October 18, 2006

Strickland Referral Post

Filed under: News from Other Sites,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:19 pm

Thanks to Larwyn for e-mailing a heads-up about the Strickland situation far and wide.

Here’s where to start for the latest on the Strickland controversies:

1. The “Present” vote on the 1999 resolution (Roll call vote: 355 For, None Against, 13 Present) that condemned the American Psychological Association’s study of a research report claiming that pedophilia was sometimes a good thing — for the child:

Quick add: Here’s a link to the breathtaking one-minute floor speech where Strickland in essence called 355 of his colleagues a technically incompetent pack of liars (yes he did — read it).

As I have said before, here is the takeaway from this particular controversy:

Nobody can fairly say that Ted Strickland supports pedophilia, but no one can deny that Ted Strickland’s 1999 “Present” vote on H CON RES 107, and especially his subsequent reaction to Congress’s unanimous support of it, provided aid and comfort to those who do. The only debate is over how much.

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2. The non-background-checked hiring of a staffer in the late 1990s who had a criminal record as a convicted sex predator, was promoted to 1998 campaign manager, and who took a vacation to Italy with Strickland in 1999:

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3. Questions about Strickland’s claim of residency for voting purposes in Lisbon, OH, when he owns a condo in Columbus and appears to spend much more of his non-DC time there:

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Other SOB Alliance Members Contributing (home page links; scroll down for latest items relevant to these and other Strickland controversies; apologies if I’m missing anyone):

- Right Angle Blog
- Weapons of Mass Discussion
- Porkopolis
- Newshound
- Interested-Participant
- Blackwell vs. Strickland
- Keeler Report
- Brain Shavings

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UPDATE: Brain Shavings has the YouTube video of Bill Cunningham’s appearance on Hannity & Colmes where he discussed Strickland controversies 1 and 2.

Alan Colmes repeated the Strickland line that he (Strickland) objected to the 1999 resolution because of “no opportunity for healing” language. For the umpteenth time, that’s total baloney; the objectionable language referred to text of a Supreme Court decision, and was NOT in what was “Resolved.” Read his objections in his one-minute speech on the floor of the House on July 27, 1999; you will not find any objection to the “no opportunity for healing” language there. If Strickland really felt that strongly about it, he would have squeezed it into his minute. He didn’t.

UPDATE 2, Oct. 19: Jerome Corsi writes in Thursday morning’s WorldNetDaily that Scott Pullins is planning to file an Ohio Elections Commission complaint:

Scott Pullins, a Mount Vernon, Ohio, attorney, plans to file an Ohio Elections Commission complaint against Democratic gubernatorial candidate Rep. Ted Strickland, charging that Strickland has attempted to cover up a scandal involving his 1998 campaign manager whose 1994 convictions for sexual improprieties with minors have remained hidden until recently.

Sherrod Brown: Two Dealbreakers in One Day (UPDATE — Back to Just One)

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:32 pm

A BizzyBlog Dealbreaker is defined as “something that completely justifies a person not voting for you, regardless of your party or your stands on the issues.”

I’m starting to understand why Sherrod Brown hesitated to get into the US Senate race:

  • This smackdown by Colin Powell after Brown acted like an insolent jerk in front of the then-Secretary of State (to be clear, this is NOT a Dealbreaker, just horribly bad manners that should turn off some people; others in the “get out now” crowd may actually applaud it).
  • Now this, from DeWine’s latest TV ad (as before, I don’t care what the source is, someone’s gotta tell me why this is a false claim (UPDATE: They probably have, see below); telling me it was only a few thousands bucks doesn’t get you there):
SherrodBrown12YOtaxes

The fine print says “Notice of Lien by Ohio Bureau of Employment Services, Section 4141.23 Ohio Revised Code.”

That would be Dealbreaker #2 (UPDATE — See below). I get the sense that there are even more dealbreakers to come.

DEALBREAKER UPDATE: Thanks to Large Bill for noting in the comments below that the Plain Dealer blog is claiming that the ad is incorrect, in this sense

The state confirms that Brown’s campaign paid the debt long ago, but says it is up to the taxpayer to file the lien release.

The top line of the screen capture above is wrong; the fine print is right. But because the state got its money, I’m withdrawing the Dealbreaker designation from this item unless and until someone shows me that the taxes, though paid, were (though paid “long ago”) still paid very late. That has not been shown; the burden is on the DeWine camp or someone else to prove otherwise.

Brown is back to one Dealbreaker, but remember, one is enough.
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UPDATE: This isn’t directly related to the for-now-debunked Dealbreaker #2, because even if he or she votes against every tax increase or new tax, a candidate’s dilly-dallying on paying his or her own breaks the deal. That said, if Democrat gubernatorial candidate Ted Strickland voted for tax increases more than 80 times during his 12 years in Congress, how many did Sherrod Brown vote for? Brown, along with Strickland, is near the very bottom of the grading lists of both the National Taxpayers Union (Strickland 13% – F; Brown 12% – F) and the Club for Growth (Strickland – 0%; Brown – 1%; yes that’s out of a possible 100%).

That ‘Lame’ Strickland Residency Story Has Travelled Quite a Bit

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 2:03 pm

It has now made the round trip from Columbiana County to Columbus, and back:

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The secretary of state’s office sent a challenge of Democratic governor candidate Ted Strickland’s residency back to the Columbiana County Board of Elections on Tuesday.The challenge alleges Strickland does not live at the Lisbon address where he is registered to vote. If successful, it could keep him from voting in the Nov. 7 election.

The elections board voted 2-2 along party lines last week over whether to hold a hearing to decide the complaint and referred the matter to the secretary of state’s office.

The board failed to conduct proper investigation into Strickland’s residency before voting and therefore must hold a hearing to determine the issue, Assistant Secretary of State Monty Lobb wrote in a letter to Columbiana Board of Elections Director Lois Gall.

….. A determination against the Stricklands would prevent them from voting in the upcoming election because the deadline to change their residency passed last week.

So the residency story has two trips of about 175 miles each, or 350 miles, under its belt. That’s a lot of distance for such a “lame” story to travel.

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Previous Posts:

- Oct. 14 — Et Tu, AP?
- Oct. 14 — How Important Is It to Voters That a Congressional Candidate Live in the District?
- Oct. 13 — Oh, That ‘Lame’ Strickland Residency Controversy Is Getting Around Quite Nicely
- Oct. 6 — Should One Columbiana Co. BOE Member Disqualify Himself in the Strickland Complaint?
- Oct. 5 — Ted Strickland’s Ohio Gubernatorial Candidacy Challenged on Residency/Voting Grounds

Carnival Barking (101806)

Filed under: News from Other Sites — Tom @ 12:56 pm

Newshound’s 44th Carnival of Ohio Politics is here.

Boring Made Dull’s 17th on Economics and Social Policy is here.

This Threat to Free Speech and Expression Can’t Be Underestimated

I was talking about this very problem with Matt Hurley of Weapons of Mass Discussion on Wide Wakes Radio last night in the context of YouTube, and pulled out the final line of the Who classic “Won’t Get Fooled Again” to make my point: “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”

YouTube has been arbitrarily deleting posted videos that violate its nebulous “standards,” at what appears to be an accelerating pace. The victims, unsurprisingly, are largely those who lean conservative and/or are attempting to expose the truth about worldwide jihad (the video at the link, Michelle Malkin’s “First They Came” was [and still is] mirrored at BizzyBlog in a vestige of her pre-Hot Air days). Left unchecked, YouTube as the “new boss” could attempt to unilaterally impose the kinds of constraints on broadcasting that the Fairness Doctrine imposed on liberal-dominated TV and radio stations (“the old boss”) until the mid-1980s.

We are in a different era, though, and currently there is a very real check on YouTube. It is known as the marketplace. If a company like YouTube got too heavyhanded, free-expression alternatives like Hot Air and others would continue to grow. After all, it’s a free market and the Internet is wide open to anyone with ideas and bandwidth, right?

Possibly wrong — very wrong:

Amateur ‘video bloggers’ under threat from EU broadcast rules

THE Government is seeking to prevent an EU directive that could extend broadcasting regulations to the internet, hitting popular video-sharing websites such as YouTube.

The European Commission proposal would require websites and mobile phone services that feature video images to conform to standards laid down in Brussels.

Ministers fear that the directive would hit not only successful sites such as YouTube but also amateur “video bloggers” who post material on their own sites. Personal websites would have to be licensed as a “television-like service”.

Viviane Reding, the Media Commissioner, argues that the purpose is simply to set minimum standards on areas such as advertising, hate speech and the protection of children.

….. The draft rules, known as the Television Without Frontiers directive, extend the definition of broadcasting to cover services such as video-on-demand or mobile phone clips.

If you don’t smell a rat, check your nose to make sure it’s still there. Imagine people with YouTube’s content-screening mindset (or worse) and the full force of government behind them. Bryan at Hot Air writes:

First, it should be obvious that the EU, through its “Television Without Frontiers,” is attempting to stifle free speech. Video bloggers and our audiences, regardless of our politics, should see the EU’s move as a threat to our own free speech.

There is no limited spectrum space on the Internet, and as long as domain name regulation remains in force there’s no worry of one web TV station stepping on the signal of any other. The EU’s effort is all about grabbing power and dictating what is and isn’t acceptable speech. They don’t even attempt to hide their intentions, but openly state that they want to stamp out “hate speech.” Well, hate speech is in the eyes of the beholder, and you can be sure that the Brussels bureaucrats who will be in charge of the TWF will not play fair.

In today’s Vent, which you MUST see, Michelle points out that the “we should be just like them” crowd in the US will use any successfully implemented effort by the EU to regulate Vblogging as justification to bring back the misnamed Fairness Doctrine here.

This can’t be allowed to occur. Contact the EU (e-mails to both the public and press addys listed would, in my opinion, be a good idea), and in a polite manner tell them that they can kiss the world’s Brussels sprouts.

Ken Lay’s Criminal Record Erased: DU Commenters React

Apparently that’s how the law works when someone dies while their conviction is pending appeal:

U.S. District Judge Sim Lake agreed, saying prosecutors had not “raised any legal basis for denying the rule’s application in this case.”

“On behalf of his estate, I’m really quite pleased with the ruling and glad this brings to a close the criminal proceeding against Mr. Lay,” said Samuel Buffone, the attorney for Lay’s estate.

The government had planned to seek $43.5 million for what it said was Lay’s ill-gotten gains from Enron’s fraud. The government could still pursue those gains in civil court, but they would have to compete with other litigants.

….. “It seems like there isn’t much of an argument that could have been made” by prosecutors, said Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond School of Law in Virginia. “The judge seemed to be pretty much bound by the earlier precedent.”

Your humble servant made a brief foray into the fever swamps of the Democratic Underground to get reaction to the news, so you don’t have to. The visit did not fail to entertain:

SpriralHawk:

Ken Lay is not dead.

You can bet your bippy on it. It’s just another republicon con job.

Helps to have friends like Georgie AWOL Bush who has stolen a High Office…

Repeat: Ken Lay is not dead. He is living the high life somewhere in the lap of republicon luxury.

SpiralHawk:

So sorry. As of today you may no longer think what you like

The republicons have trashed habeas corpus and endorsed wholesale torture, thereby debasing and disgracing the once wonderful land of liberty, the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

And no doubt Key Lay approves wherever he is hiding.

lovuian:

Ken Lay is not dead and he is hiding

Bush helped him escape and he will be found

Bush hiding criminals the ultimate abuse of power

Judaspriestess: (edited for spelling and profanity)

How convenient, while he relaxes somewhere in Europe

sorry I don’t buy this bull**** of how he conveniently died, had a quickie closed casket funeral and his story just went away.

Something tells me that having a nuanced discussion about public policy or economics with these folks would be difficult.

Bubble, Schmubble: Housing Market Indicators Are on the Whole Pretty Positive

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:05 am

News about builder confidence, housing starts, and building permits supports a belief that the worst of the housing market’s problems may be behind it, and that the beginnings of a comeback may be in the works.

From CNN Money yesterday –

Home builders’ confidence about the market may have bottomed out.

The builders’ trade group’s survey of their outlook, released Tuesday, ticked up slightly in October for the first time in a year. But their view of the market is still decidedly negative.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Index came in with a reading of 31, up from 30 in September.

Not impressive, but at least in the right direction.

Here’s the very first report from AP today about housing starts and building permits reported by the Commerce Department (small PDF):

Construction of new homes and apartments, which had been falling in the face of a weakening housing market, posted an unexpected increase in September.

The Commerce Department reported that construction rose by 5.9 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.772 million units. It was the first increase after three consecutive monthly declines.

Analysts, however, still expect housing to move lower as builders continue to work through record levels of unsold homes. Building permits, a good sign of future activity, fell in September for an eighth consecutive month.

CNN Money says that Analysts had expected a 0.1% 2% decrease (correction based on this registration-required MarketWatch link).

The building permits decline was a seasonally adjusted 6.3%, bigger than an expected 0.1%. Almost 80% of the decline took place in one region, the South.

What all of this tells me is that builders are getting better at adapting to market conditions, and that their ability to adapt is lessening whatever possibility there might have been of a housing bubble.

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Selected Previous Posts:

- Sept. 14 — Bubble, Schmubble (Update)
- Sept. 7 — Unseen Housing Headline: “Home-Price Growth Returning to Normal”
- Sept. 6 — Bubble, Schmubble (So Far)
- June 1, 2006 — Those Waiting for a Housing Bubble Are Going to Have to Keep Waiting
- Dec. 13, 2005 — What About This News Resembles a Bubble Bursting?

Where in the World Is No-Show Sherrod? (BizzyBlog Dealbreaker Number 1)

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:13 am

Those of you who read this post Saturday would have noticed that I used the term “dealbreaker” there. It means something that will cause a person not to vote or you regardless of your party or your stands on the issues.

Unless someone can contradict this, Sherrod Brown has stepped into a BizzyBlog dealbreaker — by not showing up for meetings or votes (the info is from a DeWine press release, but the focus, of course, has to be on whether or not it’s factual):

REALITY CHECK: Where in the world is Sherrod Brown?

“It’s laughable that Sherrod Brown is criticizing Mike DeWine’s attendance at hearings of the Intelligence Committee, when Congressman Brown has a shameful record of attendance at his own committee hearings and a record of missed votes that make you wonder, where in the world is Congressman Sherrod Brown. With confirmation that North Korea did test a nuclear weapon within the past few days, how can Congressman Brown claim he wants to keep us safe when he’s missed 92 percent of his subcommittee’s hearings on the threat of North Korea over the past nine years. Once again, Congressman Brown’s rhetoric does not match his record,” said Breann Gonzalez, spokesperson for Mike DeWine for U.S. Senate.

“Congressman Brown has missed at least 278 roll call votes since coming to Washington.

Deal, broken. If you really can’t abide by Mike DeWine under any circumstances, your next question should be, “Is there a write-in candidate?”

One More Reason Not to Trust News Out of the Middle East

Filed under: Business Moves,MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:08 am

Can you top this? (HT Michelle Malkin and Hot Air)

Reuters Cameraman Remanded for Inciting Rock Attacks

On Tuesday, a Reuters cameraman was remanded to prison until trial for his part in rock-throwing attacks on security forces in Bil’in, where the separation fence is a constant target of protesters.

The cameraman, Imad Muhammad Intisar Boghnat, was arrested and charged as a result of violent riots in the Arab village of Bil’in, in the Modi’in region, on October 6, 2006. A videotape that the prosecution presented to the judge shows Boghnat encouraging and directing rioters in Bil’in to throw large chunks of rock at Israeli vehicles in such a way as to cause maximum damage. The accused is heard shouting, “Throw, throw!” and later, “Throw towards the little window!”

Reuters has allowed itself to become the news service of terrorist sympathizers enablers participants. Given the fauxtography scandal over two months ago, to allow people like Boghnat to remain as contributors has to be seen as a conscious, and erroneous, business decision.

Too Bad I Can’t Join, Though I Could Try

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:03 am

Russell Roberts at Cafe Hayek (HT Club for Growth) is so incensed at the 650 alleged economists who signed a petition supporting an increase in the minimum wage that he wants to start S.O.R.E., the Society Of Real Economists.

Those 650 can’t join.

Neither can yours truly, though I could possibly slide in with the help of the New York Post, whose Roddy Boyd called this bloga clearinghouse for supply-side ideas.” And unlike those supposedly possessing professional credentials who are now only pretending to be economists, I DON’T support an increase in the minimum wage.

He Should Have Thrown a Party or Something

Filed under: News from Other Sites,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:58 am

Will Franklin of Willisms is back at his home blog.

He snuck back in last Thursday without so much as a peep. Welcome back, Will.

His latest post correlates state business climate with redness or blueness. UGH — Ohio has the worst business climate of any red state. 7 of the the 10 best biz climes are in red states. 7 of the worst 10 are in blue states.

It leads one to think that because the Ohio GOP has governed near-blue (even though the party won elections based on promises to govern red), there is serious electoral concern. Fortunately, Ken Blackwell is a clean break from “the blues,” as are the two non-major candidates. Ted Strickland is as blue as the sea of taxes the state is already drowning in. The best we could hope for is that he won’t raise the water level.

Positivity: Identical Twins Survive Rare Womb Condition in Mother

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:59 am

After four months, Evan Allison is coming home to meet his brother Ethan.

The identical twins’ mother was faced with an awful decision, and chose to try to save both children. That decision has paid off (Windows Media video is also at link):

Posted: 10/4/2006 5:28:24 PM
Twin boys beat the odds and each other to survive.

Evan and Ethan Allison were afflicted with twin to twin transfusion syndrome. That means the babies were battling it out in the womb to get enough blood to stay alive.

Bundled up tight in blankets, Evan and Ethan Allison look like any other babies. But make no mistake they are a medical miracle.

Their mother Teri says, “When they were first born, they had to wrap them in Saran wrap to keep them warm.”

The twins were born three months early, and each weighed under two pounds. That’s not what makes their survival so amazing, though.

Their mother was diagnosed with twin to twin transfusion syndrome, rare condition that only affects identical twins, while they were in her womb. The syndrome is often deadly for both babies.

Teri says the diagnosis shocked here.

She said, “I cried. I cried like a baby. I don’t think he showed as much emotion but I cried. I couldn’t help it.”

Evan was getting too little of Teri’s blood in the womb, and Ethan was getting too much. To even it out, Teri and her husband Josh could let nature takes its course or cut Evan’s umbilical cord in hopes of saving Ethan.

Teri said, “To me that wasn’t an option. We were gonna play it and see, let the cards fall where they may.”

Luck was with them. Both boys survived. Heart monitor and oxygen tanks aside, they are in good health.

Wednesday, the twins will be reunited. Evan’s finally strong enough to leave the hospital after a four month stay.

Teri said, “That’s what I’m waiting for is to bring ‘em home and lay ‘em together so they can kind of look at each other. Yeah.”

Teri Allison credits the Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome Foundation with helping her save her twins. She says she followed its tips to stay in bed and drink high protein shakes three times a day.

She says she’s grateful the foundation exists because her condition was so rare many people, including her doctors, knew little about it.

Twin to twin transfusion syndrome affects 15% of identical twins. It can happen to any mom and her babies. The syndrome is not hereditary. It is not caused by anything the parents did or did not do.