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Both Ohio and Wisconsin have Republican governors who were elected in 2010 and re-elected in 2014. Both governors tried in their first year in office to damage public employee unions. Walker with his attacks on the ability of all unions to organize except for public safety unions and Kasich with the infamous Senate Bill 5. Walker was successful, while Kasich was not. Why? Is it because Ohio is more progressive than Wisconsin? That's certainly not, or at least it wasn't, Ohio's reputation. No, the reason is that Ohio's constitution allows Ohio's voters to subject laws to a referendum while Wisconsin's does not according to the  University of Southern California Initiative and Referendum Institute. More on the second page.

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Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 03:18 AM PST

The SCOTUS Reaction to Obama's Election

by mrgavel

Has anyone else noticed that every time Obama is elected, the conservative majority on the SCOTUS attempts to cut back the power of progressives? One example is Citizens United which I believe was a direct response to the fact that Obama raised millions of dollars from small contributors. The right wingers on the Supreme Court freaked out and ordered that the Citizens United case be reheard on issues that hadn't been raised in the original arguments. Why? Because they wanted to make sure that conservatives could spend millions to defeat Obama in 2012.

Now, after Obama's re-election in which he carried two Southern states, VA and FL, they want to overturn Section 5 of the VRA. Why? Because the electoral strategy of the GOP depends on carrying all the states of the Confederacy in the Electoral College. Losing two of the most populous states in the Confederacy means that it is much harder for a Republican to get the 270 votes necessary to carry the presidency.

It is an example of Obama Derangement on the Supreme Court.

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Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 08:02 AM PST

A Progressive Opportunity in Virginia?

by mrgavel

It appears that the Virginia Republican plan to change the way that Virginia's electoral college votes are distributed is going to come to an end. Yet, I wonder if there is an opportunity here for Democrats and progressives to gain a political advantage. How could they do that? By amending the bill to provide for proportional distribution of Virginia's electoral college votes.

Many of Virginia's Republican State Senators are on record as saying that the present winner take all system is "unfair" to their rural constituents, that those same constituents feel "ignored" by candidates concentrating their efforts in urban areas. So why not a proportional system that would distribute Virginia's electoral college votes in the same percentage as the state-wide popular vote?

Poll

This idea is

25%4 votes
62%10 votes
12%2 votes

| 16 votes | Vote | Results

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Fri Mar 12, 2010 at 05:00 AM PST

"Whose Side Are You On?"

by mrgavel

A prominent Ohio Democratic politician recently commented on what he considers to be the crucial question in any election. The question is: "Whose side are you on?" That question is really at the heart of most domestic policy and political disputes. It is seen in the health care debate.

If you are opposed to the Obama plan, then you are for maintaining the status quo. Sure, you can say that you want a single-payer plan, or Medicare for all, or some other plan, like the plan offered by Senator Ron Wyden, but the reality is that its either the current plan or the status quo.

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Years ago I read a biography of the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy in which the author wrote about Kennedy attending a liberal Democratic meeting on the West Side of Manhatten. After listening to them bicker among themselves for a long time, Kennedy turned to one of his aides and said, "Maybe my father was right about liberals."

See, Kennedy had been invited there to talk about supporting a reform candidate for Judge of the Surrogates' Court. He wasn't there to watch liberals argue among themselves. He was there to talk about winning. Winning with a candidate who while not perfect was far better than his opponent.

Liberals often make the mistake of pursuing perfection and when they don't get it, they take their ball and go home.

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On September 11, 2001, the United States suffered a horrible attack under George W. Bush's presidency. Over 3000 Americans died. Democratic politicians in the House of Representatives and the United States Senate publicly supported President Bush. They didn't criticize him for the hours it took him to respond; for the fact that he flew around in Air Force One most of the day before returning to Washington, D.C.; they didn't call for investigations into what his administration knew before the attack; and they certainly didn't send out fund-raising letters in an attempt to raise campaign contributions from the death of thousands of Americans.

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Sun Dec 20, 2009 at 04:19 PM PST

I Trust Senator Sherrod Brown

by mrgavel

Most of us don't have the time to become experts on every issue that comes before Congress. That's why we have to trust our representatives and senators to do what we would do if we had the opportunity to study the issue in question. In this case, the issue is health care reform and the person I am choosing to trust is Senator Sherrod Brown, D-OH.

Now, to some extent, this choice is based on personal experience. I have known Senator Brown on a casual basis since 1976. He has always struck me as a sincere and thoughtful person. It's not that I always agree with him, because I don't. It's that I know that he reaches his position after study and thought.

I also know that his heart is in the right place. By that I mean that he sincerely cares about those less fortunate than him and he wants to do the right thing by them. He cares about the middle class and he cares about American workers and their families.

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Okay, so here is my totally unscientific take on why the right-wingers hate, or at least, don't like or trust the American legal system. This is certainly not a recent development, as anyone who was alive in the 1960s and can recall reading about "Impeach Earl Warren" bilboards put up by the John Birch Society. Nor, is it just limited to the right's dislike for rulings in criminal cases, although those do seem to really get right-wingers foaming. It more about holding power accountable and the courts being used by those without power against those with power.

First of all, a lot of developments in the United States that the right is upset with resulting from decisions of the United States Supreme Court, and the Federal courts in general.

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Last week the Democratic Representative from Ohio's 16th District voted for the Stupak amendment but against the health care bill itself. His name is John Boccieri and last year, while campaigning, he stated several times that he is for health care reform. Yet, when the time came to vote, he let down the Democrats who had worked for him and helped him get elected.

Now, there is no doubt that Ohio's 16th District is marginally Republican. McCain carried it by about 2% of the vote. It is also true that he will be facing a very aggressive and potentially well funded Republican. Given both of those factors, though, his vote for the Stupak amendment but against the health care bill is both morally obtuse and politically stupid.

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One of the problems that Democrats have had in the health care debate is that they get too bogged down in the details. Republicans, especially those like Palin, Beck and Limbaugh, don't have that problem. Now, of course, it may be that they don't talk about the details because they either (a) don't care about them, or (b) don't understand them, but their lack of attention to detail helps them out.

Here's how: They make wild and reckless charges like Palin's one about "death panels" and we spend hours trying to rebut those charges. Republicans like Senator Grassley talk about "pulling the plug on Grandma" and we spend hours going through the bill to point out that it isn't true. Meanwhile, they are on to the next wild and reckless allegation.

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Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 05:06 AM PST

Time to Stop Enabling Joe Lieberman

by mrgavel

In my career I have to work with a lot of people with both alcohol and drug addictions. What always strikes me is the excuses that family members make for the addict. I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard the following: "He/she really does love me"; "He is a good provider"; "He/she is a good father/mother"; and, perhaps the most common one, "I made him/her do it."

Then, after excusing the behavior, the addict is allowed to rejoin the family, regardless of what damage he or she may have done to the family. To use the language of professionals in the field, they "enable" the addict to continue his or her addiction.  

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I have noticed that a lot of people on the left want Obama to pull United States troops out of Afghanistan. If you want that to happen, then what you should be wishing for is the capture and then execution of Osama bin Laden. The attack that he launched is what got us into Afghanistan in the first place. Although we helped overthrow the Taliban, we didn't get bin Laden.

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