I’m loving this new game of Bill/Counter-Bill that seems to be trending in legislatures nationwide, as Republicans introduce draconian Handmaids-Tale-esque laws and Democrats return fire with purposefully absurd bills. These bills are introduced, of course, to highlight the absurdity of the current legislative war that Republicans are waging against women.
We’ve seen a “no sperm is sacred” bill in Oklahoma ; a bill banning vasectomies in Georgia; and a rectal amendment bill in Virginia, among others.
Well, Ohio has thrown its whimsical hat into the ring with a bill that would regulate men’s access to erectile dysfunction drugs like Cialis and Viagra: Continue reading
This week, my neighboring state of Indiana became a “Right to Work” state — which sounds oddly like it’s now a better place to work, rather than part of a larger, nation-wide effort to gut unions and strip away the rights that the labor movement has battled for decades to establish (and from which we all benefit, whether or not we are union members – as but one example: Planning to enjoy a two-day weekend this week? Thank a union).
Are unions perfect vessels of workers’ better angels? No. Nothing humanity does is. But I figure unions are an awful lot like democracy: A terrible mess that is immeasurably better than anything else on offer.
Posted in Election 2012? Oy vey!, Emily L. Hauser, Political Shenanigans, Ratfvckery, What the Crap!?
Tagged BILLY BRAGG, INDIANA, Michigan, Ohio, ORGANIZED LABOR, POWER IN A UNION, RIGHT TO WORK, Wisconsin
Tebow take the wheel.
Cincinnati Landlord Jamie Hein asked the Ohio Civil Rights Commission to reconsider its ruling that Hein had discriminated against a young black girl by posting a “Whites Only” sign at a public pool. The Commission said, “nope!” and upheld its decision 4-0 without discussion.
Hein, a 31-year-old landlord for an apartment complex in Cincinnati placed the “Whites Only” sign poolside claiming that one of her tenants’ 10-year old daughter was making the pool water cloudy because she used chemicals in her hair. Apparently, Hein had never heard of swimming caps: Continue reading
Same as it ever was.
For all the GOP whining about voter fraud, it’s patently obvious that the only fraud being perpetrated is by Republicans against Democrats:
Ohio residents are voting Tuesday on Issue 2, a ballot referendum on a controversial measure known as SB 5. The law restricts collective bargaining rights for state employees, among other provisions. Opposition to the legislation inspired large protests around the state earlier in the year.
At 9:37 a.m. on Tuesday, a Service Employees International Union (SEIU) staffer in Ohio received a robocall message inaccurately telling voters the election was “tomorrow.”
“Hi, I am calling to remind you that tomorrow is Election Day,” said the voice on the message. “It is critically important that you go vote and protect the future of our country. Tomorrow, please go to the polls and vote YES on Issue 2, and vote YES on Issue 3. Paid for by American Future Fund and not authorized by any candidate or candidate committee. 866-559-5854.”
Voting yes on Issue 2 means voting in favor of SB 5, Gov. John Kasich’s anti-collective bargaining law.
The number on the call goes to an automated message, directing callers to the website of the American Future Fund, a conservative advocacy group. The message also asks people if they would like to be added to the group’s do-not-call list.
A spokesperson for American Future Fund called it a mix-up and said the group would be calling voters back to say “Oops! Our bad!” Continue reading
You And Me Baby Ain’t Nothin’ But Mammals
Traffic signs warn drivers to stay in their cars because of exotic animals on the loose near the intersection of Route 40 and Interstate 70 East just west of Zanesville. (CHRIS RUSSELL | DISPATCH)
Turns out Wednesday’s bizarre escaped animal incident in Zanesville, Ohio (east of Columbus) where dozens of exotic animals were put down after they were released into the Ohio countryside before their owner apparently committed suicide? Yeah, you can hang that one on Gov. John Kasich’s neck too.
The tragedy exposes the dangers of wildlife trafficking, in which private collectors actively trade in exotic animals all over the states “in a vibrant and poorly regulated market.” According to the Humane Society, Ohio has long been “the center of the exotic-auction industry.” Ohio’s former Gov. Ted Strickland (D) attempted to “crack down” on the market by issuing an executive order that banned new private ownership of exotic animals. Issued on Jan. 6, 2011, it was one of his last acts as governor and lasted 90 days. His replacement, GOP Gov. John Kasich let it expire. Only now, after the bloodbath, does Kasich see it as “a problem.”
Kasich’s team called the measure “unenforceable.” Only one problem: parts of that executive order were very much enforceable, including the provision that could have prevented this awful event.
Worse than Rick Scott? Achievement unlocked.
Looks like Ohio Republican John Kasich is not only the new most hated governor in the land (surpassing Florida’s odious GOP Jackass-in-Chief, Rick Scott) but he’s now giving Scott a solid run for his money in the outright worst in the nation category. MoJo’s excellent Mac McClelland:
While we’re all at being (rightfully) mad at some really rich people, let’s splash some more fuel onto the class-warfare fire. Think tank Innovation Ohio has released some stats about that state’s governor, John Kasich, who is trying to kill collective bargaining with a bill called SB 5 and who recently slashed funding to services people sort of need, like schools and firefighting.
But the Ohio legislature isn’t spreading the pain equally—namely, not among themselves. According to IO’s most recent report, Kasich took a raise of more than $10,000 over the last governor’s salary, bringing his pay to $148,165. And exempted the salary from the SB 5 provision that cuts automatic annual raises for other public employees. And lied about how much he pays his staff, whose senior members make $110,000. Continue reading
Pass this bill, right away.
Yesterday, President Obama continued his Jobapalooza tour in Columbus, Ohio.
Speaking from Fort Hayes High School, he talked about how the American Jobs Act will get teachers back into the classroom and improve American schools. He even let slip the dogs of “oh snap!“:
In his remarks last week before a joint session of Congress, President Barack Obama pledged to travel to “every corner of this country” to drum up support for his $447 billion jobs package.
On Tuesday, with Republicans sharpening their criticism of the plan, he brought his feisty sales pitch to the capital of this crucial swing state.
The visit, Obama’s 15th to Ohio since taking office in January 2009, was the second stop on his tour and first since officially sending the bill to lawmakers a day earlier.
Obama spoke for 17 minutes outside Fort Hayes Arts and Academic High School, where he toured a recently renovated graphic design classroom. School officials estimated 3,500 people, including students and teachers, showed up for the event.
The president cited the classroom as an example of the school-construction projects that are possible “if we can get folks in that city to stop worrying so much about their jobs and start worrying about your jobs.”
The comment, a crowd-pleaser, was a clear jab at congressional Republicans in Washington, D.C, where GOP leaders initially expressed hope in a compromise. But they quickly voiced opposition Monday, after learning that Obama planned to pay for his package in part by limiting tax incentives for wealthy citizens.
I admit that I have no strong ties to either the Cavs or the Heat (despite spending four excruciating college years in Ohio).
Even so, the Lebron pile-on seemed a tad ridiculous to me. Dude is a twenty-something year old basketball phenom who wanted to go party in Miami and ball with his friends. Big fucking deal. He’s a kid.
Then I read about his remarks after the big loss:
In his post-game remarks Sunday night, LeBron said he does not care what people are saying about him after losing to Dallas in the NBA playoffs. AP basketball writer Brian Mahoney passed along some tasty morsels.
“They have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life they had before they woke today. They have the same personal problems they had today. I’m going to continue to live the way I want to live and continue to do the things that I want to do.
“They can get a few days or a few months, or whatever the case may be, on being happy about not only myself, but the Miami Heat not accomplishing their goal. But they have to get back to the real world at some point.”
This astonishing display of utter classlessness makes Ohio’s response that much more hilarious:
I find myself struck by the enormity of the times we’re living in.
I don’t know what will happen next, but when my grandchildren learn about the early twenty-teens, it’s clear they’ll be taught that this was a time in which humanity — turned.
Of course, there’s the ongoing upheaval in Middle East and North Africa (MENA), while here in the United States, we have the right’s astonishing over-reach on unions. In both cases, I don’t think anyone on the ground has a clear sense of the direction we’re all going, but given the sheer quantity of dynamics and cross-dynamics, both here and abroad, I believe we’re likely to wind up in some pretty unexpected places.
In terms of workers’ rights and the American electorate, I genuinely believe that this is one of those moments in which people are woken from their slumber, and the GOP’s business-led right-wing will face tremendous push-back in the coming years. You don’t try to tell Americans that teachers, cops and firefighters are our enemies — are what stand between this country and fiscal security — and expect it to fly for long.
In MENA, well, who knows? Forty-one percent of Egypt’s eligible voters (the highest turnout in history) just voted to accept constitutional changes that some credible opposition voices wanted to see rejected. Good for Egypt? Bad for Egypt? I don’t know, and I would suggest that anyone who says they know for sure has delusions of grandeur. Issandr El Amrani (who blogs at the always interesting The Arabist) wrote a really helpful piece for Time : Egypt’s Referendum: What the Nation’s Historic Vote Means, concluding “This time, even if it was far from perfect, it meant something.”
And Libya? Truly: No one knows. It bears repeating: No one knows, no one knows, no one knows. The sheer cacophony of controversy surrounding the decision to declare a No Fly Zone should serve as our most powerful indicator that no one knows what the future holds in that part of MENA (though I will grant you that there are some, such as POTUS, who should surely have a better grasp on it than the vast majority of us). Continue reading
Posted in Emily L. Hauser, Musings, Political Shenanigans
Tagged Egypt, Japan, Koch Brothers, Libya, MENA, Michigan, Ohio, unions, Wisconsin