Friday, May 31, 2013

Gordon, Catholic and Polish jokes ain't funny

Hasn't the time come for Gordon Gee, the OSU president, to grow up? Shouldn't he decide whether he wants to sit atop a mega-university or be a standup comedian who slammed (ha, ha) the priests at Notre Dame University as "those damn Catholics"   and declared that Catholics couldn't be trusted.  The remarks were contained in a recording of his remarks to a meeting of the school's Athletic Council (ha, ha) in which  he disparaged the Notre Dame football presence, saying: "The fathers are holy on Sunday and holy hell on the rest of the week." (ha, ha)

Gee, a Mormon, had run  into earlier image problems by complaining that coordinating OSU's many divisions was similar to trying to organize the Polish army.

Gee, who is richly paid for his tenure at OSU, has apologized for his remarks, saying they were intended to be funny.  So why are a lot of people not laughing?

P.S. Problem quickly solved.  Gee reportedly is undergoing something the University described as  a "remediation" plan in lieu of sending him off to the hungry I for his next gig. (I.e., fuhgeddaboudit)

* * * * *

The Chicago Sun-Times added a new dark chapter to the inexorable decline of newspapers by firing its entire photography staff of 20, plus a group of free-lancers.   The paper's front office, like many front offices today, groped for an explanation by saying: "Our audiences are consistently seeking more video content with their news" and the S-T was working to meet that demand "to restructure the way we manage multimedia including photography, across the network."

Do you think the paper's next desperate step will be to offer free popcorn for everyone who prefers the videos?   Forbes contributor Michelin Maynard said the paper will rely on reporters to snap photographs with smart phones."

We liked the epitaph from former Obama senior advisor David Axelrod, who tersely summed up the paper's shrinkage:  "The front page yielded to the bottom line".

* * * * *

Talk about chutzpah!  When a political party can openly deny an audit of how public money is spent on a private company set up by that party, that's big-time chutzpah.

Trouble is,  there's no counter-force in Columbus to prevent the schemers on the Republican side from letting us see how the money channeled to JobsOhio (RobsOhio, says Plunderbund) is being pocketed.  Both houses of the Republican-controlled General Assembly, which have left the minority Democrats impotent, blocked  an attempt to audit the JobsOhio books by the state auditor.  It becomes clearer each day why Gov. Kasich promoted the creation of JobsOhio as a private development company free of public oversight.

Jeez!  What will the Rustics  at the Statehouse think of next to screw the public?

Michel(l)e Bachmann, how could you abandon us?

Somehow, I'm going to miss Michele Bachmann.  It has taken me so long to remember whether she spelled her name with one "l" or two, as in Obama and Pfeiffer.  (I didn't always succeed in print!)

For the lifespan of my  Grumpy Abe and Plunderbund posts , she  provided bizarre "content" when everything else seemed to be on the serious side while Sarah Palin, Louie Gohmert  and Rand Paul were taking the day off.  You may recall that it was Gohmert, the wacko Republican representative from Texas who advanced the notion that immigrant women bear children  on American soil so  that the kids will grow up to become terrorists.  (If you don't recall it, you've  lost nothing, folks.)

You could always count on the Flat-Earth Goddess of the Tea Party  in the U.S. House to say something scarily entertaining even though it didn't make sense.   But. alas, she announced during a tour of Russia - see how comedic this can be? -  that she will not seek another term from a Minnesota district in 2014.

You would have thought that Queen Elizabeth had  abdicated and moved to Ireland. The Bachmann  news reverberated across Big Media, if not shopping malls, baseball games and garden clubs.

Still it's  hard to imagine a planet without  Michele's wisdom,  the preferred sweet-sounding voice of the Flintstones.  The immediate buzz was that she will be offered a fat contract by Fox News to continue her unofficial  labors for much that is wrong about political life in America.

In a melancholy mood, I  offer a few Bachmannisms as a going-away cache  from the Micel(l)e archives.:

She accused President Obama of spending $200 million on a trip to India.

During her overreaching presidential campaign, she promised the electorate that as president she would let Americans  choose their own  light bulbs.

She insisted that an aide to Hillary Clinton was "affiliated" with the Muslim Brotherhood.

She thought it was an "interesting coincidence" that swine flu outbreaks in the 1970s and again in 2009 occurred during Democratic presidencies.

Michel(l)e, how could you leave  us bloggers when you have so much to offer on those days when we have nothing more to think about but the hapless Ohio legislature?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Rubio: Obamacare led to IRS scandal

Sen. Marco Rubio  has his grandiose ambition wrapped so tightly around his yearning to be president that maybe we should forgive him for sounding as dumb as Sarah Palin at times.  The Florida Republican wannabe wunderkind's latest non-sequitur exposed the sort of logic that could leap the Grand Canyon.

 In an email to a constituent, Rubio blamed Obamacare for the IRS controversy.  As you may have heard, Rubio hates Obamacare and hopes to ride it to the Republican nomination for president in 2016.  So, the only answer to things like the IRS keyhole, he says, is to repeal Obamacare". He may yet throw in the Oklahoma tornado as manufactured in the Oval Office,   but you  get my point about Obama-hating.

The May issue of Smithsonian magazine quotes an angry response by a specialist in microbe research to a scientific team's report that changes in gut bacteria could  protect us from strokes.   Jonathan Eisen of the University of California scowled that the team's ideas were "completely absurd, dangerous , and self-serving claims that confuse  the issue of correlation versus causation."

Back to Rubio:  Wish I'd said that.

The Buckeye assembly of headless horsemen

During a recent visit to  Summit Mall,  the sprawling retail center in Fairlawn, I heard a small boy shriek as he looked up in awe to a store window featuring several headless manikins:

"They don't got no heads!!!"

No heads, indeed.

You could only wonder how he might have reacted during a visit to the Republican-controlled Ohio legislature where a lot of denizens (hardly fashion humanikins) strut around ceremoniously every day with nothing attached to their necks. Reinforcing their  party's bizarre higher echelon on Capitol Hill, the Buckeye version of rusticated politics is seriously dedicated to subverting the GOP's stage persona of trying to win new friends with ideas that only have the opposite effect.

President Calvin Coolidge, in a snarky mood,  once huffed about  Sen. William Borah , a maverick Republican from Idaho and a daily horseback rider: "It's hard to imagine Borah going in the same direction as his horse."

Today, much of what I've  seen of  the Republican lawmakers in Columbus and Washington is that whatever the consequence they're all in fact  riding in the same direction despite their uncooperative horses -  heedless of  public opinion - that has sent Congress to its scandalously low public approval rating.

Whether it be Medicaid, background gun checks, Planned Parenthood, labor unions, minorities  or  a host of other issues, they have revived the scary headless horseman of Sleepy Hollow, hanging on for dear life to sustain a spooky ideology that has cost them two presidential elections.

(My favorite quote from the last election was uttered by the Republican whiner-in chief, John Boehner,  who lamented to a luncheon group in Tampa that he didn't think his party could win Latinos and blacks, so he hoped that they would apathetically stay home and not vote at all.  I'm not sure you can call that a valid political strategy. And, by the way, they didn't stay home.)

Guys like Boehner and Sen. Rob Portman ought to be from Utah or Idaho, where they would be a perfect fit for the Red State political landscape.  Unfortunately, Ohio  must bear  the national  image of not only being the home of presidents but also the home of
GOP naifs who have turned the legislature into their very own assembly of  headless manikins.  

Monday, May 27, 2013

A senator, a grieving mother, and a dead end

 If you were a U.S.senator  who had voted against background gun checks, what would you tell a grieving mother whose son was fatally shot in the Aurora, Co., theatre massacre?

It  apparently was not a problem when Rob Portman, the Ohio Republican, met with Jerri Jackson, of Springfield, Oh, whose son, Matthew McQuinn,  was killed by nine bullets while he tried to shield his girl friend from the  madman's weapon. As reported by the Springfield News-Sun, Portman was shown a picture of her son by Mrs. Jackson, who told the senator: "We're not saying you can't have have a gun.  You don't need 100 rounds at a time."

Portman,  a gun enthusiast who has repeatedly insisted that background checks would not save lives, later described Mrs. Jackson as a "great lady" and her son as a "hero",  adding, without a hint of heroism guiding his own conscience, "I respect her tremendously, and what she's going through is very difficult."

"We agree on a lot," he said.  We don't agree on everything,".

Oh? He tried to explain: "Ultimately, there's no one answer to this." Problem solved.

What did Portman's old boss, George W. Bush call it?  Compassionate conservatism?

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Husted takes credit for cleaning up a non-problem

Do you recall how Secretary of State Jon Husted and a number of other Republicans on the voter-suppression goon squad were trying to narrow the goal posts for Ohio's  minorities in the last presidential election?  Voter fraud might  alter the outcome of the election, they warned.

Well, I'm pleased to report that of the 5.6 million votes that were cast, only 625 were considered questionable, according to a post-election survey by Husted's office and county boards of election.  Of those only 115  were sent to local prosecutors for possible action.

Now upbeat from the findings, Husted said his efforts to clean up the election paid off.  Cool.

Husted's pre-election hustle, he now says, was merely an attempt to get at the facts.
He said the concerns of voters were driven by "hyperbole" and it was through his office's efforts that  fraud was hardly existent,  or as he put it in a puffy release: "This report demonstrates that voter fraud does exist, but it is not epidemic. (Of those cases where duplicate ballots were cast, "only one of those ballots was ultimately counted,"  he boasted.

Immodestly, he took credit for the clean-up, insisting  that the "safeguards we have in place worked in the majority of these cases."

We have a winner for our latest Grumpy Abe Linguistic Lunacy (GALL) award.  See above.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Republican medieval ideologues - Oklahoma style

What in the name of medieval enlightenment is going on in Oklahoma in the wake of the horrendous disaster?  For the state's political class, it's still business as usual.  Both senators - Jim Inhofe and Tom Coburn, Republican fiscal vultures - are rejecting Federal relief unless the money can be matched by cuts elsewhere in the Federal budget. If that isn't done immediately, you can guess the rest of the story for the stricken survivors.  (Both guys opposed federal relief aid in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, too.)

Meantime, the Oklahama legislature routinely went about its daily business this week by  defunding Planned Parenthood.   There are priorities - and there are priorities.

But Inhofe did offer his own version of palliative relief, tweeting:
"The devastation in Okahoma is heartbreaking. Please join me and pray for  Oklahoma.  Spread the word."
OK, senator.  Then what do you have in mind for Plan B?

Monday, May 20, 2013

Today's ever-vigilant press with Maureen Dowd thrown in


Maureen Dowd,  she of the "liberal"  media, has become the New York Times' Op-ed version of Michele Bachmann.  Forever full of herself, she's been obsessing  against President Obama, most recently likening him to a "sad sack".  She's even gone so far as to say that Hillary might have to run in 2016 to "restore honor" in the White House.   Wow!   It all leads me to speculate on whether she might not have been included on the A-list of a White House dinner.

* * * * *

A long piece in the Plain Dealer about the life and times of  crusading Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine quoted his soaring reason for wanting to hold office.   "I ran for attorney general not just to hold office, " he asserted. "I ran for attorney general because I wanted to do things."  Noble. Still shouldn't the story also have included  at least one word that among the biggest things that  he's wanted to do was to slap down Obamacare  and company insurance coverage of contraceptives as the lawyer for all Ohioans?  Even women.

* * * * *

There they go again:  The Beacon Journal ran another op-ed piece by Richard Vedder, the conservative  Ohio University  economics professor emeritus who is being paid $150,000 a year to write his slants by an outfit named Donors Trust.  It is sort of a laundering operation that channels huge amounts of contributions to ideologically compatible "liberty-minded" charities.   Fine. But shouldn't the reader be told that? Vedder did disclose in his most recent column that a Forbes magazine ranking of college president salaries that he used for resource material was compiled by his own think tank.
I've long believed that if you want a strong college degree,  become a conservative economist.  There's money in it.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Boehner may need a Plan B on scandals

I can't imagine the kind of weekend the anti-Obama goon squad must have spent  bouncing around in the afterlife of the Republican Party. For days, the national media -  print and talking heads - have been sounding off about the president's approaching end of days in the wake of a scandalized administration. The only question, House Speaker John Boehner scowled, was who would "got to jail".  I'm not sure which scandal's smoking gun would merit time in the pokey. Still, jail is jail and Boehner has yet to give us a  clue to whether he would dispense with  trials.

Maybe I'm being too harsh with Boehner,  a forever grim-faced guy who claims to be obsessed with Benghazi. But in his search for political gold, he needs to know that 40 pct. of his shrunken Republican base can't even tell you where Benghazi is.  It wouldn't surprise me if that same percentage applied to his unruly House caucus.

More trouble arrived for the speaker in the polls showing that Obama hasn't lost a point in his public approval rating, which is around 53 pct.  That's about 52 points higher than the public's  attitude toward Congress these days.

Assuming there's a Plan B if those scandals fizzle short of satisfying the goons talking impeachment these days, what is left in the arsenal of hate for a black man who has twice denied his opponents the cigar on election night?

I will share with you a leak from a taxi driver on Capitol Hill who overheard a  high-level conversation about Plan B.

Here are some of the replacement scandals - Boehner squawking points, really - being discussed to deny the president a night's sleep:

A revival of the Chicago Black Sox scandal: Chicago.  Get it?

A Christmas card turned up in Obama's private collection from the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

An Al Capone mood ring passed down to Obama.  Chicago. Get it?

A Saul Alinsky organzation manual warmly inscribed to Obama.

Finally a report that former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley gave Obama a box seat ticket to a White Sox game.   (Sox lost that one, too.)

Meantime, may I add the mini-scandal of Boehner handing out tobacco company money (bribes) to his colleagues on the House floor just before a key vote affecting the tobacco industry?  It's a start!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Ohio lawmakers escape the official state artifact title

Just read that Gov. Kasich signed legislation naming a 2,000-year-old stone tobacco pipe as the official state artifact. (It turned up in an Indian burial ground  near Chillicothe.)   That should offer some relief to the rustics in the  General Assembly who feared they might be so designated instead.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Darrell Issa: Catching up with Louie Gohmert

We get a little spooked when we hear a congressman who is  the Republicans' leading investigator  engtangle himself in the the English language. We could have forgiven my immigrant grandmother for imprecise references to little things like verbs and nouns.  But when Darrell Issa, the Republican chairman and Inspector Clouseau of the House Oversight Committee does it, you have to wonder whether America has moved one step closer to Orwell's Newspeak.

Issa,  a forever showboating right-wing nuisance, has yet to produce anything of substance from his feral probes.  Back in February 2012 , you may remember,  he barred Sandra Fluke from appearing on his all-male panel on contraception, supposing she lacked "expertise". That raised the bar to declaring that condoms and such are only a guy thing.

Now, back in the fetid trenches of Benghazi, Issa insisted  that "an act of terror is different from terrorist actions".

Huh?  Right.   For this profound insight into international terrorism and American unpreparedness  (read: Obama/Clinton deriliction) we have  hauled out the cherished Grumpy Abe Linguistic Lunacy  (GALL)  Award for the congressman.

That will put him still a tad behind  on this day to the Louie Gohmert Award.  But with Issa, you can be certain there will  be more opportunities for him to even the score.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Arshinkoff vs. Coughlin. Back at the O.K. Corral.

Despite their  mutual hostility, Summit County Republican Chairman Alex Arshinkoff and former state Sen. Kevin Coughlin do have one thing in common: each has long had the will, but neither has found the way.  For the chairman, he has aspired to recognition as a powerful player at the state and national level of the GOP while presiding over  a local party that has been reduced to the margins of politics.  For Coughlin, young, very conservative and fully aggressive,   he has aspired to  a higher political calling - governor?  - and finds himself in  a brouhaha that is no more than routine in the Arshinkoff universe.

You are reminded of how Coughlin, who as a senator favored term limits, was TR'd out of his own senate seat in 2010,  and is now trying to find his way back onto the playing field  by running for clerk of courts in Stow. His itinerary to the November election will be as a non-partisan candidate.  You'd think there was nothing terribly evil  here to turn it into a blood sport between the GOP Arshinkoff wing and EE (Everybody else).

But wait, dear reader.  Even though  the Ohio Supreme Court upheld the non-partisan candidacy of a Republican judge in 2007, the fact that Coughlin was trying it out for size in November's election was enough to drop the issue in the lap of Board of Elections.  I won't bother you with the murky details, because they could change by the hour.  Suffice it to say that Arshinkoff sits on the board, where the sea is seldom calm,  and insists  the clerk of courts is a partisan job.

Not that Coughlin is alone in this battle of wits.  Stow Municipal Judge Kim Hoover,  a Republican, has filed for re-election as a non-partisan.    The judge, no friend of Arshinkoff's, is not taking the chairman's complaints seriously.  

"After all of Alex's blathering about this," Hoover says, "it will come down to how much value he will put into the question.  How much is it worth to him?   I'm guessing it will then go away."

Oy.  Arshinkoff vs. Coughlin.  Awesome.

Is there anything good on the TV tonight?


Friday, May 10, 2013

Prof. Richard Vedder's conservative cash cow

We've long known that retired (!) Ohio University economics  professor Richard Vedder has shaped his conservative sermons for  a perfect fit in the corporate world.  His op-ed  tax columns have been widely quoted or published in the media (including the Beacon Journal) as  authoritative.  And his testimony before legislative committees has been catnip for Republican pols. Vedder recently testified on Gov. Kasich's budget before a committee in Columbus, providing the ear candy for conservatives in need of fresh rhetoric.

What we didn't know until this day, folks, is that Vedder is also on the payroll of an   outfit innocently called Donors Trust that vows to to build a "legacy of liberty".  As evidence of that freedom, Donors Trust serves as a pass-through for large contributions from like-minded  "liberty-minded charities"  who are guaranteed anonymity.  The trust then shovels the money into various other like-minded organizations.. In more vulgar language, some would call it a laundering operation. You don't need an advanced college degree in economics to connect the dots.

But about Vedder: A study by the Associated Press revealed that for his sympathetic labors, Vedder, who left the campus as a regular  in 2001. is paid $150,000 annually by Donor Trusts to preach its Gospel.

And it doesn't take much deeper digging to learn that Donors Trust is a pass-through that channels huge donations to non-profit groups who  can remain secret recipients.

But wait.  If you roll back the tape,  you'll find vestiges of the Koch Brothers and the    Libertarian Cato Institute founded nearly 40 years ago by the  brothers.

The  Trust also has spread around nearly $91 million to groups dissing climate change as a liberal plot.  The brothers would agree  as the money flows.

Meantime, thank you, Associated Press.  At least  we now know the liberty-loving players and their confederates.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

In Ohio,Tea Partiers say they are ready to strike

Mid-week wash:

Interesting, don't you think?,  how a politician's self-serving decision  can come back to haunt him three years later. In 2010, Summit County Republican Chairman Alex Arshinkoff bucked the State GOP by endorsing Tea Party favorite and then-State Rep. Seth Morgan in the Republican primary for Ohio auditor.

The news broke something like this:

Arshinkoff: Morgan is a certified public accountant and has a fresh face and bold ideas. (Read: It was really a bowing concession to the Tea Party much like the ones that other Republicans are handing out these days.)

Morgan: "Alex is a longstanding, respected leader with the Republican establishment...and to gain his endorsement is truly  exciting for this campaign."

Short-term excitement, that is.  Morgan lost to the state party's choice, David Yost.

But his right-wing credentials were impeccable enough for the uber-rich Koch
brothers to take him on as the policy director of Americans for Prosperity, the outfit founded by the Kochs.

Joe Hallett of the Columbus Dispatch lately quoted Morgan as saying the Tea Partiers  now have several options to form a new party, create an "insurrection" within the GOP and "everything in between."

Connect the dots:  Arshinkoff, long an Establishment Republican, now finds the  party facing a serious threat from a guy that he endorsed more for personal political reasons than the  relative merits of the two primary candidates.

* * * *  *

Speaking of the Tea Party, how about this notion  from former State Republican Chairman Kevin DeWine when he spoke to the Akron Press Club in  April 2010:  The Republican Party and the Tea Party have much in common and he (DeWine) would welcome them into the party. At the time  Grumpy Abe  wrote: "It may be more accurate to wonder whether the Tea Partiers would ever welcome Republicans into their ranks"  The answer is clear enough.

* * * * *
Now that former South  Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford has won a special election for a  congressional seat,  can we forever erase the idea of a superior moral compass in the hearts of southern Republicans?

Monday, May 6, 2013

How I saved $299 after losing $69 (!) in the tech world


A couple of weeks ago,  my aged printer that had served a series of computers for more  than a decade finally quit.  The end came with a strange death rattle with paper twisting in shredded agony. I'm not good at these sorts of things and after several blind salvaging efforts, finally gave up.  Sad, really. Unless you're worth  at least a C-minus in understanding how to fix things that don''t work, you will be sympathetic.

But help was on its way with a never-used Hewlett Packard printer-scanner that had  sat in my closet for  more than a year.  It was a gift from Apple when I bought a new  desktop Mac. But I set it aside for the day when my old printer died.

Not so fast, with the celebration.  The new printer began erratically, and quit.  The Apple people advised me to call HP's tech support team, which is usually a dreaded adventure into terra incognita.  Finally, at the other end of the line somewhere possibly  in the Indian Ocean, the HP advisor concluded that the Mac and the printer were not capable of working with each other.  I would need a new app (one of the few tech words that I've been able to add with  confidence  in the past year or two).

Desperate to get on with my work, I agreed to pay $69 to the HP agent for his remote installation of the ''missing" app.

But that was hardly the solution because the printer contiued to be contrary.  Back to the HP tech team.  A woman continued to reassure me in her native impacted English that she would would remedy my problem. She continued to repeat, "Don't worry. I will make you happy.  I will fix it.  Don't worry.   I will make you happy."

That went on for an unbearably long time as she led me through several steps, including reinstalling the new app.  It was then that I felt the quicksand under my desk starting to give way.

The bad news:  "Somebody from France," she said, " had invaded my computer and is preventing the Mac and printer from talking to each other.'  I tried to convince her that Mac computers have firewalls all of over the place to stymie hackers. She wasn't convinced and finally tried to administer the coup de grace to my wallet.

For $299, she would be able to guarantee me clear sailing for three years. (It would be the only way, she said, that she could resolve the problem.")

I hung up with a burst of unkind words.  I had already given away $69 on the first call, and fool me twice?

I mentioned this to our son Rick, who is quite advanced in these things.  He managed to learn that an HP tech team isn't always an HP tech team. Rather, it is an independent interloper that is in business for itself and manages to pocket the money, even without HP's knowledge  (or concern!).

You'd think that HP would look after its own public image by ridding itself of any hint of a ripoff along the way.  Obviously, it doesn't.

That's my story, and as we used to say in the business, I stand by it.  Keep it in mind if, Heaven forbid, you are dealing with a faraway "tech team" that promises to make you happy.

P.S.  Apparently some folks did not receive the good news in the last paragraph.  I returned to the Apple store at Summit Mall and a young staffer was puzzled that I had received such invented advice  She wrote down 3 steps that would work..  I tried them in a matter of less than two minutes and my printer has been working fine ever since with no additional charge - nor wear and tear  on my patience.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Another end run for another juvenile court judge

Talk about the elephant in the China shop! The Summit County Republican Party, in peril of being swallowed whole by the Tea Party, is staging a desperate political charade to create a second juvenile court judge.  Not that many people aside from the promoters like the idea.  It's provisioned in the proposed Republican budget down in Columbus, which makes it newsworthy even though it's not likely to be seaworthy.

It is sponsored by State Rep. Anthony DeVitis, a Republican of Green; and co-sponsored by Rep. Marilyn Slaby, a Republican of Copley Township.  They say the juvenile court system in the county  is overworked and causing long delays.  A second judge alongside Linda Tucci Teodosio, an elected Democrat, would expedite matters, which is one way at looking at justice. And, if as County Executive Russ Pry (Democrat)  and  others point out,  the county budget  is already so tight that it can't afford to have another mouth to feed  in the courts, the Republican sponsors insist the  problem could be resolved by laying off some magistrates who, quite likely, are Democrats.

In a bi-partisan vote, the Akron Bar Association unanimously passed a resolution opposing the packing of the courts.  County council voted 9-2 against it, too, with the council's two  Republicans, of course,  supporting it.

Cautiously taking the safer  ground, another area Republican,  Sen. Frank LaRose, predictably told the Beacon Journal that he will withhold judgment until he gets more information.(A tactical response on Page 7  of the survival kit on expressing the need for more information.)     And uncharacteristically, GOP chairman Alex Arshinkoff, who doubtless was in the thick of the process, withheld comment from  the BJ.

It has been widely known for years and years and years that Arshinkoff has tested the soft spots in the judicial system to appoint his people to offices.  It's his M.O.

Otherwise, the weather the past few days has been delightful.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

New tuition rates to be tied to student voters?

As you are well aware,  Republicans believe that only Republicans and maybe the few remaining 90-year-old Reagan Democrats should be permitted to vote.  That is particularly true in Ohio, where the GOP class has shown restricted voting  to be their most promising rite of passage to public office. Sort of like an entitlement they earned simply by being Republicans.  And it magically eliminates the less productive exercise of expanding the party's base, which has shown no signs of working.

During the last presidential campaign, Secretary of State Jon Husted led an assault on those profiled as Obama voters.

Next came an inventive plan  to shorten the period for amassing signatures for a referendum.

Now, we learn, there is a provision in the Republican House budget  down in Columbus that would offer out-of-state college students with a  30-day residence in the state  the same tuition as in-state students if they decided to vote.  To achieve this wacky windfall,  the student would have to produce a utility bill or letter from the university confirming legal status.

That drew immediate fire from the Inter-University Council that estimated schools  would lose up to $15,500 for each qualifying student.  It's not an appealing thought to the folks who run the universities.  Besides, out-of state students who are denied  the ID's from their schools  could sue.

How do the medieval rustics in modern dress come up with these ideas?

Well, House Speaker Bill Batchelder  framed the idea in terms of good government.  He told the Columbus Dispatch there was a risk that  out-of-state students may not be up to speed on ballot issues.

When Buckeye lawmakers, of all people,  start talking about being up to speed on anything at all,  isn't it adding more darkness to the Statehouse tunnel?