Tuesday, December 31, 2019

That's About it for 2019

Is there a good reason to reflect on a year? For the world this has been another shit filled 12 months.  For Cincinnati I would call it (at best) a "meh" year.  There were not many big issues to fill news cycles or political chat rooms that were important.

There still were some really crappy moments:

  • There were poorly chaperoned teenagers acting shitty in DC.   
  • There were many in the media who continued to use tabloid terminology as a means to demean members of Cincinnati City County they don't like personally or politically. If they keep it up into next year, I think I may be forced to come up with term that fits their actions.  The term Cabal comes to mind.
  • There was a dumb ass Trump supporter who punched a protester outside the Trump Nuremberg-style rally. That was almost expected and promptly forgotten by the local media.
  • There was former Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin demonstrating how horrible a human being he is with his pardons of a murder and of a child rapist. An investigation is underway to determine if the wealthy relatives of the criminals made any type of trade with Bevin for the pardons. His actions are morally corrupt, so the fitting punishment would be his conservative Christian community punishing him would be less than he deserves, but something.  Him behind bars would be the right thing, but it will be likely be tough to prove unless someone turns on him.
  • There was the local media in this town collectively focusing on click-bait crap, overall being conservatively biased, and/or just being understaffed because the public is too lazy to read and pay for valid journalism. Two of the three points are common with most local media across the country.  The conservative bias here stems from so much of the exurban areas the TV news and the Enquirer are desperate to keep. Also, there are locals in the media who are actually Republicans.
  • There were the seven days the Republicans had a candidate for Hamilton County Commissioner. That ended with the neo-fascist Trump Supporter Dan Hils (also local FOP president) quitting. We are all better for him quitting, but the CPD rank and file are stuck with him now. It would be good for them to vote him out, but the rank and file CPD has too many right-wing Republicans.
  • There were Chabot and Wenstrup embarrassing Ohio during the Impeachment hearings. When you can't deal with the facts and instead jump into false process dogma or outright conspiracy BS, you just need to resign.  Neither will, but history will not forget how they chose the political party and the personal futures over the county and the state of our democracy.
  • The Suburban Republicans continued to attack the City any chance they could.  This is a regular occurrence, year after year, so nothing new, just something people need to be reminded occurs again and again.
So, kinda shitty.  I wanted to find the positives.  I really didn't find many.  There were some wait and see actions like the music venue at the Banks deal and the Streetcar "divorce," but that was about it.

The only moment that stood out the dignity of Todd Portune. He stands out as a man with a deeply held sense of public service.  The widespread praise given to Todd by all corners of the political spectrum is the lone shining moment for the Cincinnati area this year.

2020 will be a year with lots of turmoil. Most of it will be coming from the national political race. Some of the above shitty moments will repeat.  Some will get worse. There will be many new ones that will drop on the Cincinnati Area like a ton of bricks.  We will be moving from "meh" down to a "fuck this" year, based on history. The more I write about about, maybe the more I can make lemonade with the shit on the horizon. Bring on Bing with Auld Lang Syne.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

If You Don't Want It On Microscoops, Don't Do It.

If I could blame Jason Williams on another generation I would, but I am fairly certain he is a Gen-Xer and my generation has it share of hacks, just like any other, but his latest column stretches into the territory normally reserved for NY Post Page Six gossip columnists.
POLITICS & JOURNALISM: It's been known in insider circles for weeks that Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters and WCPO anchor Tanya O'Rourke are dating. It seems that became more widely known this week, when Hamilton County GOP Chairman Alex Triantafilou posted a photo of him and his wife, Jennifer, standing alongside Deters and O'Rourke at a Christmas party. Why is this worth mentioning? Well, Deters and O’Rourke are high-profile figures in the community and you might see them around town together.
Williams is more than willing to help float this trial balloon in the air for Deters and the Republican Party. He's in their pocket and lives off their scraps scoops. What I judge this to be is an effort by the Deters Campaign to test the waters. They need to find out if there is going to be any flack for the divorced Catholic forming a high profile relationship. Williams is able to help serve that goal, while still being able to play the otherside, with his mouth watering for a new scandal that he can dive into.

This is just so tawdry. Williams is just begging for there to be controversy so he can defend Deters and O'Rourke.  The WCPO anchor will gain respect with Suburbanites with her affiliation with Deters, but any serious person who wants good journalism would not trust any story she is involved on. So any controversy that is made feeds into both Williams and Deters' playbook. Spin it on Talk radio, avoid questions, but attack, attack, attack.

Let's be honest, Joe Deters is fucking asshole. He is a huge problem for Hamilton County. He has been representing the Republican 'Establishment' he entire career and has let that influence who goes to trial and who does not.  He stands on the scales of justice and leans the way he wants, to help or hurt those he wants.  He is everything wrong with the Justice System in America and needs to be dumped to curb.

I don't care who he is sleeping with, however.  Local TV 'news' is bullshit anyway and if O'Rourke can keep clear of Deters or big Hamilton County Trial stories, nothing much will change. The bias on Crime stories is baked into TV news. The only risk is that WCPO producers will be dying for her to get more dirt on crime (the sexy ones) that they can sell to suburbanites.

Williams belongs on TV or radio.  He's a tabloid writer, who wants clicks and eye balls on him.  Truth isn't his focus (or concern), emotion is what he cares about.  Well, he cares about exploiting it in others. If he gets an offer to start a local version of Inside Edition, he should take it.

Also, as an educational side note to Jason Williams: people and specially musicians/composers can be icons too, not just buildings.

Monday, December 02, 2019

Early Look at the Candidates for Cincinnati City 2021 Council Race

You maybe thinking: "Woah, Woah, Woah , it is only 2019 and there nearly two years to go before the next Cincinnati City Council election, what are you doing? "  Just so you are clear, this blog does not cover the national primary races and that appears to be sucking out all of the political analysis wind out of the sails of near every political pundit around, so bear with me for having an early look at who may be running for Cincinnati City Council.  The political party notations listed below are NOT endorsements, they are my understanding of their affiliations.  In a couple of cases I don't know what they are, currently.

Incumbents Eligible to Run
Tamaya Dennard (D,C) *
Greg Landsman (D) *
Jeff Pastor (R) *

Announced Candidates
Jeff Cramerding (D)
Michelle Dillingham (D)
James Jenkins (I)
Brian Garry (D)

Prior Candidates Likely to Run
Derek Bauman (D,C)
Laure Quinlivan (D)
Henry Frondorf (D,C)
Seth Maney (R)
Kelli Prather (D)

Prior Candidates Who Might Run
Ozie Davis III (D)
Cristina Burcica (I)
Manuel Foggie
Tamie Sullivan (R,I ?)
Leslie Jones (D)
Tonya Dumas (D)
Erica Black-Johnson (I)

Rumored Or Speculated Candidates
Cam Hardy (D,C,I ?)
Matt Woods (C)
Dadrien Washington (D)

Candidate Twitter List: I have created a list of candidates on Twitter. Here is the actual list Twitter handles for the candidates.

As always:  If anyone has any other names please send them my way (editor@cincyblog.com) or if anyone named above wants to confirm they are not running, I'll remove them future postings of this list. If there are other social media or full websites I don't list, send them along as well.

* = Incumbent
‡ = On Ballot (signatures turned in)
D= Democratic Party
R= Republican Party
C= Charter Committee (aka Charter Party)
G= Green Party
I= Independent

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Get Off Your Ass If You Are Running For Office In The City Of Cincinnati

We are now less than two years out from Cincinnati City Council and Mayoral elections on November 2, 2021.  If you are running for an office, you better get off your ass now and start organizing your campaign or you will not win.

Sure, if you have tons of money or are well known, you will think you can win, but you still need to begin planning now.  You need to line up support.  You need to formulate a strategy to win.  You need to start making personal connections that give you the chance to make it.

The next election will have a super majority of non-incumbents.  All indications are that the GOP has something up its sleeve.  Whether that is putting a ton of money in the Race behind enough candidates to even win a majority of council OR if they are just going to wage a hidden support campaign for Chris Smitherman for Mayor, we don't know.  I'd expect something, at least something superficial that gets local media attention.

Smitherman is the choice of Republicans, but Smitherman is scared to accept their open endorsement and instead is attempting to manufacture a tight-rope campaign that is trying to appeal to the Right Wing money he needs, but keeping that secret from the African-American voters who don't like Republicans. I don't know if a political duality like this can work, but if Smitherman acts like other Republicans and limits his message to voters who only consume a small number of information sources, he can attempt to keep his Right Wing support hidden from an important voting block.

The duality of telling one group he accepts the racist policies of the Republican Party while telling he rejects those same policies is the type of tight rope to drive a person to a level or derangement that can only be harmful.  Smitherman has a reputation for and has made historical examples of what I would characterize as unhinged behavior.  Trying to like this duality will only exacerbate the problem.

So the fun is ahead of us!  I am working on creating my list of candidates running for council and their endorsements.  I'll include mayor if that list grows significantly.  Send me an email at cincyblog@aol.com or send word to @cincyblog if you have information on a new candidate getting into the race.

I expect a nasty mayor's race and I expect the Republicans to be complete shits as they run a VERY dirty campaign. Hope they can take as good as the give.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Predictions on the Level of Circus at Trump's Cincinnati Rally

What do you expect will happen? Will it be a love fest of peace, Jesus, and smiles? Will it be a bland policy lecture? Will it be a Leni Riefenstahl inspired spectacle to get the Grand Children of the Cincinnati Bund all exited? Or will it be a shithouse circus with a rambling old coot on stage with a fake tan pausing to let the racist and xenophobic chants echo in the arena, where the ratio of confederate flag clothing is higher than any other place in the tristate area?

I would bet on some version of the shithouse circus.  The only variable questions are :

  1. How racist will Trump go?
  2. Which local Republicans will show up?
  3. Will the media cover this any more than usual?
  4. How many of the attendees will make ignorant statements to a member of the press?
I expect a normal hate filled Trump rally with the usual level of ignorant fools there.  I am only curious to see what local Republicans attend.  I will not let them forget it if they do attend.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Do Republicans in Cincinnati Know Latin? "Qui Tacet Consentire Videtur"

"Qui Tacet Consentire Videtur" is a Latin axiom that roughly translates to "He who is silent is understood to consent."  I am sure this phrase or a variation has come up in an Op/Ed you have read in the last week.  I say that assuming you are a person who reads Op/Eds from reasonable news outlets.  For the limited audience of my blog, I am going to make a reasonable assumption that you do.

Another bit of information that most people know is that Donald Trump is scheduled to hold a rally on August 1st here in Cincinnati. This will be a couple of weeks after Trump made his racist Tweets about four members of the House of Representatives. and then a few days later at another Trump rally in NC made horrific xenophobic chants, that are clear examples of fascism.

What is going to happen at the next Trump rally here in Cincinnati?  Will hoards of local racists, fascists, sexists, bigots, white nationalists, and xenophobic assholes show up?  You better believe they will.  There are tons of them in the tristate area and they are attracted to Trump and love to vent their hatred and blame on non-white people for all of their troubles.  Yes, that is currently the primary motivational strategy of Republicans for the 2020 election.

With this in mind, I am calling out all local Republicans officials to take a stand.  Do you oppose racism/xenophobia or do you condone it?  You have to take a stand one way or the other.  There is no wiggle room here.  I'm not looking for Republicans to change their party affiliation or anything, I am looking for basic humanity.  Simple acknowledgement that what Trump tweeted and a significant portion of his followers at the rally chanted were racist and xenophobic and that is wrong.  Or you could agree with both and come out of the closet, so to speak.That is it, just denounce the racism and xenophobia or embrace it.  There are not three sides to this.  So, those local Republicans out there, make your stances known.  Those people include the following list:

  1. Senator Rob Portman
  2. Senator Mitch McConnell
  3. Senator Rand Paul
  4. Representative Steve Chabot
  5. Representative Brad Wenstrup
  6. Representative Thomas Massie
  7. Prosecuting Attorney Joe Deters
  8. Treasurer Robert Goering, Jr.
  9. Engineer Ted Hubbard>
  10. Cincinnati City Council Jeff Pastor
  11. Cincinnati City Council Amy Murray
  12. Anderson Township Trustee Andrew Pappas
  13. Blue Ash City Council Jeff Cappell
  14. HCRP Chairman Alex Triantafilou
  15. Sheriff Jim Neil
  16. Cincinnati City Council Christopher Smitherman
How should they take a stand against the racism and xenophobia?  Well, two things everyone on this list should do are 1) not appear at the Trump rally on August 1st and 2) denounce Trump's tweets as racist and the chants at his NC rally (and him letting it grow) as xenophobic.  For the purpose of what I am asking, that is it.

IF you DO NOT do either of these simple and honorable requests in a reasonable way WITHOUT a "whataboutism" or WITHOUT attempting to shift the blame to something else, THEN I am going to forever believe that you agree with Trump and his hoard of followers.  He or She who is silent is understood to consent.  If you don't have the courage to go on Twitter or Facebook and denounce this racism and xenophobia, then you are condoning it, even if only as a means to get elected.  There is no difference between believing in racism/xenophobia and simply exploiting voters' agreement with elements and policies of racism/xenophobia as a means to gain support for an election.  The ends don't justify the means.  If you come out in support of it, well, you just might get more criticism, and face the wrath of your god at a later point.  I'll stay out of that fable and let your conscious deal with that.

My belief is not much of a punishment, I know, but it is a question of honor.  There are honorable people on this list who know better, but are going along with this abomination out of a misplaced sense of fear and a lack courage.  Look to the former Governor of Ohio, John Kasich.  I don't agree with him politically on much, but I can consider him an honorable person for taking a public stance against Trump on his racism.

There are people on this list who don't claim to be Republicans, but they certainly act, vote in Republican primaries, appear at Trump rallies, or take GOP contributions like a member of the Party, so they get the same treatment.  Some on this may have already taken a stance, like Mitch McConnell, which fails on all levels, so I don't expect him to change.  Others may have already taken a firm stance against Trump and if they have, good, I hope they repeat it louder so I can read it.  They are included because of their chosen Party affiliation, and I won't give them a 100% pass for doing the right thing.  I've left off a bunch of other lower officials that I hope also will make a choice. 

My list also didn't include the many local conservative media blowhards or social media trolls.  I expect most of them either to embrace the hate or be silent like the cowards I believe they are.  Also, why give them any more attention, which they crave?

Among the few who read this, I am sure there will be criticism of me.  Fine, you can try, but I am not going to budge or falter in your attacks.  Yes, I am judging people based on their actions or inactions.  That is how we should be judged.  The only repercussion is my opinion of other people based on their actions or inactions. Nothing Earth shattering, but if one or two people are nudged to action, that's better than not saying a damn thing. I may call people racist or xenophobic in the future and I will mean it.  I will point to this and their actions or inactions and will be more than satisfied with my conclusion.  IF you don't like me exercising my 1st Amendment right to redress my grievance with my government representatives, then you have problem with the U.S. Constitution.  I am not not going back anywhere.  I am an American, love me or leave me alone.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

On Playing Political Football In Cincinnati

If you ever wanted a lesson on the ills and faults of political and social discourse, expression, and action in America, then look no further than the latest episode surrounding building a Soccer Specific Stadium here in Cincinnati.

The details of the latest confrontation to fire up the local media, social media, and varied activists & advocates are immaterial.  Yep, you read that correctly, I am saying the details don't matter. I am sure you are shocked, but what matters is just a simple fact: in 2021 FC Cincinnati is going to begin play in a new stadium in the West End.

What is happening now with the latest episode is just noise for most of us.  Yes, if you want to know about the details of how things will happen, that is certainly understandable.  It is also understandable for people to want to influence the details of how the stadium will be built.  What is not reasonable is for people trying to change the one basic fact, the Stadium will be built.

What is ironic is that the sides to this issue have reversed from another contentious project, the Streetcar.  When that was built and continuing right up to today, its opponents, including the Mayor and his cabal, are taking actions (often through inaction) to hinder or hurt the project.  Based on my observations, many (not all) of those who support the Streetcar were opposed to building the Stadium in the West End or even at all.  So, what should be happening is that both sides should be examining how the other side's shoes feel.

We didn't get much of that this week.  We instead got knee jerk reactions online and in real life.  Local media capitalized on the controversy, but they were mostly reacting to the actions of local politicians, local arts organizations, and FC Cincinnati leaders.

My interactions saw multiple attitudes that made little sense to me.  Some local politicos (office holders and activists) sought to either wage a last ditch Quixotic effort to derail the project or at least try to damage it and the Soccer Club.  Another different, but allied, segment were some of the arts supporters, who let loose on social media with virulent viewpoints that varied from being anti-sports to anti-conservative, which sports far too often is attached (unfairly). This was just unproductive on so many levels.  For the politicos, it is just wasting powder on future struggles they could wage effectively to hold the team and the Mayor accountable to deliver on their promises.  For the arts supporters it is shooting themselves in the foot.  Alienating potential arts goers is just foolish.  Even if they think that sports fans are not arts fans (which is also foolish,) you have to want any exposure to the neighborhood that you can get.  A few thousand people hanging out in Washington Park are a marketer's ideal group to be exposed to a pre-match concert or event.

The Cincinnati Ballet gets its own separate call out.  They are in direct conflict with FC Cincinnati and are using this as a ploy to pressure the club, with their latest press release to delay a zoning vote.  The problem is that they are hurting themselves.  Along with the CAA releasing the sound report without listing the possible solutions to whatever sound issue exists at Music Hall, this attitude is not going to win over any NEW patrons and may hurt some of their existing patrons.  Sure, it appeals to their base, but unlike politics, the arts really do need a wide group of people to support them.  This makes them look elitist and to be very frank, like prima donnas.  I respect the musicianship that goes into every performance at Music Hall and this may have a noticeable effect on some performances and rehearsals, but to the average person it is not going to make sense.  The average person likely wasn't the intended audience, the donors and city officials were, but doing it such a public way doesn't help in the end.

The other side of the coin were conservative FCC supporters unleashing simplistic and divisive attacks on the arts organizations themselves and local politicians.  I say conservative FCC supporters not because they are all conservative, I am a four year season ticket holder myself, but because there is what I see as a divide amongst the political stance of the supporters. It is my observation that those who hit hardest on this were suburban and critical of city government.  That logically stems from conservative viewpoints.  This must stop. Mixing politics with anything makes it suck, and sports, especially soccer (football) are greatly damaged when politics is layered on. A noticeable section of sports fans in general act like pricks. Soccer has them, but for the first three years of the club’s existence that mentality has not dominated the discourse, like it has surrounded other big sports like baseball, basketball, and American football. I hope it remains a small group and they learn to scream at the TV and radio and not spout crap online. I won’t be holding my breath.

What I believe needs to happen now is for all city leaders (Mayor and Council) to make thoughtful decisions and then either support the project or get out of the way, like the Mayor SHOULD have done for the Streetcar. The arts supporters should focus on finding solutions, not making enemies. FCC fans should be more understanding of the effects the stadium will have on the surrounding neighborhoods, not act like entitled jerks.

I don’t expect this to happen and that really disappoints me. If people continue to take the same aggressive attitudes they invoke on national issues and apply it locally,  they are going to regret the repercussions. We need to live together and make things work. Part of that is accepting when you lose. The Mayor failed at that, opponents of the stadium are failing at that now. We need the Mayor to stop blocking the traffic study and give the Streetcar better signal flow and enforcement of blocking the tracks. The arts supporters should work on solutions to issues that might arise, like scheduling.  FCC Fans should be open minded and respectful of the people who will be living, working, and playing near the stadium. Let’s be neighbors and not enemies, at least more often than we are.

What is most awkward is that FC Cincinnati is holding an event on Monday at Music Hall. I hope everyone is on their best behavior.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

CovCath H.S. in Northern Kentucky Linked to Incident at DC Anti-Abortion Rally

Multiple news outlets are reporting (here, here, and here) evidence and accounts that a group of local students from Covington Catholic High School were involved in an incident Friday  January 18th at the March 4 Life event, an anti-abortion event in Washington, D.C.

Video exists that shows students taunting a Native American Elder who was attending an Indigenous Peoples protest against Genocide, that also was taking place in Washington, D.C.  on Friday.

Saturday morning, multiple videos went viral on Social Media.

The simple truth of it, the kids doing the taunting, while some wore "MAGA" hats, were despicable.  There is not been a full confirmation that all of those involved were from CovCath, but in the videos multiple individuals are wearing Covington Catholic clothing.

Few are defending this group of kids at this point, but more will come once parents start trying to spin things.  This should be an incident that the parents use to teach their kids and hope they can learn from it.  I think some parents will do that.  Unfortunately, some will not, and will either condone or make excuses.

Learning from one's mistakes is how we grow as people.  Parents letting their shitty kids get away with this crap and face no consequences, that is the entitlement that drives people apart.  I fear that too many of these kids learned this type of behavior from their parents and those parents think it's appropriate to be horrid and mocking to people who look different.  I hope they can learn.