From the monthly archives: February 2014

Another lawsuit has been filed to push Ohio towards marriage equality.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that four couples have filed a federal suit seeking to list both same sex parents on their children’s birth certificates.  Currentlty, Ohio allows both married parents of opposite sexes to be listed on their children’s birth certificates, but only one of the married parents of a same sex couple.

The suit follows a case last year brought by a married same sex couple who wanted the surviving spouse listed on a death certificate.   A copy of the complaint is available here.

The same […]

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Did you happen catch the cameo appearance of Rob Portman, the Ohio Republican senator from Cincinnati, on Meet the Press this morning? It was hardly a rocket-launching moment in political history. But he is, after all, only one of a hundred such mortals in America so I took a look a him in a mini-debate with New York Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer over Obamacare (which Portman detests) and extended unemployment insurance (not on his to-do list).

As you may not know since the Beacon Journal and all three networks (ABC,NBC, CBS) didn’t bother to report that the extension for 1.7 […]

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In the 2012-13 school year, charter schools received over $829 million in state taxpayer dollars to educate just over 116,000 children – an average of $7,144.86 per child.  By comparison, after this money was deducted from payments to Ohio’s local public school districts, those districts received just shy of $5.5 billion to educate the remaining 1.7 million children.  While that may sound like a high dollar figure, it averages out to only $3,125.30 per student.

What this means is that last year, charter schools in Ohio received, on average, over twice as much (2.29 times, to be exact) per student […]

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In Cleveland, the Menlo Park Academy charter school serves children in grades K-8 and has very strict admission requirements.  Menlo Park restricts their enrollment to only the best and brightest — those students identified as being gifted.  Not surprisingly, these students consistently highly on Ohio’s standardized tests year after year, making it appear as though the school is performing at a consistently high level.  The most recent changes to Ohio’s school report cards, especially the new grade given to a school’s impact on gifted students, gives us a reason to look more closely at Menlo’s program.

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There is a lawsuit bouncing around in the Federal Courts to stop ACA subsidies. The contention is the Affordable Care Act only allows premium subsidies in States that set up their own Insurance Exchanges. With Thirty-Four States refusing to set up exchanges (guess who’s in charge in those States) the Federal Government stepped in to create and run those exchanges. The suits claim the IRS overstepped its authority to give tax credits and impose penalties in those 34 States.

The Attorneys General of Oklahoma and Indiana (no surprises there) filed suits in Federal Court to stop the practice. They were […]

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Well, we knew the moment would arrive when Sen. Rob Portman would vault to the top of the Ohio Republican mythiness list. He earned the title by voting against a 90-day extension of unemployment benefits. It dashed the notion (carelessly distributed in the media) that he is a “moderate” which, in GOP circles, is slightly to the right of socialism.

The measure lost by one vote in the Senate – O-N-E – which could have been avoided if Portman had voted for it after the Dems, on hands-and -knees, excluded banning unemployed millionaires (!!!) from the bill. I’m not sure […]

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Ohio Senate Bill 229, a bill designed to modify the new teacher evaluation system in Ohio, has finally made it to the agenda of the House Education Committee. Despite passing 33-0 in the Ohio Senate in early December and being assigned to the House Education Committee on December 10, Chairman Gerald Stebelton has delayed bringing it to his committee for consideration.

Senate Bill 229 would provide some much needed relief to Ohio’s principals who are being run ragged trying to keep up with the onerous processes required by the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES) and better allow them to […]

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Stephen Colbert added “truthiness” to our language; Aristotle gave us “shoeness” (the generic concept of a shoe). And now Republicans have contributed “mythiness”.

That describes all of the mythical stuff that the GOP has assigned to whatever comes to mind to savage President Obama, from minimum wages to birthplaces to Obamacare (healthyness?).

That came to mind when a major flaw was discovered in the Republican response to Obama’s State of the Union speech by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a rock-hard conservative of Washington. To dramatize her horror over the President’s ACA law, she told us about “Bette from Spokane”, who, […]

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The best aspect of Obamacare is that it expands Medicaid into a convenient, comprehensive single-payer insurance system. Obamacare removes the onerous qualification interviews and byzantine enrollment hoops that have traditionally plagued would-be enrollees.

Not in Ohio, though. Here, the enrollment process is being complicated by bureaucratic mismanagement and the governor’s inability to lead his own party.

There are 5 ways to enroll in Medicaid in Ohio (federal website, federal phone, state website, state phone, and county Job and Family Services) and, depending on the route you take, you’ll get 5 completely different instructions. If you’re told by one source to […]

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Judging by the latest candidate filings, a civil war is happening inside the Warren County Republican Party, with three Republican incumbent legislators being challenged in primaries.

State Senator Shannon Jones, infamous for sponsoring Senate Bill 5, the union-busting bill that was later recalled in a massive win for labor in Ohio, is being challenged by our old pal Kelly Kohls in Ohio’s 7th State House District.   Kohls heads up the Warren County Tea Party.  She also did a stint as President of the Spingboro School Board where she tried to get the school system to sponsor classes on the U.S. Constitution  Full Story...

Medina is the name of a quaint Republican town in a quaint Republican county in northern Ohio that boasts of a quaint Republican Ohio House speaker, William G. Batchelder lll, as its influential native son and pal of Gov. Kasich.

It also is the ancient name of a holy city in Saudi Arabia that boasts of being the burial site of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, an historic landmark that would doubtless be a hard sell to the Medinans of Ohio, where the folks are preparing for the arrival of Kasich later this month to convey his state of the state […]

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