WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 
by Danny Cross 05.14.2012
 
 
bike month

Morning News and Stuff

Bike to Work Week today kicked off its series of morning commuter stations offering free coffee and treats all week long in an effort to encourage residents to try cycling to work, meet fellow cyclists and learn about bike advocacy. The city was scheduled to announce an award for its Bike Program this morning at the Coffee Emporium bike commuter station on Central Parkway in Over-the-Rhine. Find a schedule of Bike to Work Week morning and afternoon commuter stations here. The Enquirer over the weekend checked in with another of its “in-depth” pieces, this one detailing the huge amounts of money energy companies will make once they're allowed to treat northeastern Ohio's land like they do Texas. The story accurately described the fracking process as “controversial,” though it took the liberty of describing Carroll County as an “early winner” because 75 to 95 percent of its land is under lease to an oil or gas company. Here's a link to the weird slideshow-style presentation. And here's a sidebar on the issues surrounding fracking, which includes the following regarding the industry's oversight: Fracking was exempted from the federal Safe Drinking Water Act under the Bush Administration, so it now falls under state jurisdiction. In Ohio, the Department of Natural Resources issues permits for all oil and gas wells, including fracking wells. The department also inspects the drilling of all wells in the state. The New York Times came to Ohio to see how the good, working class folks feel about the president who has spent three-and-a-half years trying to help people like them during a recession he didn't start. Turns out many still won't vote for him because he's still black. Madiera is a really nice suburb, and some residents plan to keep it that way by blocking developers from building luxury condos so “renters” can't move in and “alter the landscape of their charming suburb.” Ohio State University has released a plan to combat hate crimes in response to several incidents on its campus this spring. The "No Place to Hate" plan includes 24 recommendations including a public safety division “hate crime alert” line staffed by operators. The OSU campus reportedly had a mural of President Obama defaced and found spray-painted messages supporting the death of Trayvon Martin. Good news from the AP's strangulation beat: “States cracking down on strangulation attempts.” Newsweek's May 21 cover shows Barack Obama with a rainbow-colored halo over his head and the headline, “The First Gay President.” National media are talking about HBO's Weight of the Nation, a four-part documentary detailing America's obesity epidemic. CityBeat's Jac Kern told y'all about it last week. John Edwards' defense attorneys are reportedly basing a lot of their case on the definition of the word “The.” That should go well. Joey Votto hit a two-out, bottom-of-the-ninth grand slam to win yesterday's game for the Reds, 9-6 over the Washington Nationals. It was his third home run of the day. A Russian satellite has taken an awesome 121-megapixel photo of Earth.
 
 
by Danny Cross 05.11.2012
 
 
screen shot 2012-05-11 at 10.06.00 am

Morning News and Stuff

Gov. John Kasich has something to say to anyone waiting on federal funding to help fix their bridges (and while we're at it, any local governments who need funding for something other than food and water): Forget about it. During an interview with Enquirer editors and reporters yesterday,* Kasich said tolls are the best means for funding a new Brent Spence Bridge. “I do not believe that a white charger is going to come galloping (from Washington) into Cincinnati with $2 billion in the saddlebags,” Kasich said. “So if that isn’t going to happen and all we do is delay, delay, delay and we push this thing out until 2036 ... holy cow!” * CityBeat had a similar meeting scheduled but we forgot about it and weren't here at the time — sorry Kasich, we'll get ya next time! Things are about to get weird in a Clermont County courtroom if David Krikorian and Chris Finney get their wish — to have Jean Schmidt on the witness stand on May 17. Finney, the attorney for Citizens Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes (COAST), has been representing Krikorian, a former Democratic and independent candidate who unsuccessfully ran against Schmidt for Ohio's 2nd congressional district seat, has served Schmidt with a subpoena as part of Krikorian's lawsuit claiming a Schmidt lawsuit against Krikorian was frivolous. COAST's ghost-written blog posted commentary in February in response to accusations from Brad Wenstrup that Schmidt was using campaign funds to pay off legal fund debt from earlier campaign nonsense against Krikorian. Eastsiders mad. Some high-level Procter & Gamble executives are getting the Bearcat Bounce out of Cincinnati, heading to Singapore where the company believes growth opportunities for its beauty care products are the highest. About 20 positions will be moved to the Singapore office during the next two years. Does it matter that Mitt Romney might have led a group of teenagers in a “pin that dude down and cut his hair” prank during the '60s? The Nation says Obama's gay-marriage announcement caught Romney off guard. As expected, Obama's fundraiser at George Clooney's house raked in the dough, raising $15 million in one night. British Prime Minister David Cameron only recently learned what LOL means in text-speak. The explanation occurred during witness testimony from Rebekah Brooks, the former head of Rupert Murdoch's the now-defunct News of the World. Brooks was forced to resign last year amid a phone-hacking scandal. "He would sign them off 'DC' in the main," Brooks said, referring to Cameron's initials. "Occasionally he would sign them off 'LOL' — 'lots of love' — until I told him it meant 'laugh out loud,' and then he didn't sign them off [that way] anymore." It was certainly an LOL moment during Brooks' testimony in a London courtroom Friday as part of a judicial inquiry into media ethics. But the disclosure also underscored the warm personal ties between the prime minister and Brooks, the former head of media baron Rupert Murdoch's British newspapers who was forced to resign in disgrace last summer. Someone found a really old Mayan calendar, and it offers good news: It goes way beyond Dec, 12, 2012. Major League Baseball phenom Bryce Harper is in town for a three-game series with his Washington Nationals. The 19-year-old was the No. 1 overall pick in 2010 and is the first superstar-caliber player to make it to the big leagues this quickly prompting comparisons to Ken Griffey, Jr. at that age. Here's the local spin about on freak outfielder coming to town for a weekend series against the Reds.
 
 
by Danny Cross 05.10.2012
 
 
800px-rainbow_flag_breeze

Morning News and Stuff

In news you've likely already heard from your favorite website, social network, radio station, print publication, TV or the guy in your neighborhood who likes to talk about current events, President Barack Obama yesterday announced his support for same-sex marriage, becoming the first-ever sitting president to do so. The news has spawned analysis from across the land, ranging from “risky but inevitable” to “matters less than you think.” The Enquirer says the decision is going to “echo in Ohio” (whatever that means). One thing we know for sure: Hollywood celebs are preparing to pack George Clooney's house tonight and fill up Obama's briefcase with money. The “No. 2 official at the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office” says the jail being next to the casino will be bad for business, according to an Enquirer story detailing worries over jail overcrowding leading to accused criminals to go into the casino to “get warm, panhandle customers or just give visitors a bad impression of Cincinnati.” Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune yesterday cancelled a new truck order for Paul Brown Stadium, instead giving the vehicles to Parking Operations. Parking Operations was supposed to get the stadium's used trucks after the stadium received new ones, but Portune said the stadium doesn't need brand new stuff all the time. Up north, Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman says his city wants an NBA basketball team now that the public has purchased the arena the Columbus Blue Jackets play in. Poll watch: Portman on GOP ticket doesn't change Ohio race New claims for unemployment benefits dropped again last week, nearing a four-year low. Facebook will soon launch an App Center, because it's so annoying to have to leave Facebook to get cool new apps. Famous hairdresser Vidal Sassoon died yesterday after a bout with leukemia. He apparently played a large role in creating “wash and go” hairstyling and later revolutionizing the hair-care industry. Here's a Philadelphia Inquirer obit. And five ways Vidal Sassoon changed people's hair. Sassoon, according to the book Insider's Guide to Cincinnati, had a home in Mount Adams (his wife was a Greater Cincinnati native).
 
 
by Hannah McCartney 05.09.2012
at 02:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
obama

Obama Declares Support for Gay Marriage

Becomes first president to openly affirm approval for same-sex marriage

News has been buzzing about North Carolina yesterday passing a controversial constitutional amendment that defines marriage as solely between a man and a woman, making it the 30th state in the U.S. to outright ban same-sex unions. Unsurprisingly, the backwards legislation and its passage came as a monumental blow to the LGBT community and its supporters — especially in light of the fact that the state still allows marriage between first cousins. Today, president Barack Obama announced his official support for the legalization of same-sex marriage in a sit-down interview with ABC's Robin Roberts. His declaration marks a strong political stance supported by Joe Biden's statement on Sunday to Meet the Press and growing pressure from Democratic constituents to form a solid platform on the issue. Over the course of his 2012 presidential campaign, critics have lambasted Obama for refusing to speak out on the issue, many assuming he was opposed to same-sex marriage on a moral level.In the interview, Obama states: "I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don't Ask Don't Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married."According to ABC, in the interview Obama attests that his statement is a matter of personal opinion, and that he still believes states, like North Carolina, should still possess the rights to independently craft legislation on the issue. Thus, the statement will likely do little for the LGBT community. His affirmed support could rally stronger support among Democrats and the LGBT community for his reelection, but might also alienate voters in strong opposition of same-sex marriage. A full version of Obama's interview with Roberts will air on ABC Thursday.
 
 

Remixed and Reloaded

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 9, 2012
I’m going old school with the flow, biting a rhyme from Uncle L, when I say, “Don’t call it a comeback.” It being the rebirth, the remixing and reloading of The Alternative, and I could also add that like LL, “I’ve been here for years.” I’ve been underground, hiding out in darkened theaters, multiplexing my way above the fray.    
by Danny Cross 05.08.2012
 
 
bilde

Morning News and Stuff

City Council is considering increasing cab fares prior to the World Choir Games in July as part of an overhaul of the city’s taxi industry. During a Rules and Government Operations Committee meeting Monday, Councilman Wendell Young described the industry as having little regulation and often undesirable experiences, The Enquirer reports. Council last spring removed a city rule that made it illegal to hail a cab. Among the recommendations expected to be made are the standardization of rates, an increase in the number of permanent taxi stands and the visible display of a Customer Bill of Rights. The two men hired to beat a Columbia Tusculum man over a property dispute admitted in court yesterday to having been paid by Robert Fritzsch to whoop on Tom Nies Jr. The beaters will avoid jail time in exchange for testifying against Fritzsch. The beating was allegedly a retaliation after a court ordered the removal of Fritzsch's addition to his home that blocked the river view of Nies' house.  Robert Chase is a member of Ohio’s oil and gas commission, in addition to operating a private consulting firm that deals with many of the private companies interested in making mass money off the state’s drilling leases. The Ohio Ethics Commission this week warned Chase that such consulting work could present a conflict of interest, though Chase says he’s not surprised and that he knows what his ethical responsibilities are. NBC has picked up a sitcom set in Cincinnati starring Anne Heche, who reportedly plays an Indian Hill housewife who believes she can channel God after surviving an accident involving nearly choking on a sandwich (with humorous results?). The show, which will have a 13-episode first season, is titled Save Me. The Obama administration might be hinting at considering same-sex marriage rights during a second term, but the folks down in North Carolina are having none of it: A state constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage and civil unions is on today’s ballot, despite the existence of a state statute that already outlaws it. Meanwhile, the Obama administration is busting Mitt Romney up for choosing not to address a woman’s suggestion that Obama should be tried for treason. During an event near Cleveland yesterday, a woman asked Romney if he thinks President Obama is "operating outside the structure of our Constitution," and "should be tried for treason." Romney did not respond to the treason comment, but instead criticized Obama's recent comments on the Supreme Court -- drawing a rebuke from the Obama campaign. Romney says he doesn’t correct all the questions that are asked of him and that he obviously doesn’t believe Obama should be tried for treason. USA Today pointed out that the incident is similar to one that occurred during the 2008 election, which John McCain handled quite differently: It was one of the defining moments of the 2008 presidential campaign: A woman at a rally for Republican John McCain, while asking McCain a question, called Democratic contender Barack Obama "an Arab" who couldn't be trusted. McCain took the microphone and said, "No ma'am. He's a decent family man ... who I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues." McCain's response symbolized his discomfort with the volatile crowds he was seeing as his campaign faded during the final days of the 2008 race. A study suggests that fighting obesity will necessitate a broader approach than blaming the individual, likely involving schools, workplaces, health care providers and fast-food restaurants. Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson has apologized for pretending to have a degree in computer science. Thompson says he’ll update his resume but has no plans to step down. The U.S. could make a $1.5 billion profit on its bailout of insurance company American International Group, Inc. At least that’s what the Government Accountability Office says. Google’s driverless cars have received their permits in Nevada. What's next? Drive down every single street in America and photographing it?
 
 
by Danny Cross 05.04.2012
 
 
rob portman

Morning News and Stuff

Sen. Rob Portman is sitting on more cash than nearly all of his GOP colleagues in the Senate, despite the fact that he’s not up for re-election until 2016. There has been widespread speculation that Portman is a Republican vice presidential candidate, and only three Senators have more money on-hand than his Promoting Our Republican Team PAC (PORTPAC) leadership committee. Companies upstream from Cincinnati have been dumping pollutants into the Ohio River since the 1940s, and federal authorities have reached a $5.5 million settlement to start cleaning it all up. Eighteen companies and several federal agencies will collectively contribute to restoring the Ashtabula River and Harbor in northeast Ohio. Here's the latest from Dredging Today (the authoritative voice of underwater excavation activity and other earth-altering digs). Locals who have recently “pimped their rides” might want to read up on a bill passed by Ohio lawmakers yesterday that bans hidden compartments in vehicles. Police don’t want to have to open those fancy compartments to check whether there are drugs inside or just a 10th tiny TV. Hear that, Colerain? Here’s what Obama and his advisers do on Sundays (after the prez’s round of golf, of course): size up Mitt Romney. More insights from the letters and notes released on Thursday by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point: “Bin Laden worried about legacy and sought to kill Obama.” U.S. job growth was down in April, adding only 115,000 positions after seeing 154,000 added in March. The unemployment rate dropped .1 percentage point to 8.1 percent, largely due to workers leaving the labor force. Republicans have some thoughts on the matter (Obama’s fault). Ted Nugent is not looking so hot these days. He’s also thoroughly offended at the notion of not being a moderate. The following are comments he made today on CBS This Morning: "If you examine how I conduct myself," Nugent said, "I don't think a day goes by in my life for many, many years now that we don't do charity work for children. ... Call me when you sit down across from someone who has more families with dying little boys and girls who get a call to take them on their last fishing trip in life. "Call me," Nugent continued in a raised, irritated voice, "when you meet someone who does that more than I do. Because that's really moderate. In fact, you know what that is? That's extreme. ... I'm an extremely loving, passionate man, and people who investigate me honestly, without the baggage of political correctness, ascertain the conclusion that I'm a damned nice guy. ... And if you can find a screening process more powerful than that, I'll [expletive]. Or [expletive]. How's that sound?" Headline: “Tech world is out for blood.” Apparently Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson’s decision to start a patent war was not such a good idea. New York Yankees future Hall of Fame pitcher Mariano Rivera tore his ACL during pregame batting practice yesterday, putting the 42-year-old’s career in jeopardy. There had already been speculation that Rivera would retire after this season, and recovery from ACL surgery usually takes more than nine months.
 
 
by German Lopez 04.25.2012
Posted In: Republicans, Democrats, News, Public Policy, Government at 11:23 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
jon_husted_518045c

Republicans Back Down on Voting Restrictions

Ohio GOP to repeal parts of its own passed legislation

This week, Republicans are moving forward with a partial repeal of HB 194, a bill that was blasted by voting rights groups for eliminating opportunities to vote early and disallowing pollworkers to guide voters to the correct precinct. The bill was also criticized by Democrats for curtailing voting rights in a way that made it harder for mostly Democratic constituents to vote.The good news first: Most of HB 194 is being repealed. It’s good to see Republicans follow the advice of Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, a moderate Republican who called or the repeal of HB 194 earlier this year.The bad news: Some new limits on voting rights are going to remain in place, and the entire repeal process, which involves the passing of SB 295, might be unconstitutional.While it’s good to see HB 194 repealed, it’s not the only voting law Republicans enacted last year. The Ohio legislature also passed HB 224, which prohibited voting the Saturday, Sunday and Monday before election day.For Democrats, this poses a bit of a problem. Democrats are happy to see most of the restrictions on voting repealed, but they want to see all of the restrictions repealed. If SB 295 passes, Democrats worry that the rest of the restrictions won’t be repealed because Republicans will think they have done enough.Even the Obama team spoke on this issue. In an email to Obama supporters Tuesday, Greg Schultz, the Ohio State Director on the Obama team, urged voters to speak up: “This bill could mean an end to our last three days of early voting this November — and would change the rules, right in the middle of an election year. It's an unambiguous attack on our voting rights.”The other problem is the repeal could be unconstitutional. After HB 194 passed, voters were quick to speak out against the new law and put it up for referendum in the November 2012 ballot. So Republicans are repealing a law that is already up for referendum. This is the first time that’s happened in the Ohio legislature, and Democrats claim it might be unconstitutional.But a lot of that opposition may be pure political posturing. After all, Democrats were sure they were going to win the referendum on HB 194, and they were sure they could use it to get more supporters out to vote. With SB 295, the referendum of HB 194 could potentially be taken off the ballot, and state Democrats will lose one issue to hammer Republicans with in an election year.In a sense, Democrats aren’t just upset about a “change of rules in the middle of an election year,” as Schultz put it in his email. They’re upset about a change in politics in the middle of an election year.Regardless, SB 295 does have some legitimate problems. It’s good to see most of the draconian restrictions on voting repealed, but if Republicans really want to admit their mistake, they’ll repeal the rest of the restrictions as well.
 
 

ObamaCare’s Fate Will Affect All Americans

2 Comments · Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Sometime in the next 10 weeks or so, U.S. citizens will learn whether the Supreme Court will uphold the first significant health care reform in nearly a half-century. It doesn’t matter if you’re interested in politics or couldn’t give a hoot, the decision will directly impact you, your family and your friends for years to come.   

U.S. Soldier’s Shooting Spree Reveals Futility of War

6 Comments · Wednesday, March 21, 2012
As I’ve read articles and listened to media reports during the past week about the U.S. soldier who went on a bloody shooting spree March 11 in Afghanistan, one thought keeps going through my mind: It’s all so completely unnecessary.   

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