As We Eagerly Await Kasich's Big Announcement

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:

http://www.politico.com/story/2015/07/john-kasichs-anger-management-1203...

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.

It opens:

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 Excited! Katich is Announcing This Morning. LOL

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.”

http://www.politico.com/story/2015/07/john-kasich-throws-a-hail-mary-120...

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.

Congresswoman Marcia Fudge Endorses Hillary Clinton

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.

She said,

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.

Kasich for President Why? Toledo Blade Columnist Dismantles His Record

“With his background, why is Kasich planning a presidential run?” asked Toledo Blade columnist Marilou Johanek recently.

https://www.toledoblade.com/MarilouJohanek/2015/07/04/With-his-backgroun...

Why indeed?

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.

Kasich to Announce Presidential Run at THE OSU July 21; Come and Protest!

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:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1432017433790129/

They’ll be gathering across the street from the OSU Union at 13th and High Street where Kasich will be speaking starting at 9am.

Thanks, David Brennan!

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.

http://www.edweek.org/ew/qc/2015/2015-state-report-cards-map.html

“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.”

http://www.10thperiod.com/2015/07/kasich-education-record-from-5th-to-18...

“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”

http://www.prwatch.org/node/12624

“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.

Kasich Loves the Little Children

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:

http://www.toledonewsnow.com/story/29496941/governor-kasich-signs-legisl...

Heartbreaking Story of the Impacts of Ohio Education Policy

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.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2015/07/14/teacher-i...

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.”

A Dysfunctional Legislature

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.

What indeed!

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?

Of Course Kasich Did Not Veto the Attacks on Abortion Clinics

Taxin’ John Kasich is out on the campaign trail, trying to spin his rudeness and arrogance as being “direct.” He hasn’t learned that being “direct” means being open and honest about your policies and what you are doing, and has nothing to do with insulting people or being condescending. He’s confusing the two.

It was pretty much a foregone conclusion that Kasich, believing he’s on a special mission from God to impose his alleged religious beliefs on others and save “babies” until they can be born and suffer from his endless cuts to education and other services, would not veto the absurd and irrelevant regulations written, inappropriately, into the budget bill.

These had nothing to do with health or safety. They were simply hoops to jump through, intended to close clinics and make choice and freedom a joke for the women suffering the most from Kasich’s miserable, backpedaling economy.

What was also a foregone conclusion, alas, was that he would not stand up and be open and honest about what he intended to do and why, even knowing how strongly his opposition felt and how many women would be badly hurt by his actions. For a man who allegedly has such strong religious beliefs, he’s a coward. A bold man of true belief would have stated publicly, “I know you disagree with me, but I feel I have t go through with this because of my beliefs.”

But Kasich is not such a man and he made a mockery of his claims that he is so “direct.” He’s indirection incarnate. I’m actually looking forward to his presidential campaign because I think it will expose him for the dishonest charlatan that he is.

Mr. Kasich Goes to Washington — And Lies His Ass Off

If you’ve been thinking that Ohio has been refreshingly free of bluster and hot air lately, it’s not your imagination. Our governor, Taxin’ John Kasich, has been out of state trying to win over Republican power players and donors to his presidential aspirations. He’s expected to announce at THE Ohio State University on July 21.

Most recently, like yesterday, Taxin’ Johnny has been in Washington D.C., meeting donors, lobbyists and congresspeople, trying to persuade them that he’s the candidate to back. While most of the people he served with during his time in the in Congress from 1983-2001 are gone now, he’s got the support of three of Ohio’s least illustrious current officeholders: slimy banking lobbyist Steve Stivers, Mr. Delaware County Pat Tiberi and Mike “Who?” Turner.

Kasich, of course, is trying to dupe people with his continued insistence that he brought the Ohio economy from the brink of disaster to boom times. Never mind that Ohio has lagged the country’s recovery for something like three years, that he hasn’t replaced all the jobs lost in the Bush recession, and that, while many of the lost jobs were middle-income, virtually all the replacement jobs are low-wage. And the income of the average Ohioan as declined. (The average income at Kasich’s brainchild, the privatized job creation engine JobsOhio, on the other hand, has shot up dramatically. And lack of transparency means the luxurious compensation there may be even higher).

Kasich also continues to push the idea that he is a “fiscal conservative” who is in favor of cutting spending. What I wouldn’t give for one bold reporter to ask him publicly why, if that’s the case, his current budget is nearly 40 percent higher than the one Ted Strickland left him with. Kasich is a spending addict in deep denial.

Kasich Signs Budget Today — Call His Office NOW, 614-466-3555

The legislature crammed more irrelevant anti-choice stuff into the budget bill yet again, rules for clinics that have nothing to do with health or safety but are solely intended to make it prohibitive for them to stay in business, and put abortion as a choice out of reach of women who are not affluent (and please keep in mind this is a class issue. The women for whom there would be no choice at all are primarily poor and working women).

The governor has to sign the budget by the end of the day. He can line-item veto anything, and has done so in the past, although not with anti-choice clauses. But he CAN and he should, especially if he thinks he's running for president (word is he announces on July 21).

He doesn't even have to say it's about abortion, which he opposes. He can say that such items don't belong in the budget bill — and it's true. It's just a backdoor way of stripping some of their rights. If our legislature and governor believe so strongly in this, let them put up a stand-alone bill and publicly debate it, allowing for testimony, and making their position as conspicuous as possible. Otherwise, they're nothing but misogynistic cowards.

The number to call is 614-466-3555.

Also protest at the statehouse this evening at 6:30pm if you are in Columbus::
https://www.facebook.com/events/1599397840314413/

Go here for more information: http://prochoiceohio.org

Jim Obergefell speaks

Those of you who are still on a high from the Supreme Court's Friday decision on marriage equality should read this column, written by the named plaintiff in the case, Cincinnati's Jim Obergefell. He propelled the case when he asked to be recognized on his dying partner's death certificate as the surviving spouse and our good "Christian" attorney general Mike DeWine said "uh uh."

This is a very eloquent tribute to Jm's late partner John and how their fight propelled Jim into a role he never expected to have. DeWine should read this and feel shame, although that's doubtful.

Here's just a little piece of it:

What I didn’t expect on my way to that courtroom was to discover how much our story and our fight resonated with people across the country. People stop me to say thanks, to tell me their story, to talk about a loved one, to offer condolences, or to simply hug me. One young man told me our story gave him the courage to come out. An evangelical Republican shook my hand and thanked me. A mother told me, on the day her daughter came out to her, that hearing me speak made them both cry and gave them hope. Two friends told me that my fight for the commitments I made to my husband changed their opinions on marriage equality. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth thank me for helping create a world in which they feel safer, more hopeful, and more valued.

Read the rest here:

http://variety.com/2015/biz/news/gay-activist-jim-obergefell-love-loss-c...

More Good News From the Supreme Court —And a Little Bad

With two huge and impactful decisions coming out of the Supreme Court late last week, it was easy to miss one that slipped in right after that could have even more far-reaching effects.

The Supreme Court decided 5-4 (of course!) that citizen redistricting panels were indeed constitutional.

This was being disputed by Republicans from Arizona where a nonpartisan redistricting panel has kept the blood-red state from being even more lopsided in favor of the GOP, giving everyone a voice. They insisted the Constitution meant that only legislators — politicians — had the power to set the districts.

Now, some observers said that if the court found the other way, it would have also nullified the nonpartisan redistricting process in California, opening the door for Democrats to do some major damage to the GOP in that enormous and enormously Democratic state. That may be true, but it’s not a good way to look at it.

Drawing fair district lines is one of the cornerstones of fair elections, along with removing the money flood and making voting for difficult, especially for certain groups of people. With lopsided districts, voters essentially have no voice; the result is preordained. Incumbents are rarely threatened.

When that happens, forward movement on issues like health care and marriage equality, among other things, is infinitely more difficult. John Boehner, for instance, has vowed to continue the time- and money-wasting charade of voting MORE times to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Open, fair, competitive elections are the gateway to everything else. That’s why it’s my main issue.

Nina Turner announces run for Cleveland Mayor - ...

How else would one interpret this tweet?...

Thanks Be.

So many, many people made today's historical decision happen. Certainly Cincinnati's Jim Obergefell, whose name will be associated with it for hundreds of years in the future, was a key player. And nothing this big happens without advocates of every stripe.

A lot of people are jumping up to take credit, but I would like to take a moment to credit a couple of Ohioans whose vision got the ball rolling in Ohio and whose work was made joyously moot by today's decision: Ian James and James Winnett who started Freedom Ohio and first got in touch with me some three and a half years ago.

They began the work on collecting signatures to get marriage equality — and the repeal of the "Defense of Marriage" amendment on the ballot. They encountered roadblocks like Mike DeWine — Ohio's Roadblock General — and skeptics who said Ohio wasn't ready, that we needed a housing/jobs nondiscrimination bill first, that polling wasn't good enough. Later they encountered the efforts of Johnny-come-latelys who .... well, whatever. It's water down the drain. But Freedom Ohio was there first, when there wasn't any money or credit or glory, when it was just determined volunteers like the amazing Gwen Andrix of Bowling Green, who was out at any event she could find in any weather ready to get that one last signature.

I am sure that none of them minds that the work they did has been rendered irrelevant but the Supreme Court — and yet it really wasn't. They knew from the beginning that there were a lot of hearts and minds that needed to be changed and so they set to work doing that. And while the threats of some Republicans to push a constitutional amendment banning marriage equality to overturn the Supreme Court decision are really so much hot air — history is a fast-moving stream in the other direction — it never hurts to have an extra layer of protection.

Good work, guys. And to all our Cleveland LGBT friends and their allies: happy Pride this weekend! What timing!

Let Freedom Ring - US Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage in all 50 states - ...

Wow - in a 5-4 decision that came down this morning the US Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. Being the pessimist that I am, I didn't think this was possible. I actually had to check multiple news sites and then I emailed a couple of people to make sure what I was reading was correct and not some joke.

I am so happy for so many people I've met through Democratic and Republican politics. (there are gay Republicans). I know this decision means so much to them - words cannot describe. I personally am looking forward to attending several gay weddings in the near future.

I know for some this decision does not bring the elation that some of us are feeling, but I'd ask them to look a little deeper and just see the happiness - share our joy. Love is love and this decision today is what so many have been waiting for to enjoy a lifetime of happiness. Let's celebrate.

Guest Column: Adam Harrison, Candidate for Ohio Senate, District 8

We always like hearing from candidates for the state legislature. God knows they don't get enough coverage in the mainstream media, adding another layer of unresponsiveness to that gerrymandered body.

We received the following op-ed from Adam Harrison, who is running in Ohio Senate district 8. It's in northern Hamilton county and it's the seat currently held by Bill Seitz (who is term limited) so you can imagine! But you should get to know Adam in his own words.

MY SOLUTION FOR OHIO
By Adam Harrison

How would I change the culture of Ohio politics? What do I think should be done by our leadership? Simply put, Ohio needs better.

Ohio was built by blue-collar union manufacturing. My grandfather worked for both Frigidaire and GM, ultimately retiring from GM. He bought a house in a great, safe town. He always had a nice car. My grandmother was able to stay home with the kids. Jobs like his made up the bulk of the middle class workforce.

Gone are those days. High-paying and readily available GM jobs have been replaced by low-wage Target and Walmart; Frigidaire by McDonalds. We need better jobs; jobs that pay a wage adequate for the rising cost of goods. The minimum wage is a great example. Most new jobs created since the recession only pay minimum wage. If it was increased to stay on par with inflation it would be over $10 an hour. Companies are increasing outsourcing, hiring freelance/contract, and shrinking their workforce as new technology makes some workers obsolete. Ohio politicians need to be protecting the American worker and his/her job, not playing bedfellow with Fortune 500 America.

Obamcare Upheld! Hey Mike DeWine, Can We Taxpayers Get a Refund from YOU?

In a decision that has many people I know heaving a giant sigh of relief the Supreme Court has ruled 6-3 that subsidies under the Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare are legal and what was intended in the legislation that created the ACA. If things had gone the way of the three dissenters — Scalia, Thomas and Alito — millions of people would have been unable to afford their insurance, costs would have skyrocketed and the ACA would have died by attrition, the long-time goal of the heartless Republicans in Congress who would willingly destroy the lives of millions of Americans just to prevent President Obama from accomplishing anything.

The decision is also a defeat for Ohio attorney general Mike DeWine who pandered to far-right extremists during his 2010 election campaign by saying his first act on his first day in office would be to file lawsuit to overturn Obamacare. He kept that promise, thinking more of his personal ideology than the good of Ohio’s citizens.

The problem is that he didn’t pay for this out of his own pocket. He paid for it out of ours. As with his fights against the right of LGBT people to marry, the right of women to access affordable contraception and the right of citizens to vote without undue obstacles, he has used our own money to attack us.

Regular readers of this blog know that I have called for DeWine’s resignation. As Ohio attorney general he has been a disaster. I don’t know if it’s possible for him to change course. I’m dubious. But he should take a serious look at using the tax dollars allocated to his office to do something useful for Ohioans rather than chasing quixotic anti-rights lawsuits all the way to the Supreme Court.

Leader of Racist Group That Inspired Charleston Shooter Funded GOP Candidates — Including Two Ohioans

After the tragic shootings in Charleston, South Carolina last week, it came out that the young punk who killed nine churchgoers in a Bible study group wrote that his “eyes were opened” to the validity of virulent racism by online postings at the website of the Council of Conservative Citizens.

The background and agenda of this group has never been secret. I recall when I first heard of it. It was during the Clinton impeachment hearings of the late ’90s when a Georgia congressman named Bob Barr had a prominent role in that misbegotten episode. Barr had close ties to the group but later on claimed he had no idea — none whatsoever! — that the group grew out of the White Citizens Council and existed to promote racist attitudes.

“A spokesman for Rep. Robert L. Barr Jr. (R-Ga.) acknowledged yesterday that Barr was a keynote speaker earlier this year at a meeting of the Council of Conservative Citizens, an organization promoting views that interracial marriage amounts to white genocide and that Abraham Lincoln was elected by socialists and communists,” write the Washington Post in December 1998.

But his spokesman also responded to criticism by saying he wasn’t going to take time out from his laser focus on the bogus attack on Clinton to “respond to groundless attacks.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/clinton/stories/ba...

(An aside: it turned out that Barr, like Newt Gingrich, was cheating on his second wife with his soon-to-be third wife at the time he was going after Clinton).

The Washington Post cites a post on the Council of Conservative Citizens’ website site at the time that said,

The Cowardice of Ohio's Misogynist Legislators

So — they’re doing it again. With as much haste and secrecy as they can muster, our legislature is back to attacking women’s reproductive freedom.

The anti-woman crew in the Ohio legislature can muster up some crocodile tears and some pretty but deceptive words about “protecting life” and “saving the unborn” but don’t believe a word of it. THEY don’t believe it, as their attacks on contraception and their maternity care and their refusal to provide support for women and child has made clear. It’s nothing but contempt for women, especially lower income women, who stand to be impacted most by their pointless, unwarranted and in some cases flat-out cruel restrictions on abortion.

Many of their assaults have centered on placing picayune requirements on abortion clinics that bear no relationship to the quality and safety of the services they provide But this time, they’re going for the cruel and nasty.

In an email this morning from NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio’s Kellie Copeland, we learned that the state senate scheduled a surprise full floor vote today, Wednesday June 24 at 1:30 — just about now.

She writes,

“The Ohio Senate is pushing retaliation legislation, following the removal of abortion restrictions from the budget and a court decision in Toledo that kept the Capital Care Network abortion clinic in operation.
The bill sacrifices the health and reproductive rights of women at their most vulnerable moment: most women targeted by this bill are suffering from medical complications to a wanted pregnancy. They are facing losing a pregnancy due to severe birth defects, and Statehouse politicians are forcing their way into the operating room to handcuff the doctor.
This vote is scheduled to go down in two hours. Call now.


Here’s where to find your senator’s phone number to give them hell:

http://www.ohiosenate.gov/senate/index

Jeb! Duh.

Anyone still remember when Jeb! Bush was referred to as “the smart Bush,” a reference to his brother’s slightly goofy, bumbling aura. In contrast, and in contrast to the rest of the frothy-mouthed wingnut GOP presidential field this year, Jeb!, (or Jeb!ya — the exclamation mark comes courtesy of his own campaign), was supposed to be the sane, level-headed, competent candidate in the field, the one who had the aura of a confident, clear-thinking leader.

HA!

Many people, me included, are now wondering if Dubya was really “the smart one,” and his younger brother is the bumbling doofus. So far in his campaign, he appears to be.

Start with his bungled campaign rollout. With eight or nine candidates already off and running, Jeb! was playing it coy and not exactly running, but in fact really running, as he slipped and told one audience last month. In fact, his campaign was being coordinated by a superPAC which can raise money in larger quantities than an actual declared candidate, but cannot actually run a campaign. Let’s just say Jeb! was getting dangerously close to breaking campaign finance law, and he finally had to give up the fiction that he was not officially running and announce his candidacy.

Then of course, he was famously asked about his brother’s biggest liability — the Iraq war, which now finds little favor in any political circle. He was asked, “Knowing what we know now, would you have gone to war in Iraq?” Well, knowing what we know now, it’s hard to imagine anyone would except maybe Dick Cheney.

Sure, said Jeb!. Then, I didn’t heard the question properly, said Jeb!. Then, maybe I…I …I dunno, said Jeb!.

Republican Catholics Insult the Pope

Conservative Catholics, including some very vocal conservative Catholic Republican politicians, like to present themselves as exemplars of consistent morality and unchanging, absolute values.

Back in 2004, when then-Cardinal Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict) was encouraging U.S. bishops to try to sway the presidential election by making public statements about how they would deny communion to pro-choice candidates (virtually all Democrats), these conservatives made it clear you could not pick and choose which dictates from the Vatican you adhered to. You were a heretic if you rejected any of the churches dictates, never mind that virtually every Catholic today is a pick-and-choose “Cafeteria Catholic.”

As these conservatives have now exposed themselves to be.

Pope Francis has proved to be a huge disappointment to them. He simply doesn’t blindly endorse the entire Republican Party platform. Bummer.

And he has, to their chagrin, been a leading voice in the call to address climate change and the despoiling of the environment. Worse, in doing so, he has attacked greed, overconsumption and what he has called a “throwaway” culture.

To a party whose mantra is so-called “free market” capitalism and whose slogan could be “greed is good,” this is inconvenient indeed.

The unpleasantly judgmental martinet Rich Santorum, in his second run for the presidency, was the first to basically tell the Pope to shut up and mind his own business.

"The church has gotten it wrong a few times on science,” he said. “We probably are better off leaving science to the scientists, and focusing on what we’re really good at, which is theology and morality.”

Yes, Ricky, leave the science to the scientists, virtually all of whom say the Republican stance on climate change is wrong. But that's a REALLY inconvenient truth for your friends the Koch Brothers, who built their fortune on fossil fuels.

Once Again, Ohio GOP Uses Budget to Push Attacks on Women

What? You thought they were going to stop pushing their pathological contempt for women in sneak attacks they hope the public won’t notice? Nope.

Just as they inserted a whole bunch of anti-choice garbage into the last budget bill while our dishonest, cowardly governor signed into law late on a Sunday evening and refused to talk about it, they’re doing it again.

They continue their attacks on abortion by hamstringing clinics with so many onerous, expensive and totally unnecessary regulations that they’re forced to close. And then, for lower income women, safer, legal abortion is for all practical purposes outlawed.

In the last budget they required clinics to have a transfer agreement with a non-public hospital. In areas where the only options are a public hospital or, increasingly a Catholic hospital as that system expands its reach. That severely limited the choices. Now they have added language that the hospital would have to be within 30 miles of the clinic, yet another petty rule that has no basis in need or safety. This would close the only remaining clinic in Toledo which was forced to go out of state for a transfer agreement, with the University of Michigan health system in Ann Arbor, itself a sad commentary on the backwardness of Ohio and the malignance of its legislature and governor.

New York Times Spoons Up Kasich Krap

If anyone still thinks the New York Times is the “liberal media,” they should read the credulous hooey served up in the paper today by a reporter who followed Taxin’ John Kasich on the campaign trail to Michigan.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/17/us/politics/john-kasich-ohios-republic...

Kasich, of course, is running for president — God help us — even though he’s being all coy about it right now. And the media is trying to pretend he’s a candidate who can go all the way, willingly swallowing the spin Kasich partisans are putting him and adding a little of their own.

First of all, there’s this idea that Kasich is a “rebel” with “unorthodox views.” No, he’s a doctrinaire extreme conservative who said during his first campaign for governor that he wanted to use Ohio as a test lab for conservative ideology. And while he hasn’t gone as far as Kansas’ Sam Brownback or Wisconsin’s Scott Walker, he’s done a lot of damage. And what exactly is so rebellious about serving the interests of the wealthy over those of ordinary citizens? Republicans do it all the time. Sure, they hold out a handful of positions Kasich has taken that aren’t popular with the radical Tea Party base, like expanding Medicaid or not being QUITE as extreme on immigration. So he’s a “rebel” for occasionally showing common sense?

What is saddest is that the reporter dutifully records the credentials Kasich claims for himself without ever asking or indicating if they are true or not — more “he said” journalism where the reporter can copy down the most egregious lies and let them stand because, well, somebody said them.

Sponsored Post

The Views Expressed In Reader-Contributed Comments, Forums And Posts Are Not Necessarily Those Of OhioDaily Or Its Management.