Showing 73 reactions

  • followed this page 2017-12-16 17:45:29 -0500
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  • commented 2017-09-07 13:05:48 -0400
    September 7, 2017

    The Honorable Joyce Beatty

    United States Representative

    133 Cannon HOB

    Washington, DC 20515

    Dear Representative Beatty:

    Ohio’s Public University Presidents stand united in opposition to the Trump Administration’s announcement regarding the termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

    Many Ohio students will face great difficulty because of the termination of the DACA program. Taking action to rescind this program, even with a reported six-month delay, will throw the lives of hundreds of young people and their families into turmoil.

    On behalf of our students, and all who are potentially affected, The Inter-University Council of Ohio urgently requests Congress to approve legislation incorporating a permanent solution to this issue, a solution that includes permitting these students to maintain their current status in this country and at our institutions. This position is consistent with U.S. Attorney General Session’s statement rescinding DACA, in which he said, “Congress should carefully and thoughtfully pursue the types of reforms that are right for the American people…..and advance an immigration policy that serves the national interest.”

    Consideration and passage of legislation at the national level is a better opportunity and more thoughtful way to fix the problem for public university students in Ohio facing uncertainty over their immigration status. It allows for a well-reasoned, comprehensive, and permanent result that provides hope and sends a clear and compelling message of support to our community.

    DACA students on our campuses enrich the learning environment and bring extraordinary talent to our state. They have provided leadership in numerous disciplines from education to science and technology, and are actively serving their local communities and economies. These students have been raised and educated in the United States and have proven to be an important asset to our society. They need our support.

    We look forward to working closely with you, members of the United States Senate, and other policy makers who will stand up for and favor a fair policy treating these students with the respect that they have earned.


    Inter-University Council Presidents

    (Signature Page in Mail)


    The Honorable Sherrod Brown, United State Senate

    The Honorable Rob Portman, United State Senate

    The Honorable Lindsey Graham, United States Senate

    The Honorable Lisa Murkowski, United State Senate

    The Honorable Richard Durbin, United State Senate

    The Honorable Dianne Feinstein, United State Senate

    The Honorable Charles Schumer, United States Senate

    The Honorable Jeff Flake, United States Senate
  • commented 2017-08-20 13:40:36 -0400
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  • commented 2017-07-27 15:27:18 -0400
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  • commented 2017-06-09 22:17:54 -0400
    To whom it may concern,

    I am writing this open letter with the intent of sending it to multiple recipients because

    I don’t specifically know who to send it to. The hope is that it will find its way to the correct person or a person who can get it to the correct person. First I believe I should give a brief introduction of myself so that the reader may know from whom the letter is authored.

    My name is Doug Medley; I am a late/mid-career professional engineer who is not really politically active. I am not a military vet, although I tried, but am very concerned about the direction of our county and specifically our political processes. Politically, I am registered as a Democrat, but I am more of a center pragmatist with a fiscal conservative spin and concerns for our social support system.

    But enough about me let me get to the meat of the letter. I am writing to this audience because I feel that there needs to be a more pragmatic concerted effort to combat the overwhelming assault of the forces from the far right that seems to be driving our national political debate at the present time. This political spin is being fueled by the forces of the far right. The movement has somehow found a home in the Republican Party and a huge megaphone from news outlets from organizations, such as Fox News. In order to prevent our country from being misled by the movement, I feel the Democrats need to start proactively combating the movement.

    After the 2016 election it appears to me that the Democratic Party seems to be out of touch with the base that it needs for its support. An effort needs to be mounted in order to win back these lost voters and this effort needs to be branded and marketed now, not just during the election cycle, and needs to be addressing the needs of the voters that the party has lost.

    During the Obama administration, the Republicans became strictly the party of obstructionism. There answer to everything was simply “no”. Mitch McConnell blatantly stated that his mission was to make the president fail. This lack of political discourse in the operations of our government has basically brought our political process to a grindingly slow pace, if not a complete stop. Where the Democrats can start to win back voters is to move from the fringes, stick to the facts and put proper political discourse back into a functioning system again.

    So the purpose of this letter is to discuss how the Democrats can start to re-capture Washington from the Republicans. As I watch the Democratic response to the new administration, I see the Democratic Party starting to follow the steps of the Republicans, and I feel this is just wrong. The Democrats need to be better or “do” better than that. The Democrats shouldn’t fall into the role of opposition, but rather should stay positive, keep the message moving forward, be presenting alternative solutions not just saying no, calling out lies, falsehoods and the lack of leadership on the other side of the isle.

    So what would this look like? As an example, let’s start with health care. Where is the Democratic alternative to the new house plan? Just saying that the new plan is worse than the existing system should not be seen as “good enough”. The Democrats should be acknowledging that there are some short comings with the existing health plan. So the Democrats should be offering solutions to either “fix” or “replace” the existing system. Don’t just spend your efforts combating the new legislation give a “better” alternative. Give it a name, market this solution, and advertise the changes outside the beltway. The Republicans have marketed “Repeal and Replace”, come up with something catchy like “Rework and Renegotiate”. People respond to these types of campaigns and the Republicans certainly have won a majority of people on the “Repeal and Replace” narrative, and the Democrats are not fighting these efforts well.

    Another opportunity for consideration is the budget. For years the Republicans have focused on the budget deficit, now even they have seem to have lost the optics on this. This opens an opportunity for the Democrats to sweep in and own this issue. Why are the Democrats not marketing the horrible portions of the president’s new budget? Where is the Democratic answer to the budget? Own this issue by proposing a balanced budget amendment or at least a balanced budget proposal. Double down by focusing on the DEBT. The debt seems to be lost on both sides of the isle; here is an opportunity to improve public favor by adding this to the discussion. Most Americans I know think this is a huge issue, and no one wants to even talk about the debt and/or servicing the debt. Some thought needs to be put into a method that rank and file voters can support to reduce the debt. Maybe by adding a taxpayer financial contribution for principle payment, or something that could be discussed. I know it is complicated, but show some leadership is needed on this issue, an open door to the Democrats.

    Other opportunities, social security, the Democrats should start looking at alternative funding models. Improving this program would win millions of Americans hearts. How about first $25K has no SS taxes, a tax break for all helping the poor the most, then increasing the top end at $225K. So SS taxes would be paid on income between $25K – 225K to add to solvency of the system.

    Creation of a 401K insurance program, similar to FICA insurance for savings. What American won’t welcome this? Everyone I know is afraid of market forces, which they don’t control, potentially having a huge influence on their ability to retire. Introduce some sort of program to help resolve some of these fears.

    Tax reform, the Democrats seem to just letting the Republicans own this issue. Once again, where is the alternative plan? Don’t just say “No” to Republican plan, but give the better plan. Make it be whatever can work, but make it truthful with exacting results. Perhaps enlist academia to help draft the plan, try to keep it a-political. Get on top of this.

    During the election, Bernie Sanders wanted free college for all. I don’t know that I personally agree with this, but I do think that idea could be used to gain voter favor. Maybe this should be re-worked such that it would indicate that the government would work with industry to determine needs and support scholarships to support industries. So if industries need scientists, engineers, mathematicians, teachers, nurses, etc. that where the “free” education should be targeted. Match education and money toward “needs” what produce jobs.

    I could go on and on with specific proposals for other issues, including the Paris climate accord, but I need to move on. The Democrats need to start using the media to combat the right wing assault. How about starting with a TV campaign with targeted commercials presenting the facts, then contact their congress person with their feelings. Or campaign style commercials showing the current administrations’ broken campaign promises. What did Trump say verses what he has done. I believe that the issue is getting bad enough that the gloves need to come off.

    I believe that in order to win back our country and the congress, the Democrats are going to have to win popular support. The Democrats need to start using the media to let the people win back their country. Fighting these battles only in Washington is not going to win the war. The Democrats need to start winning battles in the public eye so that they can win the war in Washington. Other issues that could be added to the list may include:

    Immigration, abortion, gun control, fake news, climate change, “war on coal”, energy production, technology innovation, transportation infrastructure, this list goes on and on…….

    I hope you can see where I am taking this; the Democrats need to go on the offensive and start winning these battles in order to win the war. The Democrats also may need to make some concessions on these issues. Political discourse needs to be re-established. Trading one issue of another is not the worst thing that can happen, but leadership is needed to start this dialogue again. The Democrats need to waste no time getting this message out there, especially as these issues “popup”. The congressional cycle is every two years, I would say that the cycle never ends. Create some PACs or other 501C corporations to start funding the T.V. campaign, but don’t let up.

    I think I need to wrap this up now. I am hoping to at least start this discussion within the Democratic Party. I know I am not anyone who can start this, but hopefully by planting this seed in your mind, you can start the discussion. I am certainly open to speaking with you further on these issues if you would like. I can make time in my schedule if you need. I am really just a concerned citizen who wants to “Keep Our Country Great”!

    Thank you so much for taking the time to read my letter and I look forward from hearing back from you and/or discussing this with you if you would like.


    Doug Medley, PE, CEM

  • commented 2017-05-11 23:06:31 -0400
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  • commented 2017-05-09 09:33:03 -0400
    Some parts of the country have flooding and other parts have drought and wildfires. It seems to me that some sort of water system needs to be built to get the water from the former places to the latter places. I am no Civil Engineer or Environmental Engineer, but I think that should be a doable – albeit a complex – solution. How do we make that happen? The water is there to be reused, it just needs to be moved.
  • commented 2017-03-24 19:46:31 -0400
  • commented 2017-03-07 14:27:06 -0500
    Dear Representative Beatty,

    I would like to provide a suggestion on the path for success for the Democrat Party and candidates nationally, and especially in Ohio and other “middle of the country” states, on the specific issue of a new Health Care Law that is at the top of the Republican agenda in the coming days and weeks.

    In the last election, Democrat messaging focused on ridiculing the suitability of Republican candidates and policies according to standards that appeal mostly to Democrat loyalists, but not to those many middle class Americans who are either Independent or financially conservative. Many of these Americans are faced with significant rises in health care costs and concurrent reductions in the affordability of accessing the coverage. And Americans in the middle of the country states, especially those who are still suffering economically since the recession of 2008 and earlier, are feeling this most urgently.

    There appears to be no doubt that Republicans have temporarily won the messaging on this issue, and have convinced much of the middle class that the current ACA is “broken and crumbling” under the burden of health care mandates. The Democrat Party and candidates can reverse that thinking most effectively by taking the initiative on this issue and proposing a better idea … the specifics of a Repair to the ACA.

    The tendency in the next days and weeks will be to focus Democrat Leadership comments only on discussing the problems with the Republican proposals in the Health Care Law. That is the approach that was employed in the Presidential Election to disastrous results. The Democrats now need to put the effort on proposing a better alternative to “Repeal and Replace”, not debate the problems. This is precisely what the Republicans have done during the years since the ACA was passed. This approach did not serve the public interest then and would not serve the public interest now. The DNC has the choice of either following the Republican path to appeal to partisan interests, or to lead by providing an alternative solution and serve the public interest.

    A key part of this approach would be to admit and confirm understanding of the problems that exist with the current ACA law that were not anticipated, and to propose the changes to the current ACA law that would effectively address these problems. Providing a real Repair alternative to the Repeal and Replace movement of the Republican Administration would be a much stronger basis for taking the case to the American people, and show that the Democrats are looking to the interests of the American people.

    I do have some suggestions as to the nature of the key changes that should be proposed, that would provide a solution to repair the key problems that have surfaced with the ACA without the need for major repeal and replacement. These are as follows:

    1. Eliminate the limited number of proscribed benefit policies, which while with good intentions were designed to ensure that all policies provided basic care, had the unintended outcome of reducing choice of Americans for a policy that would meet their personal needs. Replace this section with a menu-based process for “building” a personalized health care policy, explaining the benefits of different options and suggesting what coverages should be chosen by people in different risk or demographic profiles, but leaving the choice to the individual.

    Each policy should start with a base policy to only cover emergency care and transportation in the event of a severe accident, injury or illness, the very kind of services that would be provided for free at taxpayer’s expense for uninsured patients. Every American should have this coverage, with support in the areas of tax credits or subsidies depending on income. This would ensure that no one would come to an emergency room for emergency care without a base level of insurance. And a policy for all Americans covering only this service should be very low in cost.

    This approach should appeal to Republicans on the principal that people should take responsibility for their own health care insurance and that no one should expect the government to pay for their emergency care if they can afford it. Neither do we want as a society to check for insurance at accident sites or in emergencies before care is provided.

    2. Eliminate the requirement for businesses to provide health care for employees. In fact, change the law to eliminate ALL employee provided health care and require that ALL Americans obtain their own health care insurance plan from a national pool. They should own the health care plan, not the employer. This would eliminate a lot of the pre-existing condition needs that arise when an employee leaves a company health plan and needs to purchase private insurance. Everyone should own their own health care plan and have the opportunity to choose the coverages they need from a menu-based plan process.

    This should appeal to Americans as fair, especially to small business owners and employees. The current system allows large companies to negotiate health care services with insurance companies on the basis of their employee pool, not a national or regional pool. So as a small business owner, I and my employees will pay higher health care costs than our neighbors who work for Fortune 500 companies, and this puts small businesses at a disadvantage in attracting talent.

    This is important because small businesses are the major job creators in this country and should not be at a disadvantage to larger companies. Let’s take health care benefits out of the employer’s package. Any company could provide a direct payment to the employee’s health care insurance they choose to help offset costs as a way of attracting and retaining employees, without the cost within the company of monitoring and negotiating health care coverages, reducing their current costs. This represents a true “win-win” for companies large and small, and may reduce the costs for private insurance plans due to the expanded pools.

    3. Eliminate the state-by-state control over health insurance providers and enable every insurance company to cover citizens in every state. This is being considered as part of a future Republican health care initiative, and should be part of an immediate repair to the ACA that Democrats should lead. It should be a key element of reducing the costs and ensuring broad choices to Americans in every state and situation. Allow the states to continue their own oversight and to institute their own ratings systems for company performance, costs, patient satisfaction, and to levy fines for actions that violate the terms of their policies or for any actions that mislead or defraud consumers.

    With these changes to the ACA, I believe the major problems would be repaired or completely eliminated, and would change the debate from a partisan argument over whether to pass the Republican’s proposed Health Care plan or to retain an ACA plan that has not fully met its goals, is not working for a majority of Americans, and is deteriorating further as time goes on. Surely that cannot be ignored by the Democrat Party that initiated it on their own.

    Thank you for considering these ideas.