Saturday, January 30, 2016

With Kasich, where have the 'good people' gone?

One of the memorable comments from the latest Republican debate - aka  Grim Fairy Tales -- was  uttered by Gov. Kasich  when he was asked about the poisoned water calamity in Flint.  A Houdini in slipping nooses, Kasich said he didn't know enough about the details to comment on what most school children probably know.    But he did assure his audience as the absentee landlord of  the Buckeye state,    he was proud to hire good people who would be  "on top of any problems that arose in Ohio."  (Sebring is still a  work in progress.)

Yep, the pick of the litter.  A few examples will suffice:

Rick Hodges was plucked by Kasich from  his job as director  of the Ohio Turnpike Commission  to become director of the Ohio  Department of Health.  The position had been filled by physicians, or as the state law required, "someone with significant  experience in the public health field."  Hodges  wasn't qualified to give you an over-the-counter aspirin.

And how about  Debe Terhar , the Tea Party activist who was appointed to the State  Board of Education while adding a Hitler graphic to her page  doubtless aimed at President Obama.  ( She advanced to  board president!) She worked with Kasich to drive out her predecessor, Deborah Delisle.

Then we come to Mike Gonidakis, executive director of Ohio Right to Life and registered pro-life lobbyist,  who  was appointed to the the State Medical Board, which is supposed to assess the qualifications of physicians,  which he isn't.

As Plunderbund once pointed out, Kasich added a climate change denier to  the Public Utilities Commission  of Ohio.

Oh, and a former utilities lobbyist and VP for American Electric power to the Department of Natural Resources.

There's more, including the privatization of the now secretive  JobsOhio.   But  don't get me started. Is this  how he chooses foxes for his chicken coops?

When Kinky Friedman , the cowboy songwriter, humorist and  radio guest of Don Imus ran against Rick Perry for governor (and lost) , he had some words of assurance to the voters:

"Trust me,'' he said, with  mock sincerity.   "I'm  Jewish. l'll hire good people."

Kasich has yet to meet that goal for his honor roll .

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Happy Days are here again!

It's getting spooky.

That constant starry-eyed Kasich grin, I mean.  His rapturous  references on the stump  to  his partnership that has peaced-him-up with the Lord.

Headlines refer to him now as the Happy Warrior..  The national media, having sought in vain to change the subject from their own partnership with all things Trump, have bought into the idea that the Ohio governor is gleefully standing at the Pearly Gates these days.  It's not the guy we have come to know back in Ohio.  But here comes another story  from New Hampshire that the voters have a Happy Warrior moving around in their midst.

The smiley-face  logo for a presidential campaign was seeded in 1928 when Al Smith, the four term New York Democratic governor chose to upgrade his  career  by seeking the presidency.

The Happy Warrior, he was called. But it didn't work out happily for him.  He was beaten  by Herbert Hoover, of all people..

 The defeat was largely attributed to the notion that although Al was happy, he was  thought to be a Papist.  Sort of  like  Obama being called a Muslim, don't you think?

A born-again, Kasich is smiling at every opportunity .  The other day his response to a reporter on TV was a burst of  joy that  jumbled his words.

But in his more reflective moments running 20 points behind Trump,  Kasich  oddly conceded at a town hall meeting a few days ago "if I get snuffed out in New Hampshire,  it's ballgame over."  On  caucus day in Iowa, Kasich willl  be in New Hampshire  for another of the more than 85 town halls where he's preached  for votes.And if he loses.he will have to come back to Ohio and  the mess he's left behind.


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

GUEST COLUMN: Ohio Education Dept. Scandal



A classic television game show that premiered in the early 1950s, and was revived a few times for new audiences, might have booked Ohio Gov. John Kasich in a heartbeat. The show was called I’ve Got a Secret. 
It featured celebrity guests with something to hide. Panelists would ask questions and search for clues to guess the secret. 

Gov. Kasich has a secret. He hides it well as he peddles his plain-spoken, real-deal, son-of-a-mailman sales pitch as a Republican presidential candidate in New Hampshire.
The secret is secure with Kasich loyalists. Mr. Kasich is mum about the details, but a left-leaning blog with an emphasis on Ohio and national politics is on the right track. Plunderbund suggests “a scandal begging to be born” is bubbling in the governor’s home state.
Out-of-state media are oblivious to the disgrace at the Ohio Department of Education. Team Kasich has effectively kept the story under wraps on the campaign trail.
But there’s no excuse for the largely apathetic in-state coverage of all the dirt swept under the rug by the Kasich administration to hide education fraud at ODE. Top officials at the department — handpicked by Governor Kasich to advance privatization of public schools — presided over illegal activities last summer.
Former ODE school choice director David Hansen, the man in charge of charter school oversight, engaged in a fraudulent scheme to boost the evaluations of some charters. Mr. Hansen, whose wife worked as the governor’s chief of staff until she left to manage his presidential campaign, admitted scrubbing data on failing online and dropout recovery-charters to improve their standing in the state.
Some outraged state school board members charged Mr. Hansen with breaking the law and demanded an impartial investigation. Team Kasich quashed that notion and contained the political damage.
Then-state superintendent Richard Ross professed no prior knowledge of the fraud perpetrated on his watch by his subordinate to promote an administration mandate. Unexplained is why Mr. Ross forwarded Mr. Hansen’s falsified data to the U.S. Department of Education for funding, despite the controversy over his cooked books.
ODE’s discredited charter czar quietly resigned from the department, followed by the retirement of the superintendent months later. The department that had allowed the data scam to proceed in a calculated move for public dollars — without regard for educational accountability — vowed to enact internal reforms. No need for outside scrutiny.
Chagrined state lawmakers who were previously in no hurry to pass charter school reform, finally approved legislation to take the heat off Mr. Kasich. The changes will only be meaningful if they are implemented by the Kasich people running the ODE.
Public education advocates aren’t holding their breath for wholesale reform of the charter school industry in Ohio, which is fine with the Kasich administration. It pushed a potential political liability off the radar to let Mr. Kasich spin on the campaign trail without distraction.
But the candidate is trying to hide other dirt. The Kasich chiefs at ODE, who were required by law to judge charter school sponsors with the same academic and administrative performance criteria used for traditional public schools, broke that law. The GOP power brokers who control Ohio lined up to protect the governor and let the ODE fraud slide.
From State Auditor Dave Yost, one of Mr. Kasich’s campaign co-chairs in the state, to Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien, who prosecuted similar data scrubbing in Columbus City Schools, top Republican officials are reluctant to pursue acknowledged fraud at the highest levels of the state education department.
To do so might compromise political careers and ambitions in a crucial election year. But Prosecutor O’Brien has no reason not to initiate a grand jury investigation of the ODE affair.
Providing cover for partisans caught in the political crossfire, instead of holding them accountable for violating the public trust, does not serve justice. Mr. Kasich has political insurance that insulates him from the fallout of a corrupt charter school industry that has thrived under his leadership, and forfeited the futures of thousands of poorly educated children.
New Englanders may not know the candidate’s secret, but it’s out in the open here.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Local Democrats: a group that stayed home

That was a shorthanded audience (about 85)  that lacked local officeholder beef  for Ted Strickland's Akron Press Club appearance on Monday.  Although the former Democratic governor is now on the circuit in the U.S.Senate race, the party's achievers decided to snub his speech in deference to their unofficial-official endorsement of Strickland's youthful primary oppnent, P.G. Sittenfeld,  a Cincinnati councilman.

With a huff and a puff, that's showing Ted! It told you more  about the state of the Summit County Democrats than about the relative merits of the two candidates, which is is not what this column is all about.   A boycott of a candidate  for a major federal  office was awful political wisdom and a terrible display of hometown manners.   Asked about  the division, Strickland showed a little more class.  If County Executive Russ Pry or State Sen. Tom Sawyer asked to meet with him if he is elected senator, he said he would  be glad to accommodate them.

 Sawyer's name keeps popping up in various conversations around town - from his brief presumptuous effort to jump into the 2015 mayor's race as "the adult" in the room, to his reported probes to land a job in  Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan's administration.

The stated reason for the boycott is that Strickand is too old   at 74, as against Sittenfeld's 31.  Trouble  is, even though nobody disagrees that  the Ohio party's cave-like   existence for many years should recruit new blood (Republican Party, too), it's not likely to be solved in 2016 and could come at the expense of a U.S. Senate seat held by tag -along Republican Sen. Rob Portman.

In his Press Club talk, Strickland slammed Portman, issue by issue, that cast the incumbent as a solid native of the GOP's hard right on abortion, minimum wage, jobs ,  and various other matters dear to the hearts of the Republican base   The thread throughout the talk wove in his vision of better lives for the working class and less profits for the super rich.

The Ohio Democrats' biggest  challenge this year will be finding a way to dump Portman.
At this point, it seems doable.  The local Dem leaders will have to face up to which candidate they believe will be more able to accomplish that. Boycotts of someone in your own family are school yard chest- pounding for a  political aggregate that more often than not acts as self-satisfied elected individuals than a cohesive force.

If you see me after the November election, I'll tell you whether the locals guessed right.   But  for now, a smattering of  courtesy, even in politics,  couldn't hurt.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Trump: the Christian straight-shooter

The secular world is all agog today over the lengthy reports that Donald Trump, a GOP   specialist forever reciting Grim Fairy Tales,  went to church in Iowa on Sunday and dropped two "crisp $50 bills" in the collection plate.  Gasp!

Was this the same good Christian  who told his audience hours earlier that he could shoot someone and not  lose a single vote?

We wonder about his M.O. these days.  My only question:  Is $100, newly minted,  enough to cover a gambling license that would allow him to install slot machines in the basement of a Presbyterian church?

Sunday, January 24, 2016

No end to the Cleveland sports saga

The bad news is the Cleveland Cavaliers suffered another ugly loss to a top rated team Saturday night in the debut of their new coach as the hometown crowd booed.

The good news is the coach,  Tyronn Lue,  wasn't fired after the game.  Not being an intense  basketball fan, I am at least aware that Lue  could become  the next  guy added  to the merciless list of Cleveland managers and coaches of  the Cavs, Browns and Indians  who stopped off in the city.  History is not on his side.

Meantime. could the Cavs be the first team to fire the coach while the team was leading its division by a lot? And will it be the first team to be led by a player-coach?   LeBron James,   I mean?  Most insiders are  not sure, or even deny, that LeBron held the winning hand in ousting David Blatt .

But as an outsider, I am grateful that the Cleveland pro sports teams continue to grab  my attention in the moments when Donald Trump isn't boasting that his fans are so attached to him that even if he shot somebody, he wouldn't lose a single vote.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Hey, pundits. There's a darker side to Kasich

Have you  been following the transition of John Kasich  from crabby governor to   mild and mannered presidential candidate to  hardscrabble evangelical preacher to  a boastful human ode to the common man?

Probably not.  I haven't noticed that the hometown papers nor the national pundits have picked up  on his slick morphing to gain ground as a  blessedly  good white guy in the wilds of New Hampshire.

All things being relative,  Kasich is now being heralded  by some writers as the lone civilized carom away from Donald Trump and  some other guy named
 Cruz.  In the modern media-driven age hurriedly built on fresh material to satisfy viewers and readers, his newly created style points have projected him as a  "moderate".

A moderate?

And so, dear  readers,  I  must move more deeply into the confusion by asking whether a moderate would pledge to defund Planned Parenthood "like  crazy" or put it entirely out of business if possible.

Or  massage  workers in  Bow, N.H., by asking whether a blue- collar kid like him as the son of a mailman would be more sympathetic to workers than to "rich people"?

That one's  easy:  the rich people, of course. .As POLITICO reported:  Some of the biggest supporters to his Super PAC have relationships with him  that  have generated ethics complaints.

 Among the biggest donors are companies doing business with his administration, including mining interests. That  might be more than a clue to why he said at an energy conference "we are going to continue to work on cleaning coal, but I want to tell  you, we are going to dig it, we are going to clean it and we are going to burn it  in Ohio and we aren't going to apologize for it."

That arrives  at the same bullying latitude as when he openly called a cop an idiot  for pulling him over on a traffic stop.  Or when he referred to Californians as wackadoodles. Or when he warned that  anybody who didn't go along with his policies would be  run over by the bus.

They said  he is  fully  at peace with himself  because  the Lord is now in charge of  his campaign to lead him to greater heights.(Not a pun!)

With that sacred rite of passage, if this guy should ever  be sworn in as president, the ceremony might   be staged in Ernest Angley's Grace Cathedral in Cuyahoga Falls..

 On election day the smoke rising from the chimney would  not   match blue collars but the starchy white of the big board rooms.  Shouldn't the swooning pundits get off their butts and find out some of these things for themselves.?

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Sarah and Donald show - a meaningless pair

I hope you witnessed the red carpet return of Sarah Palin from the baggage  compartment to endorse Donald Trump the other night. Appearing for a role in a rerun of the War of the Worlds, she excitedly exclaimed:  "This is going to be so much fun!" with a dead-panned Trump at her side for the next 20 minutes.  Who else but America's fading Drama Queen could have shut him up for so long?  I guess there is some good in everything.

Palin's histrionic schtick remains Sarah doing Sarah.   Demonizing in the higher octaves,   she recounted  America's sins with acid-pointed daggers to the hearts of the GOP establishment  and President Obama's "weak-kneed capitulation"  and his many lies.  She hysterically acted out her words with her trademark  2008 sarcastic, mugging wit. (Stephen Colbert did say that she nailed down the evangelical vote by speaking in tongues.)

Trump, who seemed bored at times, said later that he might consider Palin  for a post in his administration.  The world would be waiting to determine whether to block American tourists from foreign borders.
She didn't show any concern that within 24 hours earlier, her boozy son was arrested back home and  charged with  punching  around his girlfriend and menacing the place  with an assault rifle.

All of this could make a great movie, folks,  except I may spoil the ending.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Every solution causes a problem

Dog lovers  will understand

Are local Dem leaders risking a Senate race?

I am here to report that the Summit County Democrats are alive and routinely contrary as we get down to business in this election year. Acting solely as individuals without state party support,  the county's  and city's  top Democratic officeholders gathered Tuesday to endorse  P.G. Sittenfeld, the young (31) Cincinnati councilman, against former Gov. Ted Strickland (74) in the party's senate primary.  Without  having  to connect the dots, the locals' primary concern was the obvious age difference and the need for the party to recruit younger folks into the playing field.

Of itself, such logic is old-fashioned inasmuch as it couldn't have occurred at a worse time in the party's attempt to dislodge Republican Sen. Rob Portman in a year  when some gurus  are saying the Democrats  could could gain control of the U.S. senate with a few more victories in November.  But Summit Democrats have enjoyed a long contentious city-county history of   doing  things that don't always make the ends meet.

As of this moment, Strickland, who has been endorsed by the state party ,  is leading Sittenfeld in the polls and is slightly ahead of Portman. In the latter race, Strickland could gain some ground from a unified party, but based on yesterday's pageant it  seems the locals  aren't considering that possibility.

The new Summit Democratic chairman, Jeff Fusco, whatever his preference, stayed away from the Sittenfeld rollout.  The party doesn't endorse  in primaries.  Still,  Tuesday's meeting,  said  to be called for by Summit Executive Russ Pry,   left little doubt where energy, fund-raising, and voting power will lead in the primary.

But to raise a cliche, they may win the battle, but lose the war in November while costing the  party one vote in the U..S. Senate.  It's a truism to argue that the state party has  suffered from its own incompetence over the years in building a farm system of fresh faces.  But Sittenfeld won't solve the problem with a dress rehearsal.   He has a long political life ahead of him and his high value to the party could put him at the top of the list  - the day after the November election.

Maybe I'm too fussy about the higher stakes  here .  But  I only know what the polls are telling me.   Meantime, I recall what  the late  Ray Bliss once told me: he wouldn't endorse his own brother if he didn't think he could win.

Being old-fashioned in that respect, I painfully agree in playing the current  odds.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

GOP should keep the champagne corked

Just heard a Republican white guy boasting that Democratic candidates will have President Obama's "noose" around their necks in November.  Unfortunately, I don't have such precious powers of long-range forecasting.  I can only tell you that today's unheralded political news is that Obama is showing some positive bounce in the polls.

 Despite the sledge hammers that the GOP have been using on the White House on the Iran nuclear  deal, migrants and Obamacare,  some national polls show that he is trending upward in the public eye after a long period of being as much as double digited disapproval.

Gallup now casts him  with a 6- point advantage in public approval,  the Reuters   poll finds him in a 50-50 tie and  NBCs has him down by only 2 points.  Doesn't. sound like his opponents should be uncorking the champagne when they noose their Democratic  opponents.

Monday, January 18, 2016

A n older white guy's message to angry white guys

Well, there they go again. On and on about how "angry older white guys"  are loudly out in force to elect  scary creatures like Donald Trump or Ted Cruz.

It  didn't  quickly  dawn on me that I am, short of the angry bit, an  older white guy.   A lot older white guy.  Grumpy at times, yes.  Snarky?  Of course.  Judgmental?  You bet . Reactive against Republicans?  Only a defense mechanism from the rebellious offspring of a Republican family.

It was my father, for example,  who had no use for the Kennedy clan and even lectured  me on how newspapers  covered up Ted's Chappaquiddick nightmare as he cited all of the horrific details.

"How did you find out about all of this, Dad?" I asked during a visit  to the family retirement home in Miami, where he wanted me to believe that nobody could possibly die amid the sunshine and palms.

"It was in the Miami Herald!" he said, triumphantly, even though he had never wanted me to be a newspaperman.

It seems to me that anybody who reaches a certain  age and still wakes up in the morning to greet another day ought not to be too angry about anything.   Not only angry older  white guys  but surely angry older  white  women who are never mentioned  in these stereotypical  groupings of  bewhiskered  old men in crumpled baseball  caps who prefer Duck Dynasty  to Downton Abbey,  or even Seinfeld.  But as one older white  guy to another, may I suggest that there is no pot of gold awaiting you and me at the end of Trump's rainbow? Honest, honest, honest.


Friday, January 15, 2016

For GOP debaters, bring on the stagehands

For all of you who didn't bother to watch the Republican SWAT team in the debate Thursday night, here's what you missed :

Ohio Gov. John ("C'mon, are you KID-ding me?") Kasich filled in a few more important blanks in his family history  by informing us that  several relatives worked in Pennsylvania steel mills, thus burnishing his authentic  blue-collar roots as the son of a mailman, who didn't work in the mills.

Chris Christie, forever  the tough-talking Jersey boy,  said Barack Obama was a "petulant" kid and "we should kick his rear end out of the White House." (Would you first remove all of your traffic cones from his path, Guv?)

Ted Cruz and Donald Trump each referred to the other as a friend before kniving each other's flesh.  The critical domestic issue was Cruz's elitest put-down of Trump as having  "New York values".  ("Not a lot of conservatives come out of New York," he said,  ignoring a GOP presidential candidate named George Pataki, former New York governor and recent presidential dropout, as well as Rudy Giuliani,  a former Republican presidential candidate.)Trump was ready for this one.  He recalled how well New Yorkers responded to the 9/11 attacks.

Marco Rubio,  well rehearsed as a game-faced precocious  robot,  described Obamacare as a "certified  job killer" without  revealing the name of the certifier. He, like many other Repblicans,  promised to  rid the nation of the burden of the IRS.

I don't remember  much about the alarms of Jeb! Bush and  Ben Carson.  No matter. No game changers there.

Leave it as this:  The majority - "real people and not actors"  as the TV ads often explain -  defined the evil of world as ISIS, immigration, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton as America's leadership  has descended as sissies while a polluted face-masked China is gloriously rising.

As Kasich should have said in vernacular disbelief,   "C'mon, are you KID -ding me?  .


Thursday, January 14, 2016

Red-nose dear-dog

Cody got a snow job. (photo by Rick Z)

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

With Kasich: Always a fire drill exit

Given the fact that it's a presidential election year and Republicans have gagged over  President Obama since Day One  seven years ago, it wasn't surprising that they had nothing good to say about his  State of the Union message.  But the most curious response came from Gov.  Kasich,  who chose the occasion to promote his own candidacy with a prepared campaign statement  that cast him as ...well, a futurist. It was a perfect airball.   Here it is:
"Eight years from now I look forward to giving a State of the Union that describes a stronger, safer and more united America.  We're going to cut taxes, balance the budget and get  government out of the way so every American can rise."
No one has ever accused Kasich of being a shrinking violet about his self-inflated credentials. But this feathery trajectory into the future is so pretentious that it doesn't even hold up as mere campaign rhetoric.

But Kasich has a reputation for  swerving away from anything that might pain  his presence as a can-do political figure, swerving and dodging whatever he doesn't want to confront. For example as relayed by Plunderbund from the Des Moines Register,  the governor, turned up in Iowa where he  was asked by a reporter about the Oregon standoff between the Feds and the militia.

Kasich said he'd didn't know anything about it.  Huh?   Never heard a thing about it.

"I'm not familiar with it. OK. I've got to get out of here."

He then rushed out.

Kasich's spokesman,, Rob. Nichols, whose tough job is much like trying to grow grass in the Sahara,  said the incident was an "error in staff briefing"  But as the Plunderbund writer observed:

"Gov. Kasich routinely claims he's above politics and doesn't read newspapers, blogs and any other news source that mentions their beloved, gimmicky governor."

I can help:  President Obama gave his final State of the Union speech Tuesday night.  It would be a fair guess that someone who reads newspapers wrote your meaningless response  over the weekend.

But who would remember something like that eight years from now?

Monday, January 11, 2016


On  these cold days... (Photo courtesy of Rick Z.)

Cruz: we should paddle ISIS. Honest.

If you are looking for some fresh paths into the Republican presidential field Ted Cruz is your guy.

 He has offered a new open-carry weapon to put ISIS in its place.  Complaining, as usual, that President Obama is totally out of the loop in meeting the ISIS threat,  the forever whining Texas senator said he could handle the whole thing with a ...paddle.

That, he explained in a leap of logic,  is how he handles misbehavior back home when his five-year-old son tells a lie.  "He is paddled," Cruz declares with the authority of a no-nonsense father.  ''And that's what we should do to ISIS.  Paddle them."

That sort of playground  bullying takes me back to Wisconsin Gov. Scott
Walker's defense of his bona fides as a Republican presidential candidate.  He boasted  that if he could defeat 100,000 union members in his state, he was fully prepared to  rid the world of ISIS.

Not good enough.  He was an early dropout from the race.

(Reposted from Plunderbund)

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Thursday, January 7, 2016

On UA, her name is Bond - Jane Bond!

In a prominent editorial page  headline, the Beacon Journal   prepared the reader for a clearer grasp of the troubles at the University of Akron with the words, "Why so many oppose the direction at UA."

We soon got the answer from a feisty former  common pleas judge, Jane Bond. who also has served on the UA Board of Trustees.

In a lengthy column examining the irregular shape of  academic life on the downtown campus, Bond reached into her long experience in the trenches of justice and higher education.  For President Scott Scarborough and Board of Trustees to remain indifferent to the chorus of critics around town will only invite further disaffection from those who  see the school as hurtling itself into mediocrity under the team's mismanaged attempt to suck up all of the technology of the modern age.

It's called polytechnology, which is where Bond finds a ballyhooed plan going wildly astray.

"The humanities will be downsized and condensed as different departments are merged  and as faculty members leave without being replaced," she writes. "Graduation requirements for English, history and social sciences will be reduced because they are not seen as having value in achieving  technological  proficiencies."

Tenured professors are leaving,  replaced by graduate assistants.  And as some witnesses have  complained, students paying full-time tuition expect a higher graded faculty in the classroom.  (I've heard that 50 tenured professors are gone with no effort to replace them.)

Clearly, Scarborough could not win  an appreciative vote on campus because of his  swashbuckling performance that ignored the culture of the campus and city.  Who said, "Success relies on knowing the territory"?   He didn't.

You can can expect the situation to fester.   And  there will be frustration that damage to the university's reputation has already happened, not only hereabouts but in national publications.  In some quarters there is said to be talk that since the Board of Trustees, a proven non-entity,   would not fire the president they hired,  would he accept a buyout with money from off the campus?

 I don't know where that might go.  I do know that the worst thing that could happen would be to leave so many issues  locked  in its current state.

So that leaves Jane Bond to a reasonable  appeal.  As she writes:  "We must reclaim our university and demand that the board of trustees stop what is happening.  Students, alumni, donors and members of our community must 'come together' to preserve and protect one of the most important assets we have - our University of Akron."

Folks, a lot of wax has already drifted down the candle.

Monday, January 4, 2016

No doubt. Trump is a black hole

 My frustrating search to find the most definitive words to describe Donald Trump is now fully and brilliantly ready to be shared with you.  In astrophysical language he is ... um...a BLACK HOLE.

The term has been popularized as scientists with powerful telescopes continue to graze in a mysterious universe.  As best as I can understand it, s black hole is a huge suction cup - one of many out there -  whose gravitational power even prevents light from escaping  the darkness. Some are said to be created by collapsing stars.  Interesting.

There!  Not even an Einstein can claim to have witnessed a ray of light  flickering from  the void.

Fair enough.  Donald Trunp is a Black Hole.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

2016: The slippery road ahead

Probing the  new year:

  •  JEB! will agree to affix a hashtag to his name instead of an exclamation  point to make it easier for the voters to find him.

  • The personal-computer age will implode when Apple concedes that it has run out of passwords.

  • The Browns will win the opening game of the 2016-17 season but not  before they  had fired their new coach after the team lost its opener of  the exhibition season.

  • Responding to criticism from Akron area shoe stores, the University of Akron Board of Trustees will no longer allow  mileage expenses for President Scarborough for driving  to sites within  walking distance.

  • Hospital emergency rooms will report hundreds  more injuries from distracted texters who fall from cliffs, rooftops and silos or crash into fire hydrants, parking meters and grocery carts.  But  as with  guns, conservatives will be successful in protecting the gadgets to be openly carried  in all public places known to vote Republican.    

  • Defeated as a presidential candidate, Donald Trump will buy the entire Republican Party and declare his candidacy for the 2020 election while excoriating Jerry Seinfeld for choosing President Obama to ride around in a $60,000 Stingray instead of  laying up sandbags in the Missouri flooding caused by Hillary Clinton. 

  • Climate-change deniers will blame the Italian government for not putting a cork in Mt. Vesuvius that would have prevented its powerful eruption from causing  world-wide air pollution.

  • Embarrassed upon learning that some of its members were misspelling "polytechnic" in official correspondence,  the UA Board of Trustees agreed to make use of the word optional.

  • Insisting that he has ''real solutions to real problems,"  Gov. Kasich  says he doesn't need  a solution for charter schools because they are not a problem. Meanwhile,  the Columbus Dispatch reported that Kasich believes he will be appointed U. S. postmaster general because of his background as the son of a mailman.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Jeff Fusco: well-deserved recognition

It's now official:  The first annual Grumpy Abe  "2015 political person of the
 year" award has been unanimously chosen by the author of this blog.  It is Jeff Fusco, so honored for his steady determination to restore peace and dignity to the mayor's office as the city's chief executive  after a brief period of disruption by his recent predecessors.

Without any notion to remain in the job beyond a new year,  Fusco was projected into the mayor's office after Don Plusquellic's  resignation that was followed by a brief stay by Garry Moneypenny.  That set the stage for Fusco's promotion in the line of succession as the president  of City Council in the midst of rising factionalism on Council and other leading problems facing the city.   But seasoned by his own experience in that legislative body, he quietly soldiered on while also running  for council-at- large.

It was to his credit that he effectively  managed  important city business,  stood back from fanfare, was reelected to Council and now shares the satisfaction upon leaving at year's end  that he had served his mission well in the mayor's office.

Yep, Person of the Year. By acclimation from Grumpy.