Friday, March 03, 2006 

OH Court Allows Parents' Lawsuits when testing would have led to abortion

Wow, I couldn't believe they weren't able before this.

Parents are allowed to sue a doctor if a genetic screening misses a severe or fatal condition that would have caused them to seek an abortion, a divided state Supreme Court ruled Friday

The 4-3 decision limited such lawsuits to costs associated with a pregnancy and the birth of the child, saying such parents could not sue for pain-and-suffering damages or repayment of the costs of raising a disabled child.
Of course, is it the screen that misses it or is it the doctors misinterpretation? And why not pain and suffering? I would think that far outweighs the costs of birth and pregnancy. What if it is a disease that could have been treated in utero - can the child sue? Heres more info and some answers:

The decision was a partial victory for a Kentucky couple who sued a Cincinnati obstetrics practice and hospital that provided genetic counseling and told them their fetus did not have a genetic disorder that the mother carried. The 8-year-old born in 1997 has the disorder and can't speak or crawl.

The finding overruled a lower-court decision that Richard and Helen Schirmer could sue for the costs of raising their disabled son.

Justice Maureen O'Connor, writing for the majority, noted that the Schirmers had indicated they would have aborted the child if they had received the correct diagnosis. As a result, she said they could not sue for costs above those of raising a child without a disability, since that was never a possibility.

That doesn't make much sense to me. (Maybe I am missing something.)

Life without the impairment "was never a possibility in this situation," O'Connor said. "The crux of this case is a comparison of nonexistence versus existence, albeit impaired."

The case was the first time Ohio's justices had issued a definitive ruling on a claim of "wrongful birth." A handful of states allow such claims by parents seeking compensation for the financial burden of caring for a severely disabled child or the emotional trauma of watching a baby die shortly after birth.

Ohio and several other states have previously rejected a different type of claim, called "wrongful life," in which the disabled child is the plaintiff.
Impaired existence, that's a nice way to put it - seems like some of these kids are barely existing at all. Can you imagine the strain on the family? How sad. Fortunately, the combination of good doctors and amazing genetic tests can prevent alot of suffering. (Via LA Times)

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Ohio Parks to be exploited by oil, gas and logging companies

Legislation is being proposed to open Ohio's Public Lands and Lake Erie to the logging, gas and oil industries. This legislation is not only an enviromentally hazardous but poses risks to local economies that benefit from nature tourism (especially Lake Erie).

More from Ohio PIRG:
Ohio's state parks have an economic impact of $1.1 billion statewide and provide over 7,500 jobs. Lake Erie tourism is a $7 billion business for our state, and provides over a quarter-millions jobs...

Less than 3% of Ohio's land is publicly-owned, yet oil and gas special interests are trying to convince our legislators to open these special places for their own profit. Industry representatives want the authority to lease places like the Shawnee State Forest, Mohican State Park, and Hocking Hills State Park. Whichever state park, forest, of nature preserve you and your family enjoy would be threatened with oil and gas drilling. Lake Erie, arguably our state's most important resource, would also be open for drilling.
My family and I use these parks all summer long and sometimes in the winter. I'd hate to see them uglied and endangered by industry. We should be focusing on alternative energies instead of destroying our enviroment. Contact your Representative to oppose this legislation.

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Morning Round Up

The best Progressive Blog diaries this morning with a focus on Ohio State Liberal Blogs.

NATIONAL:

DailyKos - Emails link Cheney, Libby, Rove, Hadley and Bolton to Plame and another good diary is Bush Admin: McCain torture ban does NOT apply to Gitmo
AmericaBlog - Couple investigated by Homeland Security for paying off thier credit cards
HuffPost - Top Republican intends to do everything he can to kill UAE port deal

LOCAL:
Blogesque - MomsforOhio PAC (which claims to be nonpartisan) linked to Betty Montgomery
has national ambitions
...This PAC has a founding member whose job for the last few years has consisted of being Betty Montgomery’s mouthpiece. Of course citizens don’t have to “pay to play” when the citizens in question are just a short step away from Betty Montgomery herself...

Here’s a label that seems to fit: right-wing ideological PAC. Note the Republican framing of “tax relief,” and that the Pledge was “threatened.” The way I see it, this astroturf group was created by a longtime staffer of Betty Montgomery’s and a few other women from the local conservative business community. Montgomery herself attended the thing’s inaugural meeting. Said astroturf group then worked its high-level contacts in Ohio’s corrupt GOP, getting its agenda introduced in and passed by the statehouse. To cement the deal, it bought its way through the door with petition signatures which were essentially purchase orders (which is questionable, even if it is legal).
Cleveland AFL-CIO - RTA appoints poverty expert to oversee price hike.
Cleveland Homeless - National Alliance on Mental Illness gives Ohio a "B", which doesn't say much for the rest of the country
LawDork - NSA spied on Attorney-Client talks
Openers - Brian Flannery congratulates Ken Blackwell " for creating jobs for ... crooks"
Pho - ABJ goes soft on Petros Pay for Play perhaps disgruntled over being scooped by the PD?
The Chief Source - "Anti-Life Republicans" and other thoughts
Last year, the Senate voted to ban testing of pesticides on humans. Most Republicans voted against the ban. Translation: Republicans didn't care if humans are used as pawns for big corporations. The same scumbags that claim to be "pro-life" are so clearly anti-life. They love that fetus, but after that, I guess you are pretty much worthless...

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Thursday, March 02, 2006 

Can a liberal Democrat win in conservative southern Ohio?

Sherrod Brown tries to answer that question in this slideshow.

http://www.cleveland.com/open/wide/index.ssf?sherrodbrowncampaign.html


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Morning Round Up

Sorry this is so late, Blogger was down this morning and then I had to go to work. A little outdated but better late than never :-)

NATIONAL: (A TRIFECTA OF OUTRAGE)
DailyKos - Bush warned FEMA unprepared for Katrina on video tape
AmericaBlog - Bush ignored preKatrina warnings, Bush ignores alot of critical briefings
HuffPost - AP catches Bush in a lie, DeLays travel charged on Lobbiest credit card

LOCAL:
Cleveland AFL-CIO - Arts as economic development, the successes of the Rock Hall, Art Musuem and the Western Reserve Historical Society
Liberal Common Sense - Cuts in state funding linked to increase in unintended pregnancies
Psychobilly Dem - More on corrupt republican congressman Randall "Duke" Cunningham
Openers - More Ohioans disapprove of DeWine but still with 13% saying "not sure" this race is still not a shoe in for Brown
Ohio Citizen Action - The "Flats" to become less smelly due to deal between city and polluter
Pho - Many bloggers sign on for Pho's "Get Over It" diary calling for a moratorium on Hackett v Brown diaries
StubbornLiberal - Bush greeted with Protests in India, Fox ratings are down, Noe wants new judges, new location and special jurors
Ohio2006 - Alot of PR stuff from campaigns but also 2 gems today,
First - Ney gives out Golf Tees to supporters which Ohio2006 states
"They may as well be printed with the words "Golf Trip to Scotland Paid For by Indicted Republican Lobbyist Jack Abramoff," since that's the connection that anybody who hasn't spent the last year on Mars will certainly make."

Second a great overview of a PD article that details Petros and Blackwells current pay to play scandals: "This correspondence reveals that Petro ordered the University to replace four law firms, even though the university's general counsel warned that the changes would be costly and inefficient. Petro overruled these objections and ordered that the lucrative legal work be transferred to a politically connected firm instead. At least two of the firms have charged that they lost the work because they refused to contribute to Petro's campaign."

DispassionateLiberal - You're either with us or against us - Emirates inflitrated with Al Quaeda, The informant in the Toldeo Terror case has disappeared
PeopleHaveThePower - Bob Ney and the promotional golf tees that underline and remind us of his trip to St Andrews paid for by Abramoff


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Wednesday, March 01, 2006 

Americans know "Simpsons" better than the 1st Amendment

Arggh. How sad.
Only one in four could name more than one of the five freedoms it upholds but more than half could name at least two members of the cartoon family.

About one in five thought the right to own a pet was one of the freedoms...

By comparison, just one in 1,000 people could name all five First Amendment freedoms.
Okay, so here is the First Amendment just in case:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

What exactly does that mean? Here is a link to the Cornell Law School: First Amendment Overview.

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One Republican Congressmans Bribe Menu

Complete Story at ABCNews

Duke Cunningham kept a bribe menu detailing how much it would cost contractors to essentially order multimillion-dollar government contracts.

$16M Defense Department Contract = $140,000 and a luxury yacht
Each Additional Million Dollar Defense Contract = $50,000
Defense Contracts above $20M each additional Mil = $25,000 bribe
--------------------------------------------------------------
Exposing the corrupt politician = Priceless


Of course, he is asking for a reduced sentence since he is "cooperating" or as some may say "got caught red handed".

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Morning Round Up

NATIONAL:
DailyKos - Fighting Dem John Laesch, Dean comes out swinging for the troops
AmericaBlog -100,000 protest Bush in India
HuffPost - Intel Chief: Iraq war could spread to entire middle east.

LOCAL:
AtheistMama - Is holding a Freethinking Women Jamboree and comments on the homophobic Reform America article in CD.
Ohio2006 - Hernandez (D21st) new website plus more from other candidates, Sherrod on AAA, Montgomery (R) out o SS race,
Psychobilly Dem - Reports on the Brown campaign changes, including Lucas leaving and some toss ups in internet comunications, John Ryan replaces Lucas, these changes seem to give the "billys" a little more confidence but they still would like to see Hackett and Brown together to unify the base.
DispassionateLiberal - Why do the troops hate the troops?
PeopleHaveThePower - Graphics and comments on Bushs Ohio approval rating
LiberalCommonSense - Great commentary on "Paul Hackett in his own words" which includes these tasty morsels:
"the worst thing he (Sherrod) could do even prior to this latest article would be meet face to face"

"people seem to forget there are bloggers out there who did and have supported Sherrod...There were alot of other issues that came into play in the creation of this whole situation."

"So? It's up to us. For some it will take time, for some it will never happen. Some good did come out of this, even though it might not have been everything people like me wanted to see be the end result."
StubbornLiberal - Republicans stall on ethics reform, More details on the Duke Cunningham scandal coming out
Openers - Hamilton county sheriff wants $7421 from DeWine, stating that since the DeWine event was solely a fundraiser the taxpayers should not have to bear the costs.

I am adding new blog today - "Faithful Ohio" for Ohioans whose concern for social justice is rooted in faith. The most recent diary includes a letter from Rev Ahrens of the First Congregational in Columbus expressing his concern over the messages of Rod Parsely and Russell Johnson. Which includes:
"We are, in a sense, saying that the Jesus being portrayed is not the Jesus we know and love and follow."
I hope you enjoy it, I did.

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Tuesday, February 28, 2006 

Overview of Sherrod Brown on Air America

Sherrod on Springer Today - Listen here.

Discusses the Senate Primary and Paul Hackett in first few minutes then goes on to touch on the cultural right and their influence in ohio, raising the minimum wage, how national security should be an intregal part of all trade agreements including the UAE port deal, how people of faith have played a major role in progressive politics historically and in todays economic and social justice issues - then he finishes up with how to leave Iraq.

Lots of interesting ideas but overall a pretty short interview. The national security /trade agreement discussion had an interesting perspective and he pointed out how most of the Bush Administrations motivations are corporate and how the republicans are willing to push all matters to the side (even security) when it comes to feeding the corporate machine.


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Wind Energy Forum in Newburgh Hts (Green Energy Ohio)

Newburgh Heights Councilman Trevor Elkins and the non-profit Newburgh Heights Community Development Corporation have partnered with Green Energy Ohio to sponsor a Public Forum and Power Point presentation about the possibilities of community owned wind energy and its benefits.

On Tuesday, March 7th, Fletcher Miller of Green Energy Ohio will conduct a presentation designed to educate residents, elected officials, businesses and interested parties about the feasibility and availability of creating sustainable, clean and inexpensive renewable energy sources in urban environments. The forum will begin at 7pm and will be held in Council Chambers at the Village of Newburgh Heights Offices, 4000 Washington Park Boulevard.

“I am excited to host Mr. Fletcher and Green Energy Ohio on behalf of the Newburgh Heights Community Development Corporation”, stated Councilman Elkins. "I hope our village can become a trend setter in saving our residents on their energy bills, cleaning up the environment and doing our small part to lessen America’s dependence on foreign oil sources and toxic coal fired electricity."

For more information regarding Green Energy Ohio, please visit: www.greenenergyohio.org

The media is invited to attend.

For information or comment, contact Trevor Elkins @ (216) 225-1037.

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Morning Round Up

NATIONAL
DailyKos - What do the troops say? get us out of Iraq. Diebold whistleblower charged with 3 felonies.
AmericaBlog - Poor planning reasons for failures in Iraq, Questions unasked by press concerning 9/11 and intelligence
HuffPost - Veterans suffer major health care cuts under Bush Budget, Republican party in Free Fall


LOCAL
Dispassionate Liberal - Cheney Retiring?
Ohio13 - Northern Medina County Dems Event details, Betty Sutton website is up
Pho - MTB Betty Sutton wrap up, Why she is the better candidate: pride, residency, narrative, understand the facts plus she's not afraid to ask a question.
Ohio 2006 - Griffith hold kick-off breakfast (D 19th), Franchetti withdraws (D 27th)
SwingStateProject - Wilson (OH -06) goes for the write in vote option. (Alot of skeptism in the comments.)
Openers - Betty Montgomery fails to win support of Miami County Republican Party and Republicans reveal some "dirt" on Hackett.
Stubborn Liberal - Bush at 34%, Cheney at 18%, Veterans face medical benefit cuts, Republicans fail at National Security (again).

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Monday, February 27, 2006 

City Council addresses Carolyn Fisher arrest

This is excerpted from an email I recieved written by a person whom attended the meeting (not from the official minutes.)

Read the official City Council meeting minutes here.

Mayor Kelley stated, “Thank you for the promotion. As the Mayor and President of Council,I do not sit over the Police Chief. The City Manager runs the day-to-day operations. He doubles as the Safety Director, but thank you for promoting me today, but no disrespect meant. I’ll have a statement when everybody gets done talking about the specific issue.”

Mayor Kelley asked for any additional speakers, seeing none he continued, “I am going to read a brief statement and we’ll go on with our business...

The official position or my official position for this Council is going to be set forth and willbe available for the media if they therefore seek it. The description of an incident that occurred inCleveland Heights in late January that has serious allegations against the police department, hasbeen widely circulated on the Internet. There are many inaccuracies and inflammatory comments made about the police in this email. This Cleveland Heights City Council is aware of the allegations in the email and has been briefed by Chief Martin Lentz regarding witness statements and police procedure at the scene.

There are the facts as we know them: 1) Cleveland Heights has had zoning codes and general offenses code regulations regarding flyers and posters on public poles for many, many years. This is not a new rule. The zoning regulation has been in place since 1970, specifically #1163.02, which is Application of Sign Regulations and the General Offenses Code regulation has been in place since 1943. Again, this particular code has been in place since 1943, so way before

most of us, or all of were born. Some of us, as the Vice Mayor reminded us. The content or subject matter of the flyers has absolutely nothing to do with the enforcement of the regulation. This City Council and past City Councils have always supported this regulation. It has absolutely nothing to do with content. 2) The police were following procedure by informing the woman, three separate times, that the posters should not be put up. 3) Witnesses at the scene reported that the woman became out of control and physical with the police officers. The police then followed proper procedure in getting the situation under control. 4) The Cleveland Heights paramedics were called because the police officers were bleeding from scratch and bite marks.”

There was an outburst from the audience and the mayor added, “Please, I’ve given youyour time, this is what we’ve investigated.”

Another outburst from the audience, “Bullsh--”, and continued, “You heard people talk tonight and you make statements.”

Mayor Kelley added, “Ma’m, sit down.”

Another outburst, “Did you listen to people?”

Mayor Kelley kept repeating, “Sit down. Sit down, please.”

Another outburst, “Did this have an impact on you?”

Mayor Kelley again repeated, “Sit down, please.”

Audience member replied, “I’m sitting.”

Mayor Kelley continued, “When the paramedics arrived the woman said she was injured and wanted to go to the hospital also. The police followed procedure and she was taken in the ambulance. She was transported to the University Hospital Emergency Room.. 5) Hospital Emergency room rules were very strict regarding who could go in and see a patient. These rules were enforced by the Emergency Room personnel.”

From the audience, “No. It’s all lies.”

Mayor Kelley continued, “The scene at the University Hospital emergency room reception area was handled by the University Hospital police.”

Mayor Kelley was interrupted again by another outburst stating, “No.”

The Mayor continued, “Who also had back up ..”

Another outburst from the audience, “Not true.”

Mayor Kelley continued, “Who also had backup from University Circle police.”

Another outburst from the audience, “Not true, not true. We were there.”

Mayor Kelley continued, “There is no evidence to suggest that the Cleveland Heights police officers involved acted improperly. The Cuyahoga County Grand Jury has indicted Ms. Fisher on two counts of assaulting a police officer. These are fourth degree felonies. The matter will be assigned to a judge after the arraignment.”

From the audience, “Why do you lie? Do you agree with that?”

Mayor Kelley responded, “That’s the official statement.”

Her supporters do her zero favors when they disrupt council meetings.
It's looking worse for Ms. Fisher everyday.


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Sherrod Brown - Securing our Borders "DeWine on the Sidelines"

From SherrodBrown.com

"Beginning last Friday, I made stops across Ohio in Cleveland, Toledo, and Youngstown demanding the Administration halt all trade talks with the UAE and have called for a stronger national security review of all U.S. trade agreements in the future. In a post 9/11 world, trade is no longer just an economic development vehicle. U.S. trade agreements are now an integral part of our national security.

In addition, I am calling for better Congressional oversight on trade agreements -- for too long Republicans in Congress have served as a rubber stamp to the White House thirst for outsourcing. I will continue to travel across Ohio promoting policies that will secure our borders and keep Ohio families safe.

Go to my website to read the latest dispatches from the road and see video from my appearance on Lou Dobbs about the UAE controversy:

http://www.sherrodbrown.com/section/road


"Our current Senator, Mike DeWine, was virtually silent on the issue all week until he told the Cincinnati Enquirer on Friday, "We have to take a good look at this thing."

Well, I've already taken a good look at "this thing" and I don't like what I see:

* Two of the 9/11 hijackers were from the UAE.
* Terrorist operatives used the UAE as a financial and travel hub.
* The UAE was one of the few nations to recognize the Taliban as a legitimate government.
* The 9/11 Commission's report contains warnings about the UAE's previous support for terrorism.
* The Congressional Research Service names UAE as a point of shipment for illegal nuclear components.
* Even George Bush's own State Department says, "Americans in the United Arab Emirates should exercise a high level of security awareness."

Ohio needs a U.S. Senator that will stand firm against trade deals that compromise homeland security. Mike DeWine won't. I will.
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Morning Round Up

NATIONAL:
DailyKos - NeoCons push for McCain
AmericaBlog - Halliburton gets slap on wrist for 250 million in questionable charges
HuffPost - All 50 Governors say Bush weakened National Guard, Iraq reconstruction failure due to poor planning by admin - says new Govt. report

LOCAL:
Ohio2006 - The up and downsides of a contested primary (races in the 18th and 13th)
PsychoBillyDem - Betty Sutton, Time to get behind Sherrod Brown
StubbornLiberal - Clean Air and Water? - not under the Bush adminstration. Cancelling SD travel plans.
Openers - Capri Cafaro, Harris urges GOP to stop the bloodletting and focus on issues
PeopleHaveThePower - Blackwell desperate? Keeping up with the Ohio indictments online.
DispassionateLiberal - Comments on the Fox news headline "Civil War in Iraq - Could it be a good thing?"
ClevelandHomeless - New study on Corporate Welfare, Jackson outlines a positive State of the City.
Cleveland AFL-CIO - Do Republicans know they are losing the Governors Race?


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Witness in Carolyn Fisher / CH Police arrest speaks out

Up until this point in the the drama, we have only heard one version of the arrest of Carolyn Fisher and that was Carolyn Fishers. The city has decided to remain silent as this case goes to court.

Ms. Fisher in numerous new articles and a website has stated, she was trying to hang posters in CH, the officer told her to stop, she protested "why?" and then said she would take them down, the officer asked for her license, when she did not hand it over the situation became heated and eventually escalated to a pretty violent affair. She painted the police department as overzealous, rude and quick to blows.

Recently, An anonymous commenter on my site wrote a pretty inciteful post on the whole affair which he claims to have witnessed. I thought, since we have only heard Carolyn Fishers side of the story to reprint it in the sake of fairness. It sounds just as reasonable (if not more) than Ms. Fishers version.

...I did observe this confrontation first hand. I had just left Subway with my young son and had watched Carol Fisher staple several posters on both sides of telephone poles in front of the store. About this time I heard a police officer call to her that she would face a fine if she didn't take down the signs. Carol Fisher took another sign from her bag, and as to shove it in the face of the officer, stapled it up with authority.

The police officer then asked Carol Fisher for her ID, and Carol Fisher started to walk away from him, he asked her several times. She began screaming in an attempt to draw attention, that she did nothing wrong and would not give her ID to the officer.

The officer attempted to stop her by stepping in her way, Carol Fisher began to swing her arms wildly. The officer then called for another officer that was standing across the street. Carol Fisher began clawing at the officer's face, and kicking him. Both officers then held her against the building. Both officers were telling Carol Fisher to stop resisting and just settle down. This woman was out of her mind, kicking, punching, and spitting. The woman then fell to the ground on her own, the officers actually tried to soften her fall by grabbing her coat.

Carol Fisher laid face down with her hands interlocked so the police could not handcuff her. As one officer knelt on the ground, Carol Fisher tried to bite him in the face several times, and did get ahold of his shirt with her teeth. The police officer then told me to call 911 and tell police dispatch they needed help.

More officers showed up and finally were able to control. These officers never struck, brutalized, or my favorite... abducted Carol Fisher. They were nothing short of professional. I had to post this real account of the "story" as I was sick and disgusted with all the false facts of this non news worthy story. I look forward to testifying against Carol Fisher in the above matter...
This comment shows the police dept in a more favorable light. I hope that this is true. I do not think ignorance of the law in posting handbills is one that deserves such rough treatment but - Carolyn Fishers actions, since I read the initial story on NewsNet5, lead me to doubt her intentions. I still imagine the police department could have handled the situation better. This event paints everyone involved in a horrible light.

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Sunday, February 26, 2006 

Late Night Political Jokes

"More problems for the White House. Convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff said he met with President Bush almost a dozen times, contradicting the White House claims that Bush didn't know him. In President Bush's defense, it was pretty dark inside Abramoff's back pocket." --Jay Leno

"Last night I went out with a bunch of the guys and played the 'Dick Cheney Drinking Game' ... it's when you down a beer and then you take a shot at good old granddad." --Jay Leno

"The White House has given permission for a company owned by the government of Dubai to run six U.S. ports, including the Port of New York. Now Dubai was accused of supporting the September 11th attacks and was one of only three countries to support the Taliban. Now they're going to run the Port of New York. What's next, we'll put Mexico in charge of immigration? How about Dick Cheney in charge of gun safety? Courtney Love in charge of Olympic drug testing?" --Jay Leno