Sunday, July 31, 2011

Enquirer Agrees Police Layoffs Must Happen

I am not sure if it should be surprising or not, but the Enquirer Editorial Board advocates laying off 44 police officers. It may be more accurate to say that they agree there is no other way to deal with the state cuts pushed through by their pal, Governor John Kasich. When you wish to keep the rich from feeling the economic hardships, you end up with cuts like this. The question still unanswered is how the Conservatives on council will react to this. They've been awfully quiet.  This news broke on Friday night and I've not heard a peep from any council member on this nearly two days later.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Improv Dance Party: Only in OTR

I saw the traffic jam and people were talking about this happening  last night while I was at Japps drinking my summer drink of choice, Stiegl-Radler, but in-case you missed it, a flash mob dance party broke out on Main Street. No where in this city can you find the spirit and the courage to push limits, while maintaining a sense of sanity, other than Main Street in Over-the-Rhine. I'm a little old for this type of thing, but I love watching others have fun, break a few 'minor' rules, but cause no harm, other than making an existing traffic jam a little bit worse.

I really hope this spirit stays alive, especially on Final Fridays. We need some action and do-it-yourself culture that everyone can participate in is the way to build a community. A big consideration to go along with that action is to show respect to your neighbors. Based on all of the accounts I have heard, this type of impromptu event did that. I am sure someone will complain, but part of pushing limits is pissing of the assholes who will complain no matter what you do.

Kudos to those who started this and those who joined in.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Kasich Cuts Forcing Cincinnati Police Layoffs

So, what happens when a brash Republican comes into office as Governor and is dead set on cutting the budget for everything, without caring a lick about the consequences? Well, $5 Million in cuts this year have prompted the Cincinnati City Manager to recommend laying off 44 police officers as well as consolidating Office of Environmental Quality, which means laying off the department's director.

This is a Friday evening and we are in the middle of a Federal Crisis, so it may take the Republicans on City Council a little while to come out screaming, but lets make it clear what has happened and will likely follow.

1. Cincinnati is getting less funding from the state.
2. The city manager is recommending what cuts must follow from that loss of funding.
3. The Republicans on council will oppose this plan.

If anyone on council, namely Leslie Ghiz, refuses to support this recommendation, then they (she) must get off her butt and come up with a DETAILED plan on how to make the cuts add up, all the way to the $5 million.

You've read it here first, so when Ghiz and company come out and oppose this, which based on their prior statements they will, then everyone needs to ask those who oppose this how to make up the money. Demand details. That goes for Winburn, Murray, and Lippert as well. If they oppose it, but don't put a plan in place, then they are refusing to govern.

Contact Your Congressman! Tell Him/Her to Raise the Debt Ceiling NOW!

Everyone who lives in Ohio District 1 should immediately contact our Congressman Congressman Steve Chabot and tell him to vote to raise the debt ceiling. Make sure to tell him that he needs to vote on a bill that will pass the Sentate and be signed by the President. No more politics on this, get it done.

As always, be respectful and polite.  He's never going to be someone I would support in an election, but it is his job to represent our district.  This situation is so incredibly frustrating to watch, because the issue should have been a simple up or down vote months ago, but right now we must try and keep our cool and voice our views, while keeping it in a manner that will be heard and not ignored for sounding crazy.

If you are in other districts here a couple other local congress members others to contact: Jean Schmidt and Geoff Davis.  If you live in other congressional districts, a simple Google search for your member of congress should turn up their contact page quickly.

Please do this now and contact them each day as long as this continues without a resolution.

Is the Voter ID Bill Dead?

The Columbus Dispatch has an article that concludes that the bill going through the Ohio State legislature is dead, at least for the time being. This is good news for Democracy. Let's hope a modified bill can be prevented from coming back up for vote again.

Voter suppression is anti-democratic. It is tactic used by, and I am going to utter the word, Fascists. To call this effort anything other than voter suppression is ignorance or plain old lying. It could be both, but I'm going to give people the benefit of the doubt that if they are lying to me, then they know why they are lying to me.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

I Have Stopped Watching News, For the Time Being

I am sick of hearing about the insanity happening in Washington over the debt ceiling right now and really can't stand listening to the ignorance of anyone who thinks either 1) default is good or 2) Extortion is a fair or moral thing to do.  We simply need a clean bill to raise the debt limit and then move on.  If people want to debate the size of government, fine, we have a big election coming up next year.  That might be a good time to bring up some issues, if you happen to be running for office.

I can barely stomach reading the headlines. I am pulling my hair out over what is a simple concept: paying our bills.  This is a serious mess and we have people who have lost their sanity allowed to hold public office.  Yes, I'm looking at the Republican Cabal in the House when I say that, and if you honestly think what they are doing currently is right, then Zeus help us all.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Anthony Munoz and Jim Breech Support Anti-Gay Group

It isn't new news, but something people should know: at least two former Bengals Anthony Munoz and Jim Breech are supporters of CCV. CCV is the anti-gay group that helped lead the effort to ban gay marriage in Ohio, among other hardcore social conservative political efforts. Munoz and Breech have been supporting CCV since at least 1992.  Former Bengals head coach Sam Wyche also reportedly was as supporter at least in 1992.

I wonder how much gay bigotry still exists in the NFL.  I would be guessing a lot.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Enquirer Promotes Tea Party Rally, Ignores Protests

The Cincinnati Enquirer has run an article about a rally that will occur. This rally is a 'Tea Part' event to support the insane efforts by the Republicans to hold a gun tot he head of Country in hopes of getting the demands they want. (Yes, like terrorists.) So, why does the Enqurier provide free promotion for a political rally for a hard right wing group, pushing an insane idea that if it happens will actually destroy the county in a matter of a few days, but when protests against Boehner happen, you don't get any promotion attention. Anti-Boehner groups are lucky to get after the fact coverage, mainly if they break the law while doing it.  Press-release journalism strikes again, this time with a political bias.

The Enqurier wasn't alone pushing this press-release event, the Dayton Daily News were suckers as well.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Diana Frey Accused of Embezzling Over $750K From CODE

The President of the CODE Union, Diana Frey, was indicted on Federal charges that including diverting over $750,000 of Union funds into her personal accounts. The details of the indictment indicate that no one was paying much attention or were just letting Frey do what she wanted unchallenged. That is a bad idea for any organization.

It makes me wonder about the procedure used to issue endorsements for city political offices back in 2009. In case you don't recall, those endorsements were:
CODE is also endorsing Brad Wenstrup for mayor. The incumbents being endorsed by CODE are Chris Bortz, Leslie Ghiz, Jeff Berding, and Chris Monzel. CODE is also endorsing newcomers Amy Murray, Tony Fischer, Anitra Brockman and George Zamary.
The source of the endorsements are from WLWT. This union falls in line with the FOP in supporting mostly Conservative/Republican candidates.  That's another odd stance that will be interesting to see how much the people at the top of the Union controlled those endorsements.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

City Union Leader Under Investigation and 'Missing'

The Cincinnati Enquirer is reporting that Diana Frey, president of the Cincinnati Organized and Dedicated Employees (CODE) union is under investigation and has gone missing.

Arnold's To Be Featured on NBC TV Show In The Fall

A Cincinnati institution, Arnold's Bar and Grill, will be featured in NBC TV show Harry's Law starting in the new season this fall. There is no other way to say it: This is really cool. The bar and restaurant will have it's exterior used in the show and the interior is being "re-created" in Hollywood for regular use during the series. The owners of Arnold's have sent t-shirts, menus, and other decor items to add authenticity to the set. I am so very pleased for them. Arnold's is one of my favorite places in Cincinnati and is a wonderful image of our city to be seen nationally.  I hope Hollywood gets the place right, it is a unique Cincinnati treasure.

Other locations around the city will be used to give the TV show a sense of the real Cincinnati.  Last season depiction was not a very good likeness of our town.

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Little Cincinnati Brass to Help You Shake Your Ass on a Monday

Ken Blackwell Has a Bridge He Wants to Sell You

I don't know if Ken or someone at the Enquirer used the word "bold" in former Mayor and Council member Ken Blackwell's guest column: A bold idea: Consolidate Greater Cincinnati across state, county lines, but there is nothing bold about it. It is not a bold idea to say you are going to drive a 1999 Honda Civic to Mars. An idea isn't bold when it is not even possible in the world of science fiction.

Ken Blackwell wants to create some new 'form' of government that currently does not exist. It would take two State governments to change their laws to make it even conceptually possible. What Ken didn't put in his column is how he would solve the problem of taxes and residency. Are the people living in Kentucky now becoming part of Ohio? If not, how the hell would that work? Who would collect the taxes? How do elections work? What laws govern who? How can a single government function when different state laws affect different parts of its citizens?  The questions could go on and on.

Ken is really trying to sell you a bridge you don't need. His plan clearly appears to be a scheme to create large businesses that could serve all of the communities. This sounds like a large scale privatization plan, where all services of the governments would be outsourced to private companies. Why does this sound like that, since he doesn't actually say that? Simple, that is the only way it could conceptually work. Create some shell of a "government" that oversees the bidding process and that's all you need to fufill what Ken wants.  That hollow government wouldn't solve any problems, it would create more and put money in the pockets of the big businesses that happen to win contracts.

So, it's smoke and mirrors and Republcian dogma. Ken does not want a strong metro government that would have the teeth needed to actually govern, he wants an empty shell that big-business can exploit.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

State Rep. Robert Mecklenborg To Resign August 2nd

Republican State Representative Robert Mecklenborg to resign August 2nd after being arrested for DUI with a much younger woman, who was not his wife, in the car. I am confused why he is waiting a couple of weeks to resign. I would guess it would be for financial or benefit reasons.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

John Boehner Has a Choice: Be a Leader Or Let America Crash Into Ruin

Republican Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, John Boehner has a clear choice. He can be a leader and make a deal with the President or he can follow the insane politics of the backbenchers in his party. These puritanical naive Republican newbies who have created an economic theology worthy of a jihadist supply sider's worst peyote vision quest are knowingly trying to drive the Country off the cliff in hopes of waking us up into their mythical world. This is the world that pretends that the economic system of the pre-industrial south can work without the enslavement of the worker. Feudalism doesn't work without a population of mostly serfs. I don't know why there are so many Repbulcians who don't grasp that reality. They further don't grasp that with Capitalism there will always be poor people. Capitalism is not a positive sum game, where everyone wins. There are winners and there are losers. You could argue that everyone 'could' win, but based on the game, not everyone can.  Therefore as long as we have Capitalism, we will have poor people, the losers of the game. We as a society have to take care of everyone, not just the winners.  The game Republicans are playing is to take care of the winners in hopes of insuring their own status as a winner, while ignoring the majority of America who don't have the means to survive more losses.

Another thing that Cincinnati born John Boehner should do: laugh off Mitch McConnell's punting on 1st down idea.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Lest We Forget: Mike Allen's Past Scandal

It is very possible some people reading about Mike Allen considering running for Cincinnati City Council do not know how big of a scandal it was when he did not run again as Hamilton County Prosecutor. The Enquirer's Howard Wilkinson does do a pretty good job of recapping the torrid past, but nothing can really instill the level of disgust that everyone felt when the Republican Allen was sued for Sexual Harrassment after a multiple year extra-martial affair took place with one of his assistant prosecuting attorneys. The one issue I would point out to readers: he didn't resign from office, instead he did not seek re-election, but served our his term. That is something Wilkinson got wrong in the article.

Here is a little history from my blog and others so people can get a little sense of history and why Allen has no business running for public office:
Allen - Collins Settlement
From Nate Livingston
Enquirer 2004 Top 10 Local News Stories: Mike Allen Scandal was #1 beating out Bush's Win
Mike Allen, Esq.
Both Allen and Collins Want Tax Money
So Much For a Settlement
Local GOP Is Chicken
Collins-Allen Imbroglio
Mum's the Word From Bronson
Lisa Allen: Victim and Pawn?
Mike Allen's Political Career Is Over (Yes, I hope the title doesn't end up being ironic.)

From a pure political sense, this would be harsh news for Republicans. Allen would take votes from all of the GOP candidates and drive votes away from the GOP in general, even though he's not going to get a Republican endorsement. The local GOP made it clear with the quotes in the Wilkinson article that Mike Allen would not be getting an endorsement, both for being too late and for his past problems. Hopefully, the lack of GOP support will keep Allen from running. While I think that Allen running might help some Dems, it will suck the attention from the political landscape into a scandal ridden race that we don't need. That might drive up hits for my blog, but it will not drive up voter turnout.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

NPR's On The Media Revisits Chiquita-Enquirer Scandal

NPR's program On the Media devoted a very in-depth segment of the radio program yesterday on the Cincinnati Enquirer-Chiquita voice-mail hacking scandal form the late 1990's.  This was another follow-up piece from the fallout from the News of the Wolrd phone hacking problem in England, which resulted in the most read weekly newspaper in Britain ceasing operations for good.  Yes, a profitable newspaper was shut down in England.

Well, back to the Enquirer historical comparison.The most interesting part of the whole scandal and why it was so sad where two facts:

  • The Enquirer denounced and apologized the original story published. 
  • The story was damning against Chiquita. The story was a solid story, but due to the need to settle the case, the Enquirer had to run away from the series of articles, getting Chiquita off the hook, actually spinning the company as the victim of the situation.

It goes to show how much the public doesn't bother to pay attention to the facts, just the spin. Marketing works to well. It is a sad reality of humanity. We are suckers for spin.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Why Can't an Opening Day Holiday Just Be a Council Ordinance?

Three is a big effort happening this weekend to make Red's Opening Day into an offical city holiday. My question is why would this take a ballot issue to happen? Is there something in the city charter limiting the number or reasons for a city wide holiday?

If not, I would guess there would be enough votes on Council to pass an ordinance making this official. The only hindrance to full council support might be the existence of ramifications of holidays to union contracts or city requirements, which is where a charter amendment might be necessary to limit the scope of the holiday, making it revenue neutral.

UPDATE: After reading the proposed ballot language, it sounds like it wouldn't take much for City Council to do, it has no teeth and is just "ceremonial." I don't see the need to put this on the ballot.

Countdown for 2012 Wold Choir Games Begins July 11th

The countdown clock will officially start for the 2012 World Choir Games at a Fountain Square event on Monday, July 11th. Cincinnati area native Drew Lachey will MC the 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM event.  Entertainment includes gospel recording artist Byron Cage, The Eleventh Hour Choir from Kettering, finalists in the NBC show “The Sing Off,” and singer and songwriter Kelly King.

There will be an actual clock, housed at Fountain Square that will provide a countdown to the event. I don't think everyone in Cincinnati understands how big of an event this is going to be. Organizers expect 20,000 participants and 200,000 spectators to attend over eleven days (July 4-14, 2012). Most of the spectators will be from out of town, including over 70 countries. That will mean a big boom to business. Hotel rooms will be hard to find. Restaurants will be busy. People from around the world will be enjoying our city.  We will have a chance to show off what an amazing place Cincinnati, OH is and has been for a long time.

The people of Cincinnati need to support this event.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Summer Assignments for Murray and Winburn

To no one's surprise, council members Amy Murray and Charlie Winburn are complaining about council's summer recess schedule, while facing a $33 million budget deficit. If Murray and Winburn think council should use that time to work on a detailed plan of revenue increase or service cuts needed to balance the budget, then they are free to do so on their own. No one is going to stop them from getting a copy of the budget drafted by the City Manager and then running the numbers so the $33 Million can be reduced to zero. They will be paid the same, no matter if council is in session or not.

So, whether council stays in session, or not, Murray and Winburn I believe have volunteered themselves to produce a written document that provides a full solution on how to balance the budget. Nothing would then stop them from publishing the details that get them to a zero deficit?

Nothing would stop them.

They have plenty of time to get it done. They both most remember that getting the deficit to zero means that the cuts or revenues they list out are real, not relying on delinquencies to pay up money owed.

I'll be waiting for a document....

That should take maybe a couple of days, and that is being generous. The rest of the time they could spend doing the audits they want to pay someone else to do. Instead of paying $150,000 to the State, Winburn and Murray could each do one and they could get another one of the Conservatives will to spend $150,000 on three audits. That $150,000 is money that could instead go to pay the salaries of at least two entry level police officers (plus benefits).

So, two more police officers, or the Conservatives do some work this summer, what will it be?

If I were Murray or Winburn, I wouldn't ask Council member Leslie Ghiz for help. Doing the work of the City, isn't her job, so other than pontificating and grandstanding, I don't expect her to do much this summer for Council.

Adweek Remembers Enquirer-Chiquita V-Mail Scandal

In light of the News Corp scandal brewing in Britian where reporters allegedy hacked into crime victim's voice-mail accounts, an Adweek reporter took a quick look back to the 'similar' Cincinnati Enquirer Scandal back in 1998 when an Enquirer Reporter allegedly hacked into a Chiquita employee's voice-mail for story.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Old Time Radio Totally Gone From 91.7 WVXU

A review of 91.7 WVXU schedule shows that both the nightly and weekly shows of old time radio programs have been replaced. This is a disappointing occurrence. I understand how some people don't like history, but these radio programs are a window to what it was like to live in the 1940's and 1950's, before television. The value to knowing the past, first hand, is the core of understanding history.

I hope WVXU will have some special events, where it plays some old radio, especially the re-aring of some of the big news events, like the end of WWII or D-Day.

The shows they have added as replacements sound good, especially the LA Theatre Works, which has modern day radio theatre. If you are going to replace old time radio drama with something, this sounds like the a positive way to do it. It keeps the art form alive.

Shorter Verion of Green Twp. Anti-Public Housing Column

Not In My Back Yard

Or NIMBY if you want it even shorter.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Bunbury Music Festival Kickoff Event July 9th at Sawyer Point

The Bunbury Music Festival is having a special preview event this year on July 9th at Sawyer Point. Music starts at 7PM and runs to 11PM.  The stellar line-up:

The Seedy Seeds
Lions Rampant
The Minor Leagues

Tickets for year one of the festival (July 13-15, 2012) will go on sale on July 9, 2011.  Also, the first 1,000 attendees to the kickoff event can pick up a special discount code that will give them 50% off a one-day OR three-day pass to the 2012 festival.  Get out and support Cincinnati's music scene.

Rhinestone Cowboy Charlie Winburn

In yesterday's Northside Fourth of July Parade, City Councilman Charlie Winburn was on a horse.  Yes, it was a spectacle like few I've ever seen in Cincinnati Politics.  Here's a glimpse:

Winburn was lead by a marching band full of kids from some school not prominently indicated.  It didn't appear to be a public school, but I hope it wasn't a charter school, since all of the kids were wearing Winburn T-Shirts. I'm sure the Republicans who care so much about how schools influence kids will be sure to find out if all of the kid's parents gave written permission for their children be props for Winburn's political campaign.  I think Tom Brinkman should get right on that.

I guess for everyone who likes political circuses, this is your Christmas.

Sunday, July 03, 2011 to Return

Cincinnati music fans and bands, take note! will be returning to the Internet soon. You can sign up for their email list to get the notice of when they relaunch.  I don't see any type of estimate of when they will be, so you'll just have to stay tuned.

Otherwise check out their Facebook page or Twitter account for limited cincymusic information.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Sittenfeld Has a Jingle, But No Public Stance On The Streetcar

Yesterday the Enquirer's Politics Extra blog posted on P.G. Sittenfeld's new jingle made in support of his campaign for City Council. It's fine, in a 1950's nostalgia kind of a way. (Think of  "I like Ike")  I don't mind any city council candidate being creative with positive promotion. I am disappointed, however, that P.G. appears to be too busy doing this type of fluffy campaigning to bother writing a quick post to his blog giving his stance on the Streetcar.

I asked the question: Where Does P. G. Sittenfeld Stand on the Streetcar? a couple of weeks ago and have not read anything yet that indicates an answer. P.G. needs to make public his stance on the Streetcar or people will draw conclusions.  I'd still settle for a Twitter or Facebook post, but at this point his silence with all the social media rumblings going on leads one to conclude that at a minimum he is not a strong supporter of the Streetcar and can't use 140 characters to explain his view on the subject.

I still hope he'll come out and support the plan, which will help the City grow and prosper. The longer he stays quiet, however, the more he will be viewed as a typical politician too concerned with his own political future to take a stand on an important and relevant issue.  Even if he is against the Streetcar, he needs to make it clear to the voters.

Robert Mecklenborg's Arrest Dashboard Camera Video Is Released

Joesph at Plunderbund has put up the dashboard camera showing the OVI arrest of Ohio State Representative Robert Mecklenborg from Dearborn County, Indiana.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Was Mecklenborg With a Stripper?

Court documents reportedly show that Republican State Representative Robert Mecklenborg was arrested for operating a vehicle while impaired with a woman, not his wife, in the car. Another report names her as Tiona Roberts. Multiple news outlets are trying to confirm what can best be considered a "rumor" at this point that she works at a Lawrenceberg, IN strip club called Concepts Showgirls.

The Enquirer also has a new story, and mentions the woman in the car.  They asked Mecklenborg who the woman was and why she was in the car, but he would not answer the question.

Ignorant Old White Men

When I ever I read about the delusional activities of ignorant old men I want to pity them. In the case of bigoted and ignorant old white men acting on that bigotry, I loathe them and am embarrassed.

Thankfully, the number of old bigoted white men protesting LULAC was small. The problem is that the bigger number of bigots (old and young) still exists, just don't have the free time afforded to those living the retired lifestyle.