In showing some signs of sanity Herman Cain, Republican/Tea Party candidate for president apologized for previous inflammatory statements he made about Muslim Americans. He made the statements after meeting with some Muslim leaders to discuss some of the intolerant statements he has made. After the meeting he stated:
”"I remain humble and contrite for any statements I have made that might have caused offense to Muslim Americans and their friends," Cain said in a statement Wednesday. "I am truly sorry for any comments that may have betrayed any commitment to the U.S. Constitution and the freedom of religion guaranteed by it."”
He further stated:
”"Those in attendance, like most Muslim Americans, are peaceful Muslims and patriotic Americans whose good will is often drowned out by the reprehensible actions of jihadists."”
It was good to read that their might be some signs of sanity on the far-right. Although, with Herman Cain’s statements, his polling will most definitely drop and this will probably end his presidential run. But this does put a focus on the power of dialogue. Maybe that is what we need. Maybe it’s time for us to come off our computers and actually meet with one another. Perhaps then maybe some of these crazy myths people hold that drives hysteria can be put to bed. We won’t agree on everything, but maybe we can quell some of the extreme fears that run among some of us.
The entire article regarding Herman Cain’s statements can be found here:
I'm not one to post cheerleading links to every good leftie column I read anywhere. But sometimes someone says something that has been on my mind a lot, like Paul Krugman of the New York Times did yesterday.
The so-called "mainstream" media, in its obsession with appearing "balanced," often tortures the truth on major issues in order to attempt to assign half the right and half the wrong to each of two "sides." "Both sides are responsible," they shout. "Both sides need to compromise." Sadly, even our President has fallen into parroting this false frame.
And false it is. As Krugman points out, "the cult that is destroying America" is the fictional cult of "centrism," that there is some magic "middle ground" that would save us if only "both sides" could agree. He says of the fraudulent debt ceiling debate, "We have a crisis in which the right is making insane demands, while the president and Democrats in Congress are bending over backward to be accommodating — offering plans that are all spending cuts and no taxes, plans that are far to the right of public opinion."
"So what do most news reports say?" asks Krugman. "They portray it as a situation in which both sides are equally partisan, equally intransigent — because news reports always do that. And we have influential pundits calling out for a new centrist party, a new centrist president, to get us away from the evils of partisanship."
Mark Kvamme is a California venture capitalist with no experience in public policy or job creation policy. Yet our beloved governor John Kasich appointed his pal to head his newly privatized version of the Ohio Department of Development, dubbed JobsOhio or more appropriately RobsOhio.
Unfortunately, it turned out that as a non-Ohioan with no intention of moving to Ohio — yes, he was allegedly going to create jobs in Ohio from his comfy perch on the West Coast — Kvamme was constitutionally ineligible to head the department. Kasich pouted, Kasich whined, Kasich blamed Democrats for suggesting the state constitution applied to him too. Then he created a fancy new title for Kvamme, Director of Job Creation. I'd still be surprised if Kvamme has the knowledge or skills (or motivation) to create any jobs here.
Tomorrow, from 5-7 p.m., Kvamme is going to parachute into Cleveland to make an appearance at Jumpstart, a Cleveland-based group that provides resources and assistance to start-up businesses. It's at 6701 Carnegie Ave, Suite 100. Gee, wouldn't it be nice if some actual Ohioans wondering why unemployment in Ohio has started to rise again after a year and a half of slow decline showed up to greet Kvamme on his way in and remind him who we are? If you go, you won't be alone. Worker advocacy activists are planning to be there. If you want to get your blue-collar buddies worked up, tell them Kvamme has a degree in French literature from Berkeley. That should go over well with the kielbasa crowd in Parma, don't you think?
From the Stubborn Liberal...
Contact your member of Congress. The Republicans are pushing a debt ceiling plan that only solves the problem for 6 months! If they get their way, we'll be right back in this crazy situation in 6 months. Call your member of Congress and let them know you want a long-term bi-partisan solution.
"Let your member of Congress know that you support the President and Democratic solution to the debt crisis. Tell them you are not for the cuts to Social Security and Medicare that are proposed by the Republicans. You can get a list of Representatives at the following address:
You can call the office of Eric Cantor at (202) 225-4000 or
the House of Representatives switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
Chris Matthews just said that there was no bipartisan legislation passed this week and that Boehner's statement is wrong."
Does it ever end with these upstanding family-values types that populate the Ohio Republican Party?
The Dayton Daily News reports that state Rep. Jarrod Martin was stopped Friday night in southwestern Ohio "for going left of center and hauling a trailer without tail lights." Of course, the swaggering ex-jock who, like Rep. Bob Mecklenborg, appears to have a gun fetish, refused to take any sobriety tests, so he'll lose his license for a year.
Now, in his defense, Martin did not have a stripper half his age in the drivers' seat (he was with two children and two other adults, none of them presumably strippers). And this just happened Friday, so Martin either didn't try or wasn't able to cover it up for more than two months like Mecklenborg. He of course says he is totally innocent and didn't want to be videotaped because he was dirty from doing some work on the family's cabin. Sure, whatever.
Now, I'm already hearing more of that "both sides" drivel. First of all, most Democrats don't present themselves sanctimoniously as defenders of God, family, and all that's moral and upright.Second of all, who?
As the Dayton Daily News points out,
"This is the third personal issue involving Republican lawmakers this year.
State Rep. Robert Mecklenborg, R-Cincinnati, resigned under pressure after failing to disclose his arrest in Indiana on a drunken driving charge. And on July 11, the wife of state Sen. Kris Jordan, R-Powell, called 9-1-1 in Delaware County, alleging that he was pushing her around and threatening her."
Maybe it's time Ohio's Republicans focused on governing their own lives and less on intruding government into the lives of the state's populace.
What a tough weekend this was. As a music fan, I mourn the death of Amy Winehouse, even though it was clear years ago that her substance-abuse demons had impeded her ability to use her talent.
Then there were the horrific shootings and bombing in Norway. The knee-jerk “mainstream” media first widely attributed them to Muslin extremists and/or an al-Qaida-inspired individual or group. We quickly learned that the bombing in downtown Oslo and the shootings of dozens of young liberal activists at a camp on a bucolic island were the work of a right-winger who felt it was “necessary” to wipe out the country’s next generation of young leaders dedicated to peace, social justice, and tolerance.
I think the saddest thing I read in the reams of words about the incidents was a European commenter who called the attacks “American.” The suggestion was that in a country like Norway, which leaves this country eats its dust in areas ranging from education to health care to low poverty to tolerance, such events shouldn’t happen. Rather they happen in deranged wild-west places like the U.S. where a handful of rigid ideologues is contemplating collapsing the global economy and bringing their own country’s pre-eminent place in the word to an end, where hate speech fills what passes for mainstream airwaves (yes, including “liberal” outlets like CNN), and where the idea that we owe anything to anyone else is widely mocked — and by people who posture at being followers of Jesus Christ, no less.
The scary thing is that such a bloodbath IS far more likely to occur here. If a native of a relatively homogeneous and caring society like Norway can get obsessed with the idea that people he has policy disagreements with are opening the door to a “multicultural” society dominated by Islam that threatens the whole country, how much more at risk are we here when we are in fact a melting pot of cultures and beliefs.
It’s about safety nets.
Save the Dream Ohio is a program administered through the Ohio Housing Finance Authority (OHFA) that uses federal and state money to help people who have been hit by the foreclosure crisis stay in their homes. The program can offer financial assistance to those underwater with their payments, but more importantly, the program can help people renegotiate the terms of their loans so they can stay current. The Wilmington News Journal reports:
”There are four options in the Restoring Stability program. The first is rescue payment assistance. This option provides a homeowner who has fallen behind on payments a way to catch up to the delinquent mortgage. To receive this assistance, the homeowner must demonstrate the ability to make future payments for at least six months”
They further report:
””Pierce said that one of the unique things about this program is that it can provide assistance to homeowners who haven’t yet fallen behind on payments.
“Someone could suffer a financial loss or hardship and be struggling, but if they still come up with the money to make the mortgage payment every month, the (mortgage provider) isn’t going to work with you to reduce it,” she said. “It’s like being penalized for making your payments on time. We can help with that.””
What can your tax dollars do? Help you or your neighbor stay in their homes. Again, it’s about safety nets and helping people out in a time of need. The entire article can be found here:
The following is a great letter written to the Indianapolis Star. It gives us a good picture of what got us into this mess - - big tax breaks for the ultra wealthy. There are some who would say that we can’t fairly tax the “wealth creators.” But it has become clear that as corporate profits soar hiring and wages have decreased. Lean corporate operations is where less is not more; it’s where less is less. Wealth creators? Try again. Here’s the first part of the letter…
”House Republicans are fond of blaming what they call President Barack Obama's failed fiscal policies. This is their rallying cry to try to force deep cuts in federal spending.
But they fail to acknowledge that a large part of the deficit is the result of a Republican policy that has failed: frequent tax cuts that disproportionately favor the wealthy. The math is simple. Deficits result when revenue falls short of expenses. Significant reductions in revenue (tax cuts) increase deficits. And Republicans forced the reductions in revenue.”
The rest of the letter can be found here:
The Ohio Republican Party conducted its presidential straw poll, and the results are in: they kind of like Mitt Romney. He led the pack with 25 percent.
Coming in second was Tim Pawlenty with 16 percent. It's interesting that those two candidates, who are not overtly insane and are widely unpopular with Republicans as a result, together polled 41 percent of the GOP vote here. You can even add Jon Huntsman's 2 percent for a 43 percent total. It seems like a significant minority of the Ohio Republican Party is not yet ready to embrace full-on, off-the-cliff crazy.
On the other hand, Michele Bachmann, whose very name defines crazy, finished third with 15 percent, followed by the slick Governor Goodhair, Rick Perry at 14 percent. All other candidates were in the single digits, including Ron Paul who would probably lead every poll if the passion of his small band of followers were a factor.
It sure is nice to see Newt in 7th place with only 3 percent, ahead of only Huntsman. Huntsman is probably the least known candidate on the list, and Newt may be about the best known. Apparently, to know him is not to love him.
Following is a great testimonial about why SB5 should be repealed. It was left on the Building a Better Ohio Facebook page. It was in response to an article in theNewark Advocate concerning contract negotiations between firefighters and the local City Hall.
"Their rejection vote was based on a single topic: Safety. Politicians said that firefighters wouldn't lose the ability to negotiate for safety. So why when they push for the one thing, they are deemed disappointments?
Minimum staffing requirements ensure that adequate numbers of personnel are available for emergencies, based on the local call volume, district size, and numerous other factors. What a lot of people don't know much about are the NFPA requirements that municipalities are obligated to meet. One of them says that for firefighters must operate in (at least) teams of two, and for every two people inside the burning building, there must be two people outside the building.
Decreasing the number of firefighters means that they cannot meet these requirements and will be forced to sit outside and watch your house burn, even if there is a victim inside. Additionally, if they cannot provide a set number of personnel on scene in a specific timeline, your insurance rates are negatively effected because the insurance companies know they can't fight fires... meaning more damage to the structure, higher potential for lives to be lost.
Unfortunately, the whole thing is a "pay now or pay later" system, with potentially catastrophic impacts for the "pay later" option.
When did Medicare and Social Security become to be known as entitlements? I always thought they were safety nets. These programs helped plug gaps so people could retire comfortably and stay healthy.
And now they are probably going to be phased out leaving Americans with what...
This is what smaller government means.
In the wake of the catastrophic collapses on Wall Street that sent us into a great recession, we all asked, “shouldn’t something be done to make sure this doesn’t happen again?”
Well something has been done. Last year the Consumer Protection Act was passed and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created.
We need this agency to protect consumers from Wall Street abuses and make sure they are the ones held responsible (not the taxpayers) when banks fail.
The Republicans of course are fighting this tooth and nail, because they aren’t for accountability. They’d rather let Wall Street do whatever they want and leave us to pay for it when it fails. The following video highlights all the good the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will do. Take a look…
The secretary of State's office has certified that SB 5 repeal petitioners collected enough valid signatures to place the repeal on the November ballot.
We Are Ohio, the campaign to roll back the union-busting bill, gathered 915,456 valid signatures, exceeding the minimum required, 231,147 by four times. That means more than two-thirds of the signatures turned in were valid, a testimony to the diligence and training of the army of volunteers who collected them.
The state ballot board will approve the ballot language sometime in August, deciding among other things the critical choice of whether a "yes" or "no" vote repeals SB 5.
One thing I've been hearing over and over for quite a while from people who have worked with him is that Josh Mandel has absolutely no grasp of fiscal policy and how governmental entities raise money and pay their bills — two of the main functions of the state treasurer. I heard from people in Lyndhurst that when he was on city council there he proposed some fiscally reckless ideas that seemed designed to make an ideological statement rather than address any problem the city had.
When he was elected to the legislature, he made a big show of espousing disinvestment from Iran, again not driven by any of the realities of investing state money but undoubtedly to make his puppet masters over at AIPAC — the Israel first always, right or wrong, crowd — happy.
Now Mandel is shooting off his mouth about the deficit/debt ceiling posturing going on in Washington. The entire debate is ludicrous — the deficit is NOT a pressing problem all of a sudden, the proposals being demanded by the right to address it will punish only working people while asking nothing of the wealthy and some, such as making cuts to Social Security, don't even have anything to do with the deficit, and the act of not raising the debt ceiling which in the past has always been done automatically will destroy this country's economy, plunge us into a full-scale depression, and make this country subservient to debtors like China.
This isn't shutting down the government by refusing to agree on a budget like the crazy Gingrich Republicans did back in the 90s. This is nuking the entire country's economy to destroy one man: Barack Obama. It's insane, it's immoral, it's not remotely viable or responsible fiscal policy.
Guess what Josh Mandel has endorsed?
The Toledo Blade did a nice article concerning the truth about what Kasich's budget means for Ohio. They start off their editorial discussing recent layoffs in the Lucas County Workforce Development Agency. Further down they state:
"This pattern will be repeated by social service agencies, libraries, schools, townships trustees, village and city councils, and boards of commissioners in all 88 Ohio counties. The simple truth is that you can’t cut billions of dollars from all these budgets without impacting jobs, services, or — more likely — both. How many jobs will be lost and how much services will be reduced are anyone’s guess.
Governor Kasich called his spending plan “The Jobs Budget.” And it’s true that jobs have been created on the JobsOhio board, the Ohio Casino Control Commission, and in new positions on Mr. Kasich’s cabinet.
But here at the local level — where the can and the road both stop — the immediate impact of Kasich budget has been fewer jobs and the prospect of reduced services."
The truth plain and simple. The entire editorial can be found here:
Are you sick of what’s happening to the State of Ohio?
Are you sick of how John Kasich and the Republicans are destroying the state?
Are you concerned about the future of the state?
If so, maybe you should think about running for office. By doing so you can directly stop the crazy policies the Republican’s are putting forth and take back the state for the people.
If you’re a recently laid off firefighter, or teacher, or police officer, or was working in the corporate sector and got “downsized,” or anyone else who sees how the rich are just getting richer while everyone else is just staying the same – run for office.
The Republicans haven’t created policies that benefit the people. The Republican’s have created policies that benefit them and their friends. Nothing could be more evident of this than State Rep Lynn Wachtmann’s co-sponsorship of a bill to drain Lake Erie for private company profit. As the Plain Dealer reported, Lynn Wachtmann, is the head of a water bottling company and stood to profit from the bill he sponsored – truly disgusting.
It’s time to take back the state. Consider running for office and being the change in government you want to see. There is training coming up in Columbus sponsored by Camp Wellstone that will teach you how to campaign and organize. Details are…
What: Camp Wellstone Ohio
When: Friday, August 12 - Sunday, August 14
Session begins at 3pm on Friday
Where: Ohio Union at Ohio State University
1739 North High Street
Columbus, OH 43210
Link for more information: http://www.progressohio.org/blog/2011/07/ohio-area-activists-candidates-take-part-in-camp-wellstone-ohio.html
Here's a Facebook page set up to register support for Rich Cordray's nomination to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This will not, of course, change the minds of Republicans who believe that consumers do not deserve to be protected from the predations of big financial institutions who load the dice in their own favor. But it's still a nice thought.
I don't want to let the day slip by without acknowledging the 90th (!!!) birthday of former U.S. Senator from Ohio and former astronaut John Glenn. Glenn served in the Senate from 1974 to 1999, and throughout the 80s was touted as a contender for president or vice president. Eschewing a Gingrichian personal life, he and his wife Annie have been married for 68 years. We hope this elderly statesman of Ohio politics is having a terrific birthday.
Into the news black hole that is Sunday afternoon comes word that drunk-driving, Viagra-popping, woman-half-his-age-not-his-wife-escorting state Rep. Bob Mecklenborg will soon become FORMER state Rep. Mecklenborg.
Between the statements released by him and House Speaker Bill Batchelder, you'd think the guy was some kind of hero.
""As a member of the Ohio House of Representatives, I believe that I have served well and faithfully my constituents of the 30th House District by focusing on the issues that matter a great deal to all Ohioans, including election reform, pro-life legislation, and a host of other priorities," said Mecklenborg, highlighting his support of oppressive, misogynist legislation that puts government in control of women's bodies and a completely superfluous election revamp that strips voters of rights and ballot access for absolutely no good reason.
Batchelder's statement was just as ludicrous:
“My friend and colleague Bob Mecklenborg has guided the Ohio House of Representatives with his expertise on a variety of legislative initiatives since he became a member. Bob has been a dedicated public servant and his contributions to the Ohio House have been vital to the important work of this great institution. Bob has admitted his mistakes and, while difficult, I believe he has made the appropriate decision to step down as a member of the Ohio House of Representatives. I thank him for his dedicated and loyal service to the people of Ohio, particularly to the people of western Hamilton County.”
Good news coming out of D.C. today. After Senate Republicans blocked his appointment of Elizabeth Warren to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, creating a wall of lies and ideological objections, President Obama has turned around and appointed Rich Cordray, who was brought to D.C. early this year to work with Warren, who put together the group, tasked with protecting the interests of regular people against giant financial institutions.
While many progressives look at Warren's appointment as some sort of litmus test or line in the sand for their support of Obama, acting like she walks on water, Rich's appointment is nothing but good news. It was an enormous tragedy for Ohioans when he was narrowly beaten for state attorney general by Mike Dewine. While Cordray took on unethical mortgage brokers and big banks that had cheated the state, Dewine is posturing about prescription drugs and repealing access to health care.
In fact, Cordray was such an unwavering fighter for Ohio citizens against powerful corporations, that it's hard to envision the current crop of ultra-ideological Republicans voting to confirm him either. Maybe the fact that he's sort of nerdy, mild-mannered and soft-spoken will fake them out. I hope President Obama has a strategy figured out because Cordray heading up this agency would be a strong advocate for the welfare of those of us who aren't wealthy enough to purchase politicians to do our bidding.
People opposed to SB5 must actively debunk Republican sophistry about the bill. Everyone knew this was coming and we all knew they would use skewed statistics to try to scare people into voting for their cause. It's all they have and over the last few months it has become clear that anyone remaining in the Republican Party is nothing but a vitriol liar at heart. Take for example this ridiculous statistic released by the "Building a Better Ohio" pro-SB5 campaign.
"labor costs are now consuming upwards of 80 percent of local budgets, and taxpayers are tired of paying higher taxes to foot the bill."
I love how they slipped in "upwards" into the sentence, meaning, it's a worst case scenario and they give no citation. How can we trust that statistic at all?
It's just another Republican lie.
They lied when they said SB5 was about balancing the budget. They lied when they said "we're broke," and then turned around and passed a budget that increases from $52 billion to $56 billion. They lied when they said this was about the taxpayer. (public employees are taxpayers)
They also try to make public employees out to be a parasite on finances, but that's just as ridiculous as a company complaining that all of their employees are just a parasite on their resources - everyone here is working and everyone is earning their keep.
And now they are lying that this is about local governments and helping them get their budgets under control. But local governments wouldn't have had this problem if the state (i.e. John Kasich and the Republicans) didn't screw them over by defunding them.
The Akron Beacon Journal states:
Today, under intense pressure from every side except the destroy-the-Earth-because-Jesus-is-coming ultra-right, Gov. Kasich vetoed HB 231. It declared a disturbing open season on private interests withdrawing water from Lake Erie without concern for whether it damaged the lake's fragile ecosystem.
The bill alarmed other states around Lake Erie, and both former Senator George Voinovich and Governor Bob Taft piled on, urging Kasich to veto the reckless bill.
Yet some short-sighted legislators from districts near the lake voted in favor of the bill, including Mike Dovilla, Marlene Anieski, and Nan Baker. Let's remember this on election day next year.
Here's a great question you won't find in the Plain Dealer. What "gift for Speaker" did Steve LaTourette buy for $4,345.00 at Tiffany's in New York on January 12, 2011? Man of the people. Yep. These are they type of shenanigans that go on all day long in Washington and the main street media looks the other way. A $4,000 "gift" from one man to another? And they are both elected officials from Ohio. And they are both consistently voting to undermine the safety net of all Ohioans. They both voted to cut Medicare...although Steve promptly then went to a room full of seniors in Chagrin Falls and told them "the vote makes no sense at all". As reported in the Chagrin Valley Times, "but no one in the room asked why he voted for it" of course. Now here is an interesting piece of work. (1) Go to Tiffany's and buy the Speaker a $4,000 trinket; (2)vote to defund medical care for seniors; (3) vote to deny medical benefits for first responder firefighters; (4) accept $5,000 contribution from the morons in Washington who claim to represent firefighters in IAFF, AFL-CIO; go home and get a pat on your back from your wife the lobbyist for a good day's work.
Yesterday Ohio congresswoman Marcia Fudge (Oh-10) hosted a press conference in Washington D.C. with a group of progressive congresspersons from around the country (including Tim Ryan, Betty Sutton and Dennis Kucinich from Ohio) and civil rights leaders to discuss the bills Republican legislatures around the country are passing to make voting more difficult, especially for urban, poor, elderly, student, and minority voters.
As Fudge said at the press conference, "It is one of the most important issues we can be talking about, the issue of voter suppression."
"I come from the state of Ohio and we have one of the most draconian voter suppression bills in the United States," she says. "If in fact we are going to have a society that involves all of its citizens we cannot allowed these kinds of bills to be passed by legislature after legislature and legislature."
"It's hard to believe in America in 2011 we're still dealing with an issue so fundamental to democracy," says Youngstown's Tim Ryan. No kidding.
Wisconsin Representative Gwen Moore presents shocking figures on who doesn't have a photo ID in her state that makes vividly clear exactly who photo ID laws are intended to disenfranchise.
As Betty Sutton (Oh-13) says, these laws "strike at the very heart of our democracy." She calls this an "insidious movement being perpetrated by those who perceived the voters who will be disenfranchised as voters who will elect Democrats."
[Editor's note: The ground water number has been corrected from 2 million gallons to 300,000 gallons of water. The ground water number seemed to have fluctuated from a couple of different sources, but the number has been correct to reflect the latest information from the Plain Dealer. The number comes from this story:
You know a bill has to be horrendous when the Plain Dealer not only writes a stinging criticism of it, but also encourages citizens to voice opposition against it.
The bill they are opposing is Substitute House Bill 231. (aka HB 231)
It is truly a terrible bill that will allow private companies to drain Lake Erie by 5 million gallons a day. The bill also allows them to suck up ground water by 300,000 gallons and rivers and streams by 2 million gallons. The bill allows companies to keep draining no matter what. Even if extreme environmental damage shows up or they run the resources dry.
The Plain Dealer strongly states to John Kasich:
”Do not even flirt with this disaster in the making. Veto Substitute House Bill 231.
They finish with:
”PICK UP THE PHONE: Urge Gov. John Kasich to veto Substitute House Bill 231.
Let's all do so – and save our water! Call now.
The entire editorial can be found here: