Saturday, May 02, 2009
Except that Kasich REFUSES, absolutely REFUSES to explain how he'll pay for a proposal that would equal a 40% reduction in state government revenues.
John Kasich has no plans; he has platitudes. While he claims he's more than a one-issue candidate and that he also cares about education, Kasich has been completely AWOL during the debate on Strickland's education plan. You'd think the top of the ticket candidate would be at the forefront of the Republican's alternative education plan. But perhaps Kasich's absence is that the Republicans have no alternative plan for education.
Kasich relies on partisan, ideological studies that claim the State is 47th in competitiveness and taxes, when objective studies put Ohio far more than the median. The conservatives studies he relies on also are based on data before the State went on a five-year reduction of their income tax rates. Taxes that continued to be cut under both of the Strickland's budget.
Strickland has reformed Ohio's energy polices to put Ohio on the frontlines in the development and utilization of alternative energy technologies to end Ohio's dependance on foreign oil. He's cut taxes every year he's been in office. He's frozen tuition at Ohio's colleges and universities after nearly two decades of unchecked sky-rocketing tuition under Republican rule.
His education reform plan is simply revolutionary.
John Kasich's talking head-ness at Fox News tells you what to expect from him as a candidate. Promises and platitudes, but not serious plans or the ability to lead.
Kasich will raise alot of money. And he'll lose by at least twenty points. Strickland hasn't been one to toot his own horns. The campaign will, unfortunately, need to do some public education as to what Strickland has done the last three years as a result. But despite that, he's got strong job approval numbers that suggest no Republican candidate can be a credible threat.
And John Kasich has never given a "fiery" speech in his life. He's bland, boring, and predictable.
This race is going to be painful to follow. John Kasich couldn't even carry his old Congressional District now.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Bizarre. While there was a sizeable number of party switchers leading up to and through 1994, it was mostly politicians switching TO the Republican Party, not prominent long-standing members switching AWAY from the GOP.
I guess this means that Specter's switch is no longer "just a Pennsylvania story" anymore?
"The President's first 100 days can be summed up in three words: spending, taxing, and borrowing."Name me a government that didn't spend, tax, or borrow. I guess you could say the same thing for Reagan. Every government spend, taxes, and borrows. Boehner is phoning this thing in. He's already checked out.
Then he repeats the lie that Obama has raised taxes on the middle class when he's actually CUT them. He also repeats the lie that their alternative plan would have created twice as many jobs. The economists they cited as their basis of the calculation has even publicly told them that their math is completely wrong.
Then it gets weird.
"I support the President's responsible plans to bring our troops home from Iraq . . . "
This would be the same plan John Boehner nationally called a surrender to terrorist just last year. The plan he said shows Obama "surrendering" to terrorists. For years, Boehner blasted the very notion of a timetable for American withdrawal. Now it's a responsible plan that Boehner supports? Elections do funny things to people.
In the story, there's this curious quote from Sheriff Jones:
"Timing is everything," Jones said. "The three commissioners we have now won’t be leaving soon. The 8th Congressional District is a conservative district (that) I do well in. We'll have to see."
This tells me that Jones believes that John Boehner may not run for re-election, as he's essentially saying that he's not considering other offices because they aren't vacant. I've heard talk in Republican circles that Boehner may retire "soon," but that has always been portrayed as being possibly at some point in the next few terms.
A retirement by Boehner isn't implausible. At the end of this term. Boehner will have served in Congress for twenty years. He's not on any short list for a Senate seat race or any other statewide race, but he'd easily fit in on K Street as a lobbyist.
Boehner is not a popular figure in Washington. Since becoming House Minority Leader, the Republicans have gone through two straight brutal election cycles and predictions are that 2010 is not going to be a Republican rose garden, either.
Boehner wants to avoid the embarassment of being removed from the House Republican leadership for the second time in his congressional career. He barely hung on as Minority Leader this Congress. He did so by convincing rising conservative stars like Eric Cantor to serve in lower positions instead, leaving the disaffected Republicans no viable alternative to organize and support.
Boehner cannot afford a third bad political cycle. The national dialogue about how the Republican Party lacks a national leader is an of indictment to tenure of Boehner's lack of leadership. A retirement does not put a seat at risk and allows Boehner to gracefully exit without suffering the indignity of being outsted in a coup and forced to spend his time in Congress as a politically impotent member of the House minority caucus.
Jones, by the way, is a media whore who has stoked people's fears about undocumented immigrants (a real problem in the county) and actions designed to humiliate and degrade jail inmates as a way to appear to the public as being tough on crime. He's very much like Arizona Sheriff Joseph M. Arpaio who Jones have mimiced many of the same actions as that attention-seeking sheriff. So, don't think that Jones would necessarily be an improvement.
While Politico and the Pulse Journal are reporting this as a possible primary challenge, I think Jones' comment suggests growing confidence in the GOP Congresisonal candidate pool that John Boehner will not run for re-election in 2010 and it's time his potential successors start staking out their claim to his seat.
This borders on political malpractice. First, the vote itself, and then RNC Chairman Michael Steele's attempt to defend the vote which, I'm sorry, took place two months ago, not six.
They voted against keeping police on our streets, tax cuts, and preparing our nation in case of a swine flu pandemic. That's the Republican Party today. That's the spending and tax cut plan (one of the largest tax cuts in U.S. history) you guys had your lil' Tea Party whinefest over.
Don't run from it. Deal with it! You're the pro-tax, anti-law & order, and anti-public health party.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
So what does the conservative Club for Growth decide to do? "Let's take on a moderate Republican in a brutal primary that the moderate cannot win! What's the worst that can happen?"
Well, you could force the Republican to switch parties giving the Democrats a filibuster-proof majority, a major recruiting coup and further evidence that the country is tending to left-center. This is going to discourage top Republican challengers across the country to run. Making taking back the Congress, or even making a sizeable dent in the majority, of the Congress all that harder. Rob Portman's race just became the Republican Alamo of the Midwest.
But the Republicans could now get Joe Lieberman! So what? You think Droopy Dog is going to give up his committee gavel to be the ranking minority member of a subcommittee? Nope. No Democrat is going to switch themselves into political oblivion.
I'm amazed that the Democrats could keep this a secret so long. When Jeffords broke, it was already old news by the time he actually announced.
As if on cue, Bizzyblog goes nuts, having to dig back forty years to criticize Specter for work he did as a private attorney to suggest he's the favorite of serial murders or something. So his non sequiturs syndrome apparently isn't limited only to comments on the recession. His condition is worse than I feared. Oh my!
The conservatives will too easily write this off as part of Pat Toomey's primary bid, but that's a surface analysis that misses the big picture. There's a reason Pat Toomey was ahead- because the Pennsylvania Republican Party has been reduced down to the most conservative of elements (sound familar, Ohio?) The Party has scared or pushed out its moderate wing who is forced to become independents who split tickets... or, gasp, moderate Democrats. You know why John McCain thought he could pull up an upset in PA? Because he believed there were still Arlen Specter Republicans who'd come home. Palin scared them away, meaning that the only Specter Republicans left in the PA GOP was Specter himself (his family's allegiance to the McCain/Pail ticket last year is undocumented).
They never really were in contension because the Republican brand had been identified as being so out of touch with voters that McCain could not overcome the bad branding. Midwesterners no longer consider the Republican Party a viable option to them because of the party's dedication to an out-of-touch extreme conservative ideology that is hostile to moderates and compromise.
Branding that was the conscious choice of conservative organizations like Club for Growth. They are leading the Republican Party deeper into the political wilderness and off the cliff.
Welcome to the Democratic Party, Senator Specter. BTW, I love your voiceover work on "This Week in Baseball" (j/k).
I could not possibly detail the exact number of ways this is completely asinine. But here's some of the top ones:
1) An "alternative theory" as to why federal revenue collections dropped starting in last summer could have more to do with a global economic recession than an unorganized, uncoordinated plan to protest a three percent increase on the top marginal tax rate... especially when the control of Congress and the White House was far from certain. In fact, anyone who reads Bizzy's posting at the time would see that his rants then was that the Democrats and the media were falsely representing the state of the national economy and they'd be revealed as frauds when the fourth quarter showed 4% GDP growth (it instead showed -6% shrinkage... and yet, Bizzy still maintains there has been no recession at the time.)
2) The only ancedotal evidence cited by its supporters have people pledging that this year they will cut back on their business because they don't conceptually understand marginal tax rates. This pledge by people to go Gault in the coming future would seem to be strong evidence AGAINST a theory that people have been going Gault since June 2008.
3) The offshore drilling ban. This is the entire crux of Bizzyblog's "going Gault" theory:
Starting in June and all the way through to Election Day, Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama, and Harry Reid repeatedly told the country that they were ready, willing, and would soon be able to starve the country of the conventional sources of energy it needs to keep its economic engines running, regardless of the consequences, bowing before what may be the greatest hoax in human history.
Never mind that Obama favors coal energy and the development of clean coal technologies. Never mind that the very "cap and trade" proposal Obama was supporting was also part of the McCain/Palin platform.
Beyond that, the only energy issue that meets this description is the federal offshore drilling ban... which was lifted under a Democratic Congress in September, a month BEFORE the stock market crashed. A ban which had existed for decades and went unquestioned during the prior six years of Republican rule in the White House and Congress. How lifting the offshore drilling ban equates to "starving the country" of conventional sources of energy which explains the following collapse of the capital markets is beyond even insane human comprehension.
4) Conflating typical recessionary actions with political motives. Here Bizzy couldn't be more transparent as he confuses the reader to ascribe political motives ("going Gault") with rational economic actions in an economy where GDP is shrinking 6% (at the same time Bizzy thought it was growing 4%), credit markets are frozen, capital is vanishing in the stock market, etc.:
"As a result, they took steps that businesspeople, entrepreneurs and investors ordinarily take when a serious recession takes hold — not hiring, not expanding, letting people go and not replacing them, making worn-out equipment last longer instead of buying new, and others — before the serious recession took hold."
These things all took place in the fourth quarter.... at the beginning of the recession. (Tomorrow, it is expected the First Quarter GDP will be announced, expectations are that it will show a negative 4-5%. Expectations are that the second quarter of 2009 will show another 2% loss in GDP before the economy begins to grow again.) The economy didn't shrink because Obama said the economy was bad. It's the opposite: Obama said the economy was shrinking because the economy was shrinking.
Again, this, and the global size of the economic crisis, suggests that the slowdown in the economy has more to do with macroeconomic trends than a bunch of rich folks protesting having to pay higher taxes. The fact that Bizzy is compelled to conflate the two so obviously reveal what a fraud the "going Gault" theory really is.
5) Dumb people don't stay rich. The top wealth producers in the economy clearly lost more wealth in the stock market crash beginning in October than any tax proposal by the Obama Administration. If the rich stopped hiring, producing, and investing to protest a three percent increase on the top marginal rate, then this was the most foolish waste of money in the history of economics. It's like detonating dynamite in your house to kill a fly.
6) Do as I say, not as I do. Almost not the the strongest evidence of what utter nonsense th "Gault theory" of the 2008-2009 recession, it certain is the most amusing. If, as Bizzyblog opines, the Tea Party protests earlier this month were about the collective Gaults of the nation expressingly their anger. Then where was Ohio's leading advocate that all things economic are Gault?:
"It is my pleasure on this Tea Party Day (which I will regretfully have to miss because of personal and business commitments) to introduce a new and hopefully fairly frequent poster here."
In other words, "While y'all go Gault, I'm going to work." How very un-Gault-like. Tell me, what are the titles of the books Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin won't be publishing this year because they're "going Gault?" (One reason why I totally support both of them if they decide to actually practice what they preach.)
After spending months claiming that there was no recession, Bizzyblog cannot fathom the idea that he was just simply wrong on the economy and wrong for attacking Obama for truthfully talking about the bad economic conditions. Nope, in his fevered partisan mind, the only conclusion is that the Trilateral Commission or some other shadowy, power conservative group wrecked the economy to get Obama elected President and make things so bad that Americans were willing to permit an extensive federal involvement in the means of production in our national economy in order to protest a tax increase at the top marginal rate (returning it to its levels permitted, without a Gault-like strike, in the 1990s), thus making Obama's prior comments on the economy a self-fulfilling prophecy. Yeah, that's far more plausible than Bizzyblog doesn't know what he's talking about!
Monday, April 27, 2009
At 1:30 a.m. this morning, I had an apparent Coughlin loyalist explain that the reason his lawyers aren't coming after those of us who have actually published and promoted this story is because "we're not important" and that he's going after the sources in the story themselves.
Add to that, this unusual e-mail from State Senator Kevin Coughlin himself, dated March 9, 2009 that is now posted over at Blogger Interrupted:
Anticipating legal action, he has repeatedly reminded Scene Magazine of it’s obligations to save all records that will help lead us back to the source of the defamatory comments and allegations:
“As I communicated in October, please make sure that your company and all its employees preserve all information, electronic and otherwise, they have or will have in their possession pertaining to this or any related matter. We will want to trace very carefully how all information has been used for any story being planned, what information was not used or followed up, and what individuals have been interviewed or contacted. Information concerning all alleged confidential sources should be preserved, also. No electronic information should be overwritten.
All drafts should be saved. Backup tapes should be preserved. No paper or other hard information should be discarded.”
Again, I thank you for your assistance and regret the harassment. Know that, if needed, we will be prepared with guns blazing and a proper response. In the event that our action gives us insight into the sources of the defamatory information, I will share it with you.
Except one thing, it's one thing for an attorney to claim that if litigation ensues they're entitled to certain information-- it's quite another to say that they're legally entitled to learn the identity of such sources.
Ohio's courts, and indeed the very legislature State Senator Kevin Coughlin serves, have recognized that journalists have a legal privilege from disclosing the identity of confidential sources. Don't believe me (even though I'm a lawyer?), then how about this handy-dandy publication from the Ohio State Bar Association:
Reporter’s Privilege Allows Journalists to Keep Sources Confidential
Created: 11/28/2008 12:56:54 AM
Q: Do journalists have a right to keep their sources confidential?
A: Most states, including Ohio, recognize some form of a “reporter’s privilege” that allows journalists to refuse to disclose their confidential sources. The Ohio legislature has enacted statutes called “shield laws” that protect print and broadcast journalists from being compelled to disclose the identity of their confidential sources. Ohio courts also have recognized a constitutional protection for non-confidential notes, drafts, video outtakes and other non-published or non-broadcast materials.
Q: Who is covered by the privilege?
A: Journalists are covered by the privilege, but “journalist” is defined differently by different courts and state statutes. Ohio’s shield laws define a journalist as a person “engaged in the work of, or connected with, or employed by” a broadcast station (radio or television) or newspaper or press association for the purpose of gathering, editing and publishing or broadcasting news. Courts in other jurisdictions have more broadly defined a journalist as someone who is gathering news with the intent to disseminate it to the public.
Q: Is it true that news reporters never have to reveal their sources?
A: No; the privilege is generally not absolute in most states. Ohio’s shield laws may not protect a reporter who is asked to reveal confidential sources to a grand jury or in a criminal trial when the criminal defendant’s Sixth Amendment rights to a fair trial are in danger. In civil lawsuits in which a party seeks testimony or documents from a journalist concerning non-confidential sources, Ohio courts sometimes require the
journalist to disclose the information if the party seeking the information can
show it is relevant, it cannot be obtained from alternative sources, and there
is a compelling interest in obtaining the information.
In other words, under R.C. 2739.04, Coughlin's unlikely to get any information from Scene Magazine, or James Renner, as to the identity of Renner's sources. It's only been the law of the State of Ohio since 1977, so it's easy to see how Coughlin and his high-priced attorney could make such a glaring mistake. (Snark.)
Don't get me wrong, if I were Coughlin's lawyer, of course I'd be insisting on this information. But Scene magazine, if it has any journalistic credibility would assert the journalists' privilege from non-disclosure and Coughlin would be hard pressed to dent it.
So why send out the email suggesting that Coughlin is going to learn about who the anonymous sources are if he is unlikely to legally be able to do so? Four letters: STFU! He's broadcasting to the legally ignorant, those who cannot afford to go against Kevin Coughlin, his well-greased money machine and his high-priced lawyers, and threatening them that if they don't stop talking he's coming after them with guns blazing. He's sending it out to people he knows, or should know, won't realize that it's all a bluff. He's got nothing but blanks for his six-figure legal artillery.
It's a standard, "if you aren't with me, I'll find you out and expose you" and if you are with me, you'll be a loyal footsoldier and report all contacts by the "outsiders" so I can defend myself. It's downright cult-like. Veiled threats coupled with group-identity solidarity in the force of sinister, outside forces that only Coughlin will protect you against if you stay loyal to him.
This is what made those of us in the know on media law so shocked by the decision of Scene not to publish the story of Coughlin's apparent extramarital affair. If they were willing to kill a legally defensible piece of journalism to avoid litigation,would Scene be willing to waive its journalistic privileges and disclose confidential sources also in order to avoid litigation? Where is the line in the sand that Scene magazine has declared that it is not willing to compromise its journalistic integrity in order to avoid defending against a frivolous lawsuit?
Will State Senator Kevin Coughlin's campaign of legal bullying and intimidation actually work? And what social responsibility will Scene magazine bear in being complicit to Coughlin's legal strategy?
Saturday, April 25, 2009
To date, despite the best efforts of anonymous blog commenters who somehow have unprecedented level of knowledge of both the inner workings of Scene magazine and Camp Coughlin's activities (or are just pretended to), I've yet to see any evidence to give me a reason to doubt my initial assessment that any threat of a lawsuit by Coughlin was an empty threat and that any such lawsuit based on libel of Coughlin was groundless.
Also to date, neither myself, Tim Russo, or Pho has been contacted by Coughlin's attorneys to demand that we retract our posts or else be subject to litigation for libeling Senator Coughlin. And do you know why? Because Coughlin's lawyers know they have no case. They also probably know that I am a lawyer, that if I were sued, I would likely countersue Coughlin for malicious prosecution/frivolous conduct and seek to sanction Coughlin and his attorneys for trying to use private litigation to intimidate me from exercising my constitutionally protected First Amendment rights. If they didn't realize it before now, they do now.
So please, sue us. I could use the money. And it gives us all an excuse to write more about Coughlin's extramaritial affair with a campaign worker while going around the State and calling "gay marriage," not "adultery," the greatest threat to the institute of marriage. Posts about Cleveland Scene's spiking of the sourced newsstory about Coughlin's alleged affair is traffic gold.
I can't wait to depose Kevin Coughlin. And if I believe he committed perjury in such a deposition, I'll forward it to the General Assembly to consider impeachment proceedings against him.
Right now, Old Media is holding its fire because Coughlin is not a credible challenger for the GOP nomination and most people don't know who he is. That, and they hate to give credit for blogs for breaking any kind of story and they're using the excuse that a story about his affair is too "tabloid" for them after going gaga for Monica and the lil' blue dress.
This story is far better evidenced and sourced that what Matt Naugle had when he first alleged (and was proven right) that Marc Dann was carrying on an extramarital affair with a young staffer and using campaign funds to fund those activities. And yet, not one conservative blogger has even MENTIONED this story. Hypocrites. Kevin Coughlin supported the impeachment inquiry and thought Dann waited too long to resign. Coughlin's double standard on resigning over extramarital affairs in office can go unnoticed only so long.
But the embargo by Old Media collapses the second Coughlin sues us. That and other dams will then break. And Team Coughlin knows it. Which is why they'll continue their campaign to privately try to call the credibility of the story into question without ever actually suing.
It's your call, Kevin. But my prediction is that you'll get behind John Kasich as Governor and use his candidacy as an excuse to slither back to the obscurity he so richly deserves.
Friday, April 24, 2009
Ohio Supreme Court finds little fault in Strickland Administration's response to massive public records request
Morgan filed suit in less than a month after requesting that the Governor produce, for example, every email regarding the governor's evidence-based model and education funding. A request that alone generated over 74,000 pages of data alone.
The Governor's office claimed that it was already in the process of responding to the request, but that some of the request was too broad and the rest was under review for redaction of information that under state and federal law is exempt from disclosure in a public records request (since the Governor is pointedly NOT claiming executive privilege, I can only assume we're talking about personal addresses, Social Security Numbers, D.O.B., that kind of information.) The Administration said that it would take them some time to review the materials to redact such protected information before disclosure.
Although the Court granted the writ ("order") that Morgan was seeking, it was under the weakest terms possible. The Court today essentially ordered the Strickland Administration to continue to do what the Court found it was already doing and review the records, redact, and produce them within a "reasonable" amount of time. The Court unanimously agreed that the Strickland Administration's response to Morgan's "comprehensive" request was lawful and reasonable. The Court also found that Morgan's request was overbroad and that Morgan was being unreasonable in his expectation in how quickly he expected the Governor's office to respond to what even State Rep. Morgan conceded was a wide-ranging request of a massive amount of documents.
Furthermore, the Court also found that the Strickland Administration's claimed reason for the delay-- the need to redact information exempt from public disclosure under state and federal law-- was legitimate and reasonable.
The Court, and in the concurring opinion of Justice Pfeiffer, also referenced the political theater motivating the litigation. Political theater like State Representative Morgan and the Ohio Republican Party using the politically inspired lawsuit as grounds to allege that the Strickland Administration was engaged in a "cover up" regarding the Governor's plan to reform public education.
Morgan even lamely tried to label the whole thing as "Evidencegate." He falsely stated that he had gotten no response or information from the Administration when , in fact, it had contacted him and told him that it was working on a complete response but provided a bibliography of sources the Administration relied on in crafting the education plan.
The most laughable line of attack the GOP, and Morgan specifically, have been trying is to say that the plan was crafted in secret. This after a year of publicly held and reported town hall meetings with interested parties to discuss various proposals and then to discuss the plan itself.
Strickland's education plan was crafted in the most public ways possible. It's now also being publicly debated and altered in public legislative committee hearings. Hearings on committees that Rep. Morgan is actually a member of.
What is not public is any Republican alternative to anything Strickland has proposed. The Republicans have no plan to reform public education. None.
The Republicans have to manfacture something to be "outraged" about because they have no plan. They can only hope that by taking potshots from the sidelines they can convince Ohioans that they can do better for Ohio with no plans than what Strickland will do with his.
The Ohio Republican Party is just simply brain dead.
[UPDATE:] The Governor's Office just released this statement from the Governor regarding today's court decision:
"I appreciate that the Ohio Supreme Court acknowledges the considerable efforts my office has taken to be responsive to a legislator’s broad public records request. My office has released thousands of pages of documents in response to this request.
"Each of four document releases included letters inviting the representative to further refine or clarify his request so we could more quickly provide materials focused on any substantive concerns about my education proposal that he may have. To date, my office has not received any indication of any specific education policy areas in which he is interested.
"I appreciate the Court’s finding that the overly-broad request should be further refined, narrowed and clarified. I continue to believe that this effort is little more than a disappointing attempt to detract from, rather than enhance, the ongoing legislative discussion about modernizing Ohio’s education system. My staff will continue working to provide responsive records as quickly as possible.”
Thursday, April 23, 2009
There's apparently an epidemic among Ohio Republicans to suddenly repeal the state's income tax.
State Representative Cheryl Grossman has now introduced House Bill 44 which would eliminate all State income tax liability to any resident in Ohio with a Bachelor's degree for the first five years after graduating:
“The state of our economy in Ohio is burying our college graduates with an alarming amount of debt,” Grossman said. “Eliminating graduates state income tax liability will allow them to use their extra funds to help pay for their student loans and other debts incurred during college. This bill will also attract college graduates from other states.”
House Bill 144 specifically allows individuals who graduate from any institution of higher education, and who are residents of Ohio, to claim a state income tax credit equal to the individuals’ net tax liability for up to five years. Graduates will have one year from graduation to apply for the tax credit through the Ohio Board of Regents. If a graduate leaves Ohio within the five years, he or she will be required to pay back the amount of tax credit received.
“The loss of jobs throughout the state is creating a panic among college students and recent graduates who are looking for employment,” Grossman said. “It is well known that the lack of jobs and taxes are causing our states brightest individuals to take up residencies in other states. This bill is an incentive for our graduates to stay in Ohio.”
Um, and after five years, what happens? If this is a bill to "keep our kids" in Ohio, then why do people who get degrees outside of Ohio and never lived in Ohio until after they graduated get to claim the credit? You know what would keep students in Ohio? Make in-state tuition in Ohio less expensive than going to school out-of-state. You know, like Governor Strickland has been doing after a decade of largely unchecked skyrocketing tuition in Ohio under Republican rule where students could get a quality college education cheaper outside of Ohio than in it.
Incidentially, here's Cheryl Grossman on Governor Strickland's proposal for a high-speed passenger rail in Ohio during the recent transportation budget debate:
"I'm not saying that I'm opposed to passenger rail, but show me the numbers," said Rep. Cheryl L. Grossman, R-Grove City.
Yeah, how does Grossman plan on balancing the budget with this massive tax cut? She doesn't. This is the Republican playbook. Publicly question the Democratic Administration's fiscal responsibility while debating a balanced budget while introducing massive financial commitments with absolutely no plan on how state government can afford them.
It's simply laughable to hear this woman talk about fiscal responsibility to justify opposing a transportation budget which will create jobs and is fulling funded and then turn around and introduce a major income tax cut with no plan on how the State can compensate for the obvious loss of revenue.
Incidentially, when she was Mayor, Grossman actually applauded not just federal government spending for transportation, but getting earmarks for such projects (but earmarks are okay if they're Republican earmarks.) You can't watch these video clip in that context and not laugh.
This is the Republican Party's plan to power: 1) Hope people forget what we've done; 2) Sound to people that our criticism is genuine and an alternative approach that is more responsible; 3) Repeat step 1.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Commissioners rejected $373,000 in stimulus money to buy three new transit buses and upgrade their fleet, citing their opposition of deficit spending for buses and vans. Commissioner Mike Kilburn said he refuses to take any stimulus funds.
“I’ll let Warren County go broke before taking any of Obama’s filthy money,” Kilburn said. When asked about stimulus money being used to help improve rural transportation and job creation, Kilburn said he was tired of government handouts.
“I’m tired of paying for people who don’t have,” he said. “As Reagan said, ‘government is not the answer, it’s the problem.’”
Says a guy who is the government in Warren County. Refusing the money won't reduce the deficit at all, as the funds will simply be given to other communities for their projects.
[UPDATED]: As predicted, Lucas County has already written Warren County Commissioners to call "dibs" and to thank them for giving more money to other communities. (Source: Columbus Dispatch)
What's even more insane is the lengths 1) that they are going to refuse this money; 2) the ignornance they show in trying to justify their actions:
Commissioner David Young said the commissioners also are looking for a way to
give back $1.8 million in stimulus money allocated for energy efficient windows
and roofs on government buildings.
“We are working with the prosecutor’s office to find a way for us to give
back the money and make sure that no one else spends it,” said Young. “We want
to make clear that we are saying ‘no, thank you’ to spending this money and we
are reducing the $787 billion being spent by $1.8 million.”
“I understand the federal government should be doing some spending in a down
economy,” said Young. “But, it should be on big projects like highway
improvements. We might not like deficit spending, but at least we could live
with it if the funds were being used for those things. To use it for vans?
Look, genius, you honestly can't think of how buying new vehicles might stimulate the economy. Even after manufacturing companies like Blackhawk in Warren County has folded due to problems in the auto industry?
Who the hell do these mental midgets think they are? They're actually promoting higher utility bills to be paid for by the county property owners because these guys don't want to use federal money to install energy efficient technology (most of which is produced here in the United States)? Why should your ideology keep me from paying higher sales and property taxes to support the county government's unnecessarily higher utility bills every month?
And Commisioner Kilburn wants to justify this by saying that seniors and the disabled already have enough handouts already, they don't need more assistance in transportation in the county? Good luck with that one, fella.
Maybe the Republican Party isn't entirely politically dead in this country, but it sure looks like it's politically brain dead in Warren County.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Here's BizzyBlog today about the current conservative outrage of the moment:
That’s okay,I’m sure the one about left-wing and Islamofascist groups upset that Obama didn’t walk away from Iraq and pull all aid to Israel is coming out any
Except that there was a similar report issued by the DHS within the first week of the Obama Administration that got no attention from people like Blumer. It's title? Leftwing Extremist Likely to Increase Use of Cyber Attacks over the Coming Decade. Ironically, the copy of the report on left-wing domestic terrorism is downloadable from none other than Fox News.
Of course, Blumer uses the Washington Times (a hack of a newspaper if there ever was one) to allege that the DHS report on right-wing extremism calls "returning veterans among terrorist risks to the U.S." What the report accurately warns is that returning U.S. veterans will likely be targets by right-wing extremists for recruitment. This is hardly a controversial theory:
Timothy McVeigh was a Desert Storm vet recruited by right-wing/anti-federal government zealots who preyed on McVeigh's military training and likely PTSD and other psychological issues as a result of his military service to turn him into a willing matryr footsoldier of the radical right army. 168 Americans, including children died. To not keep OKC in mind as a potential illustration of a domestic terrorist threat would be disgraceful.
And, no, Rusho, the report doesn't label the right-wing a greater threat than Al Qaeda. That's yet another made up conservative myth to justify the phony outrage.
Just last month, three Pittsburgh police officers were killed in the line of duty by a lunatic who thought his guns were going to be taken away by Obama so he lay in wait to kill as many police as he could before he would go out in a blaze of glory. The shooter, Richard Poplawski, survived. By the way, Poplawski was tossed out by the Marines during boot camp, returned to his home and began his own right-wing internet radio talk show. He was a regular poster on white supremists sites like Stormfront. He followed fringe liberterian conspiracy theorists. And he killed three cops. Shooting two of them in the head almost instantly and without warning.
Tom Blumer, you don't know what you're talking about.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
In the last twenty-four hours, the newstory about Coughlin's extramarital affair has doubled my traffic. And, according to the information provided by SiteMeter, it's all due to people looking for information on Coughlin's alleged affair (although alleged is probably unnecessary since multiple sources in the story confirm the existence of the affair, including at least one who confirms that Coughlin himself acknowledge the existence of an inappropriate relationship.) Google "Coughlin affair or Cleveland Scene" and you've been coming here.
The only reason it hasn't crept into print media is because 1) it's a story broken by blogs and Old Media hates to acknowledge anything legitimate coming from blogs (the same thing occured during the Marc Dann affair, so it's a bipartisan conspiracy; 2) Coughlin just isn't that important. Most Ohioans don't know who he is, and although he's running for Governor, he's polling in the single digits among Republican primary voters.
Coughlin was already a joke BEFORE the story about his affair was written.
Amazingly, the editors at Cleveland Scene are getting downright pissy with Tim about the whole thing. Tim reached them for comment, they alleged the reporter was fired for "gross insubordination," Tim prints that response and then contacts them for specifics, and they refuse because Tim isn't interested in hearing their side of the story?!?
Coughlin, of course, one time called Dann's affair and improper use of campaign funds in facilitating the affair a "Culture of Corruption" in which Dann should have resigned immediately... I'm just sayin'.
Again, you have no less than FoxNews conflating the TARP legislation in October, a pure bailout legislation, with the stimulus package in January which was not a bailout unless you consider giving the middle class tax relief a "bailout". Of course, this idiot is given a national platform and apparently has no idea what the meaning of fascism is, either. (Yeah, Hitler was a fascist because he was in bed with the corporations.) Nor does he apparently understand what was in the stimulus package as there was nothing there for corporations. It was tax cuts and government spending. It was not a corporate bailout package.
Also, if you're for lower taxes, and I'm tired of having to say this again, then you should be AGAINST repealing the stimulus package which had one of, if not the largest, tax cuts in American history.
And speaking of people using labels who have no idea what the hell they're talking about: let's go to CNN for the "Obama is Hitler" guy! Of course, when asked how Obama is a fascist, this Fox News obeying drone can't give a reason.
This is what 24/7 FoxNews coverage of Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, and Michelle Bachman gives you. An angry white mob who thinks the black President is Hitler, but cannot explain why. It's what happens when you have a nation-wide cable television network that presents itself as an objective "journalistic" institution calling the democratically elected President of the United States a "fascist, socialist, and communist" 24/7. Glenn Beck is on Fox News with Penn of Penn & Teller fame preaching non-violence. In fear of what he has sown, but it is too late. You cannot demogogue the President to be an inhuman monster one day worthy of being hunted like Hitler or removed in a revolution and then say you're for non-violence. Own it, Beck, you coward.
This is irresponsible for anyone, let alone something that passes itself off as a "news" organization. It's dangerous rhetoric. I feel bad for Tim Russo and others who went expecting to get an exclusive on the insanity of these misguided, uninformed, and actively mislead people. The truth is already out there and it's on every television screen in America.
It's the face of the conservative movement in America. It's angry, racist, and frightening, even to people like Glenn Beck.
The stimulus package had one of the largest, if not the largest, tax cuts in American history. So, again, I must ask, why does the conservative movement think their path to power is to support higher taxes at a time of a global recession?
Conservative bloggers, both locally and nationally, have been spinning wildly to try to make the Tea Parties protest something larger than it is. They adamently chafe at anyone who suggests this is a partisan sham. And yet, while Republican Congressman and congressional candidates like Steve Chabot are conveniently slated to address Tea Party crowds today, I can't find a single Democratic offical slated to speak at a single Tea Party event. Not one.
[Update: The Columbus Dispatch is reporting that rumored GOP '10 Gubernatorial candidate/Fox News host/former Goldman Sachs executive John Kasich may be speaking at the Columbus Tea Party today. Kasich is running against Governor Ted Strickland, who has reduced taxes while in office and has kept state government spending at its slowest growth rate of any governor in modern Ohio history. I'm sure Mr. Kasich's speech will be non-partisan and will offer nothing put praise for the fiscal conservatism of the Strickland Administration.]
Glenn Reynolds, conservative blogger, and now, apparenly, Wall Street Journal columnist, breathlessly claims "There is no political party behind these rallies, no grand right-wing conspiracy, not even a 501(c) group like MoveOn.org."
I guess that depends if you consider Dick Armey's 501(c) group, FreedomWorks, "like MoveOn.org" or not. (HT: Tim Russo at BloggerInterrupted).
The Tea Party defenders, suffers of that conservative malaise known as ODS ("Obama Derangement Syndrome") claim that this is spontaneous grass-roots uprising that defies labels, at least that's what's they've been saying non-stop on FoxNews as that channel has pointed its viewers to fundraise and promote these entirely grassroots events being promoted by, yep, Dick Armey.
What nobody has pointed out in Dick Armey's Tea Bagging is that his organization supports higher taxes for middle class Americans on two fronts: they oppose the Obama tax cuts in the stimulus package. And his FreedomWorks organization supports instituting a federal regressive "flat" tax that would raise the effective tax rates an all but the wealthiest Americans by eliminating most, if not all deductions and credits. (According to Turbotax, my federal return shows my family paid an effective tax rate of 7%, a flat tax would require triple that rate.)
As I write this, the Cincinnati rally has the same number of people as the last one. In other words, it's the same people. And there is a sameness of these people that the Tea Partiers are dishonestly trying to deny. This is not a diverse group of people, politically or social-economically. They are virtually the same people who turned out at McCain-Palin rallies (more specifically Palin rallies) who are now only different in that they are unchained from supporting a particular candidate. Support for the stimulus has actually gone noticeably up since this Tea Party protests began. (It probably has something to do with people noticing that they're paying less in taxes as a result.)
While BizzyBlog writes stories about tax receipts "mysteriously" dropping from a year ago, the sane world knows that it's because taxes are lower today than they were a year ago and the self-employed are taking it on the chin harder than anyone. Nobody's gone "Gault," they're going broke in a deep recession.
They claim to be the "no longer" silent majority, but they aren't even in the majority. The organizers of the Cincinnati party could only manage to find 1,700 signatures for people to ask the City of Cincinnati not to accept federal stimulus funds (funds that have, I believe, already been received). It's the same crowd; different day. It's the 10% of the country made up of conservative activists struggling for political relevancy in the absence of any leadership.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Cleveland Scene reporter fired over written story alleging GOP gubernatorial candidate engaged in extramarital affair
According to the mistress' roommate at the time, the affair began while the mistresss was a student of Coughlin's at the University of Akron. It continued during his first campaign for State Senate. Multiple witnesses recall seeing Coughlin's vehicle at the mistresses apartment for long periods of time, sometimes even at 1 a.m. His campaign paid for damage to her car, hotel rooms in the district and in Columbus. Former campaign staffers and friends admit knowledge of the affair. A former political candidate even alleges that Coughlin once blew off campaign activities because, in Coughlin's alleges words, he was busy "canoodling" with the alleged mistress.
Coughlin, curiously, says he doesn't "have any extra-marital affairs going on", which is a rather peculiar choice of using the present tense when talking about event which allegedly transpired five years ago. He had the high-profile law firm of Roetzel & Andress alleging that any reporting of the alleged affair is false and would defamatory if published. Not content with that litigation threat, Coughlin later had his lawyer threaten litigation, even if the Cleveland alternative weekly never published any story on it, if it continued to "harass" Coughlin's associates by continuing to look into the story any further.
In what has to be one of the worst case of journalistic cowardice ever, the CEO of the company which owns the Cleveland magazine decided to fire the reporter who was working on the story.
Incidentially, the story also presents one allegation that is bipartisan:
And according to two fellow state representatives who spoke on background,
Coughlin once got into a public shouting match with Representative Ray Miller
outside a committee room at the statehouse over their mutual attraction for
Christina Cooney, a Democratic Caucus staffer.
That would be now Senate Minority Whip Ray Miller, who's under investigation for countless campaign finance violations. Nice to know what an outstanding guy he is.
I don't see why Cleveland Scene allowed itself to be bullied by Coughlin's threat of litigation. The story is sufficiently sourced to defeat any libel action. The fact that Coughlin threatens litigation for merely looking into by calling it "harassment" should have gotten a true journalist's blood up.
During my brief stint as a newspaper reporter covering politics and crime (sometimes in the same story), I often was threatened with litigation, sometimes by lawyers (one time by a lawyer who was upset that I covered a sentencing hearing the day before he demanded I cover). I was never sued.
I wrote stories about how court clerks pocketed payments on fines and how the city's auditor once had the city pay for repairs to his personal vehicle while police chief. I once wrote a store headlined "What Jesus Wouldn't Do" about a guy who shoplifted a WWJD bracelet. I later learned that he, too, went to law firm after law firm looking for someone willing to sue me. They all laughed him out of their offices. Every day, someone was calling the managing editor and publisher threatening to sue over something I written. Nobody ever did.
And I remember that when a subject of a story goes from complaining about not asking so-so and such and such and then complains that I'm "harassing" so-so by asking them about such-such, there's smoke in the air.
This is a complete abandonment of journalistic integrity by the owner of Cleveland Scene. And I look forward to reading about this reporter's wrongful termination lawsuit.
And Kevin Coughlin has some s'plaining to do.
Monday, April 13, 2009
A new Gallup Poll finds 48% of Americans saying the amount of federal income taxes they pay is "about right," with 46% saying "too high" -- one of the most positive assessments Gallup has measured since 1956. Typically, a majority of Americans say their taxes are too high, and relatively few say their taxes are too low.
The slightly more positive view this year may reflect a public response to President Barack Obama's economic stimulus and budget plans. He has promised not to raise taxes on Americans making less than $250,000, while cutting taxes for lower- and middle-income Americans. The latter has already begun, as the government has reduced the withholding amount for federal income taxes from middle- and lower-income American workers' paychecks.
In this year's poll, slim majorities of both lower- and middle-income Americans say they pay about the right amount of taxes, while upper-income Americans tend to think they pay too much. The views of upper-income Americans have not changed in the past year, while both middle- and lower-income Americans are more likely to say they pay the right amount of tax.
So after all the hype over the Tea Parties, all we're seeing is an ideology that is becoming further and further away from the mainstream.
Protest Obama's stimulus package on April 15th? Well, then you're also protesting the tax cuts that were a big component of that stimulus package. I'll say it again-- a protest against the stimulus package is a protest for HIGHER taxes.
If the conservative movement thinks it can become politically relevant again by protesting for higher taxes, please be my guest. Teabag yourselves to your hearts' content.
GOP talking heads attack Obama's failure to resolve pirate/hostage situation; hours after it had been resolved
This is just embarassing. Poor Newt Gingrich is out there on Sunday's talk shows about how Obama's unwilling to "pull the trigger" and make the hard decisions while being completely unaware that the President had authorized that lethal force be used if the Captain's life appeared to be threatened and the triggers, three to be precise, had already been pulled.
FoxNews and the conservative talking head crowd just can't understand Obama. They're the only ones who would compare Obama to Bush and find Obama lacking. Now was the time for the grownups to be in charge. You don't need the President publicly swaggering on television talking about "Dead or Alive" or some nonsense that if you can't deliver on (ala OBL), then you wind up looking incredibly weak and impotent.
Only in the game "Civilization" would a lifeboat be able to defeat a Navy Destroyer. But pure firepower wasn't going to solve the problem unless you didn't care about killing the American hostage in the process. So, you let cooler heads prevail. You keep the pirates busy trying to negotiate their way out of the situation, hook up a tow line to the Navy ship to drag them further out to sea, and at the first sign of serious trouble with a clear line of shot, you already have clear rules of engagement that authorize the necessary and immediate action.
You keep the pirate you already have in custody and charge and prosecute him with piracy. That's how a grown up Administration acts.
It was the Republican Party which took the tragic and heroic deaths of 18 Army Rangers to capitalize as a foreign policy criticism of then-President Bill Clinton's effort at nation building in Somalia which forced the Administration into a hasty retreat from the region. Because Al-Qaeda had supplied organizational/tactical training in the region, the Somalia event emboldened the terrorist organization into planning 9/11.
Why Somalia became a haven for Al-Qaeda and international piracy is going to become the next focus. And that's not something Republicans should particular feel comfortable about. Their policy that stable and orderly nation-state in Somalia was not in our national security interests in 1990s is at root to how this crisis occurred in the first place.
Thursday, April 09, 2009
That's House Minority Leader Boehner protesting a Democratic proposal to end the Iraq War.
He didn't come to Congress to be a Congressperson, he came to do something. And yet, what has my Congressman done so far this term?
He voted against one of the largest tax cuts in American history. He voted against health insurance for children. He voted against giving victims of gender-based discrimination in the workplace justice. He voted against extending unemployment benefits to those hit hard by the worst economy since the Great Depression. And last week, John Boehner voted against more funding for our troops.
How do Republicans justify voting against more funding for our troops? Well, first you lie and claim that Obama was actually CUTTING defense funding instead of increasing it:
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||M - Th 11p / 10c|
|Full Metal Budget|
And then you pray that that the lazy media buys your justification for voting against a military budget that increases troop spending during a two-front war and misinforms the voters back home so nobody finds out what a phony asshat you really are.
John Boehner has voted against tax cuts, healthy kids, and our troops. And so has almost the entire Congressional Republicans. It's about time people started pointing out that not only is Boehner the leader and architect of "the Party of 'No,'" but exactly what Boehner and the Republican Party has been saying "No" to.
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
So in the middle of the biggest global economic crisis, Ohio GOP Gubernatorial candidate/State Senator Kevin Coughlin believes the three most important issues facing Ohioans are:
- Making sure the Republicans keep control over the Apportionment Board.
- Making sure the General Assembly express its disproval over non-existent federal legislation that died in committee under the last Congress (which was also Democratically controlled.)
- Making sure Ohio's constitution prevents non-existent proposals for single payer health care from working.
Basically, the entire rationale for his campaign is to be the Anti-Obama. He has no solutions. No ideas. Without Obama and the Democrats in Congress, Kevin Coughlin cannot politically breathe. In fact, Democrats are so vital to his political survival that he has to actually invent Democratic proposals to survive on.
Did he really call requirements that legislative districts be drawn "compactly" as "goofy?" He apparently isn't aware that's a constitutional requirement for legislative districts. Coughlin should rename his redistricting constitutional amendment the "Mary Taylor Amendment." Because the only problem it solves is the Republican's problem that if only Mary Taylor wins a seat on the Apportionment Board, the Democrats will still have a majority on it. All Coughlin's amendment would do is ... well, what? Add more seats in what will still be a Democratic-majority Apportionment Board? He does know, by the way, that the people of Ohio don't elect the Speaker of the House, Senate President and the House and Senate minority caucus leaders?
Oh wait, he doesn't even know that districts are already constitutionally required to be compact.
The Freedom of Choice Act doesn't exist. It's a social conservative boogeyman used to raise campaign money and seem politically relevant. It's hardly on the fast track to the President's desk either. In the last Congress, it never even made it out of committee. Like almost all federal legislation it went nowhere. And yet, Coughlin believes one of the three most important things he's doing in the state legislature is sponsoring legislation to protest federal legislation that went nowhere whenever it's been introduced and presently doesn't even exist.
I should take Coughlin snipe hunting because he apparently loves going after things that don't exist. His third priority is another constitutional amendment to try to thwart something nobody is proposing: single-payer health care. It's downright agonizing to watch Coughlin try to conflate Obama's health insurance reform package into something it's clearly not. You can watch his body language and tell even he knows he's lying. He resorts to the old slippery slope cliche. First they required univeral private health insurance, then it became government single-payer. If that were the case, why doesn't Ohio have government provided single-payer auto insurance yet?
The ironic thing is that Coughlin doesn't realize that every tried and poll tested slam against single-payer government health care can be said about the current system. The insurance rep who denies coverage of medical procedure is just as much as a bureacrat interfering with "patient choice" whether they collect a government paycheck or one from Blue Cross/Blue Shield. I'll spare you the irony of a guy who talks about patient choice after just ranting about all Ohio has done to restrict a patient's constitutionally protected right to have an abortion.
With reimbursement rates, provider networks, etc. health insurance has done more to restrict patient choice than any government-run health care system has done. Of course, since Coughlin is able to choose among a variety of health care plans as a member of the State legislature (a choice most people in his district are denied but would be actually be given under Obama's health care proposal), choice is in the eye of the beholder.
Since most people cannot even "choose" the medical care they need because they lack insurance, and even more cannot "choose" the health care they and their doctor believe is medically necessary because of their health insurance, framing "patient choice" around Coughlin's constitutional amendment is nothing more than clever political marketing. I guess Coughlin has never heard about the federal supremacy clause, either?
This is the future leadership the Ohio Republican Party can offer this State: Clueless Coughlin and the Fox News host/Lehman Brothers executive. Pathetic.
Thursday, April 02, 2009
That being said, I'm glaad to hear fellow blogger Jill Zimon is running for the City Council of Pepper Pike. Apparently, Ohio Daily Blog got the exclusive (Jill, you can write about yourself, you do it all the time! :):
OhioDaily spoke to Miller Zimon as she fought her way through a crowded
parking lot at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections. When asked if she was
ready to go public with the chatter previously whispered behind-the-scenes,
Zimon said, "I'm doing it. I'm pulling my petitions right now."
Anyone predict an announcement speech less than twelve words? Yeah, whoever had their money on that got some great Vegas odds. But I can't talk I've already written more words about Jill's twelve than her actual announcement.
My question is: why isn't Jill running for Josh Mandel's State Representative seat? After all if Josh is giving it up to run for State Treasurer, who's the Democratic candidate that would be stronger than Jill?
I'm sure Jill would do fine as a City Councilwoman for Pepper Pike, but I think it would be more interesting to see her in the State Representative.
I'd start a legislative drinking game... Drink everytime you hear "Representative Zimon returns the balance of her time."
Sorry, Jill. Somebody had to say it! Good luck! :)
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Surprisingly, a number of blogs, Buckeye State Blog and Ohio Daily Blog are trying to downplay the significance of this development. Yes, of course, offline donations will be a far greater share of campaign donations than online ones.
Yes, it's early.
But you know why online donations matter? Well, do you know what kind of person donates online? Nobody, that's who. The nobody who is willing to take a weekend to go door-to-door without being asked. The nobody that talks to his or her friends and neighbors about a candidate. A nobody is someone who donates to someone and expects nothing personally in return. Which is why all the conventional wisdom is to say all this attention is undeserved. Nobody warrants this kind of attention. Nobody cares about nobody.
You know what kind of person writes a check for the maximum donation within the first month of campaign. Well, that's a somebody. But a somebody is too important to do GOTV, or talk to his country club set. A someobody's notion of sacrifice is overpaying for a chicken dinner to hear the same tired stump speech and dinner jokes from the same candidates year after year. A somebody is someone who donates to someone and expects something personally in return.
There's something good about being a part of a campaign of nobodies. And that's why online donations matter.
Monday, March 30, 2009
As the first FEC reporting deadline since Brunner and Fisher announced their candidacies approaches, both campaigns are quickly trying to bring in as much cash as they can for their first campaign report.
Since David's post, Brunner has gone on an online fundraising tear. In the past week alone, Brunner has more than doubled the number of donors to her campaign (over an additional 130 online donors; Fisher has gotten thirty additional donors during the past week.)
What had been over a 2:1 fundraising advantage for Fisher has been totally erased. Fisher's fundraising advantage wasn't a flash in the pan either. I've been monitoring both candidates' ActBlue pages and Fisher had his online advantage for nearly two weeks. Last Monday, Fisher had raised over $23k more online than Brunner. Today, that cash advantage is down to only over $1k.
While online fundraising is still a small part of overall fundraising, and I still expect Fisher to show substantial advantage fundraising, the fact is that Brunner has doubled her grassroots fundraising in just the past week compared to what she raised over the prior month is very impressive.
Earlier today, Brunner sent an email to her donors stating a goal of 250. Six hours later, she exceed that goal sooner than the campaign's stated deadline of the following day.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
BizzyBlog claims today's housing market news is evidence market is recovering on its own... EPIC FAIL.
And as if right on cue:
Sigh. So there's absolutely no way today's news about a better-than-expected rise in 22% increase in new housing starts and an increase in durable good orders by 3.4% last month could have anything to do with the Democratic leadership in Washington? (Both of which were expected to show DECREASES by 3 and 2% respectively.)
The above good-news cites are examples of the economy attempting a recovery on its own, thanks largely to lower energy prices and lower mortgage rates.
Certainly no one can legitimately claim any stimulus/Porkulus-related impact on the above results. Based on estimates of when the mislabeled “stimulus” money will actually be spent, no one will be able to do so until sometime this fall, if even then.
Absolutely none, Bizzy? Is that your FINAL answer?
So, I guess the housing bill that the Democrats passed over Bush's veto threat last July might not having anything to do with today's news, then? Not only did that bill restore investor confidence in housing lenders FannieMae and FreddyMac by bailing them out and forcing significant reforms in their operations and oversight, the bill also:
- "Provided some $15 billion in housing-related tax incentives, including a $7,500 tax credit for first-time home buyers who meet certain income qualifications.
- Permanently increased the so-called conforming-loan limit, which typically qualifies mortgages for lower rates, to $625,500 in the nation’s most expensive housing markets.
- Granted authority for state and local housing agencies to issue $11 billion in tax-exempt bonds to refinance bad mortgages,
- Called for stricter oversight of mortgage brokers; and
- Set new disclosure requirements to make loan terms more transparent.
Of course, Bizzy stated in his blog post that nobody could claim the recent stimulus package passed by Congress this year was responsible for it. But that's a strawman's argument. Because nobody has claimed that the most recent stimulus package was responsible. However, whether the Democratic housing bill passed last summer is responsible is not so easily dismissed.
The fact that last month's stimulus bill couldn't be responsible for today's positive economic news doesn't mean that recent positive economic signs are not the result of earlier, less recent government actions. Let's not forget that the FannieMae/FreddieMac bailouts in July predate even the TARP program enacted in October.
Much like the stimulus package, the Democratic housing bill was passed despite widespread Republican opposition that it would not help the housing market improve. Opposition dittoed by idiots with keyboards like.... you guessed it, Bizzyblog! People who would have preferred a further paralysis of the housing market by allowing Fannie/Freddy to fail, but now applaud the news of a post-bailout housing market in recovery as evidence of the free market at work!
Bizzy will continue to delude himself and his tiny band of sheeplike readers that when the economy is bad, Obama is to blame, but when it's good, it's not Obama we should thank. What's utterly sad is to see such a delusional mind twist and contort itself to try to make sense in an economy that continues to debunk him.
After being a recession-denier, Bizzy now has added bailout-denier to his opus.
But Nick drives me nuts when he takes a rather benign quote from Brunner and tries to label it as unfair, below-the-belt criticism of Lee Fisher.
Here's what Brunner said:
Some Democrats, including Governor Ted Strickland, have indicated they'd prefer that Brunner stand down so that Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher can be the Democratic nominee without a contested primary.
"Take one for the team?," Brunner responded. "Even if the other guy can't win? I don't think that makes sense."
Lee Fisher has won only one statewide election in his career. And that was by only 1,200 votes. And by the time the 2010 elections roll around, it will have been twenty years since that victory.
To not point that out is political malpractice. Lee Fisher is hardly a Democratic statewide juggernaut. There's a reason that despite being tied to the hip of the most popular politician in the State (Governor Strickland) polls still show Fisher in a neck-to-neck race among Democratic primary voters where the race is clearly up for grabs. More Democratic candidates announced they were running after Fisher announced. There's a reason for that, too.
But Nick apparently never watched his own video (maybe he let the campaign film it, too.) If he had, he would remembered that it was FISHER that said the reason Brunner supported Chairman Redfern's idea of keeping ODP neutral and not issuing an endorsement was not because of opposition to strong-armed political machine boss politics, but because she couldn't possible GET the endorsement of her own political party. Nick has yet to write that "tut-tut/shame on Lee" post on that one.
It's not amazing that Nick can't see where Brunner says Fisher can't win. He's young, and wasn't involved in Ohio Democratic politics during the 1990s. Brunner was. I was. Tim Russo was. And we all know the Lee Fisher campaign script: come out of the gate looking strong, tire easily, starting making missteps and lose in a squeaker.
I'm more than willing to write-off Fisher's loss in 1994 as no Democratic could be expected to win in that political environment and the top of the ticket was a disaster. However, 1998? That was hardly a pro-Republican year. Sure, Republicans swept all the statewide offices in Ohio, but that's because of the incredibly weak bench the Democratic ticket presented. A ticket lead by Lee Fisher.
Why did Lee lose in 1998? Why did we get Bob Taft as our Governor? Nobody has explained it to me except to suggest that neither candidate really ignited the passions of the electorate.
Nick's post is ironic because while he's denouncing potshots against the Democratic candidates, he continues to engage in them.
What was the context of the question that lead Brunner to suggest Fisher can't win?:
Some Democrats, including Governor Ted Strickland, have indicated they'd prefer that Brunner stand down so that Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher can be the Democratic nominee without a contested primary.
Well, first of all, that's not true. Governor Strickland has never said, publicly at least, that he'd prefer Brunner to stand down so that Fisher would have an uncontested primary. All Governor Strickland has said is that while he admires both Fisher and Brunner, he's giving his full support to Fisher. Brunner has publicly stated, and Governor Strickland has not denied it, that Governor Strickland has never tried to dissaude her from running. After the "out-of-line" Brunner quote, Nick reprints the blog post that criticizes Brunner's candidacy for putting the Apportionment Board seat vulnerable if her replacement is not able to win election.
Nick then repeats the "pot shot" again:
Two, I think Brunner owes it to Ohio Democrats everywhere to seek the best possible candidate for SOS, no matter their gender, since her candidacy does put at risk Democratic control of the apportionment board. Obviously, Brunner would have the advantage of incumbency if she were to run for SOS in 2010, and her replacement won't have that luxury in a race against Slick Jonny Husted.
Nick thinks it's apparently inappropriate to point out Fisher's less than impressive statewide win/loss record. But it's completely appropriate to attack Brunner as being somehow "selfish" that she's running for the U.S. Senate instead of "taking one for the team" by staying put as Secretary of State in order to give the Democrats the best chance of getting control over the Apportionment Board. (Never mind that just today, Brunner announced her support for her replacement as Secretary of State, Franklin County Commissioner Marilyn Brown.)
That seems to be more of a pot shot than anything Brunner said, Nick.
And what about the "selfishness" of Lee Fisher, who resigned as the Director of the Ohio Department of Development in the middle of one of the greatest economic/unemployment crises in Ohio history, so he could run for Senator? Yeah, that's would be a pot shot, I guess.
Which is going to matter more to the average voter: that Jennifer Brunner, after doing a terrfic job of cleaning up Ohio's broken electoral system is seeking a promotion, or that Lee Fisher is willing to go AWOL during an economic crisis so he can try to improve his win/loss record?
There's a reason, Nick, that alot of folks who were involved in Democratic politics in the 1990s are rather gun-shy about Fisher's candidacy. We've seen that show before. If Lee Fisher couldn't beat Bob Taft, how's he going to beat Rob Portman?
Monday, March 23, 2009
In response to my request to prove that this isn't a baseline he's using purely for his partisan motives, Blumer claims that the markets began to fall in October 2008 (why then, use June? Don't ask me, or Tom, he still hasn't answered that) because a new Democratic budget began at time in which government spending increased by 9 to 11 percent (I believe this was actually only discretionary spending that increased that much. I'm still looking into it.)
If you believe that President Obama is entirely responsible for the DOW (A rather hypocritical position made by Blumer who apparently believes the President is not responsible for the DOW when he's a Republican) since Obama took office, the DOW has lost 6% of its value since it's most recent close before Obama's inauguration. Given that it lost over 25% of its value in the preceeding three months, that's actually an improvement. Today alone, the DOW regained nearly half the value it lost today.
Why? In part because of continuing news that the housing market is rebounding. The second reason is approval from Wall Street with the announcement by the Obama Administration about what it intends to do about the toxic assets which have frozen the global credit market.
But Blumer can't bring himself to mention that. He still believes that the Gingrich revolution of 1994 was responsible for economity prosperity during the 1990s even though it was President Clinton, against the uniform opposition of Congressional Republicans, who began stimulating the economy by introducing additional spending and targeted middle-class tax cuts. It was Clinton's first budget, that Republicans opposed, that began bringing the federal budget in balance leading to surpluses that President Bush, aided and abetted by Congressional Republicans, turned into massive deficit spending that wasn't even offered as being done to stimulate the economy. It just happened.
Blumer lives in a conservative fantasy world where only Democratic officeholders can be blamed for the economy when it's bad, and only Republican officeholders can be held responsible when it's good. Unfortunately, history has shown Blumer to be wrong (flunking both economics and history, Tom may want to considered new subjects). By most economic standards, the national economy historically does better when Democrats are in control, and worse when Republicans are.
While Blumer is furiously trying to blame Obama for the problem, he's also laying the groundwork to say that the economy will recover in spite of Obama's policies in order to deny Obama any credit now that the economy is starting to show promising signs of an economy in recovery by the end of the year. Here's been the essential themes of every Bizzyblog post for the past four months:
1. Everything bad about the economy is Obama-Pelosi-Reid's fault because they control the national economy before Obama was even the Democratic nominee for President. (Please ignore the prior four months when I continually posted that everything in the economy was fine, and that there was liberal media/pro-Obama conspiracy to scare Americans into falsely believing there is something wrong with the economy.)
2. Obama is trying to push through all these things to fix the economy before the economy fixes itself. (Because deficit spending is bad, unless it's done by a Republican like Ronald Reagan.)
3. Even though I said Obama's powerful enough to wreck the economy before he's even President, he's not powerful enough as President to be credited for the economy when it approves. (And this makes perfect logical sense to me.)
I think the "South Park" Election 2008 episode is more plausible than Blumer. (Boom, baby!)
He's nothing more than a partisan hack who's lost all credibility on this issue with his transparent attempt to paint Obama as this mythical all-powerful creature who can do anything to the economy, except, of course, fix it.
I don't even know why I bother writing about him. His approval of obvious racist, white supremacist theories as to why "Multicult" newspapers are dying was disturbing enough. But he's constant drive to try to convince the small-minded conservatives that everything is Obama's fault, and that's why we oppose him is no different than the "Big Lie" theory of political messenging.
When the best defense Tom Blumer can give is that he's "not in a courtroom," and therefore, isn't bound to prove his assertions (even the central thesis of most of his posting), you know you're dealing with a crackpot who knows he's a hack. He's just afraid his readers might actually start catching on to the farce.