Congressman Moocher. Warren Davidson. OH-8

Congressman Warren "Moocher" Davidson, [R] OH-8U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson hasn’t been in office for more than 3 months, and he started out with a great idea to help get the VA on track- force Congress to “eat their own dog food” by moving their care to the VA.

I’d love to see Congressman Turner and Davidson at the Dayton VA for something other than cutting a ribbon or talking about how they help veterans, like waiting for an appointment for a proctologist or a psychiatrist, because the VA can’t hire enough of them. Davidson, a former Army Ranger, is eligible for care there.

I’ve received all of my health care from the VA since 2001 or so. For the most part, it has been absolutely exemplary. They also took care of my father, and he thought the same thing. But, now I have to ask, was he the moocher, or am I? Both of us qualified as Service Disabled Veterans. Or is it my employees Dad, a Vietnam Veteran who has a 100% disability? Is he a moocher?

Of course, Davidson’s first mistake is thinking that Congress actually gets things done. When it comes to work ethic, integrity, and return on investment, the American tax payer is paying a lot of money to windbags who can’t do their jobs- like appoint a 9th Supreme Court Justice.

In today’s Dayton Daily news, Davidson just tried to redefine a legal description of what a veteran is. This bothers me no end, because I just had to battle the VA and their SSVF (Supportive Services for Veterans Families) program about the qualifications of a veteran to be eligible for services. It’s actually spelled out in law, one Davidson is sworn to uphold. Yet now, Davidson says the problems at the VA are caused by “moochers”

U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson told a room full of veterans that one way to clean up the Department of Veterans Affairs’ health care system is to get the “moochers” out of it.

The Troy Republican spoke with the Concerned Veterans for America at a town hall event Monday evening in West Chester Twp.

“Just like work comp out here’s got moochers, I wish that there were no vets that were the same sort of problem on our society,” said Davidson. “But part of the problem is there are some vets that are moochers and they’re clogging up the system. And we do as taxpayers want to make sure the VA filters out these folks that are pretenders. Just like we wish there were no people out there with stolen valor, but that’s a problem in the vet community too.”

Source: From the Dayton Daily News, 9/21/2016: Davidson to vets: Get ‘moochers’ out of VA

Getting a VA ID card isn’t exactly easy. It requires a DD-214. That comes with completion of at least 180 days in the service. In case Congressman Davidson forgot, since he’s a veteran too, that usually includes basic training, advanced individual training and having the potential of being sent places where people can shoot you.

Ah, but, what is a moocher?

noun: moocher

North American
a beggar or scrounger.
“the mooch who got everything from his dad”
synonyms: beggar; informal, bum, scrounger, sponger, cadger, freeloader, moocher
“she is such a mooch”

I thought I’d look up Congressman Davidson on the moocher index, conveniently provided by the Federal Elections Commission.

Name: DAVIDSON FOR CONGRESS
Address: 1385 STONYCREEK RD. BOX 4, TROY, OH 45373
Treasurer Name: DETRICK, ALISSA
Type: H – HOUSE
Designation: P – PRINCIPAL CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE OF A CANDIDATE
Party: REPUBLICAN PARTY

I. RECEIPTS
Itemized Individual Contributions $402,283
Unitemized Individual Contributions $71,090
Total Individual Contributions $473,373
Party Committees Contributions $0
Other Committees Contributions $107,495
Candidate Contributions $9,461
TOTAL CONTRIBUTIONS $590,329
Transfers from Authorized Committees $0
Candidate Loans $250,000
Other Loans $0
TOTAL LOANS $250,000
Offsets to Operating Expenditures $0
Other Receipts $0
TOTAL RECEIPTS $840,329

If I read this correctly, Mr. Davidson spent $250,000 of his own money, and mooched $590,329 from others, to get a job that pays about $178K a year. It comes with comprehensive health care coverage, retirement, an annual payroll in the millions, to hand out to friends, family, and donors. And, as we can see from the person he replaced, John Boehner, a guarantee of fat paychecks after you “resign” from the job- midway through, so Warren could take over in an easier election.

I’d like to give Davidson a chance to apologize for his mis-characterization of veterans seeking care from the VA. That care was part of a contract those veterans made with the people of the United States.

If we use Davidson’s reasoning that “moochers” are the cause of all the problems at the VA, our country has an even bigger problem,  because using the definition of moocher, every single congressman qualifies as one, or am I missing something Congressman “Moocher” Davidson?

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Medical marijuana in Ohio: a false positive

Welcome to Ohio, where medical marijuana is now legal, except, you can’t get it, use it, sell it, grow it. Only in Ohio folks, where despite being a democratic state in the last 2 presidential races, we’re run by a bunch of goober republicans who are beyond reckless in their pursuit of petty control over everything that doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, while the important stuff gets ignored.

They rushed through their medical pot legalization after a bunch of rich assholes tried to get the voters to create a constitutionally guaranteed monopoly on pot sales in Ohio. Luckily for once, the old adage of “never underestimate the stupidity of people in large numbers” didn’t hold true and voters told the future barons of pot to go smoke their stuff somewhere else.

Unfortunately, the legislature has now made pot legal, and then, put it on the legislative slow boat for the next two years. In the mean time, states like Colorado are rolling in dough off taxes on legal pot for all. We’re still locking people up for possession- as if being stoned is a threat to humanity. The real threat is the idiots we’ve elected- not just at the state level, but now, we have local jurisdictions passing ordinances to delay any kind of pot-dispensary in their jurisdiction for the next six months- as if legal pot would be here in the next 24 if we’re lucky.

My old friend and republican sparring partner Greg Hunter was in town, and we decided to have a little conversation about medical marijuana and recorded this last month. Sorry, personal events have slowed me down a bit. Here it is for you to enjoy, debate and discuss.

If the State legislature really wanted to do their job, the first thing they’d do is put together some parameters for how dense and big you can be in order to have your own local banana republic within the state. A simple formula based on population density would regulate how much power to do local legislation is possible, forcing cities to merge, urban township tax havens to disappear, and stop duplication of resources in the name of political patronage positions… but, no- teasing us with medical marijuana legalization without implementation is much more fun.

Throw this Hillary supporter into the “Basket of Deplorables”

We're stronger together unless we're deplorable www.esrati.comDear Hillary, the DNC, all of the surrogates and the rest of vaunted machine, this is why Bernie Sanders was a serious candidate, even though you did everything you could to discredit him.

You’re out of touch.

You’re possibly about to blow an election to someone who no one would have considered a serious contender a year ago, and you still don’t know why.

Hint: it’s really you. Not the #basketofdeplorables as you put it.

All those people who are voting for Trump- are voting against what they see you stand for. The machine. The one that’s broken. The one that tells us Ted Strickland is our only hope to beat Rob Portman, and then, once we passed over the bright young rising star for “re-tread Ted” – you pull the wheels off his wagon two months before the election, canceling ad buys and leaving him to twist in the wind. Note- this is Ohio, a state you “Have to win”- and he was your surrogate, your man, your ardent supporter. He was all in for Hillary, who said she stood for “stronger together” – unless you are those in the basket of deplorables.

No, I’m not a “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic – you name it” I’m just another American who doesn’t claim I’m “dead broke” while buying million dollar homes. Or giving top-secret speeches to Goldman Sachs and other Wizards of Wall Street.

What we’re facing in this country is a class war, and your kind, isn’t up for the challenge. Yep, I said it “your kind.” Because as long as we’re bandying about slurs and gross generalizations, let’s throw out this one, our country can’t afford for either of you to “win.” That’s right, both you and the guy you are running against, are out of touch, disconnected, living in an echo chamber feasting on the media induced frenzy of selling out our country to the highest bidder to their benefit.

It doesn’t cost a million dollars to buy a house in my hometown. In fact, you can buy them left and right for less than the cost of a new car. Granted I bought my “Historic Home” in Dayton Oh in 1986 for $14,500 and it’s worth more now- but about 6 years ago, someone bought one slightly bigger, two doors down for only $14,000 thanks to your friends on Wall Street.

Record numbers of people say they don’t trust you. As a guy who makes a living doing marketing, that’s a real problem. You see, if you weren’t still adhering to the same political playbook your husband used to get elected, you’d understand that times have changed. Your brand isn’t what you say it is, it’s what they say it is. And that they is us, some of us, who just ended up in the basket of deplorables.

Unlike many who just ended up in that new basket- I’ve been in that basket for the last 26 or so years. I’m one of those bright young democrats who had the gall to think I had the right to run for office. I’m a citizen, a veteran, college educated, and I went down to the board of elections back in 1991 or so, to pull petitions to run in a non-partisan local political race.

The local democratic party, which, btw- was all in for you, so much so that it practically took an act of god to allow Bernie supporters to meet in the democratic party offices, had a different idea of who could and should run for office. When invited to “screen” before the “screening committee”- a hand-picked bunch of local cronies and friends and family, the question to this day is “if we don’t endorse you, will you drop out.”

What kind of democracy is this? 40 people in a room deciding instead of the electorate?

When will you realize that Bernie Sanders stood for the same ideals you stood for as an idealistic young graduate at Wellesley College back in 1969? Granted, you still were at an elite school, while many of us in your basket, are paying through the nose for student loans, and trying to keep our heads above water. Maybe you can start to understand that while you collect huge speaking engagement money from the very same people who kicked us while we were down, stealing our homes, our jobs, while paying themselves millions and even billions.

It’s happened before, when a candidate drops out- even if it’s a VP. Thomas Eagleton did it, and now you can too. It can be Bernie, or Kaine, or Biden for all we care, but, you’ve got to realize by now, your email server isn’t ever going to go away, nor is Benghazi, or will your #basketofdeplorables or the fact that you took a paycheck from the people who screwed America just as bad as your opponent has screwed contractors, small businesses, taxpayers, students at his schools etc.

It’s over. You aren’t going to win Ohio while backing away from your ally Ted. You aren’t going to win the country, while calling some of us names. And, I’ll never get elected either, but that’s a different situation.

I’m not running to lead this entire country, you are. And sometimes, true leaders have to admit that they aren’t the right answer, no matter what their own perception of their life tells them.

It’s time to blame the DNC for throwing you a bone, which now, you have to respectfully, throw back to someone who kept his principles and isn’t going to hand the election over because their ego got in the way of reality.

Unfortunately, dear Hillary, you don’t listen to anyone, other than who you choose to listen to, so this message will go unheard as well. God help us all.

How the state can save half a million on the election that doesn’t matter

Doofus candidate runs as a democratic candidate for Congress for a seat he’ll never win. Drops out after the primary and before the general. In this case only one candidate files, and the Board of Elections thinks they have to host an election to confirm one candidate at a cost of half a million:

Steven Fought, the Democrat running in the 8th Congressional District, was surprised to learn he was the only person to file petitions for the race when the previous candidate, Corey Foister, dropped out.

“I looked at the vacancy in this district and thought the people deserved a choice,” Fought said.

Foister’s decision to leave the race was prompted by a job opportunity out of state. Had he waited an additional 17 days to withdraw, the Democratic Party would have been able to appoint a replacement candidate. Instead, state law requires that a special election be held, even though Fought’s name will be the only one on the ballot.

That me ans an election that costs taxpayers $500,000 will almost certainly reveal what is already known, that Fought will be opposing Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Troy, in the November election.

Fought may cruise to victory in the Democratic primary, but he faces a much more difficult challenge on Nov. 8. The 8th District, which includes Butler, Preble, Darke, Miami, Clark and a portion of Mercer counties, is one of the most GOP-friendly districts in Ohio….

Local officials tried to reduce the cost of holding an election with just one person on the ballot.

Jason Baker, Clark County Board of Elections director, said initially he looked for some way to hold the special election without going to the expense of opening every precinct.

“Unfortunately the Ohio Revised Code says differently,” he said. “Here in Clark County we will have 50 of 51 locations that will be open. Regardless of how many candidates are on the ballot you have to have a full-blown election for it. It doesn’t matter if it’s one, two or 50 (candidates).”

Early voting in the special 8th District Democratic primary has already started at the board offices.Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, who runs Ohio’s elections, considers this one to be a waste of time and money.“I hope the legislature will change the law to avoid this problem in the future,” he said in a written statement.

Source: From the Dayton Daily News, 2016-08-22: Candidate: Election cost not his fault

Same thing happened in Montgomery County about 6 years ago in 2010. Single candidate made it on the ballot because my petitions were ruled invalid. Candidate dropped out. Three candidates filed, and instead of opening every precinct, Elections Director Steve Harsman opened 4 remote polling places to pick a dem to run against Mike Turner. The candidates were Joe Roberts, the party endorsed putz of a 25 year old, Guy Fogle – a former broadcaster and this idiot.

Roberts won with nominal votes, and then got crushed by Turner. He left town with bills behind.

Trying to decipher Ohio election law and what changed is above my paygrade- but, there is precedent for not opening every precinct in a contested election, nevermind this uncontested one.

If this proves to be possible, I should get a Whistleblowers award for saving the state money. If it is impossible, I’ll be suing for holding an illegal election. Cheers.

The Democratic Party rigging system

Thanks to WikiLeaks we can now see how the Democratic National Committee is really not Democratic at all. They play favorites and have a plan to shepherd the flock into the ballot box to put their preferred pick in power. It’s an insiders game. And while many Bernie supporters feel gypped right now, wondering how all these bought and sold delegates aren’t voting their way- the Republican Party is sitting there wondering how a former Democrat reality TV star who had never run for office before just hijacked their party. Super delegates are the poison pill to make sure that doesn’t happen in the Democratic party.

The whole two party system reeks of insider politics. Almost every other “free country” in the world has more than 2 major political parties and has real differentiation between platforms. Only in the US do we get dumbed down parties where many people can’t even tell the difference.

But if you think this is only a national phenomena, you’ve missed the most important part. The local Montgomery County Party engages in the same filtering, the same preselection process. You don’t get to choose your candidates, you get to choose who they let you vote for in most elections.

We don’t have primaries in most local elections anymore. Which means we don’t really have a democratic process.

This can change. If you are a democrat, and you feel that the system has been tilted for Hillary, or you just want to make sure that people in a smokey back room don’t choose your candidates for you, consider running for precinct captain of the democratic party. The next election isn’t for a little bit, but it wouldn’t hurt to start talking to the dems in your precinct, and connecting with others who want to have a fair and just electoral process. Where candidates are elected by the voters, instead of by party insiders.

Feel free to drop me a line at [email protected] if you are interested.

It’s time to take the politics back to the people from the political elite.

Killing cops: One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter

I left the US for Israel for a short trip, just after the police shootings in Dallas where 5 cops died at the hands of a black military veteran. I said on Facebook, that I never thought I’d say that I ever thought I’d feel safer in the Middle East than in the Midwest- but, here we are in 2016 and that’s what was on my mind.

In Israel, there are guns everywhere. Soldiers, male and female, with M-16’s slung around their necks- some of the girls in a uniform with a skirt even. The fully loaded clip is usually either attached to the butt or barrel of the weapon- with an elastic band, or some have them on their belts, on their back left side- often with a dummy cord attached.

Then you’ll see some with the clip in. I’ve yet to figure the rhyme or reason to who does what. It’s almost as if it’s a matter of personal preference. And it’s not only M16’s- it’s M203’s (an M16 with a grenade launcher), or the new Israeli weapon- the Tavor, a badass looking bullpup. Often, the weapons look well used, and have night sights. Even on guard duty- soldiers seem relaxed and at ease, sometimes playing with their phones, with head phones in. It’s a creepy casualness while under arms.

There are also people in civilian clothes- carrying a pistol- in the restaurants, next to the swimming pool. You have your bags inspected when going into a bus station. There are zig-zag checkpoints where they ask you to roll the windows down and look in the car.

On the Kibbutz, I asked what a block building with no windows was. “Bomb shelter” was the answer. They don’t use those as much anymore- since every house built since 1991 now is required to have a bomb shelter built in.

Along the highway, you may see a pillbox at a bend in the road, or a small fortress. Thin gun slits, reinforced roofs. Even going into a restaurant area, there is a guy with a shirt that says “Security” in English sitting next to a gate to get into the area. No gun visible, but probably within quick reach in the small gatehouse he’s leaning against.

The Communications Center of the Palestine Mobile Force (PMF) was located in this building. On April 25, 1947, Isaschar Huberman and Rahamim Abalak , two Lehi fighters posting as telephone repairman managed to drive a car bomb into the compound. It's denotation )sic) led to the destruction of the center and several casualties among the British Policemen."The first historical marker I came across when leaving the train station from the airport, in Tel Aviv said this:

The Communications Center of the Palestine Mobile Force (PMF) was located in this building. On April 25, 1947, Isaschar Huberman and Rahamim Abalak , two Lehi fighters posting as telephone repairman managed to drive a car bomb into the compound. It’s denotation )sic) led to the destruction of the center and several casualties among the British Policemen.”

With Dallas fresh on my mind- I took the photo. Thinking, this is the difference between a terrorist and a freedom fighter. A terrorist attacks civilians, a freedom fighter, attacks men in uniform- combatants.

And then here comes Baton Rouge. 3 officers killed.

Violence against the police, Mr. (Gov. John Bel) Edwards said, “doesn’t address any injustice, perceived or real.”

 He continued, “It is just an injustice in and of itself.”

Source: Baton Rouge Shooting Jolts a Nation on Edge

Yet, the shooter is quoted in the same NY Times article from his social media postings:

“One hundred percent of revolutions, of victims fighting their oppressors,” he said, “have been successful through fighting back, through bloodshed. Zero have been successful just over simply protesting. It doesn’t — it has never worked and it never will. You got to fight back. That’s the only way that a bully knows to quit.”

“You’ve got to stand on your rights, just like George Washington did, just like the other white rebels they celebrate and salute did,” he added. “That’s what Nat Turner did. That’s what Malcolm did. You got to stand, man. You got to sacrifice.”

Gavin Long, an African-American military veteran- alleged shooter of cops in Baton Rouge

Like it or not, police are the easiest targets and the people who have been doing the dirty work of a system that has gotten out of control. Our nation has been divided since the “War on Drugs” started – a lame excuse for imprisoning millions of people- mostly for being poor and black.

The real targets own the media, the banks, the wealth and control the system. A system that has profited wildly by distracting people from their true enemies. Sure- we can say Osama Bin Laden was a terrorist, but his targets were the scions of commerce, of the military industrial complex tasked to keep war a multi-billion dollar industry. A stock market rigged to allow a few to pilfer the savings and futures of an entire country.

Unfortunately, the police are just the pawns in the game, and so are the politicians.

And when you think about it- the rich have their own police forces, their own safe rooms, their gates, their security. The cops don’t. They are just sitting ducks. And soldiers coming back from an endless pointless war are taking up arms- but, it’s harder to kill a bank president than it is a cop.

Americans are about to go to vote for a new president holding their noses. A law passed against keeping the last true hero of the people prevents Obama from running for a third term. He’s far from perfect, but a better choice than either of the two leading contenders.

In Israel, much like the US- I talk to US citizens who have been here a long time- they aren’t worried about abortion, guns, or bathrooms- it’s about Israel- and they are more likely to vote for Trump than Hillary. Bernie, the only Jewish candidate, gets a thumbs down- because he wasn’t pro-Israel enough- as if he could have succeeded anywhere near what he did if he’d let his religion be front and center.

Right now our country needs to realize that the first shots of a revolution have been fired, and there will be more, until we stop trying to sugarcoat the misdeeds of a system that has created a permanent underclass, of people without hope, without power, except by the barrel of a gun.

One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter isn’t new.

We need to have a real discussion of what kind of America we want. Because what we have isn’t working for an awful lot of people, and in the last 2 weeks, some have taken up arms to send that message. It’s up to real leaders to acknowledge it and respond appropriately.

We have two choices: create a siege mentality, and set up security gates, ID Checks, and lose any semblance of the freedoms we swore allegiance to, or begin to level the playing field- putting the real criminals in prison and letting the pawns out.

Philandro Castile was the symbol, of a revolution. An everyday guy, who was loved in his little world, who had been systematically singled out by a society for little infractions, that turned into a death sentence. Meanwhile, the Wall Street criminals, who stole our pensions, our homes, our tax dollars and ruined the global economy- causing job losses and global instability- walk scott free.

It was never gun ownership that gave you freedom, it was what you do with one.

Gavin Long may think he’s a freedom fighter, but he missed the real targets.

We don’t need anymore police killed. Rome has been burning for a while. It’s time to take down the emperors, not their soldiers.

It’s time to deny service to Mississippi

I hate MississippiTim Cook, CEO of Apple, is gay. According to Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, some people are allowed to decline him service.

Mississippi’s governor signed far-reaching legislation allowing individuals and institutions with religious objections to deny services to gay couples…

The measure signed by Gov. Phil Bryant of Mississippi allows churches, religious charities and privately held businesses to decline services to people if doing so would violate their religious beliefs on marriage and gender.

Source: Anti-Gay Laws Bring Backlash in Mississippi and North Carolina

Apparently, Mississippi didn’t learn about civil rights and non-discrimination from Dr. Martin Luther King, so maybe it’s time for Tim Cook to teach them a lesson.

Let’s face it- Citizens United says corporations are people too- and have a right to buy elections, and by the same standard, they should be able to decline to serve an entire state if it wishes to discriminate.

My proposal is that Apple shut down all their Apple stores in Mississippi, tomorrow. Then, shut off access to the entire state to the iTunes store, to iCloud, to Apple Maps and any and all programs on residents’ iPhones.

I would hope that Google joins in- and sets up a geofence and denies service to the entire state. No Google. No Google Maps. No Android updates.

Throw in Facebook. Geofence the entire state. If you are in Mississippi, you’re off Facebook. Just like that.

I would think that if these three companies cut off all services within the state- Mississippi would cease to exist- but, for good measure- Ebay, and PayPal can join in too. All of these companies have believed in and supported diversity. Microsoft can jump in too- although who really uses Bing?

Since we don’t have legislators or leaders who do anything without the almighty dollar directing them- maybe, just maybe, teaching the people of Mississippi a lesson not to elect bigots, racists and haters to office will send a message to all of these holier than thou misanthropes a lesson.

Enough people died in Mississippi to end segregation in the sixties. Supposedly, we moved forward- to where we no longer judge people by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

America has no place for bigots like Phil Bryant.

Which of our corporate chieftains will have the fortitude to step up and stop this hate from spreading?

You’re fired

Uncle Sam saying You're FiredTo the Republican senators who refuse to do their job and vote on President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick B. Garland, you’re fired.

Typically, people who refuse to do the job they are supposed to do- get fired, at least in the private sector. In the public sector- not so much.

Right now, more than ever, we need to take a look at who should be fired for not doing their job- and I’m going to start at the top.

President Obama- you promised hope and change. Yet, the same assholes that destroyed the global economy just before you came into office- haven’t been prosecuted, or even slapped on the wrist. While the income gap continues to grow, you bailed out the banks, insurance companies, and scam artists who had packaged mortgages, lied about them, built a Ponzi scheme, collapsed it- and robbed the American people blind. Need a refresher- go watch “The Wolf of Wall Street” and even better- “The Big Short.” I know Elliot Spitzer liked hookers, but he seemed to be the only guy out there who would have held anyone accountable. Your boy Eric Holder- our former Attorney General- used to be a part of the cartel that came up with MERS and robosigning of documents that were the keys to most American’s largest investment- their home/mortgage/deed- and that mess is still going to drag on for years.

Richard Cordray, who is the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau should probably be fired as well. Not, because he hasn’t tried to do his job, but because he’s not been effective. Interest rates are still low for rich people and corporations- and almost usurious for those at the bottom. The fact that credit cards can still charge over 20% and be open accounts, while the prime is near zero, says you failed Rich. Go home to Ohio and run for governor.

Speaking of governor- John Kasich, who was elected by the people to be governor of Ohio- and has spent the last year, prancing around the country pretending to be presidential material and actually costing the taxpayers money to keep him safe and secure- while not doing his job- you’re fired too. How many jobs can the common man have where you can get paid by one, while not doing it?

On the local front, it should be obvious to someone that Wright State University should be hit with a blow torch. Start with the president who has to hire lobbyists and consultants with huge paychecks to go talk to the people he works for (hint- they are in Columbus- not on your board of trustees). Zero controls or checks and balances have brought one scandal after another. And here again, getting fired doesn’t mean you lose your job, unlike in the private sector. Provost Sundaram Narayanan got the axe, but because of tenure, is still employed. Go figure.

We’ve seen one departure from the board of trustees, Nina Joshi resigned, without having to take any flak for the questionable benefits her firm, UES, may have received from the H1B visa scam. Other trustees are pretending that they haven’t done anything wrong either- like the president of the board who voted on his own son’s hiring by the university to a questionable specially created position. Seriously, we need to go to Japan and learn about honoring the company ideals- so these cretins would feel shame and do seppuku on themselves. Maybe WSU athletic director Bob Grant, can join them all- since after firing the men’s basketball team coach for lack of “fan engagement”- I bet the Nutter Center would sell out to watch these people line up- and disembowel themselves- since apparently, winning games and graduating your players isn’t enough. BTW- when the successful women’s coach left right after firing of the men’s coach- it probably had more to do with his not wanting to work for a ruthless athletic director.

And while we’re on the subject of firing in higher Ed- you all know my position about Sinclair’s expansion into Warren, Greene, and Preble counties– without taxation. Fire President Steven Johnson and bring in someone who understands who pays for his subsidies.

Moving on, there are oh so many more opportunities to fire people in Dayton. Nan Whaley, Shelley Dickstein and Aaron Sorrell- that hole where the Dayton Daily News building used to be? You’re fired. How about letting the Community Blood center tear down that beautiful block of buildings just south of the Blood Center? Another empty lot, great. I was just in Cincinnati on Friday night- and why is it that the hottest parts of downtown still have all the old buildings? hmmmm….

The Dayton Board of Education sort of fired Superintendent Lori Ward by not renewing her contract, or that of Treasurer Craig Jones. Both are still drawing a paycheck, but no replacements are in sight- and in the meantime, the company that they hired to staff the district with substitute teachers may be breaking the law by not treating long-term subs more like employees- and playing musical chairs with sub spots. The reality is, DPS was short 30 teachers this year, hello? Isn’t that job number one- have a teacher in the classroom?

To all the local taxing jurisdictions of Montgomery County. As a small business owner, can I tell you the idea of trying to track and pay all of your individual income taxes is a ridiculous burden, and that we now have an area, Austin Landing, where depending on how many floors your building has, actually dictates who pays income tax or not. Seriously- all of you- FIRED. We need to come up with a taxation strategy that is fair, universal, and easy to report- like a statewide income tax- that’s redistributed to the locals. One taxing authority, one tax rate. Less paperwork, fewer penalties and let’s get on with business. Oh, yeah- and if you are a little podunk government like Beavercreek township, or Moraine etc. you don’t get any of the money back- because you shouldn’t exist. We need to implement some kind of limits on what qualifies as a jurisdiction worthy of taxpayer support based on a ratio of people to governors. We don’t need to support 26 police chiefs, or 24 Chief Building Inspectors, or 28 city managers. It’s time to do what the big banks have done, the hospitals have done, the insurance companies have done, the grocery stores have done- and consolidate. All you straphangers living off the stupid jurisdictional boundaries created by the Northwest Ordinance of 1785- you’re fired too.

Who would you fire? I’m sure I’m going to make someones list (don’t worry- I’ve been fired before).

Understanding “Dayton Together” rationally

Dan Foley, Valerie Lemmie, Paul Leonard, Mike Kelly and who knows else, may have some ideas about how to reform government, but they have zero ability to sell their plan.

Today’s Dayton Daily news includes this ludicrous statement:

Dayton Together also plans to conduct a cost study to determine if merging the governments will save money.

Foley said the initiative likely will not move forward if it does not benefit taxpayers through cost savings.

“If the answer comes back we can’t save very much, then this probably isn’t going to go very far,” Foley said.

Source: Plan would radically change city, county

How can you present a plan with a straight face, without doing the cost benefit study?

The reality is, there will be major pushback from the status quo; the current elected officials and their little kingdoms of patronage jobs. The local party system in place in Montgomery county is full of elected officials and people they get to hire to cushy, non-accountable jobs in the bowels of government.

These are called the “Party Central Committees” and most people couldn’t tell you who their precinct captain or ward leader is to save their lives. I know, I am one, although I missed the part about the cushy job with nice benefits.

Need an example? There is no reason to have two clerk of courts, with two websites, two court systems, two buildings (even though they are adjoined). Between Mark Owens and Greg Brush, and all the jobs they control (including of course jobs for friends and family) you have massive duplication of resources- plus two extra elected races that people could care less about. Owens is running unopposed if you need proof.

From Foley and Leonard’s editorial:

Many community leaders and elected officials have voiced opposition to our work. Some expressed concern that metro government would disenfranchise minority communities. This is far from our intent, so we hired Dr. Mark Salling, a Cleveland State University demographer, to determine if county council districts could be designed to actually increased minority representation.

Through Dr. Salling’s work, three council districts in the metro structure are majority minority districts — meaning, new opportunities for countywide minority policy makers. In a county that has never in its history elected a minority citizen to the Montgomery County Commission, we see this as a big step for greater inclusion.

Source: Challenges in region call for a metro government

What they’ve proposed is going to be the major sticking point: 10 districts with a representative each, 1 at large and a separate mayor’s race. By eliminating all other elected county positions like engineer, coroner and clerk of courts, leaving only the prosecutor (because nobody screws with Mat Heck in this area) as the only existing elected position that stays- we lose probably a dozen stupid choices on the ballot. Ask most people the difference between the County Auditor and the County Treasurer- and they can’t tell you the difference.

Of course, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley is going to scream the loudest- she ran the most expensive campaign in a long time so she could crown herself queen of the city- an entity that’s a fraction of its former self- thanks to mismanagement, misguided “leadership” and an ingrained system of petty politics that has done no citizen any favors.

She’s got the black ministers on her side and the NAACP as well. Two groups who get way more play in the current system than they ever should command. And in this battle, they’ve already come out strongly against this baby step toward regionalization without a clue of what the current system has effectively done: totally diminished their true power.

More elections and more elected officials, don’t mean more power, they mean less.

This is where civics 101 would come in handy. Take 100 people, give them 10 offices to fill. You now have 90 people, with 10 “elected leaders.” Take a bell curve- which is the way most things distribute- including IQ. Did those 90 people pick the cream- the top 10 smartest people on that curve to lead them?
Probably not. Need proof? Look at the latest Republican primary field for President.

You now have 1 “leader” for every 10 people. This is the current system.

Take a simplified version of the proposed new system. You have 100 people, they vote for 3 people. Their odds of really picking 3 good people have increased.

You now have 1 “leader” for every 32.33 people.

Power hasn’t been diluted near as much, with less leaders, people actually have more power in who they elect.

When you factor in that the new system only has 4 countywide candidates: the prosecutor, the “mayor,” your local zone rep and the one at-large rep, spread out over a much larger population, you’ve actually increased your voting power, giving more control to fewer people to make bigger decisions.

With great power, comes great responsibility.

My initial take is that this plan is asking us to still elect too many people. 10 districts with one regional rep, across seemingly random regions is sort of what we have with the Ohio house and Senate (only with more seats). Trying to figure out who your State Rep is and what population he or she serves is pointless- most Ohioans couldn’t tell you their names either. Ohio would do just fine with a unicameral system (one house instead of two), because again, the more seats actually decrease accountability.

I’m not comfortable with the “mayor” of Dayton/Montgomery County being picked by the population at large either. It will be a very expensive race (especially if Nan decides she wants it) for another titular seat. Instead, I’d rather have a system where the elected body has to pick the person among the 11 that can unite and lead- as in a parliamentary system.

I’m also questioning 10 districts instead of 6 and 1 plus a mayor. Again, the more seats, the more you’ve diluted power.

It’s pretty obvious to those who know what’s going on that this change would turn the party power upside down for a period of time while they figured out how to corrupt it back into the current form- and that may be all that Dan Foley and partners want to do. Who would Karl Keith be if not for being able to hire Mr. Whaley? Or Mark Owens for hiring Matt Josephs brother? (It’s actually the other way around- Matt’s brother and Mark got Matt into office so they could own a piece of their budgetary bosses).

As to the major flaw of this whole mess- allowing the urban townships to keep on operating providing income tax free havens within the county limits- no one is touching that part with a ten-foot pole. Couldn’t possibly want to stop the biggest flaw in our current system- that would take real leadership.

 

Legal, illegal, and illogical gambling

monopoly for the lazyThe online poker sites got shut down.

The online fantasy sports leagues have run into a bit of trouble because the only people who were winning were working with inside info.

Yet Wall Street is still going a hundred miles a minute with all kinds of convoluted “financial products” with absolutely zero oversight. Need proof? Go see “The Big Short” which makes the shenanigans understandable even to a non-finance major.

If you were starting up a company and someone offered to “invest” in it for a fraction of a second- would you consider them an “investor”- nope. Yet, this kind of wild distortion of financial markets has been allowed to exist on Wall Street for the last 40 years.

Fantasy sports leagues will be banned before 40 months are up.

The financial illiteracy of most Americans is epic. Most don’t think they have a direct connection to Wall Street since “they don’t own stock.” Yet, fail to understand that their employer may be publicly traded, their pension or retirement (if they have one) is invested, their government depends on bond ratings for public works projects, their car and health insurance are tied to the markets, and their home value is directly dependent on interest rates, lending practices and secondary markets that are being manipulated to maximize profit for a very small part of our society- by sociopaths who don’t have to fear any repercussions for their actions. After all, some of them really do deserve to pillage a billion dollars away from our collective net worth each year.

They can gamble with the world economic order with impunity- but, you can’t play poker for money. You can however play “mega-millions” and throw away your money.

This should piss you off, but since most of you feel powerless anyway- it’s just better to continue to fight the day-to-day struggle of getting through this game called life without losing your shirt, home, health or job.

When the banks were allowed to cross state lines, and begin investing with your money that they were holding for “safekeeping”, it should have been greeted with a big fat no from the public, the politicians, the regulators and even the bankers. Banking was never supposed to be risky, sexy or a license to gamble- but that’s what it’s become. Same goes for Wall Street and the tools of finance. Debt and equity in publicly traded companies used to be serious – now it’s more like a roulette wheel. Apple hasn’t changed its business model in years- yet the markets have had the valuation going up and down like a yo-yo- same goes for Google (now Alphabet) and a host of other companies. Yet, somehow, Amazon, which has barely turned a profit- is valued higher than WalMart- which has turned massive profits year-in, year-out and has real, tangible assets worth billions. Never mind the “unicorns” – darlings of Wall Street- mostly tech companies, that haven’t made their first dime, but were valued in the billions. Remember when Google was offering to buy Groupon for $6 Billion- and now…. Groupon who?

There is the old fable about the emperor’s new clothes, the one where the emperor is naked, but only a naive kid has the balls to point it out.

The reality of our entire economy is built on 4 words “In God We Trust”- which is on our money. Not, “In Government We Trust”- because then it’s too easy to point fingers- better an invisible force- because in reality- the whole system is really just a house of cards. We make it up as we go along. The value of our currency isn’t linked to anything other than what we think it is- for some, it’s how many dead presidents it takes to buy a hit of heroin, to others, it’s more like monopoly money- and how much can they amass before the game is over.

The difference is when you are playing Monopoly, there are rules- and the game ends. With our economy, the rules have all been thrown out the window, and the game isn’t supposed to end, nor is anyone supposed to say the emperor is naked.

Bad news- the emperor is naked.

Today, the New York Times reported that Mike Bloomberg is considering running as an independent for president and willing to stake $1 billion of his own money. The difference between Bloomberg and Trump is that Bloomberg has actually run for office, and governed- and he really has that kind of money. The reason he has that kind of money is because the system allowed it- and now, we’re going to see that our fabled democracy really isn’t anything but an auction for the right to run the casino.

There are a lot of people who thought this election was going to be Clinton vs. Bush. I’ve been saying it’s going to be Bernie vs. Trump, unless the Republican party brokers the convention- in which case I fully believed that Trump would continue on as a wild card independent- and split the R vote making a NY Jew our next president. I might have only been slightly off, seeing as Bloomberg is the more electable NY Jew, or at least one who can outright buy his way straight to the White House.

The reality is, Bloomberg isn’t going to fix the casino- it’s what made him.

Others say Bernie is talking about a chicken in every pot, a car in every driveway kind of idealistic dreams that won’t ever fly thanks to Congress, and they may be right.

Having four choices for president is also a wild card- as it’s never happened before. What happens when you have Bernie, Trump, Bloomberg and random Republican (insert Kasich, Cruz, Rubio or Christie). all of a sudden, the whole system gets incredibly strange- because the Electoral College doesn’t really allow for a 4-way race.

And while you may not be able to bet on fantasy sports for much longer, and you may be cut out of the windfalls of Wall Street- and online poker has to be on the down low, there is one organized betting game still left as an option- you can bet on political outcomes– and no one has shut it down- yet.

Oh, the irony of it all.