April 5, 2006

David Smith: Two-Time Promise-Breaker

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:15 pm

There was Smithbot sighting earlier today at S.O.B. Alliance member Weapons of Mass Discussion, commenting on items that were proven two weeks ago, and apparently using a Procter & Gamble Company computer (per Matt at WMD, it was IP, for those keeping score) to do so. Direct links to the comments are here and here, and the commenter’s name is “Goes to Washington.”

We’re oh-so-glad to have any excuse to bring up a Smithbot topic here again at BizzyBlog, especially this one, which deals with something that is indisputably true, and that Mr. Smith and his bots won’t acknowledge:

David Smith has promised,
on two separate occasions,
that he would drop out of the race
if certain conditions were met,
and has reneged on both promises.

The first promise, which is on videotape with members of Columbus Town Hall, was that he would drop out if he was clearly trailing other challengers (there were two others at the time; now there is one, Bill Pierce).

Let’s look at the reality here, shall we? In fair and open county endorsement meetings, the record is:

  • Knox County — Pierce, endorsed; Smith, not; DeWine not.
  • Clermont County — Pierce rated well qualified; DeWine, not; Smith (a no-show, I am told, in what he describes as his strongest area of support) not.
  • Miami County — Pierce third; Smith second; DeWine first.
  • Preble County — Pierce ties DeWine for first; Smith knocked out on first ballot
  • Fulton County — Pierce and Smith rated “qualified”; DeWine not (Note: due to lack of disclosure by David Smith of his residency and political history, this result is suspect. Why that is the case is discussed here).

By any objective measure (even before considering what will be revealed tomorrow about Fulton County), David Smith has been outperformed by, and is clearly trailing, Bill Pierce. Despite this reality, Mr. Smith will not withdraw.

Verdict: First promise not kept.

The second promise, which was the focus of our friendly Smithbot’s ire and attempted denial, was that Mr. Smith would drop out of the race if 15 county GOP chairmen would go on record saying that his relatively brief residency in Ohio of roughly 1-1/2 years would be fatally negative factor in a general election contest with presumptive Democrat nominee Sherrod Brown.

This is an even more annoying denial than the first, because we believe that the commenter knows that this promise was made and lied about it from a Procter & Gamble Company IP address. I don’t know for sure, but it would seem that a company with the public ethical posture of P&G just might consider being dishonest on a company computer on company time to be something that would subject the person doing it to disciplinary action.

The reason we know that the promise was made, and that the conditions requiring the promise to be kept were met, is that David Smith and Bill Pierce agreed to bring the matter to an objective mediator, one Mark Faust. Mr. Smith (and at least some, if not all, of his bots) know that Mr. Faust has an actual list of 15 county chairs, the counties they represent, and their phone numbers. Mr. Smith knows that the list is authentic. All of these county chairs have stated that Mr. Smith’s short period of residency in Ohio is, in their judgment, a guarantee of general-election defeat should he win the nomination. At some point, Mr. Smith apparently added an additional condition, namely that the 15 county chairmen should not be concentrated in Southern and Western Ohio, and that they should represent a cross-section of the entire state. They do; as a matter of fact, I am told that all but four of the counties involved are north of Interstate 70.

“Goes to Washington” hysterically rants: “Let’s see the list, lets call the chairmen and see who has the support.” Bud, I mean Bot, all you have to do is contact Mr. Faust, any time.

Despite all of this, Mr. Smith will not withdraw.

Verdict: Second promise not kept.

Based on these two unkept promises, one has to ask: If this guy can’t even keep the simplest of pledges made to fellow party members, how much reliance can we place on any of his other campaign positions and promises? And if Mr. Smith ever (God forbid) went to Washington, why do we have any reason to believe he would be a reliable conservative voter, or even someone his fellow senators of either party could trust?

I would be oh-so-glad to address David Smith’s broken promises to withdraw on a daily basis as long as he and/or his Smithbots wish to bring them up here, or anywhere else. Just keep those comments coming.

UPDATE: And if you really want some rich Smithbot entertainment, go to this doozy of a comment from “Martin” over at S.O.B. Alliance member Lincoln Logs. BTW, “Martin,” Bill Pierce does not live in Milford (you’ll have to figure out what are he really lives in on your own; sort of like your guy having to find his own way to the Brown County endorsement meeting he was totally unaware of a couple of weeks ago); the term “bots” has already been taken to describe you guys (i.e., get some new material); and if you have to criticize me behind my back your arguments must be weak, you must be afraid of another smackdown, or both. Zheesh.

Previous Posts:
April 3 — David Smith: NOW He Tells Us (Utah “Busted” Edition) — Smithbots Alert
March 30 — David Smith: NOW He Tells Us (Utah “Busted” Edition)
March 30 — David Smith: NOW He Tells Us
March 23 — David Smith and the FEC
March 23 — The Disappearing and Reappearing Columbus Townhall Forum Post
March 22 — In the Ohio GOP US Senate Primary, David Smith Hasn’t Dropped Out, and Should — SOON

They Are Just SOOOO Mature and Dignified in McEwenland

Filed under: OH-02 US House — Tom @ 8:32 pm


Funny — I couldn’t find this “Rachel Dratch” on the ballot.

We know that Jean Schmidt won’t be there, and why. Besides, she’s not running against any “Rachel Dratch.”

And where’s Deb Kraus’s name?

Previous Post:

  • April 2 — The Second District GOP Congressional Primary Has Another Active Challenger Who Deserves a Debate Spot

Bob McEwen and Taxes — A Bi-Weekly Reminder

Filed under: OH-02 US House,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 4:55 pm

A couple of weeks ago, S.O.B. Alliance member NixGuy had a great post on Bob McEwen and taxes.

This seems as good a time as any to revisit it. Yes, the material presented came from a Schmidt campaign e-mail. But since I have yet to see a response to it from the McEwen camp, and since there are a few (but only a few :–>) who might not have read NixGuy, here we go again:

Top 300 Billion Reasons Why You Can’t Trust Bob McEwen on Taxes

Numbers 1 to 233 Billion — H. Con. Res. 345. First Budget Resolution FY 1983.

– McEwen voted for the Obey (D-WI) substitute which would raise taxes by $233 billion over three years. The substitute would have scaled back the Reagan tax cuts of 1981. McEwen was one of only 8 Republicans in the House to vote for the Obey substitute and against President Reagan. May 24, 1982. 1982 Congressional Quarterly Almanac pp 26 – H and 27 – H. Vote # 91 corresponding with Congressional Record vote 97.

Numbers 234 to 280 Billion — H. Con. Res. 280. First Budget Resolution, FY 1985.

– McEwen voted to cut defense spending by $40.2 billion and raise taxes by $47.2 billion and find other tax savings totaling $61.6 billion. The vote was on the Latta (R – OH) substitute offered by House Republicans. (A “yea” was in support of President Reagan.) April 5, 1984. 1984 Congressional Quarterly Almanac pp 22- H and 23 – H. Vote # 64 corresponding with Congressional Record vote 73.

Numbers 280 to 296 Billion — H.R. 2950. The Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act of 1991.

– The 1990 White House-Congressional budget deal included a nickel increase in the federal gasoline tax that was set to expire after fiscal year 1995 (McEwen voted NO on the 1990 budget deal. However, McEwen voted FOR H. R. 2950 which extended half of that (2.5 cents) through fiscal 1999. A nay vote was in support of President Bush who opposed the 2.5-cent gas tax extension, high federal matching levels and authorization for 489 special highway projects. October 23, 1991. 1991 Congressional Quarterly Almanac pp 82 – H and 83 – H. Vote # 338.

McEwen also voted for the conference report on Nov 27, 1991. (Signed into law Dec. 18, 1991 P.L. 102-240). 1991 Congressional Quarterly Almanac pp 106 – H and 107 – H. Vote # 440.

Numbers 296 to over 300 Billion — H. Con. Res. 93. Budget Resolution FY 1988

– McEwen was one of only 27 House Republicans to vote for the Gray (D-PA) substitute which would raise taxes by $6.1 billion, $300 million of that would come from imposing new taxes on military reservists, $400 million would increase the excise tax on coal, $800 million would tax gas that buses and state and local governments purchase, $200 million from requiring employers to pay social security taxes on employees’ tips, and $100 million from increased payments by railroad employees to pension funds. (The Gray substitute was the Reagan budget.) April 9, 1987. 1987 Congressional Quarterly Almanac pp 18 – H and 19 – H. Vote # 49.

Geez, this is great research. I’m jealous.

The “Headless” Story from the Clueless New York Times

Greyhawk at Mudville Gazette shows that the March 26 story (now behind the TimeSelect firewall) should have been reported as a rumor, and wasn’t:

The bodies of 30 beheaded men were found on a main highway near Baquba this evening, providing more evidence that the death squads in Iraq are becoming out of control.

Trouble is, as Greyhawk notes, nobody did “find” the bodies:

Interior Ministry officials said a driver discovered the bodies heaped in a pile next to a highway that links Baghdad to Baquba, a volatile city northeast of the capital that has been wracked by sectarian and insurgent violence.
Iraqi army troops were waiting tonight for American support before venturing into the insurgent-infested area to retrieve them.

The military denied it, and The Times had to say never mind — in a Page 17 story on March 29 (about 2/3 of the way through it):

The police in western Baghdad discovered 14 bodies on Tuesday, all killed execution-style with gunshots to the head, apparently the latest victims of sectarian bloodletting. On Monday, Iraqi forces found 18 bodies near Baquba with similar wounds. Earlier reports of 30 beheaded bodies found in that area were wrong, the Interior Ministry official said.

Oops. Yet another Times attempt at creating an urban legend bites the dust.

The Brits Have Totally Lost It on Crime Control

Filed under: Consumer Outrage,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:23 am

A slap on the wrist policy for crimes that clearly deserve jail time (HT Large Bill):

Burglars will be allowed to escape without punishment under new instructions sent to all police forces. Police have been told they can let them off the threat of a court appearance and instead allow them to go with a caution.

The same leniency will be shown to criminals responsible for more than 60 other different offences, ranging from arson through vandalism to sex with underage girls. (OMG, Tell me I didn’t just read that — Ed.)

New rules sent to police chiefs by the Home Office set out how seriously various crimes should be regarded, and when offenders who admit to them should be sent home with a caution.

….. Some serious offences – including burglary of a shop or office, threatening to kill, actual bodily harm, and possession of Class A drugs such as heroin or cocaine – may now be dealt with by caution if police decide that would be the best approach.

Note that this is the exact opposite of the zero-tolerance policy (also known as the “Broken Windows Theory“) that New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani put into place in 1993 to bring that city’s supposedly intractable crime problem under control to the point where Gotham remains among the safest cities in the world.

But the above shows that the Brits are selling out to the bad guys. But they have cameras everywhere to record what they won’t prosecute.

This exactly proves the point Theodore Dalrymple made a few weeks ago (noted in this previous BizzyBlog post) — that all this surveillance (300 camera appearances per day, by some estimates) is doing nothing to protect the average British citizen.

UPDATE: After seeing some of what is on the list, I would “love” to see the entire list. If anyone has a link to it, let me know.

The Carnival of Ohio Politics Is Up!

Filed under: News from Other Sites — Tom @ 9:45 am

….. and it’s here.

Bankruptcies Were Way Down in the First Quarter

Filed under: Bankruptcy & Reform — Tom @ 9:28 am

But It’s Too Early to Conclude Anything from It

The reported numbers are estimates, and the final numbers won’t be released by the courts until near the end of April.

Assuming they are basically correct (only 103,000 filings in the first quarter of 2006, down 73% from 382,000 in the first quarter of 2005), they don’t yet prove that the so-called “Bankruptcy Reform” law that took effect in October of last year will permanently reduce filings.

But I’m guessing that filings over the long-term will be down about 50%. The second quarter’s results will be a better reflection of long-term trends. Whether all of this a good thing for consumers or lenders remains to be seen. Color me skeptical.

Bizzy’s AM Coffee Biz-Econ-Life Links (040506)

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:01 am

Free Links:

  • Delta Pilots Have Voted to Strike — They may also be voting to liquidate the company.
  • The Government Will Auction Drilling Leases in Utah — The article notes that “The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance accused the Bush administration of rushing to open more public lands for drilling to buoy domestic energy supplies.” And their point is?
  • Mass Layoffs Are at Their Lowest Level in 11 Months.
  • People Are Way Too Confident about Being Secure in Retirement — unless they plan on continuing work well into their supposed retirement years.
  • Sarbanes Oxley may be responsible for the recovery of Europe’s capital markets“According to the latest figures, Europe attracted nearly six times as many overseas IPOs than the US, in terms of volume, and more than three times in value. The 603 new listings on European markets were up more than 39 per cent on the 433 that listed there in 2004. The US figure fell from 236 to 205. It’s still early days, but if the trend continues it will put even more pressure on regulators to fix the problem.” Let’s hope so.
  • TaxProf Blog notes a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that tax preparers make big errors. PDFs of the report and a one-page summary are linked there. This is simply more proof that income tax law is simply too complex.
  • More evidence that federal spending is out of control (HT Americans for Propserity) — “The federal government is currently spending 20.8 cents of every $1 the economy generates, up from 18.5 cents in 2001, White House budget documents show. That’s the most rapid growth during one administration since Franklin Roosevelt.”

Positivity: Why the ‘miracle miner’ survived

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:09 am

This is the transcript of most of Sunday’s “Dateline” program on NBC. Have Kleenex at the ready:

Randal McCloy is acutely aware that his life is called a miracle because he lived when 12 other men died. The word may make him uncomfortable, but it’s also inescapable. Last week, when he was released from the hospital, the governor of West Virginia presented him with a gift: The street Randy lives on has been renamed Miracle Road.

Matt Lauer, NBC News: People say you’re a miracle. Do you feel like you’re a miracle?

Randal McCloy: Well, in a way that—I mean, surviving, yeah that—that’s a miracle. But, I’d say, in a way, no.

Lauer: Why no?

McCloy: Well, cause—I feel like I’d be not remembering my fellow miners.

But as we learned when we visited with Randy and his wife Anna, the miracle of his survival is really a combination of things. A medical mystery, yes… but also a story of determination, faith, and, maybe most of all, love.

Lauer: As you’ve watched him go through this process and learn to talk again and use his hands again and dress himself again and walk again… I would imagine you’ve learned a little bit about your husband. What have you learned?

Anna McCloy: This man right here never gives up. And I’m glad that he’s able to push himself. Cause some people don’t have that. And I’m proud of him.

Anna has not left Randy’s side since he was rescued from the mine. She moved into the rehabilitation hospital with him and actually lived there while he underwent intensive therapy. Randy’s not the only one who’s determined.

Lauer: When he gets a little down, if he does get a little down, which one of you has to kick him in the butt a little bit? Or is that Anna’s job?

Therapist: That’s usually Anna’s job.

McCloy: That’s probably her job.Lauer: Has she had to do that from time to time?

McCloy: Yeah, from time to time. You know, not too much but sometimes.

One way or another, Randy’s been fighting for his life since January 2, when an explosion at the Sago mine trapped him and 12 co-workers two miles underground in total darkness.

McCloy: The main thing is being in the dark like that where you’re honestly looking for your way out, and one that isn’t smoky and filled with gasses and things. So it’s a really confusing time. I remember sometimes I would try to go through walls and stuff, try to walk through them or something to get to the other side, but just really confusing. You don’t really know where you’re going.

The air in the mine was poisonous. For more than a day, rescuers could not go in because tests showed levels of carbon monoxide were six times what people can safely breathe. The miners had emergency oxygen but it only lasted an hour.

McCloy: Well, we all knew there was nothing you could do. We all knew that. We knew we was going to end up taking the bullet on that one.

With their bodies and brains deprived of oxygen, the miners started fading. The note one man left to his family indicates he survived for about 10 hours breathing the poisonous air of the mine. Randy kept breathing for 30 more hours, but eventually, he wrote his own note to Anna, and their children, Randal junior and Isabel.

Anna McCloy: He just started out by saying, “Anna I love you so much.” And told Randal to “Trust in the Lord,” and for “Isabelle to stay sweet.” And that he didn’t want us to grieve long. He wanted us to be happy in life. And he signed it, “Daddy.”

Lauer: That’s a hard thing to have to say goodbye to someone on a piece of paper.

McCloy: Yeah. Yes, it is. All kinds of things you want to say and can’t.

When the rescuers finally arrived, Randy was the only miner left to save.

Lauer: Do you remember being rescued?McCloy: No, cause I had so much carbon monoxide in my lungs, I couldn’t even breath, much less, you know, speak properly.
Neurosurgeon Julian Bailes has worked with Randy since the rescue.

Julian Bailes, neurosurgeon: He was in terrible shape when he got here: in shock, collapsed left lung, in kidney failure, heart failure, liver failure. Really nothing working right and in a deep coma.

Randy had severe brain damage. But why was he alive at all? Bailes says some people are less affected by carbon monoxide than others, but that alone doesn’t explain Randy’s survival.

Bailes: In addition to that, he certainly with that degree and length of exposure had to have been in better air for the vast majority of the time that he was underground.

But how could that be? Bailes notes that Randy’s job sometimes had him working hundreds of feet from the main crew—and speculates Randy was just lucky enough to find a pocket of good air. But Bailes’ theory has a flaw: Randy was reportedly found with the other miners.

Bailes: I just think that for whatever reason, and some have said it’s a miracle, and maybe it’s part miracle, but Randy survived and has come through it better than we expected at first.

There’s that word “miracle” again.

Lauer: So then, do you think faith played a big role in this?

McCloy: That’s possible.Anna McCloy: Yeah. I think, yeah. A very big part of it.
It’s easy to see, part of their faith, is in each other.

Lauer: So what was the first time when you realized ok, he knows that it’s me?

Anna McCloy: I was talking to him and I told him, “Randy I know that you can’t talk right now, but if you know who I am, just give me one kiss. And he kissed me.”

Lauer: Did he lean up and do that or did he kiss your hand?Anna McCloy: No, he leaned up—he leaned his head toward me.

Lauer: How hard did you cry? I’m almost crying.

Anna McCloy: I lost it you know I didn’t, I never expected that.

Long before Randy could speak, he could signal his love for Anna.

Lauer: Anna tells a story that at one point in this process you—you reached over and you grabbed her hand and you gestured toward her wedding ring and you shook your head and then you held your own hand up and you didn’t have your wedding ring on. And—

McCloy: I made a comparison there, I believe that’s what you’re getting at.

Lauer: And basically, you wanted your ring back on?

McCloy: Right.

….. Tonight, for the first time in many a Sunday, Randy McCloy is home with his wife and kids… at home, on Miracle Road.