Friday, October 26, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
In the release Jeremy Funk, a spokesman for the group, had the following remarks on Chabot's vote:
“No thanks to Rep. Steve Chabot, today 122,000 more kids in Ohio are one step closer to receiving the health care they need. Not illegal immigrants -- not adults and children from high-income families. These are kids whose parents work but can’t afford private insurance and are not disadvantaged enough to qualify for Medicaid. Yet, plum out of excuses and grasping for straws, Rep. Chabot still stood with Bush over the thousands of parents in his district who go to bed every night praying their children don’t get sick or hurt.”
“Serious questions about Rep. Chabot’s priorities need to be asked. How is that that, without question, Rep. Chabot can continue to vote to give this President hundreds of billions of dollars for a failed policy in Iraq and then can turnaround and without justification oppose a fraction of that on healthcare for kids in need?”
Congressman Zack Space of the 18th district has put out a press release criticizing House Republicans for continuing to block efforts to extend the SCHIP program after efforts were made to address their previous concerns.
In the release Space says:
“No matter how hard we try, it appears as though nothing will make a majority of House Republicans change their minds on providing health insurance to our children.
“I find it unconscionable to believe that, for the third time, a handful of Republicans would place their own political goals over the health and well-being of our nation’s children. 145,000 children in Ohio are at risk of losing their health insurance because Republicans are so eager to score points with the insurance industry. This is not only inappropriate – it is astounding.”
-- Rep. Zack Space
As I mentioned earlier, the new compromise bill passed by a margin of 265-142 (the veto override attempt on the last bill had a vote of 273-156 and had a higher turnout). President Bush has already announced his intention to veto this bill as well.
Once again President Bush is threatening to veto the SCHIP bill, despite the fact that the bill was changed to alleviate prior concerns with the bill.
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- President Bush will veto a revised bill for the State Children's Health Insurance Program, the White House said Thursday, as the new plan doesn't meaningfully address prior objections.
The revision still calls for a hike on tobacco product taxes to fund a $35 billion expansion over SCHIP's current $25 billion five-year funding baseline.
"Of course [Bush] would veto it -- in some ways this bill is worse than the previous bill," said Tony Fratto, White House spokesman. "It raises taxes on working Americans in order to move people from private insurance to public assistance. No tax increase of any kind is needed to fund this program."
Today's proposal passed by a margin of 265-142, but still isn't enough to override a veto.
It's time to get serious for a second. Over the last year this blog has honestly changed my life. It's opened up opportunities that I'd never imagined I'd have. It's also been a learning experience, through my efforts here I've been able to see some of what goes on behind the scenes of the political process.
Because of all this it's with some regret that I'm announcing the end of Left of Ohio. I'll still post here for a little while (days, maybe weeks), but it will no longer be the priority for me that it has been in the past.
It's not all bad news. In fact it's not really bad news at all (unless of course you hate me, then it's extremely bad news). The reason I'm phasing out Left of Ohio is because I'm moving on to something new.
After the last election it seemed clear that Ohio was turning into a blue state, therefore I was no longer to the political left of the rest of the state and the name had to go (plus I've always hated the name "Left of Ohio").
I've also started to feel limited by the Blogger platform and the challenges presented by not having my own hosting. If I wanted to upload a file other than a picture or video I was always forced to look for an outside service. If I wanted a new feature I had to wait for Blogger to develop it instead of just being able to install a plugin. Eventually looking for all these creative solutions started to take up so much time that I just threw posts and drafts out rather than find ways to make them work.
Back in June I finally decided it was time for a change. At that point I set up a local (only available on my computer) version of WordPress and started playing around with it. I was impressed by how easy it was to use and the wide array of features it offered (both by itself and through plugins) and worked out a plan to switch over to a new blog by early 2008. Since then I've been slowly building a site offline.
As my frustration with Blogger built up and news seemed to slow down recently the plan was accelerated. I also realized it might not be a good idea to try and make such a switch during an election year might not be the best idea in the world.
To make a long story short; the new website, Ohio Valley Politics, is live and waiting.
Some Important Notes:
- The email address firstname.lastname@example.org will still work and be checked regularly for at least a year (probably more). My new primary email address is email@example.com.
- I own the LeftofOhio.com for a few years yet, so links will still work. I also may renew the domain if traffic still persists.
- As of this point OVP will be my primary blog, if something goes horribly wrong I'll fallback here.
- For a little while I'll cross post here until everything is completely setup.
- The new RSS feed is http://www.ohiovalleypolitics.com/feed/.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Governor Ted Strickland will be stepping out of his official role next month to hold a fundraiser aimed at making sure Ohio continues it trend towards blue during next years presidential election.
The event, called "The Circle of Friends Reception", will take place in Columbus on November 16th. Tickets to the event will cost $150 and you must RSVP by November 2nd. If your rich you can also buy tickets to a private reception with the Governor for $2500 per couple. You can find more information at the event RSVP page.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
John Ratzenberger, known for playing the postman on Cheers, will be in Columbus early next month to host a town hall forum called “Keep it Made in America”. The town hall will focus on preserving American manufacturing.
If your interested in going the event will be held on Thursday, Nov. 8, at The Columbus Athenaeum,
The conference will also visit these other cites as well:
- Tuesday, September 25th - Manchester, NH
- Wednesday, October 17th - Des Moines, IA
- Thursday, November 8th - Columbus, OH
- Tuesday, November 13th - Pittsburgh, PA
- Thursday, November 29th - Buffalo, NY
They've also got plans for stops in Chicago and South Carolina, though dates haven't been announced yet.
More information on the events can be found on the "Keep It In America" page of the Alliance for American Manufacturing website. There's no word as to whether or not everybody at the conference will know your name.
Friday, October 19, 2007
I just wanted to quickly mention that today marks the start of table gaming in two Northeastern West Virginia counties.
With a snip of a ribbon, poker games were officially under way at Wheeling Island Racetrack & Gaming Center Friday morning. Both Wheeling Island and Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort were given the official OK to start poker play Friday. About 80 new employees at Wheeling Island began their first eight-hour shift after a 10 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony. Bob Marshall, president of Wheeling Island Racetrack, said the poker room will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Earlier in the morning, people lined up waiting to put on their poker faces and win big. Some, like Leroy Waddell and his wife, drove from Columbus for the debut. Others, like Terry Kadan, came from Pittsburgh to be one of the first to play cards at the facility. While most of the focus was on Friday's unveiling, there is still much more to come, Marshall said. Construction continues on the main gaming floor, where they will have games like craps, roulette and blackjack. Marshall said if all goes well, opening the main gaming floor could come as early as Jan. 1, 2008.
The Wheeling Island racetrack and Gaming Center is also reporting that all of it's hotel rooms are booked for the weekend.
I'm sure these table games will bring some problems to our area but I'm also extremely hopeful. I think that they could, when added to other recent developments, be exactly the shot in the arm that the local economy needs.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Today's attempt to override the SCHIP veto may have fallen 13 votes short but 18th district Rep. Zack Space isn't calling it quits just yet.
“The President and his Congressional allies have sunk to a new low. Providing health insurance to kids in working families seemed like a no-brainer, but apparently I was wrong. I am sincerely worried about the health of those currently enrolled in the program and those who would have been enrolled had this bill passed.”
“I will not give up this fight. Continuing coverage for the 145,000 children in Ohio and making sure everyone eligible has the funds to join the program will remain one of my top legislative priorities.”
A press release from Space's office yesterday included the following:
SCHIP Reality vs. Rhetoric
White House Rhetoric:
Under the bipartisan SCHIP legislation, families making $83,000 per year would be eligible to be enrolled in the SCHIP program.
The bipartisan SCHIP bill vetoed by the President does not raise the eligibility level for SCHIP. In addition, no state currently offers SCHIP coverage to families making $83,000. The state of
applied to do so -- and was denied by the Bush Administration. Under the legislation the President vetoed, the Bush Administration would continue to have the ability to determine New York eligibility levels. New York
White House Rhetoric:
“Poor kids first”
We agree. That’s why we cover them with Medicaid, that’s why we fixed the states’ constant shortfalls under this administration, and that’s why 90% of families covered by SCHIP are living under 200% of poverty.
White House Rhetoric:
The bipartisan SCHIP legislation covers illegal immigrants.
The bipartisan SCHIP bill states clearly that “Nothing in this Act allows Federal payment for individuals who are not legal residents.” In fact, the bipartisan SCHIP bill does not provide benefits for legal immigrant children.
White House Rhetoric:
The SCHIP measure will lead to government-run socialized medicine by taking children out of private health care and put them in government run health care.
77% of children in SCHIP receive their health care through private insurance companies. The American Medical Association, the Association of Health Insurance Plans, and PhRMA – hardly advocates of socialized medicine – all support the bill.
While today's release contained the following poll numbers:
STRONG MAJORITY OF AMERICANS FAVOR BIPARTISAN SCHIP BILL
CBS Poll: Four out of Five Americans Support SCHIP Bill. According to polling this week from CBS News an overwhelming majority of Americans, 81%, favor the bipartisan plan to cover more uninsured children through the state children’s health insurance program. [CBS News, 10/17/07]
NPR Poll: 70% Support SCHIP Bill. According to a survey released this week by NPR, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health 70% of Americans support adding $35 billion to the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. [NPR, 10/17/07]
AMERICANS STRONGLY SUPPORT OVERRIDING BUSH’S VETO
NPR Poll: Nearly Two Thirds Favor SCHIP Veto Override: According to a survey this week by NPR, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health 64% of Americans favor overriding the president's veto of the children’s health insurance bill and 67% disapproved of the President’s veto. [NPR, 10/17/07]
CNN Poll: Over 60% Favor SCHIP Veto Override. According to a CNN poll this week, 61% of Americans say Congress should override the President’s veto. [CNN, 10/17/07]
I definitely wouldn't call this fight over yet.
The override vote tally was 273-156, short of the two-thirds needed. According to Wilson:
“I’m disappointed we weren’t able to override the President’s unconscionable veto. This vote was so important; I had to stay to cast it.”
Wilson was pushed onto the House floor in a wheelchair by fellow Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan. Wilson will now head home to rest and recover.
Reprinted below is an Op-Ed piece Wilson wrote a few days ago on the subject.
CHIP is Crucial for Our Future
Congressman Charlie Wilson (OH-06)
October 15, 2007
I just got out of the hospital after a 6 night stay. Nothing makes you appreciate the value of good healthcare like a near-death experience.
I didn’t know I was going to need that level of care on Monday, yet on Tuesday, there I was, in the hospital, in desperate need of quality care. By Thursday I underwent emergency surgery to correct a problem caused by a routine screening colonoscopy.
I have always supported the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Still, as I lay in my hospital bed getting ‘round the clock care from the best doctors and nurses a patient could have, I grew angrier that the president would think it’s OK that I have care and that he has healthcare, but that millions of children don’t. Everyone deserves quality healthcare in this country.
The bipartisan plan will cover 10 million children. That’s 10 million children who wouldn’t have insurance otherwise. And we’re paying for it; we’re not putting this on the credit card.
It’s going to take some doing – and I may even need to be wheeled onto the floor of the House to cast my vote – but I will do everything in my power to vote to override the president’s unconscionable veto to reauthorize funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
This is a bipartisan plan that insures 10 million children whose families are struggling to make ends meet. This program was created to provide health coverage for children in families who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to afford private insurance. In other words, these are the children who fall through the cracks.
It’s no wonder that 69 Senators including 18 Republicans, and 43 governors including 16 Republicans support this program. This bill preserves coverage for 6 million children currently covered by CHIP and extends coverage to 4 million more that lack insurance. There are 122,000 uninsured children in
who would gain health coverage. Ohio
The president says the program is too expensive and we can’t afford it. He’s wrong. First, it’s paid for. Second, we can’t afford not to. It costs less than $3.50 a day to cover children through CHIP. Insuring kids is much more cost-effective than emergency room care. And we all know a healthy child is more likely to succeed in education and life.This vote on Thursday is a vote for children and for our future. I want to reassure the citizens of
’s Sixth District that far from preventing me from voting, my recent emergency hospital stay will propel me onto the House Floor to cast that vote for children. Ohio
The Rudy Giuliani campaign announced a huge endorsement today according to MSNBC. Apparently they've secured the support of Jeb Bush Jr., the son of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.
Why is this news? Look at the following MSNBC story, specifically the part after the big green "Update".
From NBC's Mark Murray
The Giuliani campaign announced today that Jeb Bush Jr. -- the son of the former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who is President George W. Bush's brother -- has endorsed Giuliani.
But there appears to be a split in the family. Jeb Bush Jr.'s more famous brother -- George P. Bush -- previously endorsed Fred Thompson.
*** UPDATE *** This is the same Jeb Bush Jr. who was caught having sex in a car in a Tallahassee, Fla., mall parking lot in 2000 when he was 16 (no charges were filed) and charged with public intoxication and resisting arrest in Austin, Texas in 2005.
You know, you'd think that they'd check on stuff like that before announcing an endorsement.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
It's not real often that I write a post just to highlight someone else's post. In fact it's something I specifically try to avoid unless I have something to add to it.
Anyway's I'll just get right down to it, you need to read this post about the effect that "No Child Left Behind" is having on our schools. I have a lot of relatives that work in schools and I've heard a lot of similar stories, but never anything that bad.