From the monthly archives: March 2017

ATHENS – What’s it like to spend eight years in close company with the President of the United States, in the Oval Office, in the Situation Room, on helicopters in the dead of night secretly flying in and out of Iraq and Afghanistan?

Pete Souza provided exactly that insight during his first public speech about his work since serving as the chief White House photographer during President Barack Obama’s two terms in office.

Souza spoke Tuesday afternoon at Ohio University’s Schuneman Symposium for Photojournalism & News Media. The Baker Center Theater was so full for his talk that organizers set […]

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ATHENS – A Russian-born British journalist for The Economist who gave the keynote address last week during the 2017 Ohio University Baker Peace Conference said he is shocked and horrified to see President Donald Trump emulating the political tactics of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Arkady Ostrovsky spent 15 years reporting from Moscow first for the Financial Times and then as bureau chief for The Economist. He is currently the Russia and Eastern Europe editor for The Economist, based in London.

He is also the author of the 2016 Orwell Prize-winning book, “The Invention of Russia: The Journey from Gorbachev’s Freedom […]

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The senate race in 2012 between first-term Democratic candidate Sherrod Brown and first-term Republican challenger Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel was loaded with campaign spending that overwhelmingly benefited Mr. Mandel, a former Marine whose political fortunes have taken him from city councilman to state representative to state treasurer.

When the race in that presidential election year ended, Sen. Brown won a second term even though Team Mandel enjoyed the help $40 million in campaign cash can buy. Identifying the secret donors who pumped millions into Mandel’s losing campaign has been an on-going quest by Team Sherrod and others who advocate for more public […]

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The old white guys lost!  The ones trying to run  the White House these days down through Congress.  Tweet Trump, Paul Ryan,  Mitch McConnell , Steve Bannon, Mike Pence,  the No-can-do Republican congressmen who have been dead-set on repealing Obamacare for seven years;  the loyal, head-bobbing soldiers who were solidly  committed to Trumpcare.    They all lost.

Oh, I  know.  Trump singled out Democrats Sen. Charlie Schumer  and Rep. Nancy Pelosi as the big losers.   But as is usually true of Trump, he can only communicate with people who put him in the White House.  Obamacare, he asserted over and […]

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As we reflect on a tumultuous week where the FBI Director confirmed that an investigation of some of the president’s closest aides is being conducted to determine if there was coordination of campaign tactics with Russian operatives linked to Kremlin strongman Vladimir Putin, this headline among many was startling: ‘There’s a Smell of Treason in the Air.’

The New York Times headline notwithstanding, if the subject is treason, we’ve been there before. Several times.

In spite of the headlines documenting Russian interference and possible collusion by the Trump campaign to fix the 2016 election, whatever is turned […]

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Despite one of the worst historical performances in the first two months of a presidency in American history, Donald Trump hasn’t lost much support.

While many Ohioans are finding him personally unlikeable, very few respondents in a recent survey out of Balwin Wallace University say they would’ve changed their vote this past November.

Here’s the skinny on the methodology of the survey, from Cleveland.com:

The online poll of 1,019 self-reported registered Ohio voters was conducted between Feb. 24 and March 8. To attempt to develop a representative sample, researchers established demographic quotas using U.S. Census data, and weighted results […]

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You got a lot of Guts Kasich!!! Your the Freakin ‘CRY BABY’ WHO COULDN’T EVEN COME TO HIS OWN PARTY’S NATIONAL CONVENTION HELD IN HIS OWN STATE. AND..COULD NOT SUPPORT TRUMP. YOU GROW UP YOU PATHETIC CRY BABY! GET OFF AIRWAYS YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO SPEAK ABOUT GROWING UP… WHAT A NITWIT. DON’T CARE YO HEAR YOU SPEAK…CRY BABY.”

As strange as this may sound, this otherwise on-target tirade at Ohio’s term-limited, lame-duck governor John Kasich was not written by one of Plunderbund’s excellent reporter-contributors.  Instead it from a commenter on the Columbus Dispatch website named PJMcCaleb.

Another commenter, […]

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The Governor stirred up a hornet’s nest when he proposed that teachers be required to serve an externship in a business as a part of the license renewal process. One response was the introduction of HB 129 to require the Governor to serve 40 hours in school districts each of the next two school years.

This externship wrangle moved Athens Messenger’s Sarah Guinn to visit Athens High School for a day. The March 20 Messenger coverage of Guinn’s visit is enlightening.
School officials may wish to invite journalists to spend a day, possibly a week, at one or more […]

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“There is always an effort to punish the poor. There is always the belief that they are not deserving. Why is it that some elected officials find it so important that we add to the struggles of the poor?” That’s a statement made Thursday at a press conference by Philip Cole, the executive director of The Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies, to announce the release of a new report on poverty in Ohio, according to published reports.

Without naming names, Mr. Cole’s concerns should be laid at the feet of Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who has promised much […]

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A March 20 Bloomberg News story reveals that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos made a decision regarding student loans that will financially benefit one of her well-heeled friends. This decision will likely set a pattern for her secretariat.

Americans who default on some of their federal student loans are likely to pay more after Education Secretary Betsy DeVos reversed an Obama administration directive limiting some fees. But it turns out the Trump administration decision has some beneficiaries—including the father of a key DeVos lieutenant who just quit.

It is abhorrent that the DeVos-style reformers often accuse traditional public school personnel, including administrators and unions, of protecting […]

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Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) outlined his bipartisan bill on Wednesday that would help the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) crack down on trafficking of the deadly synthetic opioid fentanyl.

Brown’s bill, the INTERDICT Act, is co-sponsored by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ed Markey (D-MA), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV). The bill would provide CPB with additional high-tech screening equipment and lab resources to detect fentanyl before it enters the United States.  According to a report from the Ohio Department of Health, fentanyl-related overdose deaths in Ohio more than doubled from 503 in 2014 to 1,155 in 2015. At […]

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