Friday, December 29, 2006

Ohio's Unemployment Rate Up Again

What a surprise! The unemployment for Ohio is up again to 5.4% According to ODJFS, the unemployment rate increased from 5.1 for October to 5.4% for November 2006. Isn't it nice of them to release the information quietly on a Friday before a holiday weekend? Perhaps Taft and the Ohio GOP hopes no one will notice. Here are some excerpts from the press release:

...The number of workers unemployed in Ohio in November was 321,000, up from 306,000 in October....

...Among the state's 88 counties, the November 2006 unemployment rates ranged from a low of 3.3 percent in Delaware County to a high of 9.4 percent in Monroe County. Rates increased in 87 of the counties....

....Nine counties had unemployment rates at or above 7.0 percent during November. The counties with the highest rates, other than Monroe, were: Pike, 8.3; Morgan, 8.0; Meigs, 7.9; Vinton, 7.8; Ottawa, 7.4; Jackson, 7.2; and Adams and Huron, 7.0 percent....

We can thank the Ohio Republicans for doing such a great job of lining their own pockets while doing their best to scare away businesses from Ohio.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Strong Candidates

The Democratic Party is blessed with many strong candidates for President for 2008. John Edwards, former vice presidential candidate, has announced his intention to seek the White House. Edwards is a hard-working, intelligent, and caring man. Check out the John Edwards for President site.

Besides Edwards, Democrats have Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and others. Democrats have a collection of talented people who certainly would do a much better job at leading this country than the present administration.

Republicans have some interesting candidates for the presidency --- Newt Gingrich (anti-women's reproduction rights, *married 3 times, House banking scandal, deadbeat Dad), Rudy Giuliani (*married 3 times, public adultery), Sam Brownback (anti-women's reproduction rights, Draconian views), John McCain (anti-women's reproduction rights, supports Bush like a lap dog, wants to continue the Iraq war into infinity), Tom Tancredo and Duncan Hunter (two anti-immigrant GOPers), Mitt Romney (twit), Tommy Thompson (please! no!), etc. As you can tell, I don't have any respect for the possible Republican candidates. The Republican party has done so much for Ohio (scandals, payoffs, ethics problems, job losses, etc.) and the country (war, war, war), that practically any Democrat could do better than any Republican.

(*Gingrich and Giuliani would run on a family values theme---- just don't look at their family values.)

Strong Candidates

The Democratic Party is blessed with many strong candidates for President for 2008. John Edwards, former vice presidential candidate, has announced his intention to seek the White House. Edwards is a hard-working, intelligent, and caring man. Check out the John Edwards for President site.

Besides Edwards, Democrats have Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and others. Democrats have a collection of talented people who certainly would do a much better job at leading this country than the present administration.

Republicans have some interesting candidates for the presidency --- Newt Gingrich (anti-women's reproduction rights, *married 3 times, House banking scandal, deadbeat Dad), Rudy Giuliani (*married 3 times, public adultery), Sam Brownback (anti-women's reproduction rights, Draconian views), John McCain (anti-women's reproduction rights, supports Bush like a lap dog, wants to continue the Iraq war into infinity), Tom Tancredo and Duncan Hunter (two anti-immigrant GOPers), Mitt Romney (twit), Tommy Thompson (please! no!), etc. As you can tell, I don't have any respect for the possible Republican candidates. The Republican party has done so much for Ohio (scandals, payoffs, ethics problems, job losses, etc.) and the country (war, war, war), that practically any Democrat could do better than any Republican.

(*Gingrich and Giuliani would run on a family values theme---- just don't look at their family values.)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


My husband and I got married in 1974. Although it was a happy year for us, it was a disastrous year for the Republicans and President Nixon. When Nixon resigned, Gerald Ford became President in 1974. Watergate, the political dirty tricks, and the war in Viet Nam, had created one scandal after another in Washington, DC. Here is an article from the New York Times on Gerald Ford.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

No Peace or Joy in Iraq

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that things in Iraq are not going well. Just look at some of the recent statistics posted at Iraq Coalition Casualties:

U.S. Deaths Confirmed By The DoD: 2957
Reported U.S. Deaths Pending DoD Confirmation: 21
Total 2978

On the same site in the "news" section, there is a growing list of the violence in Iraq: bodies found, people kidnapped, IEDs, car bombs, deaths,..... The ongoing list shows what our men and women in uniform are facing every minute. How much more will our nation have to sacrifice for Bush's fiasco?

Saturday, December 23, 2006


I'm tired of

......Ohio Republican corruption.
......Republican corruption.
......the do-nothing Republican congress.
......stories about Britney Spears, K-Fed, Lindsey Lohan, Paris Hilton, and the rest of those twits.
......the lies from the Bush administration. jobs, no hopes for the people in Ohio.
......arrogant, self-righteous people.

I hope that we will see the Democrats accomplish great things in government.
I hope that the Democrats will win the White House.
I hope that all of our men and women in Iraq will be home soon.

I wish you peace, love, and rock and roll during the holidays.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Testing the Selective Service System???

Those of us who can remember the military draft are a little nervous this morning. It appears that the federal government is going to "test" the selective service system.

Chicago Sun-Times
The Selective Service System is planning a comprehensive test of the military draft machinery, which hasn't been run since 1998.

The agency is not gearing up for a draft, an agency official said Thursday. The test itself would not likely occur until 2009.

Meanwhile, the secretary for Veterans Affairs said that ''society would benefit'' if the U.S. were to bring back the draft and that it shouldn't have any loopholes for anyone who is called to serve. VA Secretary Jim Nicholson later issued a statement saying he does not support reinstituting a draft.

The Selective Service ''readiness exercise'' would test the system that randomly chooses draftees by birth date.

Oh, a test??? Will they include the Bush twins in the test?

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Will We Ever Know the Truth?

>According to Yahoo News, Bin Laden could have been killed twice, but the shoot order never came. Truth or fiction.
Was Army General John Abizaid forced to retire because he opposed the Bush plan to increase troops in Iraq? The Seattle Times has the full story. Remember when the Bush administration bragged about Abizaid? How many other generals and high ranking commanders have been forced out by Bush and Rumsfeld because they disagreed with this war?

>Also, according to the Seattle Times, Bush's Iraq War is costing us $2 billion/week. That amount could be much higher if there has been other spending that we don't know about. What domestic programs are not being funded because Bush's war is getting all the money?

>Bush would raise the minimum raise, but only if it is tied to ...
tax relief and regulatory relief for small businesses... (Chicago Tribune). Isn't nice of Bush to continue to support businesses over human beings?

>According to Reuters......
"No tengo futuro (I have no future)," Jeb Bush told Spanish-language reporters in Miami, when asked about any possible political ambitions after he steps down next month.....
Thank goodness! The last thing we need is another member of the Bush family in public office!

Republican Rep. Virgil Goode is showing his true colors. WSLS:

Responding to constituent e-mails about Representative-elect Keith Ellison's decision to use the Quran at his ceremonial swearing-in, a Virginia congressman warned that "many more Muslims" will be elected demanding to use the Quran unless immigration is tightened.

Republican Representative Virgil Goode made the comments in a letter sent to hundreds of constituents about Minnesota's Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress.

Goode said the U.S. needs to totally halt illegal immigration and reduce legal immigration.

Ellison was born in Detroit and converted to Islam in college. He did not immediately return a telephone message left today.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations called on Goode to apologize for the letter.

Goode spokesman Linwood Duncan said no apology was forthcoming....

Virgil Goode, Jr. is another GOP idiot with a lobbyist problem (for details see VA Progressive.) If you wish, contact Goode at one of the addresses/numbers located at this website---

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Joint Chiefs and Bush Disagree

President Bush wants to send more troops to Iraq. However, it appears that the Joint Chiefs are against it. Bush still has no plan, but wants to send additional troops. Isn't this just making it more dangerous for our military? Some of the service members have served Iraq 2, 3, or 4 times. How many more tours of duty are they expected to serve? How many more holidays are families expected to miss their loved ones because of Bush's war?

Here are some excerpts from the Star Tribune:
....In an interview with the Washington Post, Bush said he has instructed newly sworn-in Defense Secretary Robert Gates to report back to him with a plan to increase ground forces. The president gave no estimates about how many troops may be added but indicated that he agreed with suggestions in the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill that the current military is stretched too thin to cope with the demands placed on it.

The president's decision comes at a time when he is rethinking his strategy in Iraq and considering, among other options, a short-term surge in troop levels to try to secure violence-torn Baghdad. The Joint Chiefs of Staff are resisting the idea during internal debates, in part out of the conviction that it will further strain already-pressed forces.

The military is also concerned that even temporarily shipping thousands more troops would be largely ineffective in the absence of bold new political and economic steps....

Even though the spin doctors in the administration have stated that there is no disagreement between Bush and the Joint Chiefs, we must remember this about the Bush White House---- They have lied to us before and they continue to lie. We cannot believe anything they say.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

New Report on Iraq

This new report on Iraq shows that things are getting worse. MSNBC (excerpts):

Attacks on U.S. and Iraqi troops and Iraqi civilians jumped sharply in recent months to the highest level since Iraq regained its sovereignty in June 2004, the Pentagon told Congress on Monday in the latest indication of that country’s spiraling violence.

In a report issued the same day Robert Gates took over as defense secretary, the Pentagon said that from mid-August to mid-November, the weekly average number of attacks increased 22 percent from the previous three months...

...According to the Pentagon report, the worst violence from August to November was in Baghdad and in the western province of Anbar, long the focus of activity by Sunni insurgents...

...American casualties, dead and wounded, rose from 19 to 25 per day, up 32 percent in the last three months...

How much more can our armed services sacrifice? Will Bush ever be able to deal with the reality of this war? Just take a look at and you'll notice that things are terrible in Iraq. Here are some headlines from the site:

12/19/06 Reuters: Gunmen seize at least $875,000 in Baghdad heist
12/19/06 Reuters: Mortar fire kills 1, wounds 3 in Rasheed
12/19/06 Reuters: Roadside bomb wounds 4 people in Baghdad
12/19/06 Reuters: 12 bodies found in Baquba, 4 in Mosul
12/19/06 MCT: Navy veteran accuses U.S. military of holding him prisoner
12/19/06 MNF: One Marine killed in western Iraq
12/18/06 Thegazette: Soldier who grew up in Springs dies in Iraq
12/18/06 Reuters: 44 bodies found in various parts of Baghdad
nbc4: Soldier From La Crescenta Is 300th Californian To Die In Iraq

American citizens need to start the New Year by e-mailing our senators and representatives and demand an end of the war. If they do not move toward ending the war, then we start calling their DC offices. It is time for our military to declare victory and come home.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Bush: Iraq Not as Bad as It Looks

From The Washington Post:
...Bush gives little sign of self-pity. At holiday parties for friends and family in recent days, he has found himself bucking up others depressed by the turn in his political fortunes. "Don't worry, it's not as bad as it looks," he told one friend visiting the White House....

Our military has lost almost 3000 of our armed forces in Iraq, but "'s not as bad as it looks." Really? Is President Bush being informed about what is happening in Iraq or is he choosing to ignore it? By dismissing the wounded, the casualties, and the daily horrific events in Iraq, this administration is not honoring their sacrifice. This war has created tragedies and so many families have suffered. It is time to bring our troops home.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Ohio Republican Corruption Stories Continue

Just when you thought it was safe to close the book on Ohio Republican corruption scandals, another investigation story emerges. This time Sen. George Voinovich's name is tied to Republican coin dealer and fundraiser, Tom Noe. The Toledo Blade:

Tom Noe gave about $50,000 to the wife of U.S. Sen. George Voinovich's longtime friend, personal accountant, and campaign treasurer, according to records from his criminal trial.

In 1998, when Mr. Voinovich was governor, Noe received the first $25 million to invest in rare coins from the state. That same year, Laura and Vincent Panichi began donating to Mr. Voinovich's Senate campaign. They gave $12,000 to his campaigns through 2005, according to Federal Election Commission records.....

Noe said of Mr. Panichi, who was then-Governor Voinovich's campaign treasurer: "He's gotten me a number of clients."
Mr. Voinovich's staff also helped pass a bill to add investment coins and bullion to the list of items exempt from Ohio's sales tax.
Senator Voinovich has avoided the fallout from the Noe scandal despite the accusations and convictions of some of his closest political allies in Columbus.
In 1998, the final year of Mr. Voinovich's tenure as governor, the bureau made a pact to invest with Noe, a Toledo-area Republican campaign contributor.
By then, Mr. Voinovich already had appointed Mr. Noe to the Bowling Green State University Board of Trustees and the Ohio Board of Regents.
On the eve of Mr. Voinovich's 1998 election to his first term in the Senate, Mr. Voinovich was accused of conspiring with his late brother, Paul, to launder campaign money in 1994. Paul Voinovich died in 2002.
The Ohio Elections Commission dismissed the complaints about eight months after the election. The investigation called into question the conduct of Mr. Panichi and Mr. Voinovich's brother, who owned The V Companies.
Mr. Panichi told the grand jury that then-Governor Voinovich approved a plan by his brother to launder $60,000 in campaign money.

It appears as though the Republican scandals in Ohio have been ugly and widespread, and are just waiting to be discovered. With a little more digging, who knows what other improper activities will be exposed?

Friday, December 15, 2006

Free Expression Here and There

>Watch out, bloggers! Republican Sen. John McCain is after you. According to Think Progress:
Now he has introduced legislation that would treat blogs like Internet service providers and hold them responsible for all activity in the comments sections and user profiles....
Is this the beginning of the 'thought police' or is McCain just trying control what people write about him?

>It appears that rap music has been growing in Cuba. Music is known as the universal language and now it appears that young Cubans are using rap to express their frustrations in Cuba. The New York Times has an article about Cuba's rappers:
...Alarmed by the number of young people in baggy clothing and ill-aligned baseball caps rapping around the island, the government created the Cuban Rap Agency four years ago to bring rebellious rhymers into the fold....
....Not surprisingly, most rappers, who are by definition a rebellious lot, are averse to joining forces with the government, even as they struggle to spread their rhymes on their own. Only nine groups are working with the agency. Of the remaining 500 or more across the island, some voice discontent with Cuban society in language that is as blunt as the accompanying beat is loud.

“We are not in agreement with any political system, the one here or the one you have,” said Aldo Rodríguez Baquero, 23, who teams up with his friend Bian Rodríguez Gala in a popular group called Los Aldeanos, or The Villagers. “We want liberty and freedom.”

While rap appeals to just a subset of Cuba’s youngsters, many of the five million Cubans under the age of 30 similarly question the system....

Wow! Do you think the record moguls will be trying to find these young people?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Bring Our Troops Home

Did you see President Bush yesterday talking about Iraq? Were you embarrassed to see his inability to make an intelligent sentence?

It is time to bring our military home from Iraq. Here is an article from the Dispatch about a real American hero who was killed in Iraq:

...Army Capt. Shawn English, 35, of New Albany, was killed by an improvised explosive device in Baghdad, Iraq, on Dec. 3. His funeral took place at the Central College Presbyterian Church yesterday.

English’s wife flew with their three sons, Nathan, 7, Noah, 5, and Austin, 3, from their home in Panama City Beach, Fla., to say goodbye to their hero for the last time.

English was assigned in February to train Iraqi army soldiers....

"Men like my husband are so rare," Mrs. English said before the services. "I was married to the most amazing man, and my boys knew they had the most amazing daddy. I just pray that I will have the strength to go on without the love of my life."

...Capt. English was respected by everyone who had the honor of knowing him, said brother-inlaw Todd Daily. English was all heart, he said, and loved his family with all of it.

English served at bases across the country in his 16 years of military service, but he seemed to have found a home in Florida, where he planned to stay.

He played football for New Albany High School and raised 4-H sheep before joining the service immediately after graduating in 1990.

His best friend didn’t know him during that time, but as Capt. Nathan Surrey stared at the casket covered with an American flag, memories of the past three years overwhelmed him.

"I have never met a better husband or father," said Surrey, who bonded with English when they met for Army management training in 2003. "He showed me the right way to raise my future family, and I will watch over yours, Shawn, like I promised you."

Surrey also escorted English’s body on a Delta Airlines flight out of Atlanta on Monday. When the plane was about an hour away from Columbus, the pilot informed the passengers that English’s body was on board.

After landing, the plane was quiet and everyone remained in their seats until Surrey reached the front. Then, everyone started clapping.

"My husband and I were almost in tears," said Judith Haddox of Columbus, who was on the plane and had never met Surrey or English. "It was such an emotional moment ... I won’t ever forget it."

Surrey escorted Mrs. English out of the church after yesterday’s services.

English was buried in New Albany’s Maplewood Cemetery, next to his father, Donald.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

25,000 Dead or Wounded Americans

According to Newsweek, there have been 25,000 dead or wounded Americans in Iraq. Does the President care or will he just let things go on until the next president is elected?

I heard a statistic last night that said the Marines make up 29% of the casualties in Iraq but they only make up 16% of the fighting force. Why? Is someone checking on this?

130 Ohioans have been killed in Iraq: 15 in 2003, 28 in 2004, 60 in 2005, and 27 in 2006. Can someone please stop the bloodshed? My heart aches for the families and friends of these young men and women, as well as for those who have been wounded.

Rodriguez Defeats Republican Bonilla!

Another Republican bites the dust! MSNBC News has the results of the runoff election in Texas:

Former Congressman Ciro Rodriguez defeated seven-term Republican Henry Bonilla in a runoff election Tuesday, adding another Democrat to Congress.

With more than half the precincts reporting in the state’s largest district, Rodriguez had 57 percent to Bonilla’s 43 percent.....



President Bush has put off announcing his new Iraq policy. It probably is the same as the as the old Iraq policy but with new catch phrases. Now we'll hear 'moving forward' instead of 'turning the corner' or 'adapt to win.' Who comes up with this crap anyway?

Since Bush has put off declaring what his new Iraq policy is, more of our military will be killed or maimed in Iraq, more destruction will happen, and the war costs will continue to increase. The war in Iraq doesn't take a holiday, but Bush must. He'll probably head down to Texas to work on that brush problem he has on his ranch.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Why is President Bush on a "listening tour" to hear everyone's opinion on his Iraq War? He will do want he wants. Bush and his administration can't deal with reality of the war and their lost cause. It is time to bring our troops home.

Why is the Pentagon pushing military leaders into evangelical Christian religions and de-railing their careers if they refuse to comply? Yahoo News has the story.

Why did Rumsfeld take Sean Hannity to Iraq on his good-by tour of bases?

Why are the Republican state legislators trying to undue Issue 2 in Ohio? Ohio voters passed the issue to raise the minimum wage in the state and now the Ohio GOP is trying to stop it. The Ohio GOP is proving once again that they'd rather listen to their big political contributors instead of voters. The Ohio GOP lost the office of the governor and now they are trying to lose the state legislature.

Why does a loser like Tom DeLay need a blog? DeLay admits he isn't a good writer but that he has someone else write for him. Idiot.

Why did the Today Show have to use Billy Bush as a reporter? Enough with the Bush family!!!!! Yuck!

Why would anyone go see any Mel Gibson movie? Seriously, folks, are you trying to reward him by making him richer?

Monday, December 11, 2006

Siemens Once Again Puts Profits Before People

Siemens will cut 720 jobs in Ohio. Why? According to the Columbus Dispatch.....

...Siemens plans to shift work from the two Ohio plants to "existing facilities of Siemens Mexico or other third-party suppliers," the company said. The Ohio plants make highvoltage circuit breakers for industrial and commercial use....

Personally, I am not surprised that a company with the history of Siemens would do such a thing. Siemens, as you may not know, used slave labor during World War II, and profited. (Do a Google search on Siemens and slave labor.) Once again this company has decided to put profits before people. Send Siemens a message they'll understand, refuse to buy their products.


When you read why this South Korean military helicopter pilot was dismissed from the military, most people would be surprised to learn why. According to The Korea Times:
Former Lieutenant-Colonel Pee Woo-jin, the first woman soldier in Korea to pilot a helicopter, is not likely to give up her battle against the South Korean military anytime soon. She was dismissed Nov. 30, 2006, because she had been diagnosed with cancer and had an ``absence of certain body parts.’’

Let me repeat that...."an absence of certain body parts."

The article continues----

Since her story became widely known with her book ``Women Soldiers Do Not Like Chocolate,’’ published by Samin Books late last month, it has prompted a few voices to demand that her dismissal be reversed.

Pee was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003. Both of her breasts were removed. From a legal point of view, the removal of her breasts and her medical record were ground enough for her dismissal, military authorities say. Although the authorities are considering revising the ``outdated’’ regulations, they still remain in effect.

Pee is awaiting the judgment of a military appeals commission to be announced later this month. Pee says that if her appeal is rejected, she will file an administrative lawsuit against the military, in which she served for 27 years.

She will not give up easily. She said she felt more pain when the shiny wings she had on her uniform for 17 years were snatched off in September last year than when her breasts were removed....

I'm confused! Does a woman need breasts to pilot a helicopter? In this country we know that people can be elected to office and have an absence of common sense, empathy, and intelligence. I won't mention the names of people who fall into those categories, but you can figure it out.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Hail to Troy Smith!

Those of us who are alumni of The Ohio State University are very proud of Troy Smith, Heisman Trophy Winner. We've watched him mature into a fine young man and become a great leader on the football team. Congratulation to Coach Tressel and all those associated with the team!

I read that Brady Quinn was disappointed that he came in third in the balloting for the Heisman. Get over it! I also wish that the Notre Dame fans would stop their whining! Ohio State beat ND in the Fiesta Bowl even though they had Brady Quinn, and they had their super-human, former NFL coach, Charlie Weis. When the going gets tough, Brady Quinn and their team can't win it.


Friday, December 08, 2006

Foley Page Scandal Not Over Yet

Ewwwwwwwwww! The Republican page scandal involving Rep. Mark Foley is not over. It appears that Republican Rep. Kolbe knows more than he has indicated. Raw Story has the stuff on the scandal. Here is an excerpt (read the rest at Raw Story):

According to the “Investigation of Allegations Related to Improper Conduct Involving Members and Current or Former House Pages” (what's become known as the “Page Report”), Congressman Jim Kolbe (R-AZ) received--and tried to suppress--sexually-explicit communications in October 2001 sent by Rep. Mark Foley to a House page Kolbe had sponsored the previous semester.

That communication, the former page told the authors of the report, involved Foley making “reference to the size of his *****......".....

Bill Bennett: Pompous Fool

Bill Bennett, former drug czar and now right wing commentator, had a few things to say about the findings of the Iraq Study Group. Excerpts from Mercury News:

...conservative commentator William Bennett vented in volcanic fashion. ``In all my time in Washington I've never seen such smugness, arrogance, or such insufferable moral superiority,'' Bennett wrote in a posting on the National Review Web site. ``Self-congratulatory. Full of itself. Horrible.''

Was Bill Bennett describing himself? Bennett is smug, arrogant, and full of insufferable moral superiority. Oh, yeah, and he is a pompous fool, too.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

American Troops Want Out Too

No matter what anyone says, the American troops in Iraq are ready to come home. Hines Sight found this article at Editor and Publisher. Here are some excerpts:

American troops in one of the most dangerous corners of Iraq welcomed plans for change Wednesday as the Pentagon prepared for a new chief and a bipartisan commission urged a new war strategy.

But many of the soldiers from Company C, 1st Battalion, 37th Armored Regiment were skeptical they'll be going home anytime soon, despite a high-level U.S. panel's recommendation that most combat troops leave Iraq by early 2008....

"It's just a study group. It's not really going to affect the president. I don't see any major changes happening until presidential elections start," Wiacik said. "I think both sides will promise to get troops out and give timelines then, but not before."

The U.S. Army troops, based in the Sunni insurgent stronghold of Ramadi, are still reeling from learning two months ago that their tour was being extended until at least February.

"We've been here for 12 months now and there's been no progress," said Spc. Richard Johnson, 20, of Bridgeport, Conn., as he manned a machine gun on the rooftop of an outpost ringed by a shallow moat of sewage....
"It's like holding a child's hand. How long can you hold onto his hand before he does something on his own?" Johnson said. "How much longer do we have to get shot at or blown up?...."

Asked if he was frustrated with the situation in Ramadi, he replied: "That doesn't cover it."

"U.S. soldiers are dying trying to help people who don't want their help," he said. "That makes you angry."

Dow said elders at a nearby mosque broadcast messages saying Americans are the cause of all the problems in Ramadi, the capital of restive Sunni-dominated Anbar province, 70 miles west of Baghdad.

The soldiers here also welcomed news that Robert Gates had been named to replace Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld. Gates told a Senate committee Tuesday that "all options are on the table" about how to resolve the Iraq crisis.

"Yes, please! All of us want to change what we're doing because we're not doing very much," said Staff Sgt. Rony Theodore, 33, of Brooklyn, N.Y.

Wiacik also hoped for change.

"We're just sitting around not making any progress. It's annoying. You're not motivated to help anybody," he said, adding his contract was up in 2008 and he did not plan to re-enlist.

"I don't want to live my life like this," he said.

This administration created a fiasco in Iraq. We've lost lives, billions of dollars, and our country's good reputation. It is time to pack it up and bring our military home.

11 Americans Killed in One Day

From USA Today:
A U.S. soldier was killed during a firefight in the insurgent stronghold of Ramadi, west of Baghdad, raising to 11 the number of American forces killed in a single day, the military said Thursday.

The soldier died Wednesday after he was shot while manning a machine gun nest on the roof of an outpost in the city, 115 kilometers (70 miles) west of Baghdad, the capital of the volatile Anbar province.

The death came on the same day that 10 other U.S. troops were killed in four separate incidents in Iraq, a major blow on the same day a high-level panel in Washington recommended gradually shifting U.S. forces from a combat to a training role....

With the release of the information by the Iraq Study Group, the ball appears to be in President Bush's Court. What will he do? Bush could say thank you very much, but no thank you. No matter what he does, it is clear that Iraq is a mess.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Too Many Managers, Too Much Money

While tuition costs in the state have gone up, many state employees in Ohio have been enjoying great pay raises and overtime. A recent story on WCPO, exposes the management-heavy state government and pay scales for employees. (Will many of these managers lose their cushy jobs because they were appointed by Taft?) Located in the archive stories of WCPO, the state payroll list, also includes a large document which shows the title, pay scale, overtime, sick time, etc., of employees.
OH State Workers Pay (05)
Excel file format (.xls)

Lynn Cheney Knitting Booties for Future Grandchild

Yahoo News:
Mary Cheney, the daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney is preggers!

Wow! Lynn and Dick must be very, very happy. Perhaps Mrs. Cheney can read one of her novels to the baby for a bedtime story.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Another Winner!

Wuerffel Trophy 2006:
December 4, 2006
The All Sports Association is pleased to announce that the winner of the 2006 Wuerffel Trophy is Joel Penton of Ohio State University.

Buckeye MVP Named (
Senior quarterback Troy Smith has been selected by his teammates as the Buckeyes' 2006 Most Valuable Player. Smith was honored earlier today at the team's annual appreciation banquet.

Smith guided this year's squad to an outright Big Ten title, a 12-0 regular season record and a berth in the 2006 National Championship Game on Jan. 8.

The 6-1 signal caller from Cleveland Glenville completed 67 percent of his passes and threw for 2,507 yards and a school record 30 touchdowns. He also ran for 233 yards and a score in improving his record as a starter to 25-2.

Senior defensive back Antonio Smith was selected by his teammates as the winner of the Bo Rein Award as the team's most inspirational player. Smith, a former walk-on, was converted to scholarship in the spring and wound up winning first-team All-Big Ten honors this season.

Meanwhile, Stan White Jr. received the John W. Galbreath Award for excellence in academics. White, the Buckeyes' starting fullback, won first-team Academic All-America honors this past year.

Defensive tackle Quinn Pitcock was named winner of the Bill Willis Award as the Buckeyes' outstanding defensive player. Pitcock, a senior from Piqua, Ohio, led the team with eight sacks.

David Patterson, Pitcock's running mate at defensive tackle, was named winner of the Jim Marshall Warrior Award.

Ted Ginn Jr. was selected as the winner of the Archie Griffin Award as the outstanding offensive player on the team. Ginn led the team in receptions and set the Big Ten record for career punt return touchdowns....

How many more "friendly fire" deaths are there?

We are all familiar with the death of Pat Tillman. Now it appears that there is a similar case, as reported by Editor and Publisher:

(December 04, 2006) -- For the past five weeks, in this column, I have spotlighted the misreporting of American deaths in Iraq and among veterans of that war here at home. Over and over, the press -- and parents and spouses -- have been lied to about how young Americans in the military have died. Now another case, this one involving Jess Buryj, a soldier from Canton, Ohio, who (it turns out) died in a friendly fire incident – shot in the back – has gained some attention.

The U.S. military has tried to blame Polish soldiers for his death, but a soldier who served with Buryi told his parents an American G.I. was actually at fault. Buryj’s father was so shaken by the alleged cover-up that he came to question whether the body they buried was even their son’s.....

Buryj had a new wife named Amber. On one of the “fallen heroes” message boards on the Web, she wrote: “I want to thank all of you for your lovely comments. I would also like to just tell you all Jesse was an absolutely amazing man, of which no one could ever compare. A wonderful husband, son, brother, soldier,and friend to so many! I love you forever and always Jesse."

But later his mother would write at the same site: "I am Peggy Buryj, the mother of Jesse. My son was promoted to Specialist the day he died. My son died as the result of friendly fire.” The death certificate now called it "homicide."

Yet even after his mother learned of the shot in the back, the lies continued.

Yesterday, Josh White in the Washington Post reported that U.S. Army officials destroyed critical evidence that could have determined who shot and killed Buryj, “one of several problems with the friendly-fire inquiry that may permanently shroud Buryj's death in mystery, according to an Army inspector general's review.”

The inquiry, which produced a 47-page document recently delivered to the dead man’s parents, “found that criminal investigators destroyed bullet fragments, agents failed to collect ballistic evidence from weapons at the checkpoint, medical personnel made incorrect notations on Buryj's records and military officials knew his death was a friendly-fire case months before they officially notified his family,” White writes....

The heartbreak of losing a family member in war never goes away. However, to learn that your loved one was killed and then there was a cover up, would shake a family's trust with the government. How many friendly fire deaths have been hushed up by the military and the Pentagon? We may never know, but family members should pursue their gut feelings and make inquiries, if they so desire.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Bring on the Gators!

UPDATE: (Charlotte Observer)--

Ohio State won another one.

Buckeyes linebacker James Laurinaitis won the Bronko Nagurski Award on Monday night at the Westin Hotel, capturing the honor as college football's top defensive player in a vote by the Football Writers Association of America.

It was the first time in the 14-year history of the award that a sophomore has been honored....

...A 6-foot-3, 244-pound middle linebacker, Laurinaitis led Ohio State with 100 tackles and five interceptions. In one stretch, he had interceptions in consecutive games against Texas, Cincinnati, Penn State and Iowa.

In a 24-7 victory Sept. 9 at Texas in a showdown of No. 1 vs. No. 2, Laurinaitis forced two fumbles to go with his interception....

Thank goodness I won't have to hear the M* fight song again until next football season! As an Ohio State Buckeye fan, I look forward to the Buckeyes trouncing the Gators. I know that there is a lot of controversy about why the Gators were picked over M*, but once you get passed Lloyd Carr's usual whining, you realize that it was meant to be.

I will be going to the championship game in Arizona. I'm thankful I won't have to see that silly wolverine mascot (Uof M), any marching cowboys (Oklahoma State), purple wildcats (KSU), an Ibis (Miami), or hear sportswriters hype Charlie Weis and his NFL skills.

Our next big event in Buckeye country will be the Heisman Trophy announcement.


Sunday, December 03, 2006

Ohioans to Witness 'Gubernatorial Leadership'

Ohioans are going to see something new--- gubernatorial leadership. What is that? It is when the governor leads. Frightening concept? Not really. We've just gotten so accustomed to the 'do nothing' and 'scandal-laced' governorship of Bob Taft.

The Toledo Blade has the story:
Ohio Governor-elect Ted Strickland told the state’s largest teacher union yesterday that he would rebuild public school financing, without explaining what that new edifice would look like.

“All of us are committed to one great goal, and that is to have a system of education in the great state of Ohio that rivals any system in the country that is constitutionally funded,” Mr. Strickland told the more than 1,000 cheering teacher union representatives.

“There is so much work to be done, but the opportunity is great,” said the governor-elect, who staked the success of his administration on giving all students equal access to a “high quality” education.

In an interview after his speech to the Ohio Education Association, Mr. Strickland said his plan would grow out of a consensus from teachers, parents, businessmen, and the Republican-controlled General Assembly. Mr. Strickland did not rule out increasing state taxes nor place a timetable on reforms the Ohio Supreme Court requested nine years ago.
“Accuracy is more important than speed,” said Mr. Strickland, a Democratic congressman from southeast Ohio who captured the governorship in November.

Taking the lead
Mr. Strickland has no intention of forming a “blue ribbon commission” to examine the complex infrastructure of public school financing, which relies primarily on local property taxes, in addition to state and federal taxes.

The ultimate restructuring will come out of gubernatorial leadership, he said.

If the eventual school-funding proposal he submits to the Ohio legislature fails to gain traction with majority Republicans, Mr. Strickland said he intends to push for a ballot issue so the entire state could vote on a plan to level the inequalities among local school districts....

Is Strickland serious? If the Republican controlled legislature fails to act, he'd go straight to the ballot! Oh, my gosh! Strickland sounds like he means to get things done! This is a novel idea for the Ohio government!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Is that why they strip search 85 year old grandmothers?

The government has been gathering information on us before we fly and has given us "scores." Yahoo News has the story:

Without their knowledge, millions of Americans and foreigners crossing U.S. borders in the past four years have been assigned scores generated by U.S. government computers rating the risk that the travelers are terrorists or criminals. The travelers are not allowed to see or directly challenge these risk assessments, which the government intends to keep on file for 40 years.

The government calls the system critical to national security following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Some privacy advocates call it one of the most intrusive and risky schemes yet mounted in the name of anti-terrorism efforts....

...The use of the program on travelers was quietly disclosed earlier this month when the department put a notice detailing ATS in the Federal Register, a fine-print compendium of federal rules. The few civil liberties lawyers who had heard of ATS and even some law enforcement officers said they had thought it was only used to screen cargo....

In my experience with flying, I've seen grandmothers searched, attractive blondes taken out of line and searched, and babies. Is this where our tax dollars go? How many 85 year old grandmothers have been strip searched? Far more than we know. Homeland security has become like secret police---gathering information on citizens and creating files on people. Is anyone else frightened by this insanity?

!!!!!!!Wait! Another Republican activist is in trouble!!!! Seattle Times:

Larry Corrigan, a well-known activist in local Republican politics as a backer of U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert and King County Prosecuting Attorney Norm Maleng, was arrested Wednesday in an Internet sting for allegedly trying to arrange sex with a 13-year-old girl.

Corrigan was the director of financial operations at the prosecutor's office for more than 25 years and was deputy treasurer in Reichert's 1997 and 2001 runs for King County sheriff. He was also a supporter without an official role in Reichert's congressional campaigns.

According to the Seattle Police Department, Corrigan, 54, of Seattle, was chatting online with an undercover police officer who was posing as a 13-year-old girl when he agreed to meet the minor at a Capitol Hill video store on Broadway for sex.

He was booked into King County Jail around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday for investigation of the attempted rape of a child and communicating with a minor for immoral purposes.....

He must be another Republican family values guy.