December 30, 2006

A vicious dictator meets his end at a gallows

If you've been under a rock for the last 18 hours and this is the first you're reading, which is unlikely, please be aware: we no longer live in a world in which we can blame our ills on Saddam Hussein. The perennial bogeyman was hanged at around 10:00PM US East Coast, just before sunrise in Iraq.

That's one bogeyman down and countless intangible terrorists to go.

And that Bin Laden guy with his dialysis machine.

Cicero at Donklephant has this to say:

On the way to his execution, Saddam Hussein said, “Iraq without me is nothing.”

I am glad the Saddam era is over. But I wouldn’t say I am relieved. I wonder if his last words are prescient. The nation called Iraq is slipping into civil war. Indeed, is Iraq a nation? Is its national continuity impossible without the bindings of a brutal autocrat? Much relies on the answer to this question.

Link to the page.

That is a deep question to ask at this juncture and it's a question that should have been asked at the outset of this wild goose chase called the "Iraq War" and not nearly four years into the mess. It certainly something that I have literally spend hours considering: can the amalgamation of Iraq be a viable political entity without a strongman? I hope so, in addition to being a big-D Democrat, I am also a little-D democrat: I believe people as a whole group can come to rational decisions. People should pick up Rousseau and reread The Social Contract. Maybe it's my sadly optimistic view of human nature that people can come to their common senses if they are educated objectively and resolve their differences without having to come to blows. We must bear in mind that most of Iraq isn't fighting, but it is rather active members of sects and factions.

I heard some jackass on FNC (Fox News Channel) yesterday declare that compromise was a "uniquely American principle". What?

That's just not true, now is it? Treaties are compromises, deals that are brokered to end fighting instead of aiming for full capitulation. Treaties have been made throughout the ages, well before the establishment of the United States.

Well, there you have it. One bogeyman is gone.


2006: The Year That Was

January: Sherrod Brown not running for Senate.
January: Paul Hackett running for Senate. BlogginRyan is torn.
January: Sherrod Brown running for Senate.
January: Ryan loves Paul Hackett and Sherrod Brown, but thinks Sherrod's attitude is a little too cavalier when it's 70 degrees in January.
January-February: Paul Hackett's arm twisted enough to drop out of Senate race. I wonder what's going to happen to that nice bus of his.
January-April: Ken Blackwell and Jim Petro get their anti-gay machines ready and roaring, accuse each other of "loving dem."
February: Strickland-Fisher
February: Ryan goes to Boston and, incredibly, hates Harvard MUN more than he did last year.
March: Love for Dennis.
May: Votes for Ferris.
May: Ted Strickland and Sherrod Brown win primaries against wet paper bags by handsome margins. Bigger homophobic bigot Ken Blackwell ekes out a win against Jim Petro. Ohio Democrats titter at the thought of regaining the governor's mansion house. Subodh Chandra gets thumped by Marc Dann.
May-November: Marijuana-laced bananas help bring down Mike DeWine; Ken Blackwell kills the (R) ticket; and what the what - Marc Dann is attorney general?
July: Learn and Earn was poo for more than one reason.
August: Another nail in Learn and Earn's coffin as Ted Strickland and George Voinovich annouce opposition to Learn and Suck.
August: Joementum crashes - but who is the bigger schmuck, kajillionaire Ned Lamont or Joe Schmo?
August: Tim Ryan roxx.
August: Bob Taft - 50th of 50.
September-November: Sherrod opens a widening lead on Mike DeWine.
September: Coup-coup in Thailand. Military calls for you to "eat mor chikin."
September: George Voinovich is not a statesman.
September: Tim Ryan's belly is aflame!
October: Mark Foley... well, what more needs to be said?
October: Revisiting fuddle duddle.
November: Hey now. Wait... is thar Demmycrats in them thar hills?
November: Rummy, it ain't no lie, baby, bye bye bye.
November: Learn and Earn was still poo (redux).
November: Baldwin-Wallace - hiding racism since 1845.
December: Steny Hoyer to Jack Kingston: DROP DEAD
December: 90% divided by 3 (or "The Ineffable Putzery of GWB").
December: DJK in 08.
December: Seriously Dennis, I don't like you.
It's been quite a year.

I'll throw in more later on today (that is to say, the best of the blogosphere '06, not being blogginryan - I'm not that smug and self-centered). It's time to study some Latin and DECLINE SOME NOUNS! w00t w00t.


December 26, 2006

Happy Holidays

Happy holiday season to all of my readers, so many you are numbered. Things have been quiet at the BlogHouse of late owing to a lengthy visit back home and to my wonderful girlfriend's parents' place in Ridgeley, West Virginia. (For those of you who don't know, "back home" is Rouses Point, New York, not to be confused with "home" in Munroe Falls.) Christmas was wonderful, per usual... lots of celebrating, not much in the form of religionating. I am finally an iPod owner - something I had been avoiding like the plague for the last three years. You may be asking "Ryan, what gives with the menorah? I thought you were Catholic..." Well, I was Catholic until getting confirmed, but it all came apart after that. I will be converting to Reform Judaism at some point once all things have settled down.

Having said "once all things have settled down," I must disclose the following. By settling down, I mean leaving the NE Ohio area to live in Athens, Georgia with my girlfriend. Much of life has been comprised of moving around and never staying in one place for too long, typically something that is not done through my own volition. This time, however, the move is completely voluntary. I am still without employment once I move down there, but I do still have Applebee's to fall back on. I cannot dent that I enjoy the job, but I would much rather do something where a steady check comes at 40-45 hours/week and I'd be doing something constructive with my academic degree.

What will become of BlogginRyan? BlogginRyan will likely remain BlogginRyan... just with a touch of southern hospitality and geared towards the politics of Georgia and rebuilding a Democratic party base in the south. Georgia is one of the fastest growing states in the country and to not see an opportunity there is to be blind.

So that's it for now. I've been out of the news loop for the last week, much of today before work(?) will be spent catching up on the local and state dirt.


December 13, 2006

Peter Boyle, 1935-2006

Actor Peter Boyle, television's Frank Barone of the show Everybody Loves Raymond, has died in New York City.

I always enjoyed his role as Frank Barone on the show.

Rest his soul.

More on the Kucinich drama

The warfare going on at BSB has taken a turn. Apparently I'm not the only person who thinks that this is an awful idea.

Openers has the coverage of the announcement and subsequent firefight between Dennis and reporters. For those of you who don't recall, it was only in October that Dennis had stated while running for re-election that he had no plans to make another quixotic run at the windmill.

How one goes from having "no plans" on doing to making the decision and jumping into the icy waters of presidential politics (again) in only two months time, I cannot explain. It certainly appears that Dennis enjoys being the butt of all jokes; I mean, c'mon, Al Sharpton hasn't even gotten into the pool of candidates yet.

AND we're still more than one year out from caucuses and primaries.

I propose a solution: if Dennis wants to crisscross the country, running for this or that, vying for that lofty position in the Department of Peace, he should promise that he will not run for Congress again. His continual absence from the district he is supposed to represent makes him more isolated from his constituents and makes him less efficient in Congress. To this I say: NO MORE! I was your constituent for four years, Mr. Kucinich, and had enough of your spectacles to have the common sense to vote for the OTHER candidate, Barbara Anne Ferris, in the May primary. If I were your constituent now, I'd be mad as hell.

So I say no more of it. The reins must be passed.

Good luck to you, Mr. Kucinich.

May your department be peaceful.

(co-signed by the corpse of George Orwell)

December 12, 2006

DJK in 08? According to the PD, yes.

Openers leads off today with an announcement of an announcement: Dennis Kucinich plans to run for the 2008 Democratic nomination for President.

The announcement appears to be geared for 9AM today, based on his non-Congressional website being down and showing this message:

Best of luck to you, Mr. Kucinich. Don't count on my support this time around, though.

Schmuckery and et al...

Jack Kingston was on The Colbert Report last night, with Mr. Colbert interviewing him about the Democratic expansion of the Congressional workweek to 5 days.

When I find video for this, I would like you to share in the revelry of the stiff-as-a-board man who represents the Savannah, Georgia, area in Congress. To provide a degree of perspective: Colbert is dynamic, very dynamic; Jack Kingston is about as inert and humorless as they come.

Did you know Congressional members already work 50-60 hours per week? Wow. I shrink back to think what Jack Kingston would have done had he worked the job I had this summer.

He probably would have imploded.

And the world would be a safer place.


PS: The Dems are out to destroy Christmas.

December 10, 2006

Bunderschaft, you going daft?

Well, the Bunderschaft isn't going daft, but the voters of Louisiana's 2nd Congressional District apparently are. Representative William Jefferson was re-elected to Congress in a runoff election in which he defeated his opponent, Louisiana State Representative from the 93rd District, Karen Carter, by a 57-43 margin.

For those of you who don't remember, William Jefferson was caught by FBI agents with $90,000 in his apartment freezer. So what? FBI agents go in and raid Bill Jefferson's office and apartment. Big deal? Not so fast...

Members of both parties raised a fuss when the wall between the legislature and executive was breached, and for good reason. The Constitution calls for 3 co-equal (though some Republicans and Conservatives - I'm looking at you, Mike Dovilla - would like to disagree) branches of government, as we do with the executive, legislature, and judicial. Should any one branch begin infringing upon another's independence through force, it will further knock the balance out of the tripartite center. With the country already being led by a strong executive, one has to wonder what the asserting power over the Congress will do in the long term.

That said, I could be totally offbase... I don't claim to be a Constitutional scholar, much as I aspire to be one.

Meh. All the same, they've lost it in LA-2.


December 9, 2006

30% - That's like 90% given amongst three people?

Zogby's numbers on President Bush's approval rating are out... and I gotta say it, 90% isn't bad. But I cannot lie! That's only what it could be if the US were run by a triumvirate of Bushes and we combined approval ratings.

President Bush has lost support all across the board:
Support for the President waned in key demographic groups, the Zogby poll shows. Among all Republicans, just 60% gave him a positive job rating, while 39% gave him negative marks. Just 9% of Democrats and 22% of political independents gave him good marks for his work. Among married respondents – typically a group who favors Republicans – just 35% said Bush was doing a positive job. Among men, another favorable GOP demographic, just 31% gave him positive marks, while 69% gave him a negative rating. Even among stalwart Born Again respondents, just 43% had positive ratings for the President on his overall job performance.

I remember hearing an expression at one point that went to the effect of "you know you're doing a good job when you're pissing people off." Somehow I don't think this is what the expression's originator(s) had in mind.

I find that it's mind-blowing that at one point in this guy's presidency he actually did have a 90% approval rating. The foolish decisions that have been made in the interim have not only hurt us, George, it looks like they've also hurt you.

And maybe you'll have learned, but I doubt it. And maybe we'll have learned...


December 7, 2006 Blog of the Week... apparently.

Ahem. Thank you.

I guess.

I received an IM from James earlier today that I was selected as's political blog of the week.


See here. (It's towards the bottom of the page.)

I'm not sure whether to be flattered, shocked or amused. Quite frankly, all three emotions pervade me. Given the recent lack of posting anything of meaning, I'm not sure what to make of it.

By the way: apparently Harry Frankfurt has a new book out, On Truth, to accompany On Bullshit. It's news to me! Thus, I will be holding off on the Truth v. Lie v. Fudging v. Bullshitting entry until I read On Truth.

Maybe more later. I dunno. Depends if I crash after work tonight.


December 6, 2006


This from Political Wire:

"Keeping us up here eats away at families…The Democrats could care less about families -- that's what this says."

-- Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA), quoted by the Washington Post, in response to incoming-Majority Leader Steny Hoyer’s (D-MD) plan to increase the House’s work schedule from three days a week to five.

Obviously this guy doesn't know Jack about work. But what can I say about that, he is a Republican in Washington. God forbid that legislators actually spend more time doing their jobs in discrete blocks of time, potentially freeing up longer blocks of time for legislators to be chatting up their pages via IM. Oops... sorry... that is... "spending time with their family."

For all the pissing and moaning that Congressional Republicans have done over the last six years on Democrats not being willing to do anything, this entire notion of Democrats proposing a longer Congressional workweek may seem... directly against the Republican "principles" of smaller and lazier government.

What the hell, y'know.

November 30, 2006

No, I'm not dead.

I've just taken a brief hiatus from blogging. I will be back to the usual semi-regular posting in a couple days time once time avails itself. A couple months back I mentioned doing a couple posts on the nature of lying versus the truth. That will be coming shortly. I have decided to include potential political implications that come along with following lying and telling the truth.

Does anyone think it's odd that there's a common verb for not telling the truth (to lie/lying) but not one for telling the truth? I don't even know if there is a rare or archaic verb that is used "to tell the truth."

Anyhow, more later.


November 16, 2006

This one is for MJ

Things never seem to change at my alma mater. Its old conservative... er... "traditional" roots seem to have found fertile ground amongst certain residents of Lang Hall. In this week's issue of the Exponent, Matthew Jurick chimes in on the revival of racism on the campus of Baldwin-Wallace College.

The hatred knows no end, does it?
Matthew J. Jurick

Everything quieted down and a sense of normalcy seemed to return to Emma Lang Hall. Of course, something as ugly as hatred never really goes away that easily, does it?

I was both suprised and completely disgusted to hear that the racist acts of hatred are continuing STILL in Lang. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, why the hell is this shit still happening? I was talking with one of the ustodians for my dorm (by the way, Baglet custodians ARE the best custodians ever), and she was telling me that now there has been intentional flooding going on in the third floor of the V-Vault. It's honestly gotten to the point now where it's no longer warranting the, "Oh my God! This is terrible!" response from me. Now it's just, "Oh yeah? The racist idiots know no end, do they?"

If you are one of these racist idiots of whom I speak, then please know this: in the beginning, I was a big proponent of not chucking your ass out of here, as that would only further reinforce you now-seemingly bottomless pit of hatred and ignorance. Now? Now I'm not so sure I want racist idiots who refuse point-blank to consider reason attending the same school that's going to be stamped on my diploma.

Did you think by coming to COLLEGE you wouldn't be exposed to black people? Because if you honestly thought that, then you really don't deserve to be here on lack of intelligence alone. College is about learning, not just about academic matters, but social matters - the matters that REALLY count in life.

On a sidenote but still somewhat related, I am a big supporter of equality for all people. I found it particularly disheartening that the creator of the "Gay? NOT fine by B-W" group was a member of a recently persecuted minority group here on campus. If you expect the campus to rally around you when you get discriminated against, you better grow up and stop perpetuating the ignorance.

I have one request, really, and this is to anyone here who shows any form of ignorance: grow up, or get the hell out because hatred is certainly not welcome here.

Matthew Jurick is the Editor-in-Chief for the Baldwin-Wallace College Exponent, the student-run newspaper.

Post-Mortem on Election 2006 with Dr. John Green

Dr. John Green of the Bliss Institute at the University of Akron and the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life met with several local members of the Ohio blogosphere last evening at the Crowne Plaza on Quaker Square in Akron. He is currently serving as a Senior Fellow with the Pew Forum. Dicussed at length were the causes, through the perspective of polling, of the results of the November election and the emergence of a religious left.

Firstly I'd like to touch upon the concepts of the religious left. There are two main paradigms of religious leftism: 1) those having a conservative theology, yet are socially and economically progressive and 2) those having a liberal interpretation on theology. Within these two "sects" of the religious left, there are even more specific delineations. These two main branches do not always agree on the issues and from some perspectives, it would appear that they are the religious left only because they are not the religious right.

Prior to the 1990s, it seemed quite unnecessary to be religiously liberal, mainstream/mainline Christianity had helped drive the civil rights movement, the economic progressivism of the early to mid 1900s, and the feminist movement. But the election of a solidly conservative Republican Congress in 1994 and the (re-)election of President George W. Bush in 2004 helped propel the religious left into action in 2006. Why was the religious left unimportant in 2000? We must take off our post-Sept 11 glasses and look at a world that was decidedly different: the economy, by and large, was still holding up; the World Trade Center towers still stood; and President Bill Clinton had just fended off an attack from Republicans (and some Democrats) on impeachment. Governor George W. Bush and Vice-President Al Gore both ran as moderates. Regardless of personal opinions on the election process itself, George W. Bush was declared the victor. Hope ran high, a new of era of conmpassionate conservative was upon us.

Sadly conservatism won out over compassion... and then September 11th.

Nothing was conservative about the Bush White House following that day. The government grew by leaps and bounds in the name of security of the public, but the Administration continued to posture itself as conservative. The President took the step of endorsing a constitutional amendment to define the definition of marriage: that itself certainly isn't conservative, at least politically. Indeed, it seems to run against the current of conservatism, goading for larger government and more "interference" in the business of the public. Conservative isn't the word to use anymore, rather, I think it is a traditionalist government. It is claimed by many people who say they are conservative: liberals are against social traditions and clearly they are not. Add to that the disaster of the Iraq war and the failure of Bush's faith-based initiatives (highlighted in David Kuo's recently released book) and religious liberals were left wanting.

Religious liberals wised up to these failures in 2004, yet unfortunately had a Presidential candidate who was born with a silver spoon and his left foot in his mouth. Democrats were defeated in Congressional elections, yet picked up notable positions, namely the Governorship in Montana. Religious conservatives seemed to win the day once more, but it wasn't to last long.

In Ohio, different dynamics drove the Republican party to the brink of disaster by mid-2005. Between a lagging economy and a state administration that was one of the most corrupt in recent memory, Republican Governor Bob Taft witnessed his approval ratings drop into the low teens. Democrats seized upon this opportunity. In May 2006, Democrats chose Congressman Ted Strickland as their candidate for Governor.

A brief summary wouldn't do Ted Strickland the justice he deserves. He is a former minster with the United Methodist Church and a Professor of Psychology. Ted Strickland was a man that the religious left felt they could get behind. The Republicans and religious right picked the condescending and disingenuous Secretary of State, J. Kenneth Blackwell, to be their standard-bearer. Why disingenuous? From the beginning of the campaign, Blackwell made it clear that he was going to pander to the religious right. And he did. He spewed statements to create fear and draw support to him from his base, but drove away mainstream voters.

In the 2006 elections, the self-described religious right composed roughly 24% (white protestant-evangelical) of the electorate, 70% of whom voted for the Republican. Blackwell certainly captured his base. But he didn't even muster 40% of the popular vote. Why? Blackwell drove away people who could be described as religious moderates or religious liberals. Catholics and mainline Protestants voted in large numbers for Ted Strickland. Of course, this wasn't all of Blackwell's doing. The Ohio Democratic Party and Ted Strickland themselves helped motivate voters into voting for Strickland and other Democrats. Result: Democrats took all of the elected executive offices except for Auditor. The Auditor's race, was a different story that deserves its own post.

Democrats would also pick up the Senate and the House of Representatives. Was this the result of a religious shift or a general disgust with perceived Republican corruption? Again, that is a topic for a another post at another time.

"It seems to me we had shrillness before bloggers."
-Dr. John Green, 11/15/2006


November 15, 2006

Learn and Earn: The Corrupt Bargain

Turns out that Learn and Earn wasn't just a corrupt bargain for our kids, but also for its field-level employees. This is from the blog of a former office director whose name has been removed:

Finally... and I do mean FINALLY... I am off of the campaign trail.

Issue 3, Learn & Earn, was a wild ride for me. I had so many staff come and go, went through several layers of changes, and even quit my job three seperate times -- all resulting in increased wages & benefits.

Many of you have asked if I was upset to be layed off after each campaign cycle, and the answer is no. The best thing about working on campaigns in the unemployment through the holidays. You get to sit back, relax, visit with family and friends, not to mention catch up on all of the little things that you missed over the year.

I enjoying working on campaigns because I get to meet alot of new people and make new friends. If it were not for Issue 3, I would not have met cool people like ... and so many others.

It was and continues to be a pleasure to work with those individuals and to establish a relationship that will last. Campaigns, especially grassroots campaigns, are about the people -- on the ground -- talking and establishing a connection -- and that's my favorite part of my job.

I do have to say however that although my employer during the campaign, Field Works, did treat me exceptionally well -- for one reason or another, they continued to screw up the hourly and daily staff wages week after week since April.

My only hope is that people have a voice and stand up and say that they were not paid correctly or on time and that these issues are resolved. Although these issues are no longer my responsibility to solve, I feel it is the humanly decent thing to do and therefore I will attempt to help everyone with their pay roll issues to the best of my ability.

Well, I hope you enjoyed reading this blog, as there will be many others now that I have down time. I am single and have a lot of free time, so keep those date requests coming -- the appointment calender is filling up fast.

As always: The views expressed on this blog do not necessarily represent those views of the staff, management, or advertisers of this blog of John Doe Worldwide. :-D

How's that for you?


November 14, 2006

Whatever happened to the good old days...

... when you could count on right-wing evangelical airbag not unlike Jerry Falwell to go into a mindless diatribe about the godless heathens in Israel? Apparently it is no more: For Evangelicals, Supporting Israel Is ‘God’s Foreign Policy’

I don't support Israeli's aggressive policy with retaliatory strikes... at all. After what they did to Lebanon this summer, Israel must be watched more carefully by the United States. Not watched after. Watched.

Whatever happened to the right-wing nutjob of old?


November 8, 2006

Rumsfeld resigns; Gates nominated

At roughly 1PM this afternoon, President George Bush announced the resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Quickly nominated to replace Mr. Rumsfeld was former CIA Director Robert Gates, who has served on James Baker's group on Iraq exit strategy.

Future: The 110th Congress will be quickly tasked with confirming Mr. Gates appointment should the President not do this in recess. Given the current makeup (50D 49R - one contest undecided) of the Senate, debate on the appointment could be contentious.

Implications: This could be a sign that in spite of all of the rhetoric to the contrary, the President may be ready to bail out of Iraq.



Dem pickups...

As of right now, Dems hold even in the Senate (47+2) against the Republicans (49). Races in Virginia and Montana are yet to be decided, with Democrats holding small (less than 9,000) vote leads in both races.

I called the Senate to go 50-50. Control is still up in the air.

Dems control the House, currently leading 227-194, with 14 contests still up in the air.

I called the House to go 235-200. Control is firmly with the Democrats, to what degree remains to be seen.

State constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage pass in 7 of 8 states, with AZ's being too close to call.

Ohio issues 2 and 5 pass. Ohio issues 3 and 4 fail. Issue 1 (Worker's Compensation legislation repeal), although on many ballots, was booted from the official ballot. Any votes cast for or against the issue were not counted and the law that the state legislature passed remains on the books.

Sherrod Brown: first Democrat since John Glenn to get elected to the US Senate from Ohio. Current delegation - George Voinovich (R)

Ted Strickland: first Democrat to move into the Guv's house in 16 years.

Dems sweep most statewide offices, except Auditor still being too close to call. Dems made gains in both the State Senate and State House, but not enough to take control of either chamber.

Mike DeWine: "This was not the year. We could not win."


Now that the election season is over, I'm going to be converting into a state and national policy observation blog. Kevin Coughlin is my State Senator. It appears that John Widowfield, whose ANNOYING campaign mail kept getting sent here, is my State Representative.


November 7, 2006


It's election day.


November 5, 2006

2 Days: A Forecast from Professor Charles F. Burke of Baldwin-Wallace College

On Thursday, I was able to have a brief but candid conversation with Professor Charles Burke, Chair of the Department of Political Science at Baldwin-Wallace College, about the outcome of federal races in Tuesday's upcoming election.

Professor Burke: The Democrats will win 243 seats in the House. Democrats will take 51 seats in the Senate and that's counting the 2 Is caucusing with the Dems.

BlogginRyan: It only took the Rs twelve years to blow control of the legislature. Do you think the Dems can beat that?

Burke: No, but the Dems might lose out in some instances because they are a party without being a cohesive unit.


In giving Democrats a 51-seat (243-192) majority, Professor Burke has offered an opinion indicating more gains for the Democrats in the House than even the most optimistic leftoblogs. His Senate predictions were predicated upon winning 3 of the 4 remaining races considered to be toss-ups: Virginia's George "Macaca" Allen v. James "I Was Secretary of the Navy" Webb; Missouri's Jim Talent v. Claire McCaskill; Montana's Conrad "Foot-In-Mouth" Burns v. Jon Tester; and Tennessee's Bob "Chatanooga Choo-choo" Corker v. Harold "Playboy Bunny-Lovin'" Ford.

My personal bets: Dems take the House 235-200. Repubs take the Senate 50-50, with Dead-Eye Dick casting the deciding vote.

Congressional Outlook:

OH-1 REMAINS A TOSSUP (Chabot-R, Incumbent v. Cranley)
OH-2 REMAINS A TOSSUP (Schmidt-R, Incumbent v. Wulsin)
OH-4 SAFE REPUBLICAN (Jordan-R v. Siferd)
OH-6 SAFE DEMOCRAT (Wilson-D v. Blasdel)
OH-12 LEANS REPUBLICAN (Tiberi-R, Incumbent v. Shamansky)
OH-13 SAFE DEMOCRAT (Sutton-D v. Foltin)
OH-14 LEANS REPUBLICAN (LaTourette-R, Incumbent v. Katz)
OH-15 LEANS DEMOCRAT (Pryce-R, Incumbent v. Kilroy)
OH-18 LEANS DEMOCRAT (Space-D v. Padgett)

I think that based on polling and trending, Dems handily gain two seats (15 and 18) and stand the chance of gaining 4 more (1, 2, 12, and 14). Why OH-14? Steve LaTourette has actually had to run for office and campaign. This stems from two causes, the first being that Lew Katz is the strongest Democrat to run for that seat since Eric Fingerhut held it. The second reason is the national climate and general sentiment is far more sour to the Republicans than it was in 2004. Why did I list OH-4? Jim Jordan only holds an 8-point lead over Rick Siferd in one of the most conservative areas of the state. It's a race worth watching, along with the rest of these.

2 more days until the wave washes over us all...

... save for a November surprise.


November 2, 2006

Une leçon française

There is an expression in the French language, "vouloir, c'est pouvoir," which idiomatically translates to English's "when there's a will, there's a way." But the idiomatic expression is insufficient for what mindset the Democrats need to have going into Tuesday, 11/7. Translated more literally, "vouloir, c'est pouvoir" means "to want (it) is to be able (to do it)." Democrats need to prove that they have the vouloir, the incredible desire to do it.

Thus I ask of the Democratic readers of this blog: on Election Day, take the day off work and volunteer at any race where the race is close or where the Democrat is behind. No matter how hopeless it may seem, there is still hope. Tenacity is something that Republicans have claimed to their advantage. I say this is no more: it is time for Democrats to be tenacious. Fight tooth and nail for every vote. Talk to people. Make them want to vote for Democratic candidates. Give them vouloir.

Quand on veut élire quelqu'un, on doit parler à la peuple.
"When we want to elect someone, we must talk to the people."

People determine elections, remind them of this. That swing voter you aim to reach? Reach them before somebody else does! Populism still works, as Sherrod Brown is about to prove to the nation. Drink that deeply and let these creeping notions of civil public discourse, not necessarily done through the media, seep through your corpus.

We have five days.

Lest we forget, though, that in the grand scheme of global politics, Democrats are to the right of most other centrist political parties globally.

Let us push back towards the center.

We have five days.

Do you have the vouloir?

November 1, 2006

Ohio Issues 4 and 5: Oy!

Oy gevalt! is what people in the state of Ohio are going to be thinking once completing down-ballot races and glancing at these competing issues with very different goals.

First, the overview.

Ohio Issue 4:

Backed by the hospitality industry and funded by the R.J. Reynolds company, the proponents of issue four seek to, by constitutional amendment, allow smoking in public locations such as bars, bowling alleys, restaurants, and negate any local smoking ordinances previously passed. The issue is being touted as SmokeLess Ohio.

The reality is that the proposed amendment takes away the ability of local governments to regulate smoking in their communities by making it unconstitutional for any legislation counteractive to the amendment to be passed. The matter is a total regression on the progress that had been made to curtail smoking in restaurants. I remember the adage regarding the utility of no-smoking sections in restaurants: Are there no-peeing areas in the swimming pool?

Ohio Issue 5:

Backed by the American Cancer Society, issue five, touted as Smoke Free Ohio, seeks to effectively ban smoking in restaurants and a host of other public establishments. The issue is a legislative initiative and is not a constitutional amendment. In the wake of other smoking bans being implemented elsewhere in the state, backers of issue five began to circulate petitions for ballot access in late 2005.

This initiative, if passed, could be amended by state legislators in a process much easier than, say, repealing a constitutional amendment.


The verdict?

SmokeLess Ohio is like Learn and Earn in its short-sighted foolishness. Matters such as gambling and smoking (and gay marriage) are not fundamental and thus should not be enacted by constitutional amendment.

Vote NO on Issue 4, SmokeLess Ohio.

Smoke Free Ohio does more, yet does it in a fashion that would not require another election for a change to be made to it. I support a statewide test run of this and should it hurt business as much as business claims it will hurt them, which I sincerely doubt, it can be easily changed.

Vote YES on Issue 5, Smoke Free Ohio.


October 31, 2006

Issue Two: Raising the Minimum Wage

Ohio Issue Two, a constitutional amendment to raise the minimum wage, is another hotly debated issue up for vote on Tuesday, 11/7/2006.

The minimum wage in Ohio hasn't been raised since the wage was last raised nationally in 1997. $5.15/hr doesn't have the same value in 2006 as it did nine years ago. Proposed is a modest hike in the minimum wage: bringing the lowest paid employees up to $6.85/hr.

Arguments for this are fairly simple: increase the amount that the lowest paid people are paid increases their purchasing power and helps the general welfare of the public.

Arguments against are that small businesses will be hurt by the new law. This perspective doesn't hold water. I can't remember the exact figure, but a business must make a certain amount of money for the law to apply to them.

I think the issue is pretty cut and dry. Vote YES on Issue 2.

Raise the Wage

October 25, 2006

Ohio Issue Three: "Learn and Earn"

I wanted to once again throw my two cents in on Ohio Issue 3, aka "Learn and Earn", or as Pho put it, "Educate and Obfuscate", but Redhorse has it best:

Learn & Earn wants to tell you what great offer they have for you and your children, but suffer the details, and you'll find L&E forgets to mention, "We haven't really figured this out yet, but it sure sounds great!".

That said, I once again wish to encourage people to vote NO on Ohio Issue 3, aka "Learn and Earn".

Not that it matters all that much given my oh-so-frequent posting of late, but I will be in West Virginia this weekend paying a much needed visit to my girlfriend and her family.

Blog on!


October 17, 2006

New Quinnipiac poll: Brown up 12

In what appears to be the best confirmation yet that indeed Mike DeWine will be mailed in by the RNC, a new Quinnipiac poll released today shows Congressman Sherrod Brown (D-OH13) with a twelve point advantage over incumbent Mike DeWine, leading 53-41. This is a marked improvement for Brown, who was statistically tied (45-44) with DeWine in the last Quinnipiac poll.

Following the breaking of the story that the RNC was cutting DeWine loose, RNC chair Ken Mehlman put the washer into hyperspin and immediately denied that DeWine would be losing the support of the RNC, issuing a press release indicating the contrary.

Now one must wonder if Mr. Mehlman will be eating crow for dinner... or maybe DeWine's cooked goose.

October 16, 2006

DeWine: Your Goose Is Cooked. Would you like it served with an orange glaze?

From Political Wire

"Senior Republican leaders have concluded that" Sen. Mike DeWine (R-OH) "is likely to be heading for defeat and are moving to reduce financial support for his race and divert party money to other embattled Republican senators," the New York Times reports.

The decision to effectively write off Mr. DeWine’s seat, after a series of internal Republican polls showed him falling behind his Democratic challenger, is part of a fluid series of choices by top leaders in both parties as they set the strategic framework of the campaign’s final three weeks, signaling, by where they are spending television money and other resources, the Senate and House races where they believe they have the best chances of success."

Republicans are "now pinning their hopes of holding the Senate" on three states: Missouri, Tennessee and Virginia. "Republicans also said they would run advertisements in New Jersey this week to test the vulnerability of Senator Robert Menendez, one of the few Democrats who appear endangered."

Enjoy your forced retirement, Mr. DeWine.

October 13, 2006

North Korea: Redux

North Korea sample shows no radiation

The Acksiz of Eevul has struck again in incompetence. Following myriad rumors that NK's testing of a nuclear weapon was a dud comes further proof that it also may have served to rattle the cages of the US, SK, CN, JP, and RU.

What does North Korea have to gain from this? Apart from the extortion that I've previously mentioned, NK probably also seeks to create some measure of disunity among the other parties of the six-party talks. If they cannot be united, North Korea will come out a winner. We are already seeing some divergence in the wishes of China and Japan, with Tokyo wanting to take a harder line against Pyongyang than Beijing is willing to do. Throw the US, Russia, and South Korea into the equation and an already complicated situation further complicates itself.

It is against this reasoning why I wonder President Bush consistently rejects calls for one-on-one talks with Pyongyang. This will remain a stalemate until one side accedes (duh), but as it stands right now, any concessions will only occur as the result of some extraordinary situation.

Ah, but that is the game of diplomacy.

I'd like to add that listening to W's presser on Wednesday was one of the more amusing things I had done recently. He tried to impress on to an audience of reporters that the reason explaining why one is "with us or against us" was that he did not have a "sophisticated vocabulary."

or ?

October 12, 2006

First snow!

A sharp snow squall line just passed through Munroe Falls, producing what appeared to be the first appreciable guise of winter. Woo! Apparently it snowed in Cleveland over an hour ago, they beat us to the punch.

In other news...

I've always had a fondness for Pierre Elliot Trudeau, I don't know why. It could be the him being a French-Québecois Prime Minister of Canada or his amusing arrogance. For those of you who aren't familiar with him, here's a video of PM Trudeau responding to reporters in 1971 on allegations that he mouthed "fuck off" to another MP in the House of Commons.

Fuddle duddle indeed, Monsieur le Premier Ministre.

October 11, 2006

The Fix has a great post...

From Parsing the Polls: The Voters' Party Impressions. It gets more meaningful towards the end of the article, the main portion of it summarizes cum analysis the results of polls.

There's so much polling being done these days that The Fix could parse a different survey every day. On Tuesday alone four major news partnerships released surveys -- Washington Post/ABC News, CBS/New York Times, USA Today/Gallup and CNN/Opinion Research.

Anyone remotely following the 2006 campaign can guess what the surveys said: Republicans down, Democrats up.

President Bush's job-approval rating ranged from a low of 34 percent in the CBS/Times poll to a high of 39 percent in the Post/ABC and CNN/Opinion Research surveys. The generic ballot test wasn't much better for Republicans. The Post/ABC poll had Democrats with a 13 percent edge over Republicans on the generic question; it was a 14-point Democratic margin in the Times/CBS survey, a 21-point edge in the CNN/Opinion Research poll and a whopping 23-point lead in the USA Today/Gallup poll.

As The Fix has said many times, this is the worst national environment for either party since the 1994 landslide election that gave Republicans control of the House for the first time in four decades. The similarity in political atmospherics does not ensure a similar wave for Democrats on Nov. 7, but it does show that the playing field is tilted heavily in their favor.

In The Voters' Own Words

Beyond Bush's job approval number or the dismal ratings for Congress, what caught our eye when deciding what to write about this week was a series of questions asked in a Gallup poll conducted at the end of last month that sought to test the voters' impressions of the two political parties.

Voters were asked to name what they liked and disliked about the Democratic and Republican parties. The pollsters didn't prompt respondents with sample statements; rather, they were allowed to simply say whatever came into their mind. This sort of free-association provides unique insight into how the parties are viewed by everyday Americans and how voters go about making their decisions on Election Day.

Let's look at voter impressions of the Democratic Party first. One-quarter of the sample said they liked the party's economic message: "supports the middle class/working class/average American" (10 percent), "supports the people" (8 percent) or "supports the poor/homeless" (5 percent). Four percent of those tested said they liked that the Democrat party was liberal; the same number cited Democrats' "views on social issues" as what they liked about the party.

Other positive traits worth mentioning include: "the platform" (3 percent), "like the politicians in the party" (3 percent) and "diverse/inclusive party" (3 percent).

What don't voters like about Democrats? Finishing first -- not surprisingly -- with eight percent was that the party is "too liberal/left-wing." One in five voters said what they disliked about Democrats was rooted in some variation of the idea that the party has no real principles: 6 percent of voters said the party had "no clear idea/solutions/wishy washy" or that they "don't take stands for their beliefs/don't oppose Bush", 5 percent said they are "not organized as a party/lack of focus."

Asked what they like most about the GOP, the leading response -- with nine percent -- was that it was conservative. The second most mentioned trait was "views on defense/war on terrorism/homeland security/military" with six percent. Four percent each cited the party's platform more generally and "their morals/family values."

What do voters not like about Republicans? Leading the list is the perception that they are the "party of the rich/not for the middle [or] lower class" (9 percent) followed by voters who said they "don't like/respect Congress/corrupt/poor ethics/dishonest" (7 percent). Six percent said the fact Republicans "support big business" or are "extreme right wing/conservatives" is what turns them off.

In many ways these results are not terribly surprising. For years, Democratic politicians have worked to paint themselves as the defenders of the average American while casting Republicans as the party of big business and the affluent. Republicans, on the other hand, have spent several decades waging a rhetorical war on Democrats by turning "liberal" into a dirty word. In the 2004 presidential election, exit polling showed that just 21 percent of the electorate defined itself as liberal -- a total dwarfed by self-identified moderates (45 percent) and conservatives (34 percent).

What does this mean for the two parties heading into the 2006 and 2008 elections? First, Democrats must find a way to change the prevailing idea that their party is devoid of any foundational beliefs. To win the White House in 2008 it will not be enough for Democrats to be simply be against Republican principles.

Meanwhile, Republicans need to convince the electorate that they are not controlled by big business at the expense of the middle class voter and that they stand as strongly against corruption in their ranks as Democrats.

Quite obviously, whichever side is better able to lessen their perceived weaknesses while highlighting their image strengths will likely wind up in the White House come January 2009.

It's amusing, really. The perceived socioeconomic disconnect between the Republicans and regular Joe voter never seems to play out at the polls. Moreover, it's laughable that Democrats are painted as liberal. In the great scheme of things, they (Democrats) are closer to the ideological center than Republicans are.

I recommend the reader to go to Political Compass to measure your ideological sensibilities.

EDIT: By the way, this is where I stand.

October 10, 2006

NK's nukes.

In the days since North Korea's purported nuclear test there has been considerable debate in the international community on what to do with the Kim regime. Since the collapse of six-party talks some years ago, North Korea has had effectively free rein over what it chose to do, how to pursue nuclear weapons, and methods to create fissile material for weapons.

North Korea is a regime of evil, it truly is. It has mastered the art of blackmailing its region (Japan, South Korea, China, and Russia), perfected the ability to make the US red in the face (pun intended), and puts the whole world closer to the brink. Why did we have to get this far? Saddam Hussein was never this provocative, yet the Bush administration saw it better fit to "American" interests to throw Hussein out and let the nation descend into a free for all of chaos with a total vacuum of power. The Clinton administration did a good job of keeping Iraq in check by committing daily acts of war through No Fly Zone patrols and starving the nation through a flawed program.

Well, not so good a job then, eh? All the same, Iraq didn't threaten the US the way North Korea does.

Why did we not go after the real source of policy headaches? We had been engaged in six-party talks in which we could have allied the other four parties (SK, JP, CN, and RU) against the Kim regime, but frequently the US found itself on the outside looking in. Was this a failure of American diplomacy?

Something needs to be done about North Korea five years ago.


October 3, 2006

NYTimes Lead Editorial

"History suggests that once a political party achieves sweeping power, it will only be a matter of time before the power becomes the entire point. Policy, ideology, ethics all gradually fall away, replaced by a political machine that exists to win elections and dispense the goodies that come as a result. The only surprise in Washington now is that the Congressional Republicans managed to reach that point of decayed purpose so thoroughly, so fast."

(H/T to Taegan Goddard's Political Wire)

In only 12 years did Republicans totally lose it. 12 years. Stunning.

Now, I'm a proponent of third way issues, which is basically how I see the Democrats now. Take a good solid look at what the party "stands" for, and it's most definitely not the bastion of liberalism, less California. IF the Democrats win control of the Houses (or at least one) in November, WILL they focus their leadership, give the party a sense of purpose, and moderate the executive branch? That is something that 5 years (2001-2007, excepting the period of time following Jim Jeffords' defection from the (R)s) of uni-party rule has not provided this nation. What we have heard is incessant demagoguery and what we have seen is the rapid descent into corruption of legislators, sometimes breaking the laws they helped to write (see Mark Foley).

For the sake of this country I pray that some common sense take over and we return to split government, thereby forcing the Executive to compromise instead of having the Congress simply rubberstamp their will.

It's time to come out of the wilderness, Democrats. You have 5 weeks from today to do it. On your marks... get set... GO!

October 2, 2006

On Mark Foley, the interwebs, and wanting to schnog your pages

The startling revelations that broke at the close of last week regarding Congressional misconduct are no small matter. What initially read to be some email that Rep. Mark Foley had sent to a former page of his that indicated some unusual interest in the page has exploded into a sex scandal of Washingtonian proportions. As the weekend proceeded and the story unfolded, it became known that the emails and AIM conversations were far more sexually explicit, with Foley requesting that one of the pages measure the size of his genitalia. Foley resigned his seat quickly and has gone into rehab for alcohol and "behavioral" issues.

...of course, going into Betty Ford for wanting to engage in sexual relations with an underage subordinate totally follows in logic...

What's most disturbing about this entire episode is that Foley was the chair of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children. The man who wrote legislation on protecting kids from dangerous folks online was himself... a dangerous folk.

How drunk on power does one have to be to engage in an act hypocritical that it could last him or her in jail because of the legislation that he or she wrote?

Moreover, how drunk on power are the Republicans who denied knowledge of the matter and then a day later come forward and admit having known of Foley's behavior wellllll beforehand?

If there were ever a time to be turned off by politics and Lewinshy didn't do it... now may well be the time.

Plain Dealer poll...

PD Poll

If you don't want to actually read it:

Brown - 45
DeWine - 43
Undecided - 10

(DeWine tightens the race, further cutting into Brown's lead.)

Strickland - 53
Blackwell - 36
Undecided - 9

(Blackwell leads in one geographic area: SW Ohio. Similarly, SW Ohio is the only geographic locale where Strickland garners less than 50%.)

Atty General:
Dann - 37
Montgomery - 47
Undecided - 16

(Not bad considering that Marc Dann has virtually no name recognition beyond his constituency. Considerable # undecided.)

Secretary of State:
Brunner - 35
Hartmann - 32
Other - 3
Undecided - 30

Cordray - 40
O'Brien - 31
Undecided - 29

(Huge #s undecided.)

Minimum Wage Increase?
Yes - 73
No - 20
Undecided - 7

Slot Machine Gambling?
Yes - 36
No - 52
Undecided - 12

(Not even in NE Ohio does Learn and Earn obtain even a plurality.)

Issues 4 and 5 just are mind-blowing. One (5 - voter initiative) is to ban smoking in public locations and places of employment, with a couple exceptions. The other (4 - constituional amendment) is to ban smoking in "enclosed areas" except for homes, bars, smoking areas in restaurants (think peeing in a pool), bowling alleys, bingo halls, and pretty much everywhere else. So it does nothing. And it's a constitutional amendment, meaning that if both 4 and 5 pass, 4 takes primacy and is the law. And it's stupid. Beyond Learn and Earn stupid for using the ability of the public to amend the state constitution.

That said...

Issue 4 (Smoke Less Ohio):
Yes - 45
No - 40
Undecided - 15

Issue 5 (Smoke Free Ohio):
Yes - 58
No - 30
Undecided - 12

I loathe issue 4. Loathe it. It's such a sham.

October 1, 2006

Jack Cafferty: Sometimes I really wonder what we're becoming in this country.

Cafferty says what should be said, I have nothing to add.

Old news... kinda.

Republican Governor's Association turns on Anti-Gay ads

Well, since they can't beat Strickland using any rational or cogent argument, let them go digging for the "hey, America hates dem fags" crowd. Remember, they're the uniters and not dividers.

:rolls eyes:

Stupidity. Pure and unfettered.

September 23, 2006


Doing a little blogkeeping...

... yup.


September 22, 2006

For my 100th post: The Fire in Tim Ryan's belly

Keith Olbermann asks the right question.

Can the Dems (apart from Congressman Ryan) give America the right answer?

Survey USA poll puts Strickland up 21, Brown up 10.


Important things to note:

Democrat Take-Away in Ohio Governor: In an election for Governor of Ohio today, 9/21/2006, Democrat Ted Strickland defeats Republican Ken Blackwell, according to a SurveyUSA poll conducted for WCPO-TV Cincinnati, WKYC-TV Cleveland, and WYTV-TV Youngstown. Strickland, currently representing Ohio's 6th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, gets 56%. Blackwell, currently Ohio Secretary of State, gets 35%. Compared to an identical SurveyUSA tracking poll released 8/8/06, Strickland is down a statistically insignificant 1 point, Blackwell is unchanged. In sum: no movement. 24% of Republicans cross-over to vote for the Democrat Strickland; only 5% of Democrats cross-over and vote for the Republican Blackwell. Independents break 5:2 for Strickland. Conservatives vote for Blackwell by 36 points, but Strickland leads among moderates by 37 points. Strickland leads by 14 points among men, by 28 points among women. Incumbent Republican Governor Bob Taft is term-limited. The seat is open. The election is in 47 days, on 11/7/2006.

What I'm reading: Blackwell won't hold the broad Republican base, but will easily hold his solidly conservative end of the ring. Strickland's lead among moderates and independents is insurmountable. Lesson: Don't be Ken Blackwell on 11/7/06. Surprises? More women would vote from Libertarian candidate Fitrakis than men (3% vs 2%).

Democrat Take-Away in Ohio U.S. Senate: In an election for United States Senator from Ohio today, 9/21/2006, Democrat Sherrod Brown defeats incumbent Republican Mike DeWine, according to a SurveyUSA poll conducted for WCPO-TV Cincinnati, WKYC-TV Cleveland, and WYTV-TV Youngstown. Brown, who represents Ohio's 13th District in Congress, unseats DeWine, 52% to 42% in a vote today. There has been no significant movement in this race. In June Brown led DeWine by 9 points; in August by 8 points; today by 10 points. The two candidates are tied among male voters. Brown leads by 19 points among female voters. DeWine holds 80% of his Republican base. Brown holds 86% of his Democrat base. Brown leads by 27 points among Independents, up from a 15-point lead on 8/8/06. Republican DeWine leads by 60 points among Conservatives. Democrat Brown leads by 81 points among Liberals. Among Moderates, Democrat Brown leads 2:1. DeWine wins in Western OH. Brown wins in Central and Eastern OH. The election is on 11/7/2006. DeWine was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1994. Brown was first elected to Congress in 1992.

What I'm reading: Since the start of the race, Representative Brown has made significant inroads among independents and moderates, as both candidates easily hold much of their party base. Brown has made gradual improvement since the start of the year and with the election now less than two months away, it appears very difficult for DeWine to hold the seat.

Graphs provided by SurveyUSA


Children Crusaders of Christ

Let's get ready to humble!!!!!

In all seriousness, though... this is kinda scary. These kids are getting brainwashed. Big time. It actually... reminds of the stories I had heard about the young Republicans at CPAC conferences.

(Hat-tip to As Ohio Goes)

September 20, 2006

Random musing...

Until today, I never considered toilet stall writings to be much more than graffiti. But as I sat in a bathroom this morning, reading the writing on the wall, I began to reconsider my opinions on poo talk.

Often the expressions made on the stall doors and walls are nothing but simple rants, declarations of hate, statements of love or lust, or some other voicing of opinion. And nearly always these are done anonymously.

Anonymity lends people the freedom to speak more liberally, and not in the left/right sense, but rather in the sense that one may speak without barrier. That the only thing that cares about what you have to say is that wall that the thought is being written upon. Fuck the SigEps.

Indeed, fuck them.

GDI are gay.


These are things that most people would not normally have the audacity to say to an open audience, yet they write them for an open audience. Poo talk lends itself to being an expression of free opinion. It is difficult to figure out who wrote what, unless there is a distinct style of handwriting, thus the opinion may remain faceless. Yet the opinion is still there, sometimes like the largest trophy in a case, sometimes like a festering wound. And that opinion may be considered by other people, people who may opt to take the message seriously, with good humor, or consider it irrelevant.

Consider the strength of a pen unknown communicating a powerful message that could be subversive, heterodox or otherwise unacceptable. The idea may resonate with the next occupant of the stall.

Poo talk propagates itself.

Who knows who else may be impacted by the writing, whether or not it will or will not drive them into some type of action. Have there been studies on the effect of poo talk?

Poo talk could propagate itself.

Some might call it the new grassroots, but to me... it'll always be number two.


September 19, 2006

Just a friendly reminder:

When it comes around for voting in November, BlogginRyan wishes to remind you to vote NO on Ohio Issue 3.

What has been fronted as the "Ohio Learn and Earn" program is a farsical attempt to siphon money into funding college scholarships while legalizing slot machine gambling at horse tracks and two Cleveland locations. As the issue is written, the funding of the scholarship programs is by no means guaranteed and there are no safeguards to ensure the equitable distribution of scholarship monies to students who have been deemed "worthy" of receiving the monies. It's a disaster waiting to happen and another disaster is the last thing Ohio needs.


Ah-mad-in-the-are you fucking nuts, George?

Junior Ohio Senator George Voinovich has this to say about Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,

"Ahmadinejad -- I call him Ahmad-in-a-head -- I think he's a Hitler type of person..."

(from Reuters )

Now, I am certainly no one to be called "allied" in any fashion with the regime in Tehran, however...

... when did our politicians stop being diplomats? Voinovich was one of the few Republicans I had any degree of respect for... but now. Ehh... not so much.

I like to call Ted Kennedy "Crashy McCrasherson" myself.

Bob Ney? Yeah, he's "Ohmagod Mapantzare Onfyre".

See? Is that diplomatic of me? Of course not.

Stupid politicians...


Thai Coup

Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has been ousted in a military coup while away in New York City to attend the session of the United Nations' General Assembly. Originally slated to speak tomorrow, Wednesday, September 20, he is now expected to address the GA at some point today.

Thai Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Sondhi Boonyaratkalin, was the leader of the coup. Both houses of Parliament were dissolved and the Thai Constitution was suspended. Military leaders have claimed to act in support of the king of the monarchy, Bhumibol Adulyadej, and have also announced the intention to return the government to civilian control once the crisis that precipitated the coup had been resolved.

More once info on Shinawatra's address to the GA has occurred...

Olbermann delivers a hard(ly noticed) punch

Keith Olbermann, whose sin is being on MSNBC, delivered a biting commentary last night on President Bush's Friday Rose Garden press conference. Watching it last night I was held in quiet awe of the force with which Olbermann delivered his comments.

I love Keith Olbermann. Now if only he were on the network and not its shoddy cable companion.

From Crooks and Liars: Bush Owes Nation An Apology

Best part: quoting this from Jefferson...

"Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government…"

September 12, 2006

Breaking News... (?)

On this morning's Lanigan and Malone show, talk show host Montel Williams (pictured below) announced his intention to run for governor of Maryland.

Stay tuned for edits...

September 11, 2006

11 September 2001 - 11 September 2006

There have been very few good things to result from the events of 11 September. We've gone from being a society with little cares to one being obsessed with security. Political polarization has increased; politicians suck more than ever. Ideology stands in the face of practicality and pragmatism. For those of you who don't remember what it is, pragmatism used to be this little thing called the middle ground. Republicans have moved to the right and used security as justification. Democrats have been lame with their thumbs up their asses, not providing any reasonable alternative to the awful, awful ideas that the wingnuts have spewn.

And why am I a Democrat?

Who knows, but I digress...

One good thing is that we discovered, if only for a brief moment, something within ourselves that made us take pause. We re-evaluated our lives... and then most allowed themselves to be taken up in the mindless flag-waving jingoism that followed. Suddenly it became a competition to see who was most patriotic. And it was because I didn't wear my country on my sleeve that I was deemed to be unpatriotic. Forget that every day I pledged allegiance to my country. Forget that my heart was always in the spirit of the country every single moment leading up to 11 September. Forget that I didn't threaten to move to Canada following that bumbling election of 2000. Forget that when I was in 3rd and 4th grade, singing the national anthem moved me to tears.

Forget all that.

No, just call me unpatriotic because I was mad that our flag, our country, being (ab)used. Call me unpatriotic because W's response to the tragedy was to tell us to keep the economy moving: go out and buy stuff. Call me unpatriotic, hell unAmerican, for being angry that companies then used the flag to appeal to people and make it seem patriotic to buy their goods! GOD BLESS AMERICA! BUY GOODS FROM ME! (Made in China.)

It was disgusting and it still is.

So here we are: the Republicans in power took the opportunity to make some good and punted it. Schenked the punt pretty badly, too. In the name of fighting terrorism, we've since gone on a rampaging war of errors. Afghanistan wasn't secured; Iraq... oy. Wonderful that Saddam is out... but what does that do when he was the glue that held that country together? It seems a mess.

But I don't know... it was a very sad day. It took that stone cold hard sobering to knock us out of our complacent "everything is fine with the status quo" mindset. A lot of maturation occurred on that day. As a nation, we all saw evil in its most base form... but something we never did was bother to understand the evil. Our government and myriad people chose to ignore it... decided to blame everything and everyone who stood in their way of opening up a crate of whomp-ass.

Maybe now, five years removed, we can learn something. My hope is there.

My doubts are stronger.


September 6, 2006

Facebook = teh suck (redux)

NOTE: If you've been living under a stone, in a cave or at the site of a nuclear holocaust, your ignorance in the following matter is excusable... otherwise, well, um... no.

This might be the 2nd post I've done on Facebook on the blog, but I don't recall. Facebook is a networking site, not too much unlike MySpace, that is/was mainly geared towards college students. (I tossed the is/was in there for a specific reason: Facebook opened membership to high school students earlier this year.) On Facebook one can do a variety of "social" activities: list friends (not unlike the MySpace concept), join groups, send out invites to parties, "poke" friends, et cetera.

Yesterday morning, Facebook reached a totally new level of creepy (yes, perhaps beyond MySpace): introduced were quasi-RSS feeds from "friends" to appear on a user's main page. Obviously in this case RSS stands for "Really Stalkerish Syndication" as one can now keep tabs on anything a Facebook friend does, has done or plans to do.

These purported improvements have already generated a massive backlash, with Facebook groups against the new design appearing quickly. Time will tell (probably by the end of the week) whether or not Facebook developers will listen. Internet gods willing, they just might.


September 1, 2006

Polls: Ohio Senate - Brown (D) up 6% on DeWine (R)

A poll released by USAToday/Gallup shows Democratic US Senate candidate Sherrod Brown up 6% on incumbent Mike DeWine among likely voters. That lead is only two percent when the question is limited to registered voters.

Among likely voters:

BROWN: 46%
Undecided: 14%

Unfortunately, the crosstabs are not up on the site.

Ted Strickland (D) currently continues to thump Ken Blackwell (R) - leading in the poll among likely voters by 16%. No word on registered voters.

And a question: which is the larger sample: registered voters or likely voters? I pose the question because simply being registered to vote does not necessarily make you any more likely to vote. I'm not sure which numbers should be taken with more credence because of my relative greenness to this entire poll-parsing thing.

So... with that said...

Is anybody looking to hire a fresh, young progressive who wants to make Ohio turn blue (but not in the face)? Contact me at ryanneedsajob@i'monlykidding(kinda).com.

Er, yeah.


August 23, 2006

Local blogs

Posting from Lew's office... here's a link to the PD of local blogs. You'll see Pho and Redhorse(Psychobillydem) are there.

PD list of blogs

Plunderbund has a video (from Crooks and Liars) of former Congressional candidate Paul Hackett taking the administration to task on the fundamental principles of "fighting terrorism" vis à vis the ongoing action in Iraq.

Hackett takes **** to task.

Check it out.


Ohio confirms it: Taft ranks 50th among Governors

In a SurveyUSA poll released yesterday, Ohio Governor Bob Taft (R) ranks at the very bottom in approval numbers. What is most surprising is Taft's relative strength amongst 18-34 year olds... pulling in an astonishing 24% approval rating (though 69% disapprove and 7% are unsure). Compare this to the next-highest age bracket, 35-54, where Taft's approval registers at 13% and has a disapproval rating of 84%.

Among Republicans Taft sits at 22% while he's approved by 9% of Democrats.

I wish there was an easy way to find out the methodology of the poll. There's no way that Taft should be pulling 24% amongst the youth.

Anyhow, a further parsing of the numbers shows Taft is weakest where Republicans wanted to make the most gains: Hispanic voters. Only 6% of Hispanic adults approve of Taft's job and 94% disapprove of his Governorship. Ken Blackwell (R-nominee Governor) must be scratching his head at these numbers... and probably wanting to kick Taft's ass.

So, to restate the obvious, Bob Taft makes Ohio bad.


(EDIT: In a 600-person survey, Hispanics composed 2% of the respondents. 11 of the 12 Hispanics surveyed disapproved of Taft's job. Since the sample size is so paltry, those results must be taken with a salt shaker.)

August 19, 2006

MTB: Tim Ryan (OH-17)

Tim Ryan, the current US Representative serving Ohio's 17th district, was kinda enough to meet with the MTB crew (+ me) this afternoon at one in Akron's beautiful Café Momus. Gloria Ferris, Pho, Redhorse, Terra, among several others were in attendance. It was truly awesome (read: as "instilling awe") being in the presence of these people whom I read on a daily (at the least) basis. Oh, and then Tim Ryan was there... did I mention that? Having been involved with politics as much as I have, one can only feel the thrill of meeting politicians for so long. The last time I remember being excited about meeting one was when I interviewed then-Mayor James Roberts of Medina in 2nd (or maybe 3rd??) grade.

With that rambling out of the way...

Tim Ryan is one of the more down-to-Earth politicians that I've met... and it was nice, especially after having interacted with Betty Sutton a little over two weeks ago. Many subjects regarding economic development were touched, ranging from housing development to the development of the Western Reserve heritage area. All of this was quite interesting, but I'd like to touch upon a subject that recurred frequently.

Congressman Ryan and the bloggers gathered around the table frequently mentioned something that is critically lacking in America's modern political landscape: inspirational leadership. Ryan reflected upon visiting the JFK library to attend a ceremony for Congressman Murtha to receive a Profile in Courage award and picking up a pack of 4 CDs of various speeches delivered by President Kennedy. He reflected upon the hope and the vision of Kennedy and the clear lack of politicians who are willing to take a chance and dare to lead.

This all struck a very powerful chord for me as one who believes in the need for leaders who think forward and with vision, very much unlike the weak-spined politicians who currently occupy many of the offices throughout our country.

What has caused the nearly total absence of leaders?

I would argue that it is because of things like pollsters and focus groups... politicians aren't daring enough to do anything that may be remotely unpopular, regardless of the (in)justice associated. They are beholden to numbers and just serve to get reelected.

What would most politicians do if they weren't politicians? Would they be snakes in the grass? Snakes on a plane?

We need leaders. My "Now Hiring Leaders" is hanging outside my window... and for what it's worth, I am also prepared to lead, as I always have been.


Fundraising calls

I appreciate the role that people making fundraising calls fill, I truly and deeply do. I also understand all of the stress that goes into making calls and the need to really squeeze money out.

But when I say I'm currently unable to give money for the time being (and yes, note the redundance), I mean it.

Redhorse has a very sharply worded post authored anonymously for the progressives of the county. Pho has an equally sharp response. Quite honestly, this is the kind of internecine warfare that the Libs/Progs and the Mods of the DP are notorious for and just can't seem to keep behind closed doors. Annoyed? Kinda. It's nothing big, in my own humble bloggin opinion... just the SOS happening with new protagonists on a local level.

Now if this were to be taking place nationally...

... totally different story.

Starbucks @ 8:30. I feel slightly conflicted (to say the least).

Today's music: Mike Doughty - His Truth is Marching On


August 15, 2006

Lew Katz

Meeting Lew today. This should be fun.

August 9, 2006

Joementum... loses.

U.S. Senate -
- Dem Primary
745 of 748 Precincts Reporting - 99.60%

Lamont, NedDem146,06151.78

Lieberman, Joe (i)Dem136,04248.22

The former Vice-Presidential candidate for his party and Presidential candidate has lost in a primary election. GoJoe has declared his intent to run as an independent... Democrats nationally reel at the thought... Who is Ned Lamont?...

Cynthia McKinney got thumped in her primary. Good riddance.

August 7, 2006

Ney withdraws from House race: OH-18

Current US Representative Bob Ney (R, OH-18) has opted to withdraw from his re-election race, though not resigning from Congress. State Senator Joy Padgett has been asked to run against the Democratic nominee, Dover Law Director Zach Space.

More info:

Cleveland Plain Dealer

Columbus Dispatch
The Fix

Strickland opposes widened gambling

Just got an email from the Strickland campaign:

Media Advisory

For Immediate Release:                                Contact: Keith Dailey
Monday, August 7, 2006                                 614-857-0700/614-506-4949

Strickland and Senator Voinovich to Hold Press Conference
Opposing Expanded Gambling in Ohio

Strickland to Hold Town Hall in Ashtabula


Columbus, Ohio
– Ohio gubernatorial candidate Congressman Ted Strickland will join
Senator George Voinovich at a press conference Monday morning in
Cleveland to discuss their opposition to expanding legalized gambling
in Ohio. Monday afternoon, Strickland will hold a town hall meeting in

Following is Congressman Ted Strickland’s public schedule for
Monday, August 7, 2006.


WHAT:           Anti-Gambling Press Conference

WHO:             Gubernatorial Candidate Congressman Ted Strickland
                        U.S. Senator George Voinoivich

WHEN:           10:30 AM

WHERE:        Cuyahoga Community College
                        Administration Office
                        700 Carnegie Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio  44115


WHAT:           Town Hall Meeting

WHO:             Gubernatorial Candidate Congressman Ted Strickland

WHEN:           3:30 PM

WHERE:        Griffin Hall
                        3010 State Road
, Ohio  44004


Learning and Earning? I think not. Who had a feeling this was going to happen? Yeah. That's right. I did.