Well, THIS could get interesting. A federal judge has restored the three-day in person early voting window the three days prior to Election Day.
They are the heaviest in-person early voting days and the Republicans attempted to eliminate them to prevent the flood of primarily urban voters who made us of them in 2008. First they passed HB 194 which did away with them. Then they passed a substitute bill so that after they legislatively repealed HB 194 (which had qualified for a voter repeal referendum, making the move legally dubious) the three-day voting window ban would remain in place.
The Obama campaign and the Ohio Democratic Party sued in federal court on the grounds that active-duty military personnel were still allowed to vote in person these three days and so everyone should be in order to have equal voting rights.
That was when we saw the Republicans push yet another completely false narrative – that Democrats and President Obama were trying to take away voting rights from military. They weren't. They wanted everyone to have the right to vote at their board of elections the three days before the election.
It will be interesting to see what the Republicans do next. They can appeal, of course, and I assume they will. They could also turn around and shut down the three-day window for everybody, making THEM the ones depriving active-duty military of some voting opportunities.
I wouldn't put this past them. We see the spectacle of Republicans going over the top to cling to any election edge they have, no matter how unethical, anti-democratic, or ill-gotten. They're pumping out lie after desperate lie about Voters First Ohio, which would replace partisan redistricting with a fair system. And they are working frantically to keep as many Democratic-leaning voters away from the polls as they can. Would they sacrifice active-duty military in this pursuit? It's possible.
In case you missed it, Clint Eastwood, made a surprise guest appearance as one of the final speakers for the Republican convention. The speech he gave was a rambling, disconnected, detached from reality one that made you question his mental status. During his speech he talked to a chair that was supposed to be holding an imaginary President Obama. It’s not so much that he had an empty chair to represent President Obama that was weird, because that has been done before, what was weird was the lively conversation he was having with the chair that made you wonder in the privacy of his own home, does he hear voices?
He also made just bizarre accusations. He stated that he didn’t think lawyers should be President. He stated something along the lines that they are trained to argue too much. Does he not realize that, Mitt Romney, has a law degree?
He also made an odd comment about the war in Afghanistan. He made it sound like President Obama started the war and that he was ignorant for not understanding history and the problems the Russians faced in their war with Afghanistan.
I honestly tried to watch Clint Eastwood’s speech objectively. I did my best to understand where he was coming from. But in the end all I could think was, he was perfect to represent what Republicans are: out of touch, rambling, disconnected from reality, willing to stand in front of millions of people and make completely hypocritical statements and not have any intelligence at all to understand what they've done. If anyone asks you “what’s a Republican” just play them the following video, nothing could define them better.
Jim Renacci, the congressman from Ohio's 16th district, has lots of money. And he's one of those rich people who seems to think government exists only to benefit the rich.
So he's one of the eleven congressmen and senators targeted for visits by a group of young progressive Jews to call attention to the issue of fair taxation (i.e. you not paying double the percentage of Mitt Romney) and the injustice of shredding the social safety net just so rich people can have more.
They will be at Teabaggin' Jim's district office at 4150 Belden Village Street in Canton from 3-4 p.m. today (Friday).
The sponsoring group is called Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice. It describes itself as "the nation’s leading progressive Jewish voice empowering Jewish Americans to be advocates for the nation’s most vulnerable."
In the press release, the group's CEO Alan van Capelle says,
“Millionaires in Congress trying to force working people to pay more than their share in taxes is like a school yard bully stealing lunch money from kid. American Jews have never stood on the sidelines when we have seen injustice and we aren’t going to start now.”
The press release goes on to say,
Volunteers from the “If I Were a Rich Man Tour” are asking Representative Jim Renacci (R-Ohio) why when voting to balance the budget and reduce the deficit he is voting to line his own pockets and those of his millionaire buddies rather than voting for the best interests of his constituents.
I don't think they'll be getting an answer to that any time soon. I mean, what can he say? "I'm greedy"? But they can call voters' attention to why they should be supporting Renacci's opponent, Congresswoman Betty Sutton, who has been a champion fighter for regular working people in her two terms in Congress in a district the Republicans abolished, hoping to get rid of her.
Well, it looks like Ohio's 11th district congresswoman Marcia Fudge has acquired some of the mojo of the dynamic predecessor Stephanie Tubbs Jones, who in 2004 landed presidential candidate John Kerry as the headline speaker at the long-running annual 11th Congressional District Community Caucus Labor Day Festival at Luke Easter Park.
That was quite an event, with an enthusiastic crowd cheering for a candidate who was much more dynamic and exciting than the media ever gave him credit for, connecting easily with the mainly African-American crowd.
This year, President Obama will speak at the conclusion of this year's festival, shortly before 5 p.m.
It's going to be a long day for parade participants — and volunteers like me. When I signed up to volunteer again this year, I figured it to be another low-key event like last year, with maybe a few more judicial candidates than usual (Hi, Frankie Goldberg! Hi, Michael Jackson! Hi, Cullen Sweeney! I swear, this trio is everywhere).
It's always a good time. The parade starts wending its way down Kinsman to Luke Easter Park at 10 a.m. Once you get to the park, there's food, vendors, information booths, games for kids, music, lots going on. The congresswoman introduces all of the officeholders and candidates who show up — and I'll bet they're all going to show up now!
The event is free and open to all. Just expect security to be a lot tighter this year.
You may be thinking that headline is melodramatic and hyperbolic. But it’s not. The election of Josh “The Empty Suit” Mandel to Ohio’s U.S. Senate seat would be a harbinger of the end of the American democracy.
This doesn’t have anything to do with the candidates and what they do or don’t believe, what their track record is, what kind of job they’ve done previously in elected office, or how informed they are about important policy issues.
Of course, Sherrod Brown is infinitely more qualified than Josh Mandel. Both have spent their adult lives in public office. But Brown has amassed a commendable record of defending working people, developing a particular expertise in trade issues. Mandel gets elected, showboats a little, and accomplishes nothing of note, because he’s busy planning his next step up the ladder.
But it isn’t about that.
It’s about money and lies. It’s about whether, with enough money, you can get away with saying literally anything over and over and sneering in the face of anyone who tries to call you out on it. It’s about whether money can buy you the ability to hide yourself and what you believe until a shocked and stunned public has voted for you.
There’s been a lot of chatter about Paul Ryan’s speech at the Republican convention yesterday and how it was fundamentally, unprecedentedly false.
Tis morning II clicked on a post this morning on Huffington Post (yeah, I know) that said “Ryan Slammed Over Speech Mistakes." When the link went to Fox News, I thought it was me who’d made a mistake, and re-tried it several times.
Nope. It linked to a FoxNews.com article called “Ryan’s Speech in Three Words.” The three words: Dazzling (style points — guy you’d like to chat with at a soccer game). Deceiving. Distracting.”
Among other things, it said,
Regular Ohio Daily Blog readers know how I feel about the fact that the Ohio Democratic Party has not been able to elect a single state supreme court justice in 12 years, despite a veritable parade of outstanding candidates. A 7-0 Republican supreme court (6-1 after Gov. Strickland appointed Yvette McGee Brown) has given us a string of decisions that overwhelmingly favor corporate interests over citizen interests.
And Ohioans could be forgiven for thinking those decisions were purchased. A New York Times article in October 2006 titled "Campaign Cash Mirrors a High Court's Rulings" found that Justice Terrence O'Donnell decided for his campaign donors 91% of the time in cases that involved such a donor.
I've linked to it many times before. Here's that link yet again. It's must reading for anyone who cares about governance in Ohio:
O'Donnell's opponent this year is state senator Mike Skindell from Lakewood. As a legislator, Skindell could always be counted on to look after the interests of regular working people and what's good for Ohio as a whole rather than what benefits corporate big business. He'd be a terrific addition to the court, along with his running mates Bill O'Neill is is squaring off against Robert Cupp, and Justice Brown, who is running to retain her seat against a dubiously qualified Republican named Sharon Kennedy.
But Skindell got into the race late. He came on board earlier this summer after another candidate dropped out. So he's running behind and could really use some help. He's having a fundraiser next Wednesday, September 5 from 5-7 p.m. at Massimo de Milano, 1400 W. 25th Street (corner of Detroit and W. 25th, just over the Detroit-Superior Bridge). That means there'll be good food.
And it's a low-dollar fundraiser, only $35, because Skindell is not about pocketing a $6,000 check from someone who has a case that impacts them coming up.
Patricia Carroll, a camerwoman from CNN who had peanuts thrown at her from Republican delegates at their convention with words of "this is how we feed animals" has come foward.
According to the Huffington Post she stated:
"the incident was disheartening, and that it should serve as a wake-up call to black people."
Sadly she also said:
"I hate that it happened, but I'm not surprised at all,"
She was not surprised at all that the incident happened.
We still have miles to go in terms of race relations and that is sad. It's hard to look at today's Republican Party and not see them as main drivers in widening the gap. From their immigration laws, to voter id laws, to their fixation with food stamps, the Republican Party preaches the hate and that is what we get in return. Is that really the kind of country you want to live in?
Go read this. I am so jealous I didn't write this Akron Beacon-Journal editorial.
Just the title — "Cartoon Candidate" — and the opening sentence — "Josh Mandel has become a Saturday Night Live skit" — tell you it is well worth checking out and spreading far and wide.
This editorial completely dismantles Mandel, based strictly on what's come out of his own mouth and ends thusly:
On occasion, Mandel laments how the Brown campaign has been outspending his effort. What he doesn’t say is that outside groups have spent roughly $15 million on his behalf, the money undisclosed and devoted to tearing down the senator. Arguably, this onslaught has kept Mandel close in the polls, distracting from his puny record as treasurer, his short stay in the state legislature. In this way, too, his candidacy seems more parody — until you recall the stakes.
Just .... wow.
According to the Huffington Post, John Kasich, our wonderful Governor stated that African Americans need to be convinced that they can "come off the streets" and become small business owners.
What a wonderful view of African Americans he has.
Will Kasich's next attempt at enlightenment be to tell us about "legitimate" rape?
The following is a disturbing video of GOP delegates shouting down, intimidating and harassing a Puerto Rican convention speaker as she takes the stage. The anger and intolerance on the delegates faces is truly troubling. Reince Priebus, RNC Chairman, actually has to step in to ask the delegates to show her some respect.
The Republicans can try to paint over their anger and hate with warm and fuzzy slogans, but the following exposes them for who they really are.
In keeping with my Republicans are so easily debunked theme, Kelly Ayotte, US Senator from New Hampshire made a completely inaccurate statement about the President during her remarks. (go figure)
In her remarks she stated:
"In both the private sector and as Governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney always asked: how can I help small businesses grow, innovate, and compete?
It's the right question. And it's the question that this Administration never thinks to ask."
I guess Ms. Ayotte, forgot about this...
"President Obama to visit Cleveland next week for small-business forum
a White House official said. "The forum will be an opportunity for the president and his economic team to hear directly from small business owners and leaders about their ideas for how America can continue to grow the economy, put Americans back to work, and win the future."
Again, how dumb do you have to be, to be a Republican?
It would be nice if someone in the adminstration would point this out to Ms. Ayotte.
For some reason I tuned in to watch some of the Republican convention. I always give the Republicans the benefit of the doubt that they will say something intelligent, they will say something insightful, something that isn't so easily debunked that I can stop wondering how dumb does one have to be, to be a Republican. But unfortately they always let me down.
This evening Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte, introduced a small business owner named Jack Gilchrist, to the convention. The Republcians are apparently trying to keep with a "small business operates in a vacuum theme" and that they never receive any help. A small business never takes advantage of any tax-breaks. They don't benefit from laws that prevent them from being extorted. Because, you know, in the past small businesses were never extorted.
Anyway, Kelly Ayotte, introduced Jack Gilchrist, as a "second generation" small business owner.
What the hell did he "build" then?
His father started the business and he continued it. He inherited it. Mr. Gilchirst doesn't seem to understand that he is the prime example of what President Obama was talking about. He benefited from someone else's efforts. That's all the President was saying. It's bizarre and sad the way the Republicans have twisted a very true statement. It's even sadder how their base follows mindlessly along.
Republicans... they will be the death of us all.
Now we know why all those coal miners lined up as props behind Mitt Romney and Josh "y'all" Mandel looked so half-hearted and blank-faced.
The Pepper Pike company that owns the Century Mine told workers that attending the Aug. 14 Romney event would be both mandatory and unpaid, a top company official said Monday morning in a West Virginia radio interview.
Well, isn't that special?
Murray Energy, which owns the mine, doesn't exactly have the most worker-friendly reputation. It also owned the Crandall in Utah which collapsed in 2007, killing six miners and three rescue workers. Company head Bob Murray, who owns a stable of Republican politicians including Mandel, put his callousness for the miners and their families on full display on national television. He's also a global warming denier who has vigorously fought mining safety rules.
Now you figure this one out:
[Murray CFO Rob] Moore told [tadio talk show host David] Blomquist that managers "communicated to our workforce that the attendance at the Romney event was mandatory, but no one was forced to attend."
When contacted about the interview on Monday afternoon, Murray Energy spokesman Gary Broadbent emailed this statement: "Rob Moore made it abundantly clear that no employees were forced to attend the Romney event. All participation was, and always has been, completely voluntary."
Blomquist said that he got multiple emails and phone calls from Murray Energy workers who felt that they were intimidated into attending Romney's appearance.
From deep inside the Republican National Convention Ohio Daily Blog has been able to obtain a schedule of tomorrow's workshops and events. Check it out...
2012 REPUBLICAN CONVENTION SCHEDULE
8:30 am – OPENING MUSIC: “Trample the Weak” - written by Ted Nugent, sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
9:00 am – Tax planning seminar on how you too can pay 15% or less in income tax on your millions/billions - hosted by Bain Capital accountants.
9:30 am – Discussion of Christian values and Marital Fidelity – Newt Gingrich presiding
10:00 am – “How To Spend Millions of Dollars Earned Via Gambling and Exotic Dancing Industries To Convince Right-Wing Christians To Blindly Vote for Republican Candidates” – a tutorial by Sheldon Adelson.
10:30 am – “Women’s Rights: What’s the Big Fuss Little Lady?” – dominated by Congressmen Clyde Akins and Erik Cantor
11:00 am -- “Why I’m Holier than Thou” - ministered by Rick Santorum
11:30 am – Why Criticism of Republicans Who Vote ”No” on all Economic Recovery Bills during a Major Recession isn’t Fair – sobbed by John Boehner
12:00 pm – My Gun’s Bigger than Your’s –or “Is that a Politician in your Pocket or are you just Glad to See Me?” --telemarketed in by the NRA
12:15 – Open Discussion on Pay Equity for Women (note: Event cancelled due to lack of attendance)
BREAK FOR LUNCH -- provided by Chic-Fil-A
12:30 pm –“How to Buy an Election: Making the Citizen’s United Decision Work for You!” – time paid for by Karl Rove and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia
1:00 pm – “Keeping Cadillacs Properly Stored in Your Garage” followed by “Reaching out to the Proletariat with Horse Dressage” – driven by Anne Romney
1:30 pm – “Maintaining Conservative Values while Screwing the Elderly” – convened by Congressman Paul Ryan
Or will more shame and embarrassment be heaped on the poor state of Ohio?
Tomorrow, Governor John Kasich addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa — with the country listening in. Will he promise not to sleep in a barn or wear that illy hat Voinovich wore? Will he imitate a Parkinson's patient or brag about his "hot wife"?
Tune in and find out. Luckily, the gov. emailed us today to let us know his speech has been moved up to 8:10 p.m. from 8:30 p.m.
In the email he promised to lie his ass off.
He'll share Ohio's story about how in spite of strong Washington
headwinds, we're working together to balance our budgets, reduce taxes and lay the groundwork for job creation. Ohioans have created over 120,000 new jobs since John Kasich became governor and our great state is on the road to recovery.
Of course, it was Washington with its stimulus and its auto bailout, not 'Ohioans," who created 120,000 new jobs.
He says laughably,
If we elect Mitt Romney as our next President, America can realize its
great potential just like we're beginning to see here in Ohio. Mitt
Romney and Paul Ryan are the leadership team that America needs now.
You can pretty much kiss Ohio - and much of the country — goodbye if Mitt Romney and the vile Paul Ryan get elected. And hopefully Ohioans will be smart enough to recognize this. They still don't like Kasich, so perhaps they will recognize that his buddy Romney is just as hostile to regular working people as he is — if not more so.
I won't have the stomach to watch, and I'm having dinner with a friend anyway. Let me know what he says!
You can watch it live online here:
We trust you have the self-control to ignore the "donate" button just to the right of it.
Jon Husted is fighting against a fair election this fall with every fiber of his being. He's long since surpassed Ken Blackwell in his contempt for the voting public. All that seems to matter to him is tweaking the process in every way he can think of to give Republicans an unfair edge. Yeah, he had to back down from the blatant inequality of denying urban counties extended early voting hours that were being allowed across the state to heavily Republican counties. But by "equalizing" the process in ways that benefit Republicans while denying everyone the opportunities that mostly Democrats avail themselves of, he's still got his thumb on the scale.
Here is a press release from the Ohio Democratic Party, updating the situation with the Franklin County Democratic Board of Elections members that Husted is trying to throw overboard for their purely symbolic vote for increased access to the ballot.
COLUMBUS - Montgomery County Elections Board members Dennis Lieberman and Tom Ritchie Sr. were recommended to be fired Monday by a hearing examiner for Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted because they voted on Aug. 17 to expand weekend voting hours in Dayton and their home county.
“It’s not justice when you already know the outcome of being put on trial. A hearing examiner appointed by SOS Husted has agreed with his boss. This is not news,” Lieberman said. “What’s really not fair is what is happening to voters in Montgomery County and all across this state. They are being denied the chance to vote on weekends and that’s wrong.”
Ritchie, a 17-year member of the board, said, “there is a demand for people to vote early in Dayton and Montgomery County and throughout Ohio. We were responding to that demand.”
In 2008, 11,000 voters cast early votes on weekends in Montgomery County and nearly 28,000 area residents voted early.
That of course is the massed effort by the Ohio Republican Party to prevent as many people from voting as possible, while working feverishly to defend an appalling, disenfranchised redistricting map against the Voters First Ohio initiative (Issue 2; vote YES this time) to create a fair, nonpartisan redistricting system.
It's part of the laughably named GOP "True the Vote" effort — a truly Orwellian name for an initiative whose goal is to falsify the vote by making sure some people's access to the polls is easier than others. And the epitome of this shame and disgrace is Ohio's secretary of state Jon Husted who continues to play games with how we vote. He's a man who truly despises democracy when it threatens his party's hold on power.
This weekend a letter appeared in the Columbus Dispatch written by Columbus City Council member Zach Klein. It touches on most of the essential points about Husted's devious actions so I thought I'd share it with those of you not in Columbus or who refuse to read the Dispatch.
Published Saturday, August 25, 2012
Early Voting Rollback is Partisan
Confidence in our government rests on a simple idea: the right to vote. But that fundamental principle has been undermined by Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s recent decisions about our voting system.
With the presidential election just months away, Husted has flip-flopped on early voting. Since 2005, Husted, as a legislator, voted four times to allow weekend and evening voting hours. He even supported it in his own proposed elections bill. Yet, when given the chance to keep the voting hours Ohioans had in 2008 for this general election, Husted changed his mind, threatening to take Ohio back to the dysfunction of 2004.
Once upon a time, having the name “Russo” made you golden in Cuyahoga County politics, so much so that, back in 2004, a judicial candidate petitioned the court to have his middle name changed to “Russo” for ballot purposes. Now of course, it’s a liability. One candidate named Russo ran for office a couple of years ago using the slogan “no relation” — to now-convicted former county auditor Frank Russo, that is.
I’ve been wondering lately if the same thing could happen in this county to the name “Mandel.” It’s long been associated with some of the most generous and altruistic elements of Cleveland’s Jewish community. But now, there’s Josh “The Empty Suit” Mandel, running the most disgraceful U.S. Senate campaign imaginable.
I'm starting to long for the days — last week or last month — when Mandel steadfastly refused to tell Ohioans what he stood for. Now that Mandel is being pushed to take start taking positions on controversial issues we’re seeing why he has tried to be silent and vague as long as possible.
According to the Columbus Dispatch, last week he rambled off topic for over 12 minutes when asked what he would have done in place of the auto industry bailout — which he opposed — to keep Ohio’s auto manufacturing base from collapsing and costing hundreds of thousands of jobs. Finally, all he could come up with was meaningless talking points about less regulation — never mind that it’s a historic lack of regulation on predatory big business that has landed us in economic purgatory.
Angela Zimmann, who is challenging incumbent congressman Bob "Who?" Latta in Ohio's 5th district (northwest Ohio), has been booked to appear on the Melissa Harris-Perry show on MSNBC tomorrow around 10:30-11 a.m.
Her email says,
I encourage you to tell your friends, family, and neighbors about my appearance on MSNBC – let them know that we are working hard to bring new representation to Northwest Ohio and our grassroots campaign is getting national attention.
Meanwhile, Latta is working hard to live up to the "Who?," making himself scarce as far as debates go.
The other day, the first 5th district congressional debate took place at Owens Community College in Perrysburg — without Latta. Zimmann and the Libertarian candidate participated,
With an empty podium bearing Congressman Latta’s name, the incumbent Republican’s absence was hard to miss.
Zimmann referred to her opponent as ‘Silent Bob,’ criticizing her opponent for avoiding public discussion of his voting record.
The Latta campaign said Congressman Latta was unable to attend because Owens Community College contacted the campaign too late. However, Owens student government member Joshua Wikanda told The Blade that candidates were invited in late March.
OK, 5th district voters (and voters everywhere), let's get real here. Why would you vote for a candidate who will not be upfront about where he stands and publicly defend his positions?
Latta is one of the lower profile members of Congress, and from what I hear, he's fairly invisible in his district. I've been told by people who live there that although they disagreed with him, Latta's predecessor, the late Paul GIlmore, was at least out in the community and would respond to people's calls and comments.
That Mitt Romney. He's so uproarious, he leaves them rolling in the aisles with his sharp wit and wacky sense of humor. Haven't you heard all the people who comment after hearing him speak "Gosh, he's so hilarious — what a riot!"
Today at a rally in Michigan he said,
“Now I love being home in this place where Ann and I were raised, where both of us were born. Ann was born in Henry Ford Hospital. I was born in Harper Hospital. No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place that we were born and raised.”
OK, I'll wait while you pick yourself off the floor. Yes, he said,
No one has ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place where we were born and raised.”
No, he really really said that.
Multiple links because it's so hard to believe Romney would think this was funny or appropriate that if I only posted one link, you might think the reporter got drunk or feverish at the rally and misreported what Romney said.
Later i the day, Romney had the following exchange with a CBS interviewer:
SCOTT PELLEY: You said in a rally today, "No one has ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know this is the place we were born and raised." Why did you say that?
Somebody has to stop these people. Their toxic hatred of women is rapidly making this country a hostile place for women to live and thrive.
You keep telling yourself, "They've maxxed out the crazy. They can't get any more vicious and insanely hateful toward women. They're starting to sound like serial killers."
But somehow you are always wrong.
Look at this wacko:
"Sheriff candidate says he wouldn't reject deadly force to stop abortions
Candidate says he believes elective, late-term abortions aren't lawful"
This tool, Frank Szabo, is running for Sheriff in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire. He has no law enforcement background, which is obvious because he's coming up with stuff like this:
Szabo explained the difference by referring to the issue of slavery, which he said used to be legal but was never lawful under the Constitution. He said that even though elective abortions are legal in New Hampshire, with some restrictions, he doesn't consider them lawful.
Um, actually it was both legal and lawful under the Constitution, which is what the 13th amendment is about. Clearly the guy is no constitutional scholar either. And what is the difference between "legal" and "lawful" anyway?
This addled fool also promises
he would arrest doctors who perform elective or late-term abortions and bring them to the county attorney to prosecute, even if the doctors' actions were allowed under state law.
Really? He would arrest people who didn't break the law? That should lead to a flood of expensive lawsuits. Arizona wacko sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has already cost the citizens of Maricopa County hundreds of millions in lawsuits over his not-quite-legal actions, would be jealous.
It gets even crazier, if you can believe that:
Labor unions were first formed in 18th century Britain during a period of rapid industrial growth and an increasing need for unskilled and semi-skilled labor. Prior to their formation, collective bargaining had been outlawed, formally, since the 14th century.
The first American union which represented workers of multiple industries and trades was the Mechanics' Union Trade Association, in Philadelphia. Workers across Philadelphia protested working hours and pay wages by going on strike. This was followed by the formation of other unions through industries, regions, and cities- Grand National Consolidated Trade Union, National Labor Union, the Knights of Labor, the American Federation of Labor, ect.
In 1955, the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organization merged to form the modern AFL-CIO. At the time of the merge, AFL-CIO was 16 million members strong.
Instead of going into too much detail on the history of the formation of unions, here is a listing of the benefits that American workers now enjoy because of the efforts of labor unions- the 40-hour work week, overtime, paid vacation, pensions, the 8-hour work day, sick leave, employer-paid health insurance, safety laws to protect workers, higher wages, and fair promotion policies.
In November 2011, we made history in the state of Ohio. After a Republican House, Senate, and Governor passed Senate Bill 5 in a direct attack on collective bargaining, we were able to organize a massive effort state-wide to defend Ohio workers. We showed politicians in Columbus and Washington DC that Ohioans will defend each other and will stand together in solidarity if attacked.
By now I'm guessing that most of our readers have heard about the comments made by Missouri Congressman Todd Akin — who is currently challenging Senator Claire McGaskill — on Sunday about why an abortion exception for women who are raped isn't necessary.
“It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,” Mr. Akin said of pregnancies from rape. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down..
I guess I don't need to mention that Akin is a Republican. Anyway, his remarks have provoked a storm of outrage, media commentary, furious emails from Democratic candidates attacking the remarks, and emails from progressive groups begging people to sign petitions or send donations. Millions of words have been expended on it, but I think this says it all:
"Rape is rape. And the idea that we should be parsing, qualifying and slicing what qualifies as rape doesn't make sense to me and doesn't make sense to the American people.... What I think these comments do underscore is why we shouldn't have a bunch of pols, the majority of whom are men, making health-care decisions on behalf of women."
Thanks, President Obama!
In the last day, many Republicans have stepped up to condemn Akin's remarks and urge him to get out of the Missouri Senate race. He's refused — and 5 p.m. today was the deadline!
But it's a little hard to believe they aren't just freaking out because Akin said pretty much what they all believe. Remember the dust-up last year over the deceptively named "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act" (there has been none for decades), which would have allowed an exception only for "forcible rape," and stirred up a discussion about when a woman was REALLY raped? It's really pretty much the same thing — the idea that some rapes count more than others.
All our congressional candidates here in Ohio are running hard against the heartless Ryan budget which would put many seniors on precarious financial footing.
Charlie WIlson, running in a rematch against teabagger Bill Johnson, who ousted him two years ago, is a Blue Dog. But he's standing up for protecting Medicare which is an improvement over the Ryan-supporting Johnson.
Tomorrow, Wilson will follow in Joyce Healy-Abrams' steps and hold a forum about Medicare in his district. He'll also have Phillip Rotondi of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare as his guest to discuss protecting the future of seniors and the seniors of the future
It's from 1:30-2:30 p.m. tomorrow, Tuesday, August 21st, 2012
at the County Club Retirement Campus
55801 Conno-Mara Dr.
Bellaire, OH 43906
Here's Charlie's website:
Democratic congressional candidate Joyce Healy-Abrams held a couple of forums in her sprawling district today to talk about Medicare, and the Canton Repository covered the one in Canton.
"Healy-Abrams said she would fight to preserve traditional Medicare," says the headline. And indeed she would.
The article points out some of the questionable aspects of Paul Ryan's mean-spirited plan, which hurts future seniors in numerous ways including gradually increasing the age of eligibility to almost 70 !!!!!!!! So all those people in their 60s, most of whom have pre-existing conditions, will either have to postpone retirement or lose everything they've saved to pay for either coverage — if they can find anything they can afford — or care out of their own pockets. I know way too many people in their 50s with no coverage who are counting the days until they are eligible for Medicare. This is the opposite of the way we should go: we should be decreasing the age. Heck, we should go with Medicare for ALL aka single payer.
The article also mentions this:
Healy-Abrams’ campaign has also issued a statement saying automated robocalls to voters by Congressional Leadership Fund and YG Action last week incorrectly claimed that Healy-Abrams backed more than $700 billion in cuts to Medicare.
And then in an act of true journalism — the likes of which are becoming surprisingly common in this campaign — the Repository itself debunks the charge! Way too often, we've seen newspapers resort to he said/she said journalism where one side lies and the other side is given the chance to rebut the lie — but both sides are given equal weight. It's refreshing to see a newspaper provide actual facts.