by Andy Brownfield
President touts support for small businesses and LGBT rights
In the first town hall-style event of the 2012 campaign,
President Barack Obama fielded questions on Monday about rights for the
LGBT community, what he would do for small business during a second term
and which was his favorite Girl Scout cookie (Thin Mints).
Obama — the first Democrat to carry Hamilton County since
Lyndon Baines Johnson — held a packed town hall meeting at Music Hall.
Cincinnati Fire Department Capt. Joseph E. Wolf estimated the crowd at
1,200 people in the ballroom with an additional 421 hosted outside.
The most recent Quinnipiac University poll from June 27
showed that 47 percent of Ohio voters favored the president, while 38
percent were behind his presumed Republican challenger Mitt Romney. The
poll’s margin of error was plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.
Mayor Mark Mallory fired up the crowd before the president
spoke, saying Hamilton County is the most important county in Ohio, and
Cincinnati the most important city in the county.
“The folks in this room are the most important folks in
terms of the re-election of President Barack Obama in the United States
of America,” Mallory said.
Attending the town hall was former Cincinnati mayor and
daytime TV host Jerry Springer, who said he and about a dozen other
folks had a private meeting with the president earlier in the day.
"I think it would be bad for the country," Springer said of an America
that saw Obama lose the November election. He says the
Republican-controlled house would run away with our country without a
Democrat in the Oval Office to issue a veto.
Just an hour before the president spoke and seven blocks
away at Fountain Square, dozens of Romney supporters rallied, carrying
signs with slogans such as “Obama Bin Lyin’.”
Republican Mike Wilson, who is looking to unseat
Montgomery Democrat Rep. Connie Pillich in the Ohio House of
Representatives, was among the speakers at the Romney Rally. Pillich defeated Wilson in the 2010 election.
"Ohio seems destined to play a pivotal role. We're used to it," Wilson said.
Wilson criticized the Obama campaign for “playing politics” with Romney’s tenure at the head of investment firm Bain Capital.
The Obama campaign has claimed that Romney invested in businesses that outsourced American jobs.
“We're all interested with what Romney did with his money,
but we're not interested with what Obama is doing with our money,"
He blamed over-regulation and taxation from the Obama administration for companies moving their operations overseas.
Gerry Molt, who attended the rally with his wife Roxanne,
claimed that Obama is at war with America and says the focus on Bain
Capital is “clearly a distraction.”
Roxanne Molt said she’s excited about the importance of Hamilton County in this year’s election.
“I think this is the premier election of our lifetime,”
she said. “I think Romney’s got a good plan. We need someone who
The president did a little bit to support Cincinnati
capitalism, making a pit stop at Skyline Chili before the town hall,
where he ordered a 4-way and two cheese coneys.
The economy was a big focus of Obama’s speech, but also of questions he received afterward.
Tony White, who owns a barber shop/beauty salon, asked
what the president would do for small businesses with fewer than 10
In his response, the president touted the possible savings
for small businesses under the health care overhaul, saying they could
pool together and receive the same rates as larger businesses. As for
moving forward, Obama said he would continue to put pressure on banks to
lend to small businesses.
“We’ve actually been pushing the banks to say, ‘look,
taxpayers pulled your backside out of the fire, it’s now important for
you to step up and make sure that small businesses aren’t finding their
credit restricted, especially if they’ve been in business for a while,”
The president was also asked by a woman who only
identified herself as Anna what he would do to further help the LGBT
community. Anna’s son Adam is openly gay and is looking at attending
Miami University in Oxford.
Despite earlier teasing that he wouldn’t sing at the town
hall, Obama led the crown in singing “Happy Birthday” to Adam, who
turned 18 on Monday.
Obama again answered the question by touting his
accomplishments so far — ending the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that
forbid homosexuals from serving openly in the military and expanding
hospital visitation rights to same-sex partners — before going on to say that the federal Defense of Marriage Act needs to be repealed.
The Defense of Marriage Act defines marriage as between
one man and one woman. Obama is the first American president to openly
support gay marriage.
The theme the president to which continued to return was that America needs to return to being the land of opportunity.
“What really sets us apart has always been that we have
the greatest middle class and a basic idea that’s at the heart of this
country that says if you work hard then you can get ahead. If you’re
responsive, then you can live out your dreams. You’re not confined to
the circumstances of your birth.”German Lopez contributed to this report.
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 27, 2012
The U.S. Supreme Court today said “hell
nah” to many parts of an Arizona law designed to fight illegal
immigration by racially profiling people. It wasn’t a total victory for
those who don’t love America and think a nation built by immigrants will
be ruined by them, as the court let a provision stand that allows
police to check a person’s immigration status while enforcing other
by Danny Cross
It was “Rich People Voice Their Concerns Night” at city
councils across town last night, as proponents of the $1 sale of Music
Hall packed Cincinnati City Council chambers even though the proposed
lease deal wasn’t on the agenda. Mayor Mark Mallory insisted that any
middle ground that will allow the nonprofit Music Hall Revitalization
Co. to renovate the building will require that the city retain
Across town (and about 10 miles northeast toward the area with mass trees), Madeira City Council shot down a plan to
develop a luxury apartment complex on Camargo Road. Council voted 6-1 to
scrap the plan for a 184-unit complex after residents who voiced
concern said the complex would be “too dense” and take away from the
city’s single-family character. Word on the street is that the Council
majority didn’t want scumbag renters like this guy to be able to move
into the neighborhood and start playing music really loud out of their car stereos.
Cincinnati City Council yesterday pretty much canceled its
plans to build an atrium at City Hall. Six council members approved a
motion asking administrators to shut it down, and City Manager
Milton Dohoney says he’ll abide by it even though he technically doesn’t
have to because the funding was approved in a spending ordinance.
Council also voted yesterday to keep the property tax rate pretty much the same next year despite a projected deficit.
Now that the Supreme Court has temporarily upheld part of Arizona’s racist
controversial immigration law, no-name state legislators in Ohio and
Kentucky plan to break out the laws they couldn’t previously get passed.
According to The Enquirer’s Mark Curnutte (who apparently won a
national book award for his work covering poverty in Haiti — big ups,
Curnutte!), some dudes named Courtney Combs (R-Ross Township, Ohio) and
John Schickel (R-Union, Ky.) have some great ways to rid of their states'
illegal immigrants, at least until the court strikes down the rest of
New York Times: "Arizona Ruling Only a Narrow Opening for Other States"
Housing prices are going up in most cities due to low interest rates and cheap prices.
A new Obama campaign ad refers to Mitt Romney as “outsourcer in chief.” Ouch!
The War on Drugs is making the AIDS epidemic worse by driving people away from treatment, according to a report released today by the Global Commission on Drug Policy.
California condors are being threatened by lead poisoning
from bullets left behind in dead carcasses shot by hunters, which the
Facebook changed users' listed email accounts, and people on the Internet are mad. Gizmodo explains how to fix it.
The Spice Girls are reuniting to create a musical called Viva Forever! at London's Piccadilly Theatre.
by Danny Cross
Posted In: 2012 Election
, President Obama
, LGBT Issues
, Healthcare Reform
at 09:19 AM | Permalink
Leaders of the nonprofit Music Hall Revitalization Co.
seemed to have compromised last week when the group proposed a 99-year lease of
Music Hall as part of a $165 million renovation. But the lease included a
clause that would allow the group to acquire the historic building for $1 at
the end of the lease or at the end of a second 99-year lease. The permanent
sale of the building is what held up the initial plan to turn the renovation
over to the nonprofit group, which says its donors will not offer the financial
support without the city turning over ownership. Mayor Mark Mallory told The
Enquirer that the proposal will not be approved. “I don’t care if it’s 99 years, 198 years, 500 years or
1,000 years, the city should always retain ownership,” Mallory said. “That
should never change.”
George W. Bush Presidential Library denied a request by a Democratic super PAC
for documents related to Sen. Rob Portman’s work in the George W. Bush
administration. The library says it is not subject to the Freedom of
Information Act and that all are welcome to see the documents in 2014. The
super PAC, American Bridge 21st Century, has been researching GOP candidates as
Mitt Romney moves closer to choosing a running mate.
you look at the roster of V.P. candidates, each of them is significantly
flawed,” American Bridge senior adviser Ty Matsdorf said in a statement. “For
Portman, it is his calamitous record on fiscal issues while working at the Bush
White House. It shouldn’t be a shock that he is going to want to keep that
under wraps for as long as possible, but unfortunately it’s pretty hard to hide
a record as terrible as that.”
is live blogging from the Supreme Court to see if there are any rulings on the
health care law or immigration.
Gay pride celebrations took place in New York, Chicago and
San Francisco over the weekend, and Obama organizers were there to recruit
Spain formally asked for European aid for its banks.
The sea level is rising faster along the Atlantic Coast than
other places in the world.
Facebook has created a new “find friends nearby” function
that will allow users to see friends and people they don’t know who are at
events or social gatherings. From some Facebook engineer’s comments on the
I built Find Friends Nearby with another engineer for a
hackathon project. While it was originally called ‘Friendshake’, we
settled on ‘Find Friends Nearby’ for launch (the URL was a little bit of
a homage to the previous iteration).
For me, the ideal use case for this product is the one
where when you’re out with a group of people whom you’ve recently met
and want to stay in contact with. Facebook search might be effective, or
sharing your vanity addresses or business cards, but this tool provides
a really easy way to exchange contact information with multiple people
with minimal friction.
HBO’s The Newsroom premiered last night, and this guy at the
Toronto Star said it kind of sucked while the New York Times says CNN could
learn something from it.
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 6, 2012
If the 1985 film Pee Wee’s Big Adventure taught us anything, it’s that rich people think they can have whatever they want
when someone loves an object enough, he or she will do anything to keep
it. That’s kind of what’s going on over at Music Hall these days.
by Danny Cross
The Enquirer today offered a
dramatic headline on its front page story, asking the figurative
question, “Who will blink first on Music Hall deal?” Although
Mayor Mark Mallory is able to literally blink, such involuntary
action will not directly affect his stance on giving away Music Hall,
which he is still opposed to.
Cincinnati's outstanding stadium tax
bonds were downgraded by Moody's Investor Services, partially as a
result of the county's sale of Drake Hospital last year and its
unwillingness to cut the property tax rollback that helped convince
rich people to vote for the tax in the first place. Gov. John Kasich this week signed an
executive order allowing the Ohio Lottery Commission to expedite new
rules allowing slot machines at racetracks. The state's seven
racetracks are expected to begin submitting applications for the
17,500 machines within the next few months.
Condoleeze Rice endorsed Mitt Romney,
as the Republican presidential candidate struggles to differentiate
his foreign policy from Obama's.
A Seattle man yesterday killed five
people before shooting himself as authorities closed in on him.
Various security cameras caught footage of the suspect entering a
cafe, where he allegedly shot and killed four people. He reportedly killed
another person during a carjacking. According to The Seattle Times,
the suspect is Ian Lee Stawicki, 40, of Seattle, whose brother says
he is mentally ill.
Florida Democrats are wondering what's
up with Republican Gov. Rick Scott's effort to purge illegal voters
from the state's rolls before this year's elections, partially in
response to legal voters being booted.
Job creation: light. Unemployment
claims: slightly up. Economy: growing a little slower than expected. Details here
Ever ordered a medium soda only to
realize that the giant cup doesn't fit in a normal car cup holder?
New York City could soon ban large sodas and other sugary drinks.
by Mike Breen
Posted In: Live Music
at 11:24 AM | Permalink
Young rocker Chris Daughtry worked very hard on his way to stardom, traveling the country back and forth in a tiny van with his bandmates, playing any dive that'll have him and hustling to make business connections any chance he got. Oh, wait — actually, he came in fourth place on a TV singing contest. On top of Grammy nominations and No. 1 hits, tonight he's playing with his band at Music freakin' Hall. If Daughtry's generic Radio Rock sound is your thang, have fun. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. with singer/songwriter Mike Sanchez and the band Safetysuit. Tickets are $30.50-$50.50. Daughtry is donating $1 from each ticket sold to Malaria No More, "a leading humanitarian organization determined to end malaria deaths in Africa by 2015." So he's got that goin' for him …He does a wicked Lady Gaga impersonation, too.
0 Comments · Tuesday, March 13, 2012
The city of Cincinnati is considering selling
Over-the-Rhine’s historic Music Hall for just $1 to nonprofit Music Hall
Revitalization Co. Inc. The looming need for $165 million worth of
repairs has been too great for the city to handle, and selling it to a
private entity could make attaining the funds easier.
by Kevin Osborne
A plan by two Hamilton County commissioners to help solve a $14 million deficit in the stadium account by reducing operating expenses at the county-owned facilities for the Reds and Bengals and hosting more events there isn't feasible, county staffers said. In December Commissioners Chris Monzel and Todd Portune proposed the plan rather than reduce a property tax rebate for homeowners. Erica Riehl, the county’s sales tax fund specialist, wrote in a memo that most operational expenses are “non-negotiable” and establishing a revenue goal is not “practical or dependable” as an annual revenue source, The Enquirer reports. Time to find a real solution, guys.Today's sunny weather might put you in the mood for spring and some baseball. Although the Reds' Opening Day isn't until April 5, fans can begin camping out today at Great American Ball Park to score tickets to the opener against the Miami Marlins. Tickets will go on sale 9 a.m. Saturday; there are 1,000 view level seats for $35 each and 500 standing room only tickets for $25 each. Hurry up, though: Last year the tickets sold out in less than an hour.Speaking of sports, two special visitors will travel to Ohio next Tuesday to attend the first games of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at the University of Dayton. President Obama will bring British Prime Minister David Cameron to the Gem City to watch some hoops.The turnabout is now complete. Ohio Gov. John Kasich sent a letter Wednesday afternoon to President Obama asking for a presidential disaster declaration for Clermont County. Shortly after last Friday's tornado, Kasich had said he didn't believe federal aid was needed. Then, after public outcry and a personal appeal from U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Miami Township), Kasich switched course earlier this week and allowed Federal Emergency Management Agency teams to inspect the area. Obama already issued a major disaster declaration Tuesday for Kenton and Pendleton counties in Northern Kentucky.An Ohio lawmaker from Greater Cincinnati wants to repeal daylight savings time in the Buckeye State. State Rep. Courtney Combs (R-Hamilton) will introduce a bill today to keep Ohio on standard time throughout the year. Combs called the World War I-era practice outdated and unneeded. “While it may have made sense when the government was fighting a war, it has no place in a modern world. Nowadays, all it does is inconvenience people twice a year,” he said.The city of Cincinnati is preparing to sell historic Music Hall in Over-the-Rhine to a nonprofit group for just $1. Although the 134-year-old structure has an appraised value of $12.7 million, it needs major renovations and city officials say a private owner would have an easier time raising $165 million to upgrade and improve the facility. The private group, Music Hall Revitalization Co. Inc., also would be responsible for future operating and maintenance costs.In news elsewhere, emails obtained by hacker group Anonymous and posted by WikiLeaks indicate terrorist leader Osama bin Laden might not have been buried at sea last year by the U.S. military, as Obama and U.S. officials said. The emails, from high-profile intelligence service Stratfor, said bin Laden was flown to Delaware on a CIA plane, then taken to the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Bethesda, Md. The official version of bin Laden's death had alleged he was wrapped in a sheet and “eased” off the decks of a naval ship into the North Arabian Sea just hours after he was killed on May 2 in a raid by Navy SEALs.Taliban fighters in Pakistan pledge to attack government, police and military officials if three of bin Laden's widows aren't released from Pakistani custody, a Taliban spokesman said today. Pakistan's government has charged bin Laden's three widows with illegally entering and staying in the nation, which observers said was probably done at the urging of U.S. officials.Many Republican political campaign professionals believe Mitt Romney will win the GOP's presidential nomination but is perceived as weak and needs to quickly and decisively recast his image. Otherwise, they add, Romney will suffer the same fate as Bob Dole in 1996, when he lost the election to Democratic incumbent Bill Clinton.U.S. employers added 227,000 jobs in February to complete three of the best months of hiring since the recession began. The unemployment rate was unchanged, largely because more people streamed into the work force. The Labor Department said today that the unemployment rate stayed at 8.3 percent last month, the lowest in three years.European leaders are praising a recent Greek debt swap deal, adding it will pave the way for another eurozone bailout. Holders of 85.8 percent of debt subject to Greek law and 69 percent of its international debt holders agreed to a debt swap. Athens needed to get 75 percent to push through the deal, which is a condition of Greece's latest bailout. The Greek deal with its lenders is the largest restructuring of government debt in history.
Cincinnati Opera offers a cinematic version of 'The Magic Flute'
0 Comments · Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute is a perfect point of entry for kids. There’s plenty of fantasy, a happy ending, no one dies and the music is sublime. But for director Tomer Zvulun, it’s all about the magic. Although instruments get the magic started, Mozart’s utterly delightful score and characters like the bird catcher Papageno, his mate Papagena and a host of birds and animals are the opera’s true magical forces.