Thursday, March 15, 2007

This Episode Brought to you by the Letter 'B'

Yesterday, Blue Bexley missed out on the SOTS because Bonobo was out in Butler County for work. Today, Blue Bexley will most likely wait until late in the evening to weigh in on the Budget, which is today's Biggest news, Because Bonobo will be following BasketBall Brackets on the Best afternoon in sports. So:

1) Yesterday's speech was impressive, and it was a Big deal, But it was Basically a preface to the Budget, when the Guv puts our money where his mouth is. I would recommend OCSEA's Blog for Budget discussion/analysis, and I'm guessing that WLST and Pho will have must-read posts at some point.

UPDATE: Pho notes that the Budget Proposal is referred to as the Blue Book. How Jungian of me to dedicate this post to the letter B. An By the way, the Blue Book is up.

2) There is still time to join the totally free BuckeyeStateBracket. No money is involved, just Blogosphere Bragging rights. The Biggest reason to fill out a Bracket is so that you have at least a minimal Buy-In when you find yourself discussing the tournament. And you will find yourself in such a discussion. Remember, the Buckeyes play tonight.

To join in go to the game page (you'll need a free and easily obtained Yahoo ID if you don't have one), click join group, and join group# 42919, using the pa s sword 'bonobo'

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Well H-E Double Hockey Sticks

The Blue Jackets' season might have gone all to hell, but at least they'll be able to skate there. I just wrote a piece praising David Goodman, among others. The piece you're reading right now doesn't exactly praise Pat Tiberi, but it comes close enough that I'd expect you to be able to ice fish on the River Styx...

In his most recent opinion piece, Mr. Tiberi doesn't whine, moan, or hurl accusations. He states that he truly believes that entitlement reform is the biggest issue facing Congress, and explains what he believes will happen to future budgets if the problems are not addressed. My guess is that Mr. Tiberi and I would disagree on which economist to trust when it comes to projecting future revenue and future entitlement-related obligations. I am nearly certain that Mr. Tiberi and I would disagree on the changes that could/should be made in programs like Medicare and Social Security to ensure their solvency going forward.

But we both agree that it is a serious issue, and that the options that are available now are both more numerous and less painful than the options that are likely to exist down the road. What I read today sounded more like somebody who believed that there was a problem that he wants to help solve than someone who wants to blame his political opponents for not solving it.

It's a start.

Eliminating Racist Crack Penalties

Today has been a busy day. I haven't read Strickland's speech yet, so you'll have to go elsewhere for now to hear about that, but with everything else going on, you might end up missing a PD Metro bit on SB 73.

Four State Senators are sponsoring SB 73, which would amend Ohio sentencing rules such that there would no longer be a distinction between powder and rock (crack) cocaine. It's about time. Currently, most powder arrests are of whites, and most crack arrests are of African Americans. Also currently, sentencing rules are orders of magnitude more harsh for crack cocaine offenses. The message is and has been that White drug users/dealers are somehow less dangerous to society. The big reason these sentencing disparities persist is that a legislature either has to dramatically increase powder cocaine sentences or dramatically reduce crack cocaine sentences. Political gamesmanship has already given draconian sentences to low-level drug users, so increasing sentences isn't really great policy, and proposing a reduction in crack cocaine penalties takes a whole lot more intestinal fortitude than most politicians have.

So, who's showing the guts? Two senators from Cleveland, and two from Central Ohio. You might guess that Ray Miller, D-Columbus is one of those Senators, and you'd be right. If you guessed that David Goodman, R-New Albany, was the other, you're either a better guesser than I am or you've deduced that his sponsorship is what got me to blog about SB 73.

Back in the day, I put up a headline that said "Liberal Bloggers Love Goodman's Position on Gay Marriage." During an election season, I didn't want to let him have it both ways. I have no urge to give Mr. Goodman any grief over this one, though. Right now, it's not an election season and the sponsorship takes guts even coming from Mr. Miller, a Progressive in a safely liberal district. It's the right thing to do, and as a constituent, I applaud Mr. Goodman's sponsorship of the bill.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Health Care Forum

Just got the mailing from Progress Ohio, who are joining up with some pretty heavy hitters to do a health care forum on March 22:

46 million Americans have no health insurance and the number is growing.

What's being done to reform our health care system?

Democracy for America Central Ohio, ProgressOhio, America Votes, and PDA Central Ohio invite you to their first issue forum on health care reform on Thursday, March 22, at 6:30pm.

Click here to register for this event!

The event will feature a well qualified and diverse panel of speakers:

• Bill Hayes, president of the Health Policy Institute, will give an overview of the various plans being talked about nationally.

• Alice Faryna, the Central Ohio SPAN coordinator, will talk about the single payer option.

• Jennifer Farmer, Communication Director for SEIU, will speak on the state of health care in America and how that translates to workers in the health care field.

Bring your questions, your friends and neighbors, your ideas! Please RSVP by March 19.

Click here to register for this event!

Who: Democracy for America Central Ohio, ProgressOhio, America Votes, PDA Central Ohio

What: Health Care Forum

Where: ProgressOhio office, 265 S. 3rd Street, Columbus

When: Thursday, March 22 at 6:30pm

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Pat says something inoffensive

I usually make a mention when Pat Tiberi shows up in the news. Recently, Mr. Tiberi was quoted in an article on Health Care. Because of how my aggregator is set up, I would have expected to see the article twice. For some reason it has actually shown up between 15 and 20 times. So even though I was inclined to ignore the piece, I now say to the universe: okay already, I'll post.

The article talks about the tax changes Bush proposed in the State of the Union. Pat's take:

Although the plan has opponents in Congress, Rep. Pat Tiberi said that it should spark debate on the nation’s healthcare crisis.

"This may not be the answer, but what is clear to me is that we have to do something," the Genoa Township Republican said.

One interpretation is that Pat has finally has stopped cheerleading for W.

Of course, more interesting is the fact that Mr. Tiberi thinks that "we have to do something" about health care. What should we do? He's "not sure."

Welcome to 1990, Mr. Tiberi.

Now Google Deities, are you satisfied?