Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Bush Signs LaTourette Bill on Air Force One

Can you say Third Wheel?

From the mailbox (20th district)


I wanted to make sure everybody knows about our Campaign Office Open House coming up on Thursday July 31st. Please join us at 2738 East Main Street in Bexley (43209). We want everyone to have a chance to look around and see what we're doing as we progress towards November. We just finished moving in all of our new office furniture last night and are excited to be able to incorporate it into our office space. If you would like to stop by and check out what's going on at Citizens for Garland, feel free to come in anytime between 6:00pm and 8:00pm.

I would love to be able to talk face to face with everyone who comes out. Also, please bring friends that are interested because we're always looking for more support. Not only is this a great opportunity to see our campaign office, but also a chance for everyone to enjoy Johnson's Ice Cream next door!

Thank you once again,
Nancy Garland

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

W's Welcoming Committee

When the POTUS deplaned in Cleveland, he was greeted by 4 GOP officials, then continued on to an event in Euclid, OH. One official was Steve LaTourette (R-Concord Twp.), whose district abuts Euclid. Two more were those rarest of Ohio breeds, GOP mayors - Perciak of Strongsville and Robart of Cuyahoga Falls. So far, this all makes sense. If you don't know where those places are, I've plotted them as a route on Yahoo Maps.

Rounding out the foursome? None other than our very own Pat Tiberi. You'll have to zoom out a few times to see Pat's district. I'm sure that GWB is heartened that at least one Ohio Republican will go out of his way to hang out with him.


It's not August, and I'm getting sick of the campaign stuff again. For instance, if Obama picks Sebelius, Biden, Bayh, or anyone from Virginia as running mate, it'll be a yawning letdown. It seems to me that the last two successful campaigns had VP picks that defied the conventional wisdom. When Cheney picked Cheney, that was a real surprise. Clinton picking Gore? At the time it seemed that that the young, southern Gore was the last person the press expected. Maybe it was my lack of attention, maybe it was the dearth of internet and cable information, but I liked the surprises.

Obama picking Russ Feingold. That'd rev me up. McCain picking Tim LaHaye. That'd be fun.

In the meantime, Obama's direct mail folks have finally found me. I got a fundraising appeal yesterday that had a graphic of the U.S. in the background... but with New England inexplicably lopped off. If it had been a G.O.P letter, I would never have believed it was an accident.

I'm not planning on donating to Obama. Obama's got plenty of money, and unless something really bizarre happens, I don't expect a post-mortem that reads "Obama loss blamed on lack of donors." I'd rather my money go where it has the largest marginal effect. And may I remind you that supporting your favorite Statehouse candidate is basically free up to $50 (after rebate).

Speaking of Statehouse candidates, Nancy Garland's opponent has apparently been actively campaigning in his hometown of Gahanna. My commenters chastised me for taunting him. It still seems to me that he's either more cocky or less interested than the race would seem to warrant, but yes, I understand who the underdog is.

And finally, the NYT Editorial Board sums up its discussion of the Justice Department report that confirms many of the worst accusations of politicizing the office thusly:

The strength of American democracy depends on our ability to be shocked by abuses like these — and to punish them appropriately.
As of this morning, I'd be more shocked by appropriate punishment than by the abuse. Four years ago this month, I was dead certain that the United States was going to elect John Kerry as President. All of the confirmed allegations in yesterday's report are completely in line with the administration's behavior over the last seven years. This is no more true now than it was four years ago. Bush is no worse of a president now than he was then, 30% approval ratings or no. The strength of American Democracy depends on our faith in American Democracy, and our faith in American Democracy depends on our not being shocked when the majority of voters can't be counted on to care that the person they're voting for condones or even commits such abuses.

Best not to take that train of thought too far. Enjoy your Tuesday.

Monday, July 28, 2008

No surprises. I'm on the free speech side.

Bexley is considering banning protests that focus on particular residences. The impetus is a request from an abortion provider whose home was picketed this spring. A number of high-profile individuals reside here, and it is not difficult to imagine several different targets for protesters. The idea behind this is that an individual should be protected in their own home, and that protests at a residence are likely to be attempts to harass and intimidate, as opposed to protests that focus on businesses or offices where the acts being protested originate.

Is it inconceivable that I could write something here that could offend some group enough to picket in front of my home and yell hateful things at my toddler daughter? I can imagine it. I would certainly find it to be upsetting.

But it makes me at least as upset to think that the Bexley City Council thinks that they can tell me what sentiments I'm allowed to express when I'm standing on a public sidewalk* in my community. I find it incredibly patronizing when Council President Matt Lampke says:

"They can protest in front of the corporation. They don't need to be protesting in front of their residence."

This sounds as if it would be followed up with "And really, do they need to protest at all? They could always write a letter to the editor of their local paper. And they don't need to sound so angry. A nice, short letter to the editor that politely states their disagreement. That would be much better."

The proposed ordinance, at least as described in the media, sounds patently unconstitutional. Perhaps if it passes I'll go picket in front of Matt's house. Anybody know a good pro bono Constitutional lawyer?

*When I read this story I jokingly asserted that I was sure that the impetus had been someone saying that if they were now going to have to pay for their own sidewalk repairs, Council could at least stop people from marching back and forth on it...