When Senator Voinovich goofed on the southerners who are destroying his party, we argued that the GOP's problem isn't geographical, but rather pathological: Republicans everywhere have been so wild-eyed and shrill for so long that they've forgotten how to speak in non-histrionic tones. And right on cue, Voinovich's colleague from Ohio, Congressman John Boehner, stepped up to prove our point.
A provision of the House bill would provide Medicare coverage for the work of doctors who advise patients on life-sustaining treatment and “end-of-life services,” including hospice care.
Conservative groups have seized on this provision as evidence that the bill could encourage the rationing of health care. The Family Research Council, for example, said the bill would “limit end-of-life care.”
The House Republican leader, Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, said, “This provision may start us down a treacherous path toward government-encouraged euthanasia.”
Obama wants to put your grandparents down like rabid dogs: This is the latest end-days prediction from the idea-void right, which is terrified that healthcare reform will pass, and — horrors! — Americans will like it. Does John Boehner, member of Congress and GOP leader, believe this? That's not the point — he wants you to believe it.
"Southerner," Senator Voinovich, is a state of mind. We await your condemnation of Boehner's shameless deception. — Frank Lewis
Thrice-married admitted porn addict Phil Burress of Cincinnati’s Citizens for Community Values ("Policing Ohio’s Bedrooms for More Than 25 Years") must be working the phones again. A couple of weeks ago, state legislator John Adams (pictured), a Republican from the west-central part of Ohio, re-introduced what’s being billed as “a father’s right to choose” legislation. In reality, it’s “a father’s right to dictate.”
HB 252 would require written permission from the father before a woman could get an abortion; no permission, she’s out of luck. In cases of rape, the woman would be forced to file charges first, no matter what the circumstances; in cases of incest, an underaged woman would somehow have to force her father/grandfather/uncle to take a paternity test that could lead to his prosecution. A woman who’s not sure would have to get all potential fathers to take paternity tests as well and if she just doesn’t know who it might be, tough luck. It even requires the man’s permission if the fetus dies in the womb, unless a woman’s life or health is threatened.
The bill provides criminal penalties for a woman having an abortion without permission or giving incorrect information about the father’s identity (perhaps to prevent women from naming Adams out of understandable spite.)
“There needs to be responsibility for actions,” Adams told Central Ohio’s Daily Reporter. “There is merit to chastity and young men and women waiting until marriage.”
Adams has 15 cosponsors, all old white men, mostly western and rural Ohio Republicans with the exception of Roland Winburn of Dayton who’s apparently suffering from an excess of hardline conservative Catholicism.
Some progressive blogs and groups like Planned Parenthood are pretending to freak out in order to use this ludicrous proposal to their advantage. A Planned Parenthood e-mail hyperventilates, “This legislation could be scheduled for a hearing at any time. It has received increased attention in recent days, and was a featured story on WBNS, Columbus’ CBS affiliate. We need your donation to defeat this bill.”
Well, actually, they don’t. This bill is a close facsimile of one that Adams and eight cosponsors introduced in 2007 that went nowhere back then, when Republicans controlled the state House of Representatives. Now Democrats control it. This one’s strictly for show. Clearly, these legislators expect nothing more out of this than a beneficent smile and pat on the head — and perhaps a little campaign support — from self-appointed moral guardians like thrice-married, admitted porn addict Burress. — Anastasia Pantsios
Fisher unveiled his new website yesterday, and besides trumpeting his short-lived and virtually fruitless turn as state director of development, he really wants you to know that he’s raised four times as much as his chief competitor, Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, and how many people beholden to his boss, Gov. Ted Strickland, have formally invited Ribbon-Cutter-in-Chief Fisher to take the train to DC.
On Monday, the site released a press release that bragged about the endorsement of wunderkind Congressman Tim Ryan, which was followed up by a fresh story by the Associated Press and Vindicator. Of course, Ryan publicly endorsed Fisher several months ago, right after Fisher declared his candidacy.
Pia Brady, Brunner’s press secretary, says her boss won’t crack on the obvious ploy. As if she even has to. She’s got work to do anyway. — Dan Harkins
Pro-choice activists are calling for a rally at an Akron abortion clinic this weekend. Earlier this month, weekly protests turned violent when a volatile and colorful crowd clashed just outside downtown, at the Akron Women’s Medical Group.
July was a busy month. Regular attendees say the anti-abortion side has been unusually rambunctious and aggressive since the May assassination of Kansas late-term abortion provider Dr. George Tiller. And the usual screaming suburbanites were joined by Jericho Riders Motorcycle Ministry, a Missouri-based Christian motorcycle group. The Jericho Riders had the clinic on their schedule of missions for the month (in addition to gay pride events from Missouri to Las Vegas).
The pro-choice counter-demonstartors were outnumbered. Charles Wright, 50, a former vice-president of Akron’s National Organization for Women, was one of them on Saturday, July 18. He didn’t want to be there. But his longtime partner, Thomas Reke, is friends with people who work the pro-choice side. Reke knew numbers were down. He was afraid somebody could get hurt. He was right.
Witnesses say that when screaming lead to face-to-face confrontation, a biker hit Wright with a crushing blow that sent him crashing to the sidewalk, breaking six ribs. As the crowd backed away from the fallen protester, the biker rode off on his motorcycle, barely stopping to let his companion climb aboard.
“The man that attacked Charles was first assaulted and provoked by Charles, according to witnesses,” says Carroll. “The individual that was involved in this incident is in no way associated with or a member of the Jericho Riders. That type of behavior would not be tolerated from anyone in this ministry. We do however have video of one of our members rendering aid to the man that was injured.… Mike Tice, one of the Jericho Riders rendering aid to Charles was assault by a woman… who is employed by the abortion mill. We do have a video of this assault, and charges will be filed.”
Akron Police are treating the incident as an assault against Wright, which — as opposed to a felonious assault — doesn’t warrant active investigation. No arrest has been made.
Wright and Reke skipped the following weekend’s protest. They’re unsure when or if they’ll return. Their friend Lee Thompson, a Clevelander, hopes Wright didn’t take a beating in vain. Thompson, a former clinic escort, is calling for extra support at the Akron clinic (839 E. Market St.) this Saturday, August 1.
“Charles could have been killed,” says Thompson. “People in Akron really need the support of people from all over Northeast Ohio. This kind of attack really scares people. There is a whole fascist movement in this country to kill and intimidate people who support women. Our message is ‘Abortion on demand, without apology.’ And we will not accept a situation where women will be intimidated.” — D.X. Ferris
Recently we challenged Senator George Voinovich to incite a schism in the Republican party in order to detach the GOP from its ever-loonier base. We didn't have much faith that Voinovich really would take on the crazies — as we noted, he's long been bolder in word than in deed — but today we are wondering just what to make of this comment he made to the Columbus Dispatch about the party's biggest problem:
“We got too many Jim DeMints (R-S.C.) and Tom Coburns (R-Ok.). It’s the southerners. They get on TV and go 'errrr, errrrr.' People hear them and say, ‘These people, they’re southerners. The party’s being taken over by southerners. What they hell they got to do with Ohio?’ ”
Wow. Just … wow. Is this an upturned middle finger to the howling hordes of self-professed "real" conservatives who keep insisting that Obama was not born in the U.S. and that his health plan involves euthanisizing the elderly? Oh, that would be sweet. But note that he says the party is "being taken over by southerners." Um, Senator? With all due respect, you don't seriously think this is a new development, do you? Or that all those fine southern gentlemen running the GOP for the last 30 years ever gave a good goddamn about Ohio, aside from its importance in presidential elections?
So still we wonder if Voinovich sees the problem. It's not geography or accents (do southerners even say "errr"?); it's the entire party's decades-long reliance on warped values and blatant hypocrisy to win elections. Voinovich may not be as guilty as his southern colleagues for stoking fear and resentment, but to suggest now that this is new, and has nothing to do with Ohio — or him — would be ridiculous.
He will be attacked viciously for this. We anxiously await his next move. — Frank Lewis
UPDATE: Senator David Vitter responds, in the Washington Times:
"I'm on the side of conservatives getting back to core conservative values," said Mr. Vitter, Louisiana Republican and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. "There are a lot of us from the South who hold those value, which I think the party is supposed to be about. We strayed from them in the past few years, and that's why we performed so badly in the national elections."
Vitter knows from straying. In 2007, the husband and father of four admitted to being a client of the D.C. Madam.
It looks likely that Ohio Democrats won’t have a Senate candidate until after the primary next May, with Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner and Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher both going full steam ahead on their campaigns. But that hasn’t stopped the Ohio Democratic Party from getting a jump on introducing Rob Portman, the likely Republican candidate, to voters outside his home base in Southwestern Ohio. The ODP has just launched RobertPortman.com, branding him “Architect of the Bush Economy.”
Learn about his record as a congressman and a cheerleader for tax cuts for the wealthy. Learn how he helped push the CAFTA free-trade deal through Congress, promising that it was a “good deal” for the U.S. and “really beneficial to U.S. workers,” and promising “We’ll have a trade surplus as a result of this.” (Subsequently, of course, the trade deficit increased and hundreds of thousands more manufacturing jobs vanished). And learn how, after Portman became George Bush’s director of the Office of Budget and Management, the budget deficit almost doubled. Best thing: the “contribute” button on the home page. If you click on it, rather than a contribution form you get a message that says “After the Bush-Portman administration, you don’t have enough money to contribute.” — Anastasia Pantsios
Steve Schimoler is an ambitious fellow. In addition to his successful downtown restaurant, Crop Bistro, and his online farmer’s market, Local Crop, Schimoler is the mastermind behind the non-profit Cleveland Food Rocks, a group of restaurants, chefs and musicians who share a love for our city’s food and music. Schimoler’s inaugural event for the group occurred during this past April’s Rock Hall inductions, and on Sunday it held the first ever Rock and Roll BBQ at the Beachland Ballroom and Tavern. And by all accounts, it will not be the last.
With two large tents set up in the parking lot, and a couple dozen local restaurants dotting the edges serving signature dishes, the decidedly casual BBQ successfully brought foodies and hipsters together for an afternoon. Some of the more memorable dishes included Johnny’s Downtown’s veal marsala on a toasted crostini, Moxie’s BBQ shortribs, and Crop’s watermelon with fresh basil and balsamic syrup. But the dish of the day had to be Melange’s mini clam bake including mussels, clams, crawfish and chowder.
Schimoler was spotted making the rounds, kibbutizing with fellow chefs and guests, but was in his element behind his drum kit, leading his band through a set of classic rock hits. The rock element was a little lacking, and while Schimoler’s band is capable and played well, the highlight was special guest Bootsy Collins, who provided some vocals and flamboyant flare, and was gracious enough to stop and talk to fans. Hopefully next year the event adds a few more marquee acts, even if they are local.
As the BBQ hit its mid-point a few of the most popular dishes were already gone, and those that were just arriving were deprived of the full menu. But Schimoler should be proud of the work his group did bringing the Cleveland food and music communities together for a tasty and satisfying inaugural BBQ. — Aaron Mendelsohn
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