WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 

Cincinnati vs. The World 10.24.2012

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Ann Coulter says the darndest things. The Republican pundit tweeted this gem to her more than 200,000 Twitter followers, referencing President Obama: “I highly approve of Romney’s decision to be kind and gentle to the retard.” WORLD -2   
by German Lopez 10.23.2012
 
 
barack obama 2

Morning News and Stuff

In-person early voting is underway in Ohio. Find your nearest polling booth here. The final presidential debate between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney was last night. The general consensus from media pundits is Obama won by a substantial margin. But political scientists say debates typically have negligible electoral impact. In aggregate polling, Obama is up in Ohio by 1.9 points and Romney is up nationally by 0.6 points. Ohio is looking like a must-win state for both campaigns, so Obama’s advantage there is a very bad sign for Romney. FiveThirtyEight, The New York Times’ election forecast blog, has an explanation of how and why the current electoral landscape favors Obama.    In a follow-up to the debate, Romney will be visiting Greater Cincinnati Thursday. A new motion by City Councilwoman Laure Quinlivan could encourage more people and businesses to make use of the city’s LEED program. The program uses special tax exemptions to encourage buildings to be cleaner and greener.  Cincinnati’s City Planning Commission approved Plan Cincinnati Friday. With the approval, the plan’s only hurdle is City Council. If passed, the plan will reform city policies to put a new emphasis on the city’s urban core. That means a cleaner, greener city with more transportation options, ranging from walking and biking to the streetcar and rail. CityBeat wrote about Plan Cincinnati here. The full plan can be found here.   Three Republicans in the state legislature, including Cincinnati’s Sen. Bill Seitz and Rep. Louis Tehrar, introduced a bill that would require health insurance providers to cover autism. Critics say the move could cost small businesses too much during an economic downturn, but supporters say it’s necessary to Ohio’s mental health coverage requirement, which was passed in 2007. Seitz says the bill could also save money by bringing down special education costs. In a sign of Ohio's education funding problems, one report found two of three Ohio school levies are asking for additional funding. But Cincinnati Public Schools’ (CPS) levy will only not ask for extra funding or higher taxes; instead, it asks for funding and taxes to remain the same. CityBeat covered Issue 42, the CPS levy, in-depth here.  A new report found Ohio students graduate with more debt than most of the nation. The report named the state a “high debt state” with an average of $28,683 in student loans — above the national average of $26,600. Despite what a recent conflict between Commissioner Greg Hartmann and Mayor Mark Mallory implies, Cincinnati and Hamilton County are working together. The city and county are cooperating on the Banks project, funding the Port Authority and operating the Metropolitan Sewer District.  Cincinnati is working harder to enforce a chronic nuisance disorder. A property is classified as a chronic nuisance when it surpasses a certain amount of crimes and violations. The law is meant to hold property owners accountable for what happens in their buildings. There are more signs that Ohio’s fracking boom may not be sustainable. Natural gas producers are not seeing the profits they expected from the boom. For many, the boom is quickly turning into a bust. Still, natural gas prices have massively dropped, and an analysis at The Washington Post suggests natural gas could play an important role in reducing carbon emissions. CityBeat wrote in-depth about the fracking boom in Ohio and the faulty regulations on the industry here.  The Ohio Board of Regents is using a grant to award 1,300 associate degrees to transfer students over two years. Fourteen recreational trails in Ohio will get $1.6 million in federal funding, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. However, none of the trails are in Hamilton County.The key to humanity: cooked food.
 
 
by German Lopez 10.22.2012
 
 
Mitt Romney

Morning News and Stuff

In-person early voting is underway in Ohio. Find your nearest polling booth here. The final presidential debate is tonight. It will cover foreign policy. The debate will likely focus on the recent attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya and Iran’s nuclear program. Whatever happens, political scientists say debates typically have little-to-no electoral impact. In aggregate polling, Obama is up 2.2 points in Ohio and Romney is up 0.3 points nationally. Ohio is considered a must-win for Romney, and it could play the role of 2000's Florida. The debate begins at 9 p.m. It will be streamed live on YouTube and C-SPAN. CityBeat will host a debate party tonight at MOTR Pub in Over-the-Rhine from 7:30-10:30 p.m. Come watch the debate and live tweet. Councilman Chris Seelbach will make an appearance. If you can’t show up, at least tweet if you watch the debate with the hashtag #cbdebate. Check out the event’s Facebook page for more information. If Gov. John Kasich gets his way, 60 percent of bachelor’s degrees will be completable in three years by 2014. The move intends to raise graduation rates and save money for students. Currently, very few students graduate in three years. Only 1 percent of Miami University students and 2 percent of University of Cincinnati students graduate that quickly. Ohio’s Third Grade Reading Guarantee, a new education policy approved by Kasich that requires all students to be proficient in reading in third grade before they can move onto fourth grade, could cause 40 percent of students to be held back in some schools. The policy is meant to encourage better progress and higher reading standards, but some studies have found retention has negative effects on children.  The Urban League of Greater Cincinnati announced a merger and expansion into Dayton. The organization will now be called the Urban League of Southwest Ohio. Greater Cincinnati home sales ticked up in September, but there was some slowdown.The end of the Scripps trust that funded the Cincinnati-based E.W. Scripps Company could lead to the end of a few newspapers. But Ohio will not be affected; the company no longer owns newspapers in the state. Plant identification has never been easier at Cincinnati parks. University of Cincinnati researchers are using a $2.7 million grant to see if there’s a difference between generic versus brand drugs for transplant patients. The study could potentially save money and lives. Tired of traditional bridges? Meet the trampoline bridge.
 
 
by Jac Kern 10.17.2012
at 02:42 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
baby-angel

I Just Can't Get Enough

It’s a good time to be a Louie C.K. fan. And probably a good time to be Louie C.K., since in the last year the comedian has nabbed two Emmys, wrapped a successful third season of his FX series and pretty much single-handedly changed the way performers distribute media. Where most performers might ride this wave until it crashes, taking on additional projects and endorsements, C.K. is taking the opportunity to lay low for a bit. The comedian is taking an extended break from the spotlight, putting his show Louie on hiatus until 2014. Yes, it sucks to wait more than a year for a great series, but even his most devoted fans must wipe their tears and acknowledge this smart move. Instead of ordering extra episodes, cranking out more material until he gets so burnt out he pulls a Chappelle, C.K. will be able to take the time to continue producing (directing, writing and starring in) more hilariously dark shows. Speaking of good shows we have to wait so very long for, here’s a fun Breaking Bad dance jam to get you through ‘til next summer. No spoilers, but I’ll warn you, it’s mighty addictive (heh). Everyone with an Instagram account and Starbucks latte believes they are a photographer, but most of us leave the real snapping to the pros, knowing better than to fake such a talent. Right? When two real photogs discovered an alarming number of crappy pictures taken by supposed “professionals,” they decided to call these fools out with one message: You Are Not A Photographer. The highly anticipated film Skyfall hits theaters next month, but Bond fans are already geeking out over the new theme song by Adele: This is the singer’s first release since her award-winning 2011 album, 21. She’s due to give birth to her first child any day now. Remember Dane Cook? He was that comedian that was pretty funny for about 15 minutes in 2005 but quickly joined the likes of Nickelback and Ed Hardy enthusiasts in the Douchebag Hall of Fame. Well, Dane Cook’s still around and he still sucks. Cook was set to star in a new NBC sitcom, Next Caller. Cook played host of a sex and dating-type radio show, “Booty Call,” oddly paired with a new, bubbly female co-host. I know what you’re thinking. When does this television gold hit the airwaves?! Unfortunately, NBC found the final product so dismal, they scrapped the entire series after filming four of six episodes. So, for the record, NBC felt throwing money in the toilet was a better plan than giving Cook screen time. I’ll admit, I gave Cook props for appearing on a second season episode of Louie in which he faced the accusations that he steals jokes (from C.K., in fact). But watch the Next Caller post-mortem trailer and you’ll agree this cancellation was for the best. Now, to wash away that gritty pockmarked face from your memory, enjoy this story about Ed, the peg-leg pug!Ed is one of Australia’s first rescue dogs to receive a prosthetic limb. Let this be a reminder to spay and neuter your cats and dogs and support rescue pets over breeders.It was recently announced that two of my all-time favorite humans will host next year’s Golden Globes. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will take over for Ricky Gervais, who hosted the tribute to film and television for the past three years. I could go on at length about my love for this duo, carefully citing my favorite works (everything they've ever done), but I’ll leave my official endorsement to this: Bitches get stuff done. As far as politics go, I'm pretty sure all we need to know is there was a debate Monday night and Mitt Romney has binders just chock full of women. Yes, November is going to be quite an interesting month. Who’s to say what the outcome will be? So many insane characters — how can we keep them all straight? Oh, I’m not talking about the election. I’m referring to the MFing return of R. Kelly’s Trapped in the Closet Hip Hopera. Trapped capped off with 22 chapters released between 2005-2007. The maestro has composed an additional 20 chapters to be released on IFC on Black Friday, Nov. 23 — a perfect way to spend your holiday eating leftovers. Here’s a peek at the latest, Chapter 23. Take it from R. Kelly, “These next chapters of Trapped in the Closet is gonna be so craaaazy."
 
 

Romney Comeback Narrative Disconnected from Reality

1 Comment · Wednesday, October 17, 2012
As Mitt Romney rose in the polls against President Barack Obama following the first presidential debate, the media quickly grabbed onto a new narrative: the Romney comeback.   
by German Lopez 10.17.2012
 
 
barack obama 2

Morning News and Stuff

In-person early voting is underway in Ohio. Find your nearest polling booth here. The second presidential debate between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney took place last night. The general consensus from the media is Obama won. Although the victory will likely inspire an Obama comeback narrative for some political pundits, keep in mind political scientists say debates typically have little electoral impact. But debates can reveal substance, and The Washington Post has an article “footnoting” the policy specifics from the debate. As of today, aggregate polling shows Obama up in Ohio by 2.2 points and Romney up nationally by 0.4 points. Ohio is widely considered a must-win for Romney. Obama and Romney will have their final debate next Monday. CityBeat will be hosting an event at MOTR Pub in Over-the-Rhine during the debate. More info can be found on the event’s Facebook page. The Ohio Department of Education released its remaining school report card data today. The data is meant to give Ohioans a clear picture as to whether schools are improving. The data was delayed due to an ongoing investigation into attendance rigging at Ohio schools. In the new report card data, Cincinnati Public Schools was downgraded from “Effective” in the 2010-2011 school year to “Continuous Improvement” in the 2011-2012 school year. The new mark is still positive, but it is a downgrade. Down goes Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s early voting appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. With the Supreme Court refusing to take up Husted’s appeal, Ohio must allow all voters to vote on the weekend and Monday before Election Day. Husted also sent out a directive enforcing uniform voting hours for the three days. On Saturday, booths will be open 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. On Sunday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. On Monday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. It seems City Council action was not enough to get Duke Energy to budge on the streetcar. The local energy company says it wants an operating agreement before it starts construction work. On Sept. 24, City Council passed a funding deal that shifted $15 million from the Blue Ash airport deal to the streetcar and established $14 million through a new financing plan. The city says it will get the $15 million back if it wins in the dispute with Duke. The city claims it’s Duke’s responsibility to pay for moving utility pipes and lines to accommodate for the streetcar, but Duke insists it’s the city’s responsibility.  The University Board of Trustees is expected to approve Santa Ono as UC’s new president. Ono has been serving as interim president ever since Greg Williams abruptly resigned, citing personal reasons. The Horseshoe Casino is really coming along. Casino owners are already booking meetings and events for spring 2013. Cincinnati Children’s Hospital announced a big breakthrough in combating muscular dystrophy. The hospital claims it successfully installed a device in a patient with Duchenne muscular dystrophy that allows the patient’s heart to pump blood to the body in the long term. With Gov. John Kasich's recommendation, Ohio universities will have cheaper, quicker options for students. A new provision will require 10 percent of bachelor’s degrees from public universities to be completable in three years instead of four. Ohio’s attorney general wants help in solving an unsolved double homicide in Cincinnati. Attorney General Mike DeWine has recently fixated on cold cases — previously unsolved cases that could be solved with new information and tools. Scientists found an earth-sized planet orbiting the star nearest to our solar system.
 
 
by German Lopez 10.16.2012
 
 
voterfraud

Morning News and Stuff

In-person early voting is underway in Ohio. Find your nearest polling booth here. State Rep. Alicia Reece, a Democrat, is not happy with what she sees as another attempt at voter suppression. Reece claims a new billboard, which reads “Voter Fraud is a Felony,” is meant to intimidate voters — particularly voters in low-income and black neighborhoods. The company hosting the billboards says there are 30 billboards like it in Greater Cincinnati and the sponsor of the billboards, who chose to remain anonymous, did not ask to target any specific demographic. The second presidential debate is tonight at 9 p.m. All eyes are on President Barack Obama to deliver a better performance than he did in the last debate against Mitt Romney. The media was quick to jump on the post-debate bounce in polls Romney experienced a mere week after the debate, but political scientists say debates typically don’t have much political significance in the long term. Still, the debate will be a good opportunity for Obama and Romney to flesh out their positions and show their abilities to reach out to the public. The full schedule of the remaining debates can be found here. The agreed-upon rules to the debates were leaked yesterday. One notable rule says the candidates may not ask each other any direct questions during any of the debates. Both the Romney and Obama campaigns made a fuss about tonight's debate moderator possibly asking follow-up questions. But the debate isn’t the only important presidential test this week. While in Youngstown, Paul Ryan, Republican vice presidential nominee, tried to show he can pass the dish washing test, but little did he know that savvy media outlets were ready to call him out on his dishonesty. Brian Antal, president of the Mahoning County St. Vincent De Paul Society, said Ryan was only at the group’s soup kitchen for the picture and didn’t do much work. The visit apparently angered Antal, who said his charity group is supposed to be nonpartisan. The race for Ohio’s U.S. Senate seat saw its first of three debates yesterday. At the debate, Democratic incumbent Sherrod Brown and Republican challenger Josh Mandel agreed on very little, and they did not have many kind words for each other. Mandel criticized Brown for the auto bailout, liberal economic policies and inability to get a budget through the Senate. Brown criticized Mandel for alleged cronyism in the state treasurer’s office, dishonesty on the campaign trail and support for trickle-down economics. The next debate is in Columbus on Thursday, and the two men will face off one last time in Cincinnati on Oct. 25.Ohio is still weighing options regarding a Medicaid expansion. Critics of the expansion are worried the expansion would cost the state too much money. However, previous research shows Medicaid expansions can actually save states money by lowering the amount of uncompensated care. Medicaid expansions in other states also notably improved lives. One analyst says Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble will see stronger growth in the future. A controversial ruling by the Ohio Supreme Court is sparking some local debate. The ruling said juveniles are not entitled to an attorney during police interrogations preceding a charge or initial appearance at juvenile court. Under state law, juveniles are allowed to have attorneys during “proceedings,” and the Ohio Supreme Court interpreted “proceedings” to mean “court proceedings.” Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted announced 6,665 new entities filed to do business in Ohio in September. The number is up from September 2011, when 6,143 new entities filed to do business; but it’s down from August 2012, when 7,341 entities asked to do business in Ohio. The numbers show a steady economic recovery. The Ohio Turnpike may get a few changes soon. A new Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) study shows a few options for Gov. John Kasich’s administration: lease the turnpike, give it over to ODOT or leave it alone. If the turnpike is leased or handed over to ODOT, tolls will likely rise to keep up with inflation and two maintenance facilities will shut down. However, the revenue generated could be used for new transportation projects — a goal for the Kasich administration. Kasich is set to make his decision in about a month. In other Ohio Turnpike news, Turnpike Director Rick Hodges announced turnpike tow truck companies will soon be paid less but allowed to charge customers more. Scientists want to measure human consciousness. The technology could gauge whether vegetative patients retain any awareness.
 
 
by German Lopez 10.15.2012
 
 
sherrod brown

Morning News and Stuff

In-person early voting is underway in Ohio. Find your nearest polling booth here. The first of three debates for Ohio’s U.S. Senate seat is today. Incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown and Republican challenger Josh Mandel will meet for the first time to prove who has the better vision for the state. Democrats have repeatedly criticized Mandel for dishonesty and dodging questions. Republicans have criticized Brown for supporting President Barack Obama’s policies, including the auto bailout and Obamacare. A more substantive analysis of the candidates’ differences can be found here. In aggregate polling, Brown currently leads by five points. The debate will be at 12:30 p.m. on C-SPAN.    Paul Ryan, the Republican candidate for vice president, will be in Cincinnati today. Ryan’s event will take place at Lunken Airport at noon. Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate, was in Lebanon Saturday. With the second presidential debate between President Barack Obama and Romney tomorrow, both campaigns are turning up the events in Ohio, a state that is widely considered a must-win for both candidates. According to aggregate polling, Obama still holds Ohio by 2.2 points despite a nationwide post-debate bounce in the polls for Romney.  Bicyclists rejoiced Saturday as McMillan Street was converted back into a two-way street. William Howard Taft Road will undergo a similar transition Oct. 20. The conversion of both roads came thanks to the approval of Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls, who pushed the motion in order to revitalize the business sector in the neighborhood. The rest of Ohio’s school report card data will be released Wednesday. The report card data grades schools to see how school districts are doing in a variety of categories. The release for the data was initially delayed due to an ongoing investigation by the state auditor that’s looking into accusations of attendance reporting fraud at some school districts. Previously, the state auditor released preliminary findings criticizing some school districts and the Ohio Department of Education for some findings regarding attendance fraud.   A new report found Cincinnati still has a lot of work to do. The city ranked No. 10 out of 12 similar cities. Cincinnati excelled in job creation and housing opportunities, but it did poorly in categories regarding migration and age. Bob Taft, former Republican governor of Ohio, is going green. The Ohio Environmental Council is rewarding Taft for standing up for the environment during his gubernatorial term. Ohio’s stricter laws for exotic animals convinced one pet owner to move her two tigers to Indiana. Some guy broke the sound barrier with his body yesterday.
 
 
by German Lopez 10.12.2012
Posted In: 2012 Election, Economy, Health care, News, Education, Voting at 08:49 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
joebiden

Morning News and Stuff

In-person early voting is underway in Ohio. Find your nearest polling booth here. The vice presidential debate between Democratic Vice President Joe Biden and Republican U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan took place last night. The general consensus among pundits is the debate was a draw, with perhaps Biden edging out ahead. Regardless of who won, political scientists say debates have little-to-no electoral impact in the long term, especially vice presidential debates.   Mitt Romney made a bit of a flub yesterday. He told The Columbus Dispatch, “We don’t have a setting across this country where if you don’t have insurance, we just say to you, ‘Tough luck, you’re going to die when you have your heart attack.’” However, that’s not completely accurate. Research shows the uninsured are a lot more likely to die from a heart attack, mostly because they get substantially less preventive health care.   PolitiFact Ohio says Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted is wrong about Issue 2. Specifically, Husted said if a member of the independent commission was bribed, the member could not be kicked out of office. PolitiFact says the claim is false because methods for removing unelected officials from office exist outside of the redistricting amendment. If Issue 2 passed, redistricting would be handled by an independent citizens commission. Currently, elected officials redraw district boundaries, but they often use the process for political advantage. The Republican majority redrew the First Congressional District, which includes Cincinnati, to include Warren County, giving Republicans an advantage by giving them more rural voters that are more likely to vote for them. But Husted did have some good news yesterday. A federal appeals court judge upheld a decision requiring election officials to count provisional ballots that were brought about due to poll worker mistakes. Husted didn’t much care for that part of the ruling. However, the judge also said a legal signature must be required on every provisional ballot, overturning that part of the previous decision. A very small win, but Husted seemed happy in a statement: “I am extremely pleased that the Court of Appeals agreed with me that we must have a valid, legal signature on all provisional ballots.” The mayor and Cincinnati Public Schools announced a new joint effort that won a $40,000 grant yesterday. The effort will go to 50 tutors, who will help 100 students meet the state’s new Third Grade Reading Guarantee.However, a loophole in the Third Grade Reading Guarantee may allow third-graders to skip tests to move onto the fourth grade. Out of 12 similar regions, Cincinnati ranks No. 10 on 15 indicators including jobs, cost of living and population. Cincinnati did fairly well in terms of just jobs, though; the city was No. 6 in that category. The ranks come from Vision 2015 and Agenda 360. With the support of Gov. John Kasich, Ohio is trying to do more with university research. The theme of the push is to build stronger links between universities and the private sector to boost stronger, entrepreneurial research. Josh Mandel, state treasurer and Ohio’s Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, is in trouble again for not answering questions. A testy exchange on live radio started when Ron Ponder, the host, asked Mandel about potential cronyism in the treasurer’s office, and Mandel replied by implying Ponder is with the Brown campaign. Ponder got so fed up he eventually ended the exchange by saying, “Hang up on this dude, man.”Does eating more chocolate earn a nation more Nobel prizes? Science says no. I say yes.
 
 
by Andy Brownfield 10.10.2012
Posted In: 2012 Election, Social Justice at 01:43 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
nunsonthebus

Nuns Hop on Bus to Tour Ohio

"Nuns on the Bus" tour to encourage voters to pick candidates that will provide for poor

A group of Catholic nuns kicked off a 1,000-mile, six-day tour across Ohio on Wednesday, during which they plan on telling voters to elect candidates who will do the most for the state’s poor. “In democracy, the role of government is to represent all of us and show us how we work together,” said Sister Simone Campbell, a Catholic nun and executive director of Catholic lobbying group NETWORK.   “So that when some politicians want to tell us that there is no role for government, that government is only there to let individuals take care of their individualistic selves, I want to say, ‘that’s not democracy. That’s not our Constitution, and that’s not our faith.'” The “Nuns on the Bus” tour started Wednesday in Cincinnati and will travel through Dayton, Lima, Columbus, Toledo, Fremont, Cleveland, Youngstown, Akron, Athens and Marietta before ending back in Cincinnati on Oct. 15. The trip features Catholic nuns from across Ohio who will be urging Ohio voters to examine what the Bible says about caring for the poor. Dominican Sister of Hope Monica McGloin said voters should choose the candidate who would best embody those teachings. McGloin said the tour would not support any political party or candidate. “We certainly don’t want to be partisan, because that’s not what we’re about,” she said. “The fact is, neither candidate is talking about the poor.” While the bus tour kickoff was nonpartisan – speakers avoided mentioning either candidate by name – a number of attendees had their jackets or cars adorned with buttons or bumper stickers supporting president Barack Obama. McGloin said she had a list of things she’d like to see from the next president: access to health care for all Americans, more jobs, a focus on education and programs that help people meet their basic needs, like housing. This isn’t the first bus tour for Campbell, who planned on heading to work in Washington, D.C. after the first Cincinnati stop. She organized the original nine-state “Nuns on the Bus” tour over the summer. The earlier tour was in protest over the budget proposed by Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, himself a Catholic. Ryan’s budget would gut many social programs relied on by the poor.
 
 

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