Thursday, May 28, 2009

OH-Sen: Rob Portman Admits GOP Has No Ideas on Health Care

Honestly, I give him credit for coming right out and saying what we all knew. But only a little bit. ( H/T David @ BSB )

From National Journal:
Republicans have also taken some heat nationally for not focusing on health care in their campaigns in recent years, but Portman already has been speaking on the issue frequently.

“We have to have an alternative. … I will tell you, I don’t think there is a Republican alternative at this point,” he said. He said he reached that conclusion after talking to Senate leaders and lawmakers about the GOP’s position. “There isn’t one,” he said. “There’s a task force, and I applaud them for that.”
Actually, I take that back. A task force? That's a code word for keeping the status quo in place. And the status quo isn't acceptable anymore. 

Ohio's Worst Kept Secret Now Official: Mandel in for Treasurer

Yawn. This has been public knowledge for months:

It's a very exciting time right now. I'm happy to be kicking off my State Treasurer campaign.

I am running for State Treasurer in 2010 for a number of reasons, not the least of which is to bring new energy, fresh ideas, and the next generation of leadership to state government.

To prepare for this decision, I put more than 30,000 miles on my car over the past few months, driving to every corner of our state to speak with people from all walks of life.  I heard their frustration that while our economy is hurting and families are tightening their belts, government is spending like there is no tomorrow.  They said that to change the direction of our state, we need new leaders who believe in good old-fashioned values like honesty, hard work and fiscal responsibility.

Will Bondholder Deal Keep GM From Bankruptcy?

I'm not sure that it will, but even if GM does enter bankruptcy, having this agreement in place with the bond holders would make that bankruptcy shorter and less risky:
General Motors said in a regulatory filing on Thursday that it has proposed a new deal to a committee representing many of its largest bondholders, offering an equity stake of as much as 25 percent in the restructured automaker if bondholders don’t oppose G.M.’s reorganization plan.
The filing also fills out many of the details of that plan, crafted under the eye of the Treasury Department, which would be G.M.’s majority owner once it emerged from bankruptcy protection with a 72.5 percent stake.

A committee representing about 20 percent of G.M.’s bonds said in a statement that they are supporting the new proposal.

“The ad hoc committee of G.M. bondholders supports the revised offer from GM and believes that when contrasted with the alternative – uncertain and costly bankruptcy court litigation – that it represents the best alternative for bondholders in the current difficult and dire situation,” the group said in a statement.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

GOPers In Such A Hurry To Attack Obama's SCOTUS Nominee That They Can't Be Bothered To Learn Her Name

Well, that didn't take long.

Former Arkansas Gov. and presumed 2012 GOP Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee already has a statement out criticizing President Obama's Supreme Court nominee. There's just one problem.

President Obama's nominee is 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Huckabee's statement criticizes someone named Maria Sotomayor .

So, Huck-meister, is it that you can't be bothered to learn the name of our next Supreme Court justice before cutting her off at the knees? Or, are you playing to stereotypes that all Latino women are named "Maria"?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Thoughts on "Decoration Day"

If you have ever driven west from downtown Cleveland along the shore of Lake Erie, you might have taken the West Shoreway to Clifton Boulevard to Lake Road out to Bay Village. If you did that, you would have followed a portion of U.S. Route 6. 

U.S. Route 6 is known as the Grand Army of the Republic Highway for its entire length from Massachusetts to California, obviously including the portion I described above. The Grand Army of the Republic, in turn, was a now-defunct fraternal organization for Union veterans of the Civil War. And it was this organization that began the tradition of setting aside one day in late May to remember our nation's war dead.

As it was originally conceived, "Decoration Day" was supposed to be always on May 30th, not on the last Monday in May. The full text of the GAR Order that was issued calling for the establishment of Decoration Day is available here. It calls for GAR members to decorate "with the choicest flowers of spring-time" the graves of Union soldiers who died in the Civil War. 

It was not until after World War II that the holiday became more commonly known as Memorial Day. And it was not until Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act (Public Law 90-363) that Memorial Day was moved from May 30th to the current last Monday in May. In fact, there is a movement underway by veterans' groups to return Memorial Day to its traditional May 30th observance. That link will take you to an online petition calling for passage of a bill restoring Memorial Day to May 30th, which if you click it you'll see lots of signatures from today. Which proves, I guess, that politics never takes a rest. 

On whatever day it is observed, Memorial Day is a day reserved for honoring our veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of this country and the freedom we all enjoy. Thanks for your service, vets. And I hope everyone had a nice holiday. Tomorrow, it's back to work.