Monday, March 31, 2014

BJ's charter schools report demands your attention

Today's MUST-READ:  Doug Livingston's report in the Beacon Journal on Ohio's charter schools that have ripped more than $900 million from public school funds this school year,  aided and abetted by the Republican controlled Ohio legislature with a kindly nod from Gov. Kasich.   The charters, founded and controlled by Akron's David Brennan,  operate along the lines of a top-down feudal system with no more than mediocre results.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Kasich seeking pure gold in Adelson's Wheel of Fortune...

Should we be surprised that Gov.Kasich  earned the coveted Sheldon Adelson White Guy  Mr.Congeniality Award at the Republican Jewish Coalition's spring conference in Las Vegas?  That became a slam-dunk as the governor daringly referred several times to the mega-casino owner - for God's sake one of the  richest men in the world - on a chummy first-name basis. Unless you are a car salesman, you don't get much friendlier than that.

Nosy reporters, of course,  wanted to know whether the governor was running for president by trying to suck up as much cash as he could in Las Vegas from Adelson's Wheel  of Fortune. Kasich, always as coy as a squirrel  darting to the new batch of sunflower seeds in he driveway, denied any interest in the presidency.

Rather,   he wanted to assure his host and most conservative  audience  that he shared their commitment to a better, lower taxed, world..

How? Saw this quote in the Plain Dealer:

"All the things we believe in?  They work."

Not Bartlett quality.  Not even up to the standards of George W. Bush's compassionate conservatism.  But to his appreciative host that Forbes reports makes $32 milion a day, it wasn't that hard to crack the code. What's more, Vegas is a long way from Steubenville.

About the governors avowed disinterest in higher office:  The Washington Post has claimed the field of assigning Pinocchios to political utterances that fare badly  against fact.

Rather than piggyback the Post's colorful version of lies, I will  create my own tag and assign several Cyranos to Ohio's non-presidential candidate candidate. Clip and save.


Thursday, March 27, 2014

If corporations are persons...

The impending merger of Time Warner and Comcast could create a unique problem for those who agree with Mitt Romney that corporations are persons, too. It could develop into a thorny case for the true believers when two giant  media companies with similar identities swear to unite to   love,  honor and obey the challenging call of the marketplace, so help them Wall Street! In bound personhood, that sure sounds like same-sex marriage to me.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A lexicon for chichi foodies, only

When it comes to food, I'm not a gourmet.  I grew up in a family where the Sunday speciality was well-oiled raw kibbee with a side dish of crunchy raw onions.  The day began with a breakfast of thick coffee, toast and shankleesh,  a fetid cheese ball with  a fermented greenish-black pocked surface. As for the kibbee, a merger of ground round steak,wheat and a few herbs, we hung in there  and ate heartily despite warnings from folks with less-conditioned stomachs that raw meat was an open invitation to deadly tape worms.  My parents each lived into their 90s.

I thought of those daring days as I ran across a review in  the New Yorker of a new restaurant in Manhattan called All'Onda, which referred to things you get from the sea and prepared with Japanese and Venitian influences.  Clearly a fashionable approach for foodies and quite distant from the perilous dishes served by my mother.

But after a few paragraphs into the piece , I realized that  my lexicon of  stuff that you can readily drop into your cart at supermarkets was hardly sufficient to  cover the upscale terminology of  All'Onda's in-crowd.

Try this thought  from the review:  "All'Onda  has fashioned a lovely menu of seafood-driven   crudi (or is it creative sashimi?)  and homemade pastas, for a sophisticated foodie crowd."  My italics.  Google informed me that both words refer to "raw".  Now we kibbee eaters are getting somewhere.

Next came uni, which I looked up. You can imagine how my mother would have felt if I told her uni were the gonads of sea urchins!  There were ecstatic allusions to the eatery's sardines cut in chunky parallelograms and sweetbreads with "pale pink  bonito flakes,   which dance in the air, as if alive."

Let's stop right there because I'm not getting hungry. There's also the downside of knowing that there's a chichi culinary world out there that thrills overs miso-cured eggs, monkfish liver, peekytoe-crab garganelli and soy-sauce gelato. The latter is too much to bear for  a guy who dashed  for the first gelaterria in every town I ever visited in Italy.  You don't mess with gelato.

The reviewer did say, however, that a lot of very nice people worked at the restaurant. .  Just like my mother.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Alito: What if delis are barred from serving kosher food?

l see that Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, who is always a thrill, hypothetically linked contraceptive insurance coverage to a potential threat to Jewish and Muslim butchers if their shops are incorporated.  He said these shopkeepers would be in trouble if  Congress  outlawed their blessed meats as a form of animal cruelty.   I don't expect you to understand this leap.  Nor do I.     But  I can safely  say I've never heard of a case in which a woman became pregnant from eating a corned beef sandwich.

Monday, March 24, 2014

On the Pluto sports section, Limbaugh books and the return of Mitt.

While I'm still thinking about it...

The Sunday Plain Dealer sports section continues to trend toward a leather-bound volume of Terry Pluto's cascading stuff, which whelms even sports fans like me. The latest featured works boldly covered the equivalent of at least four (!)  full pages ranging widely and inclusively across the sports universe.  (My scanned guess is that it didn't cover pickleball.  But that may be next if the Browns find a quarterback while picking through the ranks of the latest national rage.)

I did happen to see  a piece by sports columnist Bill Livingston on Page 6  with a powered endorsement of Jim Tressel  as the president-in-waiting of the University of Akron. Livingston thought it would be great to have the former Ohio State University football coach on hand  as a motivational pole star with cash-ready corporate donors.   But as with so much talk of Tressel's magnetic abilities,  no one has yet taken a breath to put in a word about the importance of book-learning as the basis of academic achievement.

* * * * *

Speaking of books,  did you see that  Rush Limbaugh's latest book, "Rush Revere. etc." is now No. 5 on the New York Times children's best-seller list?    It confirms my long-held belief that Rushbo has a special knack for appealing to childish interests.

* * * * *

As the search continued for the missing Malaysian aircraft, the TV networks were beside themselves to find something new to say when there wasn't anything new to say.   They showed the same photos and  interviewed every aviation expert but a descendant of the Wright brothers over and over with "breaking news"  about the tragedy.  The  repetitive motion reminded us of the search for a needle in the haystack while it seemed the real uanswered question will remain,  how did the needle get into the haystack?

* * * * *

Finally, there  was Mitt Romney on CBS  violating past residential courtesy by piling on Barack Obama's  "naivete"  and, he was sure, lack of leadership in  foreign policy that  could have   deterred the Russian takeover of  Crimea.  By that measure, Mitt was certain that he possessed the clairvoyance that would have worked everything out just fine.  To which we respond:  "Hey, Mitt.  The election's history.   You lost.  Get over it."

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Mitch McConnell's chilling Alley Oop Act

Reposted from Plunderbund:

Did you happen to see the campaign  photo of a befuddled  Mitch McConnell brandishing a gun?  It had the chilling appearance of a modern-day Alley Oop ambling out of a cave with his life-threatening  cudgel. But the Senate minority leader isn't trying to sell tourism for this  state's Mammoth Cave. No sirree.  He's hoping to sell himself to the gun lobby and its well-stocked bluegrass militia.  Besides,  he's in his sixth year of fulfilling his sorehead  pledge to destroy Barack Obama .  Mitch is the poster pol for blemished but still unfinished business.

 McConnell is in a tough race  that could cost the Republican  his proud senate seat. Down in Ken-tuck, guns speak louder than words.  (It won't be that long before the Derby jockeys will be wearing sidearms.)

Still, you have to wonder about the absurd  state of a  political system in which firearms are the tectonic stage props of choice.  We once were thought to live in a kinder, gentler nation.  The stagecraft wasn't nearly as horrific.

The late Howard Metzenbaum, campaigning  against Republican Sen. Robert Taft in 1976, fashioned his pep talks to his audiences by whipping out a loaf of bread  from behind him with the rhetorical question: "Do you know how much this used to cost?

They didn't need to know.  It had an electrifying effect when inflation was in the news during a Republican regime.  The late congressman Donald "Buz" Lukens, a primordial right (wrong!) winger from Middletown, Oh., arrived at an airport press conference with an American flag  on a pole that scraped the ceiling.  Patriotism never had it so good.

And then there was George W.Bush in his historic landing on an aircraft carrier fully togged  in a fighter pilot get-up while a sign declared MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.   Some of us huffed in disbelief at this staged lunacy,  "The hell it was."

If McConnell's Oop image doesn't work, think Dubya will lend him the pilot uniform and have him land on a barge on the Ohio River?    Doesn't matter that the suit  was never in harm's way anyway.


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Is UA board headed to the corner?

The University of Akron's extended search for  a new president could produce a result of unintended consequences  if it passes on Jim Tressel. The iconic former OSU football coach has been groomed for the job since his arrival on the downtown Akron campus in May 2012 and is among the 19 applicants on a list released Friday by the UA
board of trustees. .   His current title is executive vice president.

If the UA  board hasn't painted itself in a corner, it certainly seems to be headed that way.  It it could be an embarrassing snub by the board of Tressel's  hitherto  assumed  worth if he doesn't emerge the winner  from  the otherwise uninspiring  list of applicants, wouldn't you think?

Friday, March 21, 2014

Tressel does want UA job, after all

Surprise. Surprise.

After months of media speculation  that  Jim Tressel was heading toward the president's desk at the University of Akron,  the former Ohio State University football coach's name was on a list of 19 applicants for the job released Friday by  UA's Board of Trustees.

Until now, neither UA's presidential search committee nor Tressel had confirmed the reports of his active interest in seeking the post. He is currently  on an upwardly mobile career track  at the heavily debt-challenged  university that has earned him the newly created title of vice president for student success.

He has also emerged as a potential candidate for the presidency at Youngstown State University, again without confirmation of his personal interest.

The UA search has followed President Luis Proenza's announcement last summer that he was retiring  after the current school  year. The speculation that Tressel  would succeed Proenza  met with raised eyebrows by some faculty members inasmuch as Tressel lacked the important academic credentials of a doctorate.

 Indeed, the list of applicants was something less than a roster of noteworthy scholars.  And Tressel reportedly was only one of four applicants who didn't have a doctorate.
The Board said it will interview the finalists in April.

So Tressel does want the UA job, after all

Thursday, March 20, 2014

GOP congressional candidate describes source of tornadoes

I'm feeling even  more relieved today after retreating from my  brief conversion to the Republican Party in hopes of receiving the many upscale benefits not available to me as a liberal Democrat.  Call it the Susanne Atanus moment of awakening.

She's the winner of the Cook County (Chicago) Republican congressional primary by a handful of votes after insisting that abortion  and same-sex marriage  were the sources of autism, dementia and tornadoes. (She didn't mention the hapless Cubs.)  Who knew?  I didn't.

Atanus was so off the reservation that even Republican leaders urged her to withdraw from the race.  But how could she as she wanted the voters to know that "God is angry" and was punishing them for their misbehavior. She was, of course, playing the old Pat Robertson card.  In this instance, she was also quite fortunate, edging a primary opponent who was accused of domestic violence against a girlfriend and ordered by a court to attend anger management classes  while undergoing mental health testing.

It would be my luck as a Republican that I would be  seated next to her on the plane to the GOP convention as she urged me to repent.

Rove, the joymeister for Democrats

Democratic strategists are said to be jubilant over  Republican guru Karl Rove's unflinching prediction that the GOP will capture the Senate in November.  Although that would seem to be a disconnect with the Democrats' goals, one party insider explained the odd reaction by saying that Rove is the same sage who predicted  a big victory for Mitt Romney as well as sharing other alleged political insights that crashed.  "It's quite simple," he said.  "If Rove is going around telling people that the Republicans will win the Senate, history tells us that the opposite will happen. We win!"

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Sometimes tragedies do vanish in thin air

The search for  Malaysian Airlines Fight 370 has revived references to unsolved mysteries  about the fate of others who have literally vanished in thin air.

The Washington Post began a report on the disappearing plane by recalling  another:
"A plane disappears without a trace.  Advanced technology proves unable to explain the mystery.  Conspiracy theories fly.  The world awaits the fate of an aircraft that went down in a vast, open ocean.
 Sound like the saga of Malaysian Airlines  Flight 370?  Yes - but two accident investigators are still debating the fate of Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Electra, which disappeared during her failed attempt to circumnavigate the globe in 1937."

There's also a mysterious airborne event with Akron roots that sent Howard Tolley to the archives.  Tolley, a retired Goodyear public relations representative,  refers to a Goodyear blimp built for the Navy. This one occurred  in August, 1942. Here's his cameo report:
"The ship with a two-man crew was on anti-submarine patrol during that summer of World War II operating from its San Francisco Treasure Island base.  Hours later the blimp drifted ashore along the coast and came to rest in the hills of Daly City, Ca., with no one on board.  The pilots were never found and it remains  an unsolved mystery to this day."

Monday, March 17, 2014

My brief sojourn in the Republican Party has ended

Readers of Grumpy Abe may recall that I recently announced my switch  from liberal Democrat (as if you didn't know) to the Republican Party.   I had anticipated coveted rewards with at least trial  memberships to the  white-guy clubs of my choice, an autographed copy of one of Ayn Rand's books, and possibly even a sit-down  interview on Fox News to acknowledge my disaffection with tax-and-spend Democrats.

Never happened.  Not a single invitation to lunch at Portage Country Club; No call from
Bill O'Reilly for a candid discussion of why it took so long for me to recognize the joyous glow of  the GOP;  no call from Wayne LaPierre offering  a free six-week course in gun management; not even a release from exile to cover the Summit County Republican dinners.

In the end, my mounting disappointment in being shunned led me to say "to hell with it" and renounce my brief  membership in the party of Lincoln (the auto, I mean), turn in my new black business suit, retrieve my  valued old union membership card from the safe deposit box and return to my comfort zone in the Democratic Party where nobody minds if I spill pasta sauce on my faded  shirt and wipe it with the table cloth. .

So excuse me for jumping ship to GOP waters in the first place.  Everybody deserves a moment or two of madness in his or her life. (Sorry, Dad)

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Chickenhawk Cheney is back, de-clawed and all

Can't let the week pass without noting that Dick Cheney, one of the chickenhawks'  hood ornaments, is acting up again. Several TV news shows captured him (don't I wish !) ego-tripping  that President Obama is weak  in the face of Russia's moves in Crimea.  The former veep, as you well know, is intoxicated by his personal belligerance toward America's enemies.

Isn't this the same draft dodging war monger  who managed to get five deferments that kept him out of harm's way in Vietnam beause, as he put it:"I had other priorities." ?  This is from the the man who helped lead the White House into its invasion of Iraq while stating his belief  that it would be a short war and "we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators."

 Cheney defines chickenhawk at his de-clawed roots.He should go quietly to his room.

Friday, March 14, 2014

KSU brass playing its version of I've Got a Secret

Why do I suddenly sense that the Kent State University trustees have adopted the rules of JobsOhio, the public-private development agency in Columbus  where inquiries about its inner-Kasich routinely go to die?

Look at these two Beacon Journal headlines heralding excellent pieces by reporter Carol Biliczky that leaves you wondering whether a public university fully understands its obligations for revealing the decision-making process in its hiring practices. In this instance,(1) how did the KSU Board arrive at a $106,500 bonus for retiring president Lester Lefton?  and (2) what were the details of how a research firm,  which was paid $250,000-plus, evaluated  two finalists, one not named.

With each passing day, understanding moving parts at the top end of any public university and its trustees  becomes more difficult - described by Biliczky as "obscure".

The lips have been just as tight for the search for a successor to University of Akron President Luis Proenza in the  months since he announced his retirement last
August. He will leave at the end of this current school year with a handsome parachute.

Unfortunately for the public, which pays for all of this, state universities have become so politically sensitive to the big nooses around their heads from the governor's office and general assembly, fearful of offending their keepers while having to put up with severe budgetary problems, big debt and enrollment shortfalls. .

Though thorough, the Biliczky's  tandem of articles reflect no more than the hints of the deeper issues  of where state campuses are headed,  both self -inflicted and also suffering from the agonies of being at the mercy of disinterested politicians, some of whom could have trouble finding their way to Akron and Kent.

In the politicized world  of secretive public campuses, the old college try has become quite irrelevant.

BJ cutting closer to the bone

The report that the Beacon Journal is eliminating six more news positions through buyouts and/or layoffs prompted a larger context of how the paper is  cutting its staff still closer to the bone.  From former BJ staffer John Olesky, current editor of the BJ Retirees blog, comes a dramatic tale of newsroom shrinkage.

 Olesky writes,
"The BJ laid off 25 % of its newsroom staff - more than 40 people - in 2006.  In 2008 the BJ lost about 350 combined years of experience in one day.  The math...tells me that the BJ has gone from more than 160 to, after the next cut, barely more than  60.  
"That's about a 63% reduction in staff.  Those left at the BJ, as talented as they are, can hardly be expected to provide the same output as they did with 100 departed brethren."
The company is offering a year's severance to those who accept buyouts.  However, one reporter  told me  that even though she may opt for the buyout, she's not certain it would be accepted because the decision would be made by high-ups.

As a personal note, I can sympathize.  As the paper's former metropolitan editor with a mature  staff at peak levels, I still felt short-handed at times, particularly because of illnesses or vacations. At that time, my responsibility included a two-member Columbus bureau and the paper's bureau in Washington - neither  of which exist today.

It is also troubling to see the BYj relying more on "special to the Beacon Journal"  stringers and from other Ohio newspapers. Yes, the wireless hi-tech times have caught up with the paper, as sad as that might be.  And it also means that the microscopic coverage of government, large and small, is finished at the point of no return.

It will be missed.  Terribly so.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Is nothing sacred?

30  "regularly priced Christian item"?

 Clearance sale? 

Pro-life Gonidakis soars in GOP circles

Akron native  Mike Gonidakis  is enjoying the greatest power surge of his career as president of Ohio Right to  Life. The greatest!

As the chummy lobbyist deeply inside Republican circles at the Statehouse, he won the hand of Gov. Kasich for an important appointment to the State Medical Board, which passes judgment on licenses and discipline of physicians -  a neat disconnect inasmuch as he's not a medical doctor while passing judgment on persons who are.

And he has is become a key figure  in  Atty. Gen. Mike DeWine's onslaught of anti-abortion initiatives.  As the recent  piece re-posted below from Plunderbund pointed out, Gonidakis has fared quite well since DeWine entered office four years ago, with his consulting business rising to 19 clients from a mere three.

We particularly were bemused by Gonidakis'  praise of DeWine after  the latter's arrival in 2010:  "Thank God for Mike DeWine and his leadership.   If it wasn't  for Mike DeWine, we would have taxpayer-funded abortions and mandatory funding of abortions in a public option."

In  appreciation of  DeWine's good behavior,  one can expect tens of thousands of campaign fliers to be sent out by ORL during the  AG's reelection campaign, just as the group did four years ago. (At that time, Gonidakis insisted to me that the group was "non-partisan".)

And so we get a strong clue of how cross-pollination works in politics.

But wait:  Gonidakis isn't finished.   Ohio Right to Life has now taken some steps that will not please his some folks in his Republican base.   His office has entered opponents in primaries  against  GOP officeholders:  Congressman David Joyce and State Sen Frank LaRose.

 He split hairs on whether right-to-life congressman  Joyce is pure enough. As for   LaRose, it was retribution for LaRose's proper opposition to Gonidakis' appointment to the medical board  based on his lack of qualifications.  Nothing was more political than Gonidakis' retaliation since it had nothing to do with abortion.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Will Summit GOP be blowing out Kasich's candles in May?

Although we are approaching spring (sort of) ,  the Summit County Republican Party has yet to schedule its traditional Lincoln (!) Day Dinner.  A voice at  party headquarters says a date could be confirmed in the next two months.  That could put it in the merry month of May, a month that claims the birthdays of George Clooney, Sharon Stone, Catherine the Great, Pope John Paul II and Malcolm X, but, alas, not Lincoln.

The Pope John Paul II Day dinner?  I don't think so, even if the Republicans are never disposed to separate  church and state. There's one other May birthday celeb that I didn't mention.  Yep, Gov. Kasich, one of Chairman Arshinkoff's favorites.    Think the guv will  come aboard as the  featured speaker at a gated  Kasich Day Dinner?   The idea is intriguing, and could explain the delay. It could produce a lot of pre-paying customers, which is the idea behind the whole event anyway.  As you may have heard, it's an election year!

At CPAC, Sarah Palin et al deserved an apse

As the newly minted version of the Party of Lincoln - otherwise known as CPAC (Crazy Party of Anarchy Central)  - broke camp to create more havoc across the land, it left us with hastily penned  notes of the awful political year still ahead. One after another, the  group's elite corps of life-forms paraded before the audience with moronic bombast to set America on a path of righteousness, belligerence and  wildfire insanity.

At one point, I began to wonder why  none of their smarties had thought to provide an apse behind their mikes  to stage their remarks with greater sanctity.

Despite the heavy competition, Sarah Palin once again triumphed with chilling evidence of madness, sort of like Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor who descended the staircase completely into another world.  How could anyone surpass Sarah's tasteless takeoff on the NRA's Wayne LaPierre's gun-slinging by declaring:  "The only thing that stops a bad guy with nukes is a good guy with nukes."

Can you imagine her as the vice president toying with the nuclear trigger? Can you?

Somewhere along her line to stardom, she decided that an adolescent delivery of her message, cranking out lumpy satire with rolling eyes, would  disguise the fact that she had nothing useful to say.  But this time, she did accomplish something: She rightfully earned the Grumpy Abe Linguistic Lunacy (GALL) Award.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

On Akron General, a federal judge and Ohio's great record of laying eggs...

It looks like the public reaction to Fox News' Laura Ingraham's  keynoter at Akron General isn't going away without a struggle.  Letters to the Beacon Journal  continue to debate the propriety  of having a right-wing speaker for  an invitation-only audience at its centennial event in which she attacked Obamacare and the president.  It was a major public relations gaffe with Democratic leaders in the audience.

Those who are accusing liberals (The Left!) of being soreheads about her appearance aren't even close to the point.  The snag in this is that the gathering was to have been a celebratory occasion to honor a long respected hospital.  It was hardly smart to subject a captive audience to a political speech, left or right.

My problem  with all of this is,  why didn't the hospital's front office,  including CEO and President Dr. Tim Stover,  sense the land mine before the program was set?  Were there no professional voices from the PR department to alert them  of the risks?  Or were they simply ignored?

I'm  told that Stover called County Executive Russ Pry and Mayor Don Plusquellic, both well-situated Democratic leaders, in an effort of damage control. Maybe it was a start for the 150th anniversary.

* * * * *

That was a well-deserved blistering rebuke by editorial page editor Mike Douglas of Federal Judge John Adams in Sunday's Beacon Journal. It represented still one more  voice to the Sixth Circuit U.S.Court of Appeals reversal of a decision by Adams in a case involving a Stow firefighter and the city of Stow.  The appellate court severely ruled that  Adams  mishandled  the case and called for it to be retried with a different judge.  Adams, you may recall, also was recently rebuffed by the appellate court in the Akron sewer case.

* * * * *

From the pages of the New York Times comes word that Ohio is among the leaders in egg production, 7.7 billion in 2012!  It didn't mention whether that number  included the  eggs laid by the clucks in the legislature  in Columbus....And from an excellent profile of Vladimir Putin in  New Yorker magazine,  we learned that his latest girlfriend can dribble a soccer ball with her head with a deep backward bend!

* * * * *
Finally, after hearing of America's decline for three days by the  CPAC fringe, we decided to go with James Wolcott's version that America's decline began when Guy Lombardo died and his program ended.

GUEST COLUMN by Joseph on Plunderbund:

Mike Gonadakis, director of the anti-abortion group Ohio Right to Life (ORTL), was a big supporter of Mike DeWine’s bid for Ohio Attorney General in 2010.   And, like many of DeWine’s other political allies, Gonadakis was given special consideration and access once DeWine was elected.
In 2009, when DeWine announced his intentions to run for Ohio Attorney General, many on the right scoffed, viewing him as too soft on immigration, guns and even abortion issues.  DeWine needed help reaching out to those on the extreme right, and he found a strong advocate in Mike Gonadakis.
Mike Gonidakis, Lobbyist and Director of Ohio Right to Life
“Thank God for Mike DeWine and his leadership,” Gonidakis told Joe Halletin 2010, shortly after ORTL had enthusiastically endorsed DeWine. “If it wasn’t for Mike DeWine, we would have taxpayer-funded abortions and mandatory funding of abortions in a public option.”
In the fall of 2010, right before the election, Gonidakis’s ORTL sent out avoter guide calling DeWine “a leader in the pro-life movement, with a record to prove it.”
A few months after getting elected, Mike DeWine emailed Michael Hall, his Director of Outside Counsel, the man responsible for helping to select private sector attorneys to represent state entities.  DeWine asked Hall to set up a meeting with Gonidakis, who is also a lawyer and a lobbyist, to see if they could find some work on securities cases for him or his clients.
“We need to meet “in re gonadakis.  He says security firm does have extensive experience.  Please schedule time next week to look at all this,” wrote DeWine.
Hall quickly responded that he had “asked the scheduling team to give us time next week.”
Again, we see another example of Mike DeWine using his position as Attorney General to grant special access to his friends and political allies.    And this access has paid off handsomely for Gonidakis, who saw his consulting business grow from two clients in 2010 (including ORTL) to nineteen clients in 2012 – including three firms actively seeking business with the Ohio Attorney General’s office.
Interestingly, when DeWine’s pay-to-play scandal broke last month, it was Gonidakis they sent out to defend him.    On a February 9th episode of NBC 4′s the Spectrum, Gonidakis was asked if DeWine was dolling out favors to people “who have supported him politically.” He shrugged off the accusations and told the audience, with a straight face, that “Mike DeWine is doing an amazing job as Attorney General.”
Gonidakis never revealed that he had personally benefited from his friendship and political association with DeWine.    And while the show identifies Gonidakis simply as a “Republican Strategist”, they fail to mention that he is also a Kasich-appointed member of Ohio’s State Medical Board and a paid lobbyist, registered with the State of Ohio to influence the decisions of  legislators and statewide office holders like Mike DeWine.

Friday, March 7, 2014

The mice are again roaring at President Obama

Reposted from Plunderbund

Well,the mice are roaring again.

Instead of Benghazi, it's  Ukraine.  They've discovered a new level of hell in which to punish President Obama by demoting him from Tyrant-Dictator-King to the depths of weak, naive pushover in a one-on-one with Putin. It is an irresistible opportunity  for the mice to roar  as they often do minutes after daybreak when  Obama heads for the office.

There was, for example, John McCain, pathetically still trying to stand his ground  after  his own Arizona Republican Party has censured him for being "too liberal".  Rising before a TV camera with arms flaring, McCain heatedly described the President as the "most naive president in history." (Speaking  of superlatives, you have to wonder  whether McCain wasn't the most naive presidential candidate in history  by posting Sarah Palin on his ticket. It's perfectly normal to quake when you think about it. )

Others took the time to roar  that Obama was a wimp.  From Benghazi to Ukraine, growled Sen.Lindsey Graham,  the GOP whiner-in-chief, Obama has shown weakness that will invite more retreats from around the world.  Michelle Bachman and  Palin, the latter with the best view of Putin from her front porch,  added their apocalyptic voices to the chorus in their usual sassy look-at-me style. And I had to wonder whose idea it  was to haul out dead-ender Rudy Giuliani   on TV with his worldly roaring mouse schtick.

Truculence is clearly the order of  the day for this bunch, even if they never bother to explain what we should do to scare off Putin.  As with Obamacare, immigration, the economy and all of the other issues, the mice live in the pale luxury of never proposing solutions while screaming  Obama down the road.

 Still, Obama might try to shut them up  by beating them at their own game with a macho display perfected by George W. Bush.  He could head out to  an aircraft carrier in the Pacific in a fighter pilot's regalia to exclaim Mission Accomplished.  That might even work better than luring these creatures with cheese.