Get involved with the HB 194 repeal — another Cleveland training and petition info.

OK, once Mike Dewine decides to stop dragging his feet and do the right thing (he certainly greased the skids for the questionable health care repeal effort, didn't he?), we will have petitions to collect 231,000 valid signatures to repeal HB 194. The Cuyahoga Democratic Party told me they THINK they may have them Saturday, but that may just be when Columbus has them. I am so impatient I'm tempted to drive down to Columbus myself to pick some up.

In the meanwhile, please go sign up to circulate a petition here:
http://ohiodems.org/stop_voter_suppression

We need to be ready to jump on this. We'll have a little under six weeks to do this, and we HAVE to do it. Failure is not an option. Failure means thousands of people disenfranchised next year and that is un-American and WRONG. It's the REAL treason, Rick Perry.

For those of you in the Greater Cleveland area who have not circulated petitions before or want a refresher or who just want to learn more about what this bill is and why we want it repealed, there is an educational event at the West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church at 20104 Hilliard Road in Rocky River (right off I-90) Thursday evening August 18 from 6-7:30 p.m. Anyone who wants to get involved is welcome. For more information, contact Kmiddaugh@ameritech.net

Action Alert! – Call Attorney General Mike DeWine

Attorney General Mike DeWine is playing politics with Ohio’s elections. Right now he is sitting on petitions from the citizens of Ohio that seek to repeal a voter suppression bill passed by the Ohio State House. The petitions and the repeal effort are both fair and it would only be right for Attorney General DeWine to make a prompt and fair decision and not take any needless delays simply to impede the process. Please call Attorney General DeWine’s office today and ask him not to delay and to make a prompt and fair decision on the Fair Elections Ohio petitions. His contact number is:

Toll free: 800-282-0515
Local: 614-466-4986
Office hours: M-F, 8am to 7pm

Please call today!

President Obama begins three day bus tour

President Barack Obama began a three day bus tour today starting in Minnesota. He’s doing what any president should be doing in times like these, which is going to the people, and talking with them, and listening to them.

He started off his first town hall meeting talking about the Affordable Care Act and some of the negative nicknames it has gotten. He stated:

"I have no problem with folks saying ‘Obama cares,’” he said, standing in white shirtsleeves in a rural Minnesota waterfront park evocative of a Norman Rockwell painting. “I do.”

He pointed out:

”Despite of Standard & Poor’s downgrade of the nation’s credit rating, Obama called the growing deficit a “manageable problem” that he said could have been solved if House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) hadn’t “walked away” from a $4 trillion deal that would have included some revenue increases as well as spending cuts.”

That’s right, the Raw Deal of 2011 where the Republicans screwed over the nation and forced a credit downgrade, because they would not comprise. President Obama tried to save us, but the Republicans with their warped ideology brought us down.

President Obama pointed out:

“Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton — the last time we had a balanced budget — all of them understood that you have to take a balanced approach to solving our deficit and debt problems, the same way a family would.”

The Republicans of today are unfit to lead – period. Their policies are destroying education, destroying the middle class, destroying the nation, and not creating any jobs - - just protecting a very few ultra-rich people who even some of them (like Warren Buffett) think it’s crazy.

The entire article can be found here:
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0811/61414_Page2.html

Warren Buffett – “Stop Coddling the Super-Rich”

In what Democrats should be putting front and center, Warren Buffett wrote an excellent Op-ed piece in the New York Times detailing the tax in-equities in our nation. Showing that he’s someone who hasn’t lost his brain trying to follow warped Republican ideologies that somehow low taxes on the rich “creates jobs,” he details how these policies have greatly benefited him, but sold out middle class and lower class America. (and when I write lower class America, I’m not just talking about minorities, but also millions of white Americans who live at or below the poverty line).

In his Op-ed, Buffett, states:

”OUR leaders have asked for “shared sacrifice.” But when they did the asking, they spared me. I checked with my mega-rich friends to learn what pain they were expecting. They, too, were left untouched.”

He continues:

”While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks. Some of us are investment managers who earn billions from our daily labors but are allowed to classify our income as “carried interest,” thereby getting a bargain 15 percent tax rate. Others own stock index futures for 10 minutes and have 60 percent of their gain taxed at 15 percent, as if they’d been long-term investors.”

Another great point he makes:

”To understand why, you need to examine the sources of government revenue. Last year about 80 percent of these revenues came from personal income taxes and payroll taxes. The mega-rich pay income taxes at a rate of 15 percent on most of their earnings but pay practically nothing in payroll taxes. It’s a different story for the middle class: typically, they fall into the 15 percent and 25 percent income tax brackets, and then are hit with heavy payroll taxes to boot.

Get ready for the repeal of HB 194: Cleveland training tonight (Monday)

Word is that by the end of this week, we should have petitions to start gathering signatures to repeal voter suppression bill HB 194. Contact your local Democratic Party and get to work. We only have until September 29 to gather231,000 valid signatures. Considering the gamesmanship in Columbus and how essential this bill is to Republicans for them to prevail next November, we probably need to gather twice that. This is very important, as this bill's goal is to prevent as many people like to vote for Democrats from voting as possible and to make sure as many votes as possible get tossed out. It's going backwards and it's an embarrassment and an insult to our democracy. If we gather the signatures, it won't take effect until after next year's November election — and that's only if we don't repeal it.

If you have not gathered signatures before, or just want a refresher, there is a training tonight (Monday) from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Antioch Baptist Church, 8869 Cedar Avenue. All are welcome — and we need a lot of people on board.

Indiana Republican State Rep. caught soliciting gay sex on Craigslist

Following in the lines of people like former Congressman Mark Foley and former US Senator Larry Craig; Phillip Hinkle, a Republican State Representative in Indiana was caught soliciting gay sex on Craigslist. The IndyStar reports:

”The emails were sent Saturday from Hinkle's publicly listed personal address in response to a Craigslist posting asking for a "sugga daddy." The response from phinkle46 @comcast.net offered the young man $80 for "a couple hours of your time tonight" at the JW Marriott hotel, with a tip of up to $50 or $60 "for a really good time."

The Star further reports:

”This is almost a textbook example of what happens when someone is not allowed, by either community attitudes or by personal conflicts, to be open about their sexual orientation or gender identity," said Schaler, whose organization advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Hoosiers.”

It wasn’t made clear if Mr. Hinkle ever supported any anti-gay legislation, but I don’t think anyone would be surprised if he did. Calls for his resignation are ongoing and that is probably what will happen.

It is sad that the Republican Party cannot be more honest about this issue. There have always been gay people in the party, many serving as top aids to different politicians. When their leaders fan the flames of hate only to have things like this happen, it shows how disconnected Republicans are from reality. If any of them had any ability to think and comprehend they would know that tolerance will lead us to a more peaceful and happier society. Their current policies just lead to confusion and despair.

The Republicans – the party of denial.

Link to complete story:
http://www.indystar.com/article/20110813/LOCAL1804/108130322/Hinkle-pressured-resign-after-damaging-emails-made-public?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|IndyStar.com

No on Issue 2 – it is simply unjust

ProgressOhio put together another great video summing up what Senate Bill 5 (SB5) is really all about – a blatant attack on hard working people. In the video State Senator Nina Turner puts SB5 in the clearest light by simply saying it is unjust. She couldn’t be more right.

There’s an easy way to fix these injustices. Simply vote ‘No’ on Issue 2 this November.

'No on 2!, No on 2!'

Good news! Ohio Democratic Party names new executive director

And the winner is .... Kyle McDermott, whom I, like undoubtedly some of you, know from Maryellen O'Shaughnessy's gallant, hard-fought race for secretary of state last year (and what a great SoS she would have been!) Unfortunately, she was tossed in the race with about eight months to build her name recognition statewide, since she'd never run outside Franklin County before. She outperformed a hometown candidate who was higher on the ticket in Cuyahoga County, likely due her own energy and her well-run campaign.

Currently, Kyle is working with AFSCME on the campaign to repeal SB 5 (NO on 2!!! NO on 2!!!!!!). He will start work with the ODP after the — hopefully successful — election.

And let's hope this signals a turned page for the ODP in terms of responsiveness to and respect for its entire base. Working with the O'Shaughnessy campaign, with its peculiar history, Kyle is surely aware of the issues some activists, particularly women, had with the party in the last election cycle. With races so close and ill winds blowing, we couldn't afford those issues. They blew in Governor Kasich, and he could very well blow down the state. We need to go into next year refreshed and ready to retake the Ohio House of Representatives, as well as re-elect Sherrod Brown and President Obama. I think we all look forward to working with Kyle and seeing some windows opened at the ODP to let in some fresh air.

Here's the official release from the ODP:

Ohio Democratic Party Names Kyle McDermott Executive Director

COLUMBUS – Today, the Ohio Democratic Party announced it has named Kyle McDermott as Executive Director. As Executive Director, McDermott will be responsible for devising, implementing and managing the execution of the Ohio Democratic Party, its overall election strategy and activities, and its plan for growth.

Innovation Ohio: report on E-Schools (online schools) and their complete gravy train of tax payer funding with zero results

Innovation did a great study on E-Schools in Ohio revealing their unbelievably poor graduation rates while taking in millions upon millions of tax payers’ dollars. It’s a total gravy train for the E-School operators that comes at the expense of Ohio’s children. Truly disgusting. Following is a link to the report and a press release about it.

Link to report:
http://innovationohio.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/IO.051211.eschools....

Press release:

Ohio E-Schools: Funding Failure; Coddling Contributors
May 12, 2011 By editor
For Immediate Release: May 12, 2011

OHIO’S E-SCHOOLS: FUNDING FAILURE; CODDLING CONTRIBUTORS

Columbus – Innovation Ohio, a progressive think tank headquartered in Columbus, released a new study today which finds that Ohio’s Electronic schools (“E-schools”) are “a disaster.” E-schools are a subset of “charter” or “community” schools that have made headlines this week.

The report, “Funding Failure; Coddling Contributors,” analyzes E-school performance ratings and student graduation rates, their costs compared to traditional schools, and the tens of millions of dollars in taxpayer money E-school operators receive for running them. The report also highlights the extensive political contributions the state’s two most prominent E-school operators have made to Ohio legislators and state-wide office-holders.

Among the report’s most shocking findings are:

Of Ohio’s 7 state-wide E-schools (which account for 90% of all E-school enrollment), six are not even rated “effective” by the Ohio Department of Education.

5 of the 7 have graduation rates worse than Cleveland Municipal Schools, which has the lowest graduation rate of all traditional school districts.

Far from “saving’ money, E-Schools actually cost the state twice as much per pupil as traditional public schools.

A failing of free market economics

What we’ve seen over the past few years is an utter failing of free market economics. The colossal bank failures that brought down the global economy and put the world into a recession were a hundred-percent due to free market politics go wrong. Trying to blame Republicans or Democrats for the meltdown is worthless - - it’s the policy that failed.

It’s not the first time we’ve seen these policies fail. In the 80s there was the Savings and Loans (S&L) scandals. In the late 1990s there was the failing of the hedge fund Long-Term Capital Management. In the early 2000s the dot-com bubble burst; and also massive accounting scandals first discovered with Enron.

All of these disasters came from following free market principles. They came from less regulation, the permission for companies to grow to enormous sizes, compete in markets they shouldn't have been in, which killed of competition, created monopolies, and then laid people off, downsized, outsourced and reduced the number of potential jobs in the market place.

In some kind of terrible joke played on the American people they were led to believe while this concentration of power was going on that these massive new organizations needed even more advantages for them to help coalesce power. They needed tax breaks. Somehow the American people were sold the idea that by doing this money would “trickle-down,” jobs would be created and they would benefit from it. The reality is these organizations and many ultra-rich people simply kept the money that was supposed to “trickle-down.” Not only have these people kept the money, they’ve made it pretty clear they have no intention of ever parting from it.

The average citizen has been locked out. For many their paychecks are smaller. Their job security is less. Their work environments are more stressful. They are working longer hours and have less savings.

Democratic victories in Wisconsin a good sign

You may be reading this morning or seeing the coverage of the state senate recall elections in Wisconsin last night, and feeling down because the right-wing mainstream media is spinning this as a Republican victory: they lost two seats but they held the Senate — by a single vote.

THEY LOST TWO SEATS. They lost two of the most odious extremist Republican legislators, Dan Kapanke and Randy Hopper. Remember that the reason Republican senators represent these districts in which Democrats didn't prevail is because they are Republican to begin with. To dump two is a strong statement to Governor Scott Walker — and to Governor John Kasich.

Clearly, the Kasich mouthpieces at the Columbus Disgrace (Dispatch) are getting worried. They ran a propaganda piece Monday urging UNIONS to be reasonable, to come to the table, and to negotiate with Kasich rather than to go through with a divisive SB 5 repeal campaign. Never mind that it was Kasich who made it divisive, that it was Kasich who rammed through SB 5 without even a hint of getting input from unions let alone negotiating with them, and that Kasich has shown no public interest in negotiating with anyone, let alone the unions he has repeatedly belittled and maligned (the Disgrace attributes his alleged willingness to unnamed "sources").

Clearly, the Disgrace is worried that, come November, the person being disgraced and discredited will be their man Kasich. They want unions to write their own death warrant and prevent a rebuke to Kasich. Our goal is to make that rebuke happen. Go here to be a part of it:
http://weareohio.com/

Victory is within grasp, if we keep our eye on the goal and work hard for it.

Warren County activists protest outside John Boehner's office

This comes to us from Bethe Goldenfield at the Warren County Democratic Party. She says that about 200 people demonstrated outside John Boehner's office today, protesting the lack of focus on job creation by the session of Congress he is allegedly leading (some would say he is being led around by the nose by the Tea Party).

WLWT-TV 5 in Cincinnati says there were "dozens" of protestors, but they also posted a video so you can see for yourself that the crowd was much larger than that wouild imply:

http://www.wlwt.com/video/28811416/detail.html

‎Bethe says:

"200 people in attendance today!
I (and Jerry Martin) spoke to 2 of the police officers on duty who were monitoring the event and they had nothing but positive words for the behavior of the attendees. They were impressed by the peaceful and respectful behavior of the large crowd."

Boehner was most likely playing golf in another state.

Josh Mandel: craven liar or dangerously ignorant? You decide.

Well, lookie here in today's Cleveland Plain Dealer. Josh "The Empty Suit" Mandel has written a letter to the editor.

http://blog.cleveland.com/letters/2011/08/credit_downgrade_sherrod_brown...

In it, Mandel defends his position against raising the debt ceiling (a position that the paper, in its so-called Politi"Fact" feature, called Sherrod Brown's campaign liars for saying Mandel had taken).

Incredibly, Mandel says "Sen. Sherrod Brown's support of the debt deal and his vote against the balanced budget amendment were decisions both harmful and, once again, out of touch with Ohio families and senior citizens."

Never mind that the "balanced budget amendment" was the most reckless and extreme of all the budgetary measures suggested, one that would have simply nuked the economy and our country, and forced a radical alteration to our country's 220-plus year old Constitution in an essentially hostage-type situation. We would have been forced by this to bill to instantly change something that our founding fathers didn't put in for a reason: a balanced budget clause in our original Constitution would have put this fledging country out of business before the 18th century was over. It would put this country out of business now. And the same crazy, anti-America teabaggers who whined that the Affordable Health Care bill was "rushed through" — after a year of discussion and saturation media, which they dominated — want to force the country into bankruptcy at the snap of their fingers. These are the delightful people with whom the fiscally ignorant — or terminally cynical — Mandel has aligned himself.

Marcia Fudge brings the Congressional Black Caucus to Cleveland

For the third straight August since she became the congresswoman from Ohio's 11th district, Marcia Fudge held a town hall meeting in Cleveland this evening. This year, unlike 2009, there were no teabaggers for her to evict; the packed auditorium at Cleveland State University was friendly. Instead, she brought an all-star cast with her, including fellow members of the Congressional Black Caucus Sheila Jackson Lee (Tx), Emanuel Cleaver (Mo), Maxine Waters (Ca), Laura Richardson, Andre Carson (In) and G.K. Butterfield (N.C.), HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

The town hall capped a day-long job fair at CSU that Fudge said was attended by 7,000 people, the first of five the CBC is sponsoring around the country. The group had assembled more than 200 employers who had made commitments to hire 2,500 people.

Cleaver said that the motivation for the jobs fairs was the lack of action on jobs in Congress, which was held hostage until last week by deficit panic ginned up by the far right. He said, "We're in the most serious recession the nation has experienced since the Depression. It has been more than 200 days since this Congress was sworn in. This Congress has done nothing to create jobs. So the Congressional Black Caucus designed its own program to go out into the country and create jobs."

It was clear during the two-hour meeting, moderated by TV host Jeff Johnson, that the CBC members were feeling frustrated by the hostage situation in Congress and the lack of focus on unemployment, which affects the black community at almost twice the rate of the white community. When Donovan tried to put an upbeat spin on the debt-ceiling agreement, saying that basic safety net programs were off limits to cuts, Fudge retorted, "Until the 'super-congress" meets, they cannot cut these programs. If they cannot come to an agreement, they can cut anything."

Republicans – How warped are they?

In the 2010 State of the Union Address, President Obama mentioned a recently handed down ruling by the US Supreme Court that would allow corporations to contribute to political action committees (PACs) without limits. He warned against the corruption to our democracy this ruling would bring.

In a stunning show of complete disconnect from reality, Samuel Alito, a Republican Supreme Court Justice sitting in the audience shook his head and mumbled the words, “not true,” when Obama state this.

Fast forward to today and all of this has come true. With super PACs like Republican Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS, corporations are able to influence the political process like never before. The average citizen’s voice to being completely choked out and politicians are no longer worrying about what’s best for the people.

Even worse this ruling has allowed complete shadow corporations to pop up, donate millions of dollars to a campaign and then disappear without any tracking whatsoever. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney received such a donation recently.

Not true.

Do Republicans have any ability to see or understand the truth? Watch Samuel Alito’s complete denial. There is hope though. One day Congress could pass a law that restricts these activities. The average citizens are certainly smarter than Samuel Alito. They know the destruction to our democracy from this court ruling is very true.

Right to work states – creating China in America

From the blog The Politics of Jamie S Anderson, why are corporations and Republicans pushing so hard to make all states Right to Work states? There are new studies that suggest:

” They’re predicting that within five years certain Southern U.S. states will be among the cheapest manufacturing locations in the developed world—and competitive with China.”

The blog further reports:

” For years advisers like the Boston Consulting Group got paid big bucks to tell their clients to produce in China. Now, they say, rising wages there, fueled by worker unrest, and low wages in Mississippi, Alabama, and South Carolina mean that soon it won’t be worth the hassle of locating overseas.”

It’s such a shame that so many in the brainwashed right would advocate so loudly for policies that will destroy America. How on earth do you get these people to see the truth that is happening right before their very eyes?

Source: http://thepoliticsofjamiesanderson.blogspot.com/2011/08/are-south-caroli...

Rick Perry’s Day of Prayer – as bad as advertised

Rick Perry’s Day of Prayer for the nation has ended. Needless to say it was as bad as advertised. It was pretty much all political, as they brought up every bad issue facing our country and made the solution to solving them to be prayer. The problem to solve unemployment – pray. The recent credit down grade – pray. The way to solve the unbearable heat wave in the south where temperatures have been in the hundreds for over 30 days – pray.

I’m sure if any of the people who attended this rally were stricken with a life threatening illness like cancer they wouldn't just rely on pure prayer to save them. But for others things they are willing to be brainwashed that prayer is the answer.

Just as disturbing as these people being brainwashed into believing that prayer is foremost the answer to solve a crisis, is the horrible reporting done by the “Liberal” media. In my news alerts I noticed that the media could not get the number of attendees correct. The number ranged from 15,000 to over 30,000. It should be of no surprise to anyone that the ones reporting over 30,000 people in attendance were Fox News and the Boston Globe. But even the New York Times pegged the number at 25,000. From what I’ve heard from a person who attended the event the number was a little over 20,000. This is another fine example by the “Liberal” media reporting the truth.

A major point that went un-reported was that while this was billed to be a “loving” event; the Christian Right could not refrain from preaching their messages of hate. Front and center was their opposition to abortion. There was no need to hide any animosity towards this issue.

In addition, they also featured a section that requested that people of the Jewish faith convert to Christianity. These people took time to pray that Jewish people would “come to their own Messiah.” Unbelievable.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

Tomorrow, Texas gov. Rick Perry, will take part in an exclusionist prayer rally that will feature only some of the most vitriol hate-filled “churches” and “church leaders” of the Christian Right. These “church leaders” have pretty much covered the bases on who they don’t like. Of course gays top the list, but it certainly doesn’t end there. You can throw in Muslims, and Catholics, and Jewish people, and pretty much anyone else who doesn’t think exactly like they do.

After years of struggle it is just sad that this is where our nation is at. Moving backwards to a place where we struggled so hard to get away from. Rick Perry will most likely be announcing a run for the US Presidency not long after this rally. He’ll probably be one of the frontrunners for the Republican nomination.

This is your Republican Party - - Dark, twisted, ideologically warped, uncaring, and reversing years of progress faster than could have ever been imagined.

Following is a statement from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) regarding Rick Perry’s “Day of Prayer.”

”Washington – The Human Rights Campaign – the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization – is joining fair-minded organizations and individuals from across the country in calling out Governor Rick Perry’s upcoming anti-gay day of prayer. HRC Religion and Faith Program Director Sharon Groves issued the following statement:

New Sarah Palin Documentary

Thankfully, someone has done a little more realistic documentary about Sarah Palin.

Nick Broomfield, who does “Michael Moore” type of films has put one together about Palin title: "Sarah Palin – You Betcha!” It’s scheduled to premier in September at the Toronto Film Festival. It might be worth the trip up to see it.

Where is Michael Moore these days and other documentary film people who help expose these people for who they are?

Kasich siphons more tax dollars into donors' pockets

So this week it was announced that Wendy's was going to bring a handful of office and corporate jobs — 50 in all — back to Cleveland from Atlanta, leaving behind 200 other jobs. And of course, our governor has pickpocketed the taxpayers $4 million for something the company most likely planned to do anyway that doesn't produce a single job for any unemployed Ohioan. The city of Dublin, where this new mini-HQ will be, contributed another $8 million that they are unlikely recover on the new taxes generated. Thanks, taxpaying suckers!

http://www.10tv.com/live/content/onnnews/stories/2011/08/04/story-Wendyx...

Kasich is bloviating nonsense about "I guess we could do nothing and let Wendy's move to Georgia" (not what they were proposing to do) and insisting that he's sure that the company will create some unspecified additional jobs at some unspecified time in the future.

Whenever Kasich gets generous with our money, showering it on company after company that had no real plans to move out of state, it always pays off to look at who the company got generous with first. I'm sure it's only the tip of the iceberg but in (literally) one minute of research at followthemoney.org, I learned that Wendy's contributed $13,395 to the Kasich/Taylor campaign, that International CEO Kerrii Anderson gave $11,296 to the Kasich/Taylor campaign, and that executive Zane Gross tossed in another couple of thou. And like I said, I found that in one minute on Follow the Money, so there's probably more.

A stealth attack on teachers — and SB 5

The Columbus Dispatch reports that right-wing organizations have zeroed in on another way to destroy unions — from within.

http://www.dispatchpolitics.com/content/blogs/the-daily-briefing/2011/08...

A group from Virginia called the Right to Work Foundation is promoting the efforts of a handful of teachers (15) who are suing the Ohio Education Association, claiming their dues are being used illegally to finance lobbying and political activity – you know, the lobbying and campaigning they do on behalf of retaining teacher jobs and getting them a fair shake on salaries and benefits.

But in any group you can find a few disgruntled people who have been brainwashed to work against their own interests, and my guess is that some right-wing group — this or some other — went out searching for a group of teachers who would do this, forcing the teacher's union to spend money fighting a lawsuit just when they need it to fight issue SB 5. These morally bankrupt creeps, like the so-called "Right to Work" Foundation ("right-to-work" of course is a euphemism for "no unions allowed" or as some call it "right to work for less"), are mounting a full-scale nuclear assault on working people, and they will use confused and/or delusional working people (of whom sadly there are too many) to do it.

That there is an extremist ideological agenda at work here is clear in the language quoted by the Dispatch. The Right to Work Foundation claims that the teachers "under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution nonmember teachers cannot be forced to pay dues or fees for union boss politics and other non-bargaining activities."

"Union boss politics" is a biased frame, not neutral description. It's campaign-ad fodder, and this is nothing but more anti-worker campaigning from the far right.

Chris Christie has moment of sanity

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie had a moment of sanity yesterday. He recently appointed a Muslim Judge to a state bench and was subsequently attacked by many right-wing Islamophobes. Christie fired back at the attacks by saying:

”They are criticizing him because he is a Muslim American…I was disgusted, candidly, by some of the questions he was asked by both parties at the Senate judiciary committee…Sharia Law has nothing to do with this at all — it’s crazy! It’s crazy. The guy’s an American citizen…This Sharia Law business is crap. It’s just crazy, and I’m tired of dealing with the crazies. It’s just unnecessary to be accusing this guy of things just because of his religious background.”

Wow. If there were only more instances of sane moments like this, our country could be heading on a better path. Putting pragmatism over warped ideology can solve our problems and put us on a path to a more peaceful prosperous nation.

Republicans – moving us backwards

What are the Republicans doing? With our economy in disarray they can’t seem to talk about any real or relevant issues. When we should be talking about how to strengthen public education, they completely de-fund it. When we should be talking about our aging infrastructure they can’t seem to see the problems. When we should be talking about safeguarding our safety nets for our aging population they seem to think they’re too costly and people should just fend for themselves.

What Republicans are talking about is gay marriage. It appears to be the front and center issue if you’ve been following their presidential primary. There have been pledges after pledges that candidates have been asked to sign. It seems to be a hot button issue in their base that makes them scream and yell. If one is honest, the whole gay marriage issue is based on hate and persecution. Justified by a couple of questionable Bible versus the issue is pushed forward. But religious scholars have long warned that the Bible was never meant to be taken literally. It is a good book, but one filled with contradictions. For example, it clear states that “Thou Shall Not Kill” but it also contains passages about stoning people to death. In addition, the Republican Party can’t seem to understand that our forefathers did not want us governing by religion. Besides the first Amendment to the constitution, in Article VI it clear states “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or pubic Trust under the United States.”

Clearly our forefathers did not want us being led by religious leaders. But somehow, we are being led down that path.

Connie Pillich to run for Congress

DailyKos is reporting that Ohio state rep. Connie Pillich will run for Congress. They state:

”Two-term Democratic state Rep. Connie Pillich announced that she's running for Congress against either Steve Chabot or Jean Schmidt, depending on the results of redistricting. On paper, Pillich appears to be a solid candidate -- she won a tough race against a strong Republican candidate in 2008, helping Democrats win control of the Ohio House, and beat back a tea party challenge in 2010 despite a brutal environment. No matter the results of redistricting, Pillich says that she is "committed to doing this". Go get 'em!”

Rep. Pillich has shown that she is a true servant of the pubic. Whatever district she ends up running in, the people of it would be well served by her.

Source: http://dailykos.com/

Plain Dealer takes Mandel to task — somewhat cautiously

http://www.cleveland.com/opinion/index.ssf/2011/08/josh_mandels_opportun...

The Plain Dealer is always looking around for opportunities to seem "balanced," no matter how absurd and I guess this is one of them. In an editorial today. it chides Josh Mandel for his post-vote posturing on the debt-ceiling bill.

It says, "We know from his hefty Federal Election Commission filing that Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel has the fundraising chops to run for the U.S. Senate next year. What we still don't know is whether the young Republican, not five years removed from Lyndhurst City Council, has the policy savvy to serve there if elected."

OH yes, we DO know that, PD, and we know he doesn't. Five years is plenty of time to show what you can do in the state legislature and in the treasurer's office, which Rich Cordray used so creatively to help strengthen Ohio's citizens, farmers, and small businesses. What has Mandel done? Nada.

The PD called Mandel "opportunistic." That's an understatement, and it's something every voter should be keeping in mind and Mandel pretends he's not running while trying to seize the lead. Everything Mandel does is defined by opportunism, whether it's taking an extremist, irrelevant and uninformed position on the possible economic ruin of the country or using religious bigotry to lie about an opponent, especially shameful coming from a Jewish candidate who thinks he can appeal to the narrowly "Christian" far right.

I like how the editorial suggests that teabaggers on the far right might prefer someone like Jim Jordan who is "an ideologically more dependable conservative," hinting at Mandel's tendency throughout his adult life of doing whatever he needs to do and taking whatever position he needs to take to advance himself. He doesn't have an honest or sincere bone in his body.

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