by German Lopez
Obama gives State of the Union, archdiocese defends LGBT firing, Qualls against HUD sale
President Barack Obama gave his State of the Union speech
yesterday. During the speech, Obama outlined fairly liberal proposals for the economy, climate change, gun control and immigration. He also suggested raising the minimum wage to $9 and attaching it to rising cost of living standards. The Washington Post analyzed the proposals here. To watch a bunch of old people clap too much while the
president outlines policy proposals that will likely never pass a
gridlocked Congress, click here.
The Archdiocese of Cincinnati is standing firm
in its firing of Purcell Marian High School administrator Mike Moroski.
The termination came after Moroski publicly stated his support for
same-sex marriage on his blog — a position that contradicts the Catholic
Church’s teachings. CityBeat covered Moroski’s case in this week’s news story, and gay marriage was covered more broadly in a previous in-depth story.
Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls wants to stop
the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) from selling
768 housing units in Walnut Hills, Avondale and Millvale. Qualls says
the sale is “eerily similar” to a sale dating back to 2007, which
resulted in dropping property values and blighted buildings. She argues local buyers should get a chance to take up the properties before HUD makes the sale to a New York company.
State Treasurer Josh Mandel is up to his old tricks again. In a letter to Ohio legislators Monday, Mandel, a Republican, opposed the Medicaid expansion,
claiming, “There is no free money.” But for the state, the Medicaid
expansion is essentially free money. The federal government will cover
all the costs of the expansion for the first three years, then phase down to paying 90 percent of the costs by 2020 — essentially, free
John Kasich, another Republican, has backed the Medicaid expansion, claiming it makes
financial sense in the long term. In 2012, Mandel lost the race for Ohio’s Senate seat after he ran
a notoriously dishonest campaign against U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown.
Financing details for the Brent Spence Bridge are due in March.
The details will provide much-wanted information for local residents
cautious about the new tolling scheme, which will help pay for the bridge’s
Cincinnati officials and residents celebrated
the work completed near the Horseshoe Casino at an event yesterday.
Mayor Mark Mallory highlighted the infrastructure improvements made to
accommodate the casino, calling the work a successful collaboration
between city government, the casino and residents.
The Ohio Resource Center has a new website for K-12 digital content. The website, ilearnOhio, is supposed to provide parents and students with the tools needed for online distance learning.
Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill is being sued
for not paying rent. The restaurant claims it’s financially viable, but
it’s holding the rent in escrow after its landlord allegedly violated the
leasing agreement. The establishment was one of the first to open at
A public Ohio school district is fighting a lawsuit in order to keep its portrait of Jesus.
The school district claims the portrait is owned by a student club and
is “private speech,” but opponents argue the portrait violates
separation of church and state.
Update on the Alamo situation at Tower Place Mall: Only one tenant remains.
The unofficial spokesman of Heart Attack Grill, the infamous Las Vegas restaurant, died of a heart attack.
Americans expect a human mission to Mars in the next 20 years, but that’s probably because they don’t know how little funding NASA gets.
An asteroid will barely miss
Earth on Feb. 15. If it were to hit, it would generate the explosive
equivalent of 2,500 kilotons of TNT. In comparison, the nuclear bomb
that hit Hiroshima during World War 2 generated a measly equivalent of
17 kilotons of TNT.
by Jac Kern
Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings
President Barack Obama’s second inauguration or, as it will be remembered,
Michelle Obama’s Bang-auguration
or, perhaps, Beyonce-gate.
I think we can all
agree that most of the event was kind of coma-inducing, right Sasha?
Between all the
swearing-ins and speeches, frozen onlookers and viewers at home were treated to
James Taylor singing “America the Beautiful” and (OK) Kelly Clarkson’s
rendition of “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” (meh). Richard Blanco became the first
Hispanic and openly gay as well as the youngest Inauguration poet (pretty cool,
I guess). Sadly, we didn’t get any true diva moments a la Aretha Franklin’s
iconic hat game
of 2009. Of course, not until Beyonce
took the stage for the National Anthem.
Editor’s Note: I really try to not constantly cover
the Beyonce beat, but she keeps being fabulous every damn week.
So Ms. Bey comes
out with a chic black dress, emerald earrings and her weave on-point, and belted out a fabulous National Anthem with enough flair but not too much
Christina Aguilerizing. Joe Biden was all over that shit.
wouldn’t be a true BK moment without a little drama, she ripped out her
earpiece mid-way through, and just kept on going. Note to self: sporadically
rip out earpieces more often in everyday life to show when I mean business. I’m
not sure if anyone really knows what that move means, but within 24 hours of
the Inauguration, everyone went from discussing Michelle’s bangs to accusing
Beyonce of lip synching the performance. Blasphemy! Beyonphemy!
Here’s a raw cut
of her singing via Vanity Fair.
It sounds like may
be singing with a backing track, which I feel like is fair game when performing
in front of a gigantic crowd. But if that’s lip-synching, Bey deserves an
award. That’s the most convincing lip synching I’ve ever seen, and I was the
first place winner for SharonFest’s 1999 “Puttin’ on the Hits” lip synch contest.
From diva drama to
sports scandals, Notre Damer Manti Te’o has been all over the news for the past
week. I don’t follow sports closely enough to have known about Te’o and his
epically tragic story of losing both his grandmother and girlfriend on Sept. 11, 2012 and then immediately hitting the
field and leading the Irish to beat Michigan 20-3. But people love a good,
sappy sports story, so I can understand why the story would get picked
up by Sports Illustrated. This was back in fall 2012, and the story probably
fell off most people's radar within a month or two. But Deadspin
followed up on the story and, in this INSANE investigative piece, discovered that, basically, the “girlfriend” in question never existed,
Te’o got catfished and was probably in on the whole thing. You've heard all about it on the news, but the details in the Deadspin story are absolutely cray.
Our editor Danny
is all about Jose Canseco’s unintentionally hilarious Twitter, but Sammy Sosa is beginning to take the lead in
the battle for the strangest social media accounts. Completely ignoring the
fact that he’s got some kind of Vitiligo thing going on, Sammy’s
Pinterest and Twitter are odd in their own respects. His Twitter info reads: "I
am the real Sammy Sosa. I will always love baseball, but now I'm a businessman
and entrepreneur." And it appears he responds to every tweet that so much as
mentions his name. Over on Pinterest, a site used primarily by women to “pin” and share everything
from recipes and DIY projects to fashion tips and fitness inspiration, Mr. Sosa
has turned it into his personal portrait portfolio.
Yes, most of the images he’s
pinned are photographs of himself posing around various office furniture. Each one is titled, “Sammy Sosa. Yes, I'm the real Sammy Sosa, and this is my Pinterest.”
Every Thursday I
watch Project Runway with my
boyfriend Jeff and our friend John. The design competition (which now, thanks
to Project Runway reboots, is always
on in some capacity, every single week) is on Lifetime, certainly a
female-targeted channel, as embarrassing as that may be for the female population. Additionally, I’d bet PR would draw mostly women on any
channel, and one could tell be just the commercials alone. First off, every
other ad is for Yoplait. The other half can be divided between Weigh Watchers, NuvaRing
and Tampax. Really, what else does a modern woman need? Yahoo (via Bust) has
the answer to this question:
Harmonie Korine‘s latest flick Spring Breakers finally has a trailer out and
never before have you so seriously wanted to see a movie starring ex-Disney starlets and Kevin Federline.
Somehow the Vice
(NSFW) did not make the preview, but they do have a confirmed role in the film.
Normally when a
show gets a One Million Moms protest, I want to watch it even more, but I can officially say for the first
time that I am agreement with these crazy bitches. Oxygen has pulled All My Babies’ Mamas, a reality show that was going to follow rapper Shawty
Lo and the 11 kids he had with 10 different women. Though we’ll never get to
see how the show turned out, it sounds like an extended version of the “Family
Flavors” episode of Flavor of Love. On second
thought, I kinda want to see it now…
And since it’s my
dream to be ?uestlove’s baby mama, here he is with Captian Kirk Douglas as Black
Simon and Garfunkel on Late Night with Jimmy
by German Lopez
Terhar compared Obama's gun control proposals to Hitler quote
Democrats are calling for the resignation of Ohio State Board of Education President Debe Terhar, who compared President Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler in a Facebook post. The Columbus Dispatch reported Terhar
posted an image of Adolf Hitler on her personal Facebook page that read, “Never forget
what this tyrant said: ‘To conquer a nation, first disarm its citizens.’
— Adolf Hitler.”
Terhar, a Cincinnati Republican, insists she
was not comparing Obama to Hitler. She told The Dispatch that people who know her understand she was describing the “need to step back and think about it and look at history.”When looking at history, there is no evidence Hitler actually said the quote in question. The Nazi leader referenced disarming the “subject races,” according to Hitler's Table Talk, but the direct quote Terhar posted is unverifiable.
“I’m not comparing the president to Adolf Hitler,” Terhar said. “It’s the
thought of disarming citizens, and this has happened throughout history.
What’s the true intention of the Second Amendment? It was to protect us
from a tyrannical government, God forbid.”
Terhar’s stance could have an impact on school policies. She told The Dispatch,
“Schools are gun-free zones. If you have someone who is bent on causing
harm, where are they going to go? To a place where there is little
chance of resistance.”
But when looking at different countries
and states, the Harvard Injury Control Research Center found a
correlation between more guns and more homicides. More specifically, men
and women in places with more firearms are at a larger risk for
Terhar was elected Jan. 14 by the 19-member Ohio State Board of Education to serve as president.
0 Comments · Thursday, December 27, 2012
A lot happened in Cincinnati and Ohio in
2012, and, for the most part, the year was good to progressives around
the nation and in Cincinnati.
by German Lopez
Qualls to push for federal gun regulations, UC to renovate Nippert, company rigs bid process
Metal detectors could come back
to City Hall, but local legislators can’t do much more regarding local
gun control. Still, Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls and other City Council
members will begin pushing for more federal regulations on guns starting
today. President Barack Obama is already beginning to drum up
support for more regulations on guns, including a ban on assault
weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips. He also wants to close a
loophole that allows people to buy firearms at gun shows without
background checks. At the state level, a new bill loosening gun regulations in Ohio is facing criticism.
The bill will make it easier to store firearms in cars and allows them for
the first time in parking garages under the Ohio Statehouse and a nearby
office tower. Gov. John Kasich said he will sign the bill.The University of Cincinnati is launching
a fundraising effort for the renovation of Nippert Stadium. The project
could cost as much as $70 million. The university wants to offset as
much of the cost as possible to build premium seating, with the
possibility of 28 new luxury boxes and more than 1,400 premium seats
being added. Goals could change based on demand and fundraising efforts.A Cincinnati-based company and its top executive have pleaded guilty to circumventing Ohio’s competitive bid process. The actions cost Ohio taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars,
according to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. The company circumvented
the competitive process by submitting multiple bids on road jobs under
different names, creating the illusion of competition. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, a possible candidate for the presidency in 2016, will headline
a Hamilton County GOP event. He will be a featured speaker next month
at the Northeast Hamilton County Republican Club's annual pancake
breakfast.The Cincinnati College Preparatory Academy failed to follow its own compensation policies, resulting in improper over-payments of $2,325, according to Ohio State Auditor Dave Yost.Top state officials will begin pushing and outlining school safety efforts in the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. State Impact Ohio has a fantastic infographic showing the growth of charter schools in Ohio. In the Cincinnati urban district, charter schools now host 6,642 students.A new state policy will automatically refund businesses when they’ve overpaid their taxes. The first round of the policy will refund businesses in Ohio $13 million.The animal takeover continues. Due to the effects of climate change, some animals are moving into cities. On the bright side, animals can be pretty cute. Here is a dog flipping over its food, and here are cats locked in deadly combat against a printer.
0 Comments · Wednesday, November 14, 2012
An Oklahoma cop thought it fit to ticket the mother of
Dillan, a 3-year-old in the process of potty-training, for $2,500 after
he had an urge to go and peed in his family’s own front yard. WORLD -1
0 Comments · Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Long an incisive cultural critic, a
dedicated teacher and a nimble-minded writer, Camille Paglia is known
for her polarizing opinions on everything from politics (she’s voting
Green Party this year) to pop culture (she recently confessed her love
for Real Housewives of New Jersey, which she says is a more accurate depiction of the state’s residents than The Sopranos, which she hated).
by German Lopez
President says staff will go on to do “amazing things”
Just a day after securing his next four-year term, President Barack Obama had a heartfelt moment with campaign volunteers in Chicago. While thanking his staff, Obama said they were better than he was when he compared their experiences and accomplishments to what he did as a community organizer in the 1980s. He said he had no doubt his staff would go on to do “amazing things.”The Obama team has gained fame for its highly advanced campaign. It used a team of data crunchers for almost every decision, which TIME covered in a post-election look.Watch the video:
by Danny Cross
We didn’t mean to help re-elect a socialist
During the past year CityBeat has spent a lot of
energy reporting on countless Republican screw-ups, from typical
shortsighted policies to legislation that is straight-up offensive to women,
minorities, gay people and the poor and working class. But we didn’t
realize that by pointing out how offensive and irrelevant the country’s
GOP leaders were acting, that we were inadvertently killing America.
That's why we would like to formally apologize to the Lebanon tea party in Warren County. The email you sent to The Enquirer today hit us
pretty hard — the fact that you’re literally wearing black and mourning
America because “socialists, welfare and unions took over this country”
is super sad. In our haste to ask questions of elected leaders, fact
check their statements and put their beliefs and policies into perspective over the
past few months, we forgot how badly people in Warren County wish America
could be like the 1950s again, when women knew their place and black
people had to operate the elevators and never say anything whites didn’t
want to hear. Mad Men is a great show.
We didn’t mean to be tricked by President Obama’s stimulus
bill — we (stupidly) believed the economists who said it staved off a
depression caused by under-regulation of the housing and financial
industries (we tried to believe Mitt Romney’s concept of further
reducing regulations so the job-creators can stimulate the economy in
the private sector thus giving our wealth back to us, but it was maybe
too complicated for us to understand?).
Some people we know kept their jobs when the president
didn’t allow the American car companies to go broke even though they’re
the ones that decided to max out profits on SUVs with truck beds on the
back. Other people we know spent time last year without health care, and
this country’s health care costs are somewhere around twice as much as
any other country’s so we were like, “Yea, reforming that system sounds
about right.” But we admit that we don’t know what it’s going to be like
for the 15 percent of this country living in poverty to all of the
sudden have access to preventative care. Someone in Cincinnati died of a
tooth problem last year, and we don’t even know if that’s covered.
We realize that it wasn’t Mitt Romney who used the term
“legitimate rape,” but it made us want to throw up, which slowed down
productivity that might have allowed us to figure out that Don’t Ask
Don’t Tell was the only thing keeping our country’s military from
turning Afghanistan into a European-style gay disco.
We thought it was kind of gross when the president killed
Osama bin Laden, but everyone was really happy about it so we focused
our attention on the results of the president’s home buying and
refinancing programs that helped stimulate the economy and saved
people’s houses, even though we’re all a bunch of renters who don’t even
know how to use a level.
So we’re clearly at fault for your expectation of the
downfall of this country, and we realize that you’re upset and probably
right about America becoming a socialist nation within months. We messed
up bad this time, but we want you to know that we’re not blind to it —
your press release has put our actions into a perspective that we wish
we had yesterday or, even better, several years ago before we learned
how to do our jobs the right way.
At least you have the local daily newspaper to publish
your emotional reactions to historical election results and to continue
endorsing GOP candidates no matter how ill qualified and misguided they are.
Please don’t mourn long — there’s still hope for the type of social
regression you’re looking for, especially in Warren County.
by German Lopez
The election is over. All election results for Ohio can be viewed at the secretary of state's website.
All results for Hamilton County can be viewed at the Hamilton County Board of Elections website. President Barack Obama won over Mitt Romney in what can only be called
an electoral college landslide. He won every single “battleground state”
on CNN’s electoral map
with the current exception of Florida, although the current lead and
remaining demographics to be counted will likely tilt Florida to Obama.
Despite the insistence of conservatives and mainstream media pundits, models like FiveThirtyEight that predicted a big Obama win were entirely accurate.
In the U.S. Senate race, Democratic incumbent Sherrod Brown also handily won over Republican challenger Josh Mandel. CityBeat covered the policy and campaign differences between the two candidates in coverage of the first, second and third debate and a cover story.
For the First U.S. Congressional District, Republican incumbent Steve Chabot beat Democratic challenger Jeff Sinnard.
The big takeaway from election night at a federal level: Billions of dollars
spent on campaigns later, the U.S. House of Representatives remains in
Republican hands, the U.S. Senate remains in Democratic hands and the
White House remains in Democratic hands. In other words, billions of
dollars were spent to change almost nothing.
At the state level, Issue 1, which called for a
constitutional convention, lost. But Issue 2, which was an attempt at
redistricting reform, lost as well. CityBeat covered the rise and details of Issue 2 in a story and commentary.
In the state’s legislature races, incumbents swept.
Republican Bill Seitz beat Democrat Richard Luken for the eighth district
of the Ohio Senate. Republican Peter Stautberg beat Democrat Nathan
Wissman for the 27th district of the Ohio House. Democrat Connie Pillich
beat Republican Mike Wilson for the 28th district of the Ohio House.
Republican Louis Blessing beat Democrat Hubert Brown for the 29th
district of the Ohio House. Republican Lou Terhar beat Democrat Steven
Newsome for the 30th district of the Ohio House. Democrat Denise
Driehaus beat Republican Michael Gabbard for the 31st district of the
Ohio House. Democrat Dale Mallory beat Republican Ron Mosby for the 32nd
district of the Ohio House. Democrat Alicia Reece beat Republican Tom
Bryan for the 33rd district of the Ohio House.
For the Ohio Supreme Court, Republican Terrence O’Donnell
kept his seat against Mike Skindell. But Democrat William O’Neill beat
Republican incumbent Robert Cupp, and Republican Sharon Kennedy beat
Democratic incumbent Yvette Brown.
At the local level, Issue 4, which gives City Council
four-year terms, was approved. Issue 42, which renewed a tax levy
for Cincinnati Public Schools, passed. Issue 50, a tax levy for senior
health services, was approved. Issue 51, a tax levy for mental health
services, was approved.
In Hamilton County offices, things got a bit more blue
overall. Republican incumbent Joe Deters beat Democrat Janaya Trotter
for the prosecutor attorney’s office. Democrat Pam Thomas beat
Republican incumbent Tracy Winkler for the office of the clerk of the court of common pleas. Democrat Jim Neil beat Republican
Sean Donovan for the sheriff's office. Democratic incumbent Wayne Coates beat Republican Wayne
Lippert for the county recorder's office. Republican incumbent Robert Goering barely beat Democrat Jeff
Cramerding for the county treasurer's office. Democratic incumbent Lakshmi Sammarco beat Republican Pete
Kambelos for the county coroner's office.In the lower courts, Republican incumbent Pat Fischer beat Democrat Martha Good and Republican Pat DeWine beat Democrat Bruce Whitman for the First District Court of Appeals. Democratic incumbent Nadine Allen and Republican Leslie Ghiz beat Democrat Stephen Black and Republican Heather Russel for the court of common pleas.In other states, gay marriage and marijuana were legalized. Minnesota voted against a same-sex marriage ban. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin also became the first openly gay candidate to win election for the U.S. Senate. Overall, the night was a big win for progressives all around the country.
The Cincinnati Enquirer did not have a smooth Election Day. The Enquirer mistakenly published false early voting results,
and the fake results were picked up by a conservative news reporting
website. Providing voting results before polls close is typically
frowned upon in media circles to avoid discouraging voters with
potentially disappointing numbers.
Ohio could be short on physicians in the future. By 2020, the state might need to fill a gap of just more than 5,000 physicians, according to Dayton Daily News.
In September, U.S. employers posted the fewest job openings in five months, according to U.S. Department of Labor. On the bright side, layoffs dropped as well.
Cincinnati-based Macy’s beat third quarter estimates and reported strong earnings.
CyrusOne, a Cincinnati Bell subsidiary, bought a downtown building for $18 million. The purchase is part of CyrusOne’s proposed spin-off from Cincinnati Bell.
Cincinnati-based Kroger is looking good for investors. One money management firm told clients Kroger stock is “an exceptional value.”
U.S. hospitals are on track for 124 mass layoffs in 2012, which could cost 8,700 jobs by the end of the year. However, jobs numbers are still up overall in hospitals.