What Republicans Do Best? DO NOTHING…

❝ Microphone in hand, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) had just finished remarking on the size of the crowd that was crammed tightly into the brick-covered main street of the Oregon District in Dayton, Ohio, on Sunday night when a single voice rang out.

“Do something!” the person shouted. Seconds later, another voice echoed the demand. Others quickly joined in, “Do something!” they yelled. Their cries grew louder with each iteration until what started as just a smattering of voices had morphed into a deafening chant that reverberated around the historic street near where nine people were killed and 27 injured in the weekend’s second mass shooting early Sunday morning.

The impassioned chanting, which interrupted Sunday’s vigil in Dayton, went viral on social media and represents yet another manifestation of the public’s frustration with elected officials in the wake of back-to-back massacres carried out by people armed with assault-type weapons…

#DoSomething you lazy-ass, corrupt, corporate political flunkies!

Ohio fossil fuel pimps pass anti-wind bill that costs schools hundred$ of thousand$ of dollar$


Give frackers a chance to match Ohio earthquakes with Oklahoma 🙂

❝ Superintendent Ken Amstutz dreamed of propelling his rural Ohio school district into a high-tech future with nearly a million dollars in annual revenue from a single wind farm set to go online this year.

That was until the state legislature blocked wind development across Ohio, halting construction of the Long Prairie Wind Farm and leaving Amstutz’s district in financial limbo…

❝ Revenue from the Long Prairie Wind Farm in Van Wert City would have delivered Chromebooks to every student in the district, Amstutz said. It would have ensured existing programs stay in effect and allowed the school to expand its science, math, and performing arts curricula. Teachers would have gotten raises, and the district would have had the resources to support new, innovative programs…

❝ A short drive up the road from Van Wert City Schools, students of Lincolnview Schools saw a different ending to the same story. That district benefits from a program that allows wind companies to provide a portion of their revenue to the local community — 80 percent to schools, 20 percent to the township — instead of paying taxes. Lincolnview’s clean-energy benefactor is the Blue Creek Wind Farm, which went up before the setback rule was changed. The project, which consists of 152 turbines that can power up to 76,000 homes, contributes $400,000 annually to local schools, funding classes like pre-engineering and biomedical.

“Additional revenue allows us to think out of the box and do something new,” said Linconview Superintendent Jeff Snyder. “We’ve been able to pay for new programs, classes, and technologies as a one-time expenditure. We’ve hired a couple of additional teachers, as well as a Special Ed director and a curriculum director… That money is not leaving our area to go somewhere else. It’s staying in our district to benefit our kids and future generations of students as well.”

❝ Lawmakers and lobbyists have seized on local opposition to wind power to pass policies that favor oil and natural gas — despite the fact that infrastructure-related risks, infringement on property rights, and nuisance issues used to justify the state’s aggressive resistance to wind can be common with fossil fuel extraction.

This doesn’t faze Ohio State Sen. Bill Seitz (R), who says that “cheap and plentiful” natural gas doesn’t threaten homeowners because, unlike wind turbines, gas infrastructure operates underground.

Like many Republicans or Conservative Democrats, fracking, problems with gas pipelines are nothing to be concerned about. No doubt they get their campaign checks right on time, too.

❝ There is still hope for the landowners, farmers, families, and schools of northwest Ohio who have not reaped the benefits of wind power…House Bill 190, introduced in 2015, would give setback and siting decisions to individual counties. If that bill is signed into law, schools across the state could see decades of revenue they desperately need.

Ohio state Sen. Cliff Hite (R), who voted for the bill that pulled the plug on Van Wert’s school funding, hopes to revive commercial wind development with HB 190. “I believe these projects should have the chance to thrive where people want them,” he said. “And I believe they will live to fight another day.”

The concept of elected officials providing leadership to a better future – instead of marching lockstep back into some imaginary past – remains an alien concept to an awful lot of Americans. Time to get up off your rusty- dusty folks and fightback.

Hungry child in Ohio tried to sell his teddy bear for food


Mom’s idea of a tidy kitchen?

A 7-year-old Ohio boy who hadn’t eaten anything for days was trying to sell his teddy bear to get money for food, police said.

Franklin police officer Steve Dunham told WLWT-TV on Thursday he found the boy in front of a CVS store last Sunday afternoon.

The hungry child’s parents, Tammy and Michael Bethel, face child endangering charges after investigators said they found four older boys at the family home living among garbage, cat urine and cockroaches.

Tammy Bethel has since written on the Facebook page of the Franklin Police Department that she denies the allegations. Yet Dunham said the sight of the boy peddling a teddy bear upset him so much he took him to a Subway to get something to eat right away.

“It broke my heart. He told me that he was trying to sell his stuffed animal to get money for food because he hadn’t eaten in several days…”

Two other officers went to the Bethels’ home after Dunham took the boy to the police station in the small town roughly 15 miles outside Dayton, Franklin police told the Journal-News…

The officers found liquor bottles, garbage and cat urine in the squalor of the Main St. house, according to a police report obtained by the newspaper.

Investigators believe the house showed a “a substantial risk of health and safety by neglecting the cleanliness in the residence, having a large amount of bugs and spoiled food throughout the residence, not having properly prepared and packaged food for the minor children to eat, and allowing a 7-year-old child to wander from the residence without their permission or knowledge, in an attempt to locate food.”

Child welfare officials removed all five children from their parents’ care and placed them with other relatives. A judge ordered the Bethels not to have any contact with the children, according to the newspaper.

Both Tammy and Michael Bethel face five counts of child endangerment charges ahead of a court appearance next month.They pleaded not guilty.

Tammy Bethel went on the Franklin police Facebook page Friday to say that her house is normally clean and the CVS where police found her son is very close to her home…“The cop just popped up on the wrong day I hadn’t had a chance to clean the mess that all them kids had made…” Bethel wrote.

Uh-huh. Ain’t social media wonderful? Excuses get equal time.

Federal judge crushes “moderate Republican” John Kasich’s latest attempt to defund Planned Parenthood

A federal judge on Friday blocked an Ohio law that would have defunded Planned Parenthood — by kicking it out of state grant programs for public health and education services, like maternal health and HIV prevention programs.

“Today’s ruling supports the rights of all Ohioans to access needed health care,” said Iris E. Harvey, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, in a statement. “This law would have been especially burdensome to communities of color and people with low income who already often have the least access to care.”

…Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine says he will appeal, blah, blah, blah…Not only was Planned Parenthood a major provider of these health services that couldn’t easily be replaced but the bill was also written so poorly that it could have accidentally defunded Ohio’s public health departments in the process of trying to go after Planned Parenthood…

The law would have blocked Planned Parenthood, and other entities connected to abortion services in almost any way, from receiving funding for:

The “Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies” program that supports mostly black mothers before, during, and after pregnancy. The program is aimed at reducing abysmally high infant mortality rates in Ohio, which are the highest in the nation for black Americans

Several federal programs that help low-income people access breast exams, Pap smears, and screenings and treatment for STIs and HIV

Funds from the Violence Against Women Act to provide education for high school–age youth, including youth who are in jail or foster care, on domestic violence, intimate partner violence, and healthy relationships

“The defunding law in Ohio would have stopped Planned Parenthood from providing HIV tests, cancer screenings, and assistance for poor mothers with newborn infants,” said Kellie Copeland, president of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio…

Attorney General DeWine did claim — falsely, as it turned out — that Planned Parenthood improperly disposed of fetal remains…The state of Ohio was forced to pay Planned Parenthood’s legal fees as a result.

Couldn’t happen to a more representative leader of liars and bigots. America’s conservative politicians – mostly led by Republican godly pretenders like John Kasich – specialize in a War on Women that ranges from rationalizing inequality in wages to blocking access to education, health and well-being.

Here is the Cleveland Coppers’ shopping list for the Republican Convention

With the Republican National Convention imminent, the Cleveland Police Department is finalizing its security plan for what is expected to be a volatile few days. The city announced last Friday that it was updating its plan following last week’s mass shooting of police officers in Dallas, and though it shared scant detail, the Cleveland PD is set to be outfitted with plenty of heavy gear.

The RNC is designated as a National Special Security Event by the US Department of Homeland Security, which entitled Cleveland to a $50 million federal grant toward its security plan. According to bids the city has posted to its website and reports from local news outlets, so far Cleveland has spent the money on:

2,000 sets of riot gear

2,000 steel batons

325 sets of tactical armor

300 patrol bicycles, with accompanying riot gear

25 rifle scopes

10,000 flexible handcuffs

Other supplies include bulletproof helmets, pepper spray, two-point rifle slings and inmate mattresses.

The Cleveland PD also asked the Chicago Police Department to loan it three bearcats, and Taser International is loaning the department 300 body cameras that can be attached to riot suits. The city also put out a bid for tear gas, according to the Washington Post, and it recently upped its protest insurance coverage from $9.5 million to $50 million.

I don’t think this comes out of Cleveland’s How to Build Tourism Budget. In fact, I wonder how many folks will ever pay another visit to that fair city – after this.

Jesus was a zombie, right?

A man is facing more than $500 in fines for a unique Christmas display that has left some neighbors reeling.

This is the second year in a row that Jasen Dixon has set up a zombie-themed nativity scene outside his home in Sycamore Township, Ohio – complete with a Walking Dead-worthy baby Jesus, Virgin Mary and Joseph.

Like last year, Dixon says he has been ordered to take down the display for allegedly not complying with local rules about yard displays…But Dixon believes that the local government’s objects to the display have more to do with the nativity’s undead theme than to regulations…

My father hates it. The other neighbors, they drive by and give me a thumbs up…”

Dixon says he thought up the idea last year as a way to publicize 13 Rooms of Doom, the haunted house he manages.

Last year, he was ordered to take the display down because he didn’t have a permit. However, he refused.

This year, he says he made sure to fill out the right paperwork, but again he was ordered to disassemble the scene in his front yard…

The city says that every day he fails to take down the display, he will be charged a $500 fine. As of Friday, he had already racked up that amount.

Politicians in Ohio mostly belong to the Christian flavor of Taliban. Dixon’s lucky he hasn’t been sentenced to death by stoning.

SuperHero of the day


Meet “Buddie” – who consumes only the best buds

Metropolis has Superman, Gotham City has Batman, and now Ohio has a superhero of its very own. However, some critics wish it were somebody else — anybody else.

Meet Buddie, the caped crusader enlisted by ResponsibleOhio to aid in the fight to legalize marijuana in the Buckeye State. You’ll recognize him by his green-and-white costume, marijuana leaf-like gloves, washboard abs, half-closed eyes and blinding smile. Oh, and by the enormous marijuana bud that serves as his head.

He’ll probably never volunteer for anyone’s army. Unless Uncle Sugar is planning on invading somewhere with a long green growing season.

Ohio voters get to decide on marijuana legalization in November

Ohio citizens will vote on whether to legalize recreational and medicinal marijuana use in November, a decision that could concentrate the state’s legal marijuana business to 10 growers.

Ohio’s secretary of state Jon Husted said…that a measure to legalize marijuana had collected enough signatures to appear on the ballot in the state’s 3 November election.

The measure includes a provision that would allow only 10 growers to grow and sell pot commercially.

Critics, including the state legislature, say this could create a monopoly. The legislature added a measure, called Issue 2, to the ballot that would block monopolies from operating in Ohio.

According to Husted, if both measures are approved, the one introduced by the legislature would take precedence.

Pro-legalization group ResponsibleOhio executive director Ian James celebrated the news in a statement.

“Drug dealers don’t care about doing what’s best for our state and its citizens,” James said. “By reforming marijuana laws in November, we’ll provide compassionate care to sick Ohioans, bring money back to our local communities and establish a new industry with limitless economic development opportunities.”

Hope they can make it – or try again in 2016 if this try fails. Presidential elections turn out the most significant cross-section of voters – which would give a progressive move like decriminalizing weed a better chance.

Off-peak elections like the coming turn out the higher proportion of folks afraid of change as a general rule. We’ll see. Good luck, Ohio.

Which American state would you like to see secede?

…There’s always some idle secession chatter in the freedom-and-independence-loving United States, too. A new poll shows one in four Americans support “the idea of your state peacefully withdrawing from the United States of America and the federal government.”

But could it ever be more than a rhetorical phenomenon in the States? It seems unlikely, given that those who benefit most from union are those most interested in secession…

Secession got more support from Republicans than Democrats, more from right- than left-leaning independents, more from younger than older people, more from lower- than higher-income brackets, more from high school than college grads…. Of the people who said they identified with the Tea Party, supporters of secession were actually in the majority, with 53 percent.

In other words, it’s recipients of government largess who want to get out. It’s net donors to the government who want to stay. To wit, only one in five residents of the wealthy New England states supports secession, separatist-lusty Vermont included, versus one in three residents of the poorer southwest, where the urge is more pronounced…

None of that should surprise you. Survey polls like this also need to factor in a blowhard index?

But it takes a lot more than grit to make it as a new country — and generally, the poorer, smaller, and less-diversified the state, the worse it would fare after independence. Secession itself would also be extremely costly, though how costly would depend on whether the United States acceded to the plan (not likely) and how much it wanted to antagonize New Kansas or Free Texas or what have you. Would it forgive said state’s debts? Would it implement airspace restrictions, travel restrictions, sanctions, or even a full embargo? Might it bar a new country from the global payments system?

But let’s say we’re in a heartless, rationalist thunderdome-type situation. In that case, who deserves to get kicked out?

The article wanders through West Virginia, Wyoming, Hawaii, Alaska, Texas, Kansas and Vermont as states we’d miss the least.

I love when Annie Lowrey gets down to the real losers we wouldn’t pay to stay: Ohio and Florida. Both states trying their best to screw everyone with the wrong color, unacceptable sex, too old to care about education and too poor to be registered to vote.

And especially calling Florida America’s lunatic dongle really warms my looney geek-heart the most.

Thanks, Helen

What Halliburton fracking chemicals polluted an Ohio waterway?

On the morning of June 28, a fire broke out at a Halliburton fracking site in Monroe County, Ohio. As flames engulfed the area, trucks began exploding and thousands of gallons of toxic chemicals spilled into a tributary of the Ohio River, which supplies drinking water for millions of residents. More than 70,000 fish died. Nevertheless, it took five days for the Environmental Protection Agency and its Ohio counterpart to get a full list of the chemicals polluting the waterway. “We knew there was something toxic in the water,” says an environmental official who was on the scene. “But we had no way of assessing whether it was a threat to human health or how best to protect the public.”

This episode highlights a glaring gap in fracking safety standards. In Ohio, as in most other states, fracking companies are allowed to withhold some information about the chemical stew they pump into the ground to break up rocks and release trapped natural gas.

The oil and gas industry and its allies at the American Legislative exchange Council (ALEC), a pro-business outfit that has played a major role in shaping fracking regulation, argue that the formulas are trade secrets that merit protection. But environmental groups say the lack of transparency makes it difficult to track fracking-related drinking water contamination and can hobble the government response to emergencies, such as the Halliburton spill in Ohio.

This was true when I worked along the Gulf of Mexico decades ago. Ain’t nothing changed especially.

Trade secrets claims are a ruse to keep folks concerned with a living in a safe environment from finding out what crap the drilling companies are pumping into Mother Earth. Industry competitors will find out what they’re using for drilling and fracking if it appears to provide an advantage. Believe me.

No – the scumbags all the way up to the top of Halliburton and the American Petroleum Institute consider nothing to be as critical as optimizing the profits they suck from the ground. Whatever crap they leave behind, which poisons remain behind or pose a danger above-ground like the Monroe County fire – is only a concern if it makes a difference in dollar$ in their quarterly report to Wall Street and shareholders.

Worried about hobbling government response to emergencies? Go high enough up the state and federal food chain and the only handicap you’ll run into is making the mistake of thinking that hand is out to greet you. That palm is there to be greased with green.