Saturday, June 30, 2007

Most Republicans Lawmakers Still Like Iraq War

Even though Republican Sen. Lugar expressed his dissatisfaction with Bush's Iraq policies, the rest of the GOP lawmakers continue to cheer on and support a continuation of the war in Iraq.

SF Chronicle at SFGate:

Speaker Nancy Pelosi threw down a new gauntlet Friday before President Bush and Republicans in Congress, saying the House will vote in July on legislation to withdraw almost all American troops from Iraq by April.....
Some Republican leaders, even after the statements by Lugar and Voinovich, are appealing to Congress to give the surge strategy more time.

"I've believed all spring and I continue to believe that we ought to allow General Petraeus the opportunity to succeed,'' House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said this week. "Now, he has a plan in place. He's had his full reinforcement of troops only about two or three weeks.''

Boehner added, "At the end of the day, making sure that we have a secure Iraq is in the best interest of all Americans, and for that matter, the rest of the world, because losing in Iraq will allow al Qaeda and their like-minded souls around the country to expand, to increase their ranks.''

His deputy, House Minority Whip Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said he doesn't see a major fissure in House GOP ranks, at least not yet.....

Why do these Republican lawmakers continue to make excuses? How much longer will they wait before they demand a withdrawal of troops? How many more of our young men and women will die for Bush's Iraq fiasco?

Where, oh, where is Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce (OH-15) in all this? She is silent. When she does respond to a question about Iraq, she always uses the phrase "when we were attacked on 9/11...." I hope that Pryce knows that the attacks on 9/11 and Bush's war in Iraq had nothing to do with each other. She knows that, doesn't she? Doesn't she?

Friday, June 29, 2007

Oden and other stuff

As you may have heard by now, Greg Oden, basketball player from The Ohio State University, was the #1 pick in the NBA draft last night. Here is a great story from the Indy Star:
While the Trail Blazers were on the clock with the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft, thousands of fans gathered in Portland started chanting "We want Oden!"
They got their wish.
The Blazers took the 7-foot center out of Ohio State and Lawrence North High School, ending weeks of speculation ....

Besides being a great basketball player, Greg Oden is a very nice young man. In one of his post selection interviews, he thanked OSU's Coach Thad Matta by saying, "I want to thank Coach Matta because he taught me what it means to be a man." Wow. Nice.

If you've ever wondered about Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce's (OH-15) leanings in a battle between regular people vs. business, the following excerpt from MetroCorpCounsel will give you a hint:

Does the Private Equity Model Create Long-Term Value?

In their testimony, Mr. Lowenstein and Mr. Luther responded to Chairman Frank's challenges. They emphasized the constructive nature of private equity investments. Both indicated that the operating model of private equity firms is to restructure the companies they acquire so as to attract future buyers who will pay a premium over acquisition costs. This, they stated, can only be accomplished by growing the company and adding value. They contrasted this to the alternative approach for dealing with troubled companies - liquidation, either inside or outside bankruptcy, accompanied by the piecemeal sale of company assets and the disappearance of facilities, jobs, benefits, and competition.

In support of this perspective, Representative Deborah Pryce (R-OH) voiced her view that many companies are acquired by financial buyers, like private equity firms, as opposed to strategic buyers, precisely because they are "short-term losers" with no alternative access to capital or resources. She said that "a healthy long-term private company is better than a stagnant public one," and maintained that the focus of government policy should be on decreasing the burdens on public companies and not increasing those on private firms. Representative Edward Royce (R-CA) echoed this perspective, suggesting that the recent popularity of private equity investment is a by-product of the regulatory and litigation burdens that are saddling public companies. Representative Royce cited as examples the requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and what he characterized as "abusive" shareholder lawsuits.....

Let me emphasize this part......
She (Pryce) said that "a healthy long-term private company is better than a stagnant public one," and maintained that the focus of government policy should be on decreasing the burdens on public companies and not increasing those on private firms.

In brief, Pryce wants to remove government restrictions on private/public businesses and corporations to let them operate how they damn well please. In this manner, she basically says that the rights of individuals and the public at large should be subservient to the rights of business. This kind of talk by Pryce only confirms that she is nothing but a tool of big business, big oil, and pharmaceutical companies.

According to Open Secrets, in the 2006 election, Pryce only received 36.5% of her campaign contributions from individuals and 57.2% came from PACs.

(By the way, Republican Rep. Edward Royce's (CA) remark that calls shareholder lawsuits "abusive" is really an incredible thought. Royce thinks he was elected to protect the rights of businesses, not citizens.)

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Wouldn't You Like to Know?

Wouldn't like to know something about our local public figures?

Mayor Coleman is very highly regarded by people in central Ohio, the state, and around the nation. Viewed as a hard-working, intelligent, approachable leader, he has done much to bring a positive spotlight to Columbus.

--However, on the other side, a Republican, Mr. Bill Todd, is doing whatever he can to get some attention. Unfortunately, at a recent campaign stop, (picture) Mr. Todd used school children as a backdrop for his speech. Did their parents approve of their use in promoting Todd's campaign???

--Have you ever met Republican, Amy Salerno? I had the displeasure of being behind her at an office while she yelled and screamed at a receptionist. I was shocked that she would speak to anyone in that nasty manner.

--According to the Congressional Quarterly, Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce (OH-15), voted against a pay raise. Her vote against the pay raise might be due to the criticism she received during the last election. Will she take the pay raise? She could donate the extra money to charity or she could use the money to help her get to those Monday sessions she keeps missing. No one is forcing her to take the money.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

It looks like the Republicans are running scared and they are running away from President Bush's Iraq policy as fast as they can. Capitol Hill Blue has this:
Republican support for the Iraq war is slipping by the day. After four years of combat and more than 3,560 U.S. deaths, two Republican senators previously reluctant to challenge President Bush on the war announced they could no longer support the deployment of 157,000 troops and asked the president to begin bringing them home.
"We must not abandon our mission, but we must begin a transition where the Iraqi government and its neighbors play a larger role in stabilizing Iraq," Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, wrote in a letter to Bush.
Voinovich, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released his letter Tuesday — one day after Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, the panel's top Republican, said in a floor speech that Bush's strategy was not working....

What took these Republicans so long to come to their senses????? Just don't get too hopeful, folks. Voinovich has expressed his opinion on things before and then voted to support the President. Voinovich, Lugar, and others have to realize that people will expect them to act on their words to change the course of Bush's Iraq war. We will be watching!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Ohio Republicans

As a former teacher, I believe the last thing we need is an expansion of the school voucher program in Ohio. Ohio Republicans are promoting an extension of the voucher program for special needs children. I believe that many of the Ohio lawmakers have not been in a regular city public school for years. They are just relying on information that has been fed to them by their political contributors and right wing think tanks who just happen to be owners/supporters of charter schools.

I know how public schools support special needs students. Classroom teachers, teacher assistants, special tutors, psychologists, and speech and occupational therapists, all work together to provide a proper learning atmosphere for these students with learning differences. Charter schools, some of which have been operating in store fronts, church basements, or other non-academic buildings, cannot provide the correct learning environment for students. When a public school has professional teachers/specialists and administrators who are certified in education, their expertise outweighs the 'teachers' of charter schools. Unfortunately, for the Ohio Republicans, they are too frightened to actually spend a day in a public school to find out how real schools operate.

*****I almost forgot.......
Today is Tuesday and I have to give you an update on Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce's failure to attend a Monday session of the U.S. House of Representatives. Here it is: She did not vote again on Monday! According to the Washington Post, Pryce did not vote on Vote 550: HR 2545 or Vote 549: H RES 189. Pryce has now missed 54 votes (9.8%) since the beginning of January 2007. I wish there was someone in the Columbus media market that had the guts to ask Pryce why she misses so many sessions.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Ohio and the 2004 Election

Here in Ohio, we know that the Republicans played around/adjusted/challenged the previous presidential elections. Now we have additional information.

Akron Beacon Journal:

Four days before the 2004 election, the Justice Department's civil rights chief sent an unusual letter to a federal judge in Ohio who was weighing whether to let Republicans challenge the credentials of 23,000 mostly African-American voters.

The case was triggered by allegations that Republicans had sent a mass mailing to mostly Democratic-leaning minorities and used undeliverable letters to compile a list of voters potentially vulnerable to eligibility challenges.

In his letter to U.S. District Judge Susan Dlott of Cincinnati, Assistant Attorney General Alex Acosta argued that it would "undermine" the enforcement of state and federal election laws if citizens could not challenge voters' credentials.

Former Justice Department civil rights officials and election watchdog groups charge that his letter sided with Republicans engaging in an illegal, racially motivated tactic known as "vote-caging" in a state that would be pivotal in delivering President Bush a second term in the White House....

....Last week, Democratic Sens. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island sought an internal Justice Department investigation into whether department officials knew about Griffin's alleged caging before he was named interim U.S. attorney for Arkansas. Griffin, who has denied any impropriety, resigned that post earlier this month.

Don't you just wonder what would have happened if Kerry would have won the election? How would Ohio and the nation be different if the dirty political tactics of the Republican party were stopped and there would have been a fair a free election in Ohio? When you read about the GOP's filthy actions, doesn't it just make you sick?

Saturday, June 23, 2007

What would your employer say to you?

What would your employer say to you if you had a work record like this????

Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce missed 3 votes on Friday, according to the Washington Post:
Vote 548: H R 2771: Legislative Branch Appropriations for Fy 2008 (at 1:32 PM)
Vote 547: H R 2771: Legislative Branch Appropriations for Fy 2008 (at 1:26 PM)
Vote 546: H R 2771 (at 12:59 PM)

According to the Washington Post, Pryce has missed 52 votes (9.5%), in the current Congress which started January 4, 2007. In the last six months, Pryce missed 52 votes. Is this what Ohio's 15th district gets as representation?

Friday, June 22, 2007

Voinovich Still Hates the Environment

Senator George Voinovich (OH-R) has always gone out of his way to vote against environmental issues. As a matter of fact, Voinovich has an 11% from the League of Conservation Voters for his environmental votes (On the Issues). The LCV concluded that Voinovich is anti-environment.

In keeping with his anti-environment stance, Voinovich voted AGAINST the 2007 Clean Air Act (HR 6), according to The Washington Post. Shame on Voinovich. Wouldn't you think that he'd want to provide clean air and a clean environment for his grandkids and their children. Tsk. Tsk. Tsk.

.......In other Ohio news....... ---->

Ohio Coal Association president Mike Carey today announced plans to seek the Republican nomination to run against newly-elected Democratic congressman Zack Space in 2008.

Although Carey, of Granville Township, doesn't currently live in the 18th District, he says he'll relocate there if he becomes the GOP nominee. He hasn't held elected office before, but says the coal industry named him "Ohio Coal Man of the Year" in 2003. He also served as a commissioned officer in the Ohio Army National Guard from 1991 to 1999.

If elected, Carey, 36, says he'd be a "true conservative" who would "work hard to secure the borders, lessen our dependence on foreign oil, balance the nation's budget and create an economic climate that fosters good jobs for the working families of the 18th District."

------>.......although Carey, of Granville Township doesn't currently live in the 18th District.....<------

Wow! He is just like Republican Rep. Paul Gillmor who does not currently live in his district!!!!!!

Carey's other claim to fame was that he was the 'Ohio Coal Man of the Year' should really bring big support for the environment. Don't you think?

Wait! There is more on Carey from Left of Ohio ---

'Carey is also registered as a lobbyist for the coal industry.'

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Shame, Shame, Shame!

When I hear a story like the following, I first think, "Oh, my. How could someone say that?" However, when you realize that Trent Lott said it, well, it then is all very clear.

Huffington Post:

"If the answer is 'build a fence' I've got two goats on my place in Mississippi. There ain't no fence big enough, high enough, strong enough, that you can keep those goats in that fence.

"Now people are at least as smart as goats. Maybe not as agile. Build a fence. We should have a virtual fence. Now one of the ways I keep those goats in the fence is I electrified them. Once they got popped a couple times they quit trying to jump it."

Mr. Lott has failed to remember that the people trying to come into this country are


The Republicans can't figure out why they cannot get minority voters?????!!!!!! It might be because of the Trent Lotts in the GOP.

Wanted Poster I'd Like To See










(If you are a regular reader of this blog, you are aware that our current Republican member of Congress for the 15th district has serious problems with working on Mondays, supports an unending war in Iraq, and is best friends with businesses, oil companies, insurance companies, and drug companies.)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Just another day...

>>>With 19 people indicted/convicted from the last Republican administration in Ohio, the last thing we need is a Republican governor. However, that isn't going to stop Republican Rob Portman from declaring his intention to run for Ohio governor. Cincinnati Fox 19:

White House budget director Rob Portman is resigning and will be replaced by former Iowa Rep. Jim Nussle, Bush administration officials said Tuesday.....

....A former congressman, Portman also made it clear he might seek a return to elective office, either by running for governor of Ohio or for the Senate....

Wow! Ohioans haven't even had a chance to recover from the last scandal-plagued state Republican administration. Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland has been in office less than seven months, but the Ohio GOP is already suffering from losing their cash cow (known by some as the state government).

------Please, please, please, check out the video made by Eric Vessels on The Culture of Corruption at You Tube.

>>>The Upper Arlington Progressive Action blog has a link to a special screen saver at Progress Ohio.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Ohio Democrats, Take Notice!!!!

>>>Pryce Still Doesn't Like to Work Mondays
No matter how many times I write about it, I think it is outrageous that Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce (OH-15) continues to miss many, many Monday sessions in the House of Representatives. Although, I did not vote for Pryce, I am sure that her supporters thought they were electing a full-time member of Congress for Ohio's 15th district. However, Pryce, once again, missed a Monday session, according to the Washington Post:

6/18/07 Vote 501: H RES 233: Recognizing Over 200 Years of Sovereignity of the Principality of Liechtenstein, and Expressing Support for Efforts by the United States Continue to Strengthen Its Relationship With That Country Not Voting Yes Yes
6/18/07 Vote 500: H CON RES 151: Noting the Disturbing Pattern of Killings of Dozens of Independent Journalists in Russia Over the Last Decade, and Calling on Russian President Vladimir Putin to Authorize Cooperation With Outside Investigators in Solving Those Murders Not Voting Yes Yes
6/18/07 Vote 499: H R 2563: Major Scott Nisely Post Office Not Voting Yes Yes

Democrat and potential candidate for Ohio's 15th District, Mary Jo Kilroy, could easily make an issue of Pryce's poor attendance in a future election. If Pryce wants longer weekends, she should just opt to retire and then she could have all the time she wants.

>>>Ohio Republicans Make Back Room Deal Without Hearing from Voters
The Ohio GOP doesn't seem to care who the voters want because the GOP is trying to make a back room 'switcheroo' to put in a candidate they like best.
Porkopolis has the story on the dirty deal:

Hoping to avoid a nasty primary fight next March for the 8th District Ohio Senate seat, local Republican Party leaders will soon announce a deal to have State Sen. Patricia Clancy (R-Colerain Township) leave that office to accept a job as director of the Hamilton County Adult Probation Department, according to party sources.

The deal involves having Clancy, a former probation officer, step down as state senator and have State Rep. Bill Seitz (R-Green Township) fill the remainder of her term, presumably giving him an advantage as he prepares for the November 2008 general election. The probation department job is vacant.

Seitz announced in March that he would seek the 8th District seat whether Clancy sought re-election or not. At the time, Clancy said she would run again. GOP leaders have tried to broker a deal to persuade her otherwise, wanting to avoid a divisive primary campaign that could hurt the party’s chances in the general election a few months later.....

The male-dominated Ohio GOP has decided to dump a female member of the Ohio Senate in order to fill the job with one of their Republican GOB (good old boys). If I lived in that district and had voted for Patricia Clancy, I'd be hopping mad. Who the hell do these Republicans think they are to override the wishes of the voters? What arrogance! It is no wonder that many women favor the Democratic Party. Apparently, the Ohio GOP has forgotten that women and Ohio voters have the right to choose their own candidates.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Some Good News

>What is this? Good news from Cuyahoga County???????

Channel 8 in Cleveland:
The new elections director in Ohio's largest county won over critics of the historically messy board in a few short months, but her biggest challenge will be next year's presidential election.
Jane Platten has been interim director of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections since February, when Michael Vu resigned under pressure after three years. She is being sworn in to remove "interim" from her title this week.
Platten's four predecessors since 2000 have left under intense scrutiny or because of scandals. Platten aims to improve the board's image one task at a time. She started by running a crisp primary in May....

Honesty and integrity at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections? Thank goodness!!!!

>>>>Even though that is good news, we have to examine some bad news.
This is from GovTrak:
Deborah Pryce missed 501 of 6251 votes (8%) since Jan 7, 1997 (Poor relative to peers).

If you want a job so much, why do you keep missing votes????

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Ohio BWC News

Yet another Ohio Republican is being investigated because of the Taft/Coingate scandals at the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation. According to the Plain Dealer, a former member of the Ohio Senate, Republican Jeffrey Armbruster is being investigated. Plain Dealer:
Former State Sen. Jeffry Armbruster broke Ohio law by using the influence of his office to get lower workers' compensation rates for his private business, a state ethics panel said Thursday.

The Joint Legislative Ethics Committee referred its findings to Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien to consider criminal charges.

An attorney for Armbruster said the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation was merely correcting a mistake when it lowered the rates of a gas station company owned in part by Armbruster, a North Ridgeville Republican whose term ended at the close of last year.....

It looks like lots and lots of Ohio Republicans had their hands in the state funds.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Deborah Pryce and The Iraq Summer

It looks like Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce (OH-15) and other supporters of Bush's war in Iraq will be getting some special attention, according the the New York Times:

A coalition of anti-war groups is looking to make it a long, uncomfortable summer for 40 Republican members of Congress who are opposed to setting a timeline to end the war in Iraq.

The coalition, Americans Against Escalation in Iraq, plans to send 86 activists to 15 states beginning next week to pressure lawmakers into changing their position on the war. Dubbed “Iraq Summer,” the effort’s organizers say their goal is to hold 1,000 events per week through Labor Day and place 15,000 signs and bumper stickers in each state.

The group says it will spend millions on the effort. A portion will be used for paid media advertisements in some states as well as phone banks and letter-writing campaigns in each Congressional district under scrutiny. Those targets include nine Senators and 31 House members. Five of the senators on the list are up for reelection in 2008.....

Pryce is one of those targets, as well as Sen. George Voinovich, and Rep. La Tourette.

***** You won't believe this! Here in Ohio, we are still seeing indictments from the scandals from the Republican Taft administration. MSN Money:

The indictment of the head of a money management firm that lost $215 million in state investment funds brings the total number of people indicted or convicted in the state investment scandal to 19, and investigators aren't done yet.

"We are not completed with our investigation," Ohio Inspector General Thomas Charles said on Friday, a day after the indictment of Mark D. Lay, founder and chief executive of MDL Capital Management in Pittsburgh.

The wide-reaching case began with the 2005 revelation that prolific Republican donor Tom Noe was investing state money in rare coins.

Lay, 43, was charged in U.S. District Court with investment advisory fraud, mail fraud and conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison....

Holy cow!!! When will it end? When will Ohio taxpayers get their money back from Taft's crooked Republican supporters????????? According to the article, this is the 19th indictment or conviction from this GOP money scandal. The 19th!!!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Good, The Bad, and The Sad


>>>> Finally, there is some good news coming out of Ohio: (WEWS-TV)

LeBron James is the father to a second son, NewsChannel5 reported.

LeBron's girlfriend, Savannah Brinson, gave birth to Bryce Maximus James Thursday. A spokesman for the Cavs star said Bryce weighed 8 pounds, 6 ounces and was 21 inches long. He was born at 12:51 a.m. at Cuyahoga Falls General Hospital, near his father's hometown of Akron.....

Congratulations to the happy couple!

>> I found this video about Deborah Pryce (OH-15-R):

The author of the video makes a valid point in saying that Pryce has "no political courage." How true! She has willingly followed the orders of her party's leaders like Tom DeLay, and John Boner. When they say jump, she responds by asking, "How high?"

>> Republican Rep. John Boner's crying session on the floor of the the House has been captured in many ways but here is another You Tube video with sound effects:

(Statistics: ICasualties) Do you think Boner cried for the 150 Ohioans who have been killed in Iraq? Do you think Boner cried for the 1056 Ohioans who have been wounded in Iraq? Do you think he cried for the Ohio vets who have to wait months and months on waiting lists to even be seen at a Vet clinic?

>> Ohio is losing farmland, according to a story in the Dispatch:
On paper, Ohio's farmland preservation program is a success. In the seven years since the state began paying farmers not to sell to developers, nearly 27,000 farm acres have been saved. In a state that lost 6.9 million acres of farmland between 1950 and 2000, stemming the tide - even modestly - is viewed as a significant accomplishment. But state farmland has continued to disappear despite voter approval in 2000 of a bond initiative aimed at preserving green spaces, including farms.

An Associated Press analysis of land, tax, farm and geologic data confirmed the trend.

According to the analysis, much of the farmland is going to residential development, perplexing some observers because Ohio's population is stagnant and predicted to remain so for decades....

....Between 2005 and 2006, Ohio lost three times that many farms overall, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture....


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Keep in Mind...

>The next time you hear Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce (OH-15) say she listens to her constituents more than her party, remember to quote this fact from The Washington Post:
Deborah Pryce has voted with a majority of her Republican colleagues 90.4% of the time during the current Congress. This percentage does not include votes in which Pryce did not vote...

>A story this morning on The Today Show describes how American students are getting tutoring online from a company called TutorVista. According to the report, it is much cheaper than face-to-face tutoring a student might receive in their own city and students are parents appear to be very happy with the results. The tutoring takes place over the web and the tutors are located in India.

>If you are looking for political news from Ohio, just keep in mind that most information reported in the Cincinnati Enquirer and the Dayton Daily News have a far right wing perspective. They report negatively on Democrats and liberals and positively on the GOP. (The Columbus Dispatch is also a cheerleader for the Republicans but it is not a far right as the other two papers.)

>Next time you and your family are planning a beach vacation, you might want to remember this story----

Science Blogs:

It is no secret that the U.S. military has used the ocean as trashcan for munitions in the past. Peter discussed at the Old DSN how federal lawmakers were pressing the US Army to reveal everything it knows about a massive international program to dump chemical weapons off homeland and foreign shores. "The Army now admits that it secretly dumped 64 million pounds of nerve and mustard agents into the sea, along with 400,000 chemical-filled bombs, land mines and rockets and more than 500 tons of radioactive waste - either tossed overboard or packed into the holds of scuttled vessels." Brian pointed me to the Daily Press's in depth coverage of this whole issue. Registration is free and only takes a minute or two and is extremely worthwhile. Included at the site are maps of disposal sites (downloadable as pdfs), stories, descriptions of items dumped including nerve and musturd gas, and rather depressing pictures some are below the fold (all from Daily Press).

Hundreds of dolphins washed ashore in Virginia and New Jersey shorelines in 1987 with burns similar to mustard gas exposure. One marine-mammal specialist suspects Army-dumped chemical weapons killed them....

(Warning Flipper fans: If you visit the Science Blogs page, you'll see some awful pictures of dead dolphins that have been burned by exposure to toxins. The original information was published at The Daily Press.)
The following maps are from the Science Blogs and The Daily Press:

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

News from Ohio

>Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, Democrat, signed a bill to clean up the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation.
Toledo Blade:
The current oversight of the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation, criticized as too slow to respond to hints of scandal, will undergo an overhaul under a bill signed into law yesterday by Gov. Ted Strickland.
The law will replace the Workers' Compensation Oversight Commission with a stronger 11-member board of directors and create a new legislative panel to provide yet another set of eyes to watch over the nation's largest state-run insurance fund for injured workers....

Even though the previous administration that was headed by Republican Gov. Taft considered the Ohio BWC as their cash cow and reward money for political supporters (Tom Noe's Coingate), real reform has finally arrived.

>Wouldn't you like to see an end to school vouchers? Don't you think that citizens would like to vote to end the school voucher program which robs millions and millions from the state public schools?

> Columbus Mayor Coleman: With his wife returning to rehab and a son in the military, it has been a tough time for the Coleman family. Mayor Coleman, an extremely popular mayor, has won the overwhelming support of the citizens in central Ohio. My thoughts and prayers are with the Mrs. Frankie Coleman and the Mayor at this difficult time.

Monday, June 11, 2007

More Questions

***Looks like the U.S. Passport Office did not plan for the high increase in passport applications. As a result, members of Congress have been hit hard with requests for help from constituents. Is this another example of the poor planning of the Bush administration?
Columbus Dispatch:

....Passport applications are facing three-month delays in being processed.

U.S. Reps. Deborah Pryce, R-Upper Arlington, and Pat Tiberi, R-Genoa Township, have been swamped with calls from constituents seeking help in securing passports.

"This time last year if we took two phone calls that was a busy week with regards to passports," said Rob Nichols, spokesman for Pryce.

"We are taking 40 to 50 a day. Obviously, the new requirements don't save everyone but it saved a number of trips for our constituents."

The suspension of the law is a good temporary solution, said Breann Gonzalez, spokeswoman for Tiberi.....

***People are wondering how Speaker of the Ohio House, Republican Jon Husted, has managed to get his friend and political contributor, Oberer, so many state highway contracts. Through Husted's bullying, screaming, and tantrums directed at state agencies, Oberer has gotten contracts that they would otherwise not be qualified to get. Hmmm. Is Marc Dann listening?????

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Ohio State

The commencement speaker for spring commencement for The Ohio State University will be former President Bill Clinton.

The commencement can be viewed live at beginning at 1:00pm.

Think you know everything about Ohio State? Here are some interesting facts from Ohio State:

Degrees granted (through Aug. 2006) 580,489

Total University Enrollment 59,091
Total Acreage 15,655

Friday, June 08, 2007

Arm Twisting????

If Republican Jon Husted is involved in any decision or policy change in Ohio, you can be assured that he bullied his opposition.
Ohio's five public pension systems capitulated yesterday to demands from lawmakers that they give up investments in companies that do business with Iran and Sudan.

After resisting calls to divest as an affront to their ability to make money for government employees, the executives of the five pension funds told House Speaker Jon A. Husted that they would work to pull most of their money out of companies with ties to the two Islamic nations.....

....Some retired public employees have said they're angry that their pensions are being dragged into a foreign-policy debate. An analysis done for the largest Ohio pension fund, the Public Employees Retirement System, estimated that it could lose nearly $250 million a year by moving investments to companies with no ties to Iran.

"This seems to me like an abdication of their fiduciary responsibilities," said Jeff Glasgow, a retired assistant Franklin County prosecutor who lives in Westerville. "To say I'm disappointed would be an understatement. With any compromise, they're playing with my money and other retirees' money."

In their letter to Husted, the five pension executives said they were trying to balance their opposition to terrorism and genocide with their responsibility to fund pension and health benefits for their members....

Husted has stuck his nose where it had no business. For a long, long time Republicans have tried to get control of the public employees' retirement funds in Ohio. Now, with this politically motivated divestiture, Republicans have started to get some control over how and where pensions get their money. This is only a beginning. Husted and his bullying right wing posse will push for more control in the future.

I wonder which financial advisory group will benefit by these changes in investment? Will they be friends/contributors/political supporters of Husted's brand of right wing politics? Just asking. It might be worth it to have Ohio's Attorney General, Marc Dann, follow the resulting business deals/transactions.

By the way, when retirees have to pay higher health premiums because their pension plans have lost millions and billions of dollars, they can thank Jon Husted.

Thursday, June 07, 2007


It looks like Speaker of the Ohio House, Jon Husted (Republican), has bullied the public employee retirement pension administrators into submitting to his plan for investments.
Akron Beacon Journal:
The state's five public employee pension systems will adopt policies aimed at dropping shares of companies that do business in Iran and Sudan, the systems said Thursday.

That was the deadline for the systems to respond to House Speaker Jon Husted's offer to kill legislation that would make such divestment mandatory if the systems agreed to give up half of their investments in such companies.

The systems said they would divest themselves of half of those investments by the end of the year and ultimately end the rest.

Husted, who had said he was optimistic that operators of the pension funds for police, firefighters, schoolteachers and other public employees would comply voluntarily, was reviewing the letter Thursday and had no comment, spokeswoman Karen Tabor said.

The funds had criticized the bill, sponsored by freshmen Republican Reps. Josh Mandel and Shannon Jones, as an attempt to drag their investments into politics. Mandel said his office found that four of the systems had investments totaling $1.1 billion in companies with links to Iran and Sudan. The fifth system, a fund for retired State Highway Patrol employees, had no such investments....

$1.1 billion dollars???? I wonder if Husted plans to cover the loss of over one billion dollars with his own personal money. As a person who has money in a state retirement system, I'll be watching and listening to what happen to my pension plan.

Husted has plans to run for higher office. However, his reputation as a bully and as an unkind person in his dealings with people (I was going to call him another word, but I changed my mind.), may ultimately alter his political plans. Ohioans don't like bullies.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Remember these pictures?

The Republican presidential candidates are not so friendly with President Bush these days. WTOP:
President Bush drew sporadic, startling criticism Tuesday night from Republican White House hopefuls unhappy with his handling of the Iraq war, his diplomatic style and his approach to immigration.....
The Republicans sprinkled the criticism of Bush throughout a two-hour debate that ranged over topics from war to immigration legislation pending in Congress to religion. The debate was the third of the accelerated primary campaign.....

Do you remember these pictures?????

(^Bush and McCain: from TruthDig)

(Bush and Tommy Thompson: American Mind)

(Bush and Rudy Giuliani: In These Times)

And, of course, Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce (OH-15).
(Bush and Deborah Pryce: Bad Pryce)

We are known by the company we keep.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Don't You Wonder Why?

While Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce (OH-15) continues her unwavering support of Bush's war in Iraq, another Ohioan has died in Iraq. Why does Pryce continue to support the war that will have no end? By the way, have you seen or heard from Pryce recently? Has she crawled into a hole? She is avoiding the press.
Coshocton Tribune:
A soldier from this eastern Ohio city was killed in Iraq when the vehicle he was riding in drove over an explosive device, his mother said.

The military didn’t disclose much about Army Pfc. Keith Nepsa’s death Saturday, his mother, Michele Nepsa, said late Sunday.

“They told me he had been in a convoy,” she said. “The vehicle he was in ran over an explosive device. That’s all they still can tell me.”

Keith Nepsa, 21, enlisted after he graduated from New Philadelphia High School in 2003 so he could earn money for college, where he wanted to study computers, his mother said.....

****Do you wonder if Republican Speaker of the House Jon Husted is strong-arming the Ohio government agencies to get his pet projects for his district? Milwaukee Bizjournals:

The state of Ohio Monday awarded $25 million in funding for local projects, including a $20 million grant for the Institute for the Development and Commercialization of Advanced Sensor Technology, or IDCAST.....

....The State Controlling Board Monday approved the funding for the following projects:

The University of Dayton received a $20 million Wright Center Grant to establish IDCAST. The institute is a collaborative sensor technology facility and will have sensor laboratories from member universities, the Air Force Research Laboratory Sensor Directorate and Ohio Sensor Companies.

Bear Materials LLC received a $2 million Innovation Ohio loan to buy machinery and equipment to lease to Renegade Materials Corp. Renegade plans to build a 25,000-square-foot manufacturing building and create 30 new jobs.

The city of Dayton was awarded a $2.86 million Urban Redevelopment loan to build a 48,000-square-foot facility in Tech Town. The building is expected to house more than 300 jobs in the next three years.

How is it that Husted is getting all this stuff for his district? Perhaps we should ask Marc Dann and Jennifer Brunner to look into these contracts and Husted's influence.

Monday, June 04, 2007

LeBron James

All across Ohio, LeBron James was the topic of conversation this weekend. After leading his team to a victory, Cleveland, which hasn't had much to cheer for in a long time, erupted in jubilation. Personally, I don't know a thing about basketball, but I am happy for LeBron, the Cavaliers, and Cleveland. Here are a couple of stories about LeBron---
Telegraph Forum:

Welcome to LeBron James' kingdom, where a rookie named "Boobie" has emerged as the Robin to James' Batman and the Cavaliers are in the NBA finals -- for the first time ever.

No, this isn't one of James' Nike commercials.

Downtown Cleveland erupted with joy Saturday night as the Cavs won Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals 98-82, bringing hope of a championship to this long downtrodden sports town....

....Two days after James' superhuman 48-point performance in Game 5 he scored 20 points, but was double- and triple-teamed and looked a little tired.

But Daniel "Boobie" Gibson picked him up, scoring a career high 31 points and getting a pat on the head from James after hitting another 3-pointer.

"Boobie, oh my God he was on fire," James said....

Buffalo News-

Once it was over, just after LeBron James hurled the game ball as hard and as high as could, traffic stopped throughout downtown Cleveland. Horns honked over a miraculous, inexplicable victory.

They celebrated from the Flats to Glenville, from University Circle to Old Brooklyn, and from Kamm’s Corners to Shaker Heights. They will always remember June 2, 2007, when the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Charlie Brown of professional basketball, finally earned some respect. Hard to believe, but old Charlie finally kicked that football.....

“If I could put into words what’s going on in my head right now, man, we would be up here for another three hours,” said James, after the Cavs defeated the Detroit Pistons, 98-82, to win the Eastern Conference Finals Saturday night, 4-2. “But this is special, the guys were really mentally prepared.”

Even though LeBron did not attend college, Ohio State fans know that if he had gone to college, it would have been Ohio State. So even Buckeye fans, down here in Columbus, are celebrating with LeBron and the Cavaliers.

There was a big golf thing here in central Ohio----The Muirfield Golf Tournament. (I know less about golf than basketball.) The only golfer I am aware of is Tiger Woods and I guess he didn't win. However, a golfer named K.J. Choi won big yesterday in Dublin. Here is a tidbit from the Dispatch:

K.J. Choi ranks as one of the best scramblers on the PGA Tour.

He backed it up yesterday, saving par on four of the last five holes at Muirfield Village Golf Club to win the 32nd annual Memorial Tournament in a final-round shootout with 10 other golfers.

Choi, a 37-year-old South Korean who lives near Houston, came from five strokes off the lead at the start of the round to shoot a 7-under-par 65 for a one-stroke win over fast-closing Ryan Moore.

"I just feel very honored and very happy to be living in the same age as Jack is living, and to win his tournament is so meaningful to me," said Choi, who learned how to play golf by studying Jack Nicklaus' instructional books and videos....

Although Tiger did not win, I'm still happy for Mr. Choi.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Another Ohio Republican in Trouble

It never ceases to amaze me how more and more Ohio Republicans seem to be associated with scandals. This is from the Columbus Dispatch:
When then-state Sen. Jeffry Armbruster started asking Bureau of Workers' Compensation officials about reducing rates for his own company, the discussion made his legislative aide so uncomfortable that she walked out of the meeting.

Armbruster evidently felt no such anxiety. Nor did officials at the scandal-scarred bureau hesitate to help Armbruster. At the time, he was vice chairman of a committee that dealt with most bureau-related legislation.

Bureau officials met with him in his Senate office at least twice early last year as he discussed reducing rates for Armbruster Energy Stores, according to interviews and documents obtained by The Dispatch. Other discussions took place over.....('the phone' was on the fifth page).....

The Columbus Dispatch did not mention that Armbruster was an Ohio Republican until page 5! The Dispatch, always regarded as a friend of the Ohio GOP, just did not want to reveal that little tidbit that Armbruster was yet another Ohio Republican in trouble because of dealings with the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation under the former Taft administration. The Republicans must have used the Ohio BWC as their own personal cash machine!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Fred Thompson Continued...

Here are a few more tidbits on Fred Thompson, a possible Republican presidential candidate:

Reuters: "The consensus seemed to be that he didn't like to work real hard, but was good to have on your team," said a Senate Republican aide. "People said the same thing about (former President) Ronald Reagan," another one-time Hollywood star....

....Before leaving Capitol Hill, Thompson voiced frustration.

"I don't want to spend the rest of my life up here," then Sen. Thompson said. "I don't like spending 14- and 16-hour days voting on 'sense of the Senate' resolutions on irrelevant matters."

....Another lobbyist said: "I like Fred. But I'm not sure he has the energy to wage a long presidential campaign."

Hmmmm. We already have a lazy President in George W. Bush (works out twice per day, and takes a nap) and we certainly don't need another person in the White House who is allergic to work.

According to On the Issues, Thompson voted
Voted YES on defunding renewable and solar energy. (Jun 1999)
Voted YES on drilling ANWR on national security grounds. (Apr 2002)

Apparently, Thompson was not for energy conservation, renewable energy, or solar energy. It might be worth someone asking where he stands on these issues today.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Ohio Politics

Republican Jon Husted, Ohio Speaker of the House, appears to want to run for State Senator, according to The Other Paper. Husted, who has famously loaded his district with highway projects, seems to be very ambitious.

The Other Paper also is reporting that the former liberal talk radio station in Columbus is failing miserably as conservative talk. According to Radio & Records, WYTS-AM, is a the very bottom of the rankings in the Columbus radio market. When they switched from liberal to conservative talk, the ratings plummeted. With low ratings, they cannot even attract good advertisers. The station, which is owned by Clear Channel, must prove that the conglomerate wants to promote their conservative political agenda, even if they lose money.

>Kenneth Blackwell is still in the news--
On his way out of office as secretary of state, J. Kenneth Blackwell gave parting payments totaling $80,186 to 19 top staffers in December.

Jennifer Brunner, his Democratic successor, wants the money paid back.

Brunner is seeking to recover the payments on grounds they were illegal, after Attorney General Marc Dann determined that Blackwell did not have the authority to pay the money.

Brunner, who had requested Dann's opinion, asked Auditor Mary Taylor yesterday to declare the payments an illegal expenditure of public money -- a key step toward recovering the funds.

"The bottom line is this money doesn't belong to Ken Blackwell, and it doesn't belong to me," Brunner said. "It belongs to the state of Ohio."

It was so nice of Blackwell to give away Ohio money to his good pals. The Republican corruption in Ohio just makes you want to puke.