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Recently, a very insightful story on National Public Radio zeroed in on my county as being the "bellwether" county of the ultimate "swing state."

It's a good article...

"Since 1960, [Wood County] has predicted every election except for one," says Wood County GOP Chairman Matt Reger. "I think that it is a microcosm of Ohio, which in some parts is a microcosm of the United States."
Today was the first day of early voting here in Ohio. After tons of GOP attempts at voter suppression and other chicanery (along with subsequent litigation, some of which is still unresolved, BTW) we are in the "Golden Week" where citizens can go to early voting centers (in our case, the BOE office at the county Courthouse) and register, change or correct registration AND VOTE. To vote, you sign a form and give EITHER your driver's license number OR just the last four digits of your SSN.

Registration closes at the end of the day on October 9, 2012.

I was in the local hospital over the weekend, but yesterday afternoon, I told them "you've GOT to let me out of here." So the first thing, I headed into Bowling Green and went to court house.

And as fate would have it, I was privileged to be the first person in line when they unlocked the doors at 8:00 AM. By 8:04 I had voted.

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Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 10:05 AM PDT

GSK "fined" $3B. Breaking news?

by Earl from Ohio

The Justice department has just announced their settlement, long in the works, with GlaxoSmithKlien for a laundry list of malfeasance.

First news reports are just breaking.

If you look at the long list of their criminal activities, clearly, the CORRECT adjudication would have involved breaking up the company. But nooo..

Instead GSK got exactly what they've wanted all along and will just take the "fine" out of petty cash.

Too bad that Richard Cordray isn't AG.

Discuss

Stealing a page from the Kasich/Scrooge Plan for World Domination Through Over-Reaching Avarice and Greed. Boehner caves and agrees to both the two month and extended payroll tax break. The AP calls it

Their isolation complete, House Republicans on Thursday caved to demands by President Barack Obama, congressional Democrats and fellow Republicans for a short-term renewal of payroll tax cuts for all workers.

AH, but we KNOW the corporatist greedoids will never just admit that they got their asses kicked. So, how will they spin this? Well, if you can see the URL for this story, you have your answer:

"give-US-workers-employers-financial-certainty"

Somehow, this move was to help BUSINESS by making life easier for their payroll departments.

Yeah, right. And I'm expecting Santa Claus to drop down my chimney any day now..(Oh, wait, we don't have one...)

Of course, Boehner DID admit that:

“may not have been politically the smartest thing in the world,”

Yuh think?

Look, we've learned how to deal with these grasping tyrants in Ohio (think: Issue Two). And how NOT to deal with them (feckless collapse on gerrymandering). Sometimes "compromise" and negotiation are just appeasement and NOT the answer. Too far, is too far. When the forces of evil cross that line, there comes a time when Democrats must stand their ground, fight back and NOT give in.

Perhaps Shakespeare described our times the best in Henry V:

"Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more..."
Discuss

Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 04:03 PM PST

Ohio state issue predictions?

by Earl from Ohio

The polls close in 33 minutes. Step right up and make your predictions;

I say:

Issue one loses, dragged down by Issue Two  47-53

Issue two goes down in flames 38-62

And now the toughie, because the stinkin' GOP SoS allowed such BULL SH*T dog whistle ballot language, this is a toss up just because so many people are baffled as to which vote means what...

Issue 3 will be almost close enough to require a recount but finally loses 49-51

So what say ye?

Discuss

The forces trying to defend Ohio State Issue Two, the anti-union measure that the GOP rammed through the legislature as Senate Bill 5, have achieved a new pinnacle in over-reaching... and in wasting money!

There have been reports of pro Issue 2 robocalls from Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels. As has been pointed out, why in the HECK should voters in Ohio care about the opinion of the governor from another state, on a purely Ohio issue?

Ah, but I can top that!

A friend of mine from the SW part of our state received a robocall from (wait until you hear this...!)

PAT BOONE!

That's right- the aging, bigoted senile crooner.

Also, we have received pro Issue Two robocalls and mailings at our home. That means that the forces of evil have so much money to burn that they are blanketing ALL voters, not just identified Republicans  or independents. You've got to remember that almost 1.3 MILLION registered, confirmed voters signed the referendum petitions to put this issue on the ballot. (that's a HUGE number- in 2010, only 3,852,453 votes were cast in the governor's race.)

Also remember, early voting in Ohio closed on Friday and a LOT of  votes have already been cast and progressive forces really stressed early voting.

Basically, the progressive forces got out early, and ran a genuine grassroots campaign. A lot of liars throw that word around, but, it was really true. The level of solidarity is VERY high. As a result, in my little village, we have a number of hard core, wingnut, reactionary flamers. But NONE of them have "pro" issue two yard signs out. Things are that bad for them.

Now, I grant you, in Ohio, no one registers as an "R" or "D." In order to identify voters, you have to check which ballot they took in the last contested partisan primary. And since a miniscule number of people vote in those primaries, the vast majority of voters here are technically independents. But identified mailing and calling lists are widely available.

So if the forces of evil are widely mailing and calling ALL voters it means two things for certain. One, is that they have money to burn. Second, is that they have NOT identified who their supporters are and don't have a "boots on the ground" operation that is actually HERE in Ohio. Clearly, there is so little support for this measure that in order to spend all of the money that they have been given from out of state (Koch brothers and the like) they just have to mail and call any name they can find.

As a result, the trash can in my little village post office is absolutely overflowing with ginormous oversize full color fliers from one of the right wing front groups, that arrived on Saturday (the day AFTER early and absentee voting CLOSED.) These suckers cost a TON of money and now they are just an ecological disaster.

This also spells doom for Issue Three the feeble attempt to somehow repeal "Obama care." Our rat fink SoS allowed their dog whistle language to be on the ballot, but the turnout against Issue 2 virtually guarantees the defeat of Issue 3 as well.

Discuss

"Once more unto the breach, dear friends" -Henry V

OK, so let's review... Ohio state government has been hijacked by a bunch of Machiavellian neocon boobs that make the crowd in Wisconsin look like pikers. First, they tried to strip away virtually ALL rights of public employees to negotiate as Senate Bill 5 (SB5.) The result? 1,298,301 confirmed, registered Ohio voters signed petitions to put the matter to a referendum, which also, forestalls it from taking effect until after the vote, which will be this fall as a NO vote on State Issue Two.

Then, the forces of evil, passed a voter suppression bill as House Bill 194 (HB 194.) So far, progressive forces have submitted more than 318,000 signatures, a third more than the 231,147 needed to place a referendum on the fall 2012 ballot. Again, it's provisions are forestalled until after the vote.

AND THEN the GOP rammed through the most egregious Congressional redistricting map imaginable. And this time the forces of repression tried to prevent it from being subject to referendum by attaching an immaterial funding provision, because the state constitution doesn't allow for referendums on spending issues.

But in no time at all, ODP and progressive forces were able to gather enough signatures to put the measure on the ballot and forestall it's implementation. "Slick Johnny" Husted, the GOP SoS, dutifully played his part by refusing to accept the petitions for certification, citing the frivolous funding issue.

BUT WAIT-

Tonight the Ohio State Supremes have ruled unanimously that Husted must accept the petitions and begin the process of checking the signatures to make certain that enough properly registered voters have signed!

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Am I the only who gets a gut feeling that the GOP in Ohio is acting out of a mix of power madness and desperation? I mean -after all- they've have got to realize the complete and total split between their corporatist agenda and it's utter destruction of the moderate income voters who make up the teabaggers.

And having 1,298,301 confirmed, registered Ohio voters who sign the petition to over SB5 must have gotten SOMEBODY'S attention!

After the 2010 elections, the Dems are powerless to stop the wingnazis from ramming through the worst reapportionment (U.S. House district lines) and redistricting (Ohio legislature) map ever. UNLESS we can stop it in court (maybe) or via the referendum process. As i mentioned, the repeal of SB 5 is on the fall ballot (Vote NO on issue two!) and we're trying to raise enough signatures to stop the Rovian voter suppression bill (HB 194) but can we stop this sickening General Assembly map?

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Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 02:56 PM PDT

BREAKING- what a smackdown!

by Earl from Ohio

As most of you already know, the Ohio General Assembly, at the behest of our lunatic governor, John Kasich, passed an attack on public employees called Senate Bill 5 (SB 5.) Some have argued that it's even more draconian that similar measures passed in Wisconsin.

Under Ohio law, the voters can block implementation of legislation through a recall petition drive to put a referendum on the ballot.

In order to get on the ballot, the recall forces had to gather the signatures of 231,000 registered voters, scattered throughout the states 88 counties. And today was the day to turn the signed petitions into the Ohio Secretary of States office.

So, you might ask, if they needed 231,000, and you always have to plan on gathering extras to cover signatures subsequently found to be invalid, just how many signatures did they turn in today?

Would you believe...

1,298,301

According to the Columbus Dispatch:

The coalition leading the effort to repeal Senate Bill 5 delivered a record of nearly 1.3 million signatures to the secretary of state today to place Ohio's new collective bargaining law on the November ballot.

That's potentially over a MILLION signatures OVER what was needed (assuming a very high rate of valid signatures.) 1.3 million is about 8.8% of the entire Ohio population.

I would be profoundly remiss to not include a link to the We Are Ohio website:
http://weareohio.com/...

In an act of desperation, the forces of evil have tried to seize the occasion by passing the most ridiculous, misogynist, unconstitutional anti-abortion laws in the nation within the last few days. Now, what progressive forces have to do, is to reach out to the many Ohio "kitchen table progressives" to also reject these lunatics' dark ages social agenda.

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Our evil governor's latest Machiavellian deceit: if the people rise up against you, then try to confuse the issue.

In record time, the opponents of "Governor Opaque's" draconian union busting bill SB 5 have been able to raise THREE TIMES the number of signatures needed to put it's recall on the ballot this fall.

So, faced with certain defeat, he's been trying to find some "end around." At one point, the GOP was going to try and launch their own anti-union ballot referendum, in an effort to confuse voters. Well, that went over like a lead balloon. Then they tried to put an anti-healthcare reform measure on the ballot. Result? Epic fail.

So now, what would Machiavelli do?

Try to divide the recall referendum question in four or five pieces to confuse voters and to try to keep at least parts of this horrid legislation.

To break what appears to be strong, unified opposition to Senate Bill 5, Gov. John Kasich and his allies might seek to have the umbrella law that would weaken collective bargaining for public employees divided into multiple ballot questions.

What he'll do next is to bring in MILLIONS of dollars from the Koch brothers to buy ad time to try and save SB 5 through deception. He'll stop at NOTHING. So we've got to stop HIM!

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Quinnipiac just released it latest polls on Ohio:

http://www.quinnipiac.edu/...

"Ohio voters disapprove 49 - 38 percent of the job Gov. John Kasich is doing, compared to 46 - 30 disapproval in March, while by 54 - 36 percent they say that SB 5 should be repealed, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Registered voters disapprove of Kasich's handling of the state budget 53 - 35 percent compared to 51 - 31 percent disapproval in a March 23 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.

And by 53 - 36 percent they say the governor's proposals are unfair to people like them, identical to the March 23 survey findings. "

Some activists around here feel that the Ohio anti-union law S.B. 5 is actually WORSE than the Wisconsin law and that Ohio is actually more important to the 2012 elections than Wisconsin, yet because of the mass demonstrations in WI. , most media and blogosphere coverage focuses up there and not here.

Right now, we are working to get the signatures required to put a Recall SB 5 (AKA "Kill the Bill") referendum on the ballot. And clearly, voter sentiment is on our side. A significant number of GOP leaning voters feel that Kasich has egregiously overreached, and not just on this issue.

The only struggle that I see with the Referendum is just the logistics of gathering so many VALID signatures in so little time. The last elections handed control of the election process at the state level and in many counties back to the GOP. I expect them to invalidate every signature that they can... and then some more.

And sadly, in some important counties, BOTH parties have failed to ensure a "clean" board of elections free of nepotism, cronyism and incompetence. (And it hurts to say that.) Fortunately, there are still many other counties (like mine) where the BOE and their paid staffers, still do their best to "get it right" despite often erratic direction from the SoS and the legislature.

Oh how we miss having Jennifer Brunner at SoS... The loss of that one state level ministerial position may ultimately have consequences heard around the world. I expect that this referendum will make it to the ballot, but there are a lot of other controversy that I see between now and the fall 2012 elections, not the least of which is redistricting and reapportionment.

Discuss

is that we have FAR too many screening tests which identify "abnormalities" which only MIGHT become serious health threats, but which DON'T actually identify which ones can, or should, be treated. And by the time current testing and diagnosis recognizes which tumors and conditions are the real deal... it's too late.

We, as a nation, are over tested, over treated, over medicated and yet... getting sicker.

The only point that I can see for most of this "recommended" testing is that doctors and labs and medical facilities make more money WITHOUT really addressing the genuine HUGE health challenges in our nation of universal access and lifestyle.

What good does a recommendation for testing do if those most at risk are unable to afford the test, or even to have access to a physician to order it?

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I'm REALLY into Irish and Scot neo-traditional music. Not "celtic/rock" but not "preservationist" style either. I love the artists who start with a trad background but then take it into their own personal space. I especially love the rabble rousing old inflammatory stuff.

I'm so into it, that now I have a radio show

And when Barack Obama won the election, I was looking for a HUGE change in the esthetic vibe of cultural events at the White House. And, hoo boy, have my dreams come true or WHAT?

Pelosi luncheon for President Obama
When:Tuesday, Mar 17, 2009
Where:Washington, D.C. (map)
Description:Liz Carroll and John Doyle play at the annual St. Patrick's Day luncheon, hosted by Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, for guest of honor, President Barack Obama.

Along with the Taoiseach (prime minister, more or less) of the Republic of Ireland, Brian Cowen.

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