If you haven’t already heard about State Rep. Mecklenborg’s apparent booze cruise with a stripper, Plunderbund has it fairly well covered.
But I just can’t let the clueless statement about the incident from House Speaker Batchelder pass without tossing in my two cents.
“I was shocked and disappointed to learn of the difficult situation that Representative Mecklenborg and his family are facing. We are working with Representative Mecklenborg to find a solution that is in the best interests of the representative, his family and all concerned. I ask that members of the media and public respect the privacy of Rep. Mecklenborg and his family at this time.”
You know what? Screw his privacy. He lost his right to privacy around the time he decided to get drunk and drive.
Rep. Mecklenborg should resign immediately and be prosecuted. This is the only acceptable outcome, and Speaker Batchelder’s attempts to sweep this under the rug are nothing less than dereliction of his duty a leader of the Ohio House.
We Are Ohio announced today that they’ve collected over a million signatures more than they needed to make the ballot in November. Specifically, they’ve collected 1,298,301 signatures.
If every one of them were to be verified (they won’t), that’s equal to 11.25% of Ohio’s total population! And even considering that some of those signatures will inevitably be tossed out (as with any petition drive), there’s just no way that this doesn’t make the ballot with a near certainty of passing.
NBC News is the latest national news outlet to pick up on the Ohio GOP's voter suppresion efforts here in the Buckeye State. Republicans argue that voter ID bills ask people to do nothing more than they'd have to do to rent a car, board a plane, or check into a hotel. NEWS FLASH: You do NOT have a constitutionally protected right to board a plane, rent a car, or check into a hotel. You DO have a constitutionally protected right to vote, and therefore, anything that would prevent you from voting would require much closer scrutiny.
Yes, according to Michelle Bachmann, who insists that John Quincy Adams was a "founding father" depsite the fact that he was 9 years old when the Declaration of Independence was signed. And she also says the "founding fathers" worked tirelessly to end slavery, forgetting that slavery was legal until after the Civil War.
How is anyone supposed to take this woman seriously?
We were all somewhat hoping for it, but Ken Blackwell has apparently opted not to run against Sherrod Brown for Senate.
Blackwell’s reasons for not running include his age, his unwillingness to leave his current work (including a position with an identified hate group), and his unwillingness to mend relations.
On the plus side, the ODP won’t be needing to spend money on the warehouse space needed to hold the opposition research file on Blackwell.
I'm just getting word that the photo ID requirements that are so extreme that they are opposed by Ohio's GOPer Secretary of State, "Slick Jonny" Husted, have been added to HB 194, the overall voter suppresion bill that the GOP is pushing through the General Assembly to slash the time allowed for early voting amongst other suppresion tactics. Let's crash the phones of Senate President Tom Niehaus at 614-466-8082 to let him know what we think about the GOP's voter suppresion efforts.
One of the sneakiest and sleaziest items on the GOP agenda following their 2010 victories is an all-out assault on the right to vote. Knowing that President Obama's 2008 victory was assisted by large turnout from the poor, students and minorities, the GOP is passing law after law designed to make it harder for these groups to vote. Oneorous voter ID requirements, shortened early voting periods, restricting absentee balloting, etc.
Even more amazing than this GOP assault on the most fundamental of American's basic rights, is that the Dispatch (R-Columbus) published a column calling them out on it. I'm in shock!
An attack on the right to vote is under way across the country through laws designed to make it more difficult to cast a ballot.
The laws are being passed in the name of preventing “voter fraud.” But study after study has shown that fraud by voters is not a major problem — and is less of a problem than how hard many states make it for people to vote in the first place. Some of the laws, such as limiting the number of days for early voting, have little plausible connection to battling fraud.
These statutes are not neutral. Their greatest impact will be to reduce turnout among African-Americans, Latinos and the young. It is no accident that these groups were key to Barack Obama’s victory in 2008 — or that the laws in question are being enacted in states where Republicans control state governments.
Think of what this would look like to a dispassionate observer. A party wins an election, as the GOP did in 2010. Then it changes the election laws in ways that benefit itself. In a democracy, the electorate is supposed to pick the politicians. With these laws, politicians are shaping their electorates.
As this gentleman writes in today's NY Times, if the GOP is going to go radical by proposing to destroy Social Security and Medicare, maybe it's time for us to go radical too. How? Raising Social Security benefits, that's how.
The most paralyzing half-truth in this country is that people hate taxes. People are willing to pay taxes that they spend on themselves. Two-thirds of those surveyed in a CBS/New York Times poll in January were willing to pay more taxes to save Social Security at its modest level. To “save” it, most of us don’t need to pay. We could lift the cap on high earners, the 6 percent of workers who make over $106,800 a year. If earnings above the cap were subject to the payroll tax with no increase in benefits to high earners, there would be no deficit in the Social Security trust fund in 2037, as projected.
If people are willing to pay more just to “save” Social Security, they should be glad to pay more to raise it.
What does it take to get Social Security up to half the average worker’s earnings? According to the National Academy of Social Insurance, to close the deficit and raise benefits to nearly half of average worker earnings, we would need to find an additional 5 percent of taxable payroll, or find the money elsewhere. If we lift the cap on the payroll tax without paying more benefits to those above it, that gets us 2.32 percent (or a bit less if we slightly increase benefits to the rich). Dedicating revenues from the estate tax at its 2009 levels to Social Security gets another half percent. A few other tweaks, like covering new public employees, add another 0.42 percent. The remainder can be found by raising the payroll tax by roughly 1 percentage point for both employees and employers.
The anti-SB 5 group We Are Ohio announced that they’ve collected over three times the number of petition signatures that they need to make the ballot in November. They need 231,149, they’ve got 714,137.
Of course, those signatures will need to be validated and some will undoubtedly be tossed. Still, a highly conservative strategy is setting a goal of twice the needed signatures.
Even Shannon Jones expects it to make the ballot. Here’s her statement for a few laughs.
"Our focus right now is on passing a balanced budget and returning Ohio to fiscal stability so we can create jobs again. We expect the referendum to be on the November ballot, and, if it is, I'm confident there will be a broad, grassroots campaign in support of the reasonable reforms we're asking of our public employees. We can get the cost of government under control and return fairness and flexibility to middle class taxpayers, or we can continue the same failed policies that have taken Ohio in the wrong direction for far too long. That's the choice Ohioans will be asked to make."
So why do so many Ohio voters have buyers remorse?
Try no to be too shocked by this, but it seems that John Kasich hates transparency.
I know, right? It just seems so shocking.
fearless brainless leader has been making liberal use of the 2008 Supreme Court case Glasgow v. Jones to deny public records requests as being overly broad.
One such example of this practice mentioned by the Columbus Dispatch? A request for emails between Gov. Kasich and OSU President Gordon Gee. This “overly broad” request ended up covering three emails.
Pretty impressive, considering all the hot air coming out of the GOP presidental debate on this issue...
When I think of Josh Mandel, I think of the character Willy "The Weasel" Wilhelm, a fictional reporter for the L.A. Times always willing to do the bidding of the moneyed and powerful if the price is right in Michael Crichton's novel Rising Sun (Steve Buscemi portrays this character in the film adaptation). Consider the following:
5 years ago, Josh Mandel was a city councilman in Lyndhurst, Ohio, population 14,001.
Today, he's Treasurer of State of Ohio, a position he won with the help of one of the sleaziest, most back-stabbing political ads I have ever seen, one so bad that it caused multiple Ohio newspapers to un-endorse him in the race. He also won the position by promising to serve a full 4 year term, a promise made necessary by his naked political ambition and office hopping.
Now, Mandel has returned from a high-dollar D.C. fundraiser thrown for him by lobbysists whose clients include the infamous Koch brothers, as part of an "exploration" of whether to run for the U.S. Senate next year. He also refuses to answer questions about his positions on Senate Bill 5, the tremendously unpopular plan to screw over Ohio's middle class and take away collective barganing rights from Ohio's police, firefighters, and teachers.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Josh Mandel's political ambition is so naked, it should be arrested for public indecency.