Don't listen to what the squeaky wheels on the far right are yelling this week: Most Americans will support the health care reform bill passed by the House once they see what's included in it. In fact, the first major poll taken after the March 21 vote suggests a much different picture than what's being touted by the Tea Party and GOP "leaders."
Molly Ivins, the late syndicated columnist from Texas, got it right when she wrote, “Being slightly paranoid is like being slightly pregnant — it tends to get worse.” For the truth of that statement, look no further than the agenda for an April 17 "Bringin' Back Conservatism: Doin' It Again in 2010" event planned by the Springboro Tea Party just north of Cincinnati.
CityBeat recently obtained a copy of an e-mail written by Brad Beckett — chief of staff to Cincinnati City Councilman Chris Monzel and a right-wing activist involved in anti-tax and anti-abortion causes — outlining the agenda of a secret conservative group called the Vanguard. We were fascinated by the wording the e-mail used about prominent public figures and what it might reveal about the members' outlook for the 2010 elections.
Even if you’re the most passionate “get tough on crime” supporter, it’s in everyone’s best interests that criminals have a reasonable opportunity to find a decent job after they’ve served their debt to society. The sad fact, however, is that if a felon is honest when filling out an employment application and admits to his or her criminal record, many employers will throw the application into the trash.
Some politicians and activists hate the media. Although they might say it's because of a perceived bias in coverage, the truth is it usually has more to do with holding them accountable for past words and deeds that otherwise might be long forgotten. For example, consider the current ranting and raving by the Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes (COAST) and one of its leaders, attorney Chris Finney, about the deficit in Hamilton County's stadium account.
Just weeks after winning his third term on Cincinnati City Council, Cecil Thomas surprised most political observers by announcing he would seek the Democratic nomination to run for the Hamilton County Commission seat being vacated by David Pepper. Party Chair Tim Burke is favoring Thomas over previously announced Democratic candidate Jim Tarbell, hoping Thomas will help mobilize African-American voters to provide a much-needed boost for U.S. Rep. Steve Driehaus (D-Price Hill).
For 35 years, WAIF has been a valuable outlet for news, opinions and musical genres that are absent for other places on the radio dial. But that began changing in the early 2000s, when board chairman Donald A. Shabazz started stacking WAIF's board of trustees with his supporters and systematically started purging the station of volunteers who questioned his management style or asked about details of WAIF's finances.
When a Jan. 25 e-mail exchange between Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune and Hamilton County Democratic Party Chairman Tim Burke became public through a leak, it lifted the veil on the thinking of some political bigwigs. The pair began the exchange to discuss who should be appointed to fill a vacancy on the Board of Elections and ended up opening an ugly window into inter-party dealings and behind-the-scenes jockeying.
It's difficult to resist the urge to tell Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune, "I told ya so." Portune made a big deal a few weeks ago of his teaming up with his colleague, County Commissioner Greg Hartmann, to devise a solution for the looming deficits in the county's stadium account. Much like President Obama at the national level, Portune was enamored of his bipartisan approach to the problem.
Here's another example of why many people are leery of Christians and their bellyaching about their faith being abused. Even though U.S. military rules prohibit the proselytizing of any religion in Afghanistan or Iraq, it was revealed this week that a military contractor has been printing references to Bible verses on rifle scopes used by soldiers in those wars.
Some local Democrats are upset with Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher over his demands for attending an upcoming political event in Oakley and believe he's disrespected Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner. They're squaring off in the May 4 Democratic primary to get the party's U.S. Senate nomination, and the Hamilton County Democratic Women's Caucus invited them to participate in a debate here Jan. 20. Brunner accepted almost immediately, caucus members say, but their experience with Fisher was far different.
It's only the first week in January, but already political campaigns are gearing up for what likely will be the most high-profile local race this year. Cincinnati City Council colleagues Leslie Ghiz and Chris Monzel are running in the GOP primary for the Hamilton County commission, setting up a fight for the local Republican Party's soul between moderates and hardcore conservatives.
Some people think The Banks, a sprawling $800 million residential and shopping district being built along the Ohio River, is Cincinnati’s best hope for increasing tourism and luring more people to live downtown; others call it a waste of money and an unnecessary gamble during tough economic times.
President Obama and his supremely obnoxious chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, should be more honest. The $871 billion health care reform bill passed by the U.S. Senate Dec. 21 after eight long and tedious months of debate is, by all indications, almost the exact bill that both men had in mind when they began this process. It's clear that so far this isn't the president most of us signed up for.
Once again, Hamilton County commissioners are tossing the ball down the line to avoid dealing with a serious issue. Well, at least two of the three commissioners are. After years of warnings, the county’s stadium account finally is about to run a deficit beginning next year.