Ha ha. Just kidding. He came in 8th last night in Iowa with just under 2% of the vote, tying with Snarly Liarina to pick up one — count ’em, ONE — delegate.
Well, the mighty New York Times came out with its presidential primary endorsements.
On the Democratic side, they endorsed Hillary Clinton, despite a long crusade against her that involved three stories they were forced to retract for containing lies and a non-stop vendetta from columnist Maureen Dowd. I guess in the end, her qualifications were just too strong.
On the Republican side, they endorsed New Hampshire ... I mean, OHIO ... governor John Kasich. I guess in the end, The Crazy was just too strong in the GOP field. They spent the first five paragraphs talking about how awful the GOP field is. Can't argue there.
But they really had to tie themselves in knots to find stuff to praise. They did concede he's "no moderate." But they falsely claim "he has been capable of compromise and believes in the ability of government to improve lives." Then they say a lot of stuff about what he TALKS about saying "He speaks of government’s duty to protect the poor, the mentally ill and others 'in the shadows.'"
What they didn't say is it's all talk. They flog the old saw about his Medicaid expansion of course. In fact, that is the only concrete thing they point to. They end by saying
“I am so tired of my colleagues out here on the stage spending all their time talking about Barack Obama,” he told a town hall crowd in New Hampshire. “His term is over.” Mr. Kasich said recently that he had “raised the bar in this election. I’ve talked about hope and the future and positive things.” In this race, how rare that is.
Planned Parenthood: Good News, Bad News
Planned Parenthood got some good news out of Texas, of all places, earlier this week. A grand jury there declined to press charges against the group on trumped-up accusations based on a doctored film that the group “sells baby parts.” Never mind that what that charge was flimsily based on — in some states the group provides tissue from abortions for medical research for reimbursement costs — doesn’t occur in Texas.
In a stunning and unexpected move however, they DID indict the dishonest, lying producers of the film. That was well deserved. Sadly, since the main goal of the film seemed to be to provide a talking point for rightwing politicians to use in the their crusade to oppress women and deprive them of their freedom, Republican presidential candidates have doubled down, with supposed “moderate” candidates like Rubio echoing the debunked talking point, saying how sad it was that Planned Parenthood could get away with “selling baby parts.”
"We'll need to learn more, but I'm disturbed that while Planned Parenthood, who are the ones that were actually selling off these parts were found having done nothing wrong, the people who tried to expose them are the ones that are now facing criminal charges," this clown said.
Yeah, you need to “learn more” alright, but since the truth is out there and in your face, apparently you are impervious to learning.
And of course, there’s Snarly Liarina, who’s kind of a non-issue, but she just won’t let go of this bone.
"Here's what I know: Planned Parenthood has been trafficking in body parts. Planned Parenthood has been altering late-term abortion techniques to this specific purpose of harvesting body parts," she said.
Every word of that is a lie, and that last sentence has embellished her previous lies. It’s a brand-new lie. Luckily, Liarina will be disappearing from the public screen very soon.
This is still true.
Josh "The Empty Suit" Mandel has been laying low lately. Oh, every once in a while I get an email from his office touting some wonderful thing he (read: his staff) has done to make the state treasurer's office more efficient.
Now the Columbus Dispatch is reporting that he revving up for another challenge against Sherrod Brown in 2018.
"Opening these committees gives Ohioans an opportunity to support my style of leadership. It does not force me to make a decision anytime soon on what I'm going to do next," he told the dispatch, laughable describing his style as "high integrity, direct, and open to listening to taxpayers of all walks of life."
No, Josh — once a sleaze, always a sleaze.
According to the Dispatch,
Mandel's campaign reactivated his senatorial campaign Friday in a filing with the Federal Election Commission. The federal paperwork showed Mandel set up two political action committees to raise funds for a potential bid: Justice Opportunity Strength Honor, which is JOSHPAC, and another organization called Team Josh.
This is one more, powerful reason why the Ohio Democratic Party needs to hone its chops and get its shit in order for 2018. We NEED to elect a Democratic governor to start to undo the damage Taxin' John Kasich has done to our economy. We need to elect a Democratic secretary of state to protect our election process. We need to election both in order to take control of the congressional redistricting process in 2020 and balance the districts fairly.
You may have heard that last week on the campaign trail in New Hampshire (where else?!), John Kasich put forth the idea that it was perfectly OK that the U.S. continues to be the only developed country in the entire world that does not guarantee paid maternity leave.
He said all we need to do is “give them the flexibility to be able to work at home online.”
Check out this excellent column today from Connie Schultz about this:
Kasich’s telecommuting suggestion would work so well for nurses, teachers, police officers, factory workers, doctors, waitresses, cashiers, baristas — you know, any woman in a job that involves something other than tapping the keys on a laptop. Did he even hear himself? I wonder that. A lot.
About those mothers who, in Kasich’s mind, could work from home: What fun for bone-tired mothers caring for newborns whose idea of sleep is a brief flutter of eyelids between feedings. Has this man never spent a day with a newborn?
I’m guessing the answer to both her questions is “no.” Kasich doesn’t listen to himself and he’d probably consider caring for a newborn beneath him, given the condescending remarks he has made about women in the past, one of which Connie pointed out:
You know, Jane Portman, Karen Kasich and Janna Ryan, they operate an awful lot of the time in the shadows. It’s not easy to be a spouse of an elected official. You know, they’re at home, doing the laundry and doing so many things, while we’re up here on the stage getting a little bit of applause, right?”
Hide your head in shame, Ohio!
It’s a tradition for Congresspeople and Senators as well as the president to invite special guests to the annual State of the Union address, often for political emphasis. For instance, we learned several days ago that one of the Obamas’ guests would be Cincinnati’s Jim Obergefell, the lead plaintiff in the case that brought marriage equality to the whole country. Obama is also leaving an empty chair for victims of gun violence to highlight the importance of sane gun regulations.
Today we heard that Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis, the Christian-posturing piece of excrement who got national publicity and a jail sentence when she refused to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples, was invited — by someone.
This brave opponent of human rights was not named. Now we have learned who it is and sadly, he is from Ohio.
Of COURSE it is Jim Jordan (OH-04). Of course. But he’s got an alibi:
“Congressman unaware he invited Kim Davis to SOTU”
Jordan, who is the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, had denied inviting anyone to the speech earlier on Tuesday, and then reversed himself, saying he had just been told by his staff.
"Kim Davis used our ticket. Our staff heard from the Family Research Council that Ms. Davis and her family hoped to attend the State of the Union address and so we offered a ticket," Jordan said in a statement obtained by The Hill.
Hetold Huffington Post, “I found out today. And I'm being totally honest with you: That's -- Family Research Council asked us, her family wanted a ticket, and we said 'OK.'”
Well, isn’t this special?
Happy New Year, everyone! We're about to make you so glad John Kasich is our governor — NOT. Yeah, he's still missing in action reportedly last seen in a small town in New Hampshire.
But he’s left behind a nice parting gift for Ohioans:
“Ohio Schools Slide in National Rankings: Achievement gap widens between rich and poor students”
Our miraculous governor is working more miracles!
Six years after ranking fifth in the nation, Ohio’s education system has tumbled to 23rd among the 50 states and District of Columbia, according to a national report card released on Wednesday.
Hmmm…. Let me think. Who was governor six years ago? Oh yeah, that alleged “failure” Ted Strickland.
And Kasich’s education “policies” keep growing more and more poisoned fruit: it’s down from 18 last year in the annual Quality Counts report from Education Week. And Ohio ranked 43rd in the gap between affluent and poor students, not a good place to be considering the increase in child poverty and the decline in the middle class since Kasich took over as governor. According to the Columbus Dispatch article linked above, Ohio’s child-poverty rate rose to 23 percent last year from 18 percent in 2008, meaning almost one Ohio child in four lives in an impoverished household.
Heckuva job, Johnny!
Now let’s take another look at Ted Strickland’s “failure” of an administration, which, you may recall, was challenged by the Bush economic collapse of 2008. Says the Dispatch,
For four years, from 2008 to ’11, Ohio earned Bs and ranked among the top 10 school systems in the nation.
So, in ALL the years impacted by Strickland’s budget and policies, Ohio schools ranked in the top 10. DESPITE the national economic malaise. Hmmmm ….
Mike DeWine practically ruined my lunch today.
I got together with an old friend at a Chinese restaurant we both love here in Cleveland. We periodically meet to talk about family, old friends, what we’re up to now and what’s going on in the world (Luckily we are both on the left side of things so we commiserated about Trump a lot).
Our food hadn’t arrived yet when he said to me, “Apparently, someone found fetal remains in a dumpster outside a Planned Parenthood clinic in Dayton.”
Immediately, my bullshit detector went up — TOO convenient — and I said, “Where did you hear that? Who is claiming that?”
He pulled up the story on his phone and I read the first half dozen words and that was all. “According to the Ohio attorney general’s office …”
I almost said “Screw lunch” and jumped in my car to drive to Columbus and slap some sense into DeWine.
From day one, Mike DeWine has tainted the AG office by turning it into a slush fund to promote his own ideology and religious beliefs, traveling around the country organizing other AGs to put contraception out of reach of many women (Hobby Lobby) or to block same-sex couples from having their marriages recognized (Obergefell). He's also worked to try to limit voter rights. He takes money from Ohio’s citizens and uses it to try to strip rights from those very citizens.
So now Mike Dewine is using his office to “investigate” Planned Parenthood, despite the fact that the recent charges that triggered the phony outrage on the right and congressional “hearings” are a partisan witch hunt, driven by a doctored video that has been exposed repeatedly as a lie. And he is doing this even now that we have seen vividly how these lies are driving terrorism — more clearly, directly and predictably than any Muslim terrorist group.
Yeah, I know. Some of you were all excited when Bernie Sanders came to town a couple of weeks ago. Rah rah rah. That's small potatoes compared to this:
Karl Rove Comes To Cleveland!
December 12 @ 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Meet Karl Rove – author, columnist, and political kingmaker!
(The exclamation marks are in the press release; I did not add them).
Log on and grab those tickets now — this is an opportunity you don't want to miss.
Karl Rove, bestselling author of Courage and Consequence and visionary behind the Republican Party’s last two presidential victories, has written a historical book with important lessons that can be applied to today’s political environment. The Triumph of William McKinley: Why the Election of 1896 Still Matters (on sale November 24, 2015) will be published one year before the next presidential election, coinciding with the beginning of the primary season in which over a dozen candidates are vying for the Republican nomination.
Poor Karl! It must be hard to grab any media attention anymore given this field of candidates that apparently will say just about anything to be center of the debate.
On December 12th at 11am at the Cleveland History Center, Rove will discuss his research behind the book, some of which was conducted in the Research Library, and share insights into the birth of the modern campaign.
Well, that should be worth the price of admission! ($35) Maybe he can share his insights into those votes coming in from Cuyahoga County that he said were going to put Mitt Romney over the top in Ohio, just as they were calling Ohio for Obama on the other side of the split screen. I'd love to hear his thoughts on that!
I enjoyed some of the quotes in the bio provided, especially this one:
In my last post, I talked about how the legislature has now passed a bill to defund Planned Parenthood — a major source of reproductive health care for the non-affluent — in Ohio.
Those of you active in women’s rights groups and on their mailing lists will likely now be hit with a spate of emails urging you to contact Governor Kasich to ask that he veto it.
Don’t waste your time. I mean, did you really fall for that “Roe is the law of the land and we have to obey the law” garbage he spewed a month or two ago to try to make himself seem passably “moderate” on the presidential campaign trail? You didn’t get the unspoken part about “And I’ll make sure that changes if I’m elected president”?
For years, Kasich has been playing a game where the legislature passes onerous and pointless anti-choice measures and Kasich scrawls him signature on them without comment beyond, when pressed, “I’m pro-life.” (He hasn’t demonstrated that to any degree!)
His game has been exposed in this Associated Press (AP) story:
“Gov. John Kasich’s aides helped craft abortion restrictions”
Gee, now THERE’S a surprise. You mean all along, Kasich was driving these restrictions on women’s freedom and attempts to close clinics by hamstringing them with pointless rules?
Believing state legislators were solely responsible for abortion restrictions added to the 2013 budget bill, activists and editorialists across Ohio called on Gov. John Kasich to veto the provisions. What they didn’t know at the time was that Kasich’s office had a hand in developing some of the language.
Yeah, knock me over with a feather. While I appreciated the passion of some of these activists, I knew that picking up the phone or clicking “send” to exhort the governor to counteract this hatred for women was a waste of time.
This week the Ohio House of Representatives voted to defund Planned Parenthood, joining the Ohio Senate, which did so back in late October.
Grandstanding about abortion, which receives no tax dollars, the misogynists in our state legislature displayed either their hypocrisy or their ignorance in doing so, since the defunding vote was part of a current wave of such measures driven by a dishonestly edited video fabricated by a rightwing anti-choice group and long since debunked.
While these legislators try to paper over their contempt for women by insisting there are other options for women to receive reproductive health care, in fact, such options are limited and in many areas lacking. Planned Parenthood has established its name, reputation and trust factor for over a century; many women would not know where else to go. And as those who are more informed and intelligent than many legislators know, Planned Parenthood’s contraceptive services prevent many more abortions than all the religious freaks screaming at women outside clinics combined.
The Republicans in the House exposed that their objections have nothing to do with a heartfelt concern for “unborn children’ and everything to do with imposing their religious beliefs about the evil of women’s sexuality on everyone when they voted down amendments proposed by Democratic legislators to fund comprehensive sex education (which actually DOES prevent abortions) and to bar tax money from going to religiously motivated “crisis pregnancy” centers which lie to women and try to bully them into carry unwanted babies to term.
One of the most disgusting of many disgusting aspects about this effort is that one of the main drivers of it — a lead sponsor of the bill — is Cleveland “Democrat” Bill Patmon. Patmon is not a stupid man. In pushing this effort he is doing something deliberately dishonest and intentionally harming women, especially poor women like those who live in his district.
I’ll bet some of you out there felt like you couldn’t be any more disgusted with the mean-spiritedness, wrong-headedness and sheer duplicity of Taxin’ John Kasich. I think you would be wrong.
As part of the Republican frenzy to exploit the tragic murders in Paris to stir up fear and hatred of “the other,” Kasich has come up with one of the worst ideas yet proposed by a GOP presidential candidate — and that is really saying something!
“Kasich Proposes New Government Agency To Promote Judeo-Christian Values”
Yes, rub your eyes and read that again. John Kasich is proposing that our tax dollars be used to put our government in the missionary business (and does anyone else feel like “Judeo” is just inserted as a “cover your ass” measure to make it harder to paint this as a measure to promote a certain type of Christianity?)
Look at what this ignorant clown is proposing:
As part of a broad national security plan to defeat ISIS, Republican Presidential candidate John Kasich proposed creating a new government agency to push Judeo-Christian values around the world.
The new agency, which he hasn't yet named, would promote a Jewish- and Christian-based belief system to four regions of the world: China, Iran, Russia and the Middle East.
Gee, do you think that might be viewed as colonialist, paternalistic, condescending and offensive? Rather than defeating groups like ISIS, it would give them a target to point to in order to strengthen their argument. Oh, and as a bonus, it’s likely to be ruled unconstitutional.
In a startling move, former state senator and 2014 Ohio secretary of state candidate Nina Turner has revoked her endorsement of Hillary Clinton and announced she is supporting Bernie Sanders. This comes after the Clintons — particularly Bill —supported her campaign last year for SoS.
Given her track record, Sanders doesn’t feel like a natural candidate for Turner, who, when she breaks with the Democratic Party, breaks to the right. Many remember when the Republican-led Issue 6, a county charter written in secrecy with the likely goal of increasing Republican influence in Ohio’s most Democratic county, was on the 2009 ballot and Turner was one of a handful of Democrats — and virtually the only black Democrat — publicly supporting it. That gave its supporters the opportunity to claim it was a bipartisan measure when it wasn’t really.
In late 2011, Turner announced she was going to challenge sitting Congresswoman Marcia Fudge in the 2012 primary. It was hard to see why, other than personality issues. Fudge is a quietly effective progressive, who was then chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, giving her district a lot of power and prominence. Turner is an outspoken firebrand. But to differentiate herself she would have had to show Fudge was ineffective — not true — or run to her right. There just isn’t any room to run to Fudge’s left. And given that this is Ohio’s most Democratic district that would have been a poor trade.
Of course, the Plain Dealer suggested that Turner’s campaign could “remind voters that she supported Cuyahoga County reform over the strenuous objections of Fudge and the party Old Guard.” That might have impressed the Plain Dealer, which served as a de facto campaign arm of the “reform” (Issue 6) campaign, but it would have been unlikely to impress voters.
The Real Kasich Comes Out
Some of us have been saying for a while that the excitement among some pundits about John Kasich — that the Republican Party had thankfully found its sane “moderate” who talked real policies instead of mean-spirited nonsense — was going to die once the real John Kasich began to emerge.
That Kasich has emerged in all his full-blown glory.
Of course, he has been oozing out for several months, whether it’s making a condescending remark to a young woman who raises her hand to ask him a question (Instead of responding, “What’s your question?” he goes “No, I don’t have any Taylor Swift tickets”) to telling a man who was concerned about his plan to cut Social Security benefits that he would “get over it.” America is having an opportunity to see the arrogant, rude bully Ohioans know so well.
Or at least some of us do. Alas, polls have shown his approval ratings to be high, including — unfathomably — among Democrats and he did win reelection in a landslide last year, as he likes to point out. But there were many factors involved in that besides his sheer wonderfulness or his (nonexistent) success as governor. And one of them was staying out of public view so that people had no chance to get an earful of the real Kasich. Debates could have exposed him so he refused to do any. Infamously, his one major public appearance — before the editorial board of the Cleveland Plain Dealer — was such a disaster that the paper took the video offline so the public could not see what a blundering, petulant ass he was. Ever since it’s been debated whether it was at the candidate’s campaign’s request. I lean toward yes.
Today, with much fanfare, Kasich, who is spending big bucks but losing ground in his must-win state of New Hampshire, rolled out his policy plan on the economy.
How do big tax cuts for the wealthy and not much for anyone else grab you?
Oh, you're saying that's an old story here in Ohio? Yup. In fact, the entire thing sounds like the way he was run Ohio into a ditch and spent it into a hole with a gigantic budgets paid for by working people, and stealing from local governments and public schools.
He's still pushing that fantasy "balance the federal budget" thing which has never been done in U.S. history and cannot be done without destroying the American economy. And it sure won't be done by a a spending addict like John Kasich.
The reaction to Kasich's plan probably isn't going to do much to turn his flailing numbers around, The Democratic National Committee did a such great job of collecting the responses, I'm just going to post their email. Enjoy! The Kasich campaign is probably having collective heartburn. Think about that and enjoy doubly!
AP: “This looks like a pretty big tax cut for the top end and a little bit at the bottom," said Robertson Williams, a senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. "There's not much going to the middle class."
NBC News: James Pethokoukis, an economic policy analyst at the conservative-center American Enterprise Institute, says Kasich's tax proposals won't necessarily set him apart from other Republican presidential candidates. "That is sort of what you've seen from the other plans: Christie, Bush, several others. In a way it is a very cookie cutter tax plan," he said, adding that losing revenue through the tax cuts could make it harder for Kasich to keep his first promise to keep the budget balanced.
How's that presidential campaign thing going, John Kasich? Not very well I heard.
The whole "credible moderate" thing is falling apart fast, and his pretty words of compassion are rapidly being revealed as lies he mouths for effect.
In yet another display of the real Kasich coming through, Kasich told an audience member at a meeting in his new home of New Hampshire that he would "get over" cuts to Social Security.
"We can't balance a budget without entitlement reform. What are we, kidding?" Kasich said when asked about his opponents who say they won't touch entitlements.
Kasich said he was part of the effort to reform Medicare and Medicaid in the '90s, and that he also had a plan to change Social Security so that initial benefits were lowered for individuals not yet near eligibility.
He asked audience members to raise their hands if they were far from receiving Social Security, asked them if they knew yet what their initial benefit would be and then asked them if they would be bothered if it were a little lower for the good of the country.
One person said it would be a problem.
"Well, you'd get over it, and you're going to have to get over it," Kasich joked.
Well, who knows if Kasich was really "joking" or if that's spin CNN added. But it's really not a joke to most of the country's seniors, 65% of whom get a majority of their income from Social Security. For 25% it is their ONLY income, and the average check is about $1300 a month. Currently, less than 10% of seniors are below the poverty line. Without Social Security, more than 40% would be.
And once again, women would be overwhelmingly negatively impacted after years of earning less, taking time out to have and/or raise children and having longer lifespans. It's another salvo in the war against women.
Some joke, Governor Kasich.
Young Cincinnati city council member PG Sittenfeld is running in the Democratic primary against former Governor Ted Strickland (you know — the one who did NOT leave Taxin' John Kasich a $6 billion deficit to fill). I haven't talked much about this race, other than what I wrote earlier this year about how ill-advised I thought it was for the Ohio Democratic Party to have endorsed Strickland at the beginning of the year, even before campaigning began.
Each candidate has his pluses and minuses, but there's one very big minus looming for Strickland, based on recent events: he is pro-gun. He was even endorsed by the NRA in 2010 in his first race against Kasich. (It did not endorse him in 2014, not because he had visibly changed positions but because the NRA had veered further into being a wacko conspiracy-minded group pushing a bunch of rightwing positions that don't relate to guns).
It's very hard for Strickland to comment with any credibility on shootings such as the mass shooting at the Oregon community college or the crossfire shootings of infants and toddlers in Cleveland (or the school van that was shot at in Cleveland this morning, thankfully with no casualties). It's something he's got to be silent on.
Sittenfeld on the other hand has come out swinging on the issue on the side of stronger gun control.
ON Saturday, he wrote
I initially wanted to send an email today to thank you for your generous support of our campaign as we ended the third quarter. And I am truly grateful for each and every person who keeps our campaign going strong with your contributions and volunteer time.
The news in New Hampshire was bad for Kasich on Saturday — and then it got worse.
On Saturday, the Boston Globe reported on John Kasich’s all-in New Hampshire campaign. As regular readers of this blog know, our governor has virtually moved his residence to New Hampshire and is spending lavishly to reach GOP voters in this important early primary state. My theory has long been that his goal was to finish second behind Trump and be there to be anointed by the GOP establishment when Trump floundered.
The Globe pointed out “The governor has assembled a high-profile team in New Hampshire, lead by former US senator John Sununu, for his state campaign. He most recently received endorsements from two other Granite State Republicans: former US senator Gordon Humphrey and former state government official Peter Thomson.”
But the paper reports that Kasich acknowledged, ““We’ve got about 128 days to go until the NH primary. We do well here, we’re moving on. We do terrible here, it’s over. No confusion about that. This is very, very important to us.”
Well, the fat lady may be heading for the stage. It seems like his carefully laid plan is going awry.
On Saturday October 3, the day the story was published, the Globe said “In the most recent poll of Granite State Republicans, Kasich tied for fourth place at 7 percent with former Florida governor Jeb Bush. That CNN/WMUR poll showed businessman Donald Trump, Dr. Ben Carson and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina in the lead.”
So despite all the spending, now he’s behind a whole pack of crazies.
But wait! That’s not the latest! New polling from New Hampshire came out the day after the Globe story was published (i.e. yesterday). And pity poor John Kasich (LOL)!
Trump still leads, followed by Fiorina. In the first good news he’s had in a while, Jeb! Bush is third. Rubio and Carson are tied for forth place. The scandal-tainted Chris Christie in sixth place. Finally, in 7th place, tied with Ted Cruz, there’s Kasich, dropping from 12% to 6%.
Apparently, New Hampshire voters have figured out — to know him is not to love him. But hey, we in Ohio could have already told them that.
Anyone remember when Jeb! (as he calls himself) Bush entered the Republican presidential primary to hosannas from the media that he was the “sensible” “grownup” in the field, whom his supporters promoted as a “competent” one with tons of real-life government experience that gave him an understanding of practical governance? The one who wasn’t going to go off the rails like most of his competition?
And remember when he entered the race with his shitload of money and everyone was going, “Oh, he’s going to clear the field”? He was, after all, the “smart Bush,” the one who SHOULD have run in 2000 rather than his hapless brother George.
When Jeb’s response to the shooting yesterday at an Oregon community college that left nine dead and twice that number injured was “Stuff happens” (no, really!), it was just the latest in a long line of blunders, gaffes and inadvertently revealing slips of the tongue. It’s as if Mitt Romney had a “47%” moment every week.
Was Jeb!’s comment taken out of context? You judge:
“I had this challenge as governor because we had — look, stuff happens. There’s always a crisis and the impulse is always to do something, and it’s not necessarily the right thing to do.”
Yes, “stuff happens,” when it does, over and over, your impulse is indeed to do something — after having a sincere discussion, not governed by large paychecks from the NRA, about what is the right thing to do.
Even leaving aside the fact that Jeb! has proved to be colorless and timid — that ! that he put after his name in his logo is strictly aspirational — is this man the most productive gaffe factory we’ve seen in politics in years or what?
One thing a more evenly balanced state legislature would do (please vote for Issue 1 this November 3 — more on that later) is end the constantly stream of attacks on women’s ability to make their own reproductive choices.
But some Democrat legislators, even though they are in a super-minority, aren’t waiting until then to take a strong, principled stand. Information from the 2014 Ohio Induced Abortion report suggests that more women are fleeing to Michigan to have abortions and that more women are delaying the procedure, most likely due obstacles put in their way. It showed that while abortions performed prior to nine weeks decreased, abortions performed between 9-18 weeks increased.
The Access Without Apology legislation features six bills that address different aspects of the obstacles put in the way of women seeking an abortion. They’re co-sponsored by 11 Democratic legislators who are champions for women’s rights, with a pair leading each initiative. They are Nickie Antonio, Janine Boyd, Nicholas Celebrezze, Kathleen Clyde, Teresa Fedor, Stephanie Howse, Greta Johnson, Michele Lepore-Hagan, Dan Ramos, Kent Smith and Em Sykes (Johnson co-sponsored two). These legislators introduced them yesterday will a rally on the steps of the Statehouse (see photo above).
Sure, they are going nowhere in this virulently anti-woman legislature. But they lay down the gauntlet for what ACTUAL “freedom” and “small government” should look like.
The Access Without Apology Measures would:
Poor John Kasich! In his desperation to be seen as the GOP’s “electable” presidential candidate, he’s swinging wildly between trying to sound like a reasonable “moderate” and re-emphasizing the fact that his policies and actions have generally been on the far right.
He even, laughably, tried to smooth over the fact that he has one of the worst anti-choice records of any governor in the country saying things like, “Roe v. Wade is the law of the land and we have to follow the law.” Of course he didn’t add that he would remedy that situation if he became president and got to appoint some Supreme Court justices.
The state legislature is shoving through an abominable bill that would ban an abortion if the fetus is found to have Down Syndrome. The bill is an invasive travesty, and a very selective one, in that it singles out only one potential genetic condition. It’s also difficult to enforce, given that it penalizes the doctor performing the abortion who may not even know why the woman has made that choice.
Now Kasich likes to keep his extreme anti-choice positions as quiet as possible. Despite quickly signing more than a dozen provisions that make it more and more difficult for a non-affluent woman to control her own reproduction, he likes to do so inconspicuously and without justifying what he’s doing.
That’s why it was a surprise to hear him come out and openly admit on CNN’s State of the Union last week that if the Down Syndrome bill is passed by the legislature he will sign it.
He said, in his usual shambling, disgressive manner, "I would sign it, yes. Look, I'm a governor. I'm a CEO. I have to have a hand steady on the wheel. But in this case, I'm more than glad to say that of course I would sign that.”
Today Congress wasted more of our tax dollars on another of its endless string of “investigations” of things that don’t need investigating. (Hey — how about investigating why we pay members of Congress $175,000 a year to work 132 days — the equivalent of 26 work weeks — and waste many of those days on ideologically driven dog-and-pony shows?)
This one related to the issue that seems to obsess many members of the Republican Party: women’s reproductive organs.
As I hope you’re aware, they’re threatening another damaging, economy-slowing government shutdown unless they can take away all federal funding from Planned Parenthood, a long-established, reputable and well-liked organization that provides a range of health care services to women — and men — who otherwise might not be able to afford them. It gives less affluent women some control over their reproduction. And that’s what has clearly outraged some members of Congress, such as Congressman Jason Chaffetz of Utah. He’s now chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Chaffetz and his anti-woman colleagues are waving the flag of abortion but that’s a red herring. Only a small percentage of what Planned Parenthood does is abortions; their main work, providing birth control, has surely prevented millions of abortions and the government gives them no money for abortion. The video on which this latest hissy-fit is based, purporting to show the group “selling” “baby parts” from aborted babies, has been exposed unequivocally as a lie. And over this lie, they’re committing extortion: punish millions of women by denying their access to reproductive health care or we will close the government and deliver a body blow to the economy.
Here's a shocker of a news story breaking this morning: John Boehner has announced he will leave Congress — and his post as its most powerful leader — effective in late October.
This is pretty bad news for the country and here's why.
Over the past several years, there have been failed coups from far right/Tea Party opposition, but in the end, when the vote was taken, the opposition turned out to be minimal. In recent days, however, there have been whispers that he is trapped in a no-win situation on the issue of shutting down the government and costing the country billions of dollars over defunding Planned Parenthood based on an egregious lie.
Boehner has been acting as a sort of firewall between sanity and the crazed far-right types who have become more numerous and more dangerous in Congress over the the last four-six years. But Boehner has proved extremely ineffective at getting them in line. Many of them have little investment in doing the right thing for the country and its people because they are in thrall to far-right ideology and to the big money and the handful of billionaire donors that have backed them since the Supreme Court's Citizens United (2010) and McCutcheon (2014) decisions poisoned our electoral process with floods of big money.
Who knows what this will lead to, but surely the far-right types will feel they have achieved a major victory — stamping out the last tiny shred of rationality in their party — and will be jockeying for power to make the House even more ineffective, non-productive and a roadblock to any accomplishments at all.
We’ve been so focused on Kasich’s play-acting as a “moderate” to try to win the GOP presidential nomination that we haven’t yet covered Ohio’s burgeoning charter school scandal which broke this summer.
It’s been covered in detail by our friends over at Plunderbund where Ohio’s best political reporter John Michael Spinelli interrupted his essential like-white-on-rice coverage of the phony Kasich to cover it, and education writer Greg Mild has been following it. Even some of the state dailies have done a decent job although they haven’t given it the saturation coverage of something really important such as Ed FitzGerald’s drivers license. After all, only the future of tens of thousands of kids and the misspending of hundreds of millions of tax dollars is at stake. So whatever.
But as more and more bad news comes out about Ohio charter schools (see previous post for the latest), I think it’s essential for everyone who has an outlet to talk about it as much as possible.
Despite the promise that they were going to give students in failing public schools a “choice” to attend better schools, the majority of Ohio’s charter schools are such an abomination they are a national laughingstock. The worst are the for-profit charters, run by bad actors (and big GOP campaign contributors, not incidental as we shall see) like David Brennan of the White Hat schools and William Lager of the ECOT schools. I call these schools “trash schools.” They are the worst in the state.
So what to do, what to do? Demand stronger oversight? Close them? Ban for-profit charters? Bar these operators from opening schools?
Ho ho. Nope. In order to maintain the fiction that charter schools should be allowed to siphon off tax dollars from local public schools, the state’s head of charter school oversight David Hansen simply THREW OUT some of the worst scores from the worst schools. But isn’t that illegal? Well, pretty much. But oh well.
Yet another statistic has exposed how corrupt and worthless Ohio's charter school system has become.
Last October, the Center for Media and Democracy gave us the report "Pay to Prey: Governors Facilitate The Predator Outsourcing of America's Public Services" with its section on how John Kasich is bought and paid for by for-profit charter school interests.
Now they've done it again. They've just published a list of the bloodsucking charter schools across the country that have taken taxpayer money and then closed, littering the landscape with failure, destroying educational continuity for hundreds of thousands of kids.
They list 2473 of these leeches, bleeding states of their futures. And I hope you are appalled and disgusted to learn that 425 of these failed schools were in Ohio. That's about 1/6th of the total — one out of every six failed charter schools in the U.S. Gee, doesn't that make you feel special as an Ohioan?
You can view the list here:
It's worthwhile to peruse the list and then go back and read the Center for Media and Democracy's story from last October, titled "White Hat’s Magic Trick: Transforming Public Schools into Private Assets."
Here's that link again:
It details how our governor, Taxin' John Kasich, the Ohio Republican Party and many of our Republican state legislators have been purchased by charter school interests.
It seems like the various threads of Ohio's charter school story are coming together in a perfect story of corruption, failure and greed.