Tuesday, January 31, 2006
I know why the approval ratings are so low. Here is my list:
1) no real action on hurricane recovery/rebuilding
2) corrupt Republican elected officials taking boatloads of money from Jack Abramoff
3) inept Republican elected officials who refuse to respond to the needs of constituents because they aren't money-paying lobbyists
4) the lack of progress in Iraq with more of our young men and women dying everyday (Iraq casualties)
5) lack of progress in talks with N. Korea, Iran, Syria
6) lack of progress in preparing for the Bird flu
7) lack of progress in getting good paying jobs for Americans
8) lack of progress in funding No Child Left Behind (the Bush administration reneged on the No Child Left Behind act by $26 BILLION). States are scrambling to fund the federal mandate, and have been forced to make other cuts to fund the program.
9) domestic spying. The President has bragged about breaking the law to spy without warrants.
10) Republicans, including Deborah Pryce, have gutted the student loan program making it more difficult and more expensive to get a loan.
Monday, January 30, 2006
...State Sen. Joy Padgett (R-Coshocton) said she had no doubts about Ney's innocence.
"I looked him in the eye," she said. "We've talked. If he says to me that he is going to be cleared of all of this, then I believe him."
She has no intention of giving back the $5,000 she received from Ney in 2004.
"I think that was a good-faith donation," Padgett said. "I don't think it's an Abramoff donation...."
From Sunday's Columbus Dispatch:
A former aide to Gov. Bob Taft has admitted that he improperly funneled campaign cash from former Maumee coin dealer Thomas W. Noe to three Ohio Supreme Court justices, according to documents filed with the state Elections Commission.
H. Douglas Talbott, who was Taft’s head of boards and commissions, divided $3,000 equally among Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer and Justices Terrence O’Donnell and Judith Ann Lanzinger at a 2004 fundraiser in Noe’s Catawba Island home. However, $1,960 of the money actually came from Noe, who already had given the maximum legal contributions, the complaint said....
...There is no evidence that the justices knew about the arrangement, Richter said, even though Noe was Lanzinger’s campaign manager. All three Republicans won their elections in 2004...
The behavior of these Republicans is awful. It seems they were passing out money like they were handing out cookies. Is anyone else bothered by the fact that these Republicans have lots of money just sitting around waiting for the next bribe or "contribution" for someone? Was the following story about Justice Terrence O'Donnell related? Here
Justice Terrence O'Donnell, 59, told police the theft occurred Feb. 16 (2005) in the Flats riverfront entertainment district, where he parked his car for the St. Edward High School event.
O'Donnell, 59, received the school's 2004 Alumnus of the Year honor. When he returned to the car, a window was smashed and the money and a briefcase were missing, according to a police report.
"There's so many ways that this could have been avoided or fixed," O'Donnell said Thursday. "I've rethought this, and re-examined myself and second-guessed myself hourly since this occurred."
O'Donnell said he keeps large amounts of cash at home and had planned to deposit the money in a checking account to pay for home repairs...
Deborah Pryce has brought some money for projects to the 15th congressional district of Ohio. The Akron Beacon Journal has published a list assembled by Citizens Against Government Waste. As her power/influence increased in the Republican Party, the amount of 'pork' increased for the district. Unfortunately, it is hard to determine if these projects did anything to improve the economy of the district. They did not increase employment.
I found this interesting letter to the editor in the Times Reporter about Bob Ney. The writer makes a good point. I hope that the federal prosecutor investigating Ney follows up on this information.
I would like to thank the Young Democrats for calling to our attention that a local Republican candidate received a check from Congressman Bob Ney for more than $10,000.
Regardless of where you are from, that is a lot of money. For a politician in Tuscarawas County to take more than $10,000 from one person is indeed “obscene.”
Ney’s check to Commissioner Kerry Metzger was nearly five times as much as any person can contribute to a congressional candidate ($2,100) but it is OK for a member of Congress to place that kind of influence on a local election? The Times Reporter says “the Ney-to-Metzger contribution is a non-issue?”
There is something inherently wrong when a small-town politician can accept a check worth five times more than what the federal government allows any individual to give to a member of Congress. There is also something wrong when a candidate for local office is willing to take checks with more than $10,000. Winning is more important than ethics?
Saturday, January 28, 2006
wrestling team when he attended The Ohio State University.
A recent poll shows that Tom DeLay is having some problems in his home district. The Olberlin Times indicates the following about the poll: ....Sixty percent of those polled said they viewed DeLay unfavorably and 28 percent said they viewed him favorably. Ninety-one percent said they had a lower opinion of DeLay than they did last year....
Democratic Rep. John Murtha is seeking FDA help on a bird flu vaccine created at the University of Pittsburgh.
I want to give a hello to another local blog: High and Broad. http://highandbroad.blogspot.com
Raw Story has an interesting claim by Republican Sen. Rick Santorum as reported in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
With Democrats comparing his ties to lobbyists with "organized crime," Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., yesterday swung back, saying the Democratic criticism amounted to libel and unequivocally denying that he helped shape the GOP's controversial "K Street Project."
The "K Street Project," which was led by conservative activist Grover Norquist and then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, was an effort to press Washington's lobbying firms and trade associations to hire Republicans who share their agenda. It gets its name from the street where many of the firms are based...
But, in interviews with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, he has said those discussions -- which he previously referred to as "the K Street meetings" -- are merely to ensure Republicans are putting forward good candidates for the jobs...
"I had absolutely nothing to do -- never met, never talked, never coordinated, never did anything -- with Grover Norquist and the -- quote -- K Street Project," Mr. Santorum said...
Someone needs to remind Ricky that it is a sin to lie.
Friday, January 27, 2006
The Columbus Dispatch has the story. Here are some excerpts:
...Kilroy and her supporters say that as the chairwoman of the House Republican Conference and the fourth-ranked Republican in the House, Pryce can’t escape responsibility for Republican misdeeds.
"You see one party in control of all three branches of government," Kilroy said. "I think people are fed up with all the scandals in government."
...Yesterday, Kilroy zeroed in on Pryce’s support of the 2005 budget bill, which spelled out $39.7 billion in cuts over the next five years, including $12.7 billion in reductions to student loans. The changes are expected to boost interest rates on Stafford loans by 28 percent, according to published reports....
..."Higher education here at Ohio State is part of the economic revival we’re going to need to be competitive in the global economy we’re part of in the United States," Kilroy said...
Pryce is a puppet of the Tom DeLay/lobbyist-controlled Republican House of Representatives. When Bush says 'jump,' Pryce asks 'how high?' Kilroy is correct in saying that people are sickened by these Republican scandals. It looks like Kilroy is going to get out there in Columbus, Arlington, Worthington, and Dublin to fight for the people in this district. Someone has to stand up for people, instead of the lobbyists.
Speaking of corruption: You must see this editorial cartoon of Gov. Bob Taft.
You must see the picture of the anti-Ney demonstrators here.
Update: I have just had the chance to watch Bob Ney's announcement that he'll run again for the congress. The announcement was recorded on CSPAN. Instead of Ney taking any responsibility for his illegal behavior, he blamed everything on George Soros. As a matter of fact, Ney mentioned George Soros' name a lot. Is Ney dealing with reality??? Ney also said that the "liberal establishment" in Washington, D.C. was behind everything. What is he talking about? The Republicans control the White House, the Senate, and the House of Representatives. He accused the Sierra Club of having "hallucinations" about the environment. I can say that Ney's speech was very, very strange.
Virginia Governor Tim Kaine, a Democrat, will give the Democratic Party response to the President's State of the Union Speech. MSNBC has the story. Will you be watching the speech? What will the President tell us that he hasn't told us yet? What is your opinion about the state of this country?
Paul Hackett is on a tour of Ohio. His straight-talking, friendly style helps him gain support every place he visits. The Mount Vernon News (Knox County Ohio) had a very nice article about Hackett. Here are some excerpts:
Fiscal responsibility, limited government, a strong national defense and fair trade. Sticking tough on these and other issues is what will bring victory to the Democratic Party in statewide elections, said Paul Hackett, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, challenging Senator Mike Dewine. Hackett participated in a meet-and-greet event at the Ice Cream Station this morning...
...An Iraq war veteran, Hackett said he is proud he had the opportunity to serve his country, but he has spoken out against the war in Iraq and called it a “sad misuse” of the American military. He took an opportunity to take a jab at Vice President Dick Cheney and others, who he said recently adopted the view that the administration shouldn’t be criticized in a time of war.
“I didn’t go to fight in Iraq to be told that I can’t have my freedom because the world is too dangerous,” he said.
He said the war has weakened the nation and that the real fight was in Afghanistan. With the military stretched so thin, the nation would be hard-pressed to get entangled in Iran, where problems are growing. And after spending hundreds of billions of dollars on the war in Iraq, the administration is talking about cutting taxes.
“That’s not responsible,” he said. “If you increase spending, you can’t cut revenue.”
Hackett said he is a strong supporter of organized labor and of keeping Social Security intact....
In this week's, The Other Paper, there is a story about how the bloggers like Paul Hackett. Sherrod Brown did something to anger some bloggers, and he has not found lots of support with bloggers. (Note: I tried to link to the article, but for some reason it won't work. If you are in Columbus, the article is on page 9 of The Other Paper.) Some of concern about Brown comes from the fact that first he was in the race, then out, and then back in again.
Thursday, January 26, 2006
MSNBC: The scandal surrounding disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff has claimed its first victim: The Capitol Hill free lunch....
...Sean Spicer, a spokesman for conference chairwoman Rep. Deborah Pryce, R–Ohio, says, "We are not accepting Institute money because of media perception." She said the Republican lawmakers usually pay for their own travel and lodging costs at the gathering...
(My opinion: If they've usually paid for their own travel, then I am the Queen of Sheba!)
...Last year Hastert's KOMPAC hosted a Sunday-Thursday retreat for donors at a resort in Kapalua on the Hawaiian island of Maui. In 2005, the program included two top members of his leadership team, Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio) and Rep. Tom Reynolds, the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, the GOP House political operation.
In August of 2003, some of Hastert's best donors flew to a fishing camp in Alaska for a $5,000-per-person fund-raising event.
Hastert called off his fund-raisers as Republicans are confronted with GOP ethics and lobbying scandals threatening their control of the House and Senate in the November elections.
Earlier this month, Hastert called for an ethics crackdown, taking action in the wake of scandals involving two Republicans who pleaded guilty to criminal activity -- GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff and former Rep. Duke Cunningham (R-Calif.). Hastert faces further headaches because the Abramoff affair may implicate people close to former Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas), who is facing charges in Texas for laundering campaign donations....
John Cranley -Democratic Candidate for the 1st District
Looks like Cranley has a real chance to take the district!
Enquirer: The first district will get a lot of attention from the National Democratic Party to defeat the current Republican.
Post: ...But analysts note that the demographics are still ripe for Democrats. The district went for Democrat John Kerry in the 2004 presidential race.
Democrats on the national level are also banking on voter dissatisfaction with the double-whammy of scandals in the GOP-controlled Congress and Gov. Bob Taft's trouble. The Cincinnati Republican pleaded no contest in August to failing to report golf outings and other gifts he received.
"The problems they've seen in their capital they've also seen in the national capital," Emanuel said of Ohioans. "That's why Ohio is going to lead the country in calling for change...."
TODAY I SAW THE FIRST STRICKLAND BUMPER STICKER ON A CAR HERE IN CENTRAL OHIO. I'VE GOT TO GET ME ONE OF THOSE.
You must read the article, Republican Scandals Spell Democratic Victories.
The Bucyrus Telegraph Forum has a summary of Taft's last "state of the state" speech. Taft has big goals, but his reputation has tarnished and we've never seen any real leadership from him.
WTAP: Strickland called Taft's record one of job loss, decline, and corruption. That pretty well sums up how the Republicans have hurt Ohio.
Good news for Ohio voters: Strickland has chosen Lee Fisher as his running mate in the governor's race. Wow! This is a great team!
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Many people are talking about who will lead the Republicans in the House of Representatives. Blunt, Boehner, and Shadegg are vying for Tom DeLay's old job. The Hill says that "...Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) could challenge Conference Chairwoman Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio-15), and Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) could also join that race." Interesting.
More on Boehner (OH-8th): It appears that Boehner has some baggage.
>Voted against the endangered species act.
>>Boehner's ethics problems detailed: Here
>>>Boehner Freedom Project: Republican John Boehner runs the Freedom Project PAC, which sends thousands of dollars out to help Republican congressional campaigns - and to buy influence for John Boehner within Republican circles. Now, in a striking parallel to Tom DeLay’s illegal schemes, it appears that indian tribes from California, Louisiana, Michigan and Mississippi have been major contributors to the Freedom Project PAC.
All of the indian tribes that contributed money to Boehner’s Freedom Project PAC are tribes that run casinos - just as was the case with the contributions taken from indian tribes by Abramoff and DeLay....
Wow! Looks like we have another Ohio Republican with ethics problems. Surprise!
The Hotline Blog has the results of an Ohio poll for the U.S. Senate: "...In Ohio, Mike DeWine is trailing Rep Sherrod Brown 41%-37% and is losing to Ohio-2nd nominee Paul Hackett, 42% -- 35%..." Who do Ohioans prefer...Sherrod Brown or Paul Hackett? Our household is split. I'm supporting Hackett and my spouse is supports Brown.
State Auditor Betty Montgomery, a Republican, has withdrawn her candidacy for Ohio governor. She could not raise enough money and she couldn't find any moderates in the Ohio Republican Party. This leaves Republicans with two extreme right wing candidates for governor, Jim Petro and Kenneth Blackwell. Petro and Blackwell are hoping to restore Ohio to the same social climate of the Middle Ages. But that is just my opinion.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
A group of Washington lobbyists led by Richard Kessler under the umbrella of the Ripon Educational Fund and the Ripon Society has spent millions of dollars taking lawmakers to European capitals and U.S. resorts, thereby skirting congressional ethics rules that forbid registered lobbyists from paying for congressional travel, a Public Citizen investigation reveals.
Kessler, head of Kessler Business Services, has kept a lower profile than many better-known Washington lobbyists, such as admitted felon Jack Abramoff. Few have questioned the more than $1 million in free travel that lawmakers have reported receiving from groups and companies Kessler appears to control or influence. All told, Kessler-influenced groups and companies are responsible for providing 6 percent of the $17.6 million lawmakers have reported receiving in free travel from private companies and organizations from 2000 to mid-2005, Public Citizen estimates......
* Leading lawmakers have taken Ripon's luxury trips: Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), who is seeking to be the next House Majority Leader, took two trips costing a total of at least $13,920; Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio), Republican Conference Chairwoman, took one trip costing $9,050; Rep. Bob Ney (R-Ohio), who has temporarily stepped down as chairman of the House Administration Committee, took one trip costing $5,400; Rep. Michael G. Oxley (R-Ohio), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, took five trips costing a total of $51,629; and Rep. Bill Thomas (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, took two trips costing a total of $24,519...
Must be nice to get free travel. Exactly what is being discussed on these "free" trips? Who goes with the elected officials on the trips? Lobbyists? Are other "gifts" received? While Ohioans in the 15th district are trying to find jobs, get food on the table, pay for high gasoline and heating costs, and pray for our loved ones in Iraq, our elected officials are taking free trips with lobbyists. There is something wrong with this type of activity.
Monday, January 23, 2006
Government assistance has become a seesaw for Nijole Sopher.
She got a $24-a-month boost from Social Security, but her food-stamp allotment went down $20.
Then Sopher was told that, under the new prescriptiondrug plan, which began Jan. 1, she has to make co-payments for the seven medications she is prescribed.
Ohio’s poorest residents were told that the co-pay — no more than $5 per drug — would be offset by the increase in their Social Security checks. But the government has recalculated the other benefits, and for Sopher and many others, the seesaw has tipped in the wrong direction.
"I think I was better off last year," said Sopher, 59, of the South Side.
Her doctor gave her medicine samples, so she’s good through Feb. 1. After that, she’s not sure what she will do about her prescriptions.
"I’ll go with the ones I need the most," she said.
Among the 200,000 Ohioans who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid — called "dual eligibles" — Sopher’s situation is common.
"Just do the math," said Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, of the Access to Benefits Coalition and the Ohio Association of Second Harvest Foodbanks. "I haven’t had one person tell me, ‘Gosh, I’m glad I got that small increase in my Social Security check...’ "
Saturday, January 21, 2006
Here we have the Republican theme for 2006--9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11
If we are to believe Rove and the rest of the Republicans, we should forget about the rest of these issues facing us in Ohio: unemployment, lack of economic growth in Ohio, Republican corruption and scandals, Tom Noe, Bob Ney, Taft's golf outings, the Iraq war, the loss of college loans, global warming, tax cuts for the rich, cronyism in state contracts, Blackwell denying citizens the right to vote, cuts in funding for the elderly, the poor, and children.
Rove, the king of political dirty tricks and character assassination, calls Democrats mean-spirited and small-minded??????? Give me a break. Does anyone remember what the Republicans did to Anita Hill at the Thomas hearings.
Friday, January 20, 2006
The news release from the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services has all the details. Here are some excerpts:
Ohio's unemployment rate was 5.9 percent in December, up from 5.7 percent in November, according to data released this morning by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services...
...Nine counties had unemployment rates at or above 8.0 percent during December. The counties with the highest rates, other than Monroe, were: Pike, 9.8; Morgan, 9.3; Meigs, 9.1; Ottawa, 8.9; Vinton, 8.3; Adams and Huron, 8.2; and Perry, 8.0 percent...
Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce (OH-15) released this information on Jan. 6, 2005:
“The economic news keeps getting better,” Pryce said. “Not only did the economy show significant job gains in December, but November’s strong job numbers are even better than we thought. Today’s announcement is just more evidence that Republican policies are fueling economic growth and creating jobs for the American people. Republicans will continue to pursue pro-growth policies in the new year to keep our economy thriving.”
Obviously, Pryce is not dealing with reality. These rates do not indicate economic growth in Ohio. I'd suggest that Rep. Pryce spend a little less time on fundraisers and a lot more time talking to the people in Ohio.
Republican Rep. Bob Ney, currently under investigation because of his ties to lobbying Jack Abramoff, is upset with some comments made by the leader of the Ohio GOP. The article is from Myrtle Beach Online:
Ohio GOP chairman pledged full support Thursday for Rep. Bob Ney, a day after he said the party would ask Ney to leave Congress if he were to be indicted for his alleged role in lobbyist Jack Abramoff's influence peddling scheme.
Bob Bennett, chairman of the Ohio Republican Party, told Fox News Channel on Wednesday: "If Bob Ney is indicted, that's a very serious charge. We would ask him to step down on that basis."
The statement came four days after Ney, R-Ohio, stepped down temporarily as chairman of an important House committee. He reacted indignantly to Bennett's statement Wednesday.
"I listen to those I was elected to serve, not the party bosses who are sometimes ignorant of what is right and what is wrong, and instead stick their fingers to the political winds every time there is a breeze," he said in a statement.
Bennett backed off Thursday, saying: "Rep. Ney has said he believes a fair and thorough investigation will help to clear his name, and I take him at his word. It's important to let that process play out and to get all the facts on the table...."It is good to see that the Republicans support their indicted elected officials. Will they continue to support them if they are convicted?
Thursday, January 19, 2006
If Roe v. Wade were to be overturned, would you sign a law that would outlaw abortions in the case of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother?
Including the life of the mother?
Would you sign a law that would allow public schools to teach Biblical creationism, as defined by the book of Genesis, in science classrooms?
I would be inclined not to sign it with the information that I know now. It hasn't met that threshold as a science. Based on what I know now, I am a strong advocate of the academic study of the Bible, including Genesis, in primary and secondary schools—offered in literature and history, and offered as an elective.
Do think creationism could eventually meet that scientific threshold?
Oh yeah. Absolutely.
Blackwell has been closely associated with right wing minister, Rod Parsley, who has been criticized for campaining for candidates, despite his church's tax exempt status.
Democrats plan to use Ohio as an example of why we need ethics reform in government.
(1) The Toledo Blade has the story.
(2) The New York Times has an article about how Democrats plan to control lobbying.
(3) The Shreveport Times has a list of members of Congress who benefitted from Abramoff. Here is an important excerpt:
The upscale restaurant between the Capitol and the White House was a popular watering hole and fundraising site for mostly Republican lawmakers before it closed last year.
Among the dozens of lawmakers holding fundraisers at Signatures were House Majority Leader Roy Blunt of Missouri, Robert Ney, R-Ohio, John T. Doolittle, R-Calif., Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., and Tiahrt.
Rep. Deborah Pryce, R-Ohio, the Republican conference chairman, held 10 fundraisers at the restaurant.
"It had good food, good service and a good location," said Pryce press secretary Sean Spicer.
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
An alumni group is offering students up to $100 per class to supply tapes and notes exposing University of California, Los Angeles professors who allegedly express extreme left-wing political views.
The year-old Bruin Alumni Association on its Web site says it is concerned about professors who use lecture time to press positions against President Bush, the military and multinational corporations, among other things.
The site includes a list of what the group calls the college's 30 most radical professors.
"We're just trying to get people back on a professional level of things," said the group's president and founder, Andrew Jones, a 2003 UCLA graduate and former chairman of the student Bruin Republicans.
"Having been a student myself up until 2003, and then watching what other students like myself have gone through, I'm very concerned about the level of professional teaching at UCLA."
Some of the group's targets accuse it of conducting a witch-hunt.
"Any sober, concerned citizen would look at this and see right through it as a reactionary form of McCarthyism," said education professor Peter McLaren, whom the associated named as No. 1 on its "The Dirty Thirty: Ranking the Worst of the Worst..."
Obviously, these Bruin Alumni Association members should be careful. The professors could retaliate and go to the media to explain what asses they were in class. Also, I believe it is against the law to tape another person without his/her permission. If these alumni want to defend the war, go to your nearest recruiter.
The Akron Beacon Journal has the story of Paul Hackett and his recent comments about the Republicans:
Ohio's Republican leader wants Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Paul Hackett to apologize for calling some conservative Republicans religious fanatics and comparing them to terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden.
Hackett was unapologetic Tuesday for the comments in a newspaper story, saying religious fanatics of any flavor should be ashamed.
"I said it. I meant it. I stand behind it," he said.
Hackett said in a Sunday column in The Columbus Dispatch: "The Republican Party has been hijacked by the religious fanatics that, in my opinion, aren't a whole lot different than Osama bin Laden and a lot of the other religious nuts around the world."
Hackett, an Iraq war veteran from the Cincinnati suburb of Indian Hill, is running for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate against Rep. Sherrod Brown. They are vying to run against two-term Republican Sen. Mike DeWine.
Hackett also said the practice of denying homosexuals equal rights is un-American. The newspaper asked Hackett if that meant the 62 percent of Ohioans who voted to ban gay marriage were un-American.
"If what they believe is that we're going to have a scale on judging which Americans have equal rights, yeah, that's un-American," Hackett said.
Ohio Republican Party Chairman Bob Bennett said Hackett should apologize, saying his comments applied to any "people of faith" and, therefore, most Ohioans.
"These intolerant views have no place in the public debate, and I hope his fellow Democrats reject this divisive hate speech," Bennett said, while calling on Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern to condemn the remarks.
"If Bob Bennett needs an apology, he should apologize for Tom DeLay, Bob Ney, Bob Taft and Tom Noe," state Democratic spokesman Brian Rothenberg said. "This is nothing more than a smokescreen from the corruption that surrounds him."
Thank you, Paul Hackett! You are exactly the kind of Democrat we need!!!!
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
(sung to Where have all the flowers gone? apologies to Pete Seeger)
Where have all the Republicans gone?
Where have all the Republicans gone?
Where have all the Republicans gone?
In jail for bribes, almost everyone.
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?
Where are all the Republicans? With Rep. Bob Ney's name mentioned on the news everyday, we just haven't seen other Republican leaders doing interviews (other than on Faux News)? Tom DeLay? Deborah Pryce? Jean Schmidt (heard she was going to Iraq on a fact finding mission???)? Dennis Hastert? Roy Blunt? Shadegg? Why aren't they giving interviews? There are lots of questions I'd like to ask them? Here are a few I'd ask:
1.Have you ever had a lobbyist take you on a trip?
2.Have you met any foreign nationals on the trips with lobbyists?
3.How many times did you receive e-mails from Jack Abramoff and his clients?
4.How many times did you visit Jack Abramoff's restaurant? Did you receive a special discount?
5.Have you and your family been entertained by a lobbyist?6.When you do your on "location" fundraisers (golf outings, ski trips, sporting events, concerts) which lobbyists attend?
7.How many constituents attend these same fundraisers?
8.What if the NSA had wiretapped newspaper reporters, ministers, and teachers? Would that bother you?
9.If the NSA had wiretapped you talking to Jack Abramoff without your knowledge, would you be upset?
Readers: Can you think of any other questions? We should e-mail them to someone who has the chutzpah to ask them. Has anyone been asking these types of questions to the Republicans in the Senate?
PAUL HACKETT, DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE FOR U.S. SENATE
Paul Hackett is clearly the best choice for the U.S. Senate. He is a straight talking guy. Hackett gives you the impression that given the chance, he would really make a difference in Washington, DC. The Columbus Dispatch has Hackett at his best:
"The Republican Party has been hijacked by the religious fanatics that, in my opinion, aren’t a whole lot different than Osama bin Laden and a lot of the other religious nuts around the world," he said. "The challenge is for the rest of us moderate Americans and citizens of the world to put down the fork and spoon, turn off the TV, and participate in the process and try to push back on these radical nuts – and they are nuts."
Thank you, Paul, for saying it so well!
Monday, January 16, 2006
Republican Rep. Bob Ney stepped down temporarily from his chairmanship. Ney is certain that he will be cleared of any charges. I am sure that the people in his district are dismayed of all this publicity surrounding their friend, Ney. I'll try to explain it in one sentence:
Bob Ney is accused of taking BRIBES.
Raw Story has some of the links:
TIME Magazine Lobbyist Jack Abramoff's Oct. 23, 2000, e-mail to his business partner Michael Scanlon was, as usual, not subtle. "Would 10K for NRCC from Suncruz for Ney help?" Scanlon shot back: "Yes, alot [sic]! But would have to give them a definate [sic] answer--and they need it this week ..."
That electronic exchange, a record of which was reviewed by TIME, is among the evidence that Republican Congressman Bob Ney of Ohio accepted favors from Abramoff and Scanlon as part of an alleged quid pro quo--a charge to which the business partners each recently confessed in larger plea deals. While the plea agreements spell out various gifts, campaign donations and junkets that Abramoff and Scanlon say they provided to Ney in return for "official acts," the e-mails present in one place the specific elements of a swap that Abramoff has told investigators was prearranged and explicitly reciprocal, according to a source close to the Justice Department probe. To wit: a $10,000 donation to the Republicans just days before Ney inserted into the Congressional Record a statement praising an Abramoff business partner. Ney's lawyer, Mark Tuohey, calls the accusations "totally false...."
Ney received certain goodies in return for "official acts"???? Sounds like the evidence is mounting against Bob Ney!
Newsweek Ohio Rep. Robert Ney personally lobbied the then Secretary of State Colin Powell to relax U.S. sanctions on Iran. Who asked him to? A convicted airplane broker who had just taken the congressman and a top aide on an expense-paid trip to London, NEWSWEEK has learned. Ney's lawyer confirmed to NEWSWEEK that federal prosecutors have subpoenaed records on Ney's February 2003 trip paid for by Nigel Winfield, a thrice-convicted felon who ran a company in Cyprus called FN Aviation. Winfield was seeking to sell U.S.-made airplane spare parts to the Iranian government—a deal that would have needed special permits because of U.S. sanctions against Tehran....
Ney knew that taking political favors was wrong. Ney is going to be the poster boy for political corruption, and, I predict, he will be the first of many Republicans involved in this scandal.
and from the Chicago Sun Times:
...Ney is at the center of the Justice Department's ongoing corruption probe and has been identified as the congressman referred to by Abramoff in his guilty plea earlier this month.
The Administration Committee that Ney headed controls disclosures of lobbying practices and would be a key part of efforts to reform the system.
A GOP leadership aide said Friday that House Speaker Dennis Hastert was pressuring Ney to step aside because he believes it would be inappropriate for him to head the committee with jurisdiction over the Republican reform agenda.
Ney's statement Sunday said he had notified Hastert earlier in the day of his decision.
''I want to assure my colleagues and my constituents that I have done absolutely nothing wrong, and I am convinced that I will be vindicated completely at the end of this difficult process,'' Ney said...
I hope that no one holds their breath waiting for Ney to be "vindicated."
Friday, January 13, 2006
Republican Rep. John Boehner (OH-8) announced his interest in running for House Majority Leader. The post was previously held by Tom DeLay (TX) and currently held by interim leader, Roy Blunt (MO). Boehner has some problems. According to Raw Story and U.S. News, Boehner belongs to an all male country club in Betheseda, Maryland. (They still exist?) Here is an excerpt from the article:
"I do belong to Burning Tree," he told us unapologetically. And, he kids, "I don't know of a female who would want to go out there with all those old fogies." The country club's rules have sometimes been a problem for the collection of politicians who play there. In another congressional leadership race, for example, foes of former Sen. Don Nickles of Oklahoma raised his membership at the club when he ran for Senate whip in 2002.
Boehner's one of the House's well-known golfers. He claims a 6 handicap. When we first asked his office about the issue, they skipped the spin and put him on the phone in five minutes. During the interview, Boehner explained how he ended up a member of the club some three years ago. First, he was invited to a golf event and then tapped to talk to members when the scheduled speaker backed out. "I guess they liked the job that I did and invited me to become a member," he said. Like other members, Boehner had sponsors, a retired Army general, and the then head of Norfolk & Southern's Washington office. And, he added, "I pay the same fees that everybody else does." That's a $75,000 initiation fee plus monthly dues of $500 a month, according to reports...
How do you think the people of Ohio's 8th congressional district would feel if they found out that their congressman joined a club with an entrance fee of $75,000? How do you think the people of Montgomery County, with a November 2005 unemployment rate of 5.8, feel about Boehner's high lifestyle? (December 2005 rates not released yet). How can Boehner fight for equal rights and equal pay for men and women when he doesn't believe women are good enough to join his country club? I'm just asking.
Want to know why the Republican Party is having so many ethical problems? Money. Their events are posted at http://www.nrcc.org/contents/events/ . You may attend the fundraisers, but you better bring a BIG check. Look for Pryce's fundraiser. Guess I'll have to skip it.
Jack Abramoff only contributed to Republicans.
President Bush is still living in a bubble. According to the New York Times, when Bush visited New Orleans he did not see any of the major destruction. Just like his audience, the route was closely pre-screened.
Thursday, January 12, 2006
There is more evidence that U.S. House Republicans are trying to dump Rep. Deborah Pryce (OH-15) from her leadership position. Akron Beacon Journal has the story:
New York Rep. John Sweeney said Wednesday he will circulate a petition calling for the House GOP to hold a vote for all but one top leadership position, from majority leader to the chair of the national campaign committee.
"I have no idea what kind of support it's going to generate, but I think it will be more widespread than many people at first assumed," Sweeney said in a phone interview with The Associated Press.
Any Republican can call for a series of votes at the majority leader election meeting to replace any other member of the leadership.
But a petition by Republicans opposed to Tom DeLay, R-Texas, led to his resignation as majority leader, and Sweeney's petition could threaten Rep. Deborah Pryce, R-Ohio.
As chair of the Republican caucus, Pryce can set the date of the election meeting but cannot prevent a majority of the caucus from voting to vacate her seat and force a new election...
Republican Senator Chuck Grassley (Iowa) has received money from Jack Abramoff, according to Open Secrets. Check here.
Another Republican, Rep. J.D. Hayworth, apparently will be investigated by the Justice Dept. because of his ties to Abramoff. Hayworth (AZ-5) had big money from Abramoff and friends. Here is an excerpt from the East Valley Tribune:
Rep. J.D. Hayworth is among five members of Congress who will be the focus of the Justice Department’s initial investigation into influence peddling by former lobbyist Jack Abramoff, a Washington newspaper reported Wednesday....
Hayworth has received $101,620 since 1999 from Abramoff clients either directly to his campaign or to his political action committee, TEAM Pac, according to the center. The next highest individual recipient of money linked to Abramoff or his clients is House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., who got $69,000, according to the center....
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Conference Chairwoman Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio) could face a revolt among conservatives who want major changes in House GOP leadership and who could focus on her if Rep. Roy Blunt (Mo.) beats Rep. John Boehner (Ohio) for majority leader.
“She’s not been a strong spokeswoman” for the GOP’s agenda, said a rank-and-file conservative Republican lawmaker. “Too often, she does not seem to have an agenda.”
GOP allies of Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas) when he was majority leader were angered last year because they believed Pryce did not respond forcefully enough to ethics charges Democrats leveled against him...The Akron Beacon Journal has this news about Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce (OH-15): ...Rep. Deborah Pryce, on the other hand, has said she would give to charity all $8,000 she got from four Abramoff tribal clients.
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Here is an excerpt from the article:
State lawmakers cleared the way Monday for a politically generous check-cashing company already wooed with millions of dollars in state incentives to shave money from its federal tax bill.
State Sen. Ray Miller, a Columbus Democrat, questioned why Ohio seems to be taking pains to encourage Dublin-based Buckeye Check Cashing Inc., when he sees its business as preying on the poor.
"I can't see why we, as a state, support a business that we know charges excessive fees, [and] interest rates to our citizens," Miller said, in casting the State Controlling Board's lone objection to a tax-saving name shuffle at the firm. "It just doesn't make sense."
Since 2004, Ohio has extended Buckeye Check a 60-percent, nine-year tax credit for the firm; offered it $100,000 to invest in training; and approved a development loan package worth more than $7 million. The firm did not accept the latter loan.
Development Department spokesman Bill Teets said Monday's action was simply a technical change to adjust the name of the business entity that received $100,000 in state aid to help buy two buildings for its headquarters. The new company, Lenhart Frauenberg Partnership, was created "for federal income tax purposes," the proposal said.
Michael Lenhart and James Frauenberg, who own both companies, have donated, along with their family members, nearly $200,000 to political candidates and causes since 2000, according to state and federal filings.
Most of the money has gone to Republicans, including Reps. Bob Ney, Deborah Pryce, Pat Tiberi, Mike Oxley and David Hobson; Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro; State Auditor Betty Montgomery; and former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder, who controlled the House when the loan package was approved. Cleveland Democratic Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones also has received money.
A legal battle over whether Buckeye Check charges exorbitant interest rates is awaiting action by the U.S. Supreme Court, where it landed in November. John Cardegna, a 9-1-1 dispatcher in Florida, sued the company in 1999 to contest $3,000 in interest the firm charged him on a $300 cash advance he sought to repair his pickup truck. His lawyers argued that charging interest rates of more than 45 percent is criminal...Shameful.
Monday, January 09, 2006
Here is a fun fact: Do you know how much money Jack Abramoff personally donated to Democrats???
Answer: ZERO NOTHING
The Cincinnati Enquirer has a list of lawmakers in the Cincinnati area who accepted free trips from Abramoff.
When do you think that the American people will just get tired of all this corruption and then vote these people out of office? No wonder we can't get our lawmakers to pay attention to their constituents---they're getting all this money from lobbyists.
(The Buckeyes play the Longhorns next fall in Texas.)
*From the Houston Chronicle: You'll find this ironic:
Before they take their seats in the House of Representatives, newly elected lawmakers come to Washington for a weeklong orientation that includes a briefing on congressional ethics.
Presiding over their instruction is the chairman of the House Administration Committee, who since 2001 has been Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio....
*The Toledo Blade has a great story about Ohio's ties to the Abramoff scandal. Here is an excerpt:
...Paul Beck, a political science professor at Ohio State University, said Mr. Ney's problems threaten Republicans statewide because they comport with a larger "context in Ohio of scandal among Republicans."
That includes federal charges of political money laundering against former Maumee coin-dealer Tom Noe and the criminal ethics convictions of Gov. Bob Taft.
"In some ways, all these things fit together," Mr. Beck said. "They don't necessarily implicate the same people. But there obviously is a focus here on the party that is in power across the board" in Columbus and Washington...
SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT
(CNN: Wolf Blitzer and Howard Dean, Chairman of the Democratic Party)
This is an excerpt from the transcript:
BLITZER: Should Democrats who took money from Jack Abramoff, who has now pleaded guilty to bribery charges, among other charges, a Republican lobbyist in Washington, should the Democrat who took money from him give that money to charity or give it back?
DEAN: There are no Democrats who took money from Jack Abramoff, not one, not one single Democrat. Every person named in this scandal is a Republican. Every person under investigation is a Republican. Every person indicted is a Republican. This is a Republican finance scandal. There is no evidence that Jack Abramoff ever gave any Democrat any money. And we've looked through all of those FEC reports to make sure that's true.
BLITZER: But through various Abramoff-related organizations and outfits, a bunch of Democrats did take money that presumably originated with Jack Abramoff.
DEAN: That's not true either. There's no evidence for that either. There is no evidence...
BLITZER: What about Senator Byron Dorgan?
DEAN: Senator Byron Dorgan and some others took money from Indian tribes. They're not agents of Jack Abramoff. There's no evidence that I've seen that Jack Abramoff directed any contributions to Democrats. I know the Republican National Committee would like to get the Democrats involved in this. They're scared. They should be scared. They haven't told the truth. They have misled the American people. And now it appears they're stealing from Indian tribes. The Democrats are not involved in this.
Sunday, January 08, 2006
Friday, January 06, 2006
Eleven U.S. Troops were killed in one day in Iraq. While the next of kin are being notified, their identities and hometowns have been deleted from reports. One report said that some of the Americans were riding in an unarmored vehicle.
Articles: Forbes CNN Oregon Live Iraq Coalition Casualty Count
According to the Tacoma, Washington News Tribune, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) kept track of taxpayer's political affiliation:
As it hunted down tax scofflaws, the Internal Revenue Service collected information on the political party affiliations of taxpayers in 20 states.
Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., a member of an appropriations subcommittee with jurisdiction over the IRS, said the practice was an “outrageous violation of the public trust” that could undermine the agency’s credibility...
...According to Murray’s office, the 20 states in which the IRS collected party affiliation information were Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.
Thursday, January 05, 2006
From the Oval Office to Capitol Hill, prominent Republicans scrambled today to rid themselves of campaign contributions from disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, as his guilty pleas in fraud and corruption cases opened a painful debate within the party over its leadership and direction.
President Bush, former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas, his temporary successor in that post, Rep. Roy Blunt of Missouri, and Rep. Deborah Pryce of Ohio, the fourth-ranking House Republican, joined a list of nearly two dozen lawmakers who have returned or donated to charities the money Abramoff and his clients gave them during his decade as an influential mover-and-shaker on Capitol Hill.
If Abramoff had not been caught, would Pryce and other Republicans have kept the money???? Just asking.
I also found this bit of information at the DAILY DELAY: Records compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics and Federal Elections Commission show Pryce’s political action "leadership" committee and her re-election committee spent more than $13,000 at Signatures during the past few years, including $2,392 for a fundraiser in May (2005).
Nice job, Deb!
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
“House Republicans will be on offense this Friday working to get out the news about positive job growth throughout America that will starkly contrast the Democrat agenda of negative spin,” Hastert spokesman Ron Bonjean said... The House Republican Conference made a priority of highlighting the country’s positive economic growth in its messages, establishing a special communications team led by Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.) to laud the progress. “We have been encouraging and continue to encourage members to reach out on these issues,” said Sean Spicer, a spokesman for Republican Conference Chairwoman Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio). **Just a point clarification....Ohio's unemployment rate will not be released for another 3 weeks. Whatever numbers are released for the national unemployment rate, Ohio will not be included.
The House Republican Conference made a priority of highlighting the country’s positive economic growth in its messages, establishing a special communications team led by Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.) to laud the progress.
“We have been encouraging and continue to encourage members to reach out on these issues,” said Sean Spicer, a spokesman for Republican Conference Chairwoman Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio).
**Just a point clarification....Ohio's unemployment rate will not be released for another 3 weeks. Whatever numbers are released for the national unemployment rate, Ohio will not be included.
Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce (OH-15) has some connections to Jack Abramoff. According to Bloomberg, Pryce had 10 fundraisers at Signatures, Abramoff's restaurant. Isn't that nice?
Monday, January 02, 2006
The Ohio State University Football Buckeyes beat the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 34-20. The Buckeyes displayed their tough defense and sacked Brady Quinn several times. Troy Smith, Ted Ginn, A.J. Hawk, and the rest of the team played a great game! MSNBC has the highlights.
Buckeye fans love the Fiesta Bowl, Tostitos, and the great people of Tempe, Arizona! Thank you all for your warm hospitality and having such a well-organized bowl program! Congratulations Buckeyes!
Here are some other articles about the Buckeyes:
Buckeyes Bury Irish in Fiesta (New York Daily News)
...Ohio State (10-2) exposed Notre Dame's mediocre defense by going for long play after long play in building a 21-7 lead by halftime. And when Notre Dame (9-3) threatened late, the Buckeyes delivered their last big play - Antonio Pittman's 60-yard touchdown run with 1:46 left - to finish the job...
...Notre Dame's offense may have gotten top billing in the pregame hype, but it was Ohio State's that rolled up a whopping 617 yards and had to punt just once.
Quarterback Troy Smith was 19-for-28 passing for 342 yards and two touchdowns....
Kings of the Desert (The Columbus Dispatch) (Dispatch Fiesta Bowl Edition)
One by one, they found each other amid the postgame bedlam on the Sun Devil Stadium field. They slapped each other on the shoulder pads, they hugged, they hollered. Tears streamed down a few cheeks.
For the Ohio State seniors, their school record-tying 43rd victory was something to savor...
(Please note: I would have enjoyed the game even more if the ABC Sports play-by-play guys would have talked less about the Notre Dame players and Brady Quinn's sister. ABC had more personal interviews with Notre Dame players and they talked about their coach like he was the best in the world. We'd like to see some OBJECTIVITY in the booth!!!!)