record, over his 36-year career, as a "RINO." Chocola and his merry band of bundlers spent close to $4 million backing Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock, who defeated Lugar in the Republican primary.
Mourdock took that Senate nomination, started shooting his mouth off, disappeared from the campaign trail for a couple of months, and then made what was the epic blunder of the television age of Indiana politics. His "God intends" rape remark at the New Albany debate with Joe Donnelly created a fiasco that gift-wrapped a reliable GOP seat for the Democrats.
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An NPR broadcast examines the question of how communities can better prepare for tornadoes like the one that struck Moore, Okla. on Monday. The broadcast features commentary from Michael Fitzgerald, who reported a five-part disaster series for the CNHI News Service.
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Part I: Are We Prepared? | Part II: Disaster Dollars Part III: Lessons Learned | Part IV: Warning Signs Part V: The Big One
The good news is that after decades of furious growth, obesity rates finally seem to be leveling off in the U.S.. The bad news is that America's youth still appear to be dangerously unaware of the problem.
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