Sheila Kennedy is a former high school English teacher, former lawyer, former Republican, former Executive Director of Indiana’s ACLU, former columnist for the Indianapolis Star, and former young person. She is currently an (increasingly cranky) old person, a Professor of Law and Public Policy at Indiana University Purdue University in Indianapolis, and Director of IUPUI’s Center for Civic Literacy. She writes for the Indianapolis Business Journal, PA Times, and the Indiana Word, and blogs at For those who are interested in more detail, links to an abbreviated CV and academic publications can be found on her blog, along with links to her books..

Corporate Tax Cuts: Rhetoric and Reality

Right now, most eyes are on Congressional Republicans and their last-ditch effort to destroy the Affordable Care Act, but those eyes will soon turn to the various tax “reform” efforts waiting in the wings. Bookies are probably taking odds on the likelihood of Congress actually managing to reform the tax code. What constitutes reform, of course, is in the eye […]

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Liberals On Campus: The Indoctrination Myth

college campus

A few days ago, the editorial page editor of the Indianapolis Star wrote an article in which he counseled a “young conservative” on how to navigate Indiana University’s “left-wing” campus in Bloomington. There are so many things wrong with the consistent right wing trope about “lefty” professors, the perceived persecution of their conservative colleagues, and the imagined “indoctrination” of their students–where to […]

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A Disquieting Possibility: Climate Change & Plants’ Nutritional Value

climate change and crops

Could climate change be making us fat? Politico has published an article from a series on the future of health that suggests the answer may be yes. The article began by describing a 1998 experiment in which scientists made algae grow faster in order to provide more food for zooplankton. They increased the algae by shining more light onto them, and gave the […]

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Bursting Bubbles: America Needs A Civic Service Program

americorps civic service

Richard Cohen recently had an opinion piece in the Washington Post addressing the undeniable fact that Americans increasingly occupy information “bubbles”–and that we rarely, if ever, intersect with the very different bubbles occupied by others. He began by describing his long-ago relationship with someone named Charlie. He and Charlie came from very different backgrounds and had very different beliefs; their close friendship was […]

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Amazon: Playing The Economic Development Lottery


Amazon’s recent announcement that it would be “accepting proposals” for a secondary headquarters has set off a predictable–and unfortunate– competition by cities all over the country. “Pick me! Pick me!” Even Indianapolis and Fishers have teamed up for the hunt. The Brookings Institution gets the dynamics right. In the world of state and local economic development, Amazon is a whale. […]

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Charlottesville’s Mayor Assigns Homework

The Mayor of Charlottesville seems an impressive guy. I say this even though I’m still bemused by the tepid response of his police department during the demonstrations–good practice would have kept the neo-Nazis and counter-demonstrators separated. That said, Mayor Signer exhibited the forcefulness that the city’s policing lacked, both in public statements in the aftermath of the demonstrations, and in a […]

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A Declaration Of Independence – From Trump

Declaration Of Independence

Anyone who follows the news even superficially recognizes that America is at a watershed of sorts. Intellectually honest people know that we frequently haven’t lived up to the ideals of our founding–“liberty and justice for all” has been and remains tantalizingly elusive. I would argue, however, that so long as we at least aspire to the values of liberty and equality, so […]

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Indiana Townships & Corruption: Old News is New Again

The Evansville, Indiana Courier Press recently ran an “expose” about Indiana’s Township Trustees. I put expose in quotes because the article repeated and confirmed practices that have been widely criticized since at least 1967, when a law review article disclosed that every dollar of poor relief that Trustees distributed cost Indiana taxpayers another dollar and a half in “overhead” costs. The Courier Press fleshed […]

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Pence – Black Is White: The Disastrous “School Choice” Movement

National media outlets report that Mike Pence is again touting the virtues of “school choice.” Evidently, in the alternate reality that he and Betsy DeVos inhabit, vouchers and other “choice” programs are working wonderfully. The evidence suggests otherwise–unless by “working,” they mean subsidizing religious schools and benefitting business’ bottom line. Two recent reports, one from the Washington Post and another, lengthy investigation from the New […]

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