Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Voting Machine Errors in Covington

Good for voting officials taking action quickly with a specific voting machine counting error on certain voting machines. I do hope they still are able to provide additional assistance to disabled voters without much disruption.

Reports on Voting

Chime in with reports on how your voting went, what it was like at the polling station or other campaign sightings out there.

Democracy Is Coming --- Pray We Embrace Our Constitution And Reject Torture As Being Permissible

All of our hands are bloodied after the last eight years. Following the vicious attacks on September 11, 2001, something fundamental was broken in our national character. Values we cherished were shoved aside as weak and feminine and lines we never thought we would cross were crossed as our President and his co-President flexed their muscles, hiding behind the skirts of cowardly lawyers drafting memos that eviscerated our constitutional history and beliefs. Like small children afraid of the dark, this mighty nation cowered and did unspeakable things in the dark. The time has now come for light in those dark places.

Sail on, sail on
O mighty Ship of State!
To the Shores of Need
Past the Reefs of Greed
Through the Squalls of Hate
Sail on, sail on, sail on, sail on.

It's coming to America first,
the cradle of the best and of the worst.
It's here they got the range
and the machinery for change
and it's here they got the spiritual thirst.
It's here the family's broken
and it's here the lonely say
that the heart has got to open
in a fundamental way:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

L. Cohen

Election Day - Go Vote!

If you have not voted already, today is it. Every registered voter should cast the vote by today. I believe today will be a day of history, so get out there and be part of it.

Say No To Taking Rights Away And To Discrimination: Tell All Your California Friends To Go Out And Vote No On Prop 8

Tyler Oakley, Winner Of Human Rights Campaign Foundation's National Coming Out Day Video Contest

Monday, November 03, 2008

What Is Jones Up To Now?

The Enquirer reports that Governor Strickland has declined to order that schools be closed tomorrow. Closing schools may be a sensible thing to do, given that many schools are polling places. But Strickland is probably also right that it's a decision best left to local school boards.

That's not the most intriguing part of the article, though. Instead, it's this gem:
The elections board also asked the sheriff's office for extra help controlling traffic. Up to 40 deputies will remain on duty at polling places Tuesday night, and all other staffers will be on standby, said Sheriff Rick Jones."The eyes are going to be on the state of Oho. We need to make this as smooth of an operation as we can," said Jones, who is also up for re-election this year. "We're preparing in case there is trouble."

What does that mean? What kind of "trouble" is expected at polling places in Butler County? It sounds like Jones is talking about more than just traffic control. And does Jones actually intend to station uniformed, gun-carrying deputies outside of polling places? Will they be in rural Butler County polling places, or just in Hamilton, where there may actually be some Democratic ballots cast?

Jones ought to think twice before he engages in efforts to meddle in this election. I know he thinks he's a big fish, but these waters may be a little deep for him.

One More Time With Feeling ---- Go Vote!!

Vote Like Your Life Depends On It! Vote Like The Constitution Depends On It! Vote To End Torture Being Carried Out In The Darkness In Your Name! Vote Because Now Is The Acceptable Time.

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today my friends - so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification - one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day, this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning "My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my father's died, land of the Pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!"

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.

Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado. Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi - from every mountainside.

Let freedom ring.

And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring - when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children - black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics - will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

Report On Early Voting

A reader, Katie, emails in this front line report on early voting today:
Hey Brian,

I just waited nearly 3 and a half hours to early vote at 824 Broadway in Cincinnati, Ohio,

What was amazing was that the vast majority (I would say 80-90%) of the people in that line were either: A..under 30 or B. African American. The line was practically an Obama rally. Obama volunteers handed out candy, apples, water and even cheeseburgers from McDonalds and Burger King. They had megaphones and at points during the wait the almost everyone in line was either cheering or chanting for Obama. Volunteers handed out Obama stickers, fliers and window decals. I didn't see a single McCain volunteer or receive a single McCain flier.

It would appear that the McCain team is limiting where they are sending volunteers in Hamilton County. One would think they might want to have a presence at the only polling place open in the entire county. Based on this report, they may have been wise in doing something else.

The Only Surprise Is That It Took This Long

David Krikorian (or as I like to call him, "that other guy") has jumped the shark.

A little more background, with quotes from the Schmidt campaign and Alex Triantafilou, is available from the Enquirer's Politics Extra blog.

Obama Rally Thoughts?

So for those of you that made the trip to Clifton to see Senator Barack Obama last night, what did you think? I was impressed. He seemed a little tired, but he was right on message and the crowd I believe felt the history they were witnessing. I know I did.

It was also a very positive crowd. The best repeated line Obama used was "Don't boo, just vote!" He used that when boos arouse when ever John McCain's name was mentioned. That exemplifies the quality I like most about him, his honor. He does a great job at being a true uniter. He is about being President to everyone, not just the Blue States or the Democrats. That at the core is the most important thing a President must do. That is leadership.

I am please to be voting for a man that I not only agree with on a vast majority of political issues, but whom I respect.

Also, more from James making his final lit drop:

Update #1 From the Campaign Trail

A really good friend of mine, James Czar, is out working for the Obama Campaign's GOTV effort on the Eastside of the City. He'll be out today and tomorrow and will send me some updates as he can. Here's his first. His thought on this photo is the the GOP must be nervous.

One Day More Robo-Call

Again courtesy of Jason Silverstein at McSweeney's:

"Hello. I'm calling for John McCain and the RNC because you need to know that Barack Obama has not accepted Joe the Plumber's friend request on Facebook. We know he's logged on, because we saw he changed his status on Monday. On Tuesday, he joined the group Art Historians Are Saucy. But he still won't accept Joe the Plumber's friend request. He knows it's Joe. Joe uses the screen shot of the two of them together as his profile picture. That's not a uniter. That's the same old liberal-elite politics as usual."

I Hear America Singing

I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear;
Those of mechanics—each one singing his, as it should be, blithe and strong;
The carpenter singing his, as he measures his plank or beam,
The mason singing his, as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work;
The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat—the deckhand singing on the steamboat deck;
The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench—the hatter singing as he stands;
The wood-cutter’s song—the ploughboy’s, on his way in the morning, or at the noon intermission, or at sundown;
The delicious singing of the mother—or of the young wife at work—or of the girl sewing or washing—Each singing what belongs to her, and to none else;
The day what belongs to the day—At night, the party of young fellows, robust, friendly,
Singing, with open mouths, their strong melodious songs.


Bite Me Ball at CAC Best Costume Winner

The suit is entirely covered by Obama stickers. Great fun at a great event!

Gangs in the Burbs?

Check out this report from WLWT. I am actually not sure what I think about it, so view it for yourself.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Election Predictions Thread

Well, we've certainly talked this election to death. Time to to put up or shut up: what are your predictions for Tuesday? Here are mine (please remember, these are predictions, not endorsements):

  • Obama wins, garnering more than 50% of the popular vote and a total of 282 electoral votes. He wins Virginia, New Mexico, Nevada, Iowa, and the Kerry states. McCain takes the remainder of the "battleground" states, including Ohio and Florida.
  • The Democrats pick up 5 Senate seats and 15-20 House seats.
  • Steve Driehaus beats Steve Chabot.
  • Jean Schmidt beats Wulsin and that other guy.
  • Cordray wins the AG race.
  • Issue 5 (essentially eliminating payday lending) fails.
  • Issue 6 (permitting a casino) fails.
  • Justices Stratton and O'Connor hold on to their seats on the Supreme Court, probably by 10 or more points each.
Hamilton County:
  • Greg Hartmann is elected county commissioner. Todd Portune also wins, although in a very close contest (probably no more than a 4-point victory).
  • Bob Goering is re-elected treasurer and Rebecca Groppe is re-elected recorder.
  • Martha Good is elected Clerk of Courts.
  • Pat Dewine is elected judge. Judge Nelson is re-elected. The race between Judge Luebbers and Judge Mock is too close to call (that race alone may force the counting of provisional ballots).
City of Cincinnati:
  • Issue 7 (banning red-light cameras) passes.
  • Issue 8 (re-instituting Council elections through proportional representation elections) fails, thanks to late radio spots and direct mail efforts.
What do y'all think?

Make Your Vote Count

Hopefully, everything will go smoothly in the polling places on Election Day. But if you run into trouble, here's some advice: do everything you can (firmly and politely) to make sure you're permitted to cast a regular ballot. Provisional ballots are second-class ballots, and may never get counted.

Provisional ballots are not counted on Election Day. Instead, they're counted afterwards, and are subject to debate and challenge by the members of the Board of Elections. Moreover, they'll only be counted if the number of provisional ballots exceeds the margin of victory for any given race.

So if you find yourself being offered a provisional ballot for some reason, try to talk the precinct judges into giving you a regular ballot. If you're not successful, then before you cast a ballot, go outside and find someone from a Voter Protection group. Seek out someone from a campaign you're partial to (both the McCain and Obama campaigns will have multiple observers and GOTV personnel in place at most polling places). If all else fails, call the Board of Elections for clarification.

Finally, be prepared for a lengthy wait on Tuesday. But remember, so long as you're in line before 7:30 pm, you will be permitted to vote a regular ballot, no matter how long it takes to get through the line. (If a court orders precincts held open longer and you get in line after 7:30, you will cast a provisional ballot that is kept separate from other ballots (even other provisional ballots), so they can be thrown out if the court's decision is subsequently overturned.) So even if you can't get there until after work and the lines are long, don't fear: your vote will count, so long as you're in line at the right precinct by 7:30.

Obama Rally Details

Here is the link to the offical announcement from the Obama campaign and includes a couple of details that will make things easier for people going:
Change We Need Rally
with Barack Obama

Nippert Stadium
University of Cincinnati
2700 Bearcats Way
Cincinnati, OH 45221

Sunday, November 2nd
Doors Open: 6:00 p.m.
Program Begins: 9:00 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public; tickets are not required but an RSVP is encouraged. Space is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

For security reasons do not bring bags or umbrellas. Please limit personal items. No signs or banners allowed.

Public parking is extremely limited. Car-pooling is strongly encouraged. Normal rates will apply at University of Cincinnati parking facilities. For more information click here.

I would advise everyone to pay attention to the no bags, umbrellas, signs or banners rule. It will make it much easier for you and everyone else to get in.

OH-1 Debate

For those who haven't heard, Sunday's Newsmakers program on Channel 12 (11:00 AM) will feature a debate between Steve Driehaus (D) and Steve Chabot (R). Since I just received a mass email from the Driehaus campaign promoting the show, they must think their candidate did pretty well.

And (as Jack reminds us via his robo-call), don't forget to turn your clocks back, or when you turn your TV on to watch Dan Hurley, you'll end up with Dan Marino....

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Your Saturday Night Set The Clocks Back Robo-Call

Courtesy of Jason Silverstein at McSweeney's:

"Hello. I'm calling for John McCain and the RNC because you need to know that Barack Obama doesn't use his turn signal when he merges onto a freeway. I mean, seriously, who the hell does this guy think he is? He just goes. It's not even like he attempts to fit in. And I'm not talking lone-wolf maverick style, either. I mean, this is the kind of driving that gets people killed. Much like the bombs of Bill Ayers that could have killed countless Americans. That's not change, my friends. That's the same old Washington politics as usual."

Saturday comes and goes and John and Sarah still haven't closed the gap. Need lots of prayer work tomorrow to stop the socialist onslaught of That One. Of course, James Dobson is otherwise occupied in San Diego praying for the smiting of The Gay.

One Thousand New Lawyers

Actually, 1,016, to be exact. Yesterday, the Ohio Supreme Court announced the names of individuals who passed the July 2008 bar exam. Congratulations to them all. Swearing-in ceremonies are scheduled for November 17 in Columbus.

Of local note, 65 of the newly-minted attorneys boast the UC College of Law as their alma mater. We should extend particular good wishes to local bloggers Christopher St. Pierre, formerly (?) of Cogitation, and Brad Thomas of the UrbanCincy Blog.

Over the next several months, there will no doubt be much hand-wringing, consternation, and several administrative and faculty meetings at UC. Its overall bar passage rate was 81% (82% for first-time test-takers), which placed it last among all Ohio law schools. This is a significant decline from five years ago: its graduates' passage rate on the July 2003 exam was 86% (87% for first-time test-takers), which placed it second among Ohio's nine law schools.

Over the last five years, the College of Law has restructured part of the first-year student curriculum, as well as the way it teaches commercial law (one of the topics covered by the bar exam). Also, UC has dramatically increased clinical opportunities for its students. While clinics offer students an exciting way to learn the law (often through the actual representation of clients under the supervision of a licensed attorney), one wonders if the higher percentage of students involved in clinics means that students are taking fewer bar courses in their second and third years of law school. No doubt, these will all be topics of conversation at the corner of Calhoun and Clifton for quite some time. A school's bar passage rate is one factor many prospective students consider in choosing a law school, as well as part of the criteria used by U.S. News & World Report, which compiles what many believe is the definitive ranking of law schools.

Congratulations again to all those who passed, and welcome to the practice of law!

Post updated to extend kudos to an additional local blogger. If there are other local bloggers in the "now we're lawyers" club, please let us know in the comments.