From the monthly archives: July 2014

In some cultures, eating maggots is everyday fare. Cooking them rather than eating them raw kills the bacteria on the surface and makes them tastier, it’s been said. And deep fried, maybe like they do Buckeyes at the Ohio State Fair, just make them crunchy and nutty flavored, a bit like pork rinds , reviews of the tiny creatures—fly larva, really—note. And because maggots are fatty, bizarre food experts say they represent a good source of calories, in case you’re forced into survival mode.

But in the western world, and in heartland Ohio specifically, interaction between people and maggots [...]

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On Monday, July 7, Attorney General Mike DeWine announced that he had certified the petition language for the so-called Ohio Clean Energy Initiative. This initiative, which would be an amendment to the state Constitution – provided it gets the necessary 385,253 certified signatures – would require the state of Ohio to issue $1.3 billion in bonds per year over the course of 10 years to finance clean energy investments. This marks the fourth separate time that the group behind the idea, Yes for Ohio’s Energy Future, has attempted to put it before voters.

Now, on the surface, this [...]

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Recent performance metrics for the Affordable Care Act have been looking good, and the announcement Tuesday by Ohio Senior U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown that $65 million stayed in the collective pockets of 78,000 Ohio seniors and persons with disabilities, instead of in the deposit accounts of pharmaceutical giants, is more commonsense proof that Obamacare is working as designed.

The average discount per beneficiary of $842 or $70 a month represents a significant savings from the higher cost of drugs before Obamacare became the law of the land. The news is good for Ohio, and should be for the [...]

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U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez spent part of Tuesday in Toledo, Ohio, to spotlight successful training programs that will help students compete for jobs in a challenging 21st century economy.

The two Secretaries visited Toledo Technology Academy, a member of the Toledo Public Schools initiative that was recently awarded $3.8 million through the Youth CareerConnect grant program, a collaborative effort between the Education and Labor departments.

The grant is helping increase employer partnerships with the school system while allowing effective programs like the academy’s to expand and serve more students. Secretaries Duncan and Perez will [...]

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An analysis Monday by the Kaiser Family Foundation of the 2014 Social Security and Medicare Trustees’ report shows Medicare spending growth has slowed in recent years and is expected to grow at a slower rate in the future than in the past, a reduction not envisioned just a few years ago.

Adding years of solvency to Part A, the Hospital Insurance Trust Fund seniors age 65 qualify for, wasn’t the only good news in today’s report. In what KFF called a “break from the historical pattern, net Medicare spending is projected to be a roughly constant share of the federal [...]

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When Speaker John Boehner, the frightful leader of the GOP’s white-collar goon squad in the House, insists his lawsuit is not about him but rather a way to protect the Constitution against a rapacious president, don’t believe him. If it weren’t the Constitution, Boehner would surely find another ruse to put Barack Obama in his place. For the rest of us witnessing this Theater of the Absurd, we must steel ourselves for two more years against the frustrated congressman from southwestern Ohio, no matter the millions it will cost you and me.

The Constitution is a flaming buzz word on [...]

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The Ohio Fraternal Order of Police endorsed Ed FitzGerald, a Democrat, for Governor of Ohio Tuesday. The state’s largest police organization representing 25,000 active and retired law enforcement officers, also made endorsements for other statewide offices including the supreme court. The endorsements were made by the 313 delegates attending the 80th annual conference in Dublin, a Columbus suburb.

“The members of the Fraternal Order of Police are not experiencing ‘the era of good feeling’. The communities we serve are experiencing a heroin epidemic and rising property crime rates and our public safety forces do not have the resources they [...]

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Ohio State Representatives John Adams (85th House District) and Wes Retherford (51st House District) are currently looking for co-sponsors for a bill that would “prohibit any state agency from entering into an agreement with the federal government to provide temporary housing for illegal immigrants.”   The bill would also “make any local government or private corporation ineligible to receive any state funding, including Local Government Funds, if they enter in to an agreement with the federal government to house illegal immigrants.”

Adams explains the reasoning behind the bill, repeating the false, xenophobic rhetoric of the Right: “Given the clear public health and [...]

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In the run up to today’s Ohio FOP endorsement vote, DeWine made an aggressive effort to win some last minute support from delegates by distributing a flier attacking his opponent David Pepper.  The flier, pictured to the right, not only contains incorrect facts, but it also shows stock photos of “police officers” portrayed by actors.

Both of the images of police officers can be found on dozens of websites like this one for a defense attorney advising his clients never to talk to police officers.    Or this story about a police officer accused of sex crimes.   Both photos came from [...]

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The FOP of Ohio just endorsed David Pepper over Mike DeWine for Ohio Attorney General.  “David Pepper is tough, smart, and independent,” said Jay McDonald, Ohio FOP President. “He has vast experience partnering with law enforcement to fight crime. We know Pepper is the best choice to keep Ohioans safe as our next attorney general.”

Not to be outdone, Mike DeWine took to Facebook to respond, posting a picture of himself with a Republican Sheriff.

 

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After the Hobby Lobby decision came down on June 30, 2014, my office got to work figuring out the implications of the decision and how we could enact a fix in Ohio that would make women’s personal, private health care decisions Not Our Boss’s Business.

Here are some FAQs about the Hobby Lobby decision and the Not My Boss’s Business Act, which I will soon be introducing along with my Senate colleagues Senator Charleta Tavares and Senator Nina Turner.

 

1)     What did the Hobby Lobby decision say?  Which law did it invalidate and why?

Five men on the U.S. [...]

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