Rooster: The Dark Side of Ohio

One man's account of the darkest 24-hour news cycle

I usually begin these articles with a tepid intro before transitioning to a tepid plea to free subscribers to spend $6 a month for my tepid writings five days a week.

In light of yesterday’s events, I’ll ask instead you donate to one or two groups:

Yesterday was not a good day for our state. I know this because today’s most uplifting story involves a five-state ecoli outbreak.

OHIO WOMEN HAVE JUST BEGUN TO FIGHT

I didn’t imagine being 32 would mean attending pro-abortion protests in the state capitol building. Since my birth in 1986, white American males haven’t been the protesting type. I prefer to do my politicking like everyone else with a diseased brain, by arguing with internet strangers who might be foreign intelligence operatives.

When federal Republicans attempt to pass a bill they know a majority of Americans will hate, they usually do so under the cover of a Friday night. Like that time they tried to repeal the same protections for pre-existing conditions they’re now swearing to protect. (John McCain then Mavericked for once and dumped Mitch McConnell in the middle of the Senate chamber.)

Ohio Republicans don’t need the cover of night because a majority of their brood is only accountable to voters who lap Fox News state propaganda gruel as gospel. Even in a “big city” like Columbus, only so many people can come spend a Wednesday afternoon hectoring low-rent politicians.

I felt shame as a Millennial when my phone died as soon as I walked into the Statehouse. Eight hours later, despite not having any video or photos of my own, I’m glad I couldn’t neurotically look at my phone and instead focused on the scene at hand.

I found two groups, you might be able to guess their labels by now, upstairs in a marble hallway between two entrances to the second-floor observing gallery. The bad guys had such intricate chants as “Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!” and logic bomb signs like “A baby is not your body!”

The anti-abortion crusaders were eventually reduced into singing “Amazing Grace” 5,000 times in the corner.

I stood for two hours in the back where my ass belonged, and and the group I came to support never stopped chanting the entire time. The best sign I saw was, “My outrage can’t fit on a sign.”

A line of Highway Patrolmen who definitely voted Trump kept a soft barrier between the warring factions.

I kept my cool until some chud in a suit with an AR-15 pin hopped on his Facebook Live laughing about how could these clowns claim to be pro-women’s rights while actually advocating for the murder of babies—as if guns don’t kill more American children every year than police and global military fatalities.

My online brain got the better of me.

“You’re the only baby I see, bro.”

He scoffed. “What kind of man are you?” he asked while encroaching my personal space. “You’re standing here, trying to protect the murder of babies. You’re pathetic.”

I could have asked the doctors standing 20 feet away to come explain to the beefy boy why he didn’t have a full grasp on what the word “baby” meant. I could have said something cruel.

Instead, I’ve found the best case with guys like that is to use my privilege as a fellow man and laugh in their face. He left the scene shortly thereafter.

I later noticed a woman holding a thimble-sized plastic fetus, and I assumed she brought it as evidence to showcase the dime-sized cluster of cells we were talking about at 20 weeks in a women’s pregnancy. No, she used it as a prop for her anti-abortion Ted Talk she yelled at pro-abortion protesters who couldn’t care less.

The worst part about standing next to a back gallery entrance was the steady stream of men in fancy suits, from reptile lobbyists down to the pimply-faced pages, take in the scene for a couple of seconds before smirking at what they knew was already ordained to be the doomed efforts of regular people who don’t need a paycheck to care about government.

The best was seeing Cleveland Rep. Janine Boyd come through the door to see 50-75 members of her calvary. She seemed to beam with pride, which she deserves considering her warrior defense throughout this sad, sad affair. I look forward to voting her into a statewide office in the future.

I’m glad I attended, despite the loss, because the Right-to-Life movement won’t stop with this monstrosity. Even if Roe vs. Wade gets overturned, Republicans will still depend on a militant minority of one-issue voters to win state elections.

GOP candidates will have to out-nut each other as they compete for large donations from theocrats who won’t rest until abortion is a capital offense in America.

It’s all hands on deck in Ohio, and while we all know the ultimate goal of 2020, we can’t sleep on the races for the Ohio Supreme Court. We have a chance to win a Democratic majority for the first time since 1987.

Start identifying non-voters in your life who you know have a stake in the future of the state and convince them to register.

Fair election districts and a Supreme Court majority are the best chances we have at breaking the Republican agenda in Ohio.

DEREK MERRIN: NEW NO. 1 IN OHIO HOUSE ASSHOLE POWER RANKINGS

You might think a woman would make the beast leadoff batter for a bill to strip women of bodily autonomy. The Ohio GOP instead chose someone whom the bill would actually effect on a personal level, a 33-year-old white man.

Derek Merrin, one of Larry Householder’s many young patsies in the Columbus Swamp, showed why he has a future in the Ohio GOP with a 15-minute buffet of smug strawman arguments, cherry-picked testimony, and other shameless bullshit.

He startedby reading the most graphic anecdotal evidence of three women who had an abortion, including the daughter of a rape victim, only to later regret their decision.

He proffered stats like “50% of women felt pressured or bullied into having an abortion.” Why cite your source with rock-solid framing like that?

He then launched into internet commenter mode and bulldozed an army of strawmen, which deserve to be preserved forever as what might be the most vapid monologue to ever be uttered in the Ohio House.

“Mr. Speaker, as we went through this debate, I have become deeply troubled by the opponents of the pro-life movement that continue that make snide comments that abortion will drive down healthcare costs. Their comments are that abortion will drive down healthcare costs. The questions are typically phrased such as this: ‘Will Medicare expenses increase because more babies are born with health problems?”

Notice the extensive use of passive voice and lack of direct citations. He’s simply regurgitating his own talking points as the words of his enemies.

Let me put that in plain English…

Lizard talk alert!!!!

“What they are saying is, 'We need to have abortion so we can weed out babies who are weak. We need to weed out those that are sick and those that are less desirable with disabilities. That’s exactly the comments that continue to be made that if we prohibit abortion or restrict abortion in this case that we’re going to have more babies that we deem less desirable.’ It’s despicable.”

Merrin doesn’t care about babies. If he did, he’d be focusing on Ohio’s dismal child poverty and infant mortality rates. He’d fight for guaranteed family leave.

He only cares about babies in so much as he can use them as imagery in his bad-faith arguments. That’s what’s despicable.

“‘They’re not good enough. They don’t need our subjective standard of quality. So they don’t deserve to be protected than we’re less than we are. They’re weaker. They’re more sick.’ This is beyond utterly offensive from the pro-abortion movement.

I can tell Merrin didn’t post on online forums as a kid. Because if he had brought junk like that to the playground, grown men who lived in their parents’ basement would have bullied him into turning off his computer. At this point, he has evolved into a tornado of shit-posting.

“I believe all humans are equal and deserve protection.”

No you don’t.

The abortion proponents industry want to put an economic value on people. If you cost to most society, than you may not deserve life. “This kind of rhetoric and moral belief system is appalling.”

More shamelessness from the party that works tirelessly to make life harder for poor people and other marginalized communities. It’d be embarrassing that this tripe passes for intellectualism if it weren’t enough to advance an extreme agenda to move Ohio backwards.

Props to every Democrat that held the line in this fight, and the four Republicans that voted against the bill. Props to the protesters that unfurled banners from the gallery.

Shame on the Ohio Channel for cutting video and audio as soon as it happened. Taxpayers deserve to see raw footage of government proceedings.

ANTI-IMMGRANT LEGISLATION HURTS OHIO HEALTH

[Source: niskanencenter.org]

President Border Wall, a career criminal who became president with the help of Rupert Murdoch and Russia, has used the time tested technique of racism to divide and conquer in business and politics.

He has convinced 40% of America it’s possible to build a barrier across the 2,220-mile United States Border. It’s an ethos that trickles down to Ohio politicians railing against sanctuary cities despite Ohio not having any sanctuary cities.

Anti-immigrant rhetoric hurts Ohio healthcare, especially in rural areas.

From Paige Pflegler of wosu.org:

[Cancer surgeon Deepa] Halaharvi is one of many immigrants in the state behind a somewhat surprising statistic: over 28 percent of surgeons and doctors in Ohio are foreign born.  

"The overall population that is foreign born in Ohio is just 5 percent, so you can see that immigrants are really over-represented in that occupation," says Dan Wallace of the New American Economy.

The non-profit research group examines the role immigrants – documented or not – have on the economy. Wallace analyzed U.S. Census data and found that immigrants also make up make up a good percentage of software developers, as well as nail salon and beauty workers.

In Ohio, 14 percent of STEM workers are immigrants, according to Census data. Wallace says that information isn’t surprising, co

The best and brightest of foreign nations moving to Ohio and making a positive impact on the healthcare system sounds like a win-win-win for the Buckeye State.

Instead the most powerful man in the country trafficks in train-horn racism and shit has always rolled downhill, in this case to Ohio GOP politicians.

Beggars can’t be choosers. Ohio is losing population. We should be making it easier for people to immigrate to Ohio. Not harder.

FIRSTENERGY ATTEMPTING TO ESCAPE BILL FOR TRASHING HOTEL ROOM

FirstEnergy, an energy conglomerate who spent $2 million on 2018 election lobbying and $102 million sponsorship deal with the Cleveland Browns during the worst stretch in franchise history, is attempting to declare bankruptcy like Michael Scott did in that Office episode we all love to know.

It’s actually more sinister than that.

From Andy Chow of wosu.org:

FirstEnergy Solutions, which runs coal and nuclear plants in Ohio, is working on a new bankruptcy proposal after a federal judge denied their initial filing.

FES is filing for bankruptcy, in a restructuring plan that would officially separate the company from its parent company FirstEnergy Corp., the energy distributor.

Dick Munson, senior director for the Environmental Defense Fund, says FirstEnergy Corp. wants off the hook for bad investments in power plants that come with environmental cleanup costs.

“The issue is, not to use that legal process as a means to shift the millions if not billions of dollars’ worth of expenses away from the company to consumers,” Munson says.

This means FirstEnergy pencil-pushers have crunched the numbers and decided waging a costly court battle will cost the company less than the damage they caused to the environment. FirstEnergy must be confident in winning. That should make every state resident wonder about how much they actually owe the public.

PARTY OF FISCAL CONSERVATISM STRIKES AGAIN

Frank LaRose took office promising he would cutback on his predecessor Dave Yost’s purge of Ohio voting rolls.

LaRose waited all of three months before purging 270,000 voters from the rolls. But LaRose is smart enough to know he’ll need some defensive ammo when his 2022 Democratic opponent inevitably attacks him for hypocrisy.

From Catherine Candinsky of dispatch.com:

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose’s mailing to thousands of voters recently purged from the rolls under a controversial state law prompted a scant 540 people to re-register to vote.

With printing and postage costs of $130,512, that’s about $242 per voter registration.

“Every vote matters, and that’s why our ‘Fresh Start Campaign’ left no stone unturned,” LaRose said in a statement.

“Moving forward, we’re working on finding ways to modernize our system so Ohioans can update their registration whenever they interact with state government. By doing so, we’ll be fulfilling our obligation to state and federal law to ensure election integrity, all while minimizing the impact to infrequent voters.”

Every vote matters, which is why Republicans do all they can to make sure as few people vote as possible.

OHIO COLLEGE REPUBLICANS INCITE VIOLENCE AGAINST A CONGRESSWOMAN, GET OWNED INTO POSTING WEAK APOLOGY

I admit, it probably is rough for College Republicans living in a world where their older counterparts have spent the last 30 years radicalizing young people against their unpopular agenda. It must be a hardknock life advocating tax cuts for the wealthy are the best route for America while most of your peers care about things like student loan debt, climate change, and healthcare.

Still, it’s a bad idea attempt to fundraise by labeling a famous Congresswoman with a term usually reserved for mass-shooters, anti-tech mail-bomb hermits, or the Ku Klux Klan.

From Max Londberg of cincinnati.com:

An email sent by the Ohio College Republican Federation called a prominent Democratic congresswoman a "domestic terrorist."

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York tweeted about the incident, calling the rhetoric dangerous and adding such incidents lead to spikes in death threats made against her.

"The OCRF does not condone the unauthorized email sent out in our name," the organization wrote. "We apologize to Congresswoman Ocascio-Cortez for the use of unacceptable language in this email, and we do not approve of the message conveyed."

Passive-voice apologies should be the antithesis of personal responsibility.

OK, FINE — YOU WANT SOME GOOD NEWS?

A mysterious outbreak of e. coli has occurred in five states, and yet only five Ohioans have been inflicted!

From wdtn.com:

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The CDC says more people are getting sick from a multi-state outbreak of E. coli from an unknown source. Five cases have been reported in Ohio.

Dr. Joseph Allen from Premier Physician Network joined 2 NEWS Wednesday to discuss the illness.

“E. coli is one of those bugs that we have in our gut anyway, all of us live with it, it’s very beneficial to us except for a few strains that cause some problems. This one is obviously causing some problems, we’ve been unable to tell exactly where it’s coming from,” says Dr. Allen.

Turns out living in a pile of filth is good the the immunity system whenever E. coli comes knocking.

THOSE WMDs. Blue Jackets notch iconic comeback win against the Lightning in Game 1… Columbus ranked #1 in the real estate market… Retiring as judge, Trump’s sister ends court inquiry into her role in tax dodges… There’s no substitute for print… Best Aston Villa goal in years… Broke Millennial’s guide to investing if you have student loans.