Barack Obama leading from behind?

So apparently the Republican/Tea Party/Christian Right amalgamation's newest criticism of Barack Obama is to say he led from behind with Libya.


Is this the same amalgamation that just a few months ago threaten to impeach Obama for leading us into Libya? Can they get anything straight?

Republicans and all of their right-wing friends aren’t the solution; they’re the problem.

And Democrats – take them to task for their hypocrisy.

#OccupyCleveland Arrest Footage

Midwest Powershift arrives just before the CPD. Quite a scene on a Friday night in downtown Cleveland

BREAKING LIVE : #OccupyCleveland Arrests Happening NOW

Live stream from Downtown Cleveland where police in riot gear have begun arresting protestors.

More at or at

Kasich's actions complicit in Zanesville animal deaths

In an extraordinary case of pretending his own actions just kinda sorta came out of the sky and had nothing to do with him, Gov. Kasich is pretending he didn't rescind the executive order on the private ownership of exotic wild animals that Gov. Strickland issued in January shortly before leaving office.

And then he makes all kinds of excuses for them.

But when even his lapdog the Columbus Dispatch runs a headline reading "Order that Kasich rejected would have barred man from having exotic animals," he can't escape the facts. He deliberately took the regulations off the table saying they would "hurt small business." He can claim Strickland's order "exceeded executive authority" or that legislation was required — but exceeding executive authority or even violating the state constitution hasn't proved problematic for Kasich when he supports something — like directing tax dollars to his cronies.

And when your foot-dragging — he empowered the creation of a work group to craft legislation on the ownership of exotic animals — and poor decisions led to tragedy, you should own up and say you made a mistake.

Instead, according to the Dispatch, Kasich said, “This has to be fixed." (You're in charge. So fix it — nine months ago.)

Then he said, “This is unbelievable that this even existed, and what's hard for me to understand is why Ohio over time didn't deal with this, but we'll deal with it now.”

This is a jaw-dropping statement. It WAS dealt with. Kasich UNdealt with it. What's unbelievable is that, even if Kasich believed Strickland's regulation exceeded its authority — and as we've seen, this is something he's usually unconcerned with — is that he caused the situation to RE-exist after it was dealt with.

We are the 99%

I recently came across the web site We Are The 99%. Visit:

It’s definitely an eye opener. It offers a plethora of photos in which people are holding up lettered testimonials identifying themselves as part of the 99%. Many of the people holding testimonials seem to be 25 or younger. They write about bleak job prospects, bleak futures and large amounts of student debt. One of the most disturbing pictures is one of a young child about 3 or 4 who holds a sign that simply reads:

”I have no health insurance. I am part of the 99%”

Think about that.

Another one reads:

”After His Honorable Discharge From The
US Army The Only Job My Cousin Donald D.
Could Find Was At Home Depot.
He Could Not Afford Health Insurance.
He Got Sick On A Friday. My Uncle Took
Him To A Hospital Emergency Room. He
Was Not Admitted.
He Returned To The ER Saturday And
Sunday. He Was Not Admitted Either Time.
On Monday He Died Of Viral Meningitis.
He Was 25 Years Old.
Home Depot Made $856 Million
In Profits That Year.

Donald Was The 99%.”

What kind of society are we becoming? A nation with no compassion? If you fall on tough times, we’ll kick you when you’re down. If you get sick with no health insurance – die quickly. (Tea Party/Christian Right – please remember to applaud). We’ve become a nation where your life is so priceless until you’re born, and then you’re a burden.

Human. What sets us apart from wild animals? Apparently it’s not that much anymore.

Occupy Cleveland to hold major rally tomorrow

Occupy Cleveland is going to be holding a major rally tomorrow. (Fri., Oct. 21)

It’s starting at 1:00pm and it will be in Public Square.

There will be speakers from 1:00pm to 3:00pm and then a march starting at 3:00.

Please attend if you can - - more information can be found here:

Rep. Debbie Phillips (D-Athens) proposes ban on ownership of exotic animals

She says in the above release, "Although an owner’s intentions to keep exotic animals may be good, unfortunately, most private citizens do not have the proper training or resources to take care of wild animals. Their properties often are not equipped to safely contain wild animals, which poses a danger to themselves as well as other community members."

According to her press release, "The bill, which includes an emergency clause, closely mirrors the expired executive order issued by former Governor Strickland in January of this year. The bill permits existing owners with federal licenses to keep their animals but requires that they must register them with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Wildlife. Owners must also embed microchips in the animals so they can be tracked if there is an escape from the owner’s property."

This needs to be done. Contact the governor immediately. I wonder if a tiger got lose in Westerville and his daughters were outside playing, how concerned he would be about the impact of these regulations on "business."

Will Kasich let stubbornness get in the way of animal — and human — welfare?

Unfortunately, probably. But you never know.

By now, almost everyone has heard about release of over 50 wild animals from a privately owned sanctuary in Ohio. Once again, Ohio has gotten a black eye around the world as local police had no option but to kill most of the free-roaming beasts. Some dreamy idealists think these animals could and should have been miraculously saved. But tranquilizing, capturing, transporting and housing so many animals at a moment's notice just isn't possible. I'm as disturbed as anyone at the photos of the dead tigers, tigers being my favorite animal. But I have no aspirations to own one. As close as I want to get is the nine-pound golden tabby sleeping on my sofa.

One of the goals of the Humane Society of the U.S. for Ohio was a ban on the private ownership of such animals. And late last year, Gov. Ted Strickland agreed to ban their ownership going forward, along with tighter restrictions. In April, Kasich let them expire saying, incredibly, it would "hurt business" to regulate ownership of lions, tigers, bears and other exotic animals. I wonder how business was doing in the area around the animal sanctuary the day after these animals were released.

The police were called to this sanctuary many times with neighbor complaints but there were no laws on the books they could enforce since Ohio doesn't regulate the ownership of exotic animals at all. We hear all the time about fights over banning pit bulls. Yet Ohio says owning a lion is OK.

Here is a petition started to urge Kasich to consider regulations on private ownership of wild animals:

Please consider signing it and following up by contacting the governor's office:

Did they ever give Obama a chance?

Read any Republican/Tea Bagger site and there will be a comment on it that goes something like, “Obama was supposed to unite us and he’s failed.” They'll cite some comment Obama made as proof of his decisiveness, which is generally taken out of context and skewed. (big surprise there)

But one only has to take a quick look back to 2009 to find that these people never gave Barack Obama a chance. In less than four months after he was sworn in as President they held their tax day events across the nation to protest him. The guy had been in office for less than 100 days. Watch the following video we taped back then. These people are already decrying how we’ve become a socialistic state, that we must re-write the U.S. Constitution and if we can’t change America that way, that we should take up arms and “exercise our second amendment rights.” Seriously. Again, Barack Obama hadn’t been in office for 100 days.

The reason why America is in the position that it’s in is not because of Barack Obama, it’s because of these people funded by millions of dollars from people like the Koch brothers who made sure Obama’s administration never got off the ground. Destroying a nation to get to one man – what on earth have we become?

What the Plain Dealer isn’t telling you

So I clicked on the link for the article by Roldo Bartimole that Anastasia referred to below. Wow, is that reporting an eye opener. The Plain Dealer with its slanted biased reporting would like you to believe that the financial problems in the Cleveland public school system is all caused by those overpaid teachers. What the Plain Dealer isn’t telling (sadly) is that there are millions upon millions of dollars that could be going to fund Cleveland public education, but isn't, because of tax abatements. Instead of this money going to fund public education it’s lining the pockets of people like the Dolan family. Following is a list of what Roldo Bartimole could find. The dishonesty of the Plain Dealer is just disgusting and it has sunk to a new low.

"Here’s what I found in 2009 when I looked at some, not all by any means, tax abatements and exemptions in Cleveland. Gifts for the richest people in town, believe me. There are countless more abatements than those mentioned here.

- Browns Stadium, used almost exclusively by billionaire Randy Lerner: property tax exemption for his stadium, $8.08 million in 2009 and $7.97 million in 2008. A total of some $16 million in lost revenue. The Cleveland schools absorbed half of that lost in revenue. He’ll never pay property taxes. Tim Hagan and Mike White made sure of that. Too bad, kids.

Most property tax – more than 50 percent - is lost by the Cleveland schools, which depend mostly heavily on the property tax. Too bad, teachers.

- Quicken Arena, mostly enjoyed financially by Dan “Casino” Gilbert, Quicken Loans multi-millionaire: property tax exemption of $3.8 million in 2009 and $3.76 million in 2008. That is a total of $7.58 million over the two years in lost revenue, most from the Cleveland schools. Too bad, schools.

Crunch time on repealing SB 5: knock on doors on Cleveland's West Side

Polling is looking good for the repeal of SB 5 — NO on Issue 2. But this is an off-off-year election, and victory will depend n turning out voters. And way too many people are still confused about what they are voting for.

So it's time to talk to your friends, send them emails, and get out and knock on doors.

There are plenty of opportunities to walk neighborhoods the next three weekends. If you know of any, please email us or post them here. You can go to to learn about how you can help.

One canvass we learned about is on the west side of Cleveland this Saturday. People will be meeting at 10 a.m. at P.J. McIntyre's at 17119 Lorain Avenue.

Here's their message:

"We need a little help on Saturday. Just a couple hours of your time. C'mon out and help defeat Issue 2 on Saturday. We are hitting the streets in a bunch of West Side neighborhoods and could a use a couple hours of your time. We are trying to get at least 100 people out to spread the gospel that Issue 2 is Unsafe, Unfair and Hurts us all. Afterwards, we'll have some decent pub food, hoist an ale or two and plot and plan about how, after we win this election, we won't allow ourselves to be put in this crazy position we're in ever again. State Senator Skindell, Representatives Foley and Antonio, Councilmembers Sweeney and Keane, teachers, firefighters, police officers and many more will be there help get the word out that Issue 2 is bad and needs to be overturned."

Hopefully, you can join them.

Good column on Cleveland newspaper's contempt for ordinary working people

Roldo Bartimole has been Cleveland's voice of dissent for more than four decades. He was a reporter for the defunct Cleveland Press, then started his own newsletter called Point of View. These days he posts online columns from time to time when he was inspired, and today he was inspired — or outraged — by the Cleveland Plainly Republican's second attack on teachers in two days. Apparently, their endorsement of keeping SB 5 yesterday just wasn't enough. Now they're proclaiming "Cleveland teachers must accept less."

Roldo eviscerates their editorial by enumerating the well-padded pockets into which the schools' money is disappearing:

When you read this, it's obvious why Occupy Wall Street happened. And it's clear why we need to repeal SB 5. Cleveland teachers are already grossly underpaid for the challenging job they do, and they have been heaped with blame for a range of social ills that no one has the will to tackle. Now the lords of the Plain Republican editorial page — who probably make twice as much as the average teacher for a job that's probably one-tenth as challenging — think they need to sacrifice more while the city's wealthy developers and team owners should never be asked to be pay their fair share of property taxes.

I don't think it's an accident that the only young person I knew of who planned to be a teacher changed her major last year. I don't know who the Plainly Republican thinks will take this difficult job for such little money only to be told by overpaid editorial writers that they "must accept less." Doubling their pay would still be too little reward for the job they do.

A society built on lies is doomed to fail

This quote by John Kasich, talking about Issue 2 still baffles me:

”The problem with the campaign – they’ve been emotional and we’ve been factual. And in campaigns, emotion usually wins. That’s kind of where we are.”

We originally wrote about it here:

It’s just twisted on so many levels.

First: John Kasich appears to be trying to play the victim with it.


After all his yelling and screaming and talking about running people over with his bus, he thinks he’s the victim?

Second: his whole part about “being factual.”

Does he not remember Dr. Mike Shreffler’s letter documenting his lies? Does he not remember being caught on record by the Columbus Dispatch (R-Columbus), of all papers, stating that Issue 2 doesn’t require merit pay for teachers?

Here’s a link to refresh his memory:

How can a governor of a state be allowed to talk so incoherently of the truth?

I believe John Kasich truly thinks he’s the victim. I’m also pretty sure the reason why he feels this way is because he’s 100% crazy. He does not know the truth, cannot be guided by it, he is just following his own selfish feelings and unfortunately dragging us along with him.

What kind of society are we creating?

If all we can do is worry about how much something will cost without understanding potential future gains do we ever stand the chance of creating a better tomorrow?

State Rep. Bob Hagan was on the Rachel Maddow Show tonight

If you missed it, you can watch the segment here:

Rachel Maddow invited state rep. Bob Hagan of Youngstown on her show tonight to talk about HB 343, a bill he's introducing that would mandate drug and alcohol testing for legislators, state supreme court justices, statewide elected officials (such as the governor) and members of the JobsOhio board. It's in response to Republican sponsored bill requiring drug testing for anyone who gets state assistance, including assistance they've earned like unemployment and worker's comp.

He repeatedly refers to the Republicans' proposal as "insensitive," and that is putting it kindly. At a time when all but the wealthiest are suffering, it's one more way to make people feel guilty and ashamed for something that usually isn't their fault.

Such a bill was passed in Florida, and only 2 % of the people tested were positive. That meant the state had to pay for 98 % of the drug tests. So we're talking about a redundant and unnecessary measure that costs the taxpayers money only to humiliate people who are impacted by the miserable economy — not to provide a service of any kind. THIS is what Republicans consider a useful expenditure!

I love the way Hagan opens up: "Let me first start out by saying our governor John Kasich worked for Lehman Brothers ..."

He says the Republicans are trying to move the discussion away from the destruction of jobs, and gets in some strong punches at SB 5. He concludes by saying of his Republican colleagues, "They don’t like government. If they don’t like it they should find another job.”

Hagan does a good job of exposing how unserious Republicans are about improving the economy, with drug testing for the unemployed being merely the latest egregious assault on people impacted by joblessness.

Bill O'Neill launching another Ohio Supreme Court run

Former appeals court judge/pediatric emergency room nurse Bill O'Neill from Geauga County said yesterday that he has pulled petitions for another run for Ohio Supreme Court. It's likely he plans to tackle Republican Robert Cupp, based on this Facebook post he made last week:

"There are two Justices running for re-election to the Ohio Supreme Court next year, and they have raised in excess of $4 million between them. They have consistently sat on the cases of their contributors and the last study conducted demonstrated that "contributors" to Republican Ohio Supreme Court Justices won their cases 91% of the time. Now if that is okay with everyone else, then I will just keep nursing and playing golf. But if it is not, take this quiz: How Does Supreme Court Justice Robert Kupp spell his last name. With a "C" or a "K"?"

O'Neill ran two prior campaigns for Supreme Court, in 2004 and 2006 (He also ran for Congress against Steve LaTourette in 2008 and 2010). In 2006, he adopted the catchy if ungrammatical slogan "No money from nobody," emphasizing his refusal to accept any donations. He purchased an ancient printing press which he put in his garage and, with the help of family members, printed tens of thousands of blue flyers.

Unfortunately, money talks in these races and even more unfortunately it keeps talking from the bench. O'Neill's opponent, Terrence O'Donnell, won despite having garnered a lengthy front-page story in the New York Times about a month before the election emphasizing how O'Donnell found with campaign contributors 91% of the time (what Bill references above). That can't be too encouraging for anyone who wants to bring a case against a company or special interest which has donated lavishly to Supreme Court candidates.

Democrats ready to go to war for sane congressional districts

Following the unanimous decision by the 6-1 Republican Supreme Courts Friday that the Republicans in the legislature could not make a bill immune to repeal by sticking an appropriation into it (something the court already decided several years ago but this legislature chose to ignore), the Ohio Democratic Party held a press conference yesterday to announce their readiness to go ahead with a repeal referendum if the Republicans in the legislature are not willing to come back to the table and negotiate congressional districts that satisfy both parties — and hopefully do right by the voters.

The ODP says it is prepared to hire a profession company to gather signatures, fully aware that mounting an unprecedented three referendum petition drives in a mere eight months is asking a lot of its activists; in fact the party says it will steer volunteers who call in the next few weeks to the SB 5 repeal election instead.

However, such a referendum would create uncertainty and chaos. The ODP is asking the Supreme Court to restart the clock for the time it has to gather signatures since attorney general Mike Dewine so blatantly violated ignored the law himself in throwing out the signatures for petition language. Even if they do not get an extended period, the signature gathering period would go through Boxing Day (December 26). Filing deadline for congressional seats is December 7. Since Ohio is losing two seats, the state cannot simply revert to the current map.

A walk down memory lane

Back to when the Cleveland Plainly Republican published the following hilarious assertions when endorsing Kasich for governor.

"Republican challenger, John Kasich, is a former congressman from suburban Columbus given to Reagan-style optimism and bold, sometimes questionable, ideas. He is just as clearly the wild card, eager to shake up the status quo and even challenge his own party, but also capable of talking himself right off a cliff.

"Alternately arrogant and charming, Kasich can make a not-terribly-unconventional idea such as privatizing parts of the Department of Development ... sound like a call to revolution. But here's what's scary about Kasich: With his Red Bull style, it is sometimes hard to tell what's core belief, what's hot air and whether even he knows the difference. ... Does he understand that being a Fox News provocateur is not the same as being the leader of a diverse, complex state?" [No, he does not]

"Kasich showed, as House Budget chair the last time Washington used black ink, that he could cross partisan lines [!!!!!!!] and get results. He also showed in Congress that although he is personally conservative, he has no time for divisive hot-button tactics [!!!!!!!!!!!!!]; Ohio doesn't, either."

I would love to see this paper explain now how Kasich ramming through controversial and extreme bills like SB 5 and voter suppression bill HB 194, as well as a congressional map that even the paper admitted was a travesty, demonstrates that he has "no time for divisive hot-button tactics."

It seems to be pretty much ALL he has time for.

Not the best day for me to encounter a PD marketer in Dave's

So I stopped in Dave's Supermarket in Ohio City today to pick up a couple of onion rolls for lunch. And what did I encounter in the entrance area but a table with a guy hawking subscriptions to the Plain Dealer aka the Plainly Republican!

I didn't mean to spoil the guy's day but I told him there was no way I was going to ever subscribe again to a newspaper that attacked union workers by endorsing SB 5. He goes, "They did? I support unions."

What the Plainly Republican endorses clearly isn't the fault of a guy who sits inside the entrance at Dave's trying to sell papers to grocery shoppers. But it might help the paper's subscription base if they ever stopped to think about just who they were trying to sell the paper to.

Ohio's daily newspapers are autocrats — they endorse the interests and positions of the wealthy elite in their towns. The PD appears to be written for the residents of Cleveland suburb Hunting Valley — the 5th higher income place in the U.S. But its population is only a touch over 700, not enough to support a daily newspaper. And not many of those people will be found shopping at Dave's in Ohio City.

Perhaps well-intentioned but missing the point on OccupyWallStreet

If you're on Facebook — or even if you're just online — you may have spotted a graphic for a slogan that reads, "If you really want to occupy Wall Street, do your Christmas shopping at a small independent merchant."

That is indeed a wonderful sentiment. However, I've seen it posted in numerous places with the implication that THIS is what the Occupy Wall Street movement should REALLY be doing. And that feels like hijacking — and missing the point.

Occupy Wall Street isn't about shopping — anywhere. It's about the fact that more and more of us are less and less able to participate in the economy, whether it's shopping at WalMart or at a local boutique. It's about the fact that as all the resources get sucked upwards into a few hands, everyone down below has to tighten their belt. And unless the Koch Brothers are regular customers, small businesses are directly impacted by this. It's not useful to suggest to someone who barely has enough to cover necessities to do Christmas shopping at independent merchants. Many of them will be Christmas shopping, if at all, at thrift stores.

This points out once again the impact that increasing economic privation has on the entire community. Almost every small business and independent contractor I know has lost a lot of their business in the last few years — and it's not because their customers are patronizing big-box or chain stores instead of independent businesses. It's because their customers are hurting. This is why the lies spreading by the supporters of SB 5 — that public sector workers are rolling in riches compared to private sector workers and need to "share" the economic pain — are so deceitful. Cut the wages and benefits of teachers and police officers and watch local independent businesses shrivel up and die.

The Cleveland Plainly Republican obeys its corporate masters

Responding to its master's voice (aka the Greater Cleveland Partnership aka the Chamber of Commerce), Cleveland's increasingly execrable daily paper The Plainly Republican (the Plain Dealer on its masthead) has issued an endorsement on Issue 2, urging a "yes" vote.

Knowing the paper's penchant for writing editorials packed with incorrect information (it recently wrote a totally erroneous and laughable editorial on Cleveland's entertainment ordinance that completely contradicted its own editorial of a couple of months ago — and nothing about the ordinance has changed), I'm sure the editorial is packed with bullshit and lies but frankly, I would rather enjoy my evening by not reading it. Just the headline was puke-worthy enough, saying that although the bill needs "adjustments," we can't keep the "status quo."

This paper should know as well as anyone that if this bill is retained, not only will there be no "adjustments" to make it fairer to workers, but Kasich will feel empowered by victory to move on to crushing other workers with things like a "right to work for less" act. Count on it. And the paper is fond of citing some vague "status quo" and blaming it for completely unconnected woes. Witness its duplicitous support for changing Cuyahoga County's government, which I eviscerated here back in early 2010.

The paper has given Democrats, progressives, labor and independents (and lovers of fair, honest coverage) in Northeast Ohio yet another reason for canceling the shrinking number of subscriptions it has. I hope there will be another wave of cancelations. This endorsement is an insult to Cleveland's working people and the labor the town was built on.

"Idiot" cop takes a stand on SB 5

The officer referred to by Governor John Kasich in a speech earlier this year as an "idiot" and "disrespectful" has made a public statement about the traffic stop that led to Kasich's remark — and called the governor's precious SB 5 "disrespectful."

Officer Rob Barrett said the stop (for not yielding to an emergency vehicle) was routine — Kasich admitted fault, apologized and paid his fine that same week. Who knew he was seething underneath? Who knew that three years later he would publicly express his feelings that he was too important to be stopped by a mere "idiot" cop?

Barrett said, “I pay a percentage for my healthcare, I don’t pay the same percentage as a public citizen, but then again I’m not working for profit, I’m a law enforcement officer, you can’t compare public sector employees to private sector… if a police officer starts working for profit we call that corruption."

Alas, Barrett was yet another of those police officers who voted for Kasich last year, despite all the warning signs — and within weeks of the inauguration, got called an "idiot" as thanks.

“Had I known this is what was going to happen I wouldn’t have voted for him, it’s actually a slap in the face," said Barrett.

Yes, actually.

Ohio Supreme Court issues unanimous decision in districting repeal case

The Ohio State Supreme Court decided unanimously 7-0 for the Ohio Democratic Party in allowing it to proceed with its repeal referendum of HB 31, the apportionment bill.

The Republicans in the legislature had stuck an appropriation into the bill because appropriations are not subject to repeal. The court found Attorney General Mike Dewine and Secretary of State Jon Husted were wrong to have rejected the initial petitions for approval of ballot language on the grounds that the bill contained an appropriation —something the Ohio Supreme Court had already rejected unanimously in a case several years ago. Obviously, Husted, Dewine et all hoped that the justices would flip-flop based on partisan interests but they didn't.

In the ODP's release, State Rep. Kathleen Clyde says, "“Statehouse Republicans now have a choice: They can come back to the drawing board and produce fair maps with bipartisan support, or they can create widespread uncertainty in our next election. We are prepared to take whatever steps are necessary to make sure that the people’s voice is heard.”

Maybe. The ODP now plans to ask the court to restart the 90-day window to gather signatures after a bill is passed into law. Frankly,even if they're successful, it's a high bar to begin with, and following two massive petition drives that have taken lots of time and energy and coinciding with the election to repeal HB 5 (No on Issue 2! No and 1 and 3 while you're it! No on everything!) and the holidays, I don't see much likelihood that it can be done.

OccupyToledo to march tomorrow

News from OccupyToledo:

They're gathering in Levis Square at 11:30 for a potluck lunch (hopefully as good as the vegan chili I just had at the OccupyCleveland general assembly this evening), followed by an open-to-all general assembly at 1. Then at 2:30. they will march over the MLK Bridge to International Park.

Somewhere Toledo Mayor Mike Bell will be whimpering at his master's (John Kasich) knee.

Absolutely final chance to sign to repeal voter suppression

As we've told you, the HB 194 repeal campaign turned on 318,000 signatures to repeal this awful piece of voter suppression legislation by the September 29 deadline. Since that was well beyond the 231,000-plus valid signatures, it put a hold on the legislation taking effect for this November (why you can early vote now!) while the validity of the signatures was checked.

It also allowed the campaign to continue to gather additional signatures for several weeks to replace any that might be invalidated. We have been doing that. I turned in 50 more on Tuesday. While 318,000 is a fairly comfortable number, it's not quite out of the woods as far as GOP efforts to invalidate enough signatures to keep it off next year's ballot — and to put it into effect for next year's presidential election when GOP success may hinge on who they can prevent from voting.

I have been told that we are well out of the woods now, and that we have a comfortable margin of signatures in the required 44 counties. But every signature counts — and if you haven't had a chance to sign, please do so before Sunday. Call your local Democratic county party or go online to to find out if there is an Organizing for America person near you who is collecting signatures.

If you are in Cleveland, you can stop by the OFA office at 13100 Shaker Square starting at 10 a.m. Sunday.

If you are in Wood County, you can sign a Democratic Party HQ, 455 S. Main (corner of Palmer) in Bowling Green from 3-9 p.m. tomorrow and 12-3 Sunday.

Toledo signing opportunity: From noon to 3 tomorrow at the Heatherdowns branch library on Glanzman Rd between Detroit and Byrne Rd.

And thanks to everyone who already signed. Each and every one of you played a crucial role in protecting democracy.

Hypocritical righties push federal takeover of health care

Ohio Right to Life has voiced its support by a bill introduced by Michele Bachmann (so you know it's pointless and bad) that would require doctors all across the country, in conservative states and liberal ones, to follow a specific process in one specific medial procedure. I am sure you can guess what it is:

"It would require abortion providers to make the heartbeat of an unborn child visible and audible to a mother as part of informed consent to have an abortion."

This is hypocritical on a couple of levels — and inappropriate on every level. The people who support this are the same people who think the federal government has too much power and everything should be returned to a local level. Yet they want to impose a religiously driven value judgment on the whole country. And these are the same people decrying the "government takeover" of health care they falsely believe (or say they believe) is in the Affordable Health Care Act, yet they now want the federal government to dictate to abortion providers and the women they serve what they MUST do, regardless of circumstances.

Another day, another outpouring of hatred for women. And still no jobs created so women can support their children.

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