November 9, 2011

Greta Schools Ted; Fox Host Calls out Former Ohio Gov. Strickland’s Contempt for Voters Who Rejected ObamaCare

Having followed Democratic former Ohio governor Ted “Holier Than Thou” Strickland lo these many painful years, including the memorable episode when as a Congressman he called out 355 of his colleagues as liars for unanimously supporting an anti-pedophilia resolution (seriously), it’s remarkable (actually, it’s clear evidence of Ohio media bias) that it’s current Republican governor John Kasich who has the reputation for arrogance. During the administration of “Turnaround Ted,” who Kasich defeated in 2010, Ohio lost over 400,000 jobs. It should be self-evident to any Ohioan who endured his four long years in office that Strickland’s authority to opine on anything relating to the welfare of the Buckeye State is non-existent.

Yet there Strickland was Tuesday night, being interviewed by Fox News’s Greta Van Susteren about the meaning of Ohio voters’ 66%-34% landslide approval of Issue 3, which put prohibitions of Obamacare’s mandates to buy health insurance and participate in a health care plan into Ohio’s constitution (y’know, the document Ted swore to uphold when he was the state’s chief executive). Watch the exchange, as Van Susteren calls out Ted’s contempt for the expressed will of Ohio’s voters:

Transcript:

Greta Van Susteren: You’re very proud of the Ohioans in that they sent a message that they don’t like this healthcare business. Are you proud of them on that as well?

Ted Strickland: Well, quite frankly, as, uh, y’know, as was recently said on this program, uh, what happens with the healthcare legislation will be determined by the federal courts. Uh, and so this vote in Ohio was uh, uh, fairly meaningless in terms of its effect upon what actually happens ultimately, uh, in terms of, uh, the Affordable Care Act.

GVS: (attempts to interject, fails to get in a word)

Strickland: And uh, so consequently there was not a lot of, uh, effort put into this effort in Ohio. It was, it was, largely, um, uh, an issue that was not fought hard, on either side.

GVS: Well you say it’s meaningless, but I think to the many voters who voted for it and rather overwhelmingly, eh, voted for it, uh, it was not particularly meaningless. And it does send a signal that, uh, must be sort of rattling those people who like the national health care. I don’t think it’s quite as meaningless to the voters. I mean, uh, it, it certainly doesn’t look by the numbers.

Strickland: Well, uh, Greta, the fact is that there was very little campaigning done on this issue. I, I think, uh, uh, uh, people, uh, voted, uh-uh, for, uh y’know, reasons that were, uh, perhaps not fully understood. But, uh –

GVS: Are they dumb? Are you saying that they’re uninformed?

Strickland: Y’know, the reason there was not, the reason there was not a-a real campaign on this issue is because everyone, Republicans and Democratic alike, understood that ultimately the federal courts will decide whether or not, uh, a federal mandate regarding health care is constitutional. And so it was, it was a symbolic, uh, victory for those opposed to the Affordable Care Act, but it really has no force, uh, of law in terms of what will actually happen in Ohio and across America, uh, as far as the, uh, mandate is concerned.

GVS: Huh, y’know, I don’t know, Governor, if it’s really fair to sort of, y’know, to sort of divide it that way. I mean I understand sort of a split victory. But to say, y’know, to say that y’know you’re proud of Ohio, Ohioans on the one hand and then say, “Well, y’know, that’s like, it wasn’t campaigned on much, they voted for it but it’s largely symbolic.” (As Strickland says “no, no” and attempts to interrupt) I mean, I think those people were sending a strong message about how they felt.

Damned right they were, Ted. And thank you for exposing to the entire nation your utter contempt for the people you once served.

As to the issue that the vote is meaningless, five points.

First, effective Tuesday night, the Ohio Healtcare Freedom Amendment has been incorporated into Ohio’s constitution, which, last time I checked, is not a “symbolic” document.

Second, Issue 3 proponents’ FAQ document obtainable here explains its relevance:

Several members of the Supreme Court have recognized that it is compatible with our form of government for the federal government to defer to state articulations of fundamental liberties, when enshrined in that state’s constitution.

When a citizen challenges the constitutionality of a statute, courts apply a test whereby they place the burden on the citizen to prove that the statute is unconstitutional “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Passage of a state constitutional amendment shifts that burden to the federal government, or at minimum, creates a level playing field.

Translation: Despite the media memes and Obamacare apologists’ arrogant dismissals, the amendment’s passage is far from “meaningless.” At worst, its impact is debatable. At best, it trumps Washington. We won’t find out unless and until it’s tested.

Third, the “yes” side campaigned hard. Their “Y3S” signs were everywhere. The fact that the “no” side claims they didn’t campaign hard isn’t the “yes” side’s problem. Opponents banked heavily on the idea that those who voted “no” on Issue 2 (see the final item below) would reflexively vote “no” on Issue 3 like reliable union people would be expected to vote. Problem is, they most emphatically did not.

Fourth, it has long been observed that “the Supreme Court follows the election returns.” An overwhelming indication of unpopularity such as that expressed by Ohioans on Tuesday, where Issue 3 failed in all 88 counties, is far from irrelevant to their ultimate deliberations on the constitutionality and desirability of upholding or throwing out ObamaCare.

Finally, while the returns tell us many union and/or Democratic voters and households obviously didn’t like the collective-bargaining reforms and public-sector employee cost-sharing contained in Issue 2 (which lost by 61%-39%), they disliked ObamaCare’s mandates even more. You don’t get to 2.2 million votes and a victory margin of over 1 million in an off-year election on the backs of Republicans, conservatives, and independents alone. ObamaCare is self-evidently unpopular across the board.

Many if not most Ohioans would be more than grateful if Ted Strickland would go to Florida and sell T-shirts like he said he would consider doing in 2008 after his time in the Governor’s Mansion was over. One thing Ted would notice if he ever does that: The Sunshine State, to which Ohioans have all too often fled, doesn’t have an income tax. Like Ohio today, it also has a governor who is spending every waking moment working on legitimately turning his state around from a prior governor’s disastrous term.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Latest PJ Media Column (‘Half a Loaf in Ohio’s Issues Election’) Is Up

It’s here.

It will go up here at BizzyBlog on Friday (link won’t work until then) after the blackout expires.

Special thanks to PJ Media for getting the column reviewed and up so quickly.

Major point: Anyone (which happens to include the vast majority of the establishment press) who believes that the Issue 2 result matters more to next year’s presidential election than Issue 3′s roundhouse repudiation of ObamaCare by an electorate which was stacked in the left’s favor because of the emotional component of Issue 2 is delusional — which is fine by me, as if anything it will breed overconfidence in Team Obama.

AP: Ohio’s Turndown of Union Limits a National Story, But Not Rejection of ObamaCare

Perhaps partially explaining the treatment of Ohio’s ballot issues on shows like MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” as noted by Noel Sheppard at NewsBusters earlier today, I have found that the Associated Press predictably trumpeted the 61%-39% rejection of Issue 2, which would have required cost-sharing for public-sector employee health and pension benefits while curbing the scope of collective bargaining, as a big national story. Meanwhile, as far as I can tell, the AP only devoted six snarky paragraphs in a regionally carried story to Issue 3, which won by a 66%-34% margin and passed by comfortable majorities in all 88 Buckeye State counties. Also known as the Ohio Healthcare Freedom Amendment, Issue 3 put prohibitions of Obamacare’s mandates to buy health insurance and participate in a health care plan into Ohio’s constitution.

First, excerpts from the Issue 2 story by the wire service’s Sam Hananel out of, ahem, Washington:

(more…)

Illinois: From Worse to ‘Worster’; Ohio’s Not So Great Either

Filed under: Economy,Soc. Sec. & Retirement,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:06 am

Look just a couple of hundred miles west to see the consequences (HT Newmark’s Door) of failure to deal with the fundamental matters Issue 2/SB5 addressed before Ohio’s voters rejected it:

Illinois’ state budget … is in serious meltdown mode. Less than a year after the state raised taxes by some $7 billion in the face of a fiscal crisis, legislators in Springfield, whose government qualifies as the fiscal bad-boy of states, have done little to address Illinois’ long-term spending and borrowing problems.

Even while the state’s vendors wait up to a year for money they are owed, Gov. Pat Quinn is making sure that favored insiders get paid. The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating whether Illinois exaggerated in bond offerings the savings it claims it will get from last year’s largely cosmetic pension reforms, which did little to fix the worst state pension problem in the country. And now the governor is actually proposing the state borrow even more, up to $5 billion, to clear up some of those back bills, which prompted an editorial from the Chicago Tribune under the simple headline: “No. More. Borrowing.”

… One result of the failure to fix pensions is that the system’s costs are eating up tax revenues, including from the tax increase. The state’s annual pension contributions are up by $2 billion since 2008, while debt service from pension obligation bonds, which the state floated several times in the last decade to prop up the system, have increased by $1.14 billion, according to the Civic Federation of Chicago. In all, pension costs consume $5.8 billion, or more than 17 percent, of all Illinois general fund spending. Those costs will rise by $500 million next year and $2 billion in five years without reform.

The state has also continued to issue markers to people it owes. The Civic Federation recently estimated that Illinois’ backlog of unpaid bills financed out of its General Fund will grow to $5.5 billion this year. That state has an additional backlog of some $2.8 billion in business tax refunds and Medicaid and employee health insurance bills, for a whopping $8.3 billion in outstanding invoices.

… Once you get on a treadmill like this, you can’t get off, it seems. The state’s bonded debt has increased to $30 billion from $9.4 billion since just 2002.

If you’re wondering, the Ohio’s state retirement system’s “funded ratio,” despite a very strong year of investment performance, is less than 60% (0.60). “Depending on risk aversion and the level of sophistication assumed for the DC-scheme, minimum acceptable funding ratios are between 0.87 and 1.20.”

Comment at the original link:

You know what would be really crazy would be to bring this Chicago show to DC.

OOOhh. Thats what we did.

Yikes, we are in deep trouble.

Yup. And so is Ohio, if the state’s political class on both sides of the aisle and its public-sector unions don’t get a grip.

UPDATE: Norma at Collecting My Thoughts has more.

Wednesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (110911)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 7:25 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder follows. Other topics are also fair game.

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#Occupy Update (great point by Gateway Pundit: These folks are properly characterized as “Obama-endorsed” ___________” — fill in the blank with “thugs,” “hooligans,” “dirtbags,” “criminals,” etc. as necessary):

  • From San Diego (HT Instapundit) — “SoCal Street Cart Vendors Hurting After ‘Occupy’ Group Splatters Blood, Urine.” Oh, and some occupiers apparently issued death threats. I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that the vendors probably aren’t part of the 1%.
  • From New York City“A business owner near the Occupy Wall Street encampment claims she has been repeatedly harassed and threatened with bodily harm by protesters after she and her employees refused to give in to their outlandish demands. … The final straw came about two weeks ago, when the demonstrators broke a bathroom sink, flooding the shop, and clogged the toilet — setting her back $3,000 in damages.”
  • Important Oakland after-action item, via BigJournalism.com — “New Footage Exposes Mayor & Media’s Lie that Violence Happened After, Not During, #OccupyOakland March”
  • OWS protester: “I wouldn’t give a f**k if 9/11 happened 911 more times.”
  • Human Shields: D.C. Occupiers Who Used Children to Block Door Also Used Them to Block … Traffic.” The original has a question mark which hardly seems needed.
  • Taranto at Best of the Web (“This Is What Anarchy Looks Like”), after relaying the first two incidents above, passes on an email from someone who visited Zuccotti Park and received an unprovoked punch, reading in part — “The cop was sympathetic, but in the way that he might be sympathetic if I told him that it was going to rain tomorrow and I’d been planning a picnic. That’s a shame, but what could he be expected to do about it? … As one of them told me … ‘Sorry about this, but if I went into the park it would start a riot.’ … The young woman EMT who treated me told me that this was the fourteenth time that she had personally been down there because of an assault.”
  • In Vancouver (HT OWS Exposed) — “Vancouver ‘Occupyers’ bit 2 cops, chief says.” “police stepped in when people in black masks and others he says were intent on violence formed a human chain to prevent the firefighters from doing their job (putting out a fire in the protest camp) and began to push them around.”
  • Buyers’ remorse in Oakland (HT OWS Exposed) — “Oakland business leaders called on the city Tuesday to move forcefully against Occupy Oakland — and disband the encampment” — citing huge drops in sales for some retailers and fears about the city’s reputation. “Mayor Jean Quan conceded that the movement has imperiled jobs.” It’s nice that you recognize that, Jeanie, but what are you doing to DO about it?

And the point of the Occupy movement is exactly what?

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A “two out of three ain’t bad” result from Mississippi last night

  • A voter photo-ID initiative passed by 62%-38% (Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, who used to support it but doesn’t now, please note).
  • But an amendment which would have declared that personhood begins at conception failed by 58%-42%. I’d like to see such an amendment pass in at least one state, because the legal challenges would be interesting, especially the required admissions by proaborts that abortion really does kill persons.
  • A strong measure designed to guard against arbitrary eminent-domain seizures passed by 73%-27%.

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Issue 2 failure follow-up, Metro Dayton edition“Levy failures mean tough choices for area schools.” 60 layoffs loom in Beavercreek. In Xenia, where voters rejected a tax increase by 66%-34%, a strike deadline looms. Overall, “Voters on Tuesday appeared to be rejecting requests for new money in 10 districts,” while approving them in six. As Kevin O’Brien wrote at the Cleveland Plain Dealer on November 4 on the consequences of an Issue 2 failure (HT 3BP): “Advice to low-on-the-totem-pole union members: Don’t bother celebrating. Do get your resumes in order.”

Positivity: Loganville man honored for an act of Heroism

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:58 am

From Loganville and Elberton, Georgia:

Posted: Sunday, November 6, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 8:15 pm, Fri Nov 4, 2011

Loganville resident Norb Krzak was making his way to work last Thursday morning when he witnessed an car accident that caused him to put himself into the throws of danger to save a man’s life.

“I wasn’t even supposed to be going out that day,” he said.

Krzak is a self-employed fence builder with a project that for reasons that now seem oddly placed had him passing the scene of the accident as it happened.

“I was heading out of Elberton out (Highway) 72. I had just got into Carlton, passing the grocery store when I saw a silver car fly across the road,” Krzak said.

Immediately he called 911 but, instead of waiting for the response team to arrive, Krzak decided to go check on the occupants riding in the car. He proceeded to walk down the 20-foot embankment to see the wrecked car and both occupants thrown from the car — one which had landed in the middle of the train tracks.

Krzak remained on the phone with the 911 operators and not too long into the call he saw the light of a train and a horn headed directly for the man on the tracks.

“I started yelling for him to get off the tracks but no response. All I could feel was not wanting to see him be hit,” he said.

Not thinking of how close the train was or the consequences of placing his own life in danger, Krzak reacted quickly, pulling the man off the tracks before the train barreled into the car further down the tracks.

After pulling the man from the tracks, he was still thinking of the others involved as he asked the 911 operators if he should check on the man actually driving the train.

At a meeting last week, the Madison County Board of Commissioners awarded Krzak with a proclamation recognizing him for his heroic efforts. If you ask Krzak, though, he doesn’t consider himself a hero by any standards.

“I definitely don’t consider myself a hero. I hope and assume someone in my position would do the same thing,” he said. “The best part of the whole thing was meeting the man I pulled off the tracks and receiving the hand-written cards they gave me.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.