From the monthly archives: January 2017

A Food Stamp Block Grant is an Attack on the Poor

Lessons from Welfare Reform

Rose Frech

With a Republican dominated House, Senate and White House the much touted “block grant” is reemerging in full force. Supported by those who espouse local control and reigning- in spending on entitlements, block grants can, on the surface, seem like an attractive way of moving forward. In lieu of unrestricted spending and strict government rules and regulations, states receive a lump sum of funds to administer safety net programs and thus are provided with a greater amount of flexibility. It […]

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Taking time Tuesday between Senate Finance hearing sessions at which he grilled Georgia Congressman Tom Price, President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown talked to reporters about Ohio’s infrastructure priorities and how his framework for rebuilding and repairing the nation’s infrastructure would create as many as 13 million jobs.

A member of the Senate Finance that was vetting Mr. Price, Ohio’s senior senator took two strafing runs at Price today, pointedly asking him if Trump lied when he said he had discussions with Price, who couldn’t confirm that those […]

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The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau has an impressive record of taking on financial industry pirates and renegades. In a short five years, CFPB has taken legal action against banks, mortgage companies, credit card issuers, payday lenders, debt collectors and others, the AP reported, resulting in the recovery of $11.7 billion that was returned to more than 27 million harmed consumers.

Last week the CFPB went after Navient Corp. and two subsidiaries, looking for restitution for affected borrowers and money penalties, after the company allegedly cheated struggling borrowers out of their rights to lower their payments “through shortcuts and […]

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The Torture Of Twitterboarding

On January 24, 2017 By

Our new president continues to live in unpresidential style with his reliance on Twitterboarding us with whatever comes to mind. If we think he factually errs, he dispatches Kellyanne Conway with grade school rulers to slap our fingers with “alternative facts”.

On his first full day in office he has already perfected George Orwell’s lexicon of new words with extraordinary convenience. My favorite from Orwell’s “newspeak” collection is “blackwhite” – defined as “a “contradiction of plain fact…a loyal willingness to say that black is white when discipline demands it.”

So Kelly isn’t really breaking new ground with alternative facts, which […]

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America is not a nation of bullies, though bullies exist among us, and always have. America is a nation that stands up to bullies. That is the heart of our national character. It’s the American way.

The bullies among us have often made us falter. The bullies among us refused to sign a Declaration of Independence that condemned the slave trade at our nation’s founding, instead striking out the paragraph. Those who stood up to the bullies were the Quakers and the Moravians, and the statesmen who founded the Pennsylvania Abolition and the New York Manumission societies shortly thereafter.

For every bully like […]

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In a blink, Donald Trump defiled America.

In a blink, Donald Trump cheapened the presidency.

In a blink, Donald Trump intensified our fear that he is monstrously worse than we had come to know during the campaign.

With four previous presidents – two Democrats and two Republicans – seated within the fetid reach of his words, he chose to declare in his dictatorial inaugural speech that only he would be able to relieve America of the “carnage” that they had carelessly left behind. The road show that ended at the Capitol emboldened him to double down on his King Kong […]

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President Trump’s choice to lead the U.S. Department of Education is already facing some significant headwind after a disastrous performance in front of Congress during confirmation hearings, and then an ironically illiterate tweet on inauguration day (sad!).

But Ohioans have special reason to be skeptical of the fitness of Betsey DeVos to lead the department that oversees public education throughout the country: A political action committee for which she served as chair was found to have violated state campaign contribution limits in donations to Ohio Republicans in attempts to privatize education.

From the Toledo Blade:

U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur […]

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We called the White House multiple times this morning trying to leave a message for President Trump.   We were informed that the comments line is shut down until further notice and the only way to contact the president is through a web-based form at or via snail mail.

One operator told us we could leave a message via email.  When asked about that option, she transferred us to a recording that listed the mailing addresses for President Obama and Vice President Biden.  The recording also included a warning that it would take several weeks for anyone to look at our letter. […]

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On Saturday, January 21, the day after Donald Trump became the 45th President of the United States, hundreds of thousands of women converged on Washington D.C. for the Women’s March on Washington.   DC was the lead city among many others across the nation and around the world that hosted throngs of people who joined the Women’s March to show their solidarity against four coming years of erosion directed at the rights of women.

Plunderbund was on the ground in Washington to cover the estimated half-million person turnout that included women and men of all ages who brought their […]

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The office of Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education should be occupied by an experienced, highly professional educator that is a recognized leader – one who commands the respect, admiration and approval of those laboring at all levels of education policy and practice. Jan Resseger’s review of the confirmation hearing confirms that DeVos has no experience in public education or in-depth understanding of education. The Senators in the hearing should have been “distressed by her evident lack of knowledge and experience and her ideological bent,” wrote Resseger.

The school choice thumpers now have one of their own in […]

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The Governor, during a January 12 speech to the Columbus Partnership, announced a provision in the state budget proposal to add three non-voting, non-elected business persons to each board of education. Why three? Why any?

This solution-looking-for-a-problem approach is yet another signal that some politicians don’t trust citizens to elect the “right” individuals to manage educational programming in school districts. Appointed state board of education members and the “Youngstown” Plan (amendment to HB 70 of the 131st General Assembly) are other examples of lack of confidence in citizens. Of course, the citizens that elect the board members also elect governors […]

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