Nina Turner to Make "Special Announcement" Next Monday. Hmmmmm ....

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Got this email this morning from the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party.

Join Senator Nina Turner for a SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

Monday, July 1st 2013
9:00am - 10:00am
Harvard Community Services Center
18240 Harvard Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44128-1743
Everyone is welcome to attend!

Gosh, I wonder what she's going to announce.

I guess no one will be TOO surprised if she announces she's running for Secretary of State.

And in light of the U.S. Supreme Court's just-issued decision, which weakens the Voting Rights Act, it will be IMPERATIVE that we elect her.

In fact, we now need to prioritize electing Democratic secretaries of state across the country to protect everyone's access to the ballot box. While I wouldn't use the word "gutted" the way so many melodramatically inclined progressives are today, the decision has certainly opened the door for suppression-included Republicans to do still more mischief in depriving people of their voting rights.

Turner, not exactly a shrinking violet, had this to say today about the decision:

“I am deeply distressed by today’s ruling that, in effect, nullifies the preclearance requirements of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. These locations have a troubling history of suppressing the right to vote, and the scrutiny of preclearance certainly helps increase ballot access in the affected areas. The very existence of our democracy hinges upon free and fair elections. Congress understood this in 1965 and it is no less true today.

63 of Ohio's 88 Democratic County Chairs Endorse Ed FitzGerald

Today Cuyahoga County Executive ed FitzGerald's gubernatorial campaign announced that he had received the endorsements of 63 of Ohio's 88 county chairs, an overwhelming number.

http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/news/2013/plain-dealer-ed-fitzgerald-...

Among the supporting county chairs are those from nine of the 10 most populous counties. Party chairs from Cuyahoga County and four of the six surrounding counties — Geauga, Lorain, Medina and Summit — were among those endorsing.

There is a small band who are holding out onto their dream that former attorney general Rich Cordray will run, and they have a "Draft Rich Cordray" Facebook page. But it's getting late in the day for that.

Cordray, being no dummy, surely knows that and hasn't made a move because he's not planning to run this time around (I hold out hope that Cordray, currently in D.C. running the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau while Republicans sulk and try to block his permanent confirmation, will come back to Ohio and run for the Senate against Rob Portman in 2016).

I am not entirely clear on why a handful of people think FitzGerald isn't a good candidate. I have even heard a few people announce that he "cannot" or "will not" win, which is ludicrous given the length of time until the election and the egregious blundering of Governor Kasich. The ever-changing budget's latest permutation raises taxes on the most struggling Ohioans while claiming to have a "surplus" to "give back" to taxpayers — meaning the richest taxpayers. That is going to be hard t o spin.

Ed CAN win, and he's snapping up more and more of the available endorsements. It's really time we all got on board and helped him win this sucker because another four years of Kasich would be a disaster for Ohio's working people.

63 of Ohio's 88 Democratic County Chairs Endorse Ed FitzGerald

Today Cuyahoga County Executive ed FitzGerald's gubernatorial campaign announced that he had received the endorsements of 63 of Ohio's 88 county chairs, an overwhelming number.

http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/news/2013/plain-dealer-ed-fitzgerald-...

Among the supporting county chairs are those from nine of the 10 most populous counties. Party chairs from Cuyahoga County and four of the six surrounding counties — Geauga, Lorain, Medina and Summit — were among those endorsing.

There is a small band who are holding out onto their dream that former attorney general Rich Cordray will run, and they have a "Draft Rich Cordray" Facebook page. But it's getting late in the day for that.

Cordray, being no dummy, surely knows that and hasn't made a move because he's not planning to run this time around (I hold out hope that Cordray, currently in D.C. running the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau while Republicans sulk and try to block his permanent confirmation, will come back to Ohio and run for the Senate against Rob Portman in 2016).

I am not entirely clear on why a handful of people think FitzGerald isn't a good candidate. I have even heard a few people announce that he "cannot" or "will not" win, which is ludicrous given the length of time until the election and the egregious blundering of Governor Kasich. The ever-changing budget's latest permutation raises taxes on the most struggling Ohioans while claiming to have a "surplus" to "give back" to taxpayers — meaning the richest taxpayers. That is going to be hard t o spin.

Ed CAN win, and he's snapping up more and more of the available endorsements. It's really time we all got on board and helped him win this sucker because another four years of Kasich would be a disaster for Ohio's working people.

Ohio: The Radioactive Waste Capitol of the U.S.?

Doesn't that just have the greatest ring to it? Well, maybe not to you but to John Kasich and to our treasurer Josh "The Empty Suit" Mandel, both water carriers for Big Gas, it does.

http://ecowatch.com/2013/ohio-remains-nations-radioactive-fracking-waste...

Today, grassroots leaders in Ohio called out state leaders for failing to protect Ohioans from solid radioactive waste from hydraulic fracturing (fracking). According to local citizens groups, Gov. Kasich’s budget bill will provide inadequate protection from low-level radioactive waste (LLRW), and therefore constitutes a handout to the oil and gas industry.

Handout to the oil and gas industry? Gee — who would have thought?

As other states tighten up on how and where radioactive fracking waste can be dumped, they're sending it to Ohio. And while Kasich has made some feeble noises about protecting the state, Mandel has been a full-throated advocate for tossing the regulations and letting the radioactive waste pour in.

http://www.cantonrep.com/topstories/x1213259294/Mandel-Don-t-tax-drillin...

Hey Josh, how about your backyard in Beachwood?

OK, no, because someone was telling me they know some of Josh's neighbors, who are less than impressed with him, and they don't deserve that.

Seriously, though, I wonder how some of these politicians would feel if their homes were near a landfill that was accepting radioactive fracking waste.

Of course, these concerned groups are the ones that the arrogant Mandel so blithely dismissed as "fringe" groups — fringe apparently because because they care about the health and well-being of someone besides his billionaire sponsors.

Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski (R) "Evolves" on Marriage Equality

Well, this is good news to hear on a Wednesday morning! Lisa "The Anti-Palin" Murkowski of Alaska has become the third sitting U.S. Senator to endorse marriage equality.

http://www.murkowski.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=OpEds&ContentRecord_i...

She follows Ohio's Rob Portman whose evolution involved his college-age son's coming out, and Illinois' Mark Kirk, whose evolution involved representing one of the most reliably blue states in the nation where a batshit insane bigot stands little change of statewide re-election (demographics: Illinois population about 12 million, greater Chicago, eight million).

Murkowski's evolution is due to the fact that she's NOT batshit insane, which led to some trouble for her in the last election. She actually LOST the Republican primary to someone who WAS batshit insane and ran as an independent write-in candidate — and won. (The batshit insane candidate, embracing typical GOP voter suppression tactics, went to court to try to have any vote that didn't spell her name exactly right tossed out).

She opens her official statement (link above) with this story:

Not too long ago, I had the honor of nominating an Alaskan family as “Angels in Adoption,” a celebration of the selflessness shown by foster care families and those who adopt children. They arrived in Washington, DC, a military family who had opened their doors to not one child but four siblings to make sure that these sisters and brother had the simplest gift you can give a child: a home together. We had lunch together, and they shared their stories with me. All the while, the children politely ate lunch and giggled as content youngsters do. ...

Kasich Wants to Bribe Voters to Re-Elect Him

http://www.toledoblade.com/Politics/2013/06/19/Kasich-aims-to-cut-taxes-...

According to the Toledo Blade,

Lawmakers have some additional funds to play with as they enter the home-stretch of finalizing a state budget for the next two years.

“We want them to go into tax cuts,” Gov. John Kasich said. “I just don’t want to go back to the old days of taxing and spending.”

By the way, those "good old days"? That would be right now. The proposed budget, currently being batted around the legislature, tops $60 billion (the Blade says $61.7 billion).

Wild-spending Kasich's last budget was $55.8 billion, according to SunshineRview.org.

http://sunshinereview.org/index.php/Ohio_state_budget

This so-called "surplus" is all sleight of hand, of course. Kasich has "balanced" his budget by robbing local governments and schools of money, necessitating levies. Those are tax increases due to Kasich's financial chicanery, no matter what he wants to call them. And I doubt he's going to give me a cut big enough to over the nearly $250 my property taxes increased thanks to his "budgeting." That's an enormous Kasich tax increase. That $25 or $30 I'd probably get back sure isn't going to buy MY vote.

And I REALLY pity the homeowners of Cleveland who were sold a bill of goods to pass a 15 mill levy with a song-and-dance about yet another "transformation plan." What was hidden from the voters was the fact that this new money basically filled the hole left by Kasich's cuts in the last budget.

In fact, "returning" this money to taxpayers is probably the most reckless form of spending Kasich could do (and make no mistake — it IS "spending"). The best form of "spending" would be to invest in Ohi's future by restoring the money that has been cut from public education since Kasich took office.

Josh Mandel, Dutiful Puppet for Big Fossil Fuel, Speaks!

And isn't this special:

http://www.cantonrep.com/topstories/x1213259294/Mandel-Don-t-tax-drillin...

Mandel speaks to his masters, addressing the Stark County Oil and Gas Partnership.

Please know that as treasurer of the state, as the CFO of the state, I’m doing everything I can to create a better environment, a strong environment, for oil and gas exploration, and in my mind that means getting government out of the way.

In other words, screw the environment, screw the citizens of the state and let Joshie's corporate puppet master stomp all over us.

According to the Canton Repository, Mandel spewed lies like, well, like Josh Mandel! Said the paper,

Drilling will create jobs in some of the poorest parts of the state, provide money for education and fire and police protection, ensure sound state finances and improve national security by reducing dependence on foreign energy, he said.

Of course, that's mostly hooey from beginning to end.

Mandel also said,

I personally believe this could be one of the biggest upside potentials for the state of Ohio, not just in decades, but in generations, if we approach it in a responsible way that protects the air we breath, the water we drink and the environment for our kids and grand kids.

Apparently all this responsibility will come from the good hearts of corporations who ONLY interest is maximizing profit, since Mandel wants to eliminate regulation of the industry.

Ohio Agency Up for Big National Award!

Don't get too excited. Unfortunately it's Investigative Reporters and Editors' "Golden Padlock" award "honoring a U.S. government agency for its unrelenting commitment to undermining the public's right to know."

Among the five finalists: RobsOhio!

http://www.ire.org/blog/transparency-watch/2013/06/17/finalists-announce...

IRE says,

Ohio Gov. John Kasich and the state legislature are nominated for creating a non-profit economic development entity exempt from public records disclosure laws, despite its financing by state grants and bond sales backed by $100 million in profits from the state liquor store monopoly. JobsOhio was spun off from the state's Development Services Agency and staffed by former agency employees at much larger salaries. The governor and legislature designated JobsOhio as a private company exempt from state audits and financial disclosures required for state agencies, making it impossible for the state auditor, news media or citizens to monitor its finances, business investments or potential conflicts interest.

The winner will be announced at the group's national conference in San Antonio Friday. We will be waiting with bated breath to see if our governor's little scheme to steal tax money for his cronies and donors and arrange to have the books slammed shut just as the money starts to flow will beat out the other worthy contenders.

Well this is odd...

Don't really know what to write about this - - check it out...

Packed Event for Connie Pillich in Cleveland Tonight

A big crowd of local Democrats, Democratic officeholders and candidates congregated on the patio on Maxi's in Cleveland's Little Italy neighborhood this evening to support Connie Pillich, Democratic candidate for state treasurer. The weather was perfect, the food was plentiful and excellent, and Connie made it clear why she's the perfect choice to be our next state treasurer.

Photos!

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Ed FitzGerald Speaks Out Agains GOP Assaults on Women

I know that a few months ago there was foot-dragging about Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald among some women who assumed that, as an Irish-Catholic male, he might be inclined to oppose women's reproductive rights.

As Cuyahoga County executive, it wasn't an issue on which he had needed to take a position. Issues like abortion, access to contraception, and sex education aren't issues counties are tasked to deal with.

If there's any question about which candidate for governor is the only one women — and men who care about women — should even THINK about voting for, Ed has put that to rest.

He was one of many people/organizations to release a statement today about the assaults on women's health in the "budget" bill and the ghastly limitations on women's rights that is HB 200, introduced this week. And he minced no words.

He said,

Today we saw Ohio House Republicans introduce yet another attack on women's health, and it may be their most extreme yet. I wanted to share with you my response:

I’m appalled that Ohio Republicans are continuing their litany of outrageous attacks on women’s health and livelihood. A mandatory ultrasound law is nothing but a government intrusion into private, personal decision-making, coming from the party who pretends to stand for the opposite. These discussions belong only between a woman and her doctor.

“One thing is clear: these escalating attacks on women’s health and decisions demand a response—and Governor Kasich has been silent. The longer John Kasich stands idly by as these life-threatening attacks on women continue, the more unforgiveable it becomes.

“I’m running for governor because these cruel and unnecessary attacks on Ohio women must stop. I vow to stand up for Ohio women against these types of attacks which threaten their freedom and well-being.

"Cruel and unnecessary." Well said.

Down With Tyranny Blog Writes about Jennifer Garrison

http://downwithtyranny.blogspot.com/2013/06/not-jennifer-garrison-again-...

The out-of-state blog Down With Tyranny has picked up on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's (DCCC) effort to recruit anti-gay, anti-choice former state legislator Jennifer Garrison to run against Bill Johnson for Congress in Oh-06 next year.

We blogged about this recently.

http://www.ohiodailyblog.com/content/what-many-democrats-wont-give-big-n...

I think DWT is wrong about a couple of things. Garrison is NOT "Ohio's Sarah Palin." She's not dumb and stumbling and undereducated, relying on flirting to get across. She's a trained lawyer and she's smart. It's just that her positions on key issues are far out of step with practically every Democrat and most other people who aren't hardcore teabaggers.

I'm also curious what their evidence is that she's anti-union because in 2010, one of the reasons the Ohio Democratic Party gave for her being worthy of our support was that she was staunchly supported by unions. As I recall, she had a long list of union endorsements.

But most of the rest of what they say has been well-documented. I wasn't aware that just last year, she argued as an attorney against EHEA or ENDA saying basically that it was a "special right" to guarantee that LGBT people are not discriminated against in housing and jobs. That's really damning.

And for those who have forgotten, here is her April 2004 letter to the Marietta Times, supporting Ohio's 2004 DOMA ballot issue.

MARRIAGE SHOULD NOT BE DEFINED BY GOVERNMENT

Marriage is suddenly under the national microscope. Across our country, citizens are debating the question of gay marriage.

In fact, 30 people - many of them college students - recently rallied in support of gay marriage in Marietta.

To many of us, it may seem as if this debate over marriage dropped out of the sky.

Attorney General Candidate David Pepper in Cleveland Last Night

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http://www.davidpepper.com/

In light of the insanity and extremism exploding in Columbus, it was refreshing to hear Democratic candidate for attorney general David Pepper speak last night at the Clifton Martini and Wine Bar on the west side of Cleveland. The open-to-all, non-fundraising meet-and-greet was sponsored jointly by the Cleveland Stonewall Democrats, the Cuyahoga Democratic Women’s Caucus, and the Lakewood Democratic Club.

The first thing Pepper told the assembled group was to stop being doomsters! Anyone who has read my stuff for a while knows this is a pet peeve of mine — this attitude that Republicans are all-powerful, that everything they do will succeed, and nothing we do ever will.

Pepper said he’s tired of hearing people insist — a year and a half out from the election — that we have virtually no chance of winning any of the statewide offices next year. He told the crowd that if you start with the attitude that you are defeated, you will be.

Amen!

He reminded people of several things. In 2010 John Kasich won by two points — 49-47. He didn’t even win a majority. Democrats didn’t turn out — but if we do, we outnumber them and will always win.

Second, he said there’s a large group of people who, thanks to SB 5, will never vote for Kasich — teachers, police officers, firefighters. I know a lot of doomsters who insist they have “forgotten,” and maybe a few have. But most haven’t. And we need to keep reminding them that if Kasich and his pals are re-elected, a right to work for less bill will be at the top of their agenda.

This Is How They Destroy Women's Freedom

"Ohio abortion clinic closes its doors, foreshadowing state budget impact."

http://www.salon.com/2013/06/11/ohio_abortion_clinic_closes_its_doors_fo...

Gee, Governor Kasich, whatever happened to those "Jobs" budgets you were promising?

According to the Salon article,

The Center for Choice, an abortion clinic in Toledo, Ohio, shut its doors last week after failing to obtain a transfer agreement with area hospitals. The abortion services provider, which had been open since 1983, is one of two in the Toledo area; the other, Capital Care Network, is expected to close after it loses its transfer agreement with the University of Toledo Medical Center come July. University of Toledo president Lloyd Jacobs withdrew negotiations for a transfer agreement with the facility in order to stay “neutral” on a “controversial issue.”

This "transfer agreement" crap is one more way they shut abortion providers, banning abortion by the back door. They place an unneeded restriction on providers, then make that restriction impossible to comply with.

And make no mistake — sanctimonious UT president Lloyd Jacobs the polar opposite of "neutral" on this issue. He has come down completely on the far right anti-woman side of this "controversial" issue and made his university a tool in stripping women of their rights. He cannot dodge this with mealy-mouthed language.

Contact Info:
Lloyd Jacobs
Main Campus
University Hall
Room 3500
Phone: 419.530.2211
Fax: 419.530.4984
UTPresident@utoledo.edu

(Read the back-patting bio and laugh)

As a medical doctor, Jacobs should know better. So he is either a coward who puts the threats and intimidation of the far right above the lives of women, or else he is a far right Tea Party partisan himself who puts ideology about common sense.

Really? You Dispute My Contention That "Pro-Life" Legislators Don't Care About "Babies"?

Tell me something. Have you heard raging and handwringing in the state legislature about this:

http://www.politifact.com/ohio/statements/2013/apr/12/michele-walsh/expe...

"Expert says infant mortality rate near University Circle exceeds that of some Third World countries."

The Plain Dealer's Politifact finds this to be unequivocally true.

To stay within three miles of University Circle, we looked at data for neighborhoods on Cleveland's East Side.

We found that two neighborhoods, Hough and Mount Pleasant, had infant mortality rates above 27 per 1,000 -- worse than in North Korea, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Samoa, Maldives or the Gaza Strip.

Two other neighborhoods -- Kinsman (with an infant mortality rate of 31 per 1,000) and South Collinwood (29) -- had infant mortality worse than was reported in Zimbabwe.

Infant mortality in the University Circle neighborhood, according to the NEO CANDO database, was slightly above 69 deaths per 1,000 live births. That exceeds the rate in countries that include, among others, Bangladesh, Haiti, Burma, Cameroon, Djibouti, Sudan, Kenya, Nepal, Pakistan, Rwanda and Uganda.

These are ACTUAL "babies," babies being born to exactly the same cohort of women who would have zero choice about whether to have a baby or not under the proposed Republican regulations, the same women least likely to have access to affordable contraception, the women most likely to rely for health care — including maternity care — in Planned Parenthood (which the legislature is defunding) and Medicaid (which the legislature is refusing to expand).

So obviously our fine "pro-life" legislators are lying when they say "life" is so all-fired important to them.

It's not. What is important to them is that these nasty sluts (in their opinion) pay and pay and pay for having had "bad" sex. if the baby dies, well, maybe it's their fault for having been "bad girls."

Ohio Legislature Escalates Its War on Women — Again

Is there any limit to the Ohio legislature's hatred of women and its zeal to place them under the total control of Big Government?

Apparently not.

You may have heard about other states who have introduced forced ultrasound bills, where it's mandated that a women seeking an abortion get an invasive transvaginal ultrasound and be shown the pictures, the only reason clearly to try to guilt-trip her into not having an abortion or feeling like shit if she absolutely must.

It raised such a stink in Virginia that it kind of disappeared there.

It surfaced in Ohio yesterday.

In a bill sponsored by Republican (of course) representative from Hocking County Ron Hood and cosponsored by more than 30 of his equally woman-despising colleagues (yes, even the women among them) HB 200 would not only force this procedure upon women, it contains a whole list of other mandated medical requirements, including forcing a doctor to lie to patients in a government-provided script.

It's truly vile. If you can stomach it, you can read this toxic piece of shit here: http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/bills.cfm?ID=130_HB_200

if you don't want to slog through the whole thing, Innovation Ohio has a good summary.

http://innovationohio.org/2013/06/12/legislation-ohio-house-bill-200-abo...

Among other things:

it modifies the notification requirements prior to performing an abortion, requiring a physician to meet with a woman 48 hours, instead of the current 24 hours, prior to the abortion. The bill also requires additional documents to be provided to a woman considering an abortion including documents that outline the physiological and anatomical characteristics of the fetus. Among other changes the bill adds the requirement an ultrasound be performed and that the physician describe the fetus and its neurological development.

Innovation Ohio notices potentially big raises for Kasich Appointees

In Innovation Ohio's review of the state budget proposal they found some Kasich appointees could get a 30% pay raise. The raise could change their salaries from $102,960 to $134,056. Geez.

They report...

"Current law provides for five senior employees to be involved in policy implementation and development at each state agency. These positions are unclassified, meaning there is no competitive process to apply for them, they merely serve at the pleasure of the appointing authority – in this case the Governor or his cabinet members. They may even be employees who are paid by an agency but work directly out of the Governor’s office.

A provision in Kasich’s two-year budget — retained by House and Senate lawmakers — increases the amount these appointees can be paid from $102,960 to $134,056 annually:"

Full write-up can be found here:
http://innovationohio.org/2013/06/10/pay-raises-for-kasich-appointees/

John Carney, you're such a joker

We've written about the neat little set-up the legislature rushed through to put the books of taxpayer-funded JobsOhio off limits to auditing. And of course Kasich quickly and privately signed this into law — no surprise since it was probably done at his request.

State representative John Patrick Carney from the Columbus area is now demanding that state auditor David Yost audit the JobsOhio books before the law goes into effect.

http://www.ohiohouse.gov/democrats/press/carney-calls-on-yost-to-perform...

He sent the following letter to Yost today:

Auditor Yost,

I am writing to address the recent passage of Senate Bill 67, the bill that was rushed through the legislature to eliminate your ability to audit records at JobsOhio, a deliberate undermining of the Auditor’s responsibility to Ohio taxpayers.

After hearing your recent public comments, I am glad to see that you are as concerned as I am about the lack of transparency and accountability at JobsOhio. As you are aware, the Ohio Constitution requires that a full 90 days must pass after a bill is signed before it takes effect as a law. That means you have until September 3, 2013 to receive and audit the full records of JobsOhio, and restore some semblance of trust and understanding to JobsOhio, and its secretive use of millions of taxpayer dollars.

At the very least, I expect that your office will use the next 85 days to audit the subpoenaed documents that were handed over to you on March 19, 2013 from the Ohio Development Services Agency and JobsOhio before SB 67 becomes law and they are shielded from scrutiny. And if you have performed the audit already, Auditor Yost, will Ohioans get to see what you have found?

Nothing makes sense about Edward Snowden

In case you were unaware, Edward Snowden is a former employee of a government contractor who recently leaked some information about a government spy program. If you'd like more information you can read about it here.

Edward Snowden would like you to believe he's an honest guy. The people who "broke" the information he provided and then subsequently introduced you to him when he outed himself as a leaker certainly would. But when you dig just a little bit into his story - nothing makes sense.

I'll start out with a broad brush and note that according to Mr. Snowden, he outed himself, because, "I'm not going to hide."

Except he is in hiding. After he leaked all his information he took off to Hong Kong.

He then states that he's all about transparency. Except that he refused to disclose what party he supports or who he voted for in the Presidential election. When asked he just stated a third party, but really, why hide it? It's just going to make people dig, and that's exactly what they did. After Mr. Snowden's vague response, people found that he donated a few hundred dollars to Ron Paul in 2008.

After that you get into Edward Snowden's history, which turns out to be pretty murky. According to the Washington Post

"Some former CIA officials said they were troubled by aspects of Snowden’s background, at least as he described it to The Post and the Guardian.

The real outrage is the phony concern over government spying

I've been trying not to follow the latest "scandal" involving the Obama Administration. I put the word scandal in quotation marks, because the information that's being reported is nothing new. In fact, it's about a decade old. The information being, that the government is collecting a mass amount of data on people.

But ignoring this new "scandal" is getting pretty hard, because stories about it are everywhere. And as I read them, all I can think is, if this information is new to you - you're an idiot.

Seriously, if this is new to you, where have you been for the last ten years?

I remember reading about the mass collection of data on people back when the Patriot Act was being debated. The erosion of our civil liberties; this is what all those far-lefties were yelling about. There were articles and books written that specifically explained that the US government was working with telecommunications and internet companies to monitor citizens. I can think of two books off the top of my head that reported this. One was Robert O'Harrow's No Place to Hide. The book was written in 2005. Here's Amazon's intro of it...

"In No Place to Hide, award-winning Washington Post reporter Robert O'Harrow, Jr., lays out in unnerving detail the post-9/11 marriage of private data and technology companies and government anti-terror initiatives to create something entirely new: a security-industrial complex. Drawing on his years of investigation, O'Harrow shows how the government now depends on burgeoning private reservoirs of information about almost every aspect of our lives to promote homeland security and fight the war on terror."

You can buy the book here:
http://www.amazon.com/No-Place-to-Hide-ebook/dp/B000FCJYY6

Then there's also Angler by Barton Gellman. It's a book about Dick Cheney, but he also covers the fact that almost every American has been spied on (or "profiled") by the US government.
You can buy the book here:

Defunding Planned Parenthood denies access to affordable health care to both men and women

Great Letter to the Editor in today's Plain Dealer about the many health care services Planned Parenthood offers. While many people believe all Planned Parenthood does is abortions, it sets the record straight...

"Only 3 percent of their services have to do with abortion. Another 33.3 is contraception services. This includes vasectomies. Thirty-eight percent of its services include treating men and women for sexually transmitted diseases. Another 14.5 percent is for cancer screening and prevention. Other services include pregnancy tests, prenatal services, adoption referrals and a nutrition program for low-income families."

The entire letter can be found here:
http://blog.cleveland.com/letters/2013/06/planned_parenthood_does_more_t...

The effort to bring fairer wages and benefits to WalMart

Great write-up in the Huffington Post about OUR WalMart (Organization United for Respect) and their efforts to bring change to the world's largest retailer. It starts out...

"Earlier this year, Janet Sparks was called in to meet her bosses at the Walmart in Baker, La., where she works as a non-salaried supervisor in the customer service department.

Sparks, 53, had approached the managers earlier to complain about the treatment of some of her co-workers. Now, her bosses accused her of “creating a hostile work environment,” Sparks recalled. “They were not going to allow this.”

It continues...

"But Sparks had already become involved with a nascent labor movement seeking to organize people inside the world’s largest retailer, and she was cognizant that she had rights. She presented her managers with a government document that laid out the rights of non-union workers to organize. By the end of the meeting, she said, the bosses had agreed not to discipline her or her co-workers."

And then there's this...

"Many of Walmart’s 1.5 million workers earn close to minimum wage, placing them among the fast-growing cohort of American workers who earn so little that they officially live in poverty. Those who earn more often lack the hours they need to make ends meet."

We've heard it before, but it can't be said enough, WalMart and their low wage policies are helping to create mass poverty. We need to start working towards livable wages. People who have jobs and are working should not also need food stamps. The saying "united we bargain, divided we beg" couldn't be truer. Let's end the begging: this is America.

Entire article can be found here:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/06/walmart-activism-change-organiz...

Josh Mandel = Male version of Michele Bachmann

I recently watched the following video from CNN. It's the one where Michele Bachmann is desperately trying to flee a reporter. As she's running the reporter does manage to get some questions in, but all they get in response is gibberish. The "titanium" spine woman evades questions about outright lies she told as she looks for a place to run and hide. And while I was watching it all I could think is, this is Josh Mandel. And then I really thought about it, from bizarre Muslim allegations (Kevin Boyce, Huma Abedin)to telling outright lies and then staring blankly when confronted about them, these two, are basically the same person. I mean think about it.

Hmmm... maybe, somehow, they actually are...

More Potential for GOP Scandal. Oh No! Not in Josh Mandel's Office! Can't Be

Apparently, our state treasurer, Josh "The Empty Suit" Mandel isn't going to let our governor outdo him in setting up a situation ripe for abuse.

He has assumed ALL authority for deciding where state public pension funds are invested, with no input from the pension fund managers. He's getting some probably unwanted attention on this from the Columbus Dispatch:

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2013/06/02/does-law-hike-p...

And the Youngstown Vindicator:

http://www.vindy.com/news/2013/jun/07/ohio-treasurer-plays-with-fire-by-...

Remember, this is the same Josh Mandel who, a few weeks ago in the Dispatch story, voiced the opinion that public workers had unrealistic expectations that their funds would not be able to deliver — but the figures he cited in the story were wrong, said the Dispatch.

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2013/05/16/fund-leaders-fi...

In that story, Mandel expressed the opinion that the pension deals — hammered out last year and passed with bipartisan support — would have to be revisited, never mind that public workers had already increased their contributions and length of service to collect.

All this based on figures about the return the funds were showing that were way off and showed them to be in much better shape than Mandel was claiming.

Why on earth would anyone trust this guy to make decisions about where the funds would be banked?

Of course, why on earth would anyone trust this lazy, lying, unethical creep to begin with?

For the good of Ohio, the good of its workers and citizens, and the safety of its money, we need to elect Connie Pillich our state treasurer next year.

http://www.conniepillich.com/

Women Can Be Misogynists Too

From yesterday's Plain Dealer:

Republican Sen. Peggy Lehner said attacks on abortion are not attacks on women.

“I find the loss of 50 million unborn children as something we should all be concerned about,” Lehner said. “Life is something that is very precious. It’s not something that we own. I believe it is a gift from God. And with each and every abortion, we are rejecting God’s gift.”

http://www.cleveland.com/open/index.ssf/2013/06/ohio_senate_passes_its_v...

What a sanctimonious liar!

Peggy, the minute you use the word "God," it's no business of the government's and it should not be in the state "budget." It is not your concern what another person may consider a "gift from God," or if they think God exists at all.

But Peggy is a craven liar anyway — a typical woman-hater who could care less about "50 million unborn children" — or one.

Peggy Lehner's name doesn't come up among those fighting to expand Medicaid and retain funding for Planned Parenthood — two sources of access to maternity care to help keep those "unborn children" healthy.

I have never heard Peggy Lehner express dismay and outrage that in some neighborhoods in urban areas, infant mortality rates — and that's BORN children, not theoretical "unborn children" — are higher than in many third-world countries. And that those rates will likely increase with the redirection of Planned Parenthood funding to non-medical "crisis pregnancy centers," some of which are nothing more than religious propaganda outfits in disguise.

I haven't seen Peggy Lehner stand up on the floor of the state senate and denounce the cuts to education or the redirection of education funding to vouchers and for-profit charter schools — most of which are failing to provide adequate education to poor children.

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