by German Lopez
Ohio GOP to repeal parts of its own passed legislation
week, Republicans are moving forward with a partial repeal of HB 194, a bill that was blasted
by voting rights groups for eliminating opportunities to vote early and disallowing pollworkers to guide voters to the correct precinct. The bill was
also criticized by Democrats for curtailing voting rights in a way that made it
harder for mostly Democratic constituents to vote.The good news first: Most of HB 194
is being repealed. It’s good to see Republicans follow the advice of Ohio
Secretary of State Jon Husted, a moderate Republican who called or the repeal
of HB 194 earlier this year.The bad news: Some new limits on
voting rights are going to remain in place, and the entire repeal process, which involves the passing of SB 295, might
be unconstitutional.While it’s good to see HB 194
repealed, it’s not the only voting law Republicans enacted last year. The Ohio
legislature also passed HB 224, which prohibited voting the Saturday, Sunday
and Monday before election day.For Democrats, this poses a bit of
a problem. Democrats are happy to see most of the restrictions on voting
repealed, but they want to see all of the restrictions repealed. If SB 295
passes, Democrats worry that the rest of the restrictions won’t be repealed
because Republicans will think they have done enough.Even the Obama team spoke on this
issue. In an email to Obama supporters Tuesday, Greg Schultz, the Ohio State
Director on the Obama team, urged voters to speak up: “This bill could mean an
end to our last three days of early voting this November — and would change the
rules, right in the middle of an election year. It's an unambiguous attack on
our voting rights.”The other problem is the repeal
could be unconstitutional. After HB 194 passed, voters were quick to speak out
against the new law and put it up for referendum in the November 2012 ballot.
So Republicans are repealing a law that is already up for referendum. This is
the first time that’s happened in the Ohio legislature, and Democrats claim it might be unconstitutional.But a lot
of that opposition may be pure political posturing. After all, Democrats were
sure they were going to win the referendum on HB 194, and they were sure they
could use it to get more supporters out to vote. With SB 295, the referendum of
HB 194 could potentially be taken off the ballot, and state Democrats will lose
one issue to hammer Republicans with in an election year.In a sense,
Democrats aren’t just upset about a “change of rules in the middle of an
election year,” as Schultz put it in his email. They’re upset about a change in
politics in the middle of an election year.Regardless,
SB 295 does have some legitimate problems. It’s good to see most of the
draconian restrictions on voting repealed, but if Republicans really want to
admit their mistake, they’ll repeal the rest of the restrictions as well.
2 Comments · Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Sometime in the next 10 weeks or so, U.S. citizens will learn whether the Supreme Court will uphold the first significant health care reform in nearly a half-century. It doesn’t matter if you’re interested in
politics or couldn’t give a hoot, the decision will directly impact
you, your family and your friends for years to come.
6 Comments · Wednesday, March 21, 2012
As I’ve read articles and listened to media reports during the past week about the U.S. soldier who went on a bloody shooting spree March 11 in Afghanistan, one thought keeps going through my mind: It’s all so completely unnecessary.
by Kevin Osborne
Longtime City Hall staffer joins Heritage Action
A local conservative activist has found another job in politics.Brad Beckett recently was appointed as Heritage Action for America’s first regional coordinator for the Cincinnati area. Beckett served for years as chief of staff for City Councilman Chris Monzel, until Monzel left that group in January 2011 to become a Hamilton County commissioner.In his new role, Beckett will be responsible for growing Heritage Action’s grassroots infrastructure in Cincinnati and nearby areas in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.“Brad brings a wealth of experience in and knowledge of Cincinnati politics,” said Michael Needham, Heritage Action’s CEO, in a prepared statement.“His knowledge of Cincinnati and the surrounding region will be essential to ensuring that the American people’s voices cut through the big-government noise in Washington as we fight to save the America dream,” Needham added.Prior to his latest gig, Beckett almost had the top job in Butler County government. When Monzel was elected to the Hamilton County commission, Beckett discreetly lined up another job as Butler County administrator. Two commissioners there hatched the plan privately but one abruptly changed his mind a day before Beckett’s employment was to have begun, leaving him without a job.More recently Beckett has been working at the Apple Store in Kenwood Towne Center and launched The Political Daily Download, a right-leaning blog. Also, he assisted in Tom Brinkman’s unsuccessful campaign to win the Republican nomination to run for the Ohio House 27th District seat.Founded in 2010, Heritage Action for America is the sister organization to the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. The newer group’s motto is “we hold Congress accountable to conservative principles,” and it was formed mostly because the foundation isn’t allowed to back pieces of legislation due to its tax-exempt status.One of Heritage Action’s first projects was to organize opposition to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the health-care reform law pushed by President Obama.Among Heritage Foundation’s primary donors is Charles Koch, one half of the infamous Koch Brothers duo. They’re the industrialists who helped form the Tea Party movement, which advocates for corporate interests that benefit the brothers and harm the working class.Also, the Kochs led the push to abolish collective bargaining rights for public-sector labor unions in Ohio, Wisconsin and elsewhere.
1 Comment · Wednesday, March 14, 2012
The Associated Press reports that the
warm, mild winter we experienced might bring a pest-filled spring our
way. Some folks might be getting a bit unsettled by the bizarre climate
conditions they’ve noticed and feel like they would have rather seen a
few snowstorms hit this last winter if it meant that the spring wasn’t
going to be full of mosquitoes and other pests.
by Jac Kern
Jac's favorite pop culture and Internet findings of the week
Blues Night at the White House
it wasn’t a somber night of the Obamas watching the GOP race progress. Blues
Night brought B.B. King, Buddy Guy and Mick Jagger to Washington for a night of
great performances! The trio, along with many other performers, played classics
like “Let the Good Times Roll,” “I Can’t Turn You Loose” and “Let Me Love You
Baby.” No word on whether “Moves Like Jagger” was on the bill (sorry for making
that get stuck in your head). The highlight of the night? Obama singing a few
lines of “Sweet Home Chicago.” The
concert aired on PBS Feb. 27.
My Strange Addiction
baaaack! This hot mess of a show seems like it would be an SNL spoof on ridiculous reality shows, but it really exists. And
who really knows if these people are truly “addicted” to their behavior, or
just do it for attention — either way, it’s some twisted entertainment. This
season of the TLC "hit" features a man who is in love with (as in sexually attracted to) his 1998
Chevy Monte Carlo; a woman who can’t stop snorting baby powder; a woman with
38KKK-sized breasts addicted to (you guessed it) breast augmentations and
plenty more sorry souls.
on the Internet
probably heard of What The Fuck Should I Make For Dinner, a comically crass blog that randomly generates unique recipes (and if you
“don’t fucking eat meat,” there are plenty of veg options, too). Thankfully,
now you can find out where to get a cocktail after dinner, with Where The Fuck
Should I Go For Drinks. Just enter your
location, and the site gives plenty of good options to wet your whistle.
also discovered an amazing blog this week (That’s So Michelle) and instead of gushing, I’ll just explain one thing: It has a category
devoted to Jell-o shots. And I’m not talking nasty lime gelatin-and-Popov crap,
this shit is gourmet! Michelle uses excellent ingredients and ingenious flavor
combinations to create shots of pink lemonade, caramel apple and strawberry
margarita, all served in hollowed-out fruits. Bask:
I’m disappointed in myself for just now discovering “Chloe.” This web show
stars Drew Droege as Queen Original Hipster, Chloe Sevigny. Each episode is set
up the same: Chloe introduces herself and discusses her appreciation of
something mildly timely (Valentine’s Day, Summer, Resolutions). She then goes
on to discuss how she celebrates the topic, name-dropping all along the way.
From the unusual accent to the discussion of obscure activities to the amazing
wardrobe, it’s hi-lar-i-ous. Again, I realize this has been around the ‘nets
for a while, but I have to share with anyone deprived of Chloe as I was. Enjoy!
Baby Kanye Meme
I’ve grown tired of this “everything’s a meme!!” trend happening, but sometimes
there are decent ones amidst the sea of “What my friends think I do…” And since
everything Kanye is generally entertaining, I present Baby Kanye: The Meme.
"Living In" Page
can do no wrong, so I love everything about it. But I’ve always particularly
liked when blogs and magazines show me how to incorporate style from a movie
into my real life. D*S’ “Living In” page covers all the best scenes you want to copy, from Cleopatra to Clueless. Most recently, the site featured Twin Peaks, Almost Famous and Chocolat.
in grade school when there would be “Star of the Week,” and that kid would
bring in brownies and talk about his pet turtle and make a posterboard about his cool life? Beginners' Christopher Plummer is my Star of the Week. He’s proof that it's
never too late to do something awesome. So if you’re 28 and crying because you
hate your office job and you don't know what to do with your life, suck it up! CP waited 82 damn years to get an Oscar! Check out his charming speech here.
0 Comments · Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Residents of The Lakes of West
Chester Village apartment complex will soon face $200 fines if Summit
Management Services proves they’re not picking up after their dogs that shit
everywhere. By using its “Poo Prints” DNA program, the owners hope to identify
the culprits and put a stop to the problem.
0 Comments · Tuesday, February 28, 2012
The Obama administration last week gave a total of $90
million to the Cincinnati Center City Development Corp. (3CDC) and
Uptown Consortium to fund urban growth projects. CINCINNATI +1
by Danny Cross
Durham and López want healthcare for all
President Obama hopes to rely on all the socialists who in 2008
elected him with hopes of seeing all of America’s wealth get spread
around, he better come up with something even more radical this year.
called the Freedom Socialist Party announced in December that it is
running two candidates in a national write-in campaign — New
Yorker Stephen Durham for president and Christina López, of Seattle,
for vice president. And today the duo sent out a press release
demonstrating that America’s real socialists are none too pleased
with Obama’s first three years in office.
a memo titled, “Recognize
healthcare as a human right — make it universal and free,” Durham
and López refer to Obama’s healthcare reform as one of the biggest
disappointments of his presidency.
of stepping up to the plate and acknowledging that public healthcare
is a need as great as public education,” the release states, “Obama
made one concession after another to the pharmaceutical and insurance
mega-corporations. As he restated in his February State of the Union
address, his Affordable Care Act does not give the government the
role of guaranteeing universal care; instead, it relies on a
reformed private market.”
goes even further, calling the healthcare program just another one of
Obama’s “sellouts of the human rights of women and immigrants
under corporate and right-wing pressure.”
according to the FSP website, says Obama and the other jokers in
Washington have furthered the struggle of America’s working class
and poor during their bipartisan attempts at correcting the
Democratic and Republican parties have done nothing but cooperate in
forcing workers and the poor to pay the costs of the Great Recession
caused by the banks and Wall Street,” the site says. “President
Obama may play to the crowd by criticizing ‘bad apple’
corporations, as he did in his State of the Union address. But the
facts show that the program of corporate coddling, which creates
austerity for the masses, is completely bipartisan.”
also offended by Obama’s recent compromise with religious
institutions over providing birth control coverage.
says the only way to provide quality health care is to get private
insurers out of the picture altogether. For-profit insurance
companies, according to a Baltimore-area neurologist Dr. Steven
Strauss, are a fundamental problem.
one should be making a profit from providing — or, more to the
point, denying — the medical care that should be treated as a basic
human right,” Strauss says, according to the release. “But
insurance and drug companies are among the biggest money-makers in
the nation, amassing billions each year from people's suffering.”
Freedom Socialist Party believes that a single-payer option such as
Medicare, if it were to be offered to everyone, would be a reasonable
first step but that all for-profit entities must be removed from the
medical supply and hospitals industries.
also suggests taxing corporations and the very wealthy — something
that’s not going to take away any of Obama’s votes because he’s
trying to do that, too. And the duo’s ideas for redirecting
military spending to the nation’s human needs probably won’t cost
the president too many reelection votes, either. For more information go to www.socialism.com or email the stuff you hate about unrelenting capitalism to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Obama could not be reached for comment before the publishing of this
3 Comments · Wednesday, February 15, 2012
At first glance, the $25 billion deal reached last week between state attorneys general and five major banks to provide mortgage relief to homeowners sounds like a good thing. In reality, though, it’s a case of bait and switch in which the banks get off too easily.