Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dear GOP, it's still not 1994... not by a long shot

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?

John Boehner's an idiot: his comments on the first 100 days of the Obama Administration

You ever wonder if the Ohio GOP debates putting these things up on their website:
"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.

John Boehner's last term in Congress?

The Hamilton Pulse Journal is reporting that Republican Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones has taken out petitions to run for the Republican nomination in John Boehner's district. Jones told the paper that he is not yet announcing a candidacy but has only picked up the paperwork to run if decides to do so. He is forming an exploratory committee to consider a run.

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.

Republicans voted against stimulus money to prepare for swine flu pandemic


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

Arlen Specter (D)- PA: Smart move conservatives.

Democrats are one vote away from a filibuster-proof majority in the U.S. Senate once Al Franken is FINALLY seated. The Democrats control the U.S. House and the White House. George W. Bush and Carl Rove prayed for that kind of majorities just eight years ago.

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).

Disproving the "Going Gault" conspiracy theory: Exhibit A: Its proponents

I'm starting to wonder if Bizzyblog should be declared mental incompetent for his own protection. He's still clinging to his newest conservative conspiracy theory as to why the economy tanked: people started last summer "going Gault" (think rich people on strike) in order to avoid Obama's crushing three percent increase on the top marginal income tax rate (you know, returning them to the pre-Bush/Clinton levels in which nobody "went Gault" when instituted.)

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

Coughlin's coverup: Falsely tell the sources they'll be outed and sued

So if you've been following the story about Kevin Coughlin's extramartial affair which began while she was a student of his at the University of Akron, you've noticed the tendacies of anonymous commenters who have been suggesting all sorts of crazy things without any evidence, including things like Coughlin has "verified" with the paramour's former roommate that she did not tell the reporter she clearly overheard Coughlin have noisy sex with her roommate.

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

Weeks after Coughlin sexual affair story breaks, no lawsuits

Three of Ohio's law school graduate bloggers (Tim Russo, Pho, and myself) agree that the story written by James Brenner for Cleveland Scene magazine alleging that GOP gubernatorial candidate/State Senator Kevin Coughlin began an affair with a student while teaching at the University of Akron and continued for a considerable amount of time and included using campaign funds to pay of hotel stays and a repair to her car is pretty much judgment proof on libel grounds under the NY Times v. Sullivan standard. Like my earlier post, Pho calls the decision by Scene to spike the story because of a simple threat of a lawsuit by Coughlin an "abject surrender" that is "puzzling."

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

The Ohio Supreme Court, in an unanimous decision by the all-GOP court, found that the Strickland Administration has largely properly handled the massive public records request by fresman State Representative Seth Morgan (R-Montgomery Co.) requesting just about any record dealing with the formation or the Governor's public education funding reform proposal.

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

Yet another stupid Republican bill: Eliminate the income tax for college graduates

(HT: Weapons of Mass Discussion... even though no discussion ever occurs there... let alone a mass of it.)

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

In Warren County, ideology trumps intellect

So, in order to show "solidarity" with the Tea Party Republicans, the Warren County Commissioners are refusing any state money funded by the federal stimulus package... maybe. From the Pulse Journal:

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?
That’s crazy.”

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

BizzyBlog knows less about national intelligence than he does about economics...

This video clip pretty much refutes the entire misplaced outrage by conservatives over a recent DHS report:



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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
day (/sarc).

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

Coughlin's coverup? EPIC FAIL

Tim Russo over at BloggerInterrupted is absolutely correct. The effort by Coughlin to use the threat of litigation may have kept the news about Coughlin's extramarital affair out of print (for now), but the story has gotten a far greater distribution through the Internet than the circulation of one hyper-localized print weekly alternative newspaper.

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'.

Attention Tea Baggers....

The stimulus bill wasn't a government bailout. The TARP was a government bailout. Just about every Republican politician who's running to T.V. cameras to capitalize on today's foolishness voted for TARP. In fact, one has to wonder why it tooks six months before conservatives began protesting government bailouts. Of course, it has nothing to do with the fact that it was Republican Administration with the support of the Republican Congressional leadership that did the bailouts at the time and now it's a Democratic Administration that's administering them. No, the partisan change in Washington has corrolation to the selective outrage today.

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.

Why is the conservative movement protesting lower taxes today?

The Tea Parties were chosen today because today is the deadline to file fedderal income taxes. The protests are supposed about "repealing" the stimulus package; something nobody honestly believes is going to happen.

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

Except the reporter had multiple sources, campaign finance records showing questionable expenses, and Senate phone records showing an unsual habit of calling the alleged mistress after calling his wife at the end of the day. Tim over at BloggerInterrupted has the whole story that Cleveland Scene decided to fire the reporter over rather than risk the lawsuit GOP Gubernatorial candidate Kevin Coughlin was threatening.

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

National "Tea Party" protests held while Americans' views about income taxes hits all-time high

The conservative movement cannot get a break. After spending months hyping the upcoming national day of conservative protests centered around April 15th- the federal deadline to file income taxes (who waits until April 15th, anymore? Who doesn't file electronically anymore?), Gallup reports that Americans' views on the federal income tax is at an all-time high:

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

"Crybaby" Boehner: Voted against more money for our troops

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:

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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

GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Kevin Coughlin: Moron? Nutbag? Both?

It's scary to think this is the kind of person writing Ohio's laws. It's even scarier to think this is the kind of person the Republicans think should be our Governor!


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:
  1. Making sure the Republicans keep control over the Apportionment Board.
  2. 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.)
  3. 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

Let's hope she doesn't Run Like She Writes

Yes, I understand the extreme irony if not outright hypocracy for me making fun of how long Jill's posts are.

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! :)