It seems like this is one of those times we’re seeing the passing of a lot of great people who helped to transform the world. We lost civil rights pioneer Julian Bond over the weekend. And yesterday morning, we lost former northeast Ohio congressman and a civil rights leader in his own right, Lou Stokes. He had announced a few weeks ago that he had cancer that had spread. Now at age 90, he is gone.
With Jimmy Carter’s announcement this morning that his cancer has, like Stokes’, spread to his brain, we may be on the verge of losing another — someone whose profound decency and living into his Christian beliefs makes a mockery of some of today’s politicians who use the label “Christian” to define who they hate. Carter, like Stokes, is 90. Are we being greedy to wish they could be with us longer?
CoolCleveland columnist Mansfield Frazier wrote an enlightening piece about why Lou Stokes was significant:
Tributes have been pouring in from former colleagues and those he mentored. Marcia Fudge now holds the seat Stokes vacated in 1999 when he was replaced by his handpicked successor, Stephanie Tubbs Jones. He surely never envisioned that he would outlive the woman he mentored by seven years — she died on this very day, unexpectedly, of a burst aneurysm at the way-too-young age of 58 — and would be involved in naming HER successor.
“My heart is heavy this morning with the passing of my predecessor, mentor and dear friend, Congressman Louis Stokes. He was a giant of a man - the person who everyone measured themselves against. It was easy to think of him as almost immortal.
For more than 30 years, Congressman Stokes tirelessly fought for the people of Ohio. He was our leader in good times and bad. The first African American elected to Congress from Ohio, Congressman Stokes was the epitome of a public servant.
So Taxin’ John Kasich is a “moderate,” eh? All the Wise Pundits say so. What irritates me them most is Democrats frowning and fretting and saying that Kasich “worries” them the most of all the Republicans because he seems reasonable and caring and, yes, “moderate.” I even saw one post that of all the GOP choices, he’d be the least bad to have in the White House.
No no no — he would be TERRIBLE. And if you are a teacher, watch out — he’s as contemptuous of you as he ever was, when he tried to push SB 5 on you. Most likely his patronizing attitude toward teachers combines his animus toward unions and his contempt for women. Here’s what he sneered today at a “conservative education conference” in New Hampshire:
"I’ll tell you what the unions do, unfortunately too much of the time. There’s a constant negative comment, ‘They’re going to take your benefits, they’re going to take your pay.' If I were not president, but if I were King of America, I would abolish all teacher's lounges, where they sit together and worry about 'woe is us.’”
Gee, really, Kasich? You would abolish a place where teachers can get away from their stressful job for a few minutes and let off steam — just like people in every job do? And you know what? “Woe” is them indeed, with all the teacher-bashing and micromanaging and over-testing going on — and yes, cutting their pay and benefits.. And “woe” is them in particular in Ohio with you and your colleagues in the legislature treating education like some sort of pawn in your little game of “reward our charter school donors even if their schools stink.”
The fallout from the GOP debate continues. The Wise Pundits continue to wring their hands over Donald Trump doubling down on his crass attitude toward women. But he’s not the problem, as I’ve already mentioned.
The New Yorker’s political satire columnist Andy Borowitz nailed it in this new column titled “Trump Fails to Back UP Misogynist Slurs With Anti-Woman Proposals, Rivals Say.”
Tempers flared in the aftermath of Thursday night’s Republican debate, as rival candidates accused the billionaire Donald Trump of failing to back up his misogynist slurs with concrete and workable anti-woman proposals.
Florida governor Jeb Bush and Wisconsin governor Scott Walker led the charge, as both of them asserted that Trump’s sexist rhetoric paled in comparison with their own strong records of opposition to women’s rights.
It may be satire, but it hits on a vein of truth: Trump is a lot of talk; many of the other candidates are urging or have taken action against women. There was talk about no abortion exceptions; there was jostling to advocate defunding Planned Parenthood and take away contraception, cancer screenings and STD treatment from women.
Much has been said about last Thursday’s initial Republican presidential debate here in Cleveland, most of it about Donald Trump.
As I predicted — and contrary to what all the Wise Pundits were saying — Trump came out of it as the hero of the Republican base. While the Wise Pundits moaned and groaned and pontificated about Trump’s crass attitude toward women, that hardly mattered to the base. He had them from the opening moments when he refused to be nailed down by the moderators into saying he wouldn’t run an independent campaign if he wasn’t the nominee. The Wise Pundits had been predicting he would expose himself for what he was and quickly fade. He exposed himself for what he is and they loved it. They love brazenness, they loathe women — why WOULDN’T Trump be topping all the post-debate polls?
After the debate, when it was clear that frontrunners like Jeb! Bush and Scottie Walker came across weak and timid, the Wise Pundits were also rushing to praise our governor, Taxin’ John Kasich, saying that he had showed voters that there was another sane, “moderate” candidate they could turn to.
But did it seem to anyone else like Taxin’ John Kasich was trying to skip over the primaries and go straight to the general election in the debate? It felt like he was playing not to the base that will actually vote, but to the pundits and media desperate for a candidate who doesn’t sound batshit crazy and out of touch.
The Democratic response group CorrectTheRecord.org shared the following blood-curdling positions of some of the candidates in this afternoon's junior varsity GOP presidential debate. These candidates probably stand no chance but they are mouthpieces for their party and reflect what the top contenders think too.
And, I'm sorry, but ANY progressive who pouts that if Hillary is the Democratic candidate they'll sit out or they might as well vote Republican, is our enemy and a false progressive. It would not take more than a few months of a Republican president before women would be virtually without rights and freedom in the U.S. Get over yourself.
So here you go:
Lindsey Graham pushed a bill that would ban abortion after 20 weeks.
"Senator Graham has announced that he will introduce, during the week of June 8, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the nationwide federation of state right-to-life organizations, urges you to sign on as an original cosponsor of this landmark pro-life legislation.” [National Right to Life Committee press release, 6/2/15]
Bobby Jindal supported legislation outlawing abortion, if Roe v. Wade were ever overturned. According to alternative newspaper Gambit Weekly, “It’s debatable whether [state rep.]Jackson’s legislation would make abortions safer, but it is clear whose agenda it advances. Louisiana Right to Life and the Bioethics Defense Fund, two pro-life groups, say they have ‘worked with Representative Jackson to prepare the legislation.’
Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you are probably aware of the screaming and yelling coming from the right about Planned Parenthood, the venerable, 100-year-old organization that has done more than almost anyone to allow women to be freed from the slavery of their biology and to take their place in society.
More of those heavily edited videos the right is so fond of have mysteriously been released to fuel this latest round of outrage, showing that the organization donates fetal tissue from abortions — with the full consent of the woman — for research in diseases like Parkinson’s. This is completely legal. Yet Republicans in Congress and across the country are acting like some horrible crime has been unearthed, actually using words like “felony.” (Not even a minor misdemeanor was committed).
It has long been the goal of Republicans to destroy Planned Parenthood, as part of its campaign to re-enslave women by taking away their control of their bodies and forcing them into childbearing against their will. There have been numerous attempts to take away funding, including in Ohio where such a measure was stuffed in secret into a previous budget bill. Such efforts are not popular because of the vast range of women who have accessed health care through PP over the years — some estimates have said as many as one in six. The organization provides contraception, family planning information, STD testing and treatment and cancer screenings. And oh yeah, also totally legal abortion services, which make up about 3 percent of what it does, and which receive no government money because they offend the sensibilities of a certain group of people masquerading their beliefs as “religion” so that was banned a long time ago.
We're getting bombarded with emails responding to Republican policies and statements in view of the impending first GOP presidential debate in Cleveland tonight. And most make good points: the GOP actions and policy statements of late have bee increasingly out of touch with the public and detrimental to its well-being. In the following statement from Toledo-through-Cleveland Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, she makes some good points about the ways in which Republicans have made things more challenging for the Great Lakes region.
She makes an especially good point in the second to last paragraph of her release, when she points out, "Our state’s representation in Congress doesn't reflect our population. Voters here split close to 50-50 between the major parties; but 12 of 16 Congressional seats are held by R's-- a truly undemocratic gerrymandering achievement. Republicans have done the same thing in many other states. That’s not the path to free and fair elections. It's why Congress is so out of kilter."
That's a fact. Our four Democratic congresspersons from Ohio are all go-getters, really fighting for their constituents. Half the GOP delegation, if not more, are little more than chairwarmers, voting in lockstep with the extremists that have taken over their part. Seriously, what have congressmen like Mike Turner, Bob Latta or Bill Johnson done for Ohio lately?
Here's Congresswoman Kaptur's statement:
Message From Ohio to America: We Can't Go Back
An Opinion by Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur of Ohio
Welcome Republican candidates to Destination Cleveland. If you want to appreciate America, you’re in the right place. Here you will find the remnants of the Underground Railroad along with liberty seekers from Poland, Ukraine, Albania, Turkey and the Middle East, Latin America, India, Bhutan and other Asian nations, and so many more.
There’s been chatter for a while about how humiliating it would be for our governor, Taxin’ John Kasich, if he didn’t make it onstage for the first GOP presidential debate taking place in his home state, in Cleveland, at Quicken Loans Arena, tomorrow evening at 9.
The ground rules set by Fox “News” dictated that only the top ten candidates in the five national polls just prior to the debate would be on the main stage, while the remainder of the 17-candidate field would participate in a sort of JV debate. And Kasich’s been finishing 11-12-13.
When they announced the debate field yesterday, Kasich made the top ten, by the skin of his teeth. And according to MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, Fox rigged the debate to get him in, deviating from their own ground rules. Instead of using the last five polls, they used the last four and number six — which was much more favorable to Kasich and dropped former Texas Governor Rick Perry, currently under indictment, to the No. 11 slot.
Not sure it will do him any good. There seem to be two conflicting media narratives swirling around Kasich right now.
One is that he is a sensible, moderate candidate with a record of success in governing his state (that won’t hold up to scrutiny!) who could emerge on top if the other candidates self-destruct. He’s even being shopped as a “moderate,” although the only thing anyone can point to is his push to expand Medicaid and his sanctimonious talk about caring for “people in the shadows,” something his actions and policies make a lie of. There is no “moderate” Kasich. He fully subscribes to rightwing ideology.
The other narrative is that he is an obnoxious loose cannon of a bully who insults people gratuitously. Well, we do recognize THAT description!
Are you feeling the excitement yet? The candidates, campaigns and media are flooding into Cleveland for the first Republican Presidential debate tomorrow night at Quicken Loans Arena. I had lunch with a friend today at Townhall in Ohio City and as we ate, Republicans were pouring in for an event later this afternoon with Florida Senator Marco Rubio, hosted by none other than our state treasurer Josh “The Empty Suit” Mandel.
Kasich made the top ten, by the skin of his teeth, and according to Rachel Maddow, to get him in under the wire, Fox “News” had to deviate from their ground rules of using the last five major national polls and instead use the last four, skip five and use number six.
One person whose inclusion was never in doubt is Donald Trump. More polls came out this week and he sits comfortably at the top of every one — WAY at the top.
Some pundits and political observers are predicting — or maybe in the case of Republican-leaning ones, wishfully hoping — that the debate will expose Trump as a blustering empty shell, unprepared for the job he’s seeking.
I think they are wrong. I think Trump is the most media-savvy of the candidates and he has the least to lose. Unlike most of the others on that stage tomorrow, I doubt he believes he’s got a good shot at being President — and I’m not even sure that’s his goal. So he has nothing to lose, but the ones who are serious about their quest do. I predict he’ll be his good old outrageous, hate-mongering self — hey, it’s rocketed him to the top of the heap — while the other candidates fumble around trying to thread the needle between appealing to the GOP base that’s crazy about The Donald and not saying something that could lose them the general election. That’s a heck of a tiny needle eye.
You may have heard about the flap over the Planned Parenthood video, and if you haven’t or have only overheard a couple of things, this is an issue you need to know the facts about.
No, progressives, there is no “If there’s some truth to this…” This video is a lie. Flat-out. It’s a tool that was cynically fabricated to hasten the Republicans’ goal of destroying Planned Parenthood a la ACORN and severely restricting women’s reproductive health care — especially that of poor and working women. Only a minuscule amount (about 3 %) of Planned Parenthood’s work is abortions — a legal choice ALL women, not just affluent women, should have access too. No government money funds that work. What government money DOES fund is things like family planning (hence the name “Planned Parenthood — duh), contraception, cancer screenings and healthy pregnancy programs. The organization is a life-saver for many many women.
But as the ACORN flap showed, Republicans simply do not care about lives of the poor and desperate. No amount of pretty words from liars like Taxin’ John Kasich can conceal the impact of their actions.
So the usual suspects interviewed a Planned Parenthood executive on hidden camera, trying to bait her of course, and got her to talk about a program in which, with the woman’s consent, aborted fetal tissue is donated for scientific research, with a small fee to cover shipping and other expenses. It’s legal, and it’s beneficial.
Of course, they edited the tape severely to make it sound like Planned Parenthood is SELLING BABIES OR PROFIT!
This tape was grabbed by Republicans in both Congress and statehouse as an excuse for another round of attacks on Planned Parenthood. There is even some suspicion they were involved in hatching up this plot as a tool to attack women.
Our governor, Taxin’ John Kasich, is out on the presidential campaign trail right now, spouting a lot of grandiose-sounding hooey about compassion and how much he cares about people struggling at the margins.
Unfortunately for him, his record as governor of Ohio refutes every word of this — and nowhere more so than his record on women’s reproductive freedom. He loves to make pompous statements about his regard for “life.” It’s almost become a cliché to say that anti-choicers like him care about life only until it is ACTUALLY “life” i.e. born, and then they lose interest. But in his case, that couldn’t be more true.
Mother Jones spotlights his appalling anti-life record in a piece titled “How Ohio Gov. John Kasich Is Making Life Hell for Women Seeking Abortions” that needs to be distributed as widely as possible.
It points out what alert Ohioans know: he pretends to be a “moderate” when it suits him. But when it comes to destroying the choices and the lives of non-affluent women and plunging them and their children into hopelessness and poverty, well he’s all for THAT.
“As governor he's signed and supported some of the most stringent anti-abortion legislation in the country,” it notes, and no, given the unequal impact that legislation has and how it cruelly affects the lives of the women struggling the most to stay afloat, he’s not moderate, not pro-life and no Christian either.
The piece quotes our friend Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Pro Choice Ohio. She says, "Kasich is a wolf in sheep's clothing. He's going out there trying to sell himself as a moderate, he's no moderate. He is an extremist. He is — if not the worst — among the worst of anti-choice governors in this country's history."
The Democratic National Committee helpfully provided a roundup of some of the responses to John Kasich’s presidential announcement speech yesterday, both from the media and Twitter.
Chris Cillizza for the Washington Post wrote, in a story headlined “John Kasich makes a strong case for the teleprompter in his presidential announcement speech,”
Kasich rambled through a 45-minute speech littered with stories about people he had met on the street during his life. It never seemed to coalesce into any sort of coherent takeaway or message. That's problematic for any candidate running for president but especially one who is the 16th person to enter the Republican race and who, as of today, wouldn't qualify for the first Republican debate in his home state next month.
His speech was so all over the place that it's hard to imagine undecided Republican voters will even know where to look or listen to find the central message of his candidacy. I watched the speech from beginning to end [You have a strong stomach, Chris!] and I couldn't tell you what that message is.
U.S. New and World Report’s David Catanese said:
He muffed his first impression, delivering a disjointed and meandering speech mostly off the cuff that dwelled too much on the past and lacked an overarching vision for the future. In his remarks at Ohio State University, the 63-year-old Kasich snickered that he frequently gets asked by reporters why he wants to be president. But to the casual observer watching his unfocused performance, the answer might not have been clear.
After his ramble of an announcement at The Ohio State University, Taxin' John Kasich flew to New Hampshire, where he's apparently be living for the next half year while we pay his salary and he uttered these words:
"I learned a lot about the way America works when I worked at Lehman Brothers.”
Apparently he means that he's going to take America over the cliff of bankruptcy and oblivion. Thanks, Taxin' John.
You can watch video here, if you have the stomach:
Congressman Tim Ryan of Youngstown penned an editorial which appeared in The Hill today in which he said he is "One of the Ohioans Not Excited for John Kasich."
I think many of us are among that number.
Then he totally eviscerates Kasich's much (self)-touted economic record and concern for the middle class.
He reminds us of Kasich's shameful record in "governing" Ohio:
As governor, John Kasich really let his anti-working class colors show. He first attacked public workers, taking on Ohio police, firefighters and teachers – a move that was so unpopular that the people of Ohio successfully repealed this vindictive law with over 60 percent of the vote.
After that defeat he focused on gutting funding for local governments, which put stress on small towns and resulted in increased local taxes and fees, while he signed tax cuts that benefitted the top 5 percent of earners in Ohio. Now, Ohio roads are covered with pot holes, our bridges are structurally deficient, water and sewage systems pollute clean water, and this past winter many streets never got plowed because local communities couldn't get old and run down snow plows to work. Kasich has left Ohio eroding from the inside out.
On top of this, Kasich slashed $1.8 billion from Ohio’s public schools, while funneling hundreds of millions of tax dollars to private schools. Just last week, he signed a bill that takes local control of the schools away from my constituents in Youngstown and could give an overwhelming amount of power to an appointed CEO.
Read the whole editorial here:
Ryan also sent out the following email emphasizing further the points he made in the editorial:
Here we go again. Same backward path for our country, different year.
Check it out here:
Economic miracle? Visible only to John Kasich!
DNC MEMO: Lehman Brothers Executive to Launch Presidential Campaign on 5th Anniversary of Wall Street Reform
Tuesday, July 21st marks the fifth anniversary of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act being signed into law.
The law is working.
The banking system is safer, and the law put in place important protections to prevent another financial crisis, while holding Wall Street accountable. The law created a new consumer watchdog, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, to prevent unfair, abusive practices that exploit consumers, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has already returned over $5 billion to more than 15 million wronged consumers. The law ends bailouts and makes sure that no bank is too big to fail. And it makes sure that taxpayers will not have to pay for Wall Street’s recklessness.
But there’s another thing happening on July 21st. John Kasich, former Lehman Brothers executive – a Wall Street firm at the epicenter of the global financial crisis – will announce his candidacy for President of the United States.
Today, five years after Wall Street Reform was signed into law, voters (by a 3:1 margin) now want to see more, not less, oversight and regulations of big banks -- but not John Kasich.
John Kasich thinks Wall Street reforms “went overboard,” and wants to let Wall Street start writing the rules again.
When asked recently if he had any regrets from his time at Lehman, whose collapse was integral to the 2008 crash that led to nearly 9 million Americans out of work, Kasich answered, “It was fantastic. Are you kidding? Regrets? I thought it was a fantastic time.”
The coverage of Kasich’s unpleasant temperament is growing.
As I’ve mentioned a number of times previously, the media and GOP operatives are pulling that old trick of trying to spin arrogance, rudeness and a complete disregard for other people as “refreshing,” “direct,” “tell it like it is” or “blunt.”
We saw this writ large in 2008 when John McCain’s infamous temper was spun as “straight talk” despite very little “straight talk” going on. He even called his campaign buses the “Straight Talk Express.” It became even more comical when he acquired Sarah Palin as his running mate. She couldn’t utter a straight-talk sentence if her life depended on it.
But the media has been paying attention to John Kasich’s generally nasty personality, which Ohioans know well. Whether it’s referring to a trooper who stopped him for not yielding to an emergency vehicle as an “idiot,” or delivering tone-deaf lectures to visitors who come in to talk to him about issues, or banning the state’s most astute political reporter from covering him because he didn’t like what he said, Kasich’s true nature is attracting attention.
It has even attracted attention from the web publication Politico, which I call PolitiFOXico for its transparent right-wing slant. (Currently, it is devoting most of its firepower to trying to sabotage Hillary Clinton, from both the right and the left).
This story appeared yesterday:
Titled “John Kasich’s Anger Management,” it claims in the sub-head that “the Ohio governor is working to control his temper.” Yeah, I’ll bet.
John Kasich has a résumé seemingly tailor-made for a serious run for the Republican nomination: blue-collar upbringing, congressional budget hawk, Fox News commentator, investment banker, successful two-term governor of Ohio.
So. In just about an hour, at 9am the big presidential campaign announcement event by Taxin’ John Kasich is due to start at THE Ohio State University. This will make Kasich the last of the 16 candidates to jump into the GOP presidential primary race unless there’s a surprise coming somewhere (hey World’s Dumbest Congressman Louie Gohmert — there’s still room for you!).
Is that too late? That’s what official Hillary Hate organ PolitiFOXico is wondering this morning in this piece “John Kasich Throws a Hail Mary.”
Of course, it quotes a bunch of Kasich friends and aides as saying he has a real place in this race despite consistently polling 11th or 12th or 13th, which could prevent him from being in the top ten who will get to participate in the first Republican debate in Cleveland on August 5.
According to POlitiFOXico, Kasich “will highlight his long career in public office and his success in turning around his state’s troubled economy.” Of course, in the latter case, he’ll be lying, and in the former case, we’re betting he won’t highlight his stint at the soon-to-be-bankrupt Lehman Brothers nor how unstellar that career in public service actually was.
We learn that he’s going to bail on his current job to camp out in New Hampshire, and we also learn that Kasich’s aides are once again trying to pull that trick of spinning rudeness, arrogance and heedlessness to other people’s feelings and opinions as “plain-spoken,” “unvarnished,” “tell it like it is,” “from the heart” and “direct.” They also compare him to John McCain — who lost!
The PolitiFOXico piece contained a piece of really good news though — for Kasich’s Republican opponents as well as Democratic Kasich observers.
While Bernie Sanders supporters appear to be living in an increasingly annoying bubble of irrational exuberance, heralding his every 2 or 3 point uptick in the polls as a sign he's on course to overtake her and WIN IT ALL, in fact, Hillary has the lead in every poll (in most cases by a very healthy margin).
And she seems to have the lead in the hearts of fellow elected Democrats as well. Over 150 Democratic members of Congress have already endorsed her, including Youngstown Congressman Tim "The Good" Ryan and Columbus Congresswoman Joyce Beatty.
Yesterday Cleveland's Marcia Fudge joined them.
I am proud to stand with Hillary! She understands that America is only as strong as its people. She has proven time and time again that she is the fighter that everyday Americans need.
We are at a point in our nation’s history when the right leadership is needed more than ever. Hillary has spent her life advocating for poor and working class families. Hillary will help build an economy for tomorrow and beyond; strengthen America’s families; defend our country and its core values; and revitalize our democracy. In other words, she gets it. Hillary understands the issues that matter to people in my district and around the country, like income equality, women’s rights and universal voter registration. Hillary is the best candidate for the job.
Also, a poll by Spanish-language media network Univision found Hillary snagging 73 percent of the Hispanic vote in the Democratic primary. It also shows Hillary leading every Republican in the Hispanic vote. Unsurprisingly, Donald Trump does worst among this group he has branded "rapists," "criminals" and "drug dealers" who were "sent here by the Mexican government," earning only 7 percent of the Hispanic vote.
“With his background, why is Kasich planning a presidential run?” asked Toledo Blade columnist Marilou Johanek recently.
Kasich is planning to announce his candidacy on July 21 — one week from now — at the Ohio State University.
“Obviously, the man considers himself prime presidential timber,” writes Johanek. “He touts executive experience, congressional experience, and investment banker experience, albeit during an economic collapse. But why president? If Buckeyes can’t imagine Mr. Kasich in the Oval Office, how can the rest of America?”
Well, we’ll probably see soon that the rest of America can’t.
Johanek then goes on mention that Kasich — as we know well — is “sometimes described as prickly,” “an erratic personality wrapped in evasiveness and arrogance.” and “prone to bizarre stream-of-consciousness ramblings before bemused audiences. It’s embarrassing.”
Yes, undoubtedly some people are still trying to figure out why he wasn’t going to “wear that silly hat Voinovich wore” or why the little girl said “Mister, don’t tax my eggs.”
Then she dismantles his record, and his extravagant claims of success in the governor’s office, reminding us of things we should keep repeating whenever anyone tells us what a formidable presidential candidate Kasich would be.
She reminds us of how he pulled SB 5 out of his ass and rammed it through in his first act as governor, and how ultimately voters repealed it by a better than 60 percent margin.
She reminds us that he balanced his budget (while proclaiming his budgetary genius) “on the backs of Ohio cities, counties and public education.”
She reminds us of his rollback of Ohio’s job-creating renewable energy standards.
On Tuesday July 21, we’re told, we’ll have the chance to witness a black comedy known as Taxin’ John Kasich’s presidential campaign announcement. It’s scheduled to take place at THE Ohio State University.
Undoubtedly, he will be the 6th or 8th or 10th candidate to tell us that God is telling him to run (quite a trickster, that God!). Undoubtedly, he will make noises about his profound compassion for “people who live in the shadows” while failing to mention that the vast majority of his policies make those shadows a little deeper and darker while shining all the light on the lives of Ohio’s richest and most fortunate.
If we’re lucky, his campaign consultants will not have been able to convince him he needs a script and we’ll hear another hilarious stream-of-consciousness ramble like his first couple of State of the State addresses. Mister, don’t tax my eggs!
Now, this campaign isn’t going anywhere. While a few pundits, scouring the landscape for new angles on the presidential race, have dutifully produced “Kasich could be the one” stories, he’s mired at the very bottom of the polls with many more, um, COLORFUL candidates above him (as well as colorless pets of the rich like Scottie Walker and Jeb!ya Bush).
But still, those of you who want to express your feelings about Ohio’s most failed governor in recent history having the arrogance to believe he is qualified for president have your chance.
There is a protest being organized that you can find out about here:
They’ll be gathering across the street from the OSU Union at 13th and High Street where Kasich will be speaking starting at 9am.
We’ve talked a lot about how Ohio education has been in freefall since the advent of the Kasich administration and his compliant Republican supermajority in the legislature.
Now education policy expert Steohen Dyer shares this bit of news with us: Under Kasich Ohio has gone from 5th to 18th in national education rankings.
“In 2010, Ohio was riding high, from an education policy perspective,” writes Dyer. “The state had just tightened its charter school closure standards and created a new funding formula that promised to make the system constitutional as part of a national award winning education reform overhaul.”
Yes, and about time too. But then came the elections of 2010, a disaster for the state of Ohio. And:
“But things started changing when Gov. John Kasich took office. Most of those award-winning changes were wiped out. His own funding formula was trashed and dropped by his own party. Ohio's charter schools are now a national joke. And his efforts at local, urban reform are off to a dubious beginning.”
“Dubious” is outing it mildly.
Gee, do you think THIS could have anything to do with it:
“White Hat’s Magic Trick: Transforming Public Schools into Private Assets”
“Ohio Governor John Kasich received direct contributions totaling $45,580 from White Hat CEO Brennan and his wife, Ann, in 2010.”
Nah. Couldn't be.
Taxin’ John Kasich cares SO much about people, about kids, about those struggling with poverty. Just ask him. His faith demands that he have compassion for “the least of these.” Or at least that he talk a lot about it anyway.
Kasich cares so much that he burdens non-affluent women by making it almost impossible for them to choose not to have a child they can’t support. He just loves those little fetuses so much.
Alas, once they actually become born people, their value to him seems to rest mainly on their ability to make a campaign contribution, something poor children aren’t able to do. And apparently in Kasich’s world, dripping with lovely, compassionate words but not so much with lovely, compassionate actions, they don’t need no stinkin’ education.
We already know that he has turned a blind eye to the infestation of failing charter schools so miserable and unaccountable that they are mocked by national charter school advocates. After all, their operators DO make big campaign donations so that automatically means their needs and desires take precedence over those of any worthless now-born child.
We mentioned previously that Kasich failed to line-item veto the new abortion clinic restrictions, which he easily could have done by saying he didn’t believe they belonged in the budget bill (they don’t). But look at what he did line-item veto out of the bill:
Valerie Strauss, the education columnist for the Washington Post, today ran a letter from an Ohio teacher of at-risk children explaining that he was forced to quit his job in the Fairborn school system near Dayton by the appalling education policies Ohio has enacted.
While Ohio is in some ways one of the worst states for education (its charter schools should not just be abolished but some of the worst operators should probably be charged with child abuse), many of the policies have become commonly accepted wisdom, pushed by pundits and “experts” across the country, despite a mounting record of the failure of these policies.
Scott Ervin wrote:
The job is difficult. What makes it even more so is that no matter what my district does to improve, no matter how hard we work, the policies of the Ohio Department of Education and the dramatic cutbacks to public education have changed my job of educating at-risk kids from being “very difficult” to being “impossible.” I have loved doing a job that has been very difficult. I am not, however, willing to do a job that has become impossible.
He has nothing but praise for his former district, saying that in all the ways it could control, it stood behind him and his ability to do his job. Alas, increasingly, districts are no longer in control of so many aspects of education.
“Unfortunately,” he says, “the ‘help’ provided by policymakers in our state’s capital is killing us.”
That would be the state legislature and Governor Taxin’ John Kasich and his Department of Education: “the people who have cut our funding while asking us to jump through multiple, time consuming hoops that don’t help anyone.”
What do you hope our state legislature is working on? It's almost certain they're not doing so.
This week, my state senator and two of the three state representatives in her district held a couple of public meetings to talk about what is going on down in Columbus.
The picture that these three bright, hard-working and compassionate ladies — Senator Sandra Williams and representatives Janine Boyd and Stephanie Howse — painted was bleak. It was one of dysfunction, mean-spiritedness, non-transparency, time wasted on superfluous and unpopular initiatives while punting on important issues. And they offered a ray of hope, a proposal that could begin to change the lopsided and unrepresentative makeup of our legislature, which has led to this dysfunction.
It’s hard to know where to begin with the bad stuff. What do you want to hear about? How a measure to begin to rein in wasteful, failed charter schools and make them accountable was kicked down the road with no action? How the budget bill rips more money out of the hides of public schools and local communities, especially urban areas, while actually rewarding smaller townships where only a sliver of the state’s population (but many of its legislators) live? How little Taxin’ John Kasich’s much-touted income tax cut benefits someone with an income of $50,000 (about $20) while lavishly rewarding someone with an income four or five times that with a tax cut that could be as much as hundreds of times more? How the perilous state of Ohio’s infrastructure is one more thing this investment-averse legislature is just ignoring?