I have added what I hope to be a useful module for everyone to use. An events calendar.
You can create and event, give it a title, a detailed description, start and end time and date and publish it. It will then appear in the events list, and in the events calendar for folks to peruse.
to do so just click create content as normal, but select Events instead of Forums. Type in your title, then the details and don't forget to set the time and dates (below the submit button)
Should be great for letting people know about grass roots events, candidate events, all that good stuff.
You can also leave comments in each of the events threads too - letting people know you are going, or whatever you like.
From right Wing News
Have you ever wondered whether anyone in Congress actually reads blogs? Well, wonder no more, because that question has now been definitively answered. Below you'll find a list of nine members of Congress and the blogs that they regularly read and/or have their staffs monitor for them.
(A special thanks goes out to Jack Kingston's office, Brian Walsh in Bob Ney's office, and the other people on the Hill who helped make this post possible)
Congressman Bob Ney: Althouse, Ankle Biting Pundits, Beltway Blogroll, Blogs For Bush, Buckeye State Blog, Captain's Quarters, The Corner, Daily Kos, Eschaton, Expose the Left, The Fix, GOP Bloggers, The Hotline's Blogmeter, Hugh Hewitt, The Huffington Post, Instapundit, Lincoln Logs, Little Green Footballs, Michelle Malkin, MyDD, Ohio 2006 Blog, Plunderbund, PoliPundit, Power Line, RedState, Right Angle Blog, Right Wing News, Suitably Flip, Talking Points Memo, TownHall, The Truth Laid Bear, Weapons Of Mass Discussion, Wizbang!
Pretty cool considering we have been live less than 2 weeks.
From the Forums - This is an important issue and one that highlights the hypocrisy - Staff.
In October, laws went into effect which made consumer bankruptcy more difficult. One of the major requirements was mandatory consumer counseling before one can go bankrupt. Yet one of the main causes of bankruptcy is medical bills, due to an illness or injury. It is difficult to see how consumer counseling will help people avoid medical bills when illness and injury are unplanned and unforeseen.
Needless to say that is now the law. But what about corporate bankruptcies sweeping the Midwest?
Dana Corporation went bankrupt recently. In recent history Dana has been moving operations overseas – primarily to Mexico – and has been asking for concessionary contracts from the UAW. The UAW has gone along to try to help the company avoid bankruptcy. The company took the concessions, then filed for bankruptcy.
Three days before Dana went bankrupt, the board of directors granted the CEO a cash bonus of up to double his salary based on certain undisclosed incentives. Other executives were also given similar bonuses. These were performance bonuses given to the very managers who shipped Ohio jobs to Mexico, then filed bankruptcy.
This is similar to the deal executives at Delphi are in line to receive after its bankruptcy filing. These bonuses and incentives, due whether the executives stay with the company or not, will run into the 100's of millions of dollars.
What has the Fourth District lost in the process? Hundreds – perhaps thousands – of jobs, over $5 million annual in local taxes, and another door closed for future workers in Ohio. Where were the Republicans who represent this area of the state? Fiddling with stem cell research bans and Ken Blackwell’s TEL/TABOR amendment. And talking about so-called family values.
I believe that valuing families means providing every opportunity to succeed in the Fourth District. I have seen families torn apart by closed factories and failing pensions. That’s why I’ll fight for the issues that really matter to Ohio families, instead of trying to use the power of government to intrude into our private lives.
In the meantime, perhaps the bankruptcy law ought to be changed again. Perhaps boards of directors, chief executive officers and chief financial officers should be required to take 6 months of credit counseling before their company can go bankrupt. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.
Democrat for Ohio’s Fourth District
Bush and Cheney are coming to Ohio on the 20th. Cheney is coming for a fundraiser for Charle Blasdel who is running in the 6th district.
A new AP/Ipsis poll has these numbers for Bush
70% of Republicans think civil war will break out in Iraq.
70% of Americans think US is on wrong track
37% approve of his job performance
74% of Republicans approve his performance, down from 82% in February
36% approval rating on domestic affairs, down from 39% last month
43% approval on foreign policy and terrorism
40% approval on Iraq and economy
2/3 disapprove of Congress job performance
I hope we aint going to let these two guys waltz into Ohio, raise a bunch of cash for their next batch of rubber stamps and fly out without so much as a peep. We're talking about 1 guy no one likes very much and another who shot his buddy in the face.
I am also wondering when our "big guns" are going to make a bunch of fundraising stops for our local guys, or has everyone written off Ohio ?
If you follow the gadget world goings on you might have heard of Origami or UMPC. UMPC is Microsoft's entry into the Ultra Mobile PC world. When you think of UMPC think of a device somewhere between a PDA and a small laptop.
I have to admit to not getting it. Too big to fit in your pocket, too small to be really useful. Now if it had EVDO so I could make phone calls and surf on the go it might be a different story. If I were able to stream HDTV movies from my Mac to it and into my TV that would be something too. But it doesn't look like it does any of that.
What do you think ?
Columbiana County Treasurer Linda Bolon will be the next state Rep for Ohio house district 1. Frank Rayle just missed winning it in 2004 by 0.5%. The 1st district encompasses Columbiana county so Linda's experience and name recognition in that county will give her a great starting point, especially since the Republican incumbent has vacated the seat to run for congress. She won here treasurers race overwhelmingly 67% - 33% so recruiting her to run for this house seat is a real coup.
Her website when it goes live looks like a very nice professional one too.
Ken believes that government can assist in advancing a culture of life through legislation as well as promotion of life affirming organizations such as pregnancy help centers. Abortion always has two victims, a mother and a child. But society as a whole is also damaged in the process. We need to provide charity and assistance to mothers and fathers in the challenging moments of a troubled pregnancy.
Jim Petro is pro-life. He firmly believes we must respect the value of life from conception. As Attorney General, Jim Petro successfully defended Ohio
With Paul Hackett out of the race I suspect a lot of Ohio Dems breathed a heavy sigh of relief that the Iraq war wouldn't now be a much talked about issue up to the election.
Iraq is the central issue we face right now. It is costing hundreds of billions of dollars. Money that could be spent providing affordable higher education, more affordable healthcare or even go towards a manhattan energy project.
It is costing thousands of lives, and leaving tens of thousands to live with terrible injuries and psychological problems, and perhaps most importantly of all it is catastrophically degrading our national security by destabilizing the region.
The primary question we face isn't stay the course or being them home. It is how do we restore or even improve our national security by stabilizing that region. A destabilized mid east would see an ascendency of Iran placing Saudi Arabia in a vice like grip, backed up by a nuclear deterrent holding the worlds economy hostage, while backdoor dealing with organized terror groups.
Iran is going to achieve this if we follow current policy, and our antagonist foreign policy is leaving us with few allies.
Democrats must face up to the reality that Iraq isn't a domestic political problem that they have to navigate to get elected. It is a problem we face as a nation that requires real policy, implemented competently.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said yesterday that Democrats should not seek a unified position on an exit strategy in Iraq, calling the war a matter of individual conscience and saying differing positions within the caucus are a source of strength for the party.
Pelosi said Democrats will produce an issue agenda for the 2006 elections but it will not include a position on Iraq. There is consensus within the party that President Bush has mismanaged the war and that a new course is needed, but House Democrats should be free to take individual positions, she sad.
Bullshit. We need a unified plan. Period.
Almost 3 months have passed since the Iraqi elections and no government has been formed. In fact the current PM doesn't look likely to be the next one. Iraq isn't going to stabilize until the politics does and that isn't going to happen anytime soon. In the mean time the much vaunted Iraqi security forces are transformed into militia and will continue to do so. No amount of politics is going to reverse this without more violence.
We cannot slowly draw down US troops as some Dems have suggested. Those that suggest that simply do not understand the military. The force structure we have in Iraq is already close to the bare minimum to keep political security and force protection effective. If you draw down to much lower levels than we currently have, both those missions will collapse.
Whilst we are in a defensive posture the insurgency and militias will continue to grow and increase their powerbases, and if we go on the offensive again, as we did in Samara and Fallujah we will incite greater insurgency and political collapse.
Foreign companies are already beginning to withdraw investment from Iraq, reconstruction will not happen in the current climate, and the infrastructure will further degrade, again increasing Iraq's domestic political pressures - forcing people to turn to the likes of Al Sadr for help.
Let's be brutally honest and accept a simple underlying fact. Whether we stay or go Iraq is going to descend into chaos, intercine and secular violence and be fueled externally by forces such as Iran and Syria. Lots and lots of Iraqi's will die and there is nothing we can do to stop it.
I believe that our best course of action is to implement the Murtha plan.
To immediately redeploy U.S. troops consistent with the safety of U.S. forces.
To create a quick reaction force in the region.
To create an over- the- horizon presence of Marines.
To diplomatically pursue security and stability in Iraq
I would also maintain serious airpower in the region, based at sea to prevent and deter escalation of violence and conflict beyond Iraqs borders and to prevent airpower and armor being used by Iraqi's as part of a civil war.
We should use this new direction to rebuild and strengthen ties in the region and beyond to then deal with Iran's ambitions as best we can.
It's time for Democrats to stop equivocating on the war and present a real solution for the American people. The politics of it are simple. The Republicans are losing the war - Democrats know how to win it.
The following is a statement from Zack Space, candidate for the 18th Congressional District, in response to Chillicothe Mayor Joe Sulzer's call for Bob Ney to resign if named by lobbyist Jack Abramoff in the current federal investigation:
"Congressman Ney's resigning would do little to end the corruption in Washington. The problem is a system that's corrupt. Until Congress enacts meaningful campaign finance reform, the system will remain corrupt and out of sync with the hometown values of the 18th Congressional District."
"In order to return hometown values and trust to our system of government, we must end the negative attacks and begin focusing on ending the corruption by fixing the system."
Zack, if the system is corrupt how come dozens of Democrats haven't been caught up in it ? Asking a Congressman to step down if indicted for corruption is now a negative attack ?
Come on Zack !
I know I was a little surprised to see Chris Redfern join with Sulzer on this, it did look to me like a tacit endorsement too, but I think you're attacking the wrong guy here Zack, for the wrong reasons. I don't think any rational person thinks Bob Ney should remain in office if indicted, not even Bob Bennett.
A third employee at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections has been indicted as part of an investigation into the mishandling of ballots during the 2004 presidential recount.
Jacqueline Maiden, who was Elections Division director during the December 2004 recount, has been charged with six counts - three misdemeanors and three felonies - of failing to follow Ohio laws on how ballots are selected and reviewed during a recount. Maiden is the third highest ranking board employee.
The most serious charges carry a maximum of 18 months in prison.
Maiden, now elections coordinator, and two other employees indicted on the same charges last year, continue to work at the elections board.
"We're in the process of converting to the electronic voting, and we need our best people," said board Chairman Bob Bennett. "We've moved them from any responsibility of recount or responsibility of ballots,"
First of all it is absolutely ridiculous that these people still have a job after being indicted. At a minimum they should be put on administrative leave.
More importantly however, I know for a fact that this didn't just occur in Cuyahoga county. I know personally that in more than 1 other county the 3% random sample of precincts to be hand counted were not randomly selected, and further than that the hand count and machine counts did not match which should have triggered a full recount, but instead BoE officials simply kept running the ballots through the machines until they did match the hand count.
You can read this affidavit from Paul Harmon who ran for Judge in Licking County for more crap (.doc file).
I don't care if people are Democrats or Republicans if they fail to follow simple election law they should be severely punished. the damage that is being done to the confidence in our elections is massive.
Is Bill Pierce rather than Sherrod Brown the real threat to Mike DeWine's reelection ?
File this under rumor with skeptisism for now, because my sources on the other side of the isle are untested, but someone sent me this
If the Republican primary for US Senate were held today, whom would you support if the candidates are Mike DeWine and Bill Pierce?
Mike DeWine 41%
Bill Pierce 26%
I can't believe these numbers even though Pierce has been getting more county party endorsements than DeWine lately and the base is clearly restless. Someone with credibility ought to poll this race.
If anyone has a copy of this polling report I would love to see it, right now I have a hard time believing it's real.
Help me become the people's lawyer
Ask the right question and the answer is "Chandra"
The other day, I am embarrassed to report that with my wife out of the house, I lost one of my triplet two-year olds in our own home. He disappeared. I couldn't find him anywhere. With the other two corralled in another room, I wandered about the house calling out his name and he wouldn't respond. I started to worry. "What if he fell down the laundry chute? What if he climbed into the dryer?" I kept calling out his name, "Chethan! (it rhymes with Nathan) Where are you?" He didn't respond. "What am I going to tell my wife?" I thought.
Finally, in case he was hiding, I had an idea to trick him into responding. Instead of yelling for him, I simply asked, "Chethan...?" And sure enough, he responded from the distance, "...Chandra." I repeated the question and started honing in as he responded. Finally, I had him. (He actually looked startled when he got found, caught, and kissed. I'm sure he was wondering, "How did Daddy catch me?")
One of the things that struck me as I began running for Ohio Attorney General last year was how few Ohioans - even those who pay close attention to politics - seemed to respond when I tried to call on them to care about the Attorney General's office. They all seemed to be hiding. Nonlawyers figured it's just an office that lawyers should care about. Lawyers figured it's just an office that lawyers who profit from the A.G.'s office should care about.
Why do Ohioans have such limited expectations and imagination about the office? Because for so long they've had Attorneys General who have done so little. Few Ohioans can name any major accomplishments of the Attorney General over the last 12 years. Yet many have heard of New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and his accomplishments.
Whether it's in New York or Ohio, though, the attorney general's job is to be the "People's Lawyer" and run the "People's Law Firm" by holding other officeholders, businesses, and individuals accountable. If the governor's job is to lead us to prosperity (and heaven knows we need a new governor to bring us some prosperity), the attorney general is supposed to protect Ohioans from harm and from loss. Recent attorneys general have failed in this mission.
Here are just a few examples of what I would do with the awesome untapped authority of this great public law firm:
End the culture of corruption and cronyism by fostering an alternative culture. When I was a federal prosecutor and as Cleveland law director we created a strong alternative culture (accept no gifts; always act in the public interest), and promoted that culture across government. People in other departments soon came to our department (and not just to the media) to whistleblow about wrongdoing. We investigated those allegations and pursued them vigorously, including prosecution as appropriate.
Pursue predatory lenders instead of support them as Attorney General Petro has done. When Cleveland passed its ordinance to restrict extreme predatory loans, the lending lobbyists had the state legislature pass a law that the lenders themselves wrote. The lenders then sued Cleveland and Dayton to stop us from protecting our citizens. But Attorney General Jim Petro, who should not have even have a dog in the fight, intervened in this case on behalf of the predators and against those who are preyed upon. Under my leadership, we beat Petro. He was on the wrong side and I would not be.
Hold officeholders to the Ohio Constitution and the Supreme Court cases on educational funding. Petro and Montgomery did nothing to try to bring the state into compliance. I would. This would include, if necessary, presenting constitutional funding plans for consideration. And I would turn up the heat increasingly on the legislature and governor, regardless of party, until they comply- going back to court if necessary with the appropriate facts to show willful noncompliance. The A.G.'s oath is to the U.S. and Ohio constitutions first and to enforce state law second.
Join the other active American attorneys general in national projects like Connecticut A.G. Dick Blumenthal's suit against the federal government against the No Child Left Behind Act as an unfunded mandate, seeking a federal anti-price gouging statute, pursuing major predatory lenders, fighting prescription-drug prices, etc. Even though we are the seventh largest state in the country, Montgomery was one of the last attorneys general in America to join the tobacco litigation. It cost us billions of dollars in potential recoveries and sent the wrong message about Ohioans' views about the marketing of tobacco to children.
Reform the state's crime lab. Right now, the state's crime lab is taking far too long to process DNA results and other testing. That's not tough on crime. When I was Cleveland law director, I helped achieve justice for the victim of a wrongful conviction by making sure we cleaned up our act in our crime lab and that there were no other victims out there.
Enforce environmental, consumer-protection, wage, and safety laws.
Slash spending on outside "special" counsel to actually make them "special." Although the Attorney General will sometimes need to engage outside attorneys who can provide special expertise, I have examined Petro's spending and much of it is suspect. He sends it out and the tab doesn't show up on his budget; it is borne by other agencies and public universities so he gets to proclaim himself (falsely) a fiscal conservative, and - let's face it - reap campaign contributions from those to whom he has farmed out work. Routine public work - documenting basic real-estate transactions, and defending civil-rights, employment, and public-hospital medical-malpractice cases - could be conducted in-house at much lower cost. Petro should never have sent much of this work out in the first place. Some cases he farmed out are the bread and butter of what Assistant A.G.s do (including employment-defense work). There are also potentially huge cost savings in the university patent work (which could be done with lower negotiated fixed fees) and the collections work. When I was law director, I negotiated much better rates on collection cases, so that the firms who collect on debts owed to the city received no more than 23% of what they collected. Petro pays an outrageous 33%--and he has more negotiating leverage than I ever did.
Before I became Cleveland's Law Director, Cleveland had spent $7.4 million in the year 2000 on outside lawyers - more than Los Angeles, a city seven times Cleveland's size. We fixed this problem by making Cleveland's Law Department the public's law firm. We hired talented people and brought the work in-house. For every new dollar we spent in house, we saved Cleveland taxpayers $16.
And we insisted that lawyers hired for their expertise could not delegate work to inexperienced associates at their firm - our attorneys would help, instead. This kept fees down and ensured that we received just the expert advice for which we were paying. Unless we had a conflict of interest, we never "turnkeyed" a matter like Petro did with the BWC. We actively managed even the outsourced cases.
By the time I left Cleveland's Law Department, we had reduced outside-counsel spending by 88% to $850,000 a year.
Raising hiring, performance, ethical, and professionalism standards. As law director, I never hired someone because of politics. We created a new culture of excellence, humanity, and decency. We attracted graduates of top schools and top graduates of local schools, and partners and associates from top law firms and public-service backgrounds to join the first-rate staff that had toughed out the difficult years. We did careful background checks and did not hire attorneys with ethical or competency issues, bar reprimands, etc. How did we attract stellar hires? Part of it was bringing more of the interesting and challenging work in-house. Part of it, if I may say so immodestly, was having a "lawyer's lawyer" at the top of the organization who could hypnotize other top lawyers into remembering why they had become lawyers to begin with. And once we brought people in, we fostered a strong culture of professionalism in the way people treated each other internally and behaved outside of the department.
Ohio next Attorney General must not be yet another politician with a law degree, whether a Democrat or a Republican. Given the kinds of problems Ohio is facing and will face over the next four years, only an accomplished lawyer, prosecutor, and executive who can lead the law firm to protect Ohioans from further harm and loss.
Because the Attorney General is supposed to be the People's Lawyer, we should compare the candidates' records of accomplishment and ask ourselves, "If my own life, liberty, or property were at stake, whom would I hire to be my lawyer?"
I hope your answer will be, "...Chandra."
Subodh Chandra is a Democratic candidate for Ohio Attorney General and the only Democrat in the race who is a former prosecutor and knows the difference between a grand-jury subpoena and a grand piano. Betty Montgomery will not out "law and order" him.
I am going to post my thoughts on this later today, in he mean time this is from the forums, there is no bigger issue we face today - Staff.
Mr. Pho, of Pho’s Akron Pages, raised an interesting point today: we blog readers seem to spend more time arguing about the trivial than contemplating the important. So, just to test the interest in the important, I offer the following:
Should Democrats unite behind one Iraq policy? E.g.: bring the troops home now. If so, what should that position be? If not, why not?
Personally, I’m against a wholesale pullout. I think it would send Iraq (ever more quickly) into a civil war, result in the ascendancy of warlords and the demise of any central government, and turn whatever nation was left into a breeding ground for terrorists a la Afghanistan. Policy wise, I think we have to stay there for at least a decade to ensure that there is some semblance of stability with a ruling central government that has actual control over the territory. This will cost American MASSIVE amounts of her blood and treasure, but I think the alternative is untenable.
From a political standpoint, I think Democrats should use the following bumper-sticker argument: Bush broke it, we’ll fix it. NOT: bring our troops home.
A reader pointed me to this DDN interview with Dennis Lieberman who ran for ODP chair
Q: Really? If you were state chair, you would not endorse in primaries?
A: I would try not to. I think we have to re-evaluate how we've done things in the past (given the party's failures). And this is a unique year.
In the past, we often didn't raise as much money as Republicans (and therefore might not want to spend money in primaries). But this year we can be very competitive on money. A primary can be good exposure (when you have) two great candidates.
Worth a read.