by Danny Cross
Mitt Romney will visit the Cincinnati
area this week: tonight at a private fundraiser at the Hilton
Netherland Plaza, Thursday at a Carthage manufacturing comany and
this weekend to hang with Rep. John Boehner up north and probably
with Sen. Rob Portman at some point. President Obama plans to be
around soon, too.
Economists say Romney's job creation
claims need more specifics before they'll be believable. On the other
hand, Obama's American Recovery
and Reinvestment Act has saved or created 1.4 million to 3.3 million
jobs, according to the Congressional Budget Office, and the American
Jobs Act would create 1.9 million, according to Moody's. From NPR:
+11.5 million — that's how many jobs
last September he would create in the first term of his
administration. But true to form, Romney never said how he would
create that many jobs, nor has any reputable economist backed up his
claim. "Nowhere in the 160 page plan could I find a stated job
creation number," wrote Rebecca Thiess of EPI. "The math
doesn't just appear to be fuzzy — it appears to be nonexistent."
Added David Madland of the Center for American Progress: "It is a plan from the Republican
candidate for president designed to maximize corporate profits. What
it doesn't do is help the middle class or create jobs." Even the
conservative editorial page of the Wall Street Journal called Romney's 59-point economic
tome "surprisingly timid and tactical considering our economic
Democrat Ron Barber won the
congressional seat left by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who survived an
assassination attempt and resigned to focus on her recovery. The win
gives Democrats hope for taking control of the House in November.
California could become the first U.S.
State to require that genetically modified (GM) foods be labeled as
such on the package if a November measure, “The Right to Know
Genetically Engineered Food Act,” passes.
What makes the referendum in California different is that, for the
first time, voters and not politicians will be the ones to decide.
And this has the food industry worried. Understandably so, since only
one in four Americans is convinced that GMOs are "basically safe", according to a survey conducted by the Mellman Group, and a big majority wants
food containing GMOs to be labeled.
This is one of the few issues in America today that enjoys broad
bipartisan support: 89% of Republicans and 90% of Democrats want
genetically altered foods to be labeled, as they already are in 40
nations in Europe, in Brazil, and even in China. In 2007, then
candidate Obama latched onto this popular issue saying that he would
push for labeling – a promise the president has yet to keep.Retail sales were down for the second
month in May. Go buy something.
More than 2,000 proposals for new
internet suffixes have been proposed, including ".pizza,"
".space" and ".auto."
Scientists have figured out why woolly
mammoths went extinct: “Lots of reasons.”
by Danny Cross
Posted In: News
, 2012 Election
, President Obama
, Tea Party
, County Commission
at 08:50 AM | Permalink
County Commissioner Todd Portune's idea to borrow more
money and extend a half-cent sales tax in order to keep up with
stadium costs has been shot down by a Bengals lawyer who used 15
bullet points to demonstrate that Portune's plan “proposes to
breach one or both leases.”
Duke Energy is asking state regulators if it can bump customers' rates up again. Duke says the
increases are to pay for infrastructure investments. The change would
increase customer costs of electric service by $86 million and for
natural gas by $44 million. A federal appeals court on Monday reinstated an antitrust lawsuit against Duke Energy that accuses the
company of paying kick-backs to corporations opposing a 2004 rate
A rally for “religious freedom”
will take place on Fountain Square today in response to federal health care
legislation requiring women to have abortions employers to
provide insurance that covers birth control. The law includes a
religious exemption, which bishops have said isn't enough.
A group pushing to ban dog auctions in
Ohio has halted its effort to put the issue on the November ballot
due to lack of funding and time. CityBeat in February reported the
group's efforts to ban the sale of dogs through auctions or raffles,
as well as all trafficking in dogs from out-of-state auctions.New York City officials, including
Brooklyn Democratic Rep. Yvette Clarke, are arguing that the city's
“Stop and Frisk” policy is racist. The policy allows police to
stop an individual and pat him or her down for contraband if they
suspect illegal activity. From USA Today:Clarke says the program, known as "Stop, Question and Frisk"
or "Stop and Frisk," amounts to racial profiling. It is
based on a 1968 Supreme Court ruling that police could stop people on
the basis of "reasonable suspicion."
Last month, U.S. District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin approved
class-action status for a lawsuit that alleges the practice subjects
people to race-based illegal searches.
President Obama's health care law helped
6.6 million young adults stay on their parents' plans during the
first year and a half.
Rick Santorum has formed a new conservative organization aiming to
recruit 1 million supporters to help get Barack Obama out of the
While House. No word on how Santorum's “Patriot Voices” group
will differ from the tea party patriots.
NASA says it has spotted the universe's first objects.
Black members of the Netherlands soccer team were subjected to
racist chants at their Euro 2012 practice facility in Krakow, Poland.
The team says fans were making monkey chants at the players.
LeBron James scored 45 points to lead the
Miami Heat over the Boston Celtics last night, forcing a deciding Game 7 for the
Eastern Conference championship. The Oklahoma Thunder await in the
by Danny Cross
The Enquirer today broke out its
Freedom of the Press Card, pressing the city to release details of
the bids to build the streetcar's five vehicles. Enquirer
Editor and Vice President Carolyn Washburn says the newspaper is
being a good watchdog by investigating all the redacted parts of
documents released by the city, which reportedly include typical
streetcar parts, performance data and personal information of
employees. A firm called CAF USA, which won the bid for more than $20
million, is trying to block the release of the data, along with two
losing bidders who claim the information is trade secret.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Kentucky Gov.
Steve Beshear are considering a private-public partnership that
includes tolls to fund renovations to the Brent Spence Bridge.
President Obama enjoyed an enthusiastic
welcome from Los Angeles LGBT supporters at an event in Beverly Hills.
Republicans are saying Obama is being all glitzy in California so
he's out of touch with Americans' struggles.
Russia would like Iran to be involved
in forcing a political transition in Syria. U.S. Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton says Syrian President Bashar Assad should quit and
The U.S. is losing patience with
George Zimmerman's bond hearing has
been set for June 29. He returned to jail on Sunday after a judge
revoked his bond for failing to disclose $135,000 in funds raised for
his legal defense.
Thousands of homes in the Atlantic and
Gulf coasts are at high risk for hurricane damage, and New York City
has the highest risk of losses.
Do you use LinkedIn or eHarmony? Well,
you shouldn't. Also, both sites were hacked and had user
A car called the Honda Fit EV has
earned the highest ever miles-per-gallon equivalency rating from the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency — 118 mpg.
More than 80 lawsuits by former NFL
players have been consolidated and filed in a Philadelphia federal
court, accusing the league of hiding details that linked head trauma
to permanent brain injuries. The NFL denies culpability.
The Reds are still in first place.
by Danny Cross
Posted In: 2012 Election
, LGBT Issues
, President Obama
, Climate Change
, Social Justice
at 07:47 AM | Permalink
A local music teacher says Cincinnati
Hills Christian Academy offered him a job and then rescinded the
offer after asking him if he is gay. Jonathan Zeng says he went
through the school's extensive interview process, was offered a
position and then called back in for a discussion about religious
questions in his application, during which he was asked directly if
he is gay. Zeng says he asked why such information was pertinent, and
an administrator said it was school policy not to employ teachers who
are gay because they work with children and something about the
sanctity of marriage. When contacted by local media CHCA released the
CHCA keeps confidential all matters
discussed within a candidate's interview. We're looking into this
matter, although the initial information we have seen contains
inaccuracies. We will not be discussing individual hiring decisions
or interviews.Cincinnati's deficit isn't going to get
better any time soon, according to a new report.
The Reds drafted high school pitcher
Nick Travieso in the first round of the MLB draft on Monday. Here's a
rundown of their other picks Monday and Tuesday.
Senate Republicans yesterday blocked a
Democratic bill calling for equal pay in the workplace, and the Dems
are going to stick it in their faces during this year's campaigns.
From the AP:
As expected, the pay equity bill failed along party lines,
52-47, short of the required 60-vote threshold. But for majority
Democrats, passage wasn't the only point. The debate itself was aimed
at putting Republicans on the defensive on yet another women's issue,
this one overtly economic after a government report showing
slower-than-expected job growth.
"It is incredibly disappointing that in this make-or-break
moment for the middle class, Senate Republicans put partisan politics
ahead of American women and their families," Obama said in a
statement after the vote.
"Even Mitt Romney has refused to publicly oppose this
legislation," added Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. "He
should show some leadership."
The Washington Post wonders whether
Mitt Romney can use Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's template for
surviving a recall election to try to win the presidency. It involves
“big money, powerful organization and enormous enthusiasm among his
base.” Exit polls in the state suggest Obama is ahead, however.
China wants foreign embassies to stop
releasing reports and Tweeting about its poor air quality.
Gonorrhea growing resistant to antibiotics?
Dinosaurs apparently weighed less than
scientists previously thought. Adjust paper-mache Brontosaurus
Facebook is considering letting kids
younger than 13 use the site.
The Boston Celtics took a 3-2 series
lead over the Miami Heat on Tuesday and could send Bron Bron and Co. back home
by Danny Cross
Hamilton County has been killing people more often than Ohio counties of similar size, despite actually asking for the death penalty less often. Today's Enquirer takes a look at the growing opposition to the death
penalty in other states and recent legislation and task forces aimed
at either studying its effectiveness or stopping the practice
altogether. Prosecutor Joe Deters says he's going to kill all the people who deserve it because the law is still the law.
Would you like to pay tolls or higher
gas taxes in order to have a new Brent Spence Bridge? No? Then you're
like a majority of people who take the time to respond to Enquirer polls.
City Manager Milton Dohoney plans to
ask City Council to raise the property tax rate in response to a
projected $33 million 2013 deficit that everyone knows was coming.
The Community Press on the East Side
says Norfolk Southern is willing to consider selling the Wasson Way
right of way that some would like to see turned into a bike trail.
CityBeat in March found the proposed trail to have support among cycling enthusiasts but some resistance from
light rail supporters.
President Obama hooked up an
11-year-old kid with a note excusing him from class on Friday.
“He says, ‘Do you want me to write
an excuse note? What’s your teacher’s name?” Sullivan told ABC.
“And I say, Mr. Ackerman. And he writes, ‘Please excuse Tyler. He
was with me. Barack Obama, the president.'"
Fortune magazine has taken exception to
Mitt Romney's recent criticism of Solyndra, the solar panel
company that went out of business despite a $500 million Department
of Energy loan.
So last Thursday Romney held a surprise
press conference at Solyndra's shuttered headquarters. During his
prepared statement, Romney said:
"An independent inspector general
looked at this investment and concluded that the Administration had
steered money to friends and family and campaign contributors."
Romney then repeated the claim later in
the press conference.
Small problem: No inspector
general ever "concluded" such a thing, at least not based
on any written reports or public statements.
Wisconsin Gov./Union Crusher Scott
Walker holds a slight lead over his Democratic challenger, Milwaukee
Mayor Tom Barrett, according to a recent poll.
George Zimmerman is back in jail after
what his attorney is calling a misunderstanding over telling a judge
that he had limited money even though a website set up to fund his
legal defense raised more than $135,000.
Legal issues will be involved in New
York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's attempt to ban giant sodas. Jason Alexander has released a lengthy and quite thoughtful apology for referring to the sport of cricket as "a bit gay" during a recent appearance on The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson.
Why do people on the West Coast get to
see all the cool stuff that happens in space? First the eclipse and
now the Transit of Venus, when Venus will cross paths between the sun
and earth. Next time it will happen is 2117. And Australia got to see
a partial lunar eclipse the other day, too.
by Danny Cross
The FBI has been investigating the
long-stalled Kenwood Towne Place development for the past year, and a
grand jury will determine whether crimes were committed involving the
improper use of funding for the project, according to The Enquirer.
CityBeat on May 16 reported that Nathan Bachrach, host of local radio
show Simply Money, was among those in heat over the
The city of Cincinnati used eminent
domain to secure a piece of Over-the-Rhine property to build its
streetcar maintenance facility.
So, uh, Councilwoman Laure Quinlivan
rewrote the lyrics to John Fogerty’s “Proud Mary” (“Rolin' on
the River”) as part of a promotion for the World Choir Games.
Celebrities such as Bootsy Collins, Nick Lachey and Jerry Springer
participated. Cool? Awkward? The city does look pretty nice — shots
were filmed at Fountain Square, Great American Ballpark, Findlay
Market, the School for Creative and Performing Arts and the
Serpentine Wall.John Edwards is basically off the hook after
jurors returned from nine days of deliberations believing that the
government did not prove its case. Edwards was found guilty one one
charge of accepting illegal campaign contributions to hide his
pregnant mistress, but a mistrial was declared on five charges.
President Obama and Mitt Romney
reportedly spoke on the phone yesterday. Romney says they exchanged
pleasantries and congratulations. Obama apparently gave Romney some credit for his health care bill, which sounds kind of passive aggressive.
The nation's unemployment rate is up to
8.2 percent; apparently a third month of disappointing payroll led to
the addition of only 69,000 jobs.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg
is being called “Nanny Bloomberg” in response to his proposed ban
on extra large sodas by people such as 18-year-old Johnny Ojeda of
Kansas City, who reportedly pounded a 21-ounce soda and its 240
calories in front of Kansas City Star reporters.
“A lot of teenagers get them,” said
On the other hand, today is National
And cancer is expected to increase
worldwide by 75 percent by 2030, partly due to poor nations adopting
unhealthy Westernized lifestyles.
DC Comics' Green Lantern is revealed to be gay in an issue that comes
out next week. Green Lantern is one of the comics' oldest heroes and
the latest in a growing number of out superheroes. From the San
Jose Mercury News:
In May, Marvel
Entertainment said super speedster Northstar will marry his longtime
boyfriend in the pages of "Astonishing X-Men." DC comics
has other gay characters, too, including Kate Kane, the current
And in the pages of Archie Comics, Kevin Keller is one of the
gang at Riverdale High School and gay, too.
Some groups have protested the inclusion of gay characters, but
Robinson isn't discouraged, noting that being gay is just one aspect
"This guy, he's a media mogul, a hero, a dynamic type-A
personality and he's gay," Robinson said. "He's a complex
by Danny Cross
Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel has returned
more than $100,000 in campaign contributions in response to an FBI
investigation into 21 donors who had no record of giving to federal
campaigns and many appearing to have low incomes. Mandel, a
Republican, is running against incombent Democrat Sen. Sherrod Brown.
Mandel's campaign treasurer Kathryn Kessler sent a letter to donors
explaining that any contributions appearing to be under investigation
would be refunded.
From The Toledo Blade:
Although the campaign provided a copy of the letter to The
Blade, it would not explain the timing of the decision or how long it
has been aware of the federal probe.
The Blade revealed the unusual pattern of contributions in
The company's owner, Benjamin Suarez, and 16 of his employees
(plus some of their spouses) gave about $200,000 to Mr. Mandel and
U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci (R., Wadsworth) last year. Each of those donors
gave $5,000, the maximum allowable amount, to one or both candidates.
The Ohio Senate yesterday passed new
fracking regulations, and the final version caused some environmental
organizations to change their stance on the bill. The Ohio
Environmental Council and the Sierra Club had both been neutral on
the legislation until changes were made forcing anyone suing over
chemical trade secrets to show current or potential harm, according
to The Enquirer. The regulations are part of Kasich's new energy bill
and easily passed both the Senate and House and is expected to be
signed by Kasich soon.
Cincinnati Public Schools says it will
apply for the latest available federal education grants, which amount
to nearly $700 million. The grants are geared toward helping schools
proceed with reform and innovation.
According to a new poll, President
Obama leads Mitt Romney in Ohio by six percentage points. Wonder if
Obama's “cow pie of distortion” speech had anything to do with
The John Edwards trial has entered day
six of deliberations.
United Nations inspectors have
reportedly found uranium in Iran enriched beyond the highest levels
previously reported. One diplomat said the measure could actually be
a measurement error, though the reading could also mean that Iran is
closer to producing bomb-grade uranium than previously thought.
Scientists might be one step closer to
creating birth control for men after U.K. scientists found a gene
used to enable sperm to mature.
From USA Today: “Profits at big U.S.
companies broke records last year, and so did pay for CEOs.”
Facebook's initial public offering
didn't go entirely as expected, and some investors are getting
refunds after technical problems and other issues marred the
company's first week of trading.
The Reds completed a four-game sweep of
the Atlanta Braves last night, winning their sixth in a row and
overtaking the St. Louis Cardinal for first place in the NL Central.
by Danny Cross
Mitt Romney's campaign has reportedly
entered an “audition phase” in its search for a vice presidential
candidate, and local boy Rob Portman is on the AP's speculative list. With three months to go before the Republican National Convention, Romney's people will soon be asking intensely personal questions of potential VPs, such as whether they've ever had marital problems, affairs or mental health counseling. In preparation, many Republicans are already speaking out against President Obama with hopes of sounding like a guy that can help Romney win in November. The AP included in its rundown of the more high-profile candidates the strengths and potential weaknesses of each:
who are informally auditioning would each bring different strengths —
and drawbacks — to the presidential ticket.
Ohio Sen. Rob
Portman supported Romney early, has a solid rapport with the
candidate and hails from Ohio, a critical battleground state that
could decide the election. But he wouldn't necessarily appeal
directly to Hispanic or women voters.
Bobby) Jindal, the Louisiana governor, could help Romney turn out the
religious right and would add diversity to the ticket as an
Indian-American, but he struggled during a national debut rebutting
the 2010 State of the Union address.
Virginia Gov. Bob
McDonnell appeals to social conservatives but signed a controversial
state law that requires Virginia women to have ultrasounds before
having an abortion.
New Hampshire Sen.
Kelly Ayotte, who's campaigned frequently with Romney, could help
with female voters and in her swing state of New Hampshire. But she's
from New England, the same region of the country as Romney, while
(New Jersey Gov. Chris) Christie, a conservative favorite who can
work a crowd, is from New Jersey.
Marco) Rubio could bring Florida, always a deciding factor in a
general election, and appeal to Hispanics, a fast-growing voting
bloc, but he's run into some trouble over a foreclosed home and
possible misuse of an official credit card. And Ryan is a serious,
leading policy mind with a bright future — and a brand name that's
directly tied to a controversial budget that would make major changes
Meanwhile, Romney says Obama doesn't even understand free
enterprise. A Columbus tavern owner has lost his
freedom isn't free battle in the Ohio Supreme Court, which yesterday
unanimously ruled that the state's smoking ban is constitutional. The
owner of Zeno's Victorian Village had racked up thousands of dollars
in fines after 10 citations for violating the ban from July 2007 and
September 2009. The state has reportedly threatened to seize the bar
if the fines are not paid.
Meteorologists say after this weekend's heat wave this spring
could be the hottest on record.The Reds defeated the Atlanta
Braves last night on a Todd Frazier walk-off home run in the bottom
of the ninth inning. It was the Reds' fifth straight win, and they're
currently a half game behind St. Louis for first place in the
The Pakistan conviction of the Osama bin Laden doctor who helped
the CIA find him is not going over well with the U.S. government.
Pakistani authorities sentenced Shakeel Afridi to 33 years in prison
for treason, and Afridi was not entitled to representation, though he
has a right to appeal. The U.S. has threatened to cut aid to the
country, arguing that informants work against al-Qaeda and not
Britain's recession is worse than expected, as the country's
economy shrunk by .3 percent during the first quarter.
The SpaceX shuttle passed some tests
necessary to move forward with its landing on the International Space
Station Friday morning. President Obama called the company's CEO to
congratulate him and he answered despite thinking it might be a
John Malkovich is in the latest Apple
advertisement for Siri, during which Malkovich gets some life advice.
The ads follow those released starring Hollywood actors Zooey
Deschanel and Samuel Jackson last month.
by Danny Cross
We Are Ohio, the organization that helped repeal SB5 last year, says it will team up with
nonpartisan Ohio Voters First to help put on the November ballot a
constitutional amendment that would change the way legislative and
congressional districts are drawn. The effort is in response to
Republican-drawn redistricting maps that attempted to create 12
solidly GOP districts and four Democratic districts. The proposal
calls for a nonpartisan commission to redraw legislative and
congressional boundaries rather than letting politicians and anyone
who gives them money do it.
The University of Cincinnati has
released a study showing a considerable economic impact from
construction of The Banks. Between construction contractors, new
residents and visitors to the area's restaurants, the development reportedly will impact the local economy by more than $90 million a year.
The parent company of Cincinnati's
Horseshoe Casino will host two informational sessions this week to
offer local vendors information on how to bid on contracts for
supplies and services the entertainment complex will need. The first
takes place 6 p.m. tonight at Bell Events Centre near the casino site at 444 Reading Road,
and the second is 9 a.m. Thursday at Great American Ball Park.
The Enquirer on Tuesday reported that
the University of Cincinnati and Xavier University have agreed to
move the Crosstown Shootout to U.S. Bank Arena for two years in
response to last year's massive brawl. NBC Sports today reported that
the presents of both universities issued a press release in response,
stating that no final decision had been made.
The University of Cincinnati and
Xavier University were both surprised to see today’s announcement
concerning the future of the Crosstown Shootout. While both schools
are committed to the future of the Crosstown rivalry, specific
discussions are ongoing and no details have been finalized. We look
forward to sharing our plans with the community at an appropriate
time in the coming weeks.
If it does happen,
The Enquirer's Bill Koch says it's reasonable, while Paul
Daugherty says that's fine but kind of dumb.
President Obama is
finding it rather difficult to even win primaries against nobodies in
the South. Not that it's surprise or really matters, though.
Of course, there are reasons for these
kinds of returns. Few Democrats are voting in these primaries where
Obama faces only token opposition; only protest voters are truly
There's also the fact that Obama is an underdog to Republican
candidate Mitt Romney in the states of Kentucky, Arkansas, and West
Virginia; Obama lost all three in 2008 to John McCain.
Another potential factor: Race.
Just when you
thought Sarah Palin was super reliable, she goes and backs a Utah
Republican incumbent over a tea party supported candidate.
The John Edwards
jury entered its fourth day of deliberations today because they need
to see more prosecution exhibits.
A white supremacist
was sentenced to 40 years in jail by a federal judge for a 2004
package bomb attack that injured a black city administrator in
researchers say they can figure out if Bigfoot really existed, if
they can just get one of his hairs. The film version of On the Road
premiered at the Cannes Film Festival today, 55 years after Jack
Kerouac's Beat Generation-defining novel was published. London's The
Guardian says the “handsome
shots and touching sadness don't compensate for the tedious air of
self-congratulation in Walter Salles's road movie.”
by Danny Cross
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman
was arrested early Monday morning for driving with a suspended
license in Grove City, outside of Columbus. Chapman, who has
previously purchased vanity plates that read MPH102 and 101MPH based
on his ability to throw a baseball way faster than you're allowed to
drive, was caught doing 93 on I-71.
The Music Hall Revitalization Co. will
meet Thursday to consider its next move after the city of Cincinnati
decided not to sell the historic building to the nonprofit
organization, prompting the resignation of the Revitalization Co.'s
leader. The resident arts organizations issued a joint statement
yesterday offering to work with the city and private donors to revive
the project in some form. Some arts supporters contend that local
philanthropic leaders will not donate to the project while it is city
In the wake of last season's Crosstown
Shootout melee, officials from UC and Xavier have decided to play the
annual game at U.S. Bank Arena for the next two seasons. The behavior
of players and fans will reportedly be evaluated after that time. The
game was scheduled to be played at UC's Fifth Third Arena this year.
The commercial space vehicle today
finally launched after shutting down its first attempt to fly to the
International Space Station without the government's help.
Exploration Technologies Corp.'s SpaceX rocket is scheduled to touch
down on May 25 and could help jumpstart the privatization of space
Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama in
2008, but he's not quite ready to do it again.
Facebook shares went down a little bit
after analysts revised their outlooks.
Fuel economy is more important to
consumers than overall car quality, according to a new survey by
Is Brad Pitt's new film Killing Them
Softly an anti-capitalist screed? Pretty much.
Everything you need to know about
(writer-director Andrew) Dominik's worldview came with a moment in
the news conference in which the Australian said that in his
experience America is largely about making money, and that that went
double for Hollywood.Or, as the film's touchstone piece of
dialogue has it: "America isn't a country -- it's a business.”
Ever wonder what would happen if the NBA rookie of the year dressed up like an old man and played ball with dudes at some random courts, with at least some of the players not knowing what's going on? Wonder no more: