Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Soldiers Told to Suffer in Silence

The Bush administration and the Pentagon are trying to silence the soldiers who are patients at Walter Reed Army Hospital. Raw Story found this at Army Times:

Soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center’s Medical Hold Unit say they have been told they will wake up at 6 a.m. every morning and have their rooms ready for inspection at 7 a.m., and that they must not speak to the media.

“Some soldiers believe this is a form of punishment for the trouble soldiers caused by talking to the media,” one Medical Hold Unit soldier said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

It is unusual for soldiers to have daily inspections after Basic Training.

Soldiers say their sergeant major gathered troops at 6 p.m. Monday to tell them they must follow their chain of command when asking for help with their medical evaluation paperwork, or when they spot mold, mice or other problems in their quarters....

Oh, really? Follow the chain of command!!!!!?????? Does that mean that soldier patients have to fill out complaint forms in triplicate, have the forms signed by two witnesses, and wait, 2-3 months for some action. Give me a break!!!!!

....The Pentagon also clamped down on media coverage of any and all Defense Department medical facilities, to include suspending planned projects by CNN and the Discovery Channel, saying in an e-mail to spokespeople: “It will be in most cases not appropriate to engage the media while this review takes place,” referring to an investigation of the problems at Walter Reed.

This is how this administration "supports the troops" with lies, coverups, and denials. First they send our troops to Iraq based on lies. Then they provide no body armor or armored vehicles. Now that the injured are home, they are denied help for PTSD and housed in rooms that are inadequate, unhealthy, and infested with mice. Oh, how the President and Cheney love the troops!

If you have a loved one at Walter Reed and you've witnessed these horrible conditions let someone know who cares. Contact Congressman Murtha/Speaker Pelosi/Senator Levin/Senator Jim Webb. Call the media (ask to remain anonymous), write a letter to the editor, take pictures of what you see (camera, cellphone w/camera) and let the country know what you are facing. Don't suffer in silence.

Problems With Ohio Republicans

Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland is ready, willing and able to solve the school funding issue in Ohio. Unfortunately, the Ohio Republicans are playing politics with the education of our children. However, it appears that Strickland is preparing to go to battle with the GOPers in the state legislature. One of the biggest naysayers is Republican Jon Husted. Husted, who has been accustomed to getting special projects for his district under the Taft administration, has been the target of negative news.

Sandusky Register:

A dozen years and more after a judge said Ohio wasn’t up to snuff in funding schools, it’s smackdown time in Columbus.

Gov. Ted Strickland campaigned on the idea he was going to remedy the problem identified in the DeRolph vs. Board of Education ruling, that Ohio’s system of funding public schools was inherently inequitable — because school districts with higher property values got more funding than did other districts, thanks to a system of locally-voted property taxes — and therefore unconstitutional.

Last week in the Register offices, Democrat Strickland said his term as governor would be judged by whether funding got fixed.

Strickland’s new nemesis is House Speaker Jon Husted, a Republican from the Dayton area. He’s challenging Strickland to make with the details of his school funding plan. Strickland’s reply: You guys have had a decade. I’ve had six weeks. Where’s your plan?

Strickland said he’s told Husted and company he’ll work with anyone — Democrat, Republican, whatever — who wants to work with him to fix the funding. But if Republicans don’t, Strickland warns, he’ll go to the voters — “and it’ll be Ted Strickland’s plan, a Democratic plan,” he said. Forget bipartisan; the GOP would be out in the cold.

So the gauntlet is thrown, the challenge given. This challenge is ours: Discard the political posturing. If Husted’s camp has a plan, or even an idea, approach Strickland with it, present it and listen to his. Let the camps compare their plans — and, let’s be honest, Strickland’s had to have been thinking about this for longer than six weeks — and come up with something to go before the legislature and its committees.....

It is time for Ohioans to start pressuring the high-living Republicans in the state legislature. Tell them the Taft gravy train has left. Ohio's Republicans must cooperate with Strickland or face being irrelevant. Call Jon Husted and tell him to stop talking nonsense and get to work with Gov. Strickland on school funding.

John Husted
77 S. High St
14th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215-6111
Telephone: (614) 644-6008
Fax : (614) 719-3591
Email Address:

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Pelosi's Leadership Is Inspiring

If you ask a young woman to choose a woman they admire, the name of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi would most certainly be mentioned. Pelosi's presence is inspiring women all over the country to speak up and take up leadership positions.

Women across the country can use Pelosi's example to help them find confidence to move forward in life and politics. Despite the fact that the Congress is full of old white guys, Pelosi is getting things done in the House. Even though the Republicans and Faux news have tried to smear Pelosi, she has stood above it all.

Keep up the great work, Speaker Pelosi!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Ohio Political News

1. Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce (OH-15) is in the news. She will be part of a House Panel on terrorism insurance. Pryce will be the ranking Republican on the panel. LINK

Although it is important to hear that (a.) Pryce is finally doing something, and (2.) that she is in the news, it is also a little worrisome. Pryce's career profile at Open Secrets, indicates that the insurance industry has contributed more than $588,000 to Pryce campaigns. Which groups will Pryce represent in the hearings----- the American people or her insurance buddies?

2. Even though Ted Strickland has been the governor of Ohio for less than 2 months, Ohio Republicans are trying to anoint John Kasich as their next candidate for governor. Oh, yes, this is just what we need! Strickland's administration is still using shovels and bulldozers to clean out the political corruption and mismanagement problems in the state government created by the GOP. This political talk by the Republicans must mean that their supporters/contributors are already starving because they aren't getting their kickbacks like they did under Taft.

Strickland and his staff are doing a great job working through the mess left by Republicans. Ohioans need to focus on the present and press for change. Those Republicans who refuse to cooperate with education reform and Strickland's agenda should keep in mind that we are watching them.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Richard Cordray

Richard Cordray, the State Treasurer for Ohio, has been in office for less than two months and he is already finding mistakes from the previous administration. Cordray, a Democrat, and his staff have been working hard looking for money for the state. Here is an article from today's Dispatch:

When he balanced the state's “checkbook,” Treasurer Richard Cordray found the bank had charged too much.

As a result, the state may get a credit of several hundred thousand dollars from KeyBank, Cordray said today at a meeting of the State Board of Deposit.

The three-member board, consisting of the treasurer, attorney general and auditor, monitors state funds and investments.

Cordray, who took office last month, said KeyBank's contract as the state's prime depository allowed the bank the charge fees for services. It also required the bank to give the state interest credit for money left in the account at the end of each business day.

In many cases, the bank was assessing charges, but not giving full interest credit, he said.

The amount of credit due from 2006 is at least $170,000 but could be far more since KeyBank has been under contract with the state for 14 years.

In addition, Cordray said he expects to cancel what he considers an unnecessary contract with KeyBank that could save taxpayers another $626,000 on an annual basis. The contract is for reporting service that Cordray said his staff can do in-house.

Cordray and the rest of the new Democrats in the state government are doing a great job to correct the mistakes of the Taft administration. If Cordray found these errors in less than two months, what other things will he find in the coming years. Thank goodness for Cordray!!!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Sacrifices of Military Families

How much more will they have to sacrifice for Bush's war?

NY Times:
....For Corporal Callahan, who is recuperating at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and so many other soldiers and family members, the repercussions, chaos and loneliness of wartime deployments are one of the toughest, least discussed byproducts of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers and loved ones have endured long, sometimes repeated separations that test the fragility of their relationships in unforeseen ways.

The situation is likely to grow worse as the military increases the number of troops in Iraq in coming months. The Pentagon announced Wednesday that it was planning to send more than 14,000 National Guard troops back to Iraq next year, causing widespread concern among reservists. Nearly a third of the troops who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan have done more than one tour of duty.

Most families and soldiers cope, sometimes heroically. But these separations have also left a trail of badly strained or broken unions, many severed by adultery or sexual addictions; burdened spouses, some of whom are reaching for antidepressants; financial turmoil brought on by rising debts, lost wages and overspending; emotionally bruised children whose grades sometimes plummet; and anxious parents who at times turn on each other.

Hardest hit are the reservists and their families, who never bargained on long absences, sometimes as long as 18 months, and who lack the support network of full-fledged members of the military......

.....Divorces, which had hovered in the 2 percent to 3 percent range for the Army since 2000, spiked in 2004 to 6 percent among officers and 3.6 percent among enlisted personnel. The rate for officers dropped to 2.1 percent in 2006, but the rate for enlisted personnel has stayed level, at 3.6 percent.

Married women are having the hardest time. The divorce rate for women in the Army in 2006 was 7.9 percent, the highest since 2000, compared with 2.6 percent for men.

Demand for counseling has grown so quickly among military families and returning soldiers that the military has begun contracting out more services to private therapists. Reservists must rely largely on networks of volunteers.....

Our troops and their families have sacrificed enough. It is time to get our troops home. It is time to find a diplomatic end to this war.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Risky Business

Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce (OH-15) is involved in some risky business that has come to the attention of a lot of people. Here is an excerpt from a story from NPR:

Q: Who were the two Democrats who voted against the House resolution opposing Bush's Iraq war policy? – Andy Craig, Burlington, Vt.

A: In the 246-182 vote that was held on Feb. 17, 2007, two Democrats voted no: Jim Marshall of Georgia and Gene Taylor of Mississippi.

At the same time, 17 Republicans — considerably fewer than anticipated — broke with their party and voted for the non-binding resolution: Mike Castle (DE), Howard Coble (NC), Tom Davis (VA), John ("Jimmy") Duncan Jr. (TN), Phil English (PA), Wayne Gilchrest (MD), Bob Inglis (SC), Timothy Johnson (IL), Walter Jones (NC), Ric Keller (FL), Mark Steven Kirk (IL), Steve La Tourette (OH), Ron Paul (TX), Tom Petri (WI), Jim Ramstad (MN), Fred Upton (MI), and Jim Walsh (NY).

But here's what really struck me about the vote: Every Republican whose election on Nov. 7 was initially too close to call — Vern Buchanan (FL 13), Heather Wilson (NM 01), Robin Hayes (NC 08), Jean Schmidt (OH 02), Deborah Pryce (OH 15), and Barbara Cubin (WY At-Large) – voted against the resolution. On the other hand, most of the 17 Republicans who voted for the resolution were easily returned to office last year.

What has Deborah Pryce said about Iraq?

1. As she fights for her political life, Ohio Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce distanced herself Thursday from the Iraq war, telling CNN Radio, "What's happening in Iraq is not a direct reflection on me."

2. Pryce's vies on Iraq: On June 28, 2005, three years after the war started, Rep. Deborah Pryce told the Columbus Dispatch that "Iraq is now a beacon of freedom."

3. Pryce voted against veterans' benefits: (July 3, 2006, Columbus Dispatch):

Pryce voted against expanding the military's Tricare health insurance to cover all Reservists and National Guard members.

She also voted against a $30 million increase for veterans' health care that would have provided more funding for combat-related trauma care to support wounded troops when they return home. Pryce voted against additional military health-care benefits. She voted against providing job-training assistance to troops returning from overseas and voted against increased port security.

We can clearly see that Pryce may say she supports the troops but her actions show that she only wants to carry out the Republican agenda. She doesn't care what she has to sacrifice in order to help this administration and the arrogant Republicans.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Pryce's Republican Mantra

We know that Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce (OH-15) supposedly represents our district. However, in reality, she just repeats the Republican talking points. Rather than have a human being represent us, we have a Republican robot. Get a load of what Pryce said during the recent Iraq resolution debate (LINK):

"If it meant anything, it would be a different argument, but it won’t bring one soldier home sooner and it won’t change the course of this war. It has no teeth, no muscle; but most of all, it has no positive value whatsoever for us as a Nation at war. Some people say it sends a message to our Commander in Chief, and I believe that that is true. But that message pales compared to the message it sends to our enemies; our enemies, who pledge that their jihad will last until their religion prevails in the world; not until we are out of Iraq, until their religion prevails in the world; our enemies, who believe it is their religious duty to bring hostility to the West and to America. They are tuned in today, Mr. Speaker, you better believe it, and no doubt they are cheering." - Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-OH)

I can only think of one word to describe Pryce's speech and that word is........BALONEY.
Are we not to discuss the reasons for the war? Can't we talk about ways to get out of this war? How many more of our young men and women have to die because Pryce and her Republicans won't take the first step toward ending this war? Does Pryce speak for our enemies? Does she really know what they think? Pryce also doesn't speak for our troops. Our men and women in uniform are Democrats, Republicans, Independents, conservatives, and liberals. Deborah Pryce does not know what every soldier and Marine thinks, and therefore, she should not assume that she speaks for them.

Also, some Republicans said that the recent debate on the Iraq resolution was a waste of time? The members of the House and the Senate are our salaried employees. It doesn't matter if they work overtime because they don't get overtime pay. I don't care if they work 100 hours per week, just get this war over with and bring our military home.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Call and E-Mail Your Elected Officials

American troops are starting to speak out in larger numbers about Iraq. Today's Dispatch has an article about how many of the troops share the same views as the public about the Bush's war in Iraq. Here are some excerpts:

....At the end of 2006, the independent Military Times conducted a poll that found that, for the first time since it started asking the question, a higher percentage of troops disapproved of President Bush’s handling of the war than approved of it.

The poll also found that 50 percent thought that success in Iraq was likely, compared with 83 percent in a 2004 poll. In the 2006 poll, the Times mailed questionnaires to 4,000 of its active-duty subscribers and got responses from 954. The respondents tended to be older, more experienced and more careeroriented than the military as a whole.

Still, the poll suggests that thousands of troops, and thousands more veterans, now oppose the war. But the most visible national organization representing their views, Iraq Veterans Against the War, has only 370 members.

As of yesterday, 1,278 active duty, Guard and reserve members had signed "An Appeal For Redress From the War in Iraq," urging Congress to support a withdrawal......

For even more information about how our service members feel, check out the blog called "Lumberjack in a Desert" which is written by a member of our military. He lost an arm to because of an IED. Check out his blog (although a little more conservative) and his recent comments about Walter Reed Army Hospital and his recent move to the Fisher House.

It appears that our young men and women in uniform already know the truth about Iraq. Why hasn't this administration listened to them? Why are so many of our wounded having to deal with terrible conditions back in the states? Here is an excerpt from Lumberjack's blog in which he talks about his move to Fisher House:

.......I can not begin to tell you all how lucky we were to be able to move into the Fisher House. There are hundreds of soldiers at Walter Reed and many of them live in horrible conditions. The facility is overcrowded, understaffed, and confusing to navigate. It's stressful enough dealing with the loss of his arm and nerve damage in his left hand. Knowing that at night we can go back to a room that isn't covered in mold or roach infested eases a little stress. I wish every soldier could return home at night to the same comforts that we do......

Isn't it time to call our elected officials and tell them to get out of Iraq? If they won't listen the first time, e-mail and call them again and again.

By the way, what is Deborah Pryce doing for us in the House. It seems that since she is no longer involved in the Republican leadership, she is under the radar. IF the citizens of Ohio's 15th had voted for the Democrat (Mary Jo Kilroy) in the last election, our district would not be in this position today where our representative can avoid voting ( Where was she and what is she doing to help us in central Ohio?

Monday, February 19, 2007

Troops Being Mistreated

I first heard about this story on Keith Olbermann's Countdown: Wounded vets face neglect, frustration at Walter Reed. You can find the video at

As the gentleman from said, "This is the same administration that sent people to war without the proper body armor."

How many more of our men and women will have to die or be maimed for the largest blunder in American history?

Is this how to support the troops?

We keep hearing from the Republicans that anyone who opposes Bush's war policies doesn't support the troops. However, it is very clear that President Bush and his administration plan to sacrifice veterans' health benefits to balance his budget. Here are some excerpts from the Kansas City Star:
The Bush administration plans to cut funding for veterans’ health care two years from now — even as wounded troops returning from Iraq could overwhelm the system.

Bush is using the cuts, critics say, to help fulfill his pledge to balance the budget by 2012.

...The proposed cuts are at odds with recent VA budget trends — its medical care budget has risen every year for two decades and 83 percent in the six years since Bush took office — sowing suspicion that the White House is making them up to make its long-term deficit figures look better.

“Either the administration is willingly proposing massive cuts in VA health care,” said Rep. Chet Edwards, a Texas Democrat, chairman of the panel overseeing the VA’s budget, “or its promise of a balanced budget by 2012 is based on completely unrealistic assumptions.”

Edwards said that a more realistic estimate of veterans’ costs is $16 billion higher than the Bush estimate for 2012....

....The number of veterans coming into the VA health-care system has been rising by about 5 percent a year as the number of people returning from Iraq with illnesses or injuries keep rising. Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans represent almost 5 percent of the VA’s patient caseload, and many are returning from battle with grievous injuries requiring costly care, such as traumatic brain injuries.

The VA expects to treat about 5.8 million patients next year, including 263,000 veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan....

Is this anyway to support the troops? Let Deborah Pryce know that you are not happy with the administration's plans to balance the budget by sacrificing veterans' benefits. And while you talking/e-mailing her, let her know that you are extremely dissatisfied with her vote against the recent Iraq resolution. The only way to get Pryce to support an end to the war in Iraq is to continue the pressure on her office. If we don't contact her, Pryce will continue to vote like a robot with her Republican leadership.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Pryce Voted Against the Resolution

The following members of the House of Representatives voted NO on the resolution on the Iraq War. If your congress member is listed, let them know how you feel since they will have blood on their hands:

Barrett (SC)
Bartlett (MD)
Barton (TX)
Bishop (UT)
Brady (TX)
Brown (SC)
Brown-Waite, Ginny
Burton (IN)
Camp (MI)
Campbell (CA)
Cole (OK)
Davis (KY)
Davis, David
Deal (GA)
Diaz-Balart, L.
Diaz-Balart, M.
Franks (AZ)
Garrett (NJ)
Hall (TX)
Hastings (WA)
Johnson, Sam
King (IA)
King (NY)
Kline (MN)
Kuhl (NY)
Lewis (CA)
Lewis (KY)
Lungren, Daniel E.
McCarthy (CA)
McCaul (TX)
McMorris Rodgers
Miller (FL)
Miller (MI)
Miller, Gary
Moran (KS)
Murphy, Tim
Peterson (PA)
Price (GA)
Pryce (OH)
Rogers (AL)
Rogers (KY)
Rogers (MI)
Ryan (WI)
Smith (NE)
Smith (NJ)
Smith (TX)
Walden (OR)
Weldon (FL)
Wilson (NM)
Wilson (SC)
Young (AK)
Young (FL)

Final Vote for Roll Call 99: Yeas 246, Nays 182

To those living in Ohio's 15th district: Deborah Pryce voted against the resolution.

One Small Step in the Right Direction

Those members of Congress who are against the non-binding resolution currently being debated, do not understand the magnitude of this vote. Every event in history, whether good or bad, starts with one small step. Here are two of my examples:

1. The American Revolution did not explode immediately into a full war against the King of England. Colonists showed their dissatisfaction with protests and small altercations.

2. The Civil Rights movement was not an overnight, massive movement. Rosa Parks and her refusal to sit in the back of the bus, was a simple act that began a bus boycott. The bus boycott also brought a young minister, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., into a leadership position and later to national prominence.

The non-binding resolution that states opposition to Bush's troop surge/escalation in Iraq, is a statement. However, it is a statement that registers an opinion that opposes Bush's war plans. The resolution is a small step in the right direction that could bring our troops home sooner.

Those members of Congress who vote against the resolution will be remembered. By voting against the resolution, Deborah Pryce and others, are stating that they (1.) like war, (2.) don't mind the casualties, (3.) support spending and losing billions of dollars in Iraq,
(4.) support the war based on lies, and (5.) support the failed policies of this administration.

The Miami Herald has an article about what is ahead for those in opposition to the resolution:

The nonbinding resolution could influence lawmakers' reelection prospects, their willingness to back stronger antiwar policies later and how other nations view the United States.

No one feels more pressure over the vote than the lawmakers -- mostly Republicans -- who won election in November by narrow margins....

....Republicans in swing districts who don't back the resolution can expect to be attacked in next year's elections. They include Reps. Deborah Pryce of Ohio, Thelma Drake of Virginia and Robin Hayes of North Carolina. Each barely won reelection in November. This vote could end their careers.

''There are a lot of seats in play,'' said Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. ``I think this is going to be a big issue for voters in 2008.''

...President Bush says the resolution will not change his plans no matter how many Republicans support it. Once the vote clears, House Democrats intend to shift to binding legislation to limit troop deployments and funding.....

Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce, who voted time and time again against veterans benefits, is opposing the resolution. Those of us who live and vote in Ohio's 15th congressional district will remember Pryce's lack of support for the troops and her opposition to this resolution.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Pryce's Views On Iraq

We finally have some words from Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce (OH-15) on the Iraq War. It looks like Deborah Pryce is still following Bush and the Republican party line. In her speech in the House of Representatives, and now available at C-SPAN, Pryce said the following about Bush's surge/escalation plan:
She said the President's plan was "sophisticated and comprehensive." Pryce also said that representatives should not "pass this resolution because it has no positive value."

I disagree with Pryce. Even though this is only a resolution, it is a beginning in ending the war. It makes a statement that says that this escalation is wrong and that efforts must be made to end our involvement in Iraq.

When Pryce was in the Republican leadership in the House, she did not offer a plan on how to bring our troops home. Pryce didn't go out on a limb and offer a suggestion on how to end the war. Now that her Republican Party is out of power, she is willing to attack any idea or resolution advanced by the Democrats.

Obviously, Pryce doesn't care that a majority of her constituents want our troops home now. Let her know your views on Iraq so that Pryce will know where we stand. Pryce should vote to represent the views of her district, not the GOP. The contact page for Pryce can be found here.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Iraq War Debate

The Iraq War debate that is going on in the House of Representatives has produced some interesting speeches. However, the information given by Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy, was the most authentic. Murphy is a veteran of this Iraq war. Here is some info about Murphy and what he said about the debate (MercuryNews):

Veterans from World War II through the current conflict in Iraq led off debate Tuesday as the House of Representatives took up a resolution to oppose President Bush's troop increase for Iraq.

"Walking in my own combat boots, I saw firsthand this administration's failed policy in Iraq," said Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Pa., a 33-year-old freshman and the first Iraq combat veteran to serve in Congress....

.....On Tuesday, opponents of Bush's 21,500-troop increase called on World War II, Korea and Vietnam vets, but ultimately they looked to Murphy to personalize the debate.

"I led convoys up and down Ambush Alley in a Humvee without doors," Murphy said. "The time for more troops was four years ago. Congress will no longer give the president a blank check."

Murphy told colleagues that his parents named him after a Vietnam veteran, Patrick Ward, who had a Philadelphia park named in his honor after being killed in action.

"How many more street-corner memorials are we going to have for this war?" Murphy said. The president's plan "sends more of our best and bravest to die refereeing a civil war."

I believe we need to listen to Patrick Murphy and others who have served in Iraq. It is time to bring our young men and women home to get them out of that civil war.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Someone Tell Kingston

Please tell Republican Congressman Kingston (GA-1st) that it is

the Democratic Party.

Washington, DC Office
2368 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-5831
Fax: (202) 226-2269

Just wondering.....

>>Why has Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce (OH-15) missed so many votes? Since the beginning of the 110th Congress, Pryce has missed 25 votes (percentage of votes missed = 26.6%).

>>Do you think the Republicans have gotten the message from Americans? A poll published in USA Today, shows that Americans have some strong ideas about what they want from our elected officials. Here are some excerpts from the article in USA Today:

The USA TODAY poll, taken Friday through Sunday, finds most Americans paying close attention to the unfolding debate, the first on the war since Democrats won control of Congress in November.

Among the findings:

•There is majority support for congressional action on Iraq: 51% back a non-binding resolution, 57% a cap on troop levels and 63% a timetable to withdraw all U.S. troops by the end of 2008. However, 58% oppose denying funding for the additional troops.

•The Senate's failure to act last week rankled nearly two-thirds of those surveyed. By 51%-19%, they blamed Republicans. In a party-line vote, Senate Republicans refused to cut off debate and let action proceed on a resolution opposing the troop increase.

•Seven of 10 say their representative's vote on the war will affect their vote in the next congressional election; more than four in 10 call it a major factor. However, nearly two-thirds aren't sure where their representative stands on the issue.

•Neither side gets high approval ratings. Just 30% approve of the way congressional Democrats are handling Iraq; 27% approve of congressional Republicans.....

We will keep an eye on what develops in the days and weeks to come.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Republicans Pay Back Pelosi

Fact: Bill Livingood, the Sargeant-at-Arms of the House of Representatives, had been the real source of the plane request for Pelosi.

However, the Republicans in the House of Representatives took that tidbit and played the old telephone game in creating a story about Speaker of the House, Democratic Representative, Nancy Pelosi. The Republicans started the story that Pelosi wanted a plane to get her to California for weekends. Every single time a Republican retold the story, they added on a fabricated "demand" of Nancy Pelosi. According to the old, white men of the Republican side of the aisle, Pelosi wanted a fast jet, with room for herself, her staff, their family members, and supporters (yeah, they said it). The lying Republicans also said that Pelosi "demanded" a game room on the jet. They said she "demanded" that the jet be non-stop. Even yesterday, Rep. John Boner of Ohio repeated the lies again on a Sunday interview show. However, the entire Pelosi jet story was a big, fat, Republican lie.

Why would the Republicans in the House of Representatives try to smear Nancy Pelosi?

The Republicans are still steaming about being "forced" to work 5 days per week. Did you get that? The GOP is mad about working 5 days per week like the rest of the country. The Pelosi plane story was their way of getting back at Pelosi. Sounds like the Republicans are acting like a bunch of 5th grade boys. They need to stop playing games and get to work.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Ted Strickland Working to Get Ohioans Working

Gov. Ted Strickland is busy trying to get Ohioans back to work. Strickland is using innovation and just effort to get Ohio on the road to recovery. Here are some examples of what Strickland is doing:

Columbus Dispatch:
...Losing Honda’s assembly plant last year likely also will affect the economic-development strategy of Gov. Ted Strickland. The Strickland administration has pledged to be more aggressive. A month before taking office, the governor traveled to Rolls-Royce’s headquarters in Virginia in hopes the company will choose Ohio for an expansion.

In the coming weeks, Strickland and Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, the new chief of the Department of Development, plan to meet with individuals involved with the Honda project last year, from inside and outside state government, to find out what went wrong.

"There will be many other future opportunities where the lessons learned can help," Fisher said.

Fisher said his office is monitoring the speculation about expansion by Toyota and other companies "24-7." But Strickland and Fisher will contact automakers already in Ohio before branching out, Fisher said....

The Star Beacon: ....On Thursday, Gov. Ted Strickland announced $5 million in grants will be available to communities and others who develop wind-based energy programs.

The news gives a boost to a plan John Casalina, Rock Creek administrator, broached many months ago. Casalina sees real merit in erecting a wind turbine on a certain wind-swept property in Conneaut a short distance from Interstate 90.

Electricity created by the turbine could be used to trim utility bills for Rock Creek residents, the plan's proponents have said. During a presentation many months ago, Conneaut was invited to help finance the project so city residents could reap some of the energy benefits.....

It is amazing that Strickland and his staff have been able to come up with new, fresh ideas to get things moving in Ohio. With a new perspective on solving problems, research, and enthusiasm, it appears that the Strickland administration is off to a great start.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Are Republicans Serious About Ending the War?

With all the latest news about mounting casualties in Iraq, why haven't the Republicans gotten serious about ending the war? Why haven't the Republicans in the House and Senate joined Democrats in pushing for strategies that will bring the troops home? Do the Republicans like war? Do they like seeing other people's family members get killed and wounded? Do members of the GOP really care? I think they don't care. I believe that the Republicans are playing political games by trying to ruin the Democrats chances of success. Let your representative and senators know that you will hold them accountable for each death in Iraq while they stall the process of ending the war. Those Republicans who refuse to join efforts to end the war should not count on being re-elected in the next election.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

The Good News and the Bad News

Good news for central Ohio: The Democratic Mayor of Columbus, Ohio will run for re-election.

Now for some bad news: According to the Washington Post, Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce (OH-15) is keeping her "not voting" streak alive----- Pryce did not vote on 2/7/07 on Vote 80: HR 482, Vote 79: H Res 120, or Vote 78: HR 365. She has not voted for the past three days and has missed a total of 7 votes over those days. Is this how she is representing us?

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Deborah Pryce: Powerless

Since the Democrats took control of the House and the Senate, Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce (OH-15) has been hard to find. Those almost daily press releases are gone. She is no longer appearing at press conferences standing behind Dennis Hastert. If we examine the last few votes, as reported by the Washington Post, Pryce has not even voted. Has she been too busy to vote?

DateVotePositionGOP opinionDEM opinion
2/6/07 Vote 77: H R 386: Yakima-Tieton Irrigation District Conveyance Act Not Voting Yes Yes
2/6/07 Vote 76: H R 161: Bainbridge Island Japanese American Monument Act Not Voting Yes Yes
2/5/07 Vote 75: H CON RES 35: Supporting the Goals and Ideals of National Black Hiv/Aids Awareness Day Not Voting Yes Yes
2/5/07 Vote 74: H RES 94: Supporting the Goals and Ideals of National Consumer Protection Week Not Voting Yes Yes

Where is Dan Burton?

Republican Rep. Dan Burton (IN-5th) is not representative in Congress. Thank goodness! Burton has one of the worst attendance records in the House of Representatives. It has gotten so bad that his poor attendance has come to the attention of a golfing magazine. Here are some excerpts from World Golf:

.....Nonetheless, people still work to get elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, because they care. They care about the public, and about being a legislator of the strongest nation on Earth. All they really care about is serving the people, and they would never betray their trust.
Unless they get a chance to play in a really cool golf tournament. Then to hell with everyone.
Such is the case of Dan Burton, a U.S. Representative from Indiana. Seems Burton, while loving the perks of the job, isn't much for the job itself, especially with amazing golf opportunities continuously popping up.
According to, Burton skipped 19 House votes, including measures to reduce college costs and cut oil industry tax breaks, so he could play in a golf tournament last month in Palm Springs, Calif. Burton also missed hearings on Iraq and North Korea so he could play in the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic with big-time celebrities like Ray Romano....
...Federal law requires docking lawmakers' $165,200 salary if they're absent without sufficient reason. Of course, that law has never been enforced, and it's extraordinarily doubtful they'll enforce it on Burton. After all, there are plenty of guys in Congress sporting minuscule handicaps. Do you think their game got that good by serving those that pay their salaries?
So in a nation where political figures are treated with oligarchical reverence, Burton will continue to make his living off the American taxpayer, while looking for any opportunity to get on the golf course, key congressional votes be damned.
In the end, Burton's love of golf and his general feeling of malaise toward his job could hurt him in his re-election efforts. At very least, however, there's this: Burton hasn't blamed his love of golf on alcohol abuse. At least not yet.

When you go visit Burton's webpage, notice his suntan. He must be spending too much time on sunny golf courses instead of the halls of Congress. Check out additional information on Burton's voting record at the Washington Post. If Burton would rather golf than work, he should resign his office. The people of his district need a fulltime member of Congress.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Blood On Their Hands

The Republican Senators who voted against the debate on the Iraq War have blood on their hands. What are we as Americans going to do with the Republicans who refuse to discuss, debate, or work to end the war? They are obstructionists who would rather see more Americans die than openly discuss why the hell we are still supporting Bush's failed Iraq policy. How can they sleep at night knowing that their inaction is resulting in more American casualties? Oh, I get it. They just don't care. If your state has a Republican Senator, call his/her office and let them know in plain, polite English that if they don't get our troops home soon you will not vote for them for any office.

Contact your U.S. Senator here.

Here are some contact numbers for Ohio's Republican Senator George Voinovich. Let Voinovich hear you loud and clear on your opposition to the war:
Columbus office-- (614) 469-6697
Cincinnati office--- (513) 684-3265
Cleveland office--- (216) 522-7095
Southeast Ohio office-- (740) 441-6410
Toledo office--- (419) 259-3895

FYI: The U.S. Capitol Switchboard telephone number is 1-800-962-3524 to contact a certain elected official or committee.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Foley and Ney

Former Republican Rep. Mark Foley is spending lots of money, according to the Herald Tribune:
Former Congressman Mark Foley may be out of office and facing possible criminal charges, but that isn't stopping him from spending money intended for his now-defunct re-election campaign.

Since resigning in late September amid allegations that he made inappropriate advances toward teenage interns, Foley has paid his sister more than $14,000 to run his campaign, almost $2,000 to lease a Volkswagen for the bygone campaign and an additional $50,000 to hire prominent criminal defense attorneys.

And there is still a lot more money to spend.

Foley has more than $1.6 million sitting in his campaign account, the biggest war chest of any candidate for office in Florida, according to the Federal Election Commission. And there are very few things he can't use the money for, as long as he can prove the expenditures are associated with him having been in Congress....

Ohio's former Republican Rep. Bob Ney is still in the news. A letter to the Editor of the Chillicothe Gazette contains this:

Several months ago, former Rep. Bob Ney submitted a letter to the editor stating that I had been participating in an effort to smear his reputation. He stated that the Mayor of Chillicothe, and others like myself, propagated lies in an effort to prevent his reelection.

...On Jan 19, he was sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to corruption charges. Bob Ney continued to lie, mislead, and fail to accept full responsibility for his criminal conduct even after his life of crime was discovered. Documents released by the Justice Department revealed his corruption included yet more gifts, reception of campaign contributions and the selling of influence (inserting statements into Congressional records praising Jack Abramoff).

Mr. Ney blames the "demons" of addictions for his life of crime. However, the criteria to diagnose alcohol addiction does not include avarice, greed, lies, and criminal conduct. Character defects are at the root of these behaviors. Mr. Ney made his living off the backs of the taxpayers of Ohio while indulging his criminal tastes.

He will continue to profit in the form of a future retirement income. Indeed, he will enjoy the benefit of public monies by receiving a small wage for his job assignment at the federal penitentiary.

There was no plot to disgrace you, Mr. Ney. We simply demand honest representatives to carry out the will of the people....

Ney needs to take responsibility for his behavior.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Isn't This Called Propaganda?

Why am I not surprised about this concerning the Cincinnati Enquirer:

(Cincinnati Beacon)
Yesterday, we published this retrospective—a piece detailing behind-the-scenes work on last year’s “Grandma in Iraq” blog hosted by The Enquirer. “Grandma,” otherwise known as Suzanne Fournier, worked doing PR for the Army Corp of Engineers, but her blog did not make that affiliation completely clear. This omission brought lots of negative attention, as critics claimed The Enquirer had engaged in pro-war propagandizing. Now, documents recently made available online from an open records request show The Pentagon involved with installing this propagandistic media enterprise into Cincinnati’s corporate news culture.

Check out this email exchange between The Enquirer’s William Croyle and Suzanne Fournier.

Croyle wrote an email asking for some of Fournier’s qualifications as a writer. What’s strange is that the letter indicates how The Enquirer had already sealed the deal on the blog before interviewing Fournier in any significant capacity:


The people here who run our blogs think that one by you while in Iraq would be a great idea. They sent the following questions to me to send to you:

We need to be sure of her access, so we can guarantee posts on a pretty regular basis.

We’d like to look at a sample of her writing.

And we’d like to have some idea of what she thinks she will be writing about.

I assume if you have e-mail and will be on your computer regularly, the access won’t be an issue. As for a writing sample, maybe just a past press release or something like that will be fine. And tell me what you think you’ll be writing about. I’m guessing the more human interest (like your interaction with Iraqi people, etc), the better they’ll like it. Please respond ASAP and call me if you have questions. Thanks!


Here is Fournier’s response. I have placed in bold lettering where she indicates that people inside the Pentagon are pushing for this blog’s existence:


Sorry I didn’t respond sooner, I was out at the Motor Vessel Mississippi with media and public visits all day. If your editors Google or Yahoo me, they will find that I’ve put out many press releases. The latest was the MV Mississippi announcement that you received in your office. I am trying to work the approvals from my end. What I intend to do with my blog is to record my observations and interaction with Iraq people, Corps people, US media, international media, and Iraq media. That is what my job entails and I won’t misrepresent who I am or why I am in Iraq. I’ll also be comparing Iraq quality of life to what we take for granted here in the US. I won’t just be doing a PR piece for the Corps of Engineers, but you will see observations about what the Corps has done in Iraq. When I go out to a school that the Corps has built or refurbished, you will hear about school children, or if I am at a hospital serving families, you will see pictures and observations on how this clinic serves that community. I will also do stories about the Corps people who work there and I’ll try to focus on people from this region so you have a local tie.

I have my request in several different offices of the Army. Two personal friends of mine who work at Department of the Army in the Pentagon are championing my request. I won’t go forward without official approval and I realize that you are in a similar situation. We are charting new waters and we both have to know the parameters of a safe channel. Thanks for the opportunity, I hope it works out for our mutual benefit, but it we can’t make it work, I understand. The article was well written, but I have told everyone you made one big error in fact. Actuall I am only 39.

Thanks, Suzanne

I also find the statements about this blog relationship working “for our mutual benefit” noteworthy. What kind of benefit did Suzanne Fournier, or by extension the Army Corp of Engineers, expect to gain?

I think this clearly indicates that the Enquirer gladly participated in the government's effort to disseminate propaganda. With this information, should we take anything the Enquirer has published or publishes in the future as truth or just propaganda?

Thursday, February 01, 2007


I found this over at Huffington Post:
Henry Kissinger suggested that Bush has a secret plan to end the Iraq War. Give me a ......... break! The president doesn't have a "secret plan" for anything except on how to avoid work. This "secret plan" mumbo jumbo is just another example of Republican propaganda crap.

Ohio's Economy

The Ohio Republicans really messed up the state. Recent news articles have uncovered the sad reality of the mess left behind by the Ohio GOP and former Gov. Taft.
The New Philadelphia Times Reporter:
...Strickland appeared Wednesday at the 16th annual Ohio Tax Conference, one of the largest business tax conferences in the nation, to reiterate what he and others in his administration have been repeating all month since taking office.

Ohio’s economy is in sad shape, and as a result the budget Strickland must present to the Legislature by mid-March will be a struggle.

“The choices will be tough,” he said. “The decisions will be difficult.”

The ultimate goal is improving the financial health of Ohio, he said, without raising taxes or fees and sticking with the tax cuts and tax reform put in place by former Gov. Bob Taft, his Republican predecessor, and the Legislature....

...Strickland tied his economic message to efforts to improve the state’s education system, reiterating a campaign pledge to make the system seamless beginning with pre-kindergarten.

“We can do that if we act together with the business community,” he said.

In the past, the “missing ingredient has been the willingness of political leadership and the governor to get engaged. There has to be a cooperative and collaborative group of stakeholders without preconceived ideas. We cannot make (the system) what it must be without the cooperation and input of the business community.”

After his speech, Strickland said he has instructed his agency directors to “look at everything ... where we can legitimately save money. It doesn’t mean we have made any decisions regarding any particular matter."

Strickland and his staff need our support to get the job done.