WEDNESDAY JULY 17
Most journalists find it at least somewhat amusing to see online commenters using industry terms to tell us what we should be doing better (the best ones involve using sarcastic quotation marks when mentioning “journalism”). But for every anonymous suggestion that we replace a quarter-page crossword puzzle with an investigative news story (good intention, commenter!), someone far more sinister appropriates our terminology. Such was the case today when the vice president of an oil and gas lobbying organization proudly stood up for the First Amendment, at least as far as it allows his companies to pay politicians to do what they want. The Enquirer reported that oil and gas companies have given more than $660,000 to Ohio legislators since 2010, more than 90 percent of which has gone to the Republicans who this year blocked a fracking tax so reasonable that even Gov. John Kasich supported it. Tom Stewart, executive vice president of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association, told The Enquirer that there’s a thing called free speech in the United States and that political giving is free speech and that anyone who doesn’t like it can get the fuck out.
THURSDAY JULY 18
Do you care less about some of your children than others? Feel pretty much indifferent about what happens to all of them? Today’s online poll at Cincinnati.com’s Mason Buzz blog sought out parents willing to drop little Billy and Sally off at Kings Island within moments of reading a terrifying tale of scary truck driver arrested at the amusement park with mass ammunition, guns, knives and police hats in his truck. The community blog/coupon adviser gathered a fascinating collection of data (797 voters can pretty much be relied upon to represent Cincinnati as a whole), although it offered no explanation for the 6 percent of people who were undecided, other than to assume these parents wanted to know how long the line for the Racer was before driving all the way up there.
FRIDAY JULY 19
Someone like Ted Nugent has to try hard to stay in the media spotlight, mostly because his terrible music career isn’t enough to make up for turning himself into a paranoid racist cliché representing today’s pro-gun movement.
SATURDAY JULY 20
As if there aren’t enough human-caused disasters and continuously mutating animals that will probably rise up and kill us all just when we get enough money to retire and move to Florida, Cincinnati’s eastern suburbs are being overwhelmed by an all-natural predator, the Asian longhorned beetle. Clermont County citizens are so tired of the beetles eating up all their trees that they formed an organization called the Bethel ALB Citizens Cooperative, helping draw attention to the bugs from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which in May announced plans to remove dead trees and use chemical treatments to kill any bugs that try to eat the good ones. The USDA is only currently treating trees in Monroe, Stonelick and Batavia townships, however, and has warned residents of Bethel and Tate Township to be on the lookout for an influx of beetles with their eyes burned out frantically flying around trying to find water.
SUNDAY JULY 21
When Gov. John Kasich makes a grand declaration about a massive amount of free federal money potentially coming to Ohio (or, in many cases, being sent right back to the feds), history has proven him to be pretty legit in his prediction — he flushed $400 million in funding for a high-speed rail line between Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland before he was even in office, shortly after telling the governor at the time that the project was dead to him. Kasich today made a similar statement, this time arguing that Ohio will actually get the federally funded Medicaid expansion money, despite the Ohio legislature pretty clearly wanting to block it to make people hate Obamacare more. Kasich, who is running for reelection next year and would like poor people to think he helped them, says the expansion is a matter of life and death and that once he gets the top tax bracket below 5 percent he’s going to get up in some people’s asses about Medicaid for real.
MONDAY JULY 22
Having a baby makes people feel like they’ve done something more important than anything anyone else could possibly ever do (dude, my fantasy baseball team is a big deal, too). But eventually everyone has to deal with their close friends sharing articles from Parenting Magazine on Facebook, and today the people of England witnessed the royal equivalent: Day 1 of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s baby (have fun being the history books, baby prince; you’ll never be as popular as Lil Bub while you’re alive). Even local newspapers a million miles away from England today fired up their “royal baby watch” sections, only to be expectedly disappointed by an AP story that began with the same three words every other paper will use to start the baby prince story: “It’s a boy!” (CityBeat’s parent company advises us to spice up such bland prose with either expletives or emoticons.) The baby, who as of press time has no name, is currently third in line for the big chair in England, whose noble residents reportedly celebrated by popping champagne and shouting “Hip! Hop! Hooray!,” which most Americans thought was made up until seeing the freaky photo of the town crier everyone’s still laughing at.
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