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Saturday, March 31, 2018

Happy Easter from Cleveland Tea Party

image credit: zazzle.com

From Cleveland Tea Party
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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The GOPe Uniparty wants to balance the federal budget

image credit: giphy.com

Chris Pandolfo at Conservative Review reports:

Fresh off of passing a 2,232-page monstrosity of an omnibus bill that spent $1.3 trillion, House Republicans now say they want to take up a balanced budget amendment (BBA) when they return from recess.
. . .
So what’s really going on here is that after fundamentally betraying conservatives in the omnibus bill, Republican leadership figures they have to pretend like they’re fighting for conservative principles so that GOP voters show up in November and they can keep their majorities. They’ll vote on the balanced budget amendment, it will fail, and they’ll turn to you and say, “See, we need more Republicans up here in the swamp; otherwise, we’ll never get the things you want done. There are just too many Democrats.”
It’s all Kabuki theater. The rest of the report is here.
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Monday, March 26, 2018

Omnibus spending bill: it’s not over till it’s over

cartoon by Alexander Hoffman at dailyreckoning.com

Quite a few conservative bloggers and columnists have been throwing up their hands in despair over President Trump’s signing of the god-awful Omnibus spending bill last week. Headlines such as “Art of the Fail” or “Trump Fought the Swamp and the Swamp Won” were everywhere. But perhaps we are watching another Trump negotiation. Since the Omnibus bill is not a budget, the Executive branch has some flexibility on how (and if) funds are allocated. For example, Ann Coulter suggested he fund the wall using Defense Dept. money.

My own outrage is directed at the GOPe members of the Uniparty, who ran on - and raised millions on - promises they had no intention of ever keeping. They did not expect to win. Some might conclude that they wanted to lose. And we now see them, out in the open, blocking Trump’s agenda at every turn, including this latest maneuver.

As I see it, The GOPe has tried hard to stop Trump from the day he announced his candidacy right up to today. The Omnibus bill was just another opportunity to obstruct and undermine. They don’t want to be in the majority. They want to keep their noses in the trough and raise money by making more empty promises that they can whine about if they are in the minority. And the gloating Democrat leadership would love nothing more than to see Trump’s base lose heart. 

For some more optimistic/realistic takes, try Don Surber, Kurt Schlichter, or Sundance at Conservative Treehouse.

Related: at American Thinker, Joseph Smith asks if it will be “Time for Republicans to stay home in 2018?”
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Sunday, March 25, 2018

Ohio governor’s race "up for grabs"

Albert R. Hunt at Bloomberg reports (h/t Rick Moran at American Thinker):

Of 36 gubernatorial seats up for grabs this year, 26 are held by Republicans. The Democrats' top targets are Ohio, Florida and Michigan, where they have been out of power for years. 
. . .
In recent months, in part reflecting a national tide, Democrats have become more optimistic about contests in Ohio and Michigan.

Richard Cordray, who clashed with Trump as the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is the party's preferred candidate in Ohio. He should be a strong general election candidate if he avoids getting beat up in the primary by left wing provocateur Dennis Kucinich, the former congressman. That probably would set up a rematch with Attorney General Mike DeWine, who narrowly won in 2010, in a climate friendlier to Republicans.

. . .Terry McAuliffe is upbeat: "The future of the Democratic Party will be decided in state capitals and it's looking very good."

Meanwhile, still no debate set between GOP candidates Mike DeWine and Mary Taylor.
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Varvel's D.C. Swamp

Back by popular demand
Gary Varvel's Cartoon of the Day 

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Friday, March 23, 2018

Rob Portman supports out-of-control spending

cartoon: Michael P Ramirez

The omnibus spending bill passed the Senate. Ohio Senator Rob Portman voted FOR the bill. His fellow Uniparty spineless wonders are named here. Full roll call is here.
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Thursday, March 22, 2018

More out-of-control spending

image credit: redstate.com

Yesterday, the House passed the bazillion dollar omnibus spending bill 256-167. Roll Call reports:

“Is the president going to sign the bill?” Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said of the president and the omnibus spending bill. “Yes.”

On Thursday, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said the omnibus spending bill, clocking in at more than 2,000 pages, is “not even close” to what Republicans told the American people they would do if elected.
“It’s 2,200 pages that funds sanctuary cities, funds Planned Parenthood, restricts Second Amendment liberties, and grows the government at a $1.3 trillion price tag … which will lead to a trillion-dollar deficit,” Jordan said.

“This may be the worst bill I have seen in my time in Congress, the worst bill our leadership’s ever allowed to come to the floor,” he added.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) listed his objections (via Red State):

- Record spending levels
- No wall/border security
- Obamacare intact
- Funds Planned Parenthood
- Sanctuary Cities funded
- Barely 24 hours to read a 2,300 page bill

This Omnibus is so far from what the forgotten men and women of America voted for. I will oppose it.

Hard to know whether Jordan and Meadows are in earnest or are playing good cop. I'll update when I have located the roll call.

UPDATE 5:54pm: The roll call vote is here.
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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Mark Steyn on Fox about the weather

via YouTube

If you did not watch Tucker Carlson's show on Fox yesterday evening at 8pm, you'll want to set aside 5 minutes to watch this video clip. If you did watch this segment, here it is so you can watch it again. Author and blogger Mark Steyn is at his most politically incorrect, lampooning insane theories about climate, weather, microaggression, and the Land of Opportunity. 
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Monday, March 19, 2018

Trump’s Bible acquired by Museum of the Bible

photo credit: commons,wikimedia,org.

The Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC, has acquired one of President Trump’s two Bibles that he used to take the oath of office on Inauguration Day, 2017.

Trump’s childhood Bible will join several other Bibles used by American presidents that are currently on display at the privately-funded museum.

“We are honored to add this piece of our nation’s history to our growing exhibit of presidential Bibles,” Museum of the Bible President Cary Summers said in a statement. “It is our hope that guests will be able to learn not only about each president’s unique Bible, but also about the influence this book has had on government and elected officials around the world.”

This announcement interested me since earlier this month, my husband and I visited the recently-opened Museum of The Bible in DC. Even though we are not church-goers, we were interested in the Bible’s influence in world history, and in particular America’s history. We spent just over two hours exploring, and we barely scratched the surface. Here are a few photographs from our visit:

These exhibits had murals or videos depicting key events, key figures, and short narratives. Most rooms contained a stunning number of antiquarian books, correspondence, and artifacts.

Our favorite experience was a demonstration by an actor/docent about the Gutenberg Bible and the printing press that Johannes Gutenberg invented in order to print it more efficiently:

The Museum’s website is here and it has a very short opening video when you click.
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Sunday, March 18, 2018

At the parade

photo by Cleveland Tea Party roving photographer Pat Dooley 

At the St. Patrick's Day parade yesterday in Cleveland. Recognize anyone?

Friday, March 16, 2018

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

image credit: aecliving.com

For information on the Saturday parade and other festivities, click on cleveland.com’s page.

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Trump, Kudlow, and Pompeo

image credit: theconservativetreehouse.com

James Delingpole specializes in climate topics at Breitbart London, but his political takes are always thoughtful. Here are some of his remarks on President Trump’s two most recent nominations/appointments (“Trump’s picks Just Get Better and Better”):

Larry Kudlow’s appointment as President Trump’s next Economic Czar has been anti-endorsed by at least two of my favorite foaming leftists.

Here’s Jonathan Chait in New York Mag:
Trump’s New Economic Adviser Lawrence Kudlow Has Been Wrong About Everything for Decades

Here’s Soros-funded Think Progress:
Trump’s new economics director is a climate denier who thinks animals can ‘snuggle’ under pipelines.

Could there be any more encouraging a sign that with his latest appointments, Trump is right over the target?

I wrote the other day that Mike Pompeo was a great choice for Secretary of State – way better than the corporatist swamp denizen Rex Tillerson. But I think I’m even more excited about Kudlow.

First, it means that the battle for the soul of the Trump administration’s economic policy has been won by the Art-Laffer-style supply siders. (This was by no means a given: remember all those GOP experts who told us in the early days that Trump was just a Democrat wearing Republican clothing…?).

Second, Kudlow – like Pompeo, unlike their respective predecessors Tillerson and Gary Cohn – is a climate change skeptic.

The rest of Delingpole’s comments are here.
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Thursday, March 15, 2018

More useless legislation

image credit: taxpolitix.com

One of the core Tea Party values is limited government, but Congress knows better. Don Surber's blog "House passes phony school safety bill" is spot on:

Two things tell you a piece of legislation is worthless.

First, it has a cute and clever acronym for its title. Second, it passes with overwhelming bipartisan support.

Wednesday, the House passed the STOP School Violence Act, 407-10.
. . .
STOP stands for (drumroll) Student, Teachers, and Officers Preventing School Violence Act of 2018.

The bill will prevent no violence. But it feels good. It will spend $200 million or so on "training to prevent student violence against others and self, including training for local law enforcement officers, school personnel, and students," ABC News reported.

The bill is another federal solution to a local problem. A federal program helped cause the Parkland high school shooting, as Obama paid the school and the sheriff not to suspend or arrest belligerent students.

But that is what Congress does: it spends money we do not have on things we do not need.

We need less federal aid, and more local control of the schools.

Yup. Surber’s blog is here.
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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The Wall ~ progress report

Via Breitbart: Yesterday, President Trump inspected eight prototypes for The Wall at the Mexican border. He prefers ones with see-through capability at ground level as well as those with a rounded top to make it more difficult to use a rope or grappling hooks to get over.

The controversial Dangerous blogger/authorMilo also preferred the one Trump leaned toward. Milo had some fun comments on the various prototypes of an artistic nature; I had missed the aesthetics. His blog is here
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Monday, March 12, 2018

HB 512 sets off alarm bells at PJ Media

image credit: youtube.com

The other day, Paula Bolyard at PJ Media ran a report “Kasich Power Grab Could Give Unelected Bureaucrats Almost Unlimited Power Over Education.” Here’s the opening:

Ohio Governor John Kasich and the Ohio legislature are fast-tracking a bill that that would consolidate nearly all educational departments into one unelected executive agency controlled by the governor. It's a giant power grab by Kasich and Ohio Republicans, who have become frustrated by their inability to control the Ohio Department of Education and the elected members of the State Board of Education.

HB 512, currently under consideration by the Ohio House, seeks to combine the Ohio Department of Education (ODE), Ohio Department of Higher Education, and Ohio Department of Workforce Transformation into a single new department organized under the governor. In addition, the elected State Board of Education (SBE) would be stripped of most its powers to promulgate rules related to K-12 education. The current board, which has 11 regionally-elected members and eight at-large members appointed by the governor, has purview over a wide variety of education issues, including standards, assessment selection, proficiency determination, state report cards, teacher/student ratios, private and homeschool regulations, and public school operating standards.

"What I really want... I want to be able to run the Department of Education," Kasich said at an Associated Press forum in early February, signaling his support for the move. "I don't think we should have this elected school board." Instead, he said the governor should be in charge of education in the state.

"We have no clue who these people are and they're running education policy," Kasich said. "And I'm governor and I can't tell them what to do. It's nuts."

That's the way democracy works, John.
. . .
The most egregious change, she warned, "is the transfer of authority from our State Board of Education to one person appointed by whomever the governor may be." As a result, "every four to eight years the focus and direction of [the agency's] broad scope of power can change, which is not conducive to stability," Elsey said.

Read the rest here -- including written testimony already submitted. Don’t just weep. Cleveland Tea Party blogged alerts on HB 512 earlier today here and on March 4 herePlease refer back to those blog links for Actions you can take to stop this monstrosity.
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Update on HB 512 and Alert

Second Hearing for Opposition Testimony
This Week ~ Wednesday, March 14 @ 9:30am

Cleveland Tea Party blogged on March 4 about HB 512 – the state’s education power-grab – click here. A short overview is at The Petition Site hereToday’s Alert is based on e-Alerts from other Ohio liberty groups.

Reasons to oppose HB 512:
  • ·         Would establish the largest educational bureaucracy in the nation
  • ·         Would take away the right of citizens to effectively have a say in education and concentrate power in the hands of the Governor. HB 512 will further weaken local control of schools.
  • ·         An unresponsive education bureaucracy would lead to more rule making authority, and allow the state government to act unilaterally -- without a check and balance by an elected Board of Education, as specified by law.
  • ·         With today’s need for education to focus more on skilled trades and non-college jobs, a department with a K-16 focus can only make education more expensive and more difficult to prepare students for future employment and careers.  

If you were unable to travel to Columbus last week, here’s a second opportunity to attend the hearing on HB 512 on Wednesday, March 14th.  Come for as long as you can, depending on the amount of testimony for each bill (there are seven prior to HB512). 
The hearing room was moved to 313 - the largest available so we will need more people to attend.

Additional Action Alerts:
Continue to both call and write to your state representative.

Submit "written only" testimony to  GovernmentAccountability&OversightCommittee@ohiohouse.gov

Offer written and oral testimony (be prepared for questions from Committee Members) by sending prepared remarks to the e-mail address above 24 hours in advance of the hearing and completing a witness slip as requested through the chairman's office.

Attend the hearing to quietly demonstrate your opposition to the massive overhaul of Ohio's education system, consolidation of power under the governor and elimination of voter's voice in education policy!  

Note: HB 512 is listed on the March 14 schedule as being for proponent, opponent, and interested parties. It is common practice that by inviting all parties to testify, this could indicate it is the final hearing... although this is at Chairman Blessing's discretion.
Additional Information:

Address: Ohio State House, 1 Capitol Square, Columbus, OH 43215
Parking cost: $7-20 depending on location, if the Statehouse Parking Garage is full, Columbus Commons is the next best option.

Complete this form when submitting testimony:  GAOCWitnessInformationform

Email testimony & witness form to Chairman Blessing:  GovernmentAccountability&OversightCommittee@ohiohouse.gov

Contact information for Committee Members:
Chairman Louis Blessing III – (Co-Sponsor of HB 512) (614) 466-9091
Vice Chairman Bill Reineke (Sponsor of HB 512) – (614) 466-1374
Kathleen Clyde (Running for State Office) – (614) 466-2004
Riordan McClain (replacing Keith Faber 2/22) – (614) 644-6265
Timothy Ginter – (614) 466-8022
Dave Greenspan – (614) 466-0961
Brigid Kelly – (614) 466-5786
Bernadine Kennedy Kent – (614) 466-5343
P. Scott Lipps – (614) 644-6023
Dorothy Pelanda (Co-Sponsor of HB 512) – (614) 466-8147
Bill Sietz – (614) 466-8258
Ryan Smith (Running for House Speaker) – (614) 466-1366
Martin J. Sweeney – (614) 466-3350
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Sunday, March 11, 2018

Free speech zones

image credit: commdiginews.com 

Rick Moran at American Thinker reports:

Florida legislature bans 'free speech zones' on state campuses
. . .
The very notion of a "free speech zone" is repugnant to democracy and an affront to the First Amendment. But with radicals firmly in charge, they make the rules and enforce their codes with little opposition so far from state education authorities.

It's a small victory, but a significant one nonetheless. It shows that we can successfully pushback against the radicalization of our schools and protect the rights of all to freedom of speech.

Full report is here
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Tuesday, March 6, 2018

DACA / Dreamers: One step closer to the Supreme Court

photo credit:  koat.com

It’s March 5th and the Democrats are nowhere to be found on DACA. Gave them 6 months, they just don’t care. Where are they? We are ready to make a deal!

Update. Sundance reports on yesterday’s court ruling:

Federal Judge Rules Trump DACA Program Elimination Appropriate and Authorized – Full Judicial Ruling…

Federal judge Roger W Titus (Maryland) has ruled that President Trump acted appropriately and within his authority by announcing his intent to rescind the Obama-era executive order surrounding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). However, the Judge Titus order does not stop the previous blocks by activist judges currently working through the courts.

Eventually the state challenges to the recension of DACA will work through the appellate courts and arrive at the Supreme Court. It is likely SCOTUS will take the same position on DACA as they did on DAPA; overrule the state challenges and determine the program unconstitutional.

In the interim, President Trump had requested that congress take up the DACA issue as part of their responsibility to put forth an immigration reform bill. Democrats have abandoned legislative efforts to assist those impacted by DACA, and have instead chosen to make DACA a political issue for the 2018 mid-term election.

The full text of the ruling is at the Treehouse website here.  
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Sunday, March 4, 2018

UPDATE: HB 512 Education power grab

This Action Alert is from several liberty groups in Ohio.

The GAO Committee Chairman Lou Blessing has scheduled HB512 for opponent testimony. This is the third hearing.

Wednesday March 7, 9:30 am
Ohio Statehouse, Columbus - Room 114

If possible, please plan to attend.

Spread the word taking full advantage of social media.  SHARE this event on Facebook by clicking here.

Please plan to attend!  It is critical to overflow the room (it is not a large room), spill into the hallway and over to the Rotunda. So, if you attend but do not plan to testify, please know you are making a difference with your presence.

Wednesday, March 7, 9:30 am
Ohio Statehouse - Room 114,  77 South High Street, Columbus 43215

There is parking under the Statehouse. If it is full, there are other parking lots downtown. Please plan to arrive downtown with plenty of time to find parking.

Note that the agenda specifies that this will also include hearings on other pending legislation.  HB512 is listed as being for proponent, opponent, and interested parties (these are usually neutral). It is common practice that by inviting all parties to testify, this could indicate it is the final hearing....although this is at Chairman Blessing's discretion.

For those who would like to offer testimony, the Chair respectfully requests that testifying parties submit testimony to his office 24 hours prior to committee.  Testimony can be emailed to the Government Accountability & Oversight Committee Chairman.

If it is not possible to attend, please consider submitting written testimony and specify it is "written testimony only" that you would like entered into the Committee record.  FYI, proper protocol for written testimony or similar wording to begin your testimony is as follows.

"Chairman Blessing, Vice Chair Reineke, Ranking Member Clyde, and members of the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee, my name is -------- and I appreciate the opportunity to offer testimony today in opposition to HB 512. ..."

Additional Information about this bill:
Here is the 28-minute House Press Conference on Feb. 14.
Here is the HB 512 Bill Summary.
Here is the 2,430 page bill location and its status. (You can download current version.)

The State Board of Education, which includes 11 regionally elected members, would no longer have any voice in state education policy.  This includes a wide range of state regulations, such as:

- Education Standards in all subjects
- Education Assessment selection at the state level
- Determination of Achievement/Proficiency Levels
- State Report Cards
- Teacher/Student Ratio's
- Private School Regulations
- Religious School Regulations
- Home Education Regulations
- Public School Operating Standards
- Career Technical Regulations

Currently all of these items (and many more) go through a public hearing process.  Under the proposed legislation, it appears that all policy making function would be further bureaucratized and no longer created through a transparent, accountable process.

This legislation also imposes on our Constitutional separation of powers by giving the administrative branch (Governor) legislative authority.  Our founders knew that people are more likely to lose their rights when the same body is creating and enforcing the laws.  HB512 aligns all education entities solely under the administrative branch and gives the new mega-agency the ability to create and enforce regulations with no accountability.

This needs to be stopped.  This would eliminate any effective representation that we have through the State School Board, Board of Regents, etc.  This is a full-on power grab by Kasich.  
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Related: Last week, cleveland.com reported on Gov. Kasich’s dismantling of the Ohio Board of Regents:

The Ohio Board of Regents, an advisory board to the Ohio Department of Higher Education, has not met in more than a year because it currently has only two members, three members shy of a quorum.

Gov. John Kasich, who is responsible for appointments to the nine-member board, has not replaced members whose terms have expired for at least five years.

Kasich supports a bill [that would be HB 512] recently introduced in the Ohio House to combine the state's school, university and workforce development systems into a single new Department of Learning and Achievement.

The rest of this report is here.
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