Sunday, December 30, 2012

Hillary Clinton has Blood Clot

* Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been hospitalized with a blood clot.


Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in the hospital following the discovery of a blood clot resulting from the concussion she suffered earlier in the month:
Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines says her doctors discovered the clot during a follow-up exam Sunday. Reines says Clinton is being treated with anti-coagulants. Clinton was admitted to New York-Presbyterian Hospital so doctors can monitor the medication over the next 48 hours....
I'm sure that the people over at Fox News are sorry that they accused Sec. Clinton of "faking" her concussion.  From MediaMatters:

Fox's Bolton Suggests Clinton Is Faking "Diplomatic Illness" To Avoid Testifying About Benghazi. During the December 17 edition of Fox News' On the Record, Fox News contributor John Bolton told host Greta van Susteren that when foreign service officers "don't want to go to a meeting or conference or event," they have "a diplomatic illness. And this is a diplomatic illness to beat the band." He continued:
BOLTON: I mean, I certainly hope it's nothing serious. But this was revealed in a way that I think was not transparent, and I think there is an obligation here, especially if Secretary Clinton decides to run for president, to indicate what happened. She may beat testifying this week, but she's not going to escape it forever.
Van Susteren noted after Bolton spoke that "it has been reported prior to the concussion that she had the flu. ... She reported that she was dehydrated, and if you fall and hit your head and get a concussion, that is a brain injury." [Fox News, On the Record, 12/17/12]....

Get well soon, Secretary Clinton!!!!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Boehner & GOP Refusing To Work?

* The Republican control of the House of Representatives has been a huge disaster. With John Boehner, Eric Cantor, and the Tea Party Republicans refusing to cooperate with the President, they've brought the entire country to a halt. The House Republicans are spoiled children that cry every single time someone mentions ending tax cuts for millionaires as the only solution to our fiscal problems.  Waaaaa!  Waaaa!  Waaaa!  While the Republicans have their fundraisers on private golf courses with their millionaire friends, travel to resorts for "conferences" with deep-pocket contributors, Americans wait, and wait, and wait, for the Republicans to get down to work.

The record of the Boehner Speakership has been one of a decrease in scheduled work days, a reduced number of bills passed and fewer actually becoming law. Boehner and his Republican bunch have done nothing.  Will Boehner, his Tea Party Republicans, and Mitch McConnell continue to sit on their rear ends until the next midterm election, or will they step up and put the country first, instead of their political party?  If past behavior is a predictor of one's future behavior, we know how this will end.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Milk at $6/gallon?

* I hope you all had a restful holiday. Now we have to hope that John Boehner and the Republicans come to their senses and stop re-submitting the same proposal again and again. Boehner's plan includes keeping those Bush tax cuts for the wealthy that are so abhorrent to 98% of the American people.  Looks like the fiscal cliff is getting closer and closer, thanks to Boehner and the Republicans.

A word to the wise: Some are predicting that milk prices will increase to $6/gal. if the Republicans let us go over the cliff. Parents will want to put some extra milk in the refrigerator before the end of the year.  For information on the possibility of milk at $6/gallon, visit this link at KCCI.

** Students, faculty, and staff at the Ohio State University can look to the city of Chicago for what the future will hold.


On New Year's Day, meters in the city's downtown Loop area will begin charging $6.50 an hour, up from $5.75 - which was already the highest rate in the U.S, reports CBS Chicago station WBBM-TV.

The station cites as saying $6.50 will be the highest rate in the continent.

The company that operates the meters, Chicago Parking Meters LLC, plans to have all machines set to new rates by the end of February....

With the administration of Ohio State moving toward the privatization of parking, huge increases in parking fees awaits those going to campus.

- - - - -

>>>> Since Gov. John Kasich and his Republican Party favor privatizing everything, will Ohio schools begin to use private services for substitute teachers, as they do in Utah?

Salt Lake Tribune:

The Nebo School District is joining a growing group of Utah districts outsourcing substitute teachers.
About 700 Nebo substitute teachers will transition through Kelly Educational Staffing starting in December, district spokeswoman Lana Hiskey said this week. Subs with teaching licenses are paid $65 per day, while others earn $60.....

And this little tidbit of info about the qualifications for substitute teaching in Utah is provided on 'At A Glance' side bar near the article:

....The requirements to become a substitute teacher through Kelly Educational Staffing include obtaining a high school diploma or GED, the ability to read and write in English, favorable results on a seven-year criminal background check and having experience working in an educational environment. Candidates must be at least 20....

Sounds to me that Ohio's substitute teachers have higher educational requirements than those in other states. Requiring only a high school diploma or GED does not recruit highly qualified, prepared, and trained teachers. Utah appears to be placing anyone in the role of substitute teacher. This could be rather dangerous because it means that the subs have no experience/education/background in child development, psychology, educational teaching methods, conflict resolution, learning styles, learning disabilities, etc.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Boehner's Plan B Is Hurtful

* Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner's "Plan B" would raise taxes on the hardworking lower income people and their families.


....While the bill makes permanent the expansion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) signed into law by George W. Bush as part of the 2001 tax cut deal — which bumped the credit from $500 to $1,000 — it does not extend an expansion that was passed as part of the 2009 stimulus package, and has been renewed since then, allowing poor families to refund more of the credit. Nor does it extend the stimulus’s expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), by far the most important anti-poverty program the federal government has, or the American Opportunity Credit (AOC), which provides tuition assistance for middle-class families.

That has a huge impact on lower-income families. The Tax Policy Center hasn’t projected the distributional effect of extending the AOC, but it has estimated those effects for the stimulus expansions of EITC and CTC:

That is the way the Republicans work. The Republicans want to coddle the rich and hurt those struggling to put food on the table. John Boehner, Eric Cantor, and the rest of the Tea Party Republicans should be ashamed of themselves for saying the President isn't doing anything.  While Boehner and Cantor cry crocodile tears for the rich, working mothers would see their taxes go up, leaving them less money to feed and clothe the kids.  Nice job, Boehner and Cantor. You two are boneheads.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Ready for this?

* The "We Are Ohio" people may need to get ready for another campaign against a "right to work" issue put up by Gov. John Kasich, Ohio's Republicans, or their buddies in Americans for (their own) Prosperity.


....Kasich also declined to say what position he might take on a right-to-work amendment limiting Ohio labor unions, if one were advanced by an outside group. Besides right-to-work, which prohibits mandatory union-dues collection, other prospective ballot issues could deal with overhauling Ohio’s redistricting process or countering burgeoning ballot initiatives pushing gay marriage or legalized medical marijuana. 

I'm sure that Kasich's open invitation for someone to put forth right to work legislation will meet the same opposition he saw for SB5/Issue 2, and may sink his chances for re-election. 

* Following the Ohio State basketball's win over Winthrop, an unusual press conference took place. The basketball coach of Winthrop, Pat Kelsey, said what a lot of Americans are thinking since the shootings at Sandy Hook.

USA Today:

"Person of the Year"

Time has named President Barack Obama as the "Person of the Year" in the magazine's yearly selection.


Twenty-seven years after driving from New York City to Chicago in a $2,000 Honda Civic for a job that probably wouldn’t amount to much, Barack Obama, in better shape but with grayer hair, stood in the presidential suite on the top floor of the Fairmont Millennium Park hotel as flat screens announced his re-election as President of the United States. The networks called Ohio earlier than predicted, so his aides had to hightail it down the hall to join his family and friends. They encountered a room of high fives and fist pumps, hugs and relief....

...Two years ago, Republicans liked to say that the only hard thing Obama ever did right was beating Hillary Clinton in the primary, and in electoral terms, there was some truth to that. In 2012 the GOP hoped to cast him as an inspiring guy who was not up to the job. But now we know the difference between the wish and the thing, the hype and the man in the office. He stands somewhat shorter, having won 4 million fewer votes and two fewer states than in 2008. But his 5 million-vote margin of victory out of 129 million ballots cast shocked experts in both parties, and it probably would have been higher had so much of New York and New Jersey not stayed home after Hurricane Sandy. He won many of the toughest battlegrounds walking away: Virginia by 4 points, Colorado by 5 and the lily white states of Iowa and New Hampshire by 6. He untied Ohio’s knotty heartland politics, picked the Republican lock on Florida Cubans and won Paul Ryan’s hometown of Janesville, Wis. (Those last two data points especially caught the President’s interest.) He will take the oath on Jan. 20 as the first Democrat in more than 75 years to get a majority of the popular vote twice. Only five other Presidents have done that in all of U.S. history.
There are many reasons for this, but the biggest by far are the nation’s changing demographics and Obama’s unique ability to capitalize on them. When his name is on the ballot, the next America — a younger, more diverse America — turns out at the polls. In 2008, blacks voted at the same rate as whites for the first time in history, and Latinos broke turnout records. The early numbers suggest that both groups did it again in 2012, even in nonbattleground states, where the Obama forces were far less organized. When minorities vote, that means young people do too, because the next America is far more diverse than the last. And when all that happens, Obama wins. He got 71% of Latinos, 93% of blacks, 73% of Asians and 60% of those under 30....

I agree. The country is changing. The old white men of the Republican Party are still trying to figure out how they lost the support of women, young people, the middle class, and various ethnic groups. I think it is best that we don't tell the GOP why so that their party can just wither away.

Time also has some photos of the President taken by Pete Souza: Here.

**** Anyone that suggests that teachers should be armed with weapons in the classroom obviously has never been in a classroom. Teachers are paid to teach, and provide the tools for learning. Carrying a gun in school will not help stop these shootings. Laws, and restricting access to assault weapons, increased funding for PTSD and mental health treatment, will end this bloodshed.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

In The News.....

* Sen. Patrick Inouye, Democrat of Hawaii, has passed away. Sen. Inouye was also a Medal of Honor winner for his heroism in World War II.

* Word is that Ohio Gov. John Kasich will sign the latest gun bill put forth by far right Republicans.


Gov. John Kasich said Monday he intends to sign a new concealed carry law allowing guns into the Statehouse parking garage, rejecting a call to veto the bill in the wake of last week's shootings in Connecticut....

...Last week, Senate President Tom Niehaus said the guns in the garage language was added at the request of Republican state senators who wish to bring firearms to work after hunting or going to shooting fundraisers. 

Along with allowing guns in parking areas at the state capitol, the bill also changes the definition of unloaded so that gun owners can have loaded clips in their vehicles as long as they are in a separate compartment from the gun.

This is just more confirmation of the fact that the Republican Party has all common sense.

> Ohio Republican Rep. Steve Stivers is looking for ideas for solving the latest problem created by the Republicans.


...Got a suggestion for how to solve the fiscal cliff? Rep. Steve Stivers is taking them.

Stivers, R-Upper Arlington, has posted a survey on his website — — that asks visitors for their views on solving the cliff. Their options: Raise tax rates; reform the tax code and cut spending; don’t avert the fiscal cliff; or work together as Republicans and Democrats on revenues, spending cuts, and strengthening and securing entitlements. It also gives visitors an option to share another solution with their offer...

Stivers, who has been on the receiving end of contributions from financial firms, banks, and oil/gas concerns, now wants advice?  Contact Stivers ( and tell him to raise taxes on the rich. Period.

Monday, December 17, 2012

What can we do?

* The nation is still finding it difficult to grasp the deaths of 20 school children and school staff members in Newtown, Connecticut.  The President spoke at a memorial service last night in Newtown.

Republicans, according to OpenSecrets, have benefited from contributions from those associated with gun rights PACs/groups:

Party Split:  

Dems:  $ 133,218

Repubs: $2,877,769

Others:  $ 3,200 

OpenSecrets has more details on those elected officials and candidates that have received campaign contributions from gun rights groups.

Top 20 Recipients

1Romney, Mitt (R)
2Boehner, John (R-OH)House$48,575
3Cruz, Ted (R-TX)
4Rehberg, Denny (R-MT)House$43,029
5Mandel, Josh (R-OH)
6West, Allen (R-FL)House$38,351
7Perry, Rick (R)
8Brown, Scott (R-MA)Senate$30,275
9Santorum, Rick (R)
10Bachmann, Michele (R-MN)House$28,822
11Heller, Dean (R-NV)Senate$26,900
12Allen, George (R-VA)
13Daines, Steven (R-MT)
14Barrasso, John A (R-WY)Senate$23,258
15Gingrich, Newt (R)
16Cain, Herman (R)
17Paul, Ron (R)House$21,700
18Coffman, Mike (R-CO)House$20,200
19Quayle, Ben (R-AZ)House$19,600
20Mourdock, Richard E (R-IN)

METHODOLOGY: The numbers on this page are based on contributions from PACs and individuals giving $200 or more.
All donations took place during the 2011-2012 election cycle and were released by the Federal Election Commission on Monday, November 12, 2012.

Ohio voters should note that John Boehner and Republican candidate, Josh Mandel, made the the list of "top recipients" of gun rights money. Are they working to protect our children or gun owners?

* Although some people in Ohio think that Gov. John Kasich's new plan for the Ohio Turnpike is acceptable, others are still upset. Kasich wants to sell bonds to finance his projects.  There is plenty of opposition.  Some of the opposition comes from Republicans who feel that the Kasich plan will unfairly cost more for those in the north of the state, while those in the southern part of Ohio will benefit from the dollars raised.  Chris Redfern of the Democratic Party explained that there is more to Kasich's plan than meets the eye.

Toledo Blade:

....the Kasich plan is “doing it with sleight of hand,” he said, because the turnpike financing would be “one-time dollars” — something Mr. Kasich, as a Republican candidate, condemned former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, a Democrat, for using — and dodges the long-term financial problems plaguing Ohio’s transportation budget....

No matter what Gov. Kasich says, there is always more to the story that he hasn't revealed.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Time To Do Something for Safety

It has been so sad watching the names and faces of those who were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. It is time that we as a nation make certain that we reduce the chances of events like this ever happening again.

We need to fund mental health programs.  This is an important step in getting people help before they take a step toward violence. Families who are concerned about unstable members of their families should be able to seek help for them. We must get psychiatric help for those people that need it. Instead of funding tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, let us get some help for those that are in need of mental health care -- ASAP!

>>>  Bryan Fischer, of the right wing conservative religious lobby, has been on the airwaves. HuffPost:

....Bryan Fischer made some notably controversial comments in the wake of the tragedy.

....The conservative Christian who has continuously drawn the ire of groups such as the Southern Poverty Law Center and GLAAD for his anti-gay rhetoric and vitriolic tirades on behalf of the American Family Association, said on his radio show that God did not protect the victims of the Connecticut shooting because prayer has been prohibited from the public school system...

...Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee made similar remarks on Friday....

Mr. Fischer, and his pal, Mike Huckabee, are being disrespectful to the victims, their families, and the nation in their talk about what they believe caused the violence. Get it straight---- We are a nation of many people, beliefs, races----but we are all Americans. Not saying prayers in public schools did not cause the killings.  A man with a gun did it.  He is to blame.

From what I've read at various sites, the Westboro Baptist Church plan to protest at Newtown, Connecticut, tomorrow and in the following days. I hope that law enforcement, the community, Marine Leathernecks with their motorcycles, and others are able to peacefully keep the Westboro people away.

Finally, we as a nation must do something about gun violence. We must protect our children, and our families.  They are more important than the NRA.

Note to all: Please stop watching Fox News and listening to Fischer, Huckabee, and the others.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Right to Work Did NOT Bring Jobs to Indiana

On his program this evening, Ed Schultz talked about how Michigan Gov. Snyder has been talking about Indiana's success with their new right to work law. Ed pointed to the Economic Policy Institute's reports on Indiana's real results of the RTW law.  (Note: IEDC represents the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.)

Economic Policy Institute:

...At least four other companies that IEDC claims were motivated by RTW—all of whom received economic incentives from IEDC officials—have a long history in Indiana....

...IEDC is a vocal advocate for RTW. Yet, while the agency reports that scores of companies have “communicated” that RTW “will factor into their decision-making process of where to locate,” the commission’s Legislative Update report does not identify a single company that says RTW made the difference in its decision to locate in Indiana. The commission offers quotes from a number of executives who praise RTW, but not a single one says it made the difference in their decisions....

.....The extent to which RTW is discounted in business location decisions is apparent in the significant number of Indiana firms that—since the passage of RTW—continue to choose to invest in other, non-RTW states......

In related news, a newspaper article announced new jobs coming to Indiana:

Nine companies announced plans Tuesday to create up to 2,550 jobs in Indiana over the next six years, and Gov. Mitch Daniels promised more announcements in the weeks before he leaves office as he looks to end his eight years in the Statehouse on a high note....

....The companies’ plans vary widely, from Angie’s List’s plans to hire 850 new sales and customer service representatives in Indianapolis to Mitsubishi’s plans for 73 new jobs as it builds turbochargers at its Franklin plant. A pair of Arizona-based food companies — Inventure Foods and Cafe Valley — could add up to 480 jobs combined by 2018....

Here are the facts:
-  Angie's List has been in Indiana for several years. According to the BBB, Angie's List started business in 1995 in Indiana. They did not move to Indiana because of RTW laws.

-  The Mitsubishi plant has been in Indiana since 1995 (source: Manta). They did not move to Indiana because of the RTW laws.

Inventure Foods: A Bluffton, Indiana, facility – the location where T.G.I. Friday’s snack foods are produced – was acquired in 1999....  The Inventure Foods location has been in Indian since 1999. They did not move to Indiana because of the RTW laws.

- According to the Indiana government site, Cafe Valley Inc, has been in Indiana for several years. They did not move to Indiana because of the RTW laws.

Other companies mentioned at the Indiana website as adding jobs includes:
---Brunswick Fort Wayne Operations has been in the state for 50 years (

---ExactTarget began in Indianapolis, Indiana in the year 2000 (source: ExactTarget).

--- Atwood Mobile was started in 1909 in Elkhart, Indiana (source: Businessweek).

--- Bidpalnetwork has been in Indiana since 2008 (source: Bidpalnetwork).

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels may have awarded a few bucks to these companies to hire more people, but the Indiana RTW laws did not bring new companies to their state.

No matter what these Republican governors claim, the anti-union agenda has not and will not help their state. This is all Republican b*@@".+t.


* Oh, no!  Another Ohio charter school is in trouble!!!!


A Columbus charter school already strained because of poor fiscal management now is under state scrutiny for its work with special-needs children.

Ohio Department of Education officials made an unannounced visit to ScholArts Preparatory and Career Center for Children yesterday because of ongoing concerns about whether the school is properly educating children. The department now is auditing its special-education practices, attendance counts, teacher credentials and federal grant spending, said Jim Herrholtz, an associate superintendent at the department.

The 120-student school’s sponsor, or overseer, already has given it a Dec. 31 deadline to either find a new sponsor or close because of its financial problems. Ohio charter schools must have a sponsor to operate.....

As long as some politicians continue to receive huge amounts of campaign money from the owners of charter schools, nothing will be done. The owners will get a slap on the wrist, but be able to keep the state money they've collected. The school will be closed, and parents will need to scramble to find a new school for children. 

You can see all the report cards for schools in Ohio here.  In case you are interested, the report card for this school is available online at StateImpact Ohio:

Scholarts Preparatory and Career Center for ChildrenFranklinCo. 2010-11 Rating: F2009-11


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Facts vs. Republican Lies

* According to an article in the Youngstown Vindicator, Mark Munroe of the Mahoning County GOP, noted that "states with right-to-work laws have stronger economies than those without them."  Mr. Munroe must be trying to make us leave Ohio for those fun, happy, right to work states.

 The Republican Party uses the following right to work states as examples of economic growth. Next to these popular examples used in Republican talking points, are their latest unemployment rates, as provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

Alabama 8.1%    Arizona  8.1%    Arkansas 7.2%    Florida  8.5%     Georgia  8.7%

Indiana  8.0%     Mississippi  8.9%     North Carolina  9.3%      South Carolina  8.6%

 Which of these 'right to work' states looks economically attractive for a family of four? I'll write more on this later.

*  President Obama is holding strong against the Republicans and their desire to protect the rich. The White House has listed the spending cuts already made by President Obama here.

The next time your Republican co-worker or brother-in-law go off on saying that President Obama has been spending too much, you should put this chart in his face---

(from and Congressional Budget Office (CBO), nonpartisan analysis for the U.S. Congress Office of Management and Budget (OMB) MarketWatch, The Wall
 Street Journal:)

Spending chart

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Right To Work Laws Hurt Families

Michigan has created a huge mess with their elected Republicans passing right to work laws.  Americans for Prosperity and other moneyed interests have allegedly had some influence on the passage of this legislation.

Michigan joins other states, mostly in the south and west, that have passed these right to work laws. Here is a comparison of similar jobs and wages in Ohio and Mississippi (right to work state):

Source: Mississippi State Personnel Board
  Mississippi: Licensed Practical Nurse = $26,294 - $28,051 ($12.64 - $13.48/hr)

Source:  Ohio Hiring Management System.
      Ohio: Licensed Practical Nurse = $19.06 - $23.87/hr ($39,561 - $49,649)

You can explore the jobs sites for both states at the links above.  Now that these right wing groups have been successful in Michigan, they'll try other states, like Ohio. No matter what Kasich says, don't believe him. Republicans dislike unions, especially since they usually support Democratic candidates.  Kasich tried to make changes in Ohio with SB 5
(Issue 2), and one never knows what he'd do in the future.  Why would anyone vote for him in the first place, let alone a second time?

Kasich's Prospects for Re-Election

There are some very interesting numbers in a poll posted at the CincinnatiEnquirer:

A Quinnipiac poll  out this morning shows Gov. John Kasich getting a “thumbs-up” from Ohio registered voters – but still facing a tough 2014 re-election.

Ohioans approve of the job he’s doing, 42 percent to 35 percent.  But the numbers pretty much flip when Ohio voters are asked if Kasich should be re-elected: 43 percent say no, 36 percent say yes....

....Interestingly, 41 percent of Republicans say they’d like to see a Republican challenge Kasich in a primary.  See our poll on that below – and feel free to offer names in the comments....

The online poll at the article's website has a list of suggested Republicans to run against Kasich in a primary. At this moment, the unscientific poll has Josh Mandel in the lead. Ha! Ha! Ha! ROFLOL!

*  Here is a fact that might play into Kasich's re-election:  President Obama won Ohio by 166,214 votes, and carried the most populated counties (Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Franklin, Hamilton, Lucas, Mahoning, Montgomery, Summit) by wide margins (OH Sec of State: 2012 Ohio Official Election Results).

> In related news about Gov. Kasich and his budget------

Up to four state prisons and a prison camp could be closed if cuts in the upcoming state budget hit 10 percent, Ohio’s prison director has told the governor.

In an Oct. 1 budget assessment sent to Republican Gov. John Kasich’s budget director, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Director Gary Mohr said the number of facilities — including three large facilities and one housing a special population — to be closed will depend on how deep the budget cuts turn out to be.....

I wonder what Kasich and Gary Mohr plan to do with all those inmates. Would Kasich  release the inmates or send them to those corporately owned prisons in the state
 *     *    *
>>  Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine seems to love all the TV cameras, microphones, and newspaper people that show up at his frequent press announcements. How does he have so much time to have media events?  His proposals might be sensible, but Gov. Kasich has cut funding to schools, food banks, cities/counties/villages, Medicaid, nursing homes, roads, parks, and agriculture. Mike DeWine really likes being the center of attention, which is something he never had in the Senate. DeWine spent most of his time in the Senate following orders from George W. Bush.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Hiring Out of Ohio?

Gov. John Kasich seemed surprised at recent news that companies doing drilling in Ohio were hiring people from out of state for jobs in Ohio.  Innovation Ohio had warned Kasich that this could happen.


...Nearly a year ago, Innovation Ohio warned the policy makers about this prospect. We urged Governor Kasich and lawmakers to introduce “Hire Ohio” incentives that could create financial incentives such as reduced tax rates for companies meeting a goal of hiring a specific percentage of their workforce from Ohio. While there are a variety of policy approaches to achieve this goal, Ohio failed to exercised its considerable leverage when Ohio’s fracking oversight laws were modified earlier this year. The Governor included no Hire Ohio policy in the bill, and when presented with an amendment to require 50 percent of workers to be residents of Ohio, GOP lawmakers set the measure aside.

It’s unclear whether Kasich’s recent comments are a precursor to action or if he was merely grandstanding in his ongoing fight with the industry over severance taxes. But if the Governor is seriously concerned about the prospects of Ohio workers, we recommend that he ask the legislature to immediately pass Hire Ohio legislation that creates incentives for companies seeking to extract Ohio’s natural resources to do it with a labor force made up largely of Ohioans.

John Kasich would never, ever take advice from a Democratic think tank.  It is evident that some of these companies are taking advantage of the fact that hiring requirements were not included in the legislation. What a disaster! While these companies have gotten every deal, they are pulling in applicants from out of our state.

I did a quick search at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette jobs page and found that there are companies recruiting through that paper's website for oil and gas jobs in Ohio. The Indianapolis Star has job postings for Chesapeake Energy, Hess Corp., and others. also has job openings listed for oil, gas in Ohio.  It is hard to believe that these companies have jobs but are not recruiting within Ohio. Is it possible that Kasich and his administration have been totally ineffective in helping employers find Ohio employees?  Something isn't right and the blame should fall squarely on the governor and these corporations for not adequately addressing Ohio's thousands of unemployed citizens.


Well, well, well. It looks like some organizations just can't stop attacking teachers.
Indianapolis Star:

After two years of labor battles that roiled the Indiana Statehouse, lawmakers are gearing up for a new fight, this time over paycheck deduction of union dues.
Leading the fight: The Indiana Chamber of Commerce.
The chamber's chief target: The Indiana State Teachers Association.
The state's largest business group wants to bar teachers' unions from having members' dues deducted from their paychecks, and has made it one of its top priorities for the legislative session that begins in January.....

The big, bad, Indiana Chambers of Commerce is going after teachers.  Somehow this doesn't look like a fair fight, especially since a majority of teachers are female.

Friday, December 07, 2012

What he said.....

I agree with Sen. Bernie Sanders---


Bernie is right. Republicans are wrong.

In the Hot Seat?

* Which Ohio elected official has been the subject of rumors, and accusations?
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted has become part of the political rumor mill.


Ohio's elections chief has squelched rumors he might be preparing to challenge Gov. John Kasich in a Republican primary two years from now.

Secretary of State Jon Husted told reporters Thursday that if he runs for anything in 2014 it would be for re-election to his current job, where he oversees business filings and elections in the battleground state.....

Yeah, right. We all know that Husted is a very ambitious politician that has big plan for his future. It was no surprise that Plunderbund published a post on November 29th that mentioned Husted's plans.


In the middle of a very good New York Review of Books article about the 2012 elections I discovered this very interesting sentence:
My own selection for pin-up boy of the vote-suppressing camp of 2012 is Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, a baby-faced forty-five-year-old who has ambitions to run for governor in 2014.

Really. You wonder how these rumors about Husted get started, unless there is some basis for it.

Jon Husted's role as Ohio Secretary of State has been that of a person that has tried to make it as difficult as possible for Ohioans to vote. There have been many news articles (see below for sample links) that have accused Husted of making it hard to vote, prove one's right to vote, and appealing to courts to allow his restrictive rules to be enforced.

Here are a few links about Husted's election interference-----

Think Progress:
....Husted is now facing accusations that he is illegally tossing provisional ballots.....

Cincinnati Herald:
...House and Senate Democrats joined together Nov. 5 to demand that Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted comply with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and stop rejecting provisional and absentee ballots because of minor paperwork mistakes...

Cleveland Leader:
Ohio's Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted is so determined to restrict early voting as much as possible, that despite two federal courts ruling that the Ohio GOP's effort to restrict early voting opportunities must not go into effect, he's taking action once again to reduce opportunities for Ohioans to cast their ballots ahead of the November 6 election....

Toledo Blade:
A number of Toledo area elected Democrats today lambasted Secretary of State Jon Husted’s decision to put all 88 Ohio counties on the same early voting election schedule — cutting the times people can vote early compared to four years ago.

State Sen. Edna Brown (D., Toledo), led a morning news conference calling for longer hours while she criticized the limited early voting hours under Mr. Husted’s directive....

 .....Jon Husted hasn't been merely a clumsy partisan (see: Harris, Katherine), and he hasn't simply been a bureaucratic weasel, although he undeniably has been one of those. He has actively, publicly defied the courts, over and over again. Purely out of partisan spite, Husted is draining of public credibility whatever the official result of the election in Ohio turns out to be. This isn't partisan vandalism. It's partisan arson. The electoral process cannot stand much more of this. It's time for a judge to bring this guy to heel.

Jon Husted might see something in Kasich that makes him appear weak in a re-election bid.  As Secretary of State, Husted is the most powerful person in the state because he controls elections, ballots, voting machines, etc.  As a candidate for governor, Husted could find major opposition from Independent and Democratic voters, as well as women, minorities, and young people who were hassled as they tried to vote.

David Brennan of White Hat Management, the charter school group, has contributed huge sums of campaign contributions to Husted's previous political campaigns. With Husted so beholden to the owner of the largest charter school company in Ohio, you wonder how he'd repay that financial support.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Cuts to disabled veterans?

The Republicans in the House of Representatives want to preserve those massive tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. What programs would be cut? On his radio program today, Ed Schultz interviewed Sen. Bernie Sanders, who provided some details about the Republican plan.  The Republican budget cuts would be in Social Security, Medicare, education, and other important programs including reductions in money provided to our disabled military veterans. Social Security recipients could have their funds slashed by several hundred dollars per year. These are absolutely disgusting proposals that demonstrate the disrespect the GOP has for everyone, except their moneyed friends.

•   •   •

>>> In case you missed it---- Soledad O'Brien had another interesting discussion with a Republican.


The newly-named chair of the House Financial Services committee defended Republican resistance to tax cuts on the middle class in part by misrepresenting this year’s presidential election results to CNN host Soledad O’Brien.

“The President won 51-49. He’s got an electoral college victory,” said Rep. Jeb Harnseling (R-TX), both neglecting the fact that President Barack Obama’s actual popular vote victory margin was three points and ignoring Obama’s 126-vote electoral college defeat of Republican Mitt Romney. “It’s good enough to get him to be re-elected but it’s not good enough to give him a mandate.”

Republican Rep. Jeb Hensarling (TX-5th) needs to check the numbers from the election, or maybe we should all remind him. President Obama won 52% of the popular vote and Romney got 47%.  In the Electoral College, President Obama won 336, while Romney received 206. This was a bigger "mandate" than George W. Bush had over John Kerry in 2004. 

Let Jeb Hensarling hear from us so that he has the right numbers and he stops spreading lies.  Here is his contact page:

*** For those Republicans that believe that Acorn fixed the election for Obama to win----
1. Acorn has not been in business for several years.
2. A majority of Americans voted for President Obama.
3. People who believe Acorn still exists need to stop watching Fox News and deal with reality---- not political propaganda.   

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Rob Portman Voted Against Treaty for Disabled

* A majority of Republicans in the U.S. Senate voted against a treaty today that has been previously approved by 126 countries.  Which Republican Senators voted against "the Rights of Persons with Disabilities" treaty?  See below-----

U.S. Senate:

...Treaty Number Doc. 112-7

Treaty Title:  The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 13, 2006, and signed by the United States of America on June 30, 2009 (the "Convention")....

NAYs ---38
Alexander (R-TN)
Blunt (R-MO)
Boozman (R-AR)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coats (R-IN)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Enzi (R-WY)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hatch (R-UT)
Heller (R-NV)
Hoeven (R-ND)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johanns (R-NE)
Johnson (R-WI)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Lee (R-UT)
McConnell (R-KY)
Moran (R-KS)
Paul (R-KY)
Portman (R-OH)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Rubio (R-FL)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Thune (R-SD)
Toomey (R-PA)
Vitter (R-LA)
Wicker (R-MS)

Attention Ohio voters!  Rob Portman voted against the treaty. Shameful.

*   *   *   *   *

One more thing you should know about is from Steve Benen of the Rachel Maddow Show.  Here is the counter offer John Boehner made to the President's proposal to avoid the fiscal cliff. The following text and graphic are from the famous Maddowblog

House Republican leaders presented a debt-reduction "plan" to the White House yesterday, which GOP officials insist is a "serious" offer. To help underscore why it's so very difficult to take the Republican proposal seriously, I put together this image, showing what each side would get as part of this attempt at "compromise."
If you're thinking this looks a little tilted in one direction, and that no sane person could characterize this as a balanced attempt to reach a bipartisan agreement, we're on the same page.....

Republicans are willing to sacrifice the entire country's economy to give millionaires and billionaires tax breaks!

Stivers Heading Back to Familiar Territory

> The old saying, "You can never go home again," does not apparently apply to Republican Rep. Steve Stivers, a former bank lobbyist. 

Lancaster Gazette:

Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Upper Arlington, said it will be important to have an office when takes his seat Jan. 3 in the newly-drawn 15th Congressional District.

But instead of occupying the outgoing Rep. Steve Austria’s (R-Beavercreek) office at 207 S. Broad St., he will move into the nearby Chase bank building at 123 S. Broad St., Suite 235. The move is contingent upon the federal General Service Administration approving the lease agreement, which still is in negotiations....

Although the Chase building is not the same building he worked in as a bank lobbyist, Stivers has been the recipient of campaign contributions PACs/employees from Bankpac, JP Morgan Chase, and others associated with banks. This just shows that Stivers knows that making nice with bankers is something he likes to do. It is no coincidence that Stivers serves on the banking committee in the House. I just wonder if it is really ethical to rent an office in a building owned/maintained by one of your contributors. 

* Do you remember Gov. Kasich's prediction about how Ohio would benefit from fracking?  City Beat can prove that Kasich was wrong.

City Beat:

Ohio’s fracking boom might not be living up to the hype. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources originally estimated that 250 fracking wells would be built by the end of the year, but only 165 have been completed and 22 are currently being built. The disappointing results are being blamed on low natural gas prices and a backlog in work needed to connect wells to customers. Maybe the state’s claim had as much basis as Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s claim that the state’s fracking boom would be worth $1 trillion....

Wait!  There is one more thing from City Beat that will delight the state's Democrats.

...It’s commonly said Cincinnati is Republican territory, but after the latest elections, that’s looking more and more false.... 


> Is Gov. Kasich losing more support from Ohio farmers?  It appears that Kasich has angered the state's farmers---- yet again.


Marc Kovac reports in the Vindicator that the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, as predicted, has voted to oppose Kasich’s severance tax hike on drillers to fund a state income tax cut.

Similar to our position, the group thinks that “any increase in the severance tax should be used to address local government funding, pay for infrastructure needs and economic development, and mitigate negative impacts of oil and gas drilling on communities and the environment.”

The typically-Republican leaning organization also voted to maintain their position against Kasich’s plan to lease the Ohio Turnpike....

The Ohio Farm Bureau usually operates as cheerleader for Republicans, but apparently they've started to question Kasich's moves.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

In the news.....

* The Republicans have yet to respond to the President's offer on the budget. The President provided a good plan that is supported by the American people. Republicans, however, just cannot give up their freebies for their millionaires and billionaires.  The Republicans would rather patronize, favor, and provide for their rich donors which represent just 2% of the American people, than demonstrate any interest in the lives of 98% of Americans. The old white guys in leadership positions in the Republican Party just cannot give up on the rich.  They're addicted to the large financial donations they receive from the rich.  Boehner and the GOP are blinded by their own avarice and arrogance.

President Obama is asking Americans to contact your member of the House of Representatives and tell them to support the President's plan to raise taxes on the wealthy. You can find your contact info for your Representative here:              

>>> Ohioans are still waiting for Gov. Kasich's decision about the Ohio Turnpike. An article in the PlainDealer explains some of the options. No matter what happens with the selling/leasing of the Ohio Turnpike, tolls are due to go up the first of the year.  This type of shell game by Republicans is very typical. Kasich and the GOP may lower taxes, cut funds to cities/counties, school districts, and higher education, but fees/tolls increase, and school boards have to put school levies on the ballot. Kasich and his party may claim that they've lowered your taxes, but in the end they are forcing you to put out your money just the same.

••• If you plan to go to the Columbus Zoo to see the lights, be aware that traffic has been a huge, huge mess. Go early and try to avoid the slow moving traffic on Sawmill and Riverside Drive.

-  The Kennedy Center honors were handed out tonight, Sunday, but the actual broadcast won't occur until December 26th.
LA Times:     

...The annual celebration of the performing arts brings out a mix of Washington wonks and Hollywood types. Many started their night at a reception at the White House, including Alec Baldwin, Jack Black, musician Lenny Kravitz, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

The honorees are just as eclectic a group: Hoffman, Letterman, guitarist Buddy Guy, ballerina Natalia Makarova and British rockers Led Zeppelin. Though Zeppelin is being recognized as a group, each of its living members — John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant — earned Kennedy Center Honors.

In his remarks at White House, Obama joked that the group of performers had "no business being on the same stage together."

It should be an interesting program.