Monday, June 06, 2005

OBAMA'S STUMP SPEECH

Well, it's a commencement address (given at Knox College), not a campaign speech. But don't you think this would play well with the nation's voters in 2008?
What if we prepared every child in America with the education and skills they need to compete in this new economy? If we made sure college was affordable for everyone who wanted to go? If we walked up to those Maytag workers and told them that there old job wasn’t coming back, but that the new jobs will be there because of the serious job re-training and lifelong education that is waiting for them – the sorts of opportunities Knox has created with the strong future scholarship program?

What if no matter where you worked or how many times you switched jobs, you had health care and a pension that stayed with you always, so that each of us had the flexibility to move to a better job or start a new business?
And what if instead of cutting budgets for research and development and science, we fueled the genius and the innovation that will lead to the new jobs and new industries of the future?

THE TOLL

Just after I mentioned here that the coin scandal is a problem for the Republican gubenatorial hopefuls, the Toledo Blade adds to their dozens of stories on the issue with a detailed article about how it affects the individual candidates. It concludes with something I would love to see:
David Mark, the editor-in-chief of Washington-based Campaigns & Elections Magazine, said if voters have lost trust in Republican candidates because of the coin scandal, it will create serious obstacles for whoever gains the GOP nomination for governor.

"It's not really a hint of corruption, it appears to be outright evidence of corruption for the controlling party," he said. "There's really nobody else to blame when you're in charge."

Except, perhaps, political opponents in the primary.

"It's almost mutually assured destruction," he said. "As soon as one levels a charge at the others, there's plenty of fodder they can use against each other."


The Blade's handling of the coin scandal may be the best investigative series I've read in a newspaper since the Chicago Tribune's death penalty series.

Friday, June 03, 2005

DOUBLE NICKELS ON THE DIME

A crush of work has silenced this blog (and will do so again shortly as I am soon to move out of state for the rest of the year), but I would be remiss if I did not mention that the ever-venal Ohio GOP has finally caused people to pay attention. The Toldeo Blade has been the best media outlet over the past several weeks documenting the mounting scandal, the gist of which is Tom and Bernadette Noe, master fundraisers for Bob Taft, George W. Bush and a whole lot of politicos (including most of the Ohio Supreme Court justices) lost a couple dozen million dollars from Ohio's Bureau of Workers' Compensation funds. Where did the money go? Housing "loans", presidential campaign "donations", and....well, we're not sure yet. Federal and state prosecutors are investigating, and the issue is sure to come up in the GOP Republican primary, where all of the leading contenders have not only gotten money from the Noes, but have had supervisory powers to look into why workers' comp funds were allowed to be "invested in coins" in the first place.

Ohio's Republican Party should have been called out on so many issues (just scroll back through the archives here for a few recent examples), but stealing from disabled workers to fund private houses and the Bush campaign may just be the chicanery that gets people to pay attention. Whether the voters in this state have sense enough to vote them out of any of the monopoly of statewide offices they hold is another question, but at least the media here is paying attention.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

MY FAVORITE REPUBLICAN SCANDAL OF THE WEEK

Not Tom DeLay, no. Good old-fashioned California fun.

THE LAST FRONTIER....MARYLAND

The dangers of living in the wild Mid-Atlantic region.

PIKESVILLE, Md. (AP) -- A herd of buffalo somehow got loose and wandered around an upscale neighborhood Tuesday, disrupting traffic and alarming homeowners before officers managed to corral them in a tennis court.

More than a dozen police cars and a police helicopter were used to herd the roughly 10 beasts, authorities said.

''Somehow they figured it out; I've got to give a lot of credit to the creativity of our officers,'' police spokesman Shawn Vinson said.

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Authorities have identified the owner of the buffalo but did not release the person's name immediately.

Residents in the Baltimore suburb first reported that buffalo were meandering along the road about 7 a.m.

Police shut down several major traffic arteries, including a section of the Baltimore Beltway, while they tried to anticipate which way the buffalo would roam.

Officers eventually managed to maneuver the buffalo onto the tennis court about a mile from where they first were spotted.

THE NEW PLAGUE

Apparently snow has been added to the list of plagues.

I get the message. Posts shall resume, now that the book has been sent to the press. Now let the snow melt!

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

TELL ME AGAIN WHY THIS STATE VOTES REPUBLICAN?

God knows it's not due to good fiscal management, or caring about the state's children.

BUSH'S REWARD TO OHIO

...is a kick in the teeth. Hey, what did you expect? He probably targeted the northeastern part of the state because so many people in Cuyahoga and Lorain counties had the gall to vote for Kerry.

Friday, February 04, 2005

O DEATH

Reasonable fears, though the ultimate result of course is the same. (And is grist for some very interesting ways of thinking about history.)

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

COLEMAN IN GOVERNOR'S RACE

He made it official yesterday, and even if Strickland, Brown, and, yes, Jerry Springer enter the race I think he's the likely Democratic nominee. I want to know who's going to wind up running for the Senate seat that's up in 2006.

Friday, January 28, 2005

PAPERWORK

This is one of the more amusing advertisements I've seen for a baseball team in years.

OHIO IDIOT FILE

No, I'm not talking about drivers or the BMV -- not this time. The state's elected officials from Gov. Taft (who even Republican field marshall Grover Norquist called an idiot) on down make the crazed weavers on 77 look like MENSA members. Today's example is State Sen. Larry A. Mumpher, who seeks to ban intellectual freedom in the state.
Marion Sen. Larry A. Mumper’s "academic bill of rights for higher education" would prohibit instructors at public or private universities from "persistently" discussing controversial issues in class or from using their classes to push political, ideological, religious or anti-religious views.

Senate Bill 24 also would prohibit professors from discriminating against students based on their beliefs and keep universities from hiring, firing, promoting or giving tenure to instructors based on their beliefs.

Mumper, a Republican, said many professors undermine the values of their students because "80 percent or so of them (professors) are Democrats, liberals or socialists or card-carrying Communists" who attempt to indoctrinate students.

"These are young minds that haven’t had a chance to form their own opinions," Mumper said. "Our colleges and universities are still filled with some of the ’60s and ’70s profs that were the anti-American group. They’ve gotten control of how to give people tenure and so the colleges continue to move in this direction."

Sadly, Mumpher is not alone in his quest.
The language of Mumper’s bill comes from a 2003 booklet by conservative commentator David Horowitz that lays out how students can persuade universities to adopt the "bill of rights." The booklet says it is "dedicated to restoring academic freedom and educational values to America’s institutions of higher learning."

The issue has gone national.

Horowitz created Students for Academic Freedom, a group based in Washington that has chapters on 135 campuses, to promote his views.

I cannot imagine why people who think and read for a living might be opposed to the conservative agenda in the United States, especially once that agenda begins restricting freedom and liberty. Stalin would be proud of Mr. Mumpher and his totalitarian ilk.

MIGHT THINGS GET BETTER IN KANSAS?

They might, if the rumor that Bush will appoint Sam Brownback to head the World Bank is true. Americans unfamiliar with Sen. Brownback would do well to read Thomas Frank's What's the Matter With Kansas? (or read his speechs in the Congressional Record) to get an idea of his repugnant combination of religious fundamentalism and corporate gladhanding (both on a par that would make many Republicans blush). He'd make a terrible World Bank president, but whether he'd be worse there than in the Senate is an open question. If the governor of Kansas has the power to appoint a midterm replacement, Brownback's replacement would be a massive improvement.