June 30, 2007

Coloradoan Issues a Real Food Challenge; Denver Media Run for Cover

Those following the histrionics of “The Food Stamp Challenge” (previous NewsBusters posts here, here, and here; previous BizzyBlog posts here, here, and here) know that:

  • Most of those engaging in it claim that the average Food Stamp recipient “only has $21 per person per week to buy food.”
  • The fact is that the program’s monthly benefits (often referred to “Allotments”; scroll to the bottom for the monthly benefit table), when converted to weekly, range from $26.81 – $35.67 per person per week, depending on family size:
FoodStampTable0407
  • Benefits are reduced for many recipients, on the whole to the national average of $21, because other available resources (e.g., income from work and other sources) are considered in the program’s benefit formulas.
  • Therefore, the Challenge’s fundamental claim that recipients “only have $21 per person per week to buy food” is demonstrably false.
  • Local, regional, and national Old Media outlets all the way “up” to the Washington Post have been duped, and in turn have duped readers, into believing that Food Stamp families “only have $21 per person per week to buy food.”

Despite the fact that he and his family could prove their point by getting by on the higher Allotments the Food Stamp Program allows, Coloradoan Ari Armstrong of The Colorado Freedom Report, in issuing his a counter-challenge known as “The Serious Food Economy Challenge,” is promising that his family will live on the artificially low and misreported $21 per person per week. What’s more, unlike the poseurs making a show of how difficult it is to stay within that $21 for one week, Armstrong, starting on August 1, promises that his family will stay within that $21 per person per week — for a full six months.

Armstrong writes:

“The argument that the food stamp budget should be increased because it’s impossible to eat nutritiously on $3 or $3.57 per person per day is fallacious. And my wife and I are prepared to prove it. All we ask for our trouble is that the advocates of more tax spending for food stamps agree to fund the nonprofit of our choice once we prove them wrong.”

Armstrong has imposed a number of restrictions on himself and his family to prevent objectors from accusing him of playing games or of accomplishing something that is not practical. Among them:

  • He will attempt to record the approximate time spent shopping and preparing meals, in order to forestall the excuse that the exercise would be too time consuming for most people.
  • The family will “will not accept any free food, except that they may host dinner parties in exchange for attending dinner parties later with the guests on a one-for-one basis, attend dinner parties at which each guest brings a comparable amount of food, and eat Thanksgiving and Christmas meals with friends and/or relatives.”
  • To forestall complaints that they are taking advantage of something that many of the poor would not have access to, they won’t buy food at Costco, even though they are members.
  • In what some might consider the ultimate sacrifice, they “will not drink any beer or wine outside of the alloted budget, because those drinks contain significant calories” that might be seen as substitutes for food calories.

Armstrong challenged those who must clearly believe that what he and his family are attempting cannot be done, including local math-averse Denver Post reporters (who multiplied $3 by 7 and got $25 in this article), to put their money where their faux-starving mouths are:

Following the six-month period, if the Armstrongs have spent less than $1,080 on food, those who agreed to fund the challenge must contribute $10 to the nonprofit of the Armstrongs’ choice for every $1 that the Armstrongs have saved out of the total budget. If more than that amount has been promised, the total contribution will be split among all those who have promised a contribution, in proportion to the maximum contributions specified. The contributors must then send a check directly to the nonprofit specified no later than February 29, 2008.

Post reporters are among the legions in Old Media who have swallowed the premise of the original Food Stamp Challenge whole. Reported Bill Scanlon some even chronicled his attempts at staying within the incorrectly calculated $25 at his blog.

Armstrong sent an op-ed to the Post to issue his Serious Food Economy Challenge, also sending separate e-mails to a number of reporters and each member of the Post’s editorial board. The op-ed was rejected. Armstrong notes that only one reporter responded, indicating that she wouldn’t take up his challenge.

Though some elements of Armstrong’s Challenge are not crystal clear to me (e.g., what is his penalty if his family goes over the self-imposed $1,080 limit for his family of three during the six months?), it is interesting that the Post is summarily rejecting the claim of a taxpayer that Food Stamp benefits are sufficient to meet poor families’ needs and is willing to prove it, while blindly accepting the notion that benefits are inadequate from politicians who would clearly benefit if they could in effect buy votes by being seen as “leaders” in expanding the program.

Armstrong’s is a Challenge that bears watching.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Sherrod Brown, and His Changed Immigration-Bill Vote of Little Renown

Filed under: Immigration,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:40 am

I went to Sherrod Brown’s US Senate web site to get an explanation for why he changed his vote on immigration-bill cloture to “no” on Thursday after a “yes” on Tuesday, and a “yes” a few weeks ago.

The senator’s home page gave early indications that I might not get an answer:

BrownHomePageHeader0607

……

BrownHomePageText0607

……

BrownHomePageText2

Nearly eight months since his election and six months into his term, Sherrod Brown’s Contact page still shows only Washington and Cleveland office contact info; he is apparently still “in the process” of serving the rest of the state. Perhaps setting up an office across the hall from George Soros (scroll down to see family contributions) has taken higher precedence.

Back to Brown’s immigration votes. Visiting the Senator’s Newsroom page wasn’t very helpful:

BrownNewsroomPg0607

Since the senator apparently hasn’t felt compelled to officially explain himself, perhaps Old Media got something from him. Here is what the Cincinnati Enquirer reported in a story that also gives credit to Cox News Service:

Democrat Sherrod Brown of Ohio: “I was deeply concerned about the impact of the bill’s guest worker provisions on Ohio wages and working conditions, and the provision that would separate families.”

Nice try, guy. No sale.

The fact is that there was no meaningful change in the bill between Tuesday and Thursday that affected guest worker provisions or family togetherness. Brown’s “answer,” while not as duplicitous as George Voinovich’s was, is still a non-answer.

Brown appears to be getting no heat for his sudden switch. Or if it exists, it’s well-hidden. A search on “Sherrod Brown” at Daily Kos (no quotes needed for a multiple-word search) shows nothing more recent about Brown than mid-May. In fact, the Leftroots’ apathy on the issue is an interesting thing to see, with very few Daily Kos “immigration” items in the past week.

Brown’s “explanation” is every bit as weak as George Voinvich’s. In fact, given his consistent poor ratings from immigration watchdog groups (0% from FAIR — scroll down a bit; career D- and recent D from Americans for Better Immigration; Voinovich’s ratings with ABI are D and D), and Ted Kennedy’s passionate advocacy of the bill, one might expect Brown’s vote to be generating a great deal of outrage. Why not? Could this be one of those “you have to fool ‘em” votes that leftists forgive?

______________________________________

UPDATE: In this Cincinnati Enquirer article on June 13, there was this:

“The Senate failed in its duty,” said Pam Dixon, with Cincinnati Coalition for Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

At least, she said in a Tuesday conference call with news media, Ohio Republican Sen. George Voinovich and Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown “had the courage to vote yes” to end debate. The Senate attempt to bring the bill to a final vote failed 45 to 50. Senate Republicans wanted more changes in a 326-page bill they consider deeply flawed.

So what’s your take on Brown’s and Voinovich’s “courage” today, Pam? How does it feel to be thrown away like yesterday’s newspaper?

George Voinovich’s Cosmic/Comic Post-Immigration Vote Press Release

Filed under: Immigration,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:01 am

The Voinovich press release reads as follows:

+++++++++++++++++++++

SEN. VOINOVICH VOTES AGAINST CLOTURE ON IMMIGRATION BILL

June 28, 2007

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator George V. Voinovich (R-OH) today released the following statement after voting against cloture on the Senate immigration bill. The voted failed 46 to 53:

“I want an immigration bill that secures our borders, revises and updates our current laws to respond to our economic needs and brings the 12 million illegal aliens in our country out of the shadows. I am not convinced that this legislation meets those criteria. As ranking member of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce and the District of Columbia, I have concerns regarding how all the provisions in this bill could practically be implemented by the Department of Homeland Security. I also think it’s important that we respond to concerns raised about the bill by the American public.”
(end of press release)

++++++++++++++++++++

Uh ….. there’s a big problem with this.

Allow me to repeat what was reported here Wednesday (“Voinovich’s Sham Indecision”):

My source tells me that Mr. Voinovich addressed a group of prominent Ohio Republicans on what I believe was a teleconference call either over this previous weekend or just before that.

Here is what I am being told:

  • Voinovich spent some time attempting to sell the audience on the merits of the immigration bill (I’m told those involved were mostly not buying).
  • Voinovich said (quoting my source, not directly quoting Voinovich) that “if the people knew what the ‘real’ bill says rather than listening to talk radio then they would support it,” and that talk radio was on (a) “hatchet campaign.”

I have confirmed with my source that Mr. Voinovich had his mind made up and gave last week’s GOP-insider audience a very clear indication that he was going to vote for the bill — with none of the squishy “let’s look at the amendments” stuff that he was putting out through his staff earlier in the week or that he tried to pass off to talk radio’s second-largest audience during his disastrous Wednesday interview (Hot Air audio; BizzyBlog post) with Sean Hannity.

My source asked one of the insiders whether Mr. Voinovich’s statement in the press release contradicts what he told the insiders late last week. The answer was, in essence, “Yes. Totally.”

Draw your own conclusions.

Positivity: Athlete Lost Her Leg at 20, Still Competes

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:48 am

From Rockford, Michigan:

June 4, 2007

ROCKFORD, Mich. — “Are you ready, ladies?” Valerie Wallace calls out to her exercise class. “I have a lot of fun planned for you today.”

She grins. They groan.

“It’s because I love you,” Wallace says, turning on the music and launching into her litany of bend those knees, drop those hips, shoulder blades back, press across.

“Hey, Barb, do you ski?” she asks one of her students as they stretch and sweat. Barb does. “Do you want to teach ski lessons to the disabled? It’s two hours a week at Cannonsburg.”

Wallace skis, but most of her right leg is titanium. Her high-tech computerized knee can think faster than you can.

It’s the first artificial leg that’s been able to keep up with her.

Wallace, 46, coaches the girls’ junior varsity tennis team at Rockford High School, heads much of the Rockford band’s fundraising, teaches exercise classes at Champion Fitness in Rockford, mentors new amputees at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, has a sewing business and is active in the Grand Rapids Wheelchair Sports Association.

People always say how cheerful she is. The word “bubbly” keeps coming up.

She’s had some pretty dark times. She has a way of pulling other people out of theirs.

“I don’t allow negative,” Wallace says, sitting at her kitchen table in Rockford. “I’ve been known to pull girls off the (tennis) court if they’re having a temper tantrum.” She smiles. “I say, ‘Don’t make me take this leg off and beat you.’”

She’s made jokes about her prosthetic leg from the beginning, since she lost her own at age 20 in a car accident. It’s been a way to make other people more comfortable around her, she says.

“When she comes in, even if it’s freezing out, she often wears shorts, so people can really see her prosthetic,” says Kelly Merz, recreational therapist for the amputee program at Mary Free Bed. “It’s just who she is. She lays it out there ‘This is who I am.’”

“People remember her,” Merz says. “With Val, it’s all about `Look what I’m still doing.’ There’s a lot of fear, and she takes some of that fear away.”

Wallace tells about losing her leg.

One night friends from the German restaurant where she waitressed went to Oktoberfest. It was late when Wallace drove home. She hadn’t been drinking, she says, but she was tired. She dozed off. Her Subaru veered off the road, hitting a tree.

Panicked, she leaned over to block her 15-year-old passenger from going through the windshield. That move saved her life, she says. She later learned the steering column was imbedded in her seat. It would have been imbedded in her chest.

Wallace woke up in the hospital three days later. She had broken both hips, her right leg, her ankle. Two vertebrae were crushed. She spent a month in intensive care and endured pins, surgeries and traction, but ultimately the blood vessels in the leg were too damaged.

“They said I’d never walk again,” she says. “If I kept the leg, they said I’d be on crutches my whole life. If they amputated it, I could probably play wheelchair pingpong. That was all there was at the time.

“I said, `Take the damn thing.’”

There would be more surgeries down the road, to take more inches off the leg.

“I was doing a little of the pity party thing,” she says. “Why me and all that crap.”

Wallace received a prosthetic leg and, over the years, married, had a son and threw herself into being a mom _ PTA, band boosters, volunteering for everything.

“I’ve never had a leg that could keep up with me,” Wallace says. She was notorious for breaking them, stressing them beyond what they could bear.

She learned about a high-end, German-made prosthetic leg she could program to keep up with her. Even with health insurance, she couldn’t afford the $52,000 appliance…..

This is a story that must be read to the end. Go here for it.

June 29, 2007

Bias in Coverage of Immigration-Bill Failure Extends to Protecting Ted ‘Gestapo’ Kennedy

One doesn’t have to look very far to see opinionated assertions in the supposedly objective Old Media coverage of yesterday’s immigration-bill failure in the Senate.

Here’s part of what an unbylined AP report said almost immediately after it was clear that the bill would not get the 60 votes needed for cloture:

The carefully crafted compromise was left for dead after a similar vote three weeks ago but was revived by Bush and Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, who gave opponents more chances to change it.

To say that there is disagreement over whether the bill was “carefully crafted” is quite an understatement.

A report in the Seattle Times “compiled from The Washington Post, Gannett News Service, The Associated Press and McClatchy Newspapers” made this claim about yesterday’s vote:

In a mark of lawmakers’ ambivalence, however, the outcome was substantially different from a test vote Tuesday, when a 64-35 vote revived the bill.

Was it lawmaker “ambivalence,” or constituent persuasiveness? And how do they know?

But the biggest error, as often is the case, was one of omission.

Senator Ted Kennedy from Massachusetts lit into opponents on the Senate floor yesterday with this over-the-top riff (video is at Hot Air; bold is mine):

….. We know what they’re against, we don’t know what they’re for. Time and time again they tell us “We don’t like this provision, we don’t like that provision, we don’t want that part. Well they ought to be able to explain to the American people what they are for.

What are they going to do with the twelve and a half million who are undocumented here? Send them back? Send them back to countries around the world? More than $250 billion dollars, buses that would go from Los Angeles to New York and back again. Try and find them, develop a type of Gestapo here to seek out these people that are in the shadows. That’s their alternative?

Based on this Google News search on “Kennedy Gestapo” (without quotes), only the New York Times (may require free registration) and its sister publication the International Herald Tribune among Old Media outlets reported the Senator’s outburst. The Times reported an abbreviated version of what Kennedy said (without ellipses) at the end of its article, while the IHT, to its credit, gave it context:

The debate just before the vote Thursday was intense, and even personal.

“We know what they’re against. We don’t know what they’re for,” Senator Edward Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, said of the bill’s opponents. Perhaps, he suggested, the bill’s opponents envision some kind of “gestapo” to round up illegal immigrants.

“That’s their alternative?” Kennedy shouted. “That’s their alternative?”

I highly doubt that a conservative reference likening liberal opponents to Gestapo would get the scant coverage Kennedy’s hit on immigration-bill opponents received.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Couldn’t Help But Notice (062907)

If you haven’t dug into the details of the staged Elizabeth Edwards ambush of Ann Coulter, rest assured: Ann’s right, while Liz and those attempting to smear Coulter are wrong. This point Coulter makes speaks volumes (bold is mine):

These are bald-faced lies, and the mainstream media knows they are lies. Yet they were repeated ad nauseam on Wednesday by The Associated Press, the AOL pop-up window, CNN, NBC and — stunningly — the host of the lowest-rated cable show himself, who personally told me he knew the truth.

That host is Chris Matthews. The truth he knows is that all the garbage about Coulter in the latest incident is made up. But, chivalry lacking, he lacks the cajones to tell anyone but Coulter. Nice.

______________________________________

The intimidation campaign of Dayton Mayor Rhine McLin to unlawfully force city employees to live within the city limits despite state law that says she can’t, and despite losing in court so far (previous posts here and here), is better understood in this context:

Residents leaving Dayton in droves

So far this decade, only five large U.S. cities — one of which is post-Katrina New Orleans — have lost bigger shares of their populations than Dayton.

For the decade, Dayton has now lost an estimated 9,462 people or 5.7 percent of its residents. The city, which began the decade as the 126th-largest city, now ranks 143rd in population with 156,771 people as of last July 1.

McLin is forcing those on the city’s payroll plantation to live in the city because ever fewer of those who actually still have their full constitutional freedoms are willing to.

______________________________________

Lucas County does the seemingly impossible, combining a clear breach of fiduciary duty to taxpayers with a whacked-out idea (HT Thurber’s Thoughts):

June 23, 2007

Lucas County residents will be able to apply for low-interest loans to buy local artwork though a county-funded program, Commissioner Ben Konop, announced yesterday.

….. Lucas County residents who qualify for the program, administered by KeyBank, can receive a loan at 1 percent interest starting at $500, up to a maximum of $2,500 to purchase a piece of local artwork.

….. The county has agreed to invest $250,000 in a one-year certificate of deposit with KeyBank. The interest rate on the investment will be only 1 percent rather than the typical 4 to 4.5 percent, Mr. Konop said.

Maggie Thurber:

So, if the investments should be managed to maximize interest rates, has our treasurer done this? Nope! He’s decided that, instead of maximizing interest rates, he’s going to help people buy art.

She further points out that the program may violate state law, and definitely violates investing principles promulgated by the state auditor.

___________________________________

Sorry, we can’t wait 20 years for this alleged demographic turnaround to “solve” the illegal immigration problem.

___________________________________

It’s amazing how libs can explain away appearances at religious events and forums as not being violations of church-state separation. Memo to Barry Lynn: No one outside of Old Media is buying what you’re selling.

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Al Gore, centimillionaire. It’s amazing what you can achieve with a few years of rent-seeking and milking the old-boy network.

Positivity: Woman Claims Street Angels Saved Her Life

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Wakefield, UK:

June, 1, 2007

A WOMAN who collapsed on a night out says Wakefield’s Street Angels saved her life.

The 21-year-old, who does not want to be named, fears she may have had her drink spiked while in the city centre on Saturday night.

At about 1am she says she suddenly passed out while on Westgate.

She said: “I was panicking, I do not know what happened.

“I was vulnerable, there was no way I could protect or defend myself.

“I felt terrible and was in a real state – it was such a shock.

“Anything could have happened to me. I could have been in an accident or attacked.”

The 21-year-old, from Durkar, was led into the safe care of the Street Angels.

She said: “I was rescued by two angels and will never forget the kindness they showed me.

“They probably saved my life. I cannot praise or thank them highly enough.”

The Street Angels took her to their base, a late-night cafe at the Westmorland Centre near to Wakefield Cathedral, kept her safe and made sure she got home safely

Ben Brown, Street Angels co-ordinator, said: “We are just glad we could help this young woman, but that is what we are here for and we are just doing what we said we would.”

Go here for the rest of the story.

June 28, 2007

Further Reflection on Voinovich (with Immigration Cloture Vote Updates)

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

NOTE: This post will stay at the top for the rest of the day, and may be sporadically updated. For up-to-the-minutes, you can’t do better than Michelle Malkin’s rolling-updates post and Hot Air.

11:30 a.m. — DRUDGE Siren Is On — “Enough senators to stop the immigration bill have voted to block it. A roll call is continuing and the vote is not final …..”

11:35 a.m. — “Senate Blocks Immigration Bill…” “Down in Flames…”

11:40 a.m. The Hill — 46-53!!

11:45 a.m. — Gribbit: Voinovich voted NO!

(This inserted pause in the time progression is brought to you by the State of Ohio Blogger Alliance, including yours truly, for the purpose of claiming an unspecified teeny-tiny bit of credit for Mr. Voinovich’s apparent change of (?)heart.)

12:15 p.m. — Michelle Malkin has the roll call.

12:25 p.m. — Additional quick-look pleasant-surprise NO votes (IMO): Bayh, Bingaman, Bond, Burr, Cochran, Coleman, Ensign, Grassley, Harkin, Hatch, Landrieu, McConnell, Murkowski, Warner. (10:30 p.m. MISSED THE FIRST TIME: Sherrod Brown also voted NO!)

Scroll to the bottom for other post-vote updates.

_______________________________

In the 8-1/2 years he has been a senator, how many times has George Voinovich said on the eve of an important vote that he is interested in hearing from his constituents?

…..

…..

If you’re thinking that Monday might have been the very first time, you’re not alone.

So what gives?

My take: The Senator was looking for what he got — an earful. Given that, as noted here yesterday, he planned to vote as he did on Tuesday on immigration-bill cloture, and said so several days earlier in an address to party insiders, I believe he intended to capitalize on what he surely knew would be overwhelming caller urgings to vote “no” to portray his planned “yes” vote as a demonstration of political courage showing that he “won’t be intimidated,” in the infamous words he used yesterday with Hannity. Don’t forget that in doing so, he was from all appearances perfectly willing to waste the time, energy, and talents of thousands of busy people who had been led to believe that their input meant something.

Didn’t exactly work out, did it, George? (BizzyBlog post; Hot Air audio)

Today, the Senator can prove me wrong in my take and vote the right way (NO!) on cloture. I would be quite pleased to be proven wrong. It’s up to you, George.

_________________________________

UPDATE: The Cleveland Plain Dealer’s blog has a brief snippet on yesterday’s Voinovich-Hannity dustup. The rest of Ohio’s slumbering media appears not to have any other coverage. FrontPage has a long story on “Senator Embarrassment,” including his going wobbly on Iran and the Iraq War, and his out-of-touch take on the economy and tax cuts.

UPDATE 2: At 10:30 a.m., a Google Blogs search on “Voinovich Hannity” (not in quotes) during the past 48 hours had over 60 results.

UPDATE 3: Happy to be wrong, George. Can’t wait to hear the logic.

UPDATE 4, 2PM: Dean Barnett

In this class of fence-sitters, I would be remiss in my duties as a blogger if I didn’t carve out a special place for George Voinovich. Yesterday, Senator Voinovich was humiliating himself on the air with Sean Hannity, accusing Hannity of being irrational for opposing the bill. Today, Voinovich voted against cloture. What political courage!

Fine, Dean. But a booby prize goes to your boss Hugh Hewitt for thinking this pile of rubbish was salvageable (column here, blog posts here and here). And from this, it looks like you, Dean, were okay with fixing it at one point. Sometimes I think you guys want to be known as the go-along, get-along Bob Michels of the center-right. Bad idea.

UPDATE 5, 2:15 P.M.: Good point by Kaus, the YouTube Humiliator –

Fifteen Dems (plus Sanders) vote against cloture, making it unclear if Sen. Reid has achieved what seemed to be his unadvertised dream: A failed bill he could blame on the Republicans. …

For cryin’ out loud, Harry, polls showed a large majority (mid-high 50s, with support only in mid-30s) of Dems opposed the bill.

Final 1Q07 GDP, at 0.7%, Is Barely Revised Up from May

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:05 am

NOTE: This post was revised. An earlier version of this post stated that final GDP was unchanged because that’s what BEA’s e-mail announcement (which was obviously wrong) said.

___________________________________

The BEA press release showing that first quarter 2007 Gross Domestic Product growth was an annualized 0.7% is here.

Previous posts on the prior releases and comments on the quarter’s results are here and here.

With the ISM’s Manufacturing and Non-Manufacturing reports running comfortably in expansion mode, I don’t see how the second quarter’s GDP can fail to improve, hopefully quite a bit, on the first quarter’s dismal result.

OH-18 Update: Phillips for Congress Campaign Responds to Post and Inquiry on Residency

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:41 am

Following up on this post, I let the Paul Phillips for Congress campaign know in an e-mail that I was concerned about the candidate’s status and intentions relating to residency in the 18th District, and received the following e-mail response from Campaign Manager Lonnie Dietz.

I said that if I received a response, I would publish it verbatim, so here goes.

+++++++

Tom,

Thank you for contacting us about Paul’s residency in Ohio’s 18th Congressional District. We strongly agree that it is important to live in the district and have well established roots with those you hope to represent in Congress. As you may know, Paul is a 4th generation native to Chillicothe. He graduated from Chillicothe High School in 1981, his grandfather was the Mayor of Chillicothe and his father was a State Representative for the area. After graduating from Ohio State in 1985, Paul entered USAF Pilot Training and embarked on a highly successful 20 year career in the Air Force as a B-1 bomber pilot. Through his military service, Paul lived all over the country and world, but the more he saw, the more he was convinced to return home at the completion of his military career to raise his family here in Chillicothe.

In preparation to join his father’s Chillicothe law practice, he began evening law school in 2001 while he completing his military career from which he retired in 2006. He and his wife began house hunting in Chillicothe in 2004 and made offers on several houses. As one of our country’s top bomber pilots, shortly before retirement, he was highly sought after by Booz Allen Hamilton as a defense consultant to assist the Air Force in developing the Next Generation Long Range Strike Aircraft at Wright Paterson AFB. Paul accepted this job to help the Air Force continue its airpower world dominance as he prepared for and took the Ohio Bar Exam and continued house hunting in Chillicothe.

He and his wife took up temporary residence in Beavercreek during this transition. In May of 2006, Paul passed the bar exam and his wife was pregnant with their first child. Their timeline for settling in Chillicothe was eased as they focused on the pregnancy and preparation for their baby. In January 2007 their first child, Lauren was born. In February, his father was admitted into a permanent care facility in Chillicothe which also required a great deal of Paul’s focus. During this demanding time, Paul has been spending practically all of his time in Chillicothe assisting his mother, working in his new practice, and deciding on a permanent home for his family.

After several offers, they HAVE purchased a home under construction, which is scheduled for completion in August. You can rest assured that Paul has been a constant fixture in Chillicothe since the completion of his military service and was even recruited to run for Congress by the local party. His business is a member of the Chillicothe Chamber of Commerce. He is also registered with the local court as a full time attorney and no longer works for Booz Allen Hamilton, although his interest in helping the Air Force has not diminished. Chillicothe is Paul’s home and he intends to live here for the rest of his life regardless of what happens on Election Day. I hope this answers your questions, please feel free to call me if you want to talk in more detail.

I have also attached a copy of Paul’s bio that will help give you a timeline of the events in Paul’s life.

Thanks again for contacting us and your diligence to get an answer this important issue.

Lonnie Dietz
Campaign Manager
Paul Phillips for Congress

+++++++

I have taken the liberty of converting the bio Mr. Dietz mentioned to HTML, and it is posted here.

It would appear that there is little to be concerned about with Paul Phillips’s plans to legitimately represent the 18th District by moving and continuing to live there, and the candidate deserves kudos for that. I appreciate the campaign’s prompt response, and believe it bodes well both for the quality of campaign and, if things work out, the quality of representation the people of the 18th District would receive.

Positivity: Stolen 1956 Thunderbird recovered — 31 years later

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:59 am

From Palo Alto, California:

(06-21) 17:07 PDT PALO ALTO — When the phone rang at his car-rental business in Milpitas this morning and Palo Alto police were on the line, retired Officer Ronald Leung figured he was being solicited for the department’s bowling league.

The last thing he expected was that Officer Brian Philip would be calling with news that Leung’s stolen 1956 Ford Thunderbird had been recovered in Ventura County — 31 years to the day after it was ripped off from a Palo Alto parking lot.

“I was very shocked. I mean, you’d be shocked, too, if you lost something and you found it — 31 years later,” Leung said. “Let me tell you, after 31 years, I thought that car was long-gone history, like the Roman Empire.”

Since 1976, when the car was stolen from Leung’s auto-repair shop on Forest Avenue and High Street, the 59-year-old car aficionado has fathered two kids and retired from a two-decade-long career in law enforcement. The classic car, meanwhile, stayed in mint shape, according to the Ventura County California Highway Patrol officer who helped piece the puzzle together.

“It’s in really good condition,” said CHP Officer Christopher Throgmorton, who works out of the agency’s Moorpark (Ventura County) office and has gained a reputation in Southern California for being able to track down the vehicle identification numbers, or VINs, of old cars. “It looks like somebody had it refurbished. It’s been restored.”

Go here for the rest of the story.

June 27, 2007

Wow, Was That Weak (Hannity Skunks Voinovich)

Filed under: Immigration,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:52 pm

Just got back.

Miss 7 hours, you miss a lot, as they say.

I heard that Voinovich was going to be on Hannity on the way to a 3:45 commitment and had a chance to tip a couple of folks to its imminence. I only was able to listen to the first five minutes or so of the interview. I had to stop listening right at the point where it was obvious that George didn’t know the status of Kay Bailey Hutchinson’s amendment. I told myself “d***, this is going to go downhill in a big hurry.”

Did it ever.

Hot Air has the full audio of the interview (memo to Allah — Please, please, don’t EVER take it down). Don’t miss Allah’s thoughts and the choice reader comments.

Great SOB Alliance coverage of our not-soon-enough former senator is here:

  • Thespis Journal (with soothing musical accompaniment) — “Voinovich Embarrasses Ohio Again.”
  • Nasty Brutish & Short liveblogged.
  • Keeler Report weighs in.
  • NixGuy, among other things, makes the point that Sherrod Brown doesn’t deserve a pass on this either, and has an evening update.
  • One Oar is calling for a Senate hearing — the OHIO Senate, with Voinovich and Brown subpoenaed to defend themselves. This type of out-of-touch conduct and voting is a direct result of the 17th Amendment’s direct election of senators. The past few days have effectively been Exhibit A as to why the 17th should be repealed, and the selection of Senators should be returned to state legislatures.
  • Mark at Weapons of Mass Discussion is ready to kick something.
  • Matt at Weapons of Mass Discussion has a great roundup of his own (sorry guy, missed it in the first pass after Mark’s great post). And yeah, Zach from Outer Space is more grounded on immigration than the man Matt calls RINOovich.
  • Porkopolis has updated his post from yesterday.
  • Interested-Participant — “Senator George Voinovich is laying the groundwork for his defeat in the next election.”
  • Pain Dealer — “We may have just heard the beginning of the end of Voinovich’s career on live radio.”
  • Joe C at RAB has a late entry — “GV has now become an iconic figure in the illegal immigration debate, representing the arrogance of the pro-amnesty supporters from the President on down. His “interview” was so embarassing, his ignorance so profound, his demeanor so childish, that his performance may have actually killed the amnesty bill by virtue of other senators rushing to dissociate themselves from him.”

Other coverage:

  • WorldNetDaily (HT FreeRepublic, with over 100 comments) — “Voinovich self-destructs on Hannity” — “The normally low-profile Republican hung up on the No. 2 talk host in the country.”
  • Blogmeister — “The man didn’t even seem to have a full handle on what he’ll be voting on!”
  • PrestoPundit — “We already know that the White House has its information all wrong about the amnesty bill. Now we’re learning that most of the various Senators have very little knowledge of what they are voting on. Pathetic.”
  • Laura’s Miscellaneous Musings — “Voinovich was, plain and simple, arrogant, uninformed, and angry about being questioned by the American people. It’s quite embarrassing to me as a Republican that he is a representative of my party.”
  • The as-usual indefatigable Michelle Malkin (see 6:36 PM update) — “Speaking of lack of confidence in our lawmakers, get a load of blubbering, clueless George Voinovich on Hannity. Good gawd. Keep talking, George. You’re the best help we have in killing the bill out there.”

Voinovich’s Sham Indecision

Filed under: Immigration,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 1:41 pm

I’d like to do more justice to this post, but there’s no time, so I’ll just have to come out with it.

On Monday, George Voinovich’s folks at his various offices, surely at his behest, sent a clear message to all who had an interest in how he would vote on immigration-bill cloture on Tuesday that he had not committed to how he would vote and that he was open to taking comments from constituents.

I am told that the lines at one of his offices were very jammed and that he may have received as many as 1,000 phone calls at just one of those offices.

I am here to tell you, based on what is second-hand but I believe to be reliable information from a very trusted source, that George Voinovich knew on Monday, and at least several days earlier, exactly how he was going to vote on cloture.

My source tells me that Mr. Voinovich addressed a group of prominent Ohio Republicans on what I believe was a teleconference call either over this previous weekend or just before that.

Here is what I am being told:

  • Voinovich spent some time attempting to sell the audience on the merits of the immigration bill (I’m told those involved were mostly not buying).
  • Voinovich said (quoting my source, not directly quoting Voinovich) that “if the people knew what the ‘real’ bill says rather than listening to talk radio then they would support it,” and that talk radio was on (a) “hatchet campaign.” My source reasonably asks why George hasn’t been trying to tell his constituents what a great bill this is.
  • It gets worse, if that’s possible. Voinovich told those assembled that he has accumulated a big campaign war chest and that he was not going to let what happened to Mike DeWine happen to him. He also intends to use this war chest to help other candidates.

Here is where I boil. On Monday, George Voinovich was so dismissive of his constituents’ time, talents and energies that he was perfectly willing to have thousands of people waste their time, talents, and energies making their feelings known to him when he had NO intention of changing his vote. As important (but not more important), he wasted the time, talents, and energies of dozens of bloggers, Sean Hannity and surely other talk-show hosts, National Review and surely other leading conservative outfits.

It’s one thing to disagree politically, and it’s quite another to be insufferably inconsiderate. George Voinovich doesn’t give a rip about how how rude he was to everyone on Monday.

I’m a never-say-never type of person, but I can tell you that I have no current plans to waste any more of my time on George Voinovich, except to defeat him. All the money in the world wouldn’t have saved Mike DeWine. George is a very slow learner.

Carnival Barking (062707)

Filed under: News from Other Sites — Tom @ 11:17 am

Carnival of Ohio Politics 71, ably compiled by Jill of Write Likes She Talks, is here.

Also, a delayed recognition to Boring Made Dull’s 38th compilation on Econ and Social Policy, which is here.

Well, That Was Fun (We’re Back)

Filed under: General — Tom @ 10:57 am

Lightning’s pretty amazing stuff — and sometimes destructive. It took out a modem, a router, and a hub, but luckily not the computer. That was 18 hours or so ago, but we’re back, with new posts coming.

The new server page-loading problem occurred because somehow one of the scripts created archive selections in the drop-down at the top for every month going back to 0 (zero). Web guy Charles solved that yesterday, and deep gratitude is due him.

A post that was planned for Mr. Voinovich and his shamnesty vote is coming.