From the monthly archives: February 2014

bury the lede (idiomatic, US, journalism): To begin a story with details of secondary importance to the reader while postponing more essential points or facts.

Republicans in the Ohio Legislature passed some election reform bills that reduced early voting and restricted the ability of local boards of election to mail absentee ballots to voters.

Coverage of this issue in the Dispatch is a classic example of poor journalism.  The Columbus Dispatch reported that the bills passed “After a bitter partisan fight.” The article then reports the back and forth between the parties.  Example:  “Democrats have called for . . […]

Full Story...

After spending years aggressively preparing to lease state property for fracking to oil and gas companies, John Kasich has suddenly and abruptly changed his mind after a secret memo showed that Kasich’s team had prepared a hit list of anti-fracking organziations and individuals in an attempt to sell Ohioans on their plan to drill on state land.

Here’s a quick timeline of events leading up to today’s big lie announcement that Kasich would never want to drill on state property…

On June 21, 2011 House Bill 133 was passed by the Ohio Senate and is quickly signed by Governor […]

Full Story...

With the rise of the radical right here in the once moderate and sane State of Ohio, we have seen too many examples of extremism. Unions. Women’s health. Concealed carry and the introduction of an ersatz stand-your-ground-but-call-it-something-else bill.   The Legislature seems to see Texas, Mississippi, Arkansas and Kansas as models of an Ohio Conservative Utopia.

With all the real issues facing Ohio, the House has a bill hanging around to defend religion. After all, Christians are persecuted by socialist, secular, hippie Liberals like myself.

HB 376 is called The Ohio Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Orwell would be proud as […]

Full Story...

Environmentalists throughout Ohio have long questioned the willingness of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) to adequately and willingly regulate the oil and gas industry. A document from the agency that leaked over the weekend will do nothing to quash those concerns.

The 10-page memo describes ways in which ODNR could work to promote oil and gas drilling in state parks and counter what it calls “zealous resistance” from “skilled propagandists,” including State Reps Nikki Antonio (D-Lakewood) and Bob Hagan (D-Youngstown), the Ohio Sierra Club, and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The draft communications plan, dated August […]

Full Story...

The latest board game of presidential speculation has seen the media conveying Gov. Kasich as a possible GOP favorite at the party convention – two years hence, if you’re marking your calendar. Besides, what else is there to talk about these pent-up cabin-feverish wintry days?

In context, the Buckeye state has long borne the burden of being the Mother of Presidents, eight – seven of whom were natives. That would include three who are among the lowest ranked: Benjamin Harrison, U.S.Grant and Warren Harding.

To land in the White House, Kasich also would have to break a 93-year long dry […]

Full Story...

When Tea Party member Jim Lewis ran for a seat on the West Clermont School Board last year he vowed to “to slay the dragon that is public education in West Clermont” and promised to fight against teachers unions.

This past week Board Member Lewis, along with Board President Tina Sanborn and Vice President Mark Merchant, introduced a motion to hire anti-union law firm Frost Brown and Todd.   Sandorn, like Lewis, is a member of the Clermont Tea Party.   Merchant was endorsed by the Tea Party during his run in November.

The motion came as a surprise to board members Steve Waldmann and […]

Full Story...

The Republican Party has been so hollowed out by the Tea Party that there is now talk that this year’s round of Lincoln Day Dinners will be catered by Papa John’s pizza with a 20 percent discount to millionaires whose unemployment insurance has expired.  The company’s  right-wing founder, John Schlatter,  who appeared on so many TV commercials with Peyton Manning (remember?),  is a vibrant supporter of the Koch Brothers.

The plan allegedly being considered is that via the miracle of electronic   transmission, Schlatter will be the featured speaker  at all of the dinners  railing against the Affordable Care Act. […]

Full Story...

Debt Ceiling time came without the circus that made the United States a worldwide laughing stock back in October. Now, that’s not to say House Republicans didn’t try to put up the big top and work all three rings.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) expressed the Democratic position that the full faith and credit of this country is not negotiable. The Democratic Caucus, under her leadership, fought for a clean bill. A bill not loaded with Republican pet political posturing. President Obama maintained his clean bill, no negation, no hostage taking position. Thus, he effectively boxed in the House GOP […]

Full Story...

The 2016 presidential media sing-along has now embraced Ohio Gov. John Kasich, whose every half-step is being projected as evidence that he might be, would be, could be and – for  Heaven’s sake! –  should be the GOP’s answer to raise America from the post-Obama ashes as a kind of born-again society. The National Journal recently swung into the speculative Kasich launch, not quite yet with champagne,   by quoting one of the guys who knew him when both were congressmen.  Ex-Rep. Tom Davis III , Virginia Republican, described Kasich  as a guy who can “connect with a crowd” and shouldn’t be […]

Full Story...

Currently, there are two major lawsuits pending in Ohio challenging an aspect of the state’s ban on same sex marriages.

In the first case, now headed to the Court of Appeals, a married same sex couple wants the surviving spouse listed on a death certificate.  In another case, filed this week, four couples seek to list both same sex parents on their children’s birth certificates.

The theory of both cases is that Ohio does not have to allow same sex marriages, but must recognize valid same sex marriages preformed in other states – just like Ohio recognizes every […]

Full Story...

If  scowling at religious retailing gives you a sense of anxiety, you can stop reading this post right now.  You won’t find anything in it to comfort you. Having given you fair warning, I want to review the solid reporting of Carol Biliczky  in the Beacon Journal that led the reader to a small religion-based private  school in Circleville that is doing quite well, thank you, as the state fills the school’s  collection plates  with public dollars.   Its formal name, Ohio Christian University, befits its enterprising spirit in selling its sectarian product to students in public high schools […]

Full Story...