I was doing some research last night and I learned that Rob Portman got a campaign donation from a PAC, which I traced back to the Netherlands. A PAC (Political Action Committee) can be set up to collect money from its employees, no matter where they work. When the parent company of the entity corporation is registered in the Netherlands for tax purposes (to evade United States taxes), the PAC in the U.S. collects money for various candidates of their choice. The Farmers Group Insurance conglomerate donated through their PAC to Portman, the ONLY Ohio candidate for ANY office. Does that mean he has some insurance companies in his pockets?
Then tonight I read an article that was enough to make anyone just SICK. Now Portman is joining Kasich smoozing with billionaires to raise MORE money, namely New York Jets owner Woody Johnson. There is no good way to summarize the article, so I will just quote it:
Just when you thought you've heard it all, the Ohio GOP candidates come up with a whole new way to make your stomach ill.
In another perfect example of the politically tone deaf world John Kasich and Rob Portman are living in, Trade Czar Portman is jetting off to NYC tonight for a star-studded fundraiser hosted by New York Jets owner Woody Johnson. Johnson, in addition to being a billionaire and NRSC fundraiser extraordinaire, reportedly took advantage of an offshore tax haven on "The Isle of Man" (yes, this is a real place) in the Irish Sea (which is also a real place).
The Washington Post reported on Johnson in 2006 when he was a focus of the Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations report on offshore tax scams.
"The report said that, along with a few others, Saban and Johnson -- a major GOP donor and an heir to the Johnson & Johnson consumer-goods fortune -- were able to buy, for relatively small fees, roughly $2 billion in capital losses that they used to erase taxable gains they garnered from stock sales. The U.S. Treasury lost an estimated $300 million in revenue as a result.
The series of transactions that produced the bogus losses, Levin said, "looks like a bowl of spaghetti" on a chart provided by the committee. In essence, two companies set up on the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea traded paper back and forth until it looked like they were selling a portfolio of stocks that had lost value equivalent to the profit Saban and Johnson wanted to eliminate for tax purposes.
And all this moving money out of our economy was done without the help of Trade Czar Portman or Business Relocation Expert Mary Taylor.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
"I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country."
Therefore: abolish lobbyists and corporate contributions to political causes.
"Our principles are founded on the immovable basis of equal right and reason."
Therefore: repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'
"Experience declares that man is the only animal which devours his own kind, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor."
Therefore: Repeal the Bush tax cuts, permanently.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
The GOP wants to give Jeff a raise and the poor - nothing. If we, as good Americans, do things right - that won't happen. But if you REALLY think Jeff DESERVES a raise, well, see what you think:
Jeff has been working for his corporation for 24 years. He started out at age 21 as a researcher in the field of media covering the Olympics. He worked his way up in his field to an executive producer of a TV show by age 30.
He made profits for his corporation and was rewarded with a promotion to oversee an entertainment division in Hollywood, California. He continued to prosper in his field by cutting costs for his employer and moved up the corporate ladder.
Jeff has decided to leave his current employer since that employer/corporation was purchased by a larger corporation. Whatever will Jeff do now? Well, let's see, by the reported facts, Jeff can sit home and do nothing, or travel, or play golf (like Boehner). Now at age 45, he can do whatever he wants to do.
Jeff's contract with his corporation was set to expire in January of 2013, and with leaving early, the NEW corporation must buy him out of that contract.
Let's do the math. Jeff's current salary is $6.3 MILLION dollars and with a guaranteed yearly BONUS of $1.5 MILLION dollars. So as he cleans out his office and leaves his job of 24 years, he walks out with a buy-out check of $15.6 MILLION dollars. Now, I'm sure that Jeff has been a good businessman and saved or invested a lot of money over the years, so the additional money would be added to his already MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR STATUS.
In the Pledge to America that the GOP just revealed to the American people, Republicans want to put tax cuts for the rich into effect - permanently. Therefore, Jeff would get a raise, because he would not have to pay his fair share of taxes on all that money he just got in his salary and buy-out check. He would become RICHER and richer (while the poor get poorer) as a result of that tax implementation law.
DOES JEFF REALLY NEED A RAISE? What do you think?
Due to the recent purchase of NBC Universal by cable giant Comcast, which turnover is reported to take place by the end of this year, Jeff Zucker, the CEO of NBC-U, will turn over the helm to Steve Burke, the CEO of Comcast. Jeff can now retire at 45 and live off his multi-million dollar fortune.
Now do you REALLY think Jeff DESERVES this raise? Or do the poor and middle class need the tax cuts more? I think the latter, but the GOP wants to think the former. It's obvious the GOP are for the millionaires (because the lobbyists of big corporations line their pockets) not the little people!
Friday, September 24, 2010
Early Thursday, I drove to Hamilton, Ohio to the campaign office of Bruce Carter for State Representative of the 54th District to offer my time and talents. They are very busy with canvassing over 4000 homes so far, scheduling their media spots, and preparing their mass mailers.
I was shown five different mailers that had been prepared and, even though Bruce has a Master's Degree in Journalism, I offered my advise as to wording, sentence structure and balance. I offered four or five suggested changes and all but one was approved. After Bruce explained the "why" of the one sentence I questioned, I saw his rationale and recanted my idea.
We discussed various aspects of the campaign, after a wonderful lunch with Michele, Bruce's wife. During the lunch hour, Bruce and his campaign manager were out meeting with a volunteer to manage a phone bank targeted at the younger voters, such as college students. Michele does a professional job of running the office, keeping the schedule, and so much more.
I was asked to study and offer input into his website structure, which is already up and running online. I'll see if I can add some "pazazz" to it next week.
Late in the afternoon, they [all three work in the office each day, attend meetings or functions, and walk/canvass together] were getting ready to head out for more street canvasses, so I left to drive home.
Since it was a long day, my little gal (my dog) was so happy to see me when I drove in the driveway. She is very well trained and obedient, so we've never had a problem (accident) in the house. We went outside and after doing her "thing," we played for a bit as she ran and ran around in large yard-sized circles getting her long awaited exercise for the day. It's nice to come home to unconditional love and attention; and it's nice to work/volunteer with people who value your talents and input.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Yesterday was National Ice Cream Cone Day, which only comes around once a year, and hard to forget since ice cream is my favorite food. I've always said that it ought to have its own food group.
If asked about my favorite flavor, chocolate, of course. However, I really do like banana splits, with the vanilla and strawberry on the side of the famous center piece (chocolate). I'm also fond of hot fudge sundaes and Dairy Queen Blizzards. Like regular foods, ice cream can be fixed or served in many different ways. A good cold bowl of ice cream is the perfect touch at the end of the evening. That tradition started many years ago when my father quit smoking. He took up eating ice cream at night instead, and got me hooked on it too.
I used to eat a lot of ice cream cones with mint chocolate chip or rocky road flavors. That got me thinking about the invention of the cone. The most published invention of the cone dates back to the 1904 St. Louis Worlds Fair and credits Syrian immigrant Ernest Hamwi as its creator. A patent for the cone was finally issued in June 1920.
History said that there were several ice cream vendors and waffle vendors at the Fair. Arnold Fornachou, an ice cream vendor ran out of dishes in which to serve his ice cream and the vendor in the next booth, Hamwi, rolled a thin waffle to contain the ice cream - and the cone was born. Hamwi later opened the Cornucopia Waffle Company.
The cones were first called Cornucopia's, renamed cones in 1909. Many machines were invented to make various types of cones, such as waffle cones, sugar cones, and wafer cones, from 1909 on. By 1924, Americans were consuming 245 million cones per year.
I won't go into the history of edible ice cream containers invented in Europe, but they date back to the 1800's.
I'm just glad my dad quit smoking, for two reasons. He never had lung cancer and he introduced my taste buds to a wonderful treat that became my favorite food.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
I was watching the news stations tonight and many showed clips of speeches made by Republicans in Congress or running for Congress. While they make their platforms known to voters, it has become abundantly clear that the GOP is bringing back the cultural wars of the past.
O'Donnell is being shown, by her former television appearances, as formerly associated with witchcraft. She is strictly against abortion in EVERY case, no matter what.
Another congressman states that people must make a choice between freedom and gay rights.
McCain is changing his mind and will strongly filibuster against "don't ask, don't tell." The vote in Congress is scheduled in the Senate on Tuesday. There have been gays in the military for years and our military is still a strong force in the world. The majority of Americans are FOR the repeal of DADT.
It has become clear to me that the news clips shown by different medias have the following conclusions:
Republicans support banning abortions in ALL cases, including rape or incest.
Republicans are against gays and lesbians.
Republicans want to set us back to the depression era.
Republicans are homophobic regarding military rights and Americans serving our country.
Republicans want to cut Social Security for seniors.
Republicans want to repeal the greatest healthcare plan this country has seen in decades; the plan Presidents Truman and Clinton tried to get for Americans during their terms, and Senator Ted Kennedy fought to pass. Now the insurance companies can't take advantage of people for pre-existing conditions, and kids cannot be denied coverage. Many individuals who previously could not get healthcare, can now be insured. The insurance companies cannot hold people hostage to make big profits so their employees can live like fat-cats.
Did you know that there are seven lobbyists for each congressman? The banking lobbyists are trying to protect the fat-cats of Wall Street so they can make millions off the middle class. The big corporation lobbyists are trying to get concessions from congress so they can keep their big salaries and billion dollar life styles.
Republicans want to give tax breaks to the wealthy (who can afford to pay their taxes) and add billions to the national debt and put the burden of taxation on the poor and middle class who CAN'T afford to pay for normal living expenses. The middle class and poverty level Americans NEED the tax breaks - NOT THE WEALTHY.
People may be frustrated that campaign promises and important issues didn't get done fast enough, but after EIGHT years of BAD ideas, EIGHT years of an unpopular, unnecessary war and failed policies got us into this mess - it takes patience and BELIEF in our administration to get the jobs done. The stimulus program DID create jobs in many areas of the country. Once the Wall Street Reform Bill was passed, banks could loan more money and more jobs were created. You can't recover from EIGHT years of tragedy in less than two years. Wake up people - see the forest through the trees.
The new healthcare policy is saving lives; a woman should have a choice about her own body and reproductive rights; and gays should have equal rights under the law. This country would be in terrible trouble if Republicans gain too many seats in the upcoming election. They are already the party of NO and the government would come to a drastic standstill; people would lose their unemployment and kids would starve; and senior citizens who worked all their lives for their retirement would be broke and homeless. That's NOT what this country is about - NOT what the founding fathers had in mind for future generations.
SHAME ON YOU- REPUBLICANS AND THE TEA PARTY. VOTE TO KEEP OUR COUNTRY STRONG - VOTE DEMOCRATIC.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Yesterday I was asked, “When was the last time you had all your belongings in one place?” My answer was, “Until today, October 2004.”
After living in what this city called ”the Halloween house” for almost ten years, where everything I owned was in one place, since November 1, 2004 it's been a bit difficult. Over time, I had collected so much STUFF. Like my mother, I've been a “saver.”
(Photo: half of sale) When I moved out of that big house, with a full attic and three-quarter basement, I moved into a small two-bedroom duplex. I rented a full sized storage shed where I put all the many boxes of extras that I didn't need at the time of the move. I needed to unpack and get settled first. The shed, the size to hold a car, was full. With working full-time and taking care of my ill mother, the shed never got cleaned out.
(Photo: second half of sale) In the summer of 2007, I finally decided to sort out the shed and have a HUGE yard sale on the shed's parking lot. I had some help and really cleaned out a lot of STUFF. (After the sale, I also took a trailer-load to Goodwill.) But I always seem to have so much STUFF. After my mother died, I had to go through her house and she had so much STUFF.
In order to move into her house, which was now mine, I had to combine her STUFF and my STUFF. I rented a small 5x10 storage shed to store the extra STUFF I didn't have room for after a large sale of combined STUFF. I sold what I could and stored the rest.
I recently got the “cleaning bug” after deciding I have too much STUFF. Last December I gave my nephew some extra furniture, lamps, and miscellaneous items. This year I cleaned closets, boxes, my backyard shed where my lawnmower is stored, and other areas of my house. I donated a lot of items to a political auction, and more to a friend's upcoming yard sale.
Therefore, it was time to give up the small storage shed and bring the rest of the STUFF home. Saturday was THE day. Two boxes and many tables were stored in the backyard shed with the mower. Some items were put in the attic. The other boxes are in my garage and I have given myself until the first week in November to go through them and trash the junk and yard sale the rest. The few items I might want to keep better fit in a tote that can be added to my attic.
It was a lot of work to move, sort, store, and deal with all the rest of my STUFF that is now all in one place – home. John and I were totally worn out and muscle-sore from all the hard work, and I went to bed early to sleep until the next afternoon. The accomplishment for all the sore muscles, the pain and overwork Saturday is that I have all my STUFF here now.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
A young ensign had nearly completed his first overseas tour of sea duty when he was given an opportunity to display his ability at getting the ship under way. With a stream of crisp commands, he had the decks buzzing with men. The ship steamed out of the channel and soon the port was far behind.
The ensign’s efficiency has been remarkable. In fact, the deck was abuzz with talk that he had set a new record for getting a destroyer under way. The ensign glowed at his accomplishment and was not all surprised when another seaman approached him with a message from the captain.
He was, however, a bit surprised to find that it was a radio message, and he was even more surprised when he read, “My personal congratulations upon completing your underway preparation exercise according to the book and with amazing speed. In your haste, however, you have overlooked one of the unwritten rules — Make Sure The Captain Is Aboard Before Getting Under Way.”
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
On Sunday, I drove to Hamilton to visit friends and help on a congressional campaign, and enjoy some "ME" time. My friends always appreciate my visits and my help since I am such a go-getter. I like to go where I am appreciated. My county has lost several hard-workers recently, due to the egregious acts of a couple people who think they run things around here.
I visited the Great Miami River Days Festival, which was held behind Miami University - Hamilton Campus, on the Miami River. I watched water skiers, jet skiers, and more activities on the water. I walked along the row of tents with different vendors sharing information with the public. There weren't that many food vendors, but I did get some good food for lunch.
After I helped pass out voter informational material and talked with many people, I strolled the grounds to see what else was on display. I found an Indian encampment with many teepee's, campfires with cooking pots, skins, hats, and more Indian wares for sale. One of the visitors in the group had an authentic rare wolf dog, very gentle, well mannered, and looked like a cross between a husky and shepherd, but with long legs.
There were women in period dress cooking the old fashioned way; a blacksmith, and a man making music while others talked around a campfire.
I heard the drums and singing as I walked to the circle where Indian dancers were performing to the beat of the drummers as many stood around to sing with them.
There were many teepee's set up over the area which provided reality to the encampment.
The musical stage had different groups providing entertainment to the public, but I didn't stay to listen because I wanted to get back to my volunteer work at the Carter booth. I met the Judge from the Juvenile Court, and talked with my friend Butch, a County Commissioner stationed in the next booth. My new prized possession is a Driehaus cup I was given, and also got a BEAT BOEHNER sticker. I really like Steve Driehaus and hope Justin Coussoule BEATS BOEHNER in the upcoming election.
Because of multiple vehicles at the scene, we took a short ride to the office and returned, ready to pack up and call it a night. I had a long drive ahead of me and had been on my feet almost all day. It was a beautiful sunny day for this outing; I thoroughly enjoyed myself and was glad to be there. I really love my "ME" times where I go off somewhere different, alone, and take time for myself, away from the rush of life at home.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Obama Will Triumph -- So Will America
By Frank Schaeffer
Before he'd served even one year, President Obama lost the support of the easily distracted left and engendered the white hot rage of the hate-filled right. But some of us, from all walks of life and ideological backgrounds -- including this white, straight, 57-year-old, former religious right-wing agitator, now progressive writer and (given my background as the son of a famous evangelical leader) this unlikely Obama supporter -- are sticking with our President. Why? Because he is succeeding.
We faithful Obama supporters still trust our initial impression of him as a great, good and uniquely qualified man to lead us.
Obama's steady supporters will be proved right. Obama's critics will be remembered as easily panicked and prematurely discouraged at best and shriveled hate mongers at worst.
The Context of the Obama Presidency:
Not since the days the Great Depression, the rise of Fascism in Europe, and the Second World War has any president faced more adversity. Not since the Civil War has any president led a more bitterly divided country. Not since the introduction of racial integration has any president faced a more consistently short-sighted and willfully ignorant opposition from both the right and left.
As the President's poll numbers have fallen so has his support from some on the left that were hailing him as a Messiah not long ago; all those lefty websites and commentators that were falling all over themselves on behalf of our first black president during the 2008 election.
The left's lack of faith has become a "self-fulfilling prophecy": snipe at the President and then watch the poll numbers fall and then pretend you didn't have anything to do with it!
Here is what Obama faced when he took office, none of which was his fault:
1. An ideologically divided country to the point that America was really two countries.
2. Two wars; one that was mishandled from the start, the other that was unnecessary and immoral.
3. The worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.
4. America's standing in the world at the lowest point in history.
5. A country that had been misled into accepting the use of torture of prisoners of war.
6. A health care system in free fall.
7. An educational system in free fall.
8. A global environmental crisis of history-altering proportions (about which the Bush administration and the Republicans had done nothing).
9. An impasse between culture warriors from the right and left.
10. A huge financial deficit inherited from the terminally irresponsible Bush administration.
And those were only some of the problems setting on the President's desk!
"Help" from the Right?
What did the Republicans and the religious right, Libertarians and half-baked conspiracy theorists -- that is what the Republicans were reduced to by the time Obama took office -- do to "help" our new president (and our country) succeed? They claimed that he wasn't a real American, didn't have an American birth certificate, wasn't born here, was secretly a Muslim, was white-hating "racist", was secretly a Communist, was actually the Anti-Christ, and was a reincarnation of Hitler and wanted "death panels" to kill the elderly!
They not-so-subtly called for his assassination through the not-so-subtle use of vile signs held at their rallies and even a bumper sticker quoting Psalm 109:8. They organized "tea parties" to sound off against imagined insults and all government in general and gathered to howl at the moon. They were led by insurance industry lobbyists and deranged (but well financed) "commentators" from Glenn Beck to Rush Limbaugh.
The utterly discredited Roman Catholic bishops teamed up with the utterly discredited evangelical leaders to denounce a president who was actually trying to do something about the poor, the environment, to diminish the number of abortions through compassionate programs to help women and to care for the sick! In Congress the Republican leadership only knew one word: "No!"
In other words the reactionary white, rube, uneducated, crazy American far right, combined with the educated but obtuse neoconservative war mongers, religious right shills for big business, Libertarian Federal Reserve-hating gold bug, gun-loving crazies, child-molesting acquiescent "bishops", frontier loons and evangelical gay-hating flakes found one thing to briefly unite them: their desire to stop an uppity black man from succeeding at all costs!
"Help" from the Left?
What did the left do to help their newly elected president? Some of them excoriated the President, because they disagreed with the bad choices he was being forced to make regarding a war in Afghanistan that he'd inherited from the worst president in modern history!
Others stood up and bravely proclaimed that the President's economic policies had "failed" before the President even instituted them! Others said that since all gay rights battles had not been fully won within virtually minutes of the President taking office, they'd been "betrayed"! (Never mind that Obama's vocal support to the gay community is stronger than any other president's has been. Never mind that he signed a new hate crimes law!)
Those who had stood in transfixed legions weeping with beatific emotion on election night turned into an angry mob saying how "disappointed" they were that they'd not all immediately been transported to heaven the moment Obama stepped into the White House!
Where was the "change"? Contrary to their expectations they were still mere mortals!
And the legion of young new supporters was too busy texting to pay attention for longer than a nanosecond. "Governing"? What the hell does that word, uh, like mean?"
The President's critics left and right all had one thing in common: impatience laced with little-to-no sense of history (let alone reality) thrown in for good measure. Then, of course, there were the white, snide know-it-all commentators/talking heads who just couldn't imagine that maybe, just maybe they weren't as smart as they thought they were and certainly not as smart as their president. He hadn't consulted them, had he? So he must be wrong!
The Obama critics' ideological ideas defined their idea of reality rather than reality defining their ideas. What is possible in one year in office after the hand that the President had been dealt by fate, or to be exact by the American idiot nation that voted Bush into office twice!
Meanwhile back in the reality-based community - in just 12 short months -- President Obama:
1. Continued to draw down the misbegotten war in Iraq (But that wasn't good enough for his critics).
2. Thoughtfully and decisively picked the best of several bad choices regarding the war in Afghanistan (But that wasn't good enough for his critics).
3. Gave a major precedent-setting speech supporting gay rights (But that wasn't good enough for his critics).
4. Restored America's image around the globe (But that wasn't good enough for his critics).
5. Banned torture of prisoners of war (But that wasn't good enough for his critics).
6. Stopped the free fall of the American economy (But that wasn't good enough for his critics).
7. Put the USA squarely back in the bilateral international community (But that wasn't good enough for his critics).
8. Put the USA squarely into the middle of the international effort to halt global warming (But that wasn't good enough for his critics).
9. Stood up for educational reform (But that wasn't good enough for his critics).
10. Won a Nobel Peace Prize (But that wasn't good enough for his critics).
11. Moved the trial of terrorists back into the American judicial system with checks and balances (But that wasn't good enough for his critics).
12. Did what had to be done to start the slow, torturous and almost impossible process of health care reform that 7 presidents had failed to even begin (But that wasn't good enough for his critics).
13. Responded to hatred from the right and left with measured good humor and patience (But that wasn't good enough for his critics).
14. Stopped the free fall of job losses (But that wasn't good enough for his critics).
15. Showed immense personal courage in the face of an armed and dangerous far right opposition that included the sort of disgusting people that show up at public meetings carrying loaded weapons and carrying Timothy McVeigh-inspired signs about the "blood of tyrants" needing to "water the tree of liberty" (But that wasn't good enough for his critics).
16. Showed that he could not only make the tough military choices but also explain and defend them brilliantly (But that wasn't good enough for his critics).
Other than those "disappointing" accomplishments -- IN ONE YEAR -- President Obama "failed"! Other than that he didn't "live up to expectations"!
Who actually has failed:
The ones who failed are the Americans who can't see the beginning of a miracle of national rebirth right under their jaded noses. Who failed are the smart-ass ideologues of the left and right who began rooting for this President to fail so that they could be proved right in their dire and morbid predictions. Who failed are the movers and shakers behind our obscenely dumb news cycles that have turned "news" into just more stupid entertainment for an entertainment-besotted infantile country.
Here's the good news: President Obama is succeeding without the help of his lefty "supporters" or hate-filled Republican detractors!
The Future Looks Good:
After Obama has served two full terms, (and he will); after his wisdom in moving deliberately and cautiously with great subtlety on all fronts with a canny and calculating eye to the possible succeeds, (it will); after the economy is booming and new industries are burgeoning, (they will be); after the doomsayers are all proved not just wrong but silly: let the record show that not all Americans were panicked into thinking the sky was falling.
Just because we didn't get everything we wanted in the first short and fraught year Obama was in office not all of us gave up. Some of us stayed the course. And we will be proved right.
P.S.: if you agree that Obama is shaping up to be a great president, please pass this on and hang in there! Pass it on anyway to ensure that his "report card" gets the attention it deserves.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Today is the ninth anniversary of the attack of 9/11/01 in New York. The Twin Towers, each 110 stories tall, were once the tallest buildings in the world, until the Sears Tower in Chicago was built in 1974. The World Trade Center complex included seven buildings and covered 16 acres of downtown New York City. Approximately 50,000 people worked at the World Trade Center complex and many more passed through the buildings daily.
At 8:46 a.m. Al Qaeda terrorists flew a hijacked airplane into floors 94-98 of World Trade Center North Tower. At 9:03 a.m. terrorists flew a second airplane into floors 78-84 of the South Tower.
At 9:37 a.m. terrorists flew a third airplane into the Pentagon in Washington D.C.
At 9:59 a.m. the South Tower collapses. At 10:03 a.m. terrorists crash the fourth and last hijacked airplane into an empty field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. At 10:28 a.m. the North Tower collapses and all 16 acres of the World Trade Center complex are in ruins. That day, all seven buildings were destroyed and part of the Pentagon collapsed.
This was the largest foreign attack on American soil and cost approximately 3,000 lives of WTC workers, and approximately 400 rescue workers lost their lives, the largest loss of emergency responders in a single event in U.S. history.
TODAY, REMEMBER OUR HISTORY, OUR WOUNDED, OUR DEAD, AND PRAY FOR THEM.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
I have done some extensive research in the past couple months and learned some valuable information. This information will be an asset to a few people, and for the rest of the readers, a bit of "trivia" now and then enhances one's education.
1. Any Club, or group functioning as a Club, that raises money for any political type of donation MUST file Campaign Finance Reports, pursuant to the Ohio Revised Code Section 3517.11. (For those unfamiliar with the ORC referred to, it is Ohio State LAW.)
2. The last known report to be filed for a group I have knowledge of was June 11, 2010 called the Post-Primary Report. This report was to disclose to the State all financial activity from April 14 to June 4 of this year.
3. The next report that was REQUIRED to be filed was the SemiAnnual Report for activity from June 4 to to June 30. That report was due to be submitted to a state entity on July 30.
4. Failure to file said report due on July 30 is a violation of ORC 3517.10(A)(3), according to the Secretary of State's office. The failure to file reports is detailed in ORC 3517.13.
5. After reading ORC 3517.99, I learned that the penalty for failure to file reports that are mandated by the State of Ohio can result in monetary fines as determined by the Ohio Elections Commission, pursuant to the level of the violation (i.e. violation made knowingly; violation not prompty corrected; or whether the circumstances merit just a minimum fine).
6. On another topic, I learned that any public political advertising, which includes newspapers, magazines, flyers, handbills, tickets, or booklets of a printed matter, must include what's called a "disclaimer." A disclaimer is - who paid for the item to be distributed. This information was derived from ORC 3517.20 and states that the disclaimer must contain the name and address of the CURRENT chairperson, treasurer, or secretary of the contributing entity. This disclaimer must be in a conspicuous place (usually at the bottom) on each item. It is NOT proper to use the name of a FORMER chairperson, treasurer, or secretary of the entity. Items such as balloons, pencils, and campaign buttons are exempt from the disclaimer law.
7. Section (D) of ORC 3517.20 states that before a prosecution may commence under this section (of law), a complaint must be filed with the Ohio Elections Commission.
8. Continuing, I read ORC 3501.08, which states that each member of the Board of Elections must take an official OATH to support the United States and State constitution, enforce election laws, and preserve the records of the Board. These Oath's are signed and filed with the Clerk of Court of Common Pleas.
9. ORC 3503.011 states that "At a primary election every qualified voter is or will be on the day of the next general election 18 or more years of age, and who is a member of OR is AFFILIATED with the political party whose primary election ballot he desires to vote, shall be entitled to vote such ballot at the primary election." In early voting, a declaration of party is valid at voting and does not have to be delayed until certification of the ballots after the primary.
10. According to the Secretary of State's website on Campaign Finance, A political CLUB is formed primarily for social purposes and consists of 100 members or less, has officers and periodic meetings, has less than $2,500 in its treasury at all times, and makes an aggregate total contribution of $1,000 or less per calendar year.
11. There exists the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971. The Act requires political committies or clubs to register with the FEC once its contributions or expenditures exceed $1,000 in a calendar year. After the entity crosses that threshold, it MUST register with the FEC within 10 days and periodically report all financial activities. According to the FEC Guide, which explains the Act and its rules, all financial reports must be made on time, as the Commission cannot grant extension to reporting deadlines. Filing late, or not filing reports, may result in enforcement action, including administrative fines. Disclaimers must be included on public communications, therefore, the rules are similar to State law.
12. Once a CLUB exceeds their limits by LAW, they are considered a PAC - Political Action Committee. A PAC is a group, regardless of size, organized to contribute to political candidates. The Secretary of State's website details what should be included in the ByLaws for a PAC. PAC's were originally created by Congress in 1944 to allow unions to get around the Smith-Connally Act, which banned direct union contributions to candidates. There are non-connected PAC's and Leadership PAC's, which are primarily for members of Congress. As of January 2009, there were almost 1600 PAC's in this country. PAC's must register with the FEC upon formation, or as previously noted, within 10 days of exceeding CLUB LAWS.
13. A PAC can give up to $5,000 to a candidate per election, and up to $15,000 annually to any party committee. PAC's may receive up to $5,000 in a single donation per year, in contrast with Club's $200 limit. There are currently approximately 28 registered Ohio PAC's.
14. Finally, the Secretary of State may remove or suspend from office, any member of a board of elections, the director or deputy director, for neglect of duty, malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance in office, or any willful violation of the Ohio Revised Code.
(Malfeasance - the performance by a public official of an act that is legally unjustified, harmful or contrary to law, wrongdoing or violation of public trust. Misfeasance - a wrong, actual or alleged, wrongful exercise of lawful authority. Nonfeasance - the omission of some act that should have been performed.)
I wonder if some public officials are abiding by these laws?
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
I was not able to be at the Prime Outlet Mall in Jeffersonville on Sunday, September 05, 2010. Therefore, my friend John submitted this report.
Three of the National Pink Heals Tour fire trucks were on display Sunday on a stop during their tour through multiple states. The national trucks there were Elaine, Karen, and Tonya, along with the Guardians of the Ribbon, Ohio Chapter fire truck, Leah, based right here in Fayette County. Each truck is named after a cancer victim from their local area. The purpose of the tour is "Cares Enough to Wear Pink." We selflessly put our women first in the battle against cancer, at the very least we wear her color to let her know we CARE! We bring love & hope to communities around the country in the form of Pink Fire Trucks.
Wayne Township Fire Department Volunteer Chief Ryan McMurray, a full-time firefighter at the Rickenbacker Fire Department and Wayne Township Fire Department Volunteer Lt. James Thompson, a full-time federal firefighter at the V.A. Medical Center in Chillicothe, are currently driving with the tour across several states.
For more information visit the following sites:
Saturday, September 4, 2010
In case you haven't seen it yet, this is the newest addtion to the Washington Fire Department fleet of fire trucks. The $896,000 truck gives the department the capacity to reach the top of tall buildings or two story houses with ease.
Our fire department is now equiped to handle almost anything that could or would happen in Fayette County. The department also has a hazmat trailer with equipment to handle dangerous spills, a grass fire truck, an air tank refill truck, and many other amenities which each fireman is trained to operate. Washington Court House has one of the best equiped departments in the State of Ohio.
The new six million dollar building that houses the fire department has a fully equipped gym in the basement. Each fireman is required to participate in morning exercise workouts in order to keep fit for the job.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Learn to duck, if you can. Sometimes reflexes are just not quick enough in certain circumstances. I have learned that twice this past week.
At the beginning of last week, a neighbor came over to see if I had any more empty tote boxes. She got almost a dozen from me a couple months ago. I think she's organizing her garage. Since my move to this house a few years ago caused me to purchase so many, as a saver, I put the empties in the attic.
I called my best friend to help. He came over to climb in the attic on a very hot afternoon. He began to lower a few totes down to me, and all was going well until I missed a catch. The corner of one missed my hands and hit me with a thump on my forehead above my right eyebrow. Wow, that hurt. I knew I would have a bruise from it.
Later that night, a lump appeared in that spot, which was more than a bruise - it was a Hematoma, and black & blue. It was very sore for a week. My friend said, "Learn to duck." Luckily, it was not too visible, because my bangs hid it.
About a week or so before that incident, I was preparing for another event and while lifting or moving a furniture-like item, I pulled a muscle in my right shoulder. That was sore for about 10 days. It had just about healed - until Tuesday.
There was no way to duck. As my family and most of my friends know, I have a bad back due to degenerative disk disease. I can only do so much at a time - physically, like standing, lifting or walking.
However, I do the best I can, especially when given a task. After setting up six tables, 56 chairs, moving a couch and chair slightly out of the way, and doing several other things, I had exhausted my back's efforts for the day. My back was sore and I knew it was time to rest it.
Unfortunately, it got worse instead of better. Due to unforseen events and a circumstance which is best not described, I was slammed against a wall striking my bad shoulder, my right wrist and even the side of my head. It knocked the wind out of me briefly, but as soon as I recovered from the shock of it, I left the area and came home. I just can't seem to duck fast enough to avoid oncoming things.
The good news is - I'll live, and the terrible pain will eventually subside. After one errand this morning, I took another pain pill and slept for four more hours. Needless to say, I stayed home to rest and start my recovery.
Learning to DUCK can be a painful process, but if I keep trying I'll eventually get it right!
(The ducks in the picture are real. Many more walked over to where I sat for a while on Tuesday. They were so tame and vocal as if asking for a scrap of bread, but they moved a lot faster than I should have.)