Welcome to Buster's Blog

Irregular commentary on whatever's on my mind -- politics, sports, current events, and life in general. After twenty years of writing business and community newsletters, fifteen years of fantasy baseball newsletters, and two years of email "columns", this is, I suppose, the inevitable result: the awful conceit that someone might actually care to read what I have to say. Posts may be added often, rarely, or never again. As always, my mood and motivation are unpredictable.

Buster Gammons

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Campaign Ad Part Two, The Next Day, The Sequel -- My Latest, Least Amount Of Fame

Good 15-second quickie companion piece!  I absolutely own the first two seconds.

Rich Cordray Reads Mean Tweets

Haven't seen any of these in my local market.  Kinda cute!

Vote Cordray!

The Great Debate

Actually, for two guys not known as stem-winding public speakers, it was, if not great, at least pretty good.

I refer to last night's first debate between Rich Cordray (D) and Mike DeWine (R) in the Ohio Gover-nerd's race.  There were no huge surprises or mistakes, but it was fairly lively.  Overall, DeWine seemed old and somewhat unprepared.  Cordray was on his game.  I thought he had the better night.

Their positions on the evening's topics offered a clear contrast.  No room for indecisive "independents" in this contest.  Pick a side.

Recap a la Buster:

ECOT -- Now out of business, the Electronic Classroom Of Tomorrow was the for-profit online charter school beloved by Ohio Republicans until its multi-million dollar fraud finally hit home.  DeWine and running mate Jon Husted received $40,000 in donations from ECOT officials.  Cordray would abolish all for-profit charter schools.

Abortion/Women's reproductive rights -- Cordray would veto any "heartbeat bill" passed by the legislature.  (Heartbeat bills are clearly unconstitutional and would effectively ban all abortions.)  DeWine says he'd sign it immediately.

Legalizing marijuana --  Cordray is in favor, DeWine is opposed.  DeWine even blurted out a bizarre assertion about Colorado toddlers OD'ing on gummie bears!  LOL!

Ohio Issue 1 -- Would eliminate jail time for most non-violent drug possession offenses, reducing former Felony 4 and 5 counts to misdemeanors, and mandating any resultant savings be directed to drug treatment.  Cordray says Yes on Issue 1, noting that our prisons are extremely overcrowded, and incarceration is costly and ineffective.  He wants more emphasis on treatment and rehab, not punishment.  DeWine says No on Issue 1, saying that druggies will never agree to treatment unless threatened with prison.  He says big-time drug dealers will flock to Ohio, and says Issue 1 shows that Cordray clearly intends to kill 10,000 Ohioans with misdemeanor quantities of fentanyl.  (Who'da thunk?  Killer Cordray.  And Rich seems like such a nice boy.)

Obamacare/ACA -- Cordray has always been a supporter, DeWine always an opponent.  On his first day as Ohio's Attorney General, DeWine brought a federal suit to overturn portions of the ACA.

Ohio's Medicaid expansion via the ACA -- Cordray has always been for it.  DeWine was originally against it.  Now he says he's for it, "but only if those deadbeats get a friggin' job!"

Health insurance with non-discriminatory coverage of pre-existing conditions per the ACA -- Cordray is a yes.  DeWine has never actively defended the right to pre-existing coverage, but claims he's "always" been for such coverage.  That's hard to believe, since he's always been in favor of repealing the ACA, and DeWine has never said just how he'd go about covering pre-existing conditions.

Gun control/School safety -- DeWine thinks the problem is crazy people, not guns.  He'd place a mental health "person" in every school, along with an armed cop/other "resource" officer.  DeWine is for red-flag laws to temporarily remove guns from dangerous people "as long as it's constitutional" (meaning he knows the NRA will allege it's a 2nd Amendment violation, so we can just forget about it!)  Cordray favors thorough background checks on all gun sales, no sales under age 21, no bump stocks and no high-capacity ammo clips.  He said DeWine has never done a thing to address gun proliferation.

Opioid epidemic -- DeWine would appoint an Ohio Opioid Czar.  Oh, great idea, Mikey!  That always works.  Cordray says he'll take criminal action against big traffickers, and enforcement actions against big drug manufacturers and big drug distributors.  He wants more treatment and rehab for users.  He said, "News flash:  We already have an opioid czar [meaningDeWine].  When you see him, tell him he's doing a horrible job."

Age -- DeWine 71, Cordray 59.

Height -- DeWine: "C'mon, that's not fair!"  Cordray: "Suck it, Shorty!"


Monday, September 17, 2018

Failing Science

My TV Ad Rolls On

My 30 seconds of fame is lingering.  The Cordray for Governor campaign ad is still in fairly heavy rotation, running on everything from college football games to The Weather Channel to MSNBC.  It received an "Ad Watch" write-up in the local paper.  Their analysis did not include any Pinocchios.

Friends, family and acquaintances across the state have noticed the spot.  Reaction has been quite positive, although some conservatives limit their comments to "You look good" (which is still code for "You're not dead yet!").

One neighbor, a retired dentist, rang my doorbell yesterday to tell me that he'd just seen the ad and, although he generally despises all political advertising, he thought this one was "the best he'd ever seen."  He told me he normally votes Republican, but in this case I had swayed him and he'd be voting for the Democrat Richard Cordray. 

How about that?  One vote at a time.  I'll take credit for that one, and let's hope there are others.

Also, I note with some pleasure that Columbus gajillionaire businessman Les Wexner (The Limited, Victoria's Secret, Abercrombie & Fitch, Lane Bryant, Bath & Body Works, etc.) recently renounced the Republican Party, saying "I won't support this nonsense anymore."  He declared himself to be an independent.

I approve of Wexner's decision, but alas, I can't take credit for it. 

Another Letter From Me To Robby Portman

Kavanaugh Must Withdraw.

tRump's SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh is untenable.  His ethical shortcomings -- repeated lies to Congress, personal problems with gambling and debt, alleged sexual assault -- require his immediate withdrawal from consideration.  In light of his serious flaws, to ram through his confirmation this Thursday would be a travesty and a grave error for our nation.  Such a weighty lifetime position calls for a better nominee.  Integrity and common decency demand one. 

Please oppose Kavanaugh's confirmation and ask your colleagues Sen. McConnell and Sen. Grassley to do the same.

You and your disgraced party could easily nominate another right-wing ideologue to the Court -- just pick another dog without so many fleas.  Then you could confirm him or her in the lame duck after you've (I hope) lost both houses of Congress in the midterms.

I'd still hate your nominee, but at least your process would smell better.

cc:  Sen Mitch McConnell
       Sen. Chuck Grassley

Patriotism Comes In Many Forms

As a class, NFL team owners are notorious righties.  Seven of them donated $1 million or more to the Trumpolini campaign.  Two others gave six-figure contributions.  They got what they wanted with this season's silly new Trump-friendly policy of no kneeling or protesting during the anthem.

With that in mind, here's Bob Costas on sports, patriotism and the flag.  The video is from a year ago, but it remains the truth.

And don't forget the NFL's many staged displays of paid "patriotism."  The Department of Defense has spent over $10 million in taxpayer money on pro sports marketing and advertising, including flyovers, gigantic flags and other militaristic theatrics in stadiums and arenas.

Wonder how much the NFL made on this bit of extravagance.